The Day That Dad Bloggers Overthrew The Mommy Blogger Cartel

Bruce Lee Statue on the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong

Ladies it is time for the Marvel Comic loving dad bloggers to take down your weaker DC Comic loving mom blogging cartel. Today marks the day that The Fantastic Four and the X-Men torch the Justice League. The Avengers will take out the watchtower and all will be lost. Just give up and accept that we aren’t taking this kind of crap anymore.

Stop asking ridiculous questions about what dad bloggers want. It irks me to no end to read most of that post. Since we are short on time let me cut and paste from it:

What is the motivation for dad bloggers?  Do they want to be like mom bloggers?

Before these questions can be answered, of course, they have to be defined.  What is the “what moms have” that dads don’t have yet?  A few things:

1) readership / traffic
2) an established community
3) opportunities for revenue generation

I am trying to give the benefit of the doubt to whomever put this post together because it is lacking or maybe I am just really grumpy. I consistently fail to understand why people ask if dad bloggers want to be like mom bloggers. Maybe it is because I don’t understand the question.

Is this supposed to be about men and parenting. Are we talking about whether men like being fathers. Is this just one more version of the conversation so many of us have heard where moms talk about how cute it is to see dads parenting.  If that is the case let me disabuse of you the idea that there is anything novel about this. We’re dads. We parent. We cook, clean and care for our children just as you do.  And though you may carry and deliver the children that doesn’t provide any more knowledge or ability to parent than we have.

If we are talking about the business aspect of blogging than we have a different topic altogether and one that merits some discussion. This blog and the blogosphere are riddled with posts and comments from me about how bloggers make bad business decisions. It makes me crazy to see how many bloggers wreak havoc upon our collective ability to earn an income from blogging because they do things that devalue all of our efforts.

If we are talking about things that mommy bloggers have that dad bloggers don’t have than maybe that business end is worth talking about. Maybe we need to talk about hard numbers and explore the myth of women making the majority of household purchases. Maybe we need to pull that apart and talk about what purchases they are making and comment upon the SAHD and WAHD communities that are heavily involved in household purchases. Maybe we need to remember that most marriages are a partnership in which both spouses participate in big ticket purchases.

Maybe we need to talk about whether mom blogger/dad blogger refers to bloggers who focus primarily upon parenting type posts. There are an awful lot of “successful” bloggers who have been doing this for a long time that are parents but don’t focus upon it.

Or maybe what we need to do is focus upon working together. Maybe the better use of our time and efforts is for mom and dad bloggers to work together as parent bloggers because collectively we have more influence. That doesn’t mean that we have to change our blogs or what we write about. It is just a way to reorient the discussion so that we get more out of this than we are getting.

The brands and businesses that want to reach us have money for marketing. They have resources and we can help them spend their money more wisely. We can help them be more effective at reaching their target audience while simultaneously receiving better and more appropriate compensation. Or maybe that is just a dream.

Anyway, this work at home dad has to go feed his kids lunch or risk being beaned with matzah balls.

P.S. I am thrilled to see that we are going to have another Dad Blogger conference next year. That link doesn’t provide much yet but in time I am sure that it will. In the interim don’t forget to follow along on Twitter.

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31 Comments

  1. The Absence of Alternatives April 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    So… are you firmly entrenched in the Dad Blogger Camp now? I mean are you self-identifying as a dad blogger now? I don’t get the label “mommy blogger” (unless one is like Jessica G. et al) And daddy blogger for that matter. Many of us have children so we are either mothers or fathers. Many of us are also husbands and wives. So why aren’t we Wife Bloggers and Husband Bloggers? Or Domestic Partner Bloggers if you want to be all PC about it.

    • The JackB April 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      It depends who I am speaking with. I am a blogger who fits into a 1000 labels. I interact with a lot of the dads and definitely identify as a dad blogger- but I wouldn’t say that it is a perfect description. I write about lots of things.

