As 2015 has just got underway, it seems the correct time to reflect on this little old blog of mine and what I’ve done with it.
I had planned to write this post last November when my blog reached its second anniversary. I never got around to it because some kindly young scamps stripped the local telephone exchange of copper wire, thereby leaving me with no broadband for a short while. If it wasn’t for the free Wi-Fi at the local library and a nearby café, this blog would have disappeared altogether during that time. With the broadband repaired, we then ran into Christmas and, well, you know how it is, things get put on the back burner.
So here we are, Dadbloguk.com is just over two years old and it’s a very significant moment. This blog, you see, has grown and developed to a point where I’ve just had to pay a Corporation Tax bill on its behalf and I’m about to be hit with my own personal tax bill. In other words, I’ve unwittingly launched a new career and my blog is viable business, albeit a cottage industry. Before I get carried away, I’d better give you some background as it’s a story that goes back a little while.
I started blogging in late 2012. It was a hobby and at that point it drove my wife crazy. She couldn’t understand why I was spending so much time in front of the lap top. I may be wrong, but it strikes me that spousal disapporval is common among bloggers.
When I launched the blog, I’d been the main carer for my children for about 18 months. I was irritated by the lazy, latent sexism I regularly encountered. I seemed to be fighting a constant battle with a society that expected my wife to raise the children (she works full time). It was great subject matter to blog about and fatherhood issues remain at the core of what I do.
Even so, I slowly realised that blogging could be profitable and thought this hobby could also supplement my meagre income. As a former print journalist, I didn’t truly understand blogging and my approach was not very imaginative at first. I published some sponsored posts as this was the only way I could see of turning a profit.
Two years down the line and my approach is very different. I have diversified. I write for other blogs and undertake a range of associated activities working on behalf of other organisations, always fitting it round the children and their needs. Banner advertising and the occasional bit of sponsored content are just two ways blogging provides me an income (although I always make sure there’s more creative than paid-for content on the blog).
On the subject of diversification, now seems a very good time to tell you my first book is presently being typeset. It’ll be available shortly, so watch this space. In addition to this, a second blog is in development. Oh yes, 2015 is going to be an interesting year!
More than anything, however, writing this blog is fun. If I didn’t love blogging so much, I wouldn’t do it. There’s no denying it takes huge effort, often at strange times of the day and night as I juggle writing and family life.
While making a profit is fantastic, it’s only one of the things that inspires me to keep going. At the end of 2014 I was delighted to appear on InsideMAN mag’s list of writers to look out for in 2015. A few months previously I was contacted by the Cision media monitoring database and informed I was on its list of 10 most influential dad bloggers (ranking at number 4, should you be interested).
Blog posts like this, this and this, plus the response they get, also give me the drive to keep on writing.
There are two further reasons I wanted to write this post. If I were a mum, I’d probably qualify as a mumpreneur (a word I dislike for a variety of reasons). A lot of mum bloggers have turned blogging into a career. Although there are many dad bloggers out there, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of UK-based blogging fathers I know of who are doing the same. I simply wanted to demonstrate that us dads can do it too.
I also need to say a big thank you to all my readers plus the the people that have helped me over the past couple of years. When I started Dadbloguk I gave myself three months; if I wasn’t enjoying it by that point, I was going to take it off-line. Your interest, help and support persuaded me to keep going.
Writing a blog requires massive and constant effort. I’ve also got a very long list of improvements I’d like to make to this blog and I have to acknowledge that along the way I’ve made some cringe-worthy mistakes.
I’m also a bit confused as to what my status is these days. Am I a stay at home dad, work at home dad or a stay at home working dad? Perhaps I’m a blog at home dad? Then again, perhaps I shouldn’t label myself?
Regardless of such minor issues, blogging is just so much fun and I just don’t think I can stop. Oh, yeah, and Mrs Adams is a convert. These days she generally leaves me to blog in peace. Thanks for reading and if you’re blogger yourself, keep on writing.