2010 Is Still the Year Of The Daddy Blogger

My six year-old has been running around asking everyone she knows if they know the meaning behind “Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears.”  Since she is a clearly a child prodigy I asked her to tell me why 2010 is NOT the year of the daddy blogger. And then my beautiful, witty and extremely bright girl said, “what is a blogger.”

Apparently, I a self proclaimed daddy blogger have failed to educate her in the ways of social media. She doesn’t know what a blog is, doesn’t have a Twitter account or a Facebook page. The girl hasn’t the foggiest idea what it means to be LinkedIn, StumbledUpon, or Reddit.

But say Inigo Montoya and she’ll join you in saying “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to Die!” And I have got to tell you that I appreciate knowing that she is serious so be smart and don’t kill me or you will face her terrible wrath and I’ll probably haunt you.

So my friend the blogger with the Superman fetish wrote a post in which he regaled us with his recollection of what happened at the Type A Mom Conference and why 2010 is not the year of the daddy blogger. Over at DadLabs more fuel was tossed on the mighty fire a post called Do DadBloggers Suck?

And just when I began to gag on it all Backpacking Dad produced the piece Why don’t dads read dad blogs? And so I find myself shaking my head at my colleagues wondering what the hell they are thinking. In between large puffs of my cigar and copious amounts a brandy that you can’t afford I decided that I must respond.

Gentlemen in the old country we would have called this conversation, narishkeit or nonsense. But that is ok because part of the joy of being a blogger is getting to engage in all sorts of nonsense and oodles of mischief. You see we are taking ourselves far too seriously and we are missing the point. So if the three people who are still reading this will bear with me I’ll transition into a more serious post.

What is the goal of blogging? If the goal is to become professional bloggers who earn an income from blogging the question is how to do so. The answer is relatively simple. Provide brands with access to their target demographic ideally during a time and place when they are making purchasing decisions. That is all you have to do, show those prospective sponsors that you can help them reach prospective customers.

In a professional setting anyone selling sponsorships has a media kit that they provide to prospective advertisers. The standard kit usually contains an editorial calendar and demographic information regarding the readers.Sometimes that comes from an audit conducted by an impartial third party and other times it is based upon user surveys or registrations conducted by the publication.

If you want to make your dad blog into a professional venture you can do so. You can build your blog into something that has a media kit that you can present to potential sponsors. But before you get there you need to remember that no business is built overnight. You need to remember that building a blog requires time and energy.

Last year I wrote a post about Why Some Blogs Fail in which I cited a survey which said that 95% of all blogs are abandoned. You can look at that statistic from a negative perspective or you can see it as opportunity.

I see it as opportunity. This past Sunday I tweeted about the influx of “dad blogs” this year and made a prediction regarding how many would still be around in 2010.

I stand by my tweet. If I have learned one thing in 6.5 years of blogging it is that most bloggers don’t last. That Technorati survey just proves my point, but that doesn’t really matter. The real point here is that I think that it is premature and silly to say that dad bloggers can’t share the success of the mom bloggers.

It is not a competition and even if it was smart brands/bloggers recognize that the genders are different and how you market to them is sometimes going to be different. But that is neither here nor there. In fact, at 1:30 AM I wonder what I am rambling on about.

Oh yes, dad blogs, brands and bucks. I don’t care if the CNN guy was supportive, a jerk or something else. He doesn’t define me. Frankly I don’t care if television and movies portray dads as bumbling fools because they don’t define me either. I do that.

And if I want to make this corner of cyberspace into something that generates more than coffee money I will do that because the tools and resources exist. I’ll take those tools and use them to differentiate and distinguish myself as a valuable content provider who can put you Mr. Advertiser in front of your target audience in a unique and cost effective way.

Related links

The Daddy Blogger Community
The Rules of Blogging- How To Make Money Part 1
I Don’t Want To Be A Mommy Blogger
Dear Angry Mommy Blogger

24 Comments

  1. TheJackB October 2, 2010 at 4:07 am

    I think that the question is what each individual blogger wants to make out of their blog. If they want to monetize it that is their business. Overall I think that a dad blogger community that offers support and friendship is very valuable, but again it all depends on the needs of the individuals.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  2. BloggerFather October 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Don't get me wrong. I don't care what CNN thinks about me. My point in the blog post calling Drew Griffin a dick (yea…) was that he was indeed a dick, not that I wish he had been nicer to me and to other dads. My frustration with the rest of the CNN segment was in the way they missed an opportunity to allow fathers to define themselves, which like you, I consider the main point. Marie Claire sells controversy, so it defines me in a certain way. CNN sells middle-of-the-road social conservatism, so it defines me in its own way. It's up to each of us to define ourselves, and one way to do that is with our blogs and on Twitter. I think the rise of blogging fathers is more dependent on creating a community rather than on building a media kit. And I don't think we need to look at mommy bloggers for inspiration. I like reading some blogs written by mothers, but I'm not going to read a mommy blogger. Does it makes sense?
    My recent post Drew Griffin is a Dick

