The 5 Stages In The Life Of A Daddy Blogger

by anna on March 1, 2010

Via Daddy Scratches' Flickr

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 View definition in a new window? 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 View definition in a new window 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 View definition in a new window,” 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 View definition in a new window 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 View definition in a new window,” 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.

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Mike March 1, 2010 at 7:33 am

you really need to start a “sour grapes” feature and just transfer about 80 percent of your content to it. this really has become the most desperately sad blog in a mommyblogging universe full of sad blogs, simply because you seem so incredibly desperate and unhappy.

you seem to have designed a list around the blogging careers of dad gone mad and his spurned lover black hockey jesus, a convenient rule of two. It would be far more brave to back up your assertions with links, or *gasp* names, but that would mean being forced to show that your assertions aren’t based on more than the 2 or 3 dads blogging that you’ve bothered paying attention to (probably because you see a little of your own attention whorishness in them?).

Plenty of men doing this for the community and not the same bloodthirsty goals you seem to have. Plenty of men have also been doing this FAR longer than you. Plenty of paths different from this one you’ve laid out. A little acknowledgement of that would go a long way.

jonniker March 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

Oh, Mike. This is just who Anna IS. It’s HYSTERICAL. And mostly tongue-in-cheek and … oh come on. Why so serious?

Poking fun at our community is one of Anna’s best qualities. And I could name several more bloggers who followed this path, not just the two you listed (which you listed with some rather dicky, sour grapes-sounding language yourself there, buddy).

And so what? It’s oversimplified, sure, but it’s also funny. She pokes just as much fun — no, MORE — at mommybloggers (which includes HERSELF), and we all take it in stride. There are HUNDREDS of articles and blog posts analyzing our community — the moms — with a far narrower brush than Anna’s used here for dads, and we’ve developed a pretty thick skin about it. Maybe you should, too.

And while you’re at it, include your own link, since you asked Anna to do so.

Have a great week!

anna March 1, 2010 at 8:57 am

Sounds like you’re a regular reader here, “Mike,” which seems odd for somebody who is sick of the “sour grapes” of a “bloodthirsty attention whore.” Why waste your time? Aren’t there better things to do with your time? Perhaps waxing philosophical about LOMGST! or the philosophical significance of Bella’s choice of Edward over Jacob?

TwoBusy March 1, 2010 at 9:10 am

When did being a bloodthirsty attention whore become a bad thing? Internets etiquette confuses me sometimes.

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

Another excellent point!

Kerry March 1, 2010 at 7:55 am

I truly don’t mean this snarkily, but Dad Gone Mad and Black Hockey Jesus are the only two I can think of. I’m sure there are others, but I can’t think of any.

When I was in corporate life, a few of the companies I was with were covered in the newspaper for various reasons. Each time, the corporate mucky-mucks cried, “Sour Grapes!” and went on and on about how the paper and/or the reporter had an axe to grind (even though what was reported was essentially true in each case).

Everyone likes being fawned over, but no one likes being reported on.

anna March 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

I could have linked people up, and the header picture features a Daddy blogger who is neither BHJ or Dad Gone Mad, but I thought it was kinder to make it abstract, particularly since my whole point is that this is a pattern that repeats over and over again.

It’s not a diatribe against daddy bloggers, it’s a statement of how things work in this community, for better or worse.

patois March 1, 2010 at 7:56 am

I’m think 80% is a little high. But then I’ve not been reading you that long.

Another fine list in a long line of lists. Thanks for the more in-depth explanation of each item, though. (I’m fairly clueless, obviously.)

home and uncool March 1, 2010 at 8:20 am

Luckily, I don’t need to worry about a Quaker endorsement deal. My wife in an exec for its parent company. Marrying her was the best sponsorship deal a poor daddy blogger could have.

Perhaps I get you some Life?

Life cereal, of course. Mmm, cinnamon.

Carry on, Anna. Carry on.


anna March 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

See, now that’s the kind of reaction I thought I’d get from the Dads. Aren’t guys used to giving each other shit? Isn’t that part of the whole male bonding ritual? Kevin seems to be in the spirit, boys.

