Mommybloggers Rule

2010 is being hailed as the Year of the Daddy Blogger.

A number of forces have propelled dads into the spotlight usually reserved for mommy bloggers. Many dads have lost their jobs due to the sagging economy, and as a result have been thrust into a stay-at-home role. Other dads have willingly given up their careers in order raise their kids. But whether men are staying at home with their kids or out in the working world, dads are noticeably more active in their kids’ lives.

And one way dads are stepping up is by increasing their online presence. New dad bloggers are popping up everyday and they’re contributing some truly unbelievable content. Dads have opinions on everything from diapers to daycare, and they’re expressing it in ways much different than moms. Dads tend to be a little grittier. A bit more honest and straightforward. And because of that, I think readers appreciate a fresh voice.

Many people think companies will be attracted to that voice, and start to court dad sites like they have with mom bloggers. The hope is brands will partner with dad bloggers via advertising, giveaways and product reviews.

But even though I’m a dad blogger who would love some extra money and recognition, it’s never gonna happen.

Mommy bloggers are where it’s at. At least for advertisers. Because even though dads are stepping it up, they are positively dwarfed by moms who have been doing it better for longer. Most of the dads I know are incredibly involved and supportive, but the sad fact is moms still make the overwhelming majority of parenting and spending decisions. They are also more organized and networked with conventions such as BlogHer, and when it comes down to it parenting is still very much tailored to women.

I know the knee-jerk reaction for a dad is to get frustrated by all of this. I know I have. I bust my ass as a dad. I have the bulk of the caretaking duties when it comes to Will. I dress him, feed him and change most of his diapers. I work full-time, but blogging and social media might as well be a part-time job. Yet people still say I’m “babysitting” when they see me out with my son. And when I take Will to a restaurant, my blood boils when I have to change Will on the floor of the men’s room because they haven’t bothered putting a changing table in the men’s bathroom.  I’m just as involved as any mom blogger out there, so why shouldn’t I be treated as an equal by companies and advertisers?

But when I took a step back, I realized how ridiculous I was being.

I thought about watching football on TV and the commercials that are on during the game. Erectile dysfunction, beer commercials with scantily clad women and tough guys pitching manly pick-up trucks. They’re not exactly advertising tampons, diapers or the trailers for the next Sandra Bullock chick flick.

And why is that? Because it’s a football game and the simple fact is more men watch football than women.

That’s not to say many women don’t enjoy football. They do. And they’re knowledgeable about the game as well. But they are a small percentage and they certainly aren’t the target demographic. So why would advertisers cater to such a small part of the football watching audience? The answer, of course, is they shouldn’t.

And whether any of us dads want to admit it or not, we fall into the same category when it comes to parenting. Many of us are involved dads who would be great ambassadors for these brands, but we’re not the target demographic. And unfortunately, I don’t think we ever will be.

But you know what? That’s OK. Because I didn’t start this blog or become a father to be rich and famous. And I’ve had some offers from companies to advertise here, but I’ve said no. Granted, if the right offer came along to make me rich and famous I wouldn’t turn it down. I’m not crazy. But my reward is that I’m a good dad and I’ve been able to connect with other similar fathers. We may not have the clout that Dooce and other top-notch mommy bloggers have, but we’re slowly carving out a niche of our own.

So whether advertisers think we’re marketable or not, I think we should just keep on keepin’ on and know we’re making a difference. Because we will never be the same as mom bloggers, and I for one think that’s a good thing!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT DAD-BLOGS, WHERE I PROBABLY WON’T BE POPULAR THIS WEEK FOR ADMITTING WE ARE SECOND TO THE WOMEN FOLK.

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23 thoughts on “Mommybloggers Rule

  1. All very good points.

    I’ve certainly seen an increase in the number of PR’s contacting me through my blog recently. But nothing like some of my friends who are Mummybloggers.

    Some of them are even going to Florida to sea world next week. It’s amazing.

    But you are right, i may have inadvertently stumbled into a female dominated area of popular culture, but the majority of the world is spun for men – and so I can’t really complain.

  2. Thanks for the reflections. Reminds me of this 2006 post from MetroDad I came across when I first heard about BlogHer and, out of curiosity, googled “BlogHim” – http://ow.ly/1woFj

    a little cynical, with an emphasis on the hypothesis dads don’t REALLY care about each other and can’t be expected to network and support one another the way mom bloggers do.

    i don’t know. may be something to it. can’t underestimate impact of getting in the game 5, 8, 10+ years later than mom bloggers. there is a learning curve for sure and many of us are still just beginning to climb it.

