I read somewhere that on average, people who start writing a blog will usually knock it on the head within 3 months. But after a few successful posts and a healthy flow of traffic, I was not only going to buck that trend, I was going to take my blog to the next level and get paid handsomely for it. Then I exposed myself to the saturated world of Dad Blogging…… and quit within 3 months.
I started my blog because I have much to be proud about, and I also love making people laugh. I’m good with the written word (probably better than the spoken), so it made sense for me to share a blog because I wanted the world to know how good my life is. It also became a kind of therapy to me at times, because as brilliant as being a parent is, it’s also the hardest thing you’ll ever do – especially those newborn months.
Then my head started to travel firmly up my own arse.
People seem to be loving your work, the WordPress stats function is showing you that you’re getting 1000’s of hits from all over the world. Surely a book deal is only around the corner? Perhaps not, I needed more readers MORE! Before I could cement any plans of retiring at 36 as a published author, I would need to find new ways to ram my family based babbles down other peoples throats.
A quick google search of ‘how to increase blog’ traffic led me to various blogs that offered advice on how to increase traffic on blogs (Blogception?), and most echoed the same main pointers to success.
Step 1 – Spend Spend Spend.
Buy a domain. Build a website. Pay a designer. Invest in sponsored posts, pay people to care. The more you spend, the further your online reach is.
I toyed with the idea for about 30 minutes, whilst drunk, but even then I thought it was stupid. I’ll buy anything when I’m drunk (one time I bought a badgers skull), but this was too rich for me. Maybe I could use some of the money from my book deal to buy a brand that someone might care about?
Step 2 – Read other blogs and leave comments.
OK, I want bloggers to read my stuff and enjoy, so it’s only fair that I read theirs in return. That was fine for the first 10 minutes, then I quickly realised that being a Dad Blogger isn’t a niche as I’d first thought. There are 1000’s upon 1000’s, and a huge percentage of those write incredibly dull blogs about stupid topics such as which colour toast their little one enjoys the best. I quickly stopped reading and started to just scan peoples post, leaving an empty ‘like’ at the end in the hope that they’d follow it back to my site and give me the traffic I craved.
I searched out some of the more popular Dad bloggers, but again I was a bit underwhelmed, with some seemingly following the quantity over quality approach. Daily posts about fuck all but still seemed to hit critical acclaim amongst their legions of followers (more on this in a minute).
Step 3 – Join a few Facebook pages, promote yourself.
This was the real eye opener, with my newly found ambition to become a famous Dad Blogger starting to expire.
Facebook seems to the realm where Dad Bloggers gather. Sharing blog posts is prohibited, and rightly so because things would be insanely chaotic if they weren’t. Instead of sharing blogs, or ideas and experiences, nearly all of posts are business related. Some about marketing – which paid spam service is the best, are Facebook sponsored posts worth the money? Others are about “opportunities”, scraps from the upper echelons of the blogging table. Hands up who wants to write a 2000 word blog about how good a brand of hand sanitizer is, with the promise of a free bottle of said sanitizer as payment? That kind of thing. I could barely believe the amount of people falling over themselves to get knee deep in this shit, personally I’d rather just spend £2.99 on a product than waste an hour or two writing a blog pretending that it’s changed my life.
With self promotion limited, I did occasionally attempt to strike up conversation on the topic that had brought us all together – parenting, and in particular I was looking for some help regarding night terrors. But this just usually lead to blokes responding with stupid shit about ‘teaching my toddler to respect my boundaries’. Thanks for that Super Nanny, when Faith has finished ramming toast into my PS4, we’ll have a chat about how important my sleep is.
The other thing that left me open mouthed about Facebook Dad blog pages was the seriousness of it all. People that clearly weren’t earning a bean from their sideline as a Blogger were getting stressed about “falling behind”. How can you fall behind in what basically is a hobby? Madness.
Step 4 – Find bloggers in a similar field, interact.
This was tough, really tough. In fact it was so tough I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The aim of the game here is to reach out to other bloggers on twitter and exchange like minded views until an alliance is formed. Fine. Witty chit chat isn’t an issue to me, the problem lies in everyone else that I’m supposed to chit chat too. The script here seems to be aim for Bloggers with a couple of thousand followers and blow smoke up their arse. Reply to every tweet telling them how great they are, and ending said reply with ‘lol’ seems to be a must. Fuck that. Fuck all of that.
The popular blogger then convinces themselves that they are a big deal, which leads them to spew out 49k tweets that are obvious attempts at being relatable (dross such as “I really hate terrorism” or “racism makes me so angry”). Crowd funding links also seem to be the norm, obviously because they feel the need to ‘give something back’ because they’ve got 19,000 followers on a micro-blogging platform.
I know that there will be some Dad bloggers that will read this (or more likely, scan through it), so let’s be clear – I have had some interactions with good blokes on social media, so please don’t be offended if we’ve chatted before because this probably isn’t about you. There are plenty of funny, talented Dads out there, sharing their lives and stories, you just have to look really hard to find them. Others just need to get their priorities straight, this isn’t a career for most, so don’t get caught up thinking that it is. Instead of focusing all your efforts into filling up the internet with blogs, maybe try spending more time with your actual subject matter because that’s way more important.
As for me, I’ll stick to the day job, there’s just too much bullshit involved for me to take my ramblings to the next level. It’s a shame though, I heard one of the few successful Dad bloggers was getting £2500 for every post he made on Instagram, and my account is way better……….FOLLOW IT HERE 😎