Jason March 1, 2010 at 8:50 am

We didn’t get that Quaker oats endorsement, but I managed to recruit Wilfred Brimley to write for DadCentric. He’s got a hilarious post about the diabeetus coming up this week; please read it, and make sure you click on the LifeScan ad.

anna March 1, 2010 at 8:59 am

LOL! See, there are my boys! That’s what we need from the Daddies.

Madge March 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

OMG, you drew the Wilfred Brimley card. I’m a fan for life, LOL.

Jason March 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Also – MamaPop’s good people; I had a great time writing for the site, even if most people didn’t get my Wave Motion Gun, Franz Kafka and King Crimson references.

home and uncool March 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I never wrote for MamaPop. They pay even less than Jason on DadCentric.

anna March 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm

You’ll get no argument from me on MamaPop. I do find it curious, though, that people would feel compelled to defend MamaPop here — I didn’t realize they were under attack. Strange.

Dan March 1, 2010 at 9:02 am

Hang on – I don’t think I even made it to Stage 1!

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:28 am

You need to get in touch with your publicist, man, you missed out on the best part, then!

Clark Kent's Lunchbox March 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

See. I KNEW there were more reasons why I “hate” you mommy bloggers. For some strange reason, I felt like humming “Eye of the Tiger” while reading this. Oh, and by the way, I’m effing dying to pimp Cialis on my site. Can anyone hook a brother up. I need the free samples.

PS. Daddy Scratches, you da man!

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

I think Cialis might be workable for you if you can figure out a way to work in a picture of you and your wife sitting in bathtubs in the middle of a grassy valley at sunset, with no source of water in sight.

Clark Kent's Lunchbox March 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

Hahaha! Yeah, that and none of our kids around asking to play video games.

Clark Kent's Lunchbox March 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Oh, and I forgot to be a COMPLETE bastard by not mentioning I’m already at the Book Stage: “Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can’t Afford Vodka” You can verify it here:

or at

Jett March 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

The DadCentric fellas BRING it. It’s part of the reason I heart them.

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:30 am

Yes, they are funny guys.

mr. big dubya March 1, 2010 at 9:45 am

Whew – good thing I didn’t go that whole DadCentric route – that really could have been a buzz kill. Anyway, thank you for the great advice on what not to do. Maybe if I go directly to Seasoned Curmudgeon I can finally get that book deal and corporate love.

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:31 am

Umm, does anybody feel like telling him? Or should we just play dumb?

DaDa Rocks! March 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

My blog is about the humor in being a dad… while I love a good giveaway and maybe one day hope to have sponsorship… I clearly am just looking to pass along my interactions to anyone that wants to listen. No different then the early days of mommy bloggers, do I feel like we’re able to make a jump start because we’re piggybacking off of the mom bloggers (thats a different question) but we are our own people.

I am going to BlogHer I was thinking about it but I received a number of DM and tweets saying go for it. If I’m the only guy in the room then I’ll turn a little red and see myself to the door (unless my mom friends encourage me to the stay).

Its already been a wild ride – now its time to get serious!

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

Dada Rocks, you won’t be the only guy in the room — there are several guys at BlogHer and not all of them are dads, don’t worry about it!

Clark Kent's Lunchbox March 1, 2010 at 11:22 am

Yeah man, I’ll be there pulling a Spicoli by having a pizza delivered when Dooce is speaking during a panel session. Allllriiiight Duuude!

beth aka confusedhomemaker March 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

This is how I know dudes are posting. Only dudes are going to pull Spicoli out, but if you had a pizza ordered you’d be, like, so, totally rad.

Daddy Scratches March 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

Don’t hate the playa … I mean, um, the blogga … hate the, um …

F**k. This is what happens every time I try to talk like the cool kids.

anna March 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

No asterisks needed — we use expletives freely here, Daddy Scratches — something about the freedom of being sad, bloodthirsty attention whores.

William March 1, 2010 at 11:07 am

I skipped one, two and three, how did I become dissillusioned when I was never knew there was an illusion to begin with?

I had to go back and re-read the article and realized this “you are also blessed with social savoir-faire of any kind, unusual writing talent, or better-than-average looks (by blogger standards or otherwise),” did not apply to me…which is why I never made step one.