  3. Stefan: Thanks for that link, I thought it was great and dead on. Honestly, I would never attend BlogHer. Not that it’s not a great event, but it’s not in my wheelhouse. It’s specifically tailored for women. Sure I’d get a nugget or two of helpful information, but not before I gouged my eyes out with a fork.

    Funny enough, Dad-Blogs.com tried to start a convention. And guess what happened? One of the moms there had to spearhead it and eventually it fell apart because four people signed up. Exactly how MetroDad predicted it would go down should such a thing ever be considered for men. I’d be less apt to attend a conference, and more likely to hit up a weekend get-together in some city that centers around going to a baseball game and heading to a few bars. It needs to be less informal than what the moms have because while many of us are “enlightened dads,” I believe few of us want to say “I’m going to BlogHim.” Instead, we’ll say “I’m traveling to [insert name of major city] to catch a game with some friends and hang out for the weekend.”

    And no, I’m not volunteering myself to organize such an event. That’s a mom’s job! ;-)

  4. “But even though I’m a dad blogger who would love some extra money and recognition, it’s never gonna happen.”

    That’s really the attitude I think dad bloggers need to have (or one part of it anyway) when starting a daddy blog. I didn’t , and the frustration factor was much higher. After making a fool of myself many times (still do, but on a more limited basis), I learned this lesson.

    The only thing I would say though, is we may not all be football fans, but we as bloggers are all parents. As far as marketers’ attitudes towards dad bloggers, they are okay with us in some cases. It’s just that we’re not a blip on their radar screen, but if we can prove a large readership, it’s only a matter of asking them. In fact, I’ve even stumbled across a couple marketing firms (to be referred to in a later article), who have been following certain dad blogs for the last 6 – 8 months to get a feel for their readers with the idea of selecting said dad blogs to advertise products taylored to those readers. This precise method, which is just good market research, makes good common sense.

    Our blip is getting bigger. Just takes time and most importantly good content. You’ve got the good content down for sure.

  5. Interesting post. I wrote a blog on daddybloggers about a month ago ( http://wp.me/pKEBd-30 ) and it was one of my most popular blogs. My husband, kinda sarcastically, said, “Well, you were writing about men.” Only kinda sarcastically. Because there is definitely an aggressive group of dads out there that jumped over and checked it out. One of the comments mentioned that it would be nice if we could approach them as parenting blogs and I think that’s perfect. Every person who is focusing on raising a little human being has something worth sharing, no matter their gender.

    Also, it would be nice if the football ads were less sexist. I like football. British football, admittedly, but football nonetheless (Go Reading Royals! Blue Army! Come On URZ!) At least we got the Old Spice/guy on a horse ad at the last Superbowl. I think that ad was meant to sell perfume to boys, but we enjoyed it too.

  6. The marketers want to advertise to the readers, not the writers of the blogs. A dad blog that has a large female readership will get opportunities that mom blogs get. It is all about the content and viewers.

    I liked this post.

  7. @CKLunchbox: I agree 100%. Some great dad bloggers already have ads and they’re doing well. And I think that number will grow as long as more and more dads step into this realm. All I’m saying is you won’t have the massive, widespread success that many mommy bloggers enjoy. We might all be parents but moms are the target demo, and dads are a niche.

    I hope that changes, but there’s a lot of history to overcome before it does. As Howie pointed out, women have been fighting for equality in the work place for more than three decades and they still make 71 cents on the dollar compared to men.

    @Howie: Thanks for that link. Your post was spot on, and I can definitely see why women are hesitant to relinquish their monopoly on the parenting market. Maybe someday they will be “parenting blogs” versus mom and dad blogs, but I’m skeptical. Oh, and the Old Spice horse guy is phenomenally hilarious.

  8. @William: Definitely. And isn’t it curious that many daddy bloggers have just as many, if not more, female readers than males? It’s more than a tad ironic that the key to success for blogging fathers is actually to gain more mom readers.

  9. Maybe the advertisers are finally catching on. I finally got my first truly dad worthy PR email the other day, offering me free sausage.

    Now if only a beer company would follow up …

  10. Free sausage? That’s awesome. If I could get even one package of free sausage sent to me due to my blogging, I could easily hail this whole venture as a raging success. Beer would just be icing on the cake.

