Can the world’s most famous teen mom, Bristol Palin, school us crusty marketing types on blog creation and blog marketing? To quote her mama, “You betcha!” Bristol, in case you haven’t heard, has turned into quite the blogging machine over the last couple of months, and the byproducts of her efforts have put the reality star on the front page of every paper and on every network. Her blogs are discussed by talking heads and lampooned by comedians — so she must be doing something right, right? Or does the blogging notoriety of Bristol Palin have more to do with “How Not to Blog in 2012” than anything else?
Last week, Palin was attacked for blogging bogus statistics about the abortion rate for children with Down Syndrome. Palin wrote, “In the United States, would you believe 92 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted before they get a chance to take a breath? When I hear this statistic, it makes me want to burst into tears. I can’t imagine a world without Trig — he is the best brother!” Naturally, the real statistics, which were only a Google search away, came to light, and Palin was forced to apologize. That apology went something like this, “I’m sorry to say I think I unknowingly passed on incorrect information,” she wrote on her blog and then went on to publish the real statistics — 50 percent of Down Syndrome-diagnosed fetuses are actually aborted.
Listen, I don’t think anybody expects Bristol Palin to be an expert on anything, but for a young woman supposedly building her brand on being a responsible teen mom (one with a new reality show coming out, by the way), to not check the facts is ridiculous. Bristol blogging lesson Numero Uno: If you’re gonna spout off statistics, make sure they’re correct or be prepared to suffer the wrath of the informed.
This recent blogging blunder comes on the heels of a post wherein Bristol accused the first daughters of changing President Obama’s mind on gay marriage. This blog was publicly trashed on Twitter and comedians and pundits of all backgrounds had a great time destroying it. But Bristol was just doing one of the oldest blogging tricks in the book, which brings us to our second and final lesson: If you want publicity, blog about a controversial topic. Nobody really cares what Bristol Palin thinks about gay marriage, but that post sure drove traffic to her site, put her once again in the headlines and she probably sold a few books because of it.
While her celebrity is of the stomach-churning and head-scratching variety, Bristol Palin has certainly tapped into the power of blog marketing. And until her television show premiers later this year, we can bet on more headline-grabbing blogs to come in the immediate future.