I think maybe you could take these 5 steps and make a song out of it and a dance number, like the Macarena.

Ayyyyyy Daddyblogger.

anna March 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Now, that is an idea that could catch on. For a little while, anyway, until another, newer idea came around, and everyone forgot the original one, and cast it away like so much trash.

Whit March 1, 2010 at 11:12 am

At least three of the comments here were left by daddy bloggers, myself included, that have gone the DadCentric/MamaPop route, so there is truth in that. Also, when I attended BlogHer last year I did have every drink bought for me, so that hits home. However, I’ve never met Dooce so it’s hard for me to take this seriously.

anna March 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Noted. :)

Other Mike March 1, 2010 at 11:46 am

I feel shamed. In a really good, kinda dirty way. Awesome post. Now I need a book deal and I’ll be complete.

anna March 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Check with Bright Sky Press.

Susan Tiner March 1, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Daddy Scratches is totally funny! Thanks for another peek into a world I knew nothing about.

anna March 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

There’s all kinds of stuff to uncover in the seamy underbelly of the parenting blogosphere.

Maria March 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

The less we all take ourselves seriously the better, generally speaking. Good stuff, lady.

anna March 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Thanks, Maria. :)

Muskrat March 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Nude pictures are what worked best for me. But then I dropped my frequency, so readership followed.

anna March 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Dropped the frequency of your wearing clothing? Or you have a nudist colony readership?

palinode March 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I made it to stage four without even having a kid.

I must be special.

anna March 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Imagine if you had a kid, just think of what you could accomplish! You’re selling yourself short.

Out-Numbered March 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Yep. Seems about right to me. Scarily enough, almost dead on. And I love writing for MamaPop. I also love being surrounded my Hot MILFS on the internet. That’s why I’m here… :-)

anna March 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

That’s what we figured. :)

monkey March 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Your Mamapop parenthetical is cracking me up!

anna March 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I wanted to make sure there was no confusion.

Chag March 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm

You forgot Babble. I think most of us do a stint at Babble as well.

Whit March 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm

It’s like we were separated at birth.

anna March 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Ahh, I didn’t realize this. Shoddy research.

Homemaker Man March 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

This was hilarious, however, I am still waiting on, oh . . . all of it.

anna March 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm

You’ve got to go to a mostly all-female blogging conference, STAT.

New York Dad March 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Dammit!!!! The newbie is always the last to know and join the fray! Thank God for Google Alerts… Someone must have made a comment about MILF?
I see my bromates are already throwing the punches (dirty diapers?). All I know is that I have no friggin clue what I am doing in the blogosphere, but reading this stuff is exactly what makes me love it! Made me laugh so hard that it make my day!
@Anna “they” say it’s the year of the daddy blogger (and my bromates and I keep repeating it to each other so who knows… wishes come true… it could happen to you… oh wait… that’s Cinderella, right?) so you MUST be wrong :-)
Now if only I could figure out how to program my WordPress to put those pretty little numbers on the comments…

anna March 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Check out my Tech blog for help with programming or, once you’re the next It Boy, you can probably get one of the more tech-inclined mommies to help you out, if you know what I mean.

New York Dad March 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Women and their obsession with programming men :-)

home and uncool March 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm

DING-DING-DING! We have a winner!

john cave osborne March 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm

“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.”

hmmm. check, check, and check. now that we got that out of the way, where the fuck are my crocks? and which one is deuce? the chick wearing the tie? also, i know superman spoke first, but, still, any chance of you buying my book?

if i offended you, then i was just kidding.

anna March 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I’m accustomed to getting free copies for review, but if you’re claiming to be the next It Boy, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll download an ebook.

john cave osborne March 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

anna, how terribly insensitive of me. i’ll send you out a copy of my book post haste. to keep it from getting damaged in transit, i’ll pack it amongst a year’s supply of non-dairy coffee creamer packets, assuming of course, we could coerce you or one of your cronies into giving a shout out to the friendly folks at coffee-mate.

and, no. i’m claiming no such thing. just having a little fun.

James March 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

i have to say that i like the post from the mere point that the entire time i wanted to stop reading but somehow got all the way through. only to realize i didn’t learn a thing.

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