Are Mom Blogs Leaving Dad in the Dust? (2.0)
Intro Updated 5/7/17.
I'm on my way to the Mom 2.0 Summit in just a few days and I wanted to re-visit this post about mom blogs. I think when I originally wrote this, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. There were some really successful mom bloggers out there and I was just getting started.
I started my "dad blog" - Memoirs of a Single Dad back in 2007. Back then already, there were bloggers or "influencers" turning a profit from their online presence. Making money from my blog was never really the purpose, but at the same time, I'm human.
I like stuff.
I like press junkets and travel.
I like people taking notice and valuing my opinion.
It's 2017 now and I'm really interested in how the blog landscape changed. There are some really popular dad blogs out there and blogging is arguably bigger than it's ever been. There's even a dad blogger conference - Dad 2.0 Summit.
In fact, there are now loads of marketing conferences that center around online influencer marketing and the popular influencer platform Izea.com just reported its largest profit, ever.
Blogs are here to stay, as a publishing medium. That much is definitely clear. But bloggers do come and go. I've learned a lot since I published this post all those years ago. I hope I'm able to pass along a thing or two along the way. That's really what it's all about, isn't it?
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Uh, Google? We have a problem.
If you Google the words ‘parent bloggers’ you’ll see some pretty big name parenting blogs – The New York Times Motherlode, Mommyish, and a ton of "top bloggers" lists from various sources like Mashable, HuffPo and others.
Take another closer look at those search results - what else do you see?
Note, that I typed in 'parent bloggers' as my query. Not 'mom bloggers' or 'mommy blogs' and yet, the results are predominantly about moms and their blogs. I see results like, "Top 25 Mommy Bloggers" and "Best Mom Blogs". Hell, there's even a website called TopMommyBlogs.com that shows up in the results.
Only 4 of the results are truly gender neutral - they say "parents" rather than mom or dad and they're not dominated (80%+) by mom blog recommendations. The rest all directly mention mom, despite my search query being 'parent'.
In fact, Google highlights "Mom Blogs" in the results because it thinks that term is synonymous with "Parent Bloggers".
Most of the ‘famous’ blogs and bloggers related to parenting are women. Go ladies! But what does that mean for the men? Why do Mom Blogs dominate the parent’s blogging scene? Where are the men – all out playing golf all day long?
I’ve been in the blogging ‘biz’ (where ‘biz’ = blogging for the hell of it because it sure isn’t paying the bills) since 2008 and I’ve very much become aware of the gender gap in parental blogging. I started my blog as a sort of online journal for my own personal thought collection point, journal and therapeutic outlet.
For the first few years, I was blogging in a bubble.
I only later came to find out others were actually reading what I was writing and relating on some level. Now, not only am I writing my own blogs but I'm also reading (quite a few) other blogs on a regular basis - moms, dads, travel, technology (love my Mac!) and even some cooking blogs from time to time.
The mom blogs are fantastic! I can't get enough of them, actually, and the networking among mom blogs? Holy wow they're a tight bunch! I'm seriously considering a trip to BlogHer at some point. Well, after I attend Dad 2.0, at least.
So, why aren’t there more dads writing parenting blogs? Or are dads writing blogs, we just can't find them? I have a few theories of my own, keeping in mind that I likely wrote this after 4+ cups of coffee...
Warning: snark ahead.
I am pretty sure that dads don’t read (or write) blogs.
We (Dads) don’t have time to be reading about feelings, ‘love languages’, breast feeding techniques, debates about which is more difficult - raising boys or girls and other such trivial parenting topics. Dads visit CNN.com or FoxNews.com from time to time.
Oh, and don’t forget about eTrade.com to check those stock quotes.
Ok, turning down the snark just a bit - I'm flirting with the truth a bit here. I personally know a pretty large number of really awesome dad bloggers. I don't visit their blogs nearly enough.
I want to. Or at least I think I do. I just don't think about it very often. It's yet to become part of my routine. I've tried all sorts of techniques, from RSS feeds to bookmarking apps and calendar reminders. I want to read more dad blogs (and moms, too). I just haven't found a good way to remind myself to do it!
Google's Definition of "Dad" is Wrong
We all use Google to look things up. Well, that's what I did one day when trying to figure out if "Dad" and "Father" meant the same thing.
Go ahead, try it yourself right now. "Okay, Google. What's the definition of dad?"
Google says dad and father are the same thing, but I respectfully disagree.
Here's what I think the real definition of "dad" is and why I think it's time for Google to make a distinction between a "father" and a "dad".
Read my definition and let me know what you think!
Dads don’t participate in parenting.
Here’s the deal – we’ve been at work all day. Yeah, that’s like 8 hours…maybe even a little longer. The last thing we want to do when we come home is sit down at the computer and work (again).
You go ahead and take care of laundry, dinner, the dishes, cleaning the house, feeding the children, homework, bath time and the various other duties that parents are required to do. So what if you went to work for the day as well? You’re the mom; act like one!
Clearly, I'm not being serious. It's clear, right? I hope so. Do you have any idea how much I appreciate what moms do? Holy crap, you do so much! I honestly don't know how you manage it all.
But here's what I have control over (err, well, you know what I mean) - my relationship. I can only choose to participate in my own family and household. I try to make sure that my wife doesn't bear all of the burden of our household and I hope that other dads choose to participate as well.
Dads can't or won't or don’t care.
Parenting topics, for the most part are…well, they’re kinda boring.
Now, if you wanted us to write articles about the fastest cars in the world, our favorite power tools or how to hit the perfect par 3 using a 2-iron, we’re all about that. If you insist on forcing (or coercing) us into writing boring articles about parenting, then it ain’t gonna be pretty.
We’re talking it'll be 2nd grade level at best.
There will be no spell check...
No grammar or capitalization.
Save that crap for you momma! Or We’ll Capitalize Every Word – just to drive you nuts.
Ok, now that I've gotten that off my chest and the caffeine is starting to wear off a bit, I hope you were able to tell that this article is satirical and wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously. I don’t know why moms dominate the parenting blogosphere with such force; I wish I did know.
The dad blogs that are out there are pretty damn fantastic and I know a good number of them personally. We just haven’t garnered the attention and following that many mom blogs enjoy. Of course, there's also the very clear gender bias that even some companies reinforce with their marketing campaigns.
I do hope that dad blogs continue to grow in quantity and quality and eventually reflect what I feel is our place in the family and on the online family blogging universe.