The mommyblogosphere can be a magical place, full of parties, sponsorships, and bags stuffed with coupons for mass-marketed foods laden with high fructose corn syrup. It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of it all, particularly if you are one of the few daddies in our midst. As a daddy blogger, you stand out — whether you like it or not (and it appears that most daddies have no problem with it) — and this works in your favor. At first, anyway. As a beginning blogger, it is so much of an advantage to be a daddy blogger, in fact, that your fellow traveler mommy blogger colleagues might become jealous of your astoundingly quick ascent up the ranks. They will say things like, “You’ve been blogging for six months and already have a picture of yourself with Dooce ? Do you know how long it took me to get one of those?” or “How do I get over five thousand followers on Twitter? Grow a penis?” But fear not, daddies: I’ve got a list of what you can expect in the next year or two of your life, as well as a set of tips for how to survive the mercurial experience of blogging as a man among mommies.
Stage One: The ‘It’ Boy.
As a daddy blogger, you have a good chance of being welcomed with open arms by the vast majority of the mommy blogosphere. Where other comments on blogs by mere mommies are glossed over, neglected, your comments are far more likely to be reciprocated, you will be followed back on Twitter, and if there’s some kind of special event to which you need an invitation, well — you can probably sweet-talk your way in on the arm of one of the blessed invitees. Now, if in addition to your maleness, you are also blessed with social savoir-faire of any kind, unusual writing talent, or better-than-average looks (by blogger standards or otherwise), then there is no limit to the heights to which you might ascend in your first foray into the mommy blogosphere. Indeed, you have a chance to quickly reach a level that is well beyond where most mommy bloggers ever dare to hope — collecting subscribers, followers, coveted back links from the most elite of web real estate, and the like. Enjoy it, boys, while you can.
Stage Two: DadCentric Regular.
Soon after you have been recognized on a mass scale by the mommies with power, you will start to wonder why, though your traffic is higher than most of your peers, you still don’t seem to be courted by corporations in a manner befitting your stature. You will question the wisdom of associating yourself with a blog network called “BlogHer ,” given the fact that you are a “Him,” but ultimately decide that you can deal with it, because if you weren’t man enough for this gig, then you wouldn’t have signed up to be a mommy blogger. Er, daddy blogger. Still, your heart will yearn for more publicity, and your brain will craves the challenge that only a change of venue can provide. You will start to want to reach out to others of your own kind, and will seek solace and community in the form of DadCentric, where you will occasionally write posts for an audience smaller than that of your own blog, but earn the credibility that only Federated Media ad sponsorship can provide. At Dadcentric, you will become a regular and get something back of that male camaraderie that you lost when you sold yourself out to the group of chicks looking at nursing blankets outside the ballroom at the last blogging conference.
Stage Three: MamaPop Staff Writer [EDIT:](Paid).*
But writing about daddy stuff will start to get old, and you will resist the feeling of being pigeonholed. You will look for another outlet for your writing, perhaps something that offers a chance to discuss — well, if not sports, then at least something close to it. “Popular culture?” you’ll think, “That sounds close enough.” And you will find yourself as a MamaPop staff writer, waxing philosophical about the underwear choices of Lindsay Lohan and the relationship between Tiger’s latest infedelity and Immanuel Kant. You will wonder why you still aren’t getting endorsement deals from Quaker Oats, or why the PR rep from Bounce won’t return your calls. Let me explain it to you: you’re a dude. Corporate sponsorship of blogs is one of only two areas in life where this is not an advantage. The other one is getting into bars.
Stage Four: Seasoned Veteran Or Disillusioned Curmudgeon.
At some point, your subscriber numbers will start to fall, and you will think that you have done something wrong. But really, all that is happening is the leveling out of the too-quick ascent to the top. Whereas you once had over a thousand subscribers in Google Reader, you’re now down below 500, and though this will seem like a slap in the face, you should take comfort in the fact that it ordinarily takes a mommy blogger three years or more to build up a number like that, that even with this setback you are way ahead of most people. If you’re not careful, though, the changes in how people look at you, the dwindling down of DMs and link love, can turn you bitter. You will start to question the sense of it all, and begin writing vague philosophical posts in which you question the wisdom of going “meta ,” and then decide to do it anyway. If you are a truly talented writer, your true fans will stay with you at this point, cheering you on from the sidelines, and hoping that you pull yourself out of the rut that the shifting spotlight always seems to cause. This period of your career as a daddy blogger can last indefinitely, and is mostly contingent upon the desire of the daddy blogger himself.
Stage Five: Irrelevance, Book Deal, Or Both.
The good news is that the single most factor leading to commercial success as a blogger — mommy, daddy, or otherwise — is just continuing to do it, rain or shine, for years and years at a time. If you manage to stick through the ups and downs of your success, you will end up with a decent sized following of your greatest, truest fans, and with that comes bragging rights, and sometimes other, bigger opportunities. This has held true for bloggers in all niches, regardless of the talent or connections for a book deal. So hang in there, daddy, you’re in for a wild ride!
*It has come to my attention that, apparently, all MamaPop writers are, in fact, paid. My bad. I did not know this, good for you/them. Carry on.