  3. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Hi John,

    I hope that you do keep blogging for that long just as I hope to do so. There is something special and amazing about being able to read old posts. You can call it narcissistic, but these posts are little snapshots in time and there is meaning there.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  4. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Hi PJ,

    That is a very thoughtful response and I really appreciate it. I think that you have provided a good outline of what it is you want from your blog and why you are doing it. That is something that I think a lot of bloggers miss and one that is very important.

    It sounds to me like you are well on your way to continued success.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  5. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Clay,

    I think it is good to see so many of us asking questions, stirring things up and trying to change the tone and tenor. Where I start to get crazy is when we over analyze and over think things. I am guilty of doing that more times than I'd like to admit.

    But in this particular area I feel like I have enough experience/confidence to do otherwise. My father is/was great. He did some things differently than I do and that is ok with me.

    I am not interested in trying to promote myself as being better than the last generation. I am not knocking those who do, it is just not for me. Primarily because I don't want my dad to feel badly. He did a great job with us.

    I love to write and would be very happy to work as a full time blogger. I am good at this. I see an opportunity to make that happen. I just think that we need to move beyond worrying what others say about us and work on our goals.

    This is simple business that we are over complicating, but having guys like you around helps. That is not me blowing sunshine up your ass, that is real. You guys do good work and that makes it easier for all of us.
    My recent post Dancing at the Movies – Music Video

  6. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    If I am the voice of reason and wisdom it is time to move into a bunker. 😉 On a serious note, it really is a matter of identifying what it is we want and then making it happen. You can't build without a plan.

  7. @TheDaddyYoDude October 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Jack, great insightful and thought provoking post as always. I started my blog for just the purpose of writing about my experiences as a dad. Never thought about it more than that. 6 months later, I have people who actually read what I write, but the purpose stays the same. I share my thoughts, my views, and my stories all about being a dad. I wrote a post one time stating that I would continue to write the blog until the last kid moves out of the house. Only then is my job preparing them for the world complete. I stand by that post and it will be interesting to see all those years from now what is going on in the dad blog world. Thanks for a great post

  8. PJMullen October 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    "no business is built overnight"

    Bingo. It takes time, sweat and perseverance. And just like most blogs fail, most businesses fail.

    I didn't start writing my personal blog to turn it into a business. Sure, I've done a few reviews, gotten some swag and been on a fancy trip. But to be totally honest I don't see a sustainable business model in having a personal blog where all I talk about are products and services that I review. That is just me, I could be wrong – and it certainly won't be a first.

    For me, my blog is about networking, finding a community of like minded parents who put their children first and foremost, which is why I'll never post ads and only post advertorial content (for lack of a better term) only when I find it extremely compelling.

    The other side to my coin is that I'm a stay at home dad by choice. I have a huge disdain for my former career path and would rather take an ice pick to the forehead than go back when my kids are in school. Therefore I've also used my blog as a learning experience. A self directed study, if you will, on social media/social networking and the technology behind building it. This is why, after less than two years writing my blog, I'm preparing for its third re-design.

    I've been fortunate to get some consulting work through friends who have seen what I was able to do with my personal blog and referred me to colleagues or associates that wanted to dive into the social pool. Am I going to get rich off it? No. Am I replacing about a third of my previous income while being able to stay at home with my kids? Yes.

    So, I agree, 2010 is the year of the dad blogger. The year we start figuring out things, build our platforms and choose our paths.

    To paraphrase a brilliant man, it will take years and cost millions of lives, but we will get there. And that there is wherever we choose to go.

    Well done.
    My recent post Open wide!

  9. Clay Nichols October 1, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Okay, I admit it, I let the CNN guy get under my skin when I shouldn't have, and the tenor of my response was a bit, shall we say, strident. I appreciate your balance and thoughtfulness. But is the conversation nonsense? The very quality of your response seems to say otherwise. My questions are speculative, but speculation can be useful at times, right? And here are my questions: Have dads changed? Is so, will this lead them to discuss fatherhood online? What can we as publishers and writers do to encourage and catalyze (and, yes, even make a buck off of) the conversation? The answers may well be as simple as: do what TheJackB does.
    My recent post Advertise

  10. CK_Lunchbox October 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    You sir, have proved once again why you are the voice of wisdom and reason among us dad bloggers. Everyone I've read and talked to have valid takes on the subject, but as you say (and I summing up), it comes down to the intent and purpose behind your blog. Once you establish that, just go do it.