  2. The Absence of Alternatives April 26, 2011 at 5:01 am

    So… are you firmly entrenched in the Dad Blogger Camp now? I mean are you self-identifying as a dad blogger now? I don’t get the label “mommy blogger” (unless one is like Jessica G. et al) And daddy blogger for that matter. Many of us have children so we are either mothers or fathers. Many of us are also husbands and wives. So why aren’t we Wife Bloggers and Husband Bloggers? Or Domestic Partner Bloggers if you want to be all PC about it.

    • The JackB April 26, 2011 at 7:43 am

      It depends who I am speaking with. I am a blogger who fits into a 1000 labels. I interact with a lot of the dads and definitely identify as a dad blogger- but I wouldn’t say that it is a perfect description. I write about lots of things.

    • The JackB April 26, 2011 at 7:43 am

      It depends who I am speaking with. I am a blogger who fits into a 1000 labels. I interact with a lot of the dads and definitely identify as a dad blogger- but I wouldn’t say that it is a perfect description. I write about lots of things.

  3. The Absence of Alternatives April 26, 2011 at 5:01 am

    So… are you firmly entrenched in the Dad Blogger Camp now? I mean are you self-identifying as a dad blogger now? I don’t get the label “mommy blogger” (unless one is like Jessica G. et al) And daddy blogger for that matter. Many of us have children so we are either mothers or fathers. Many of us are also husbands and wives. So why aren’t we Wife Bloggers and Husband Bloggers? Or Domestic Partner Bloggers if you want to be all PC about it.

  4. Adam April 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I completely agree with you. Too often women think that a dad participating in parenting is something that’s cute and unique.

    As a stay at home dad I’ve had people call me “Mr. Mom,” ask if I’m taking care of him for the day and things like that. My response to them is essentially “No, I’m his father and I stay at home with him. I parent.”

    It’s all about expectations. For some reason dads are not expected to be involved in their child’s life. We as a society need to start putting that expectation on all fathers, get involved and reap the rewards.

    I blog because I want to share the experiences I have with my son and show people 1) others are going through the same thing and 2) what I did to resolve the situation. Like you said, I don’t want to be a mommy blogger, but my content will probably be similar to theirs because I’M A PARENT.

  5. Adam April 26, 2011 at 2:34 am

    I completely agree with you. Too often women think that a dad participating in parenting is something that’s cute and unique.

    As a stay at home dad I’ve had people call me “Mr. Mom,” ask if I’m taking care of him for the day and things like that. My response to them is essentially “No, I’m his father and I stay at home with him. I parent.”

    It’s all about expectations. For some reason dads are not expected to be involved in their child’s life. We as a society need to start putting that expectation on all fathers, get involved and reap the rewards.

    I blog because I want to share the experiences I have with my son and show people 1) others are going through the same thing and 2) what I did to resolve the situation. Like you said, I don’t want to be a mommy blogger, but my content will probably be similar to theirs because I’M A PARENT.

  6. Adam April 26, 2011 at 2:34 am

    I completely agree with you. Too often women think that a dad participating in parenting is something that’s cute and unique.

    As a stay at home dad I’ve had people call me “Mr. Mom,” ask if I’m taking care of him for the day and things like that. My response to them is essentially “No, I’m his father and I stay at home with him. I parent.”

    It’s all about expectations. For some reason dads are not expected to be involved in their child’s life. We as a society need to start putting that expectation on all fathers, get involved and reap the rewards.

    I blog because I want to share the experiences I have with my son and show people 1) others are going through the same thing and 2) what I did to resolve the situation. Like you said, I don’t want to be a mommy blogger, but my content will probably be similar to theirs because I’M A PARENT.

  7. Steely Dad April 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot of your stuff lately and I have to say: right on! I gave up blogging for many of the reasons you state here (and in previous posts). The only way to make money, it seems, it to start writing about stuff you never wanted to write about. For me, it lost its “fun” factor and I could no longer justify this time sap without seeing some compensation. My first priority is to be a dad, not a blogger who happens to be a dad. But that’s just me. The best part is that I made some very cool “virtual” friends. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start it up again with a renewed focus.

