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Mom blogs pack purchasing power punch

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Those cute little mom blogs that people used to snicker at have come a long way.

The latest statistics show that mom bloggers now control more than $2 trillion of purchasing power in the United States.

Shari Lott and her family just moved to the Valley a few months ago, and they didn't really know anyone.

"Individually, I wanted to figure out where the kids would start school, where I would find a babysitter, pediatricians, dentists," said Lott. "I needed all that kind of stuff."

But instead of frantically worrying about where to turn, the Scottsdale mother of two knew exactly what to do.

Lott looked up a local mom's blog, where she found all the answers she was looking for.

Kirsten Dunlap helps run

Dunlap said more and more parents are turning to sites like this one as a valuable resource for trusted recommendations on clothes, healthcare, restaurants or new products.

"Many of the things I've written about on the blog are not products someone is paying me to write about," said Dunlap. "They are products that I genuinely love and have genuinely helped me as a mom. I want to share them with my readers the same way I want to share them with my mom's friends."

However, there's more to these mom blogs than advice and recommendations.

David Eichler is the director of Decibel Blue, a Valley marketing and ad agency that pays close attention to how mom blogs have become "big time" players in the business world.

Instead of companies looking to promote in the mainstream media, they're courting moms to try their products and blog about them.

"Years ago, we would come to a client saying 'we're going after a blogger' and they were completely dismissive, they only wanted to know TV, radio and print," said Eichler. "Ten years later, the clients are much more savvy and they recognize that an influencer has a lot more influence over somebody that wants to make purchase decisions, than an ad they read in the paper."

Five years ago, toy companies handed out 98 percent of their samples to TV stations, newspapers and magazines.

Today, 70 percent of those free samples go to bloggers.

A lot of Valley moms tell CBS 5 News that recommendations on sites like Amazon or Trip Advisor seem to lack authenticity.

But mom blogs make you feel like you're getting advice from someone you know and trust, Lott said.

"I do think there is a certain trustworthiness, because you're blogging about being a mom and your family," said Dunlap.

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