    Is this the year of the Daddy Blogger? Yes, but for exactly the reason you say: it's the year it started to gain attention.

    Thanks for steadying the discussion.

  11. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Hi Alan,

    I hate labels but I write daddy blogger, dad blogger and dad with a blog repeatedly for no reason other than the SEO value.

    I don't think that we necessarily have to pigeonhole ourselves. The initial question is what do we want from our blogs. Write a mission statement and then take the necessary steps to turn words into deeds.

  12. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Kevin,

    Don't go telling people that I make sense as you'll ruin my rep. But I do appreciate that you get it. You have to build a solid foundation or you're forever chasing your tail. But if you do it right, it is magic.

  13. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Dotterel,

    I love that answer and I agree. We are more than just dads.

  14. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:36 am

    DC,

    You are absolutely right. This is the beginning. Now is the time to start planning for the future so that we can go out and make it happen.

  15. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:35 am

    No, I am an Angry Jew who is going to fling stale bagels at you and in the process discover that I can become a superhero. Watch out criminals, Bagelman and his sidekick Lox boy are about to knock you silly.

    Or I might choose to become Meshuganeh Man as the name is catchier. 😉

  16. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:32 am

    It is tough to label us and I am not convinced that we should.

  17. TheJackB October 1, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Hi Chris,

    For a long time I was a blogger without a purpose and in many ways it was much more enjoyable. I wrote whatever I wanted without giving any thought to whether it would help or hurt me.

    I still write with reckless abandon, but I am relatively conscious of what I want this place to do so I try to give it some direction. Direction and satisfaction are why I think I am going to be around for some time to come, so I think that you are absolutely correct.

  18. Alan October 1, 2010 at 3:25 am

    Another post of yours that makes me think.

    Damn. I hate that.

    One of my favorite bloggers is The Bloggess. That woman cracks me up. She is also a mom. Is she a Mommy Blogger? I don't know.

    And that's why I think the Daddy Blogger label has the same problem. I'm a dad who blogs about fatherhood much of the time, but I write about some other things too. What does that mean? Hell if I know. I blog because I like to think I have something to say and it helps me to work on my writing and put it out in public. But there are other dads who blog about a whole host of topics.

    Can't you just be a blogger and not have to fall into a niche? Unless you suck. Then you're a crappy blogger.
    My recent post Doctor’s Orders- I Have to Lose My Son

  19. Kevin September 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Jack, I'd like to know who gave you permission to make sense.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. My blog is being built as a platform. Do I think I'll make money off of it at some point? Yes, absolutly, but it will be based on the value I have provided and what I have learned. It will be based on many things including my audience's value, but my DADvocate property is less than a year old and the project as a whole will only be a year old in November. I have a lot of work to do to get it to a point where I want to pull value out of it because the more work I put in to build the platform. The more value it will have. But Hey what do I know I'm just a dad who works full time. I'm no famous blogger.
    My recent post CNN Dad Panel At the M3Summit

  20. Dotterel September 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Although I'm in several lists as a 'daddy blogger' I don't wholly buy into that title. And 'just' being a dad doesn't define every man who is a father to someone; we're different in life, and different in blogs. Good piece.

  21. DC Urban Dad September 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Effing brilliant man.

    You gotta ask yourself what you want first and then go out there an get it. Those CNN guys can never define any of us. That's up to us.

    We don't suck. We are just getting started.

  22. @NewYorkDad September 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Wait… you're a daddy blogger?

  23. @DanDadDoes September 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Hi Jack,

    Very well said. There are so many different reasons that Dads blog, it is hard to talk about "Daddy Blogs" as a generic term. Some Dads just want to vent, others want to escape, some want to connect and yes some want to make money.

    I would ask, a Dad who runs a successful blog on photography – is he a Daddy Blogger or Photo Blogger? Dads are different than Moms. So, Dad Blogs will be different. Nothing wrong with that.
    My recent post Son- Don’t Mind that Huge Magnet on Your Head- I Just Want You to Be A SouthPaw Like Your Old Man

  24. @tessasdad September 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    This article is one reason among many why you were the first blogger I reviewed on the dad blog reviews.

    Blogs fail because the blogger hasn't defined the purpose as to why they're blogging. If a blogger knows why they're blogging, it's much easier to be authentic and to be in it for the long haul.

    Good post my friend.

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