    • Jack April 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

      If I didn’t love writing and blogging I wouldn’t still be in it. I understand why a lot of people walk away- I can’t. Words are too big a part of me so I find myself consistently drawn like a moth to the flame.

  8. Jack April 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    There is a lot that can be done if we work together. Just a matter of taking the first step or two. Kind of reminds me of a school dance with both sides lined up on opposite sides of the room.

  9. Cam - Bibs & Baubles April 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    wow – glad you got that off your chest. i think that there is more than enough room for dad bloggers and that mommy bloggers should welcome that. just as ideally it takes two parents to raise a child for what each brings to the table, that same balance is needed in the blog world. Um, am I the only woman to comment… I better get out of here! 🙂

  10. dada rocks April 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Awesome post – still a long way to go before the dads overtake the mom blogs (and I doubt that’ll ever happen) but maybe we can just get over the questions for reach.

  11. ChopperPapa April 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I’ve been doing this for all of 6 or so months and from my neophyte stance it’s seems to be they are threatened. That we are somehow treading on parental sacred ground and we instead should be digging ditches or creating excel spreadsheets.

    I don’t have enough experience nor do I care about the ‘business end’ of blogging. Personally I think it defeats the whole concept, but thats a personal opinion.

    If moms choose to be divisive about father bloggers let them continue. As is normally the case it will come back to haunt them in the end.

    • Jack April 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      Blogging isn’t any different than anything else that involves people. Some are great, some suck and some are somewhere in between. I refrained from trying to monetize my blog for years because I wanted to be “pure.”

      Changed my mind for a variety of reasons, but the biggest is because I don’t think that I have changed. I write as I will with little to no regard for anyone else. It keeps this place authentic and makes my voice true.

  12. muskrat April 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Jack-
    I wrote that post. It wasn’t necessarily my opinion–I was “live blogging” the panel that was speaking a few feet in front of us. As for who came up with the title and theme of the panel? I’m not sure.

    Since Mom 2.0 is a conference that joins brands with bloggers, the panels are oriented toward the business end of blogging, so questions in the second paragraph under the portion copied/pasted from the Mom 2.0 blog can be answered with a “no.”

    Also, the assertion that moms’ making more purchase decisions for households is a “myth” is incorrect. While the numbers aren’t as skewed now as they were several years ago, mothers still buy more of the shit that comes in and out of houses carrying kids. That doesn’t mean dads never contribute, of course. Maybe dads have more say in the “big ticket” purchases, like cars, new roofs, giant TVs, audio/visual equipment, etc. At least, that’s how it is in my household.

    Finally, as for the 3 points you cut/paste into the above post, these (again) came from the discussion, but I don’t think you can argue that moms don’t have us beat in these three categories for now. But, last I checked, it wasn’t a competition anyway. I hope you come to the March ’12 conference. As long as it doesn’t compete with Mardi Gras, I’ll be there!

    • Jack April 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Muskrat,

      That wasn’t a personally directed rant. If it was I would have spoken unfavorably about rodents. 😉 Live blogging isn’t easy and I can see how it might be challenging to get the drift of the panel in the way that they intended.

      We’re going to disagree about numbers. The initial challenge is that neither one of us is providing examples to use but let’s move beyond that for a moment and throw some things out.

      The business end of blogging is about demographics. It is all about the eyeballs that brand XYZ wants to reach and who can provide access to them. One of the great challenges for bloggers is trying to find effective and professional ways to communicate their reach to the brands.

      Savvier bloggers have constructed media kits that they can use to try and persuade brands to work with them. Ideally that kit provides a demographic breakdown, unique users, pageview, education level, purchasing power, background on where readers come from, stickiness etc.

      Without that information brands get stuck with a perception of what the blog is about and who is writing it. Kind of similar to our perception about who is buying what. I grew up in a house with a father who did a lot of the grocery shopping, even though mom did a lot of the cooking.

      My kids have a similar experience. But I have a lot of divorced friends and they are responsible for all purchases and considering that 50% of all marriages end in divorce well.

