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Adrienne Van Houten No Niche Blogger at Adrienne’s House, an interview

The term Mommy Blogger has been around for a while now. It seems that if you’re a mother and you blog, some people assume that you fit into this category. Adrienne Van Houten will be sure to let you know that although she is a mom and she blogs, she rarely writes about her children. In fact she doesn’t have a niche at all, but she is someone that is well known online as a blogger and as someone who influences what people think.

Tell me about your Blog

My blog is Adrienne’s House, it is everything that happens around my crazy home.  I talk about my kids, my grandkids, my likes and dislikes.  I have different “rooms” in the House that depict the Kitchen (recipe and food posts), the Library (book reviews), the Screening Room (Movie Reviews), Work Your Space (organizational tips).  I discuss anything that pops into my head at any given moment, and while I am always open to all thoughts and opinions, I always get the last word, because it is MY blog.

What was your first blog?

In 2003 I started Adrienne’s House over on Blogspot and then a joint venture with my sisters we did Amazon Readers, so we could tell each other what we were reading (My mom had 4 daughters and referred to us as Amazon Van Houten Women).  I then started a recipe blog and a movie review blog.  Just this year I pulled them all together (ok, I didn’t someone else did it for me) and put them under the one roof.

What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?

BE HONEST!  If you don’t like be sure to say so, but keep an open mind that others may like it.

Are you contacted by advertisers or do you contact them or both?

I am contacted by advertisers mainly because I am shy and have a hard time tooting my own horn.  You will notice my about me page is still empty.

What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?

I enjoy book reviews because I am a veracious reader.  I LOVE movie reviews because going to a movie is the ultimate escape for me.  As for products?  I don’t think I could pick one.

What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?

I wish they wouldn’t assume things about bloggers, I wish they wouldn’t generalize (I despise being referred to as a mommyblogger) and lump all of us in to categories.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?

I wish more bloggers would be honest in their reviews, I wish I would see more impartial and even some negative reviews out there.

What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?

I would love to have a chance to work with Disney.  I would love for them to dispel my impure thoughts about them.  I would open myself to working with any advertiser that feels I would be a good fit with them.

What is one thing about you that not many people know?

How very shy I am.

What’s your favorite book?

The Napping House

What are your contact details?


What events do you attend?

I have been to BlogHer 08 and 09.  Both were learning experiences for me in so many ways it is hard to explain.  Not just in blogging but in life lessons as well.  I have been to multiple “tweetups” with local folks and have met many nice people.  I have been involved with multiple Blogger events with Ford Motor Company to see new and innovative car designs and have used loaner cars to review.  I have also been invited by UL to visit their laboratories in Chicago this past summer, which was a fascinating experience.How do you prefer to communicate?
Email (I don’t have to put pants on!)
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?

I see it branching out in so many directions it is hard to keep track of it all.  There are so many more “social networks” and “ning networks” and with “whrrrl” and vlogging on you tube and such, it is becoming very complex and more techy than it ever was.
What online events have you been involved with?

The Spotlight on PR campaign was a joint effort between Tara (Feels Like Home) and I.  When MomDot called for a blackout or whatever on PR because she was “tired”, we decided to show PR that there were other fish in the sea.  So we contacted PR reps that we worked with and had a bunch of bloggers sign up on our two blogs and I know of at least 20 that were contacted.
What is about the term “mommyblogger” that you dislike?

The annotation that a Mommy Blogger is a mom who blogs.  No, I am a mom, but I rarely blog about my children.  Of course my kids are grown and one has children of her own (whom I do blog about occasionally), but I also blog about Politics and other controversial items.  I was told last year that my blog would never be successful because I didn’t have a “niche”.  I replied that their definition of success was not in my scope and that my niche was that I am nicheless.  I enjoy writing about anything that catches my fancy.  Along that line I do participate in Pay Per Posts and am proud to do so.  Again, I was told I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a blogger if I did so, that it was not “respectable”.  Respectable reschmectable, I am unemployed and have a family to take care of, if I can make a buck or two off of my blog then I am going to do it.  If you look through the comments on my blog you will see the same names repeated over and over, these are my family.  From my sisters to my 70+ year old Uncles.  Everything I write, has them in mind.  Yes I have 500+ subscribers to my feed, but I know that no matter what I write my family will give it to me straight.  So if I do a Pay Per Post that I can’t relate to something interesting to them, then I won’t write it.  the couple of bucks is not worth losing their respect.
– Connie Roberts
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