  11. I would blog 10 hours a day for free sausage. Sweet deal.

    Your common sense advertising approach to this reminded me of Colin Cowherd and all his TV numbers. I agree with you. We are still a niche market and carving out a bigger spot takes a lot of time. I don’t let any of it bother me though. Societies perceptions of parenting really don’t concern me. My son knows I am a good Dad and that is enough for me. In the mean time it is nice that all of us are having fun blogging and creating our own little space in the online world.

  12. Great post. That’s the different between Little League and Professional sports. The Little Leaguers do it for the love of the game. I like your style. Keep it up!

  13. I’ve been a daddy blogger for a year this month. I didn’t know I was a daddy blogger until some time in October and I too didn’t start my first blog with the idea of making money. My new DAD focused blog – http://www.TheDADvocateProject.com is a research project looking at how dads have changed. We are gathering a lot of data on how this current generation of dads approaches parenting. As I’ve been developing out the new site I was thinking about adverisers. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and I’ve realized there are 2 segments of readers. 1) Dads and 2) everybody else. So who do I want to market to. If it’s dads then I need to find products that capture that market. I know DadLabs has Baby Bajorn as a sponsor but honestly while I participated in the scanning process at Babby’s R Us. I cared a lot less about the products and a whole bunch more about playing with the scanner. So I realized that Baby Bajorn probably isn’t up the dad’s ally. So what is? Obviously sausage, beer, … What eles? … Shaving cream, Razors, — Have you looked at a mens magazine. All of those advertisers are perfect sponsors for mens blogs even if those blogs are talking about parenting topics. By the way there are Dad Parenting products including, and DAD parenting toys check them out and start targeting them.

    I’ve also thought aobut the idea of a Daddy Blogger type confrence. (that may be the topic of my next blog)

  14. I agree with lots of what you say here. As far as I’m concerned – it’s the content that matters for me. I’m turned off by the sites where every other post is a review of a product or a giveaway. That’s just me though. I started my blog in December as a way to share my love and joy of fatherhood and to connect with others who feel likewise. I honestly don’t feel we need to compare ourselves to the mommy bloggers. They have their thing and we have ours. Like a lot of you, I wouldn’t turn down money for my blog, but I’m not actively seeking money either. I have some affiliate links in my sidebar, but only the web hosting company has made me any money (and that’s cause I promote it to clients).

    I started to do the dad blog reviews in order to show that many dads are active parents and do not fit into the stereotype we see in the media. I also was blown away by the fantastic content I was reading and the number of dads sharing their love of being a dad. Right now, I like how so many of us are supporting each other and spreading the word about all the good dad blogs out there. And even without tons of recognition from marketers and advertisers, 2010 is still the year of the daddy blog…

    Great stuff man…thanks :)

  15. Mommy bloggers are where it’s at. At least for advertisers. Because even though dads are stepping it up, they are positively dwarfed by moms who have been doing it better for longer

    My friend you are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again. It is not as hard to get set up with sponsorships and brand ambassadorship as you might think. It is a matter of being able to prove that you reach a valuable demographic.

    If you can do that then you can have the sort of blog you are talking about, to a point. But we need to clarify some things. Most of the so called mommy bloggers aren’t making much of anything from their ads/sponsors.

    I am a seasoned blogger (6 years) who has a readership that is composed of both fathers and mothers. The fathers play a heavy role in parenting decisions, far more than they are given credit for. Fathers have a stronger influence in purchasing decisions in a number of areas such as high ticket items like automobiles. Fathers play a critical role in determining vacation spots, decisions about electronics etc.

    FWIW, I have bought/sold advertising online for more than a decade. Really, it is not as hard as people make it sound. But there are questions to ask:

    What is your goal? Do you want to live off of the income generated by blogging? Very few mommybloggers come close to doing that.

    Do you want to leverage your blog into getting free trips and products? That is possible to do, but a slippery slope.

    We can break this list out further, but…

    Remember, I am a dad like you. And I am in agreement that we deserve more respect. The commercials that portray us as buffoons are old and tiresome. We can do more. We can continue to network and support each other. We can build a community and that provides all sorts of opportunities.

  16. I may bust your chops about the sports stuff, but I am serious on this one. We can do it, just have to figure out what it is we want to accomplish.

  17. This thread is inspiring, enlightening and frightening all at the same time. We have jumped into the deep end of the pool. Follow along as we test the water for dads. I imagine it will hurt a little bit the first time, and from there we may be able to make it work. We will need some major support obviously so if you can give us a nudge we are happy to accept a little shove.

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