      We are in agreement about it not being a competition which is why I am a fan of collaboration. I think that working together provides more opportunities than separately. I plan on being there next year- should be fun.

      Might even make an appearance at BlogHer in San Diego.

      • muskrat April 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

        Cool, see you in San Diego, then!

        Caleb was the one citing stats, since he moderated that panel. I assume he knows what he’s talking about, since I believe he works in PR or marketing (in addition to having a personal blog). Regardless, it doesn’t matter that much. I think gradually if enough guys know there are guys out there who can be credible online, then they will care about guys’ online opinions re: products and services, and then companies can partner with said guys who blog. But right now, that doesn’t happen with men to the degree it does with women, I don’t think.

        • Jack April 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

          I spent a lot of time working in marketing/PR and am naturally skeptical about numbers. I am skeptical for a variety of reasons:

          1) Many people have terrible math skills and I am not convinced that anyone checks their figures.
          2) I question whether a good job was done collecting the data. Did they have enough people to make it a good sample set.
          3) I question the honesty of the people answering. I think that some of them don’t provide accurate information. Some of that is because they intentionally obfuscate the truth and some is because they aren’t real accurate in their documentation of who does what.

          So when I look at those factors it makes me wonder.

          I think that when you look at how men shop and act the online world makes perfect sense. Many of us are less likely to ask questions about somethings. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to know and that is precisely why a blog is perfect.

          It provides an easy way to get information. If you want to engage you can do so in a way that is less embarrassing than in public. And as we know it is not a bad way to make some new friends and meet cool people.

          Some of this is Field of Dreams style- if you build it they will come. It just takes time and effort.

  13. Backpacking Dad April 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Hmm….I think it was EXACTLY about the business end of blogging, and I never saw even a hint of it being about dads as parents, full stop. Although I’m normally annoyed by the defensiveness behind some of the mom-to-dad blogger interactions or analyses, I didn’t really see anything coming out of that panel that bothered me. For some self-identified dad bloggers, figuring out how to increase traffic, get marketing and PR attention, and creating or finding a community are important things. That it seems to be a given that the self-identified mom bloggers have done all three with some success should be a reason to ask “why?”, and you agree in the middle of your post that it’s worth a discussion. You probably could have started there, because the first part seems unmotivated by a real target.

    An entirely different question is “Have mom bloggers succeeded in a way that is detrimental to or outright precludes the success of other kinds of personal/parenting bloggers?” That’s the one I think you have in mind when you suggest working together etc…And I think you have an answer that drives you to suggest more collaboration.

    • muskrat April 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      @BPD, Correct. It’s like you’ve BEEN to one of these conferences before!

      @Jack, I’m sorry you are “really grumpy.” Cheer up!

    • Jack April 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Maybe I misunderstood- I am open to that. Granted it is worth exploring how dad bloggers emulate successful mom bloggers because there isn’t any reason to reinvent the wheel.

      But I don’t think that there is any doubt that the market is saturated and that the proliferation of bloggers in this space makes it more challenging to succeed especially when some give it away for free.

      Furthermore there is not doubt that collaboration has the potential to open things up dramatically.

    • Dino Dogan April 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      I only recently (and totally by accident) discovered mom-dad blogging world. And I’ve been blogging for years.

      I think its another example of people who are basically the same struggling to find something to be divisive about.

      From the outside looking in, there is no difference between mom and dad bloggers. Its just parents blogging. Who cares? The answer? No one from the outside does. So all this is silly inner squabbles, it seams to me.

      But then again, none of this is unique to parent bloggers, is it?

  14. Matty April 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Here Here……Bravo!

    I read the entire post, and I get the impression that some women think that blogging is only for them, and that men shouldn’t even be blogging. If that’s the point the article is suggesting, then perhaps all those SAHM/WAHM moms should work outside the home like most men do, and then see if they still have the time for blogging.

    • Jack April 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      Blogging sometimes proves to be a very funny world. One of the great challenges is trying to discern the true meaning and intent of the writers. I don’t think that every mom blogger feels entitled or “superior” to men but there definitely is some of that.

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