Type-A Takeaways for Dad Bloggers

Type-A Dad Panel: Myself, Fred Goodall, Eric Payne, and Trey Burley 

Over the past weekend I attended the Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This was my third appearance as a speaker covering the topic of daddy blogging, and as in years past, it was a wholly positive experience. Founder Kelby Carr and her staff did a marvelous job putting together an event that was both informative and fun.

Admittedly I was apprehensive about the conference after my experience earlier at BlogHer. Granted I probably wasn’t in the best frame of mind while in Chicago, but regardless, the event felt a little bit… flat—like everything was a matter of going through the motions. The strength, though, of BlogHer is that it’s a celebration of women—their creativity, their accomplishments, their business savvy, and ultimately their voice. And rightfully so. It’s not that I felt uncomfortable, this despite being “interviewed” by a curious mom blogger who, using a tampon as a microphone, wanted to know what a dad was doing at a blog conference geared to women.  Even so, as the male minority at BlogHer, I knew my place, and that was okay with me.

Type-A Parent was different. Kelby and her team have always gone to great lengths to make dads feel welcome, even going so far as changing the name from Type-A Mom to Type-A Parent in 2011 while also ensuring a dad panel was included among the sessions.

My underlying concern, however, wasn’t so much about fitting in as it was a matter of the actual value of the conference itself. What I mean to say is that, given I’ve been blogging since 2007 and have attended a number of blog conferences in that time, at a certain point you begin to wonder what more you can learn from a conference that experience hasn’t already taught you.

In my opinion this is a prime challenge blogging conferences face today.  In order for a conference to be of value it has to offer more than just staple sessions on monetizing your blog and a few meet-and-greets with brands eager to hock their wares. After you go to enough of these events it’s easy to cynically categorize them as the same old song and dance.

Type-A Parent, however, once again managed to beat that rep, and while I could point out many examples of why this was the case, there are three main takeaways from the conference that I think may be beneficial for dad bloggers. 
1. Dad bloggers are a viable entity in the space. This is a point that most of us would already agree on, and this has certainly been evident in the wake of Dad 2.0 which promises to be an even bigger affair in 2014. Type-A Parent only reinforced this. The dad blogging session was well attended by not just moms and dads, but also by brands and agencies that recognize the importance of including the voice of fathers. I’ll interject here that Fred Goodall (Mocha Dad), Eric Payne (Makes Me Wanna Holler), and Trey Burley (Daddy Mojo) did an outstanding job in representing dad bloggers as they discussed their reasons for blogging, how brands can best work with us, and the impacts blogging has had on them as fathers, husbands, and men. Their passion and sincerity was evident as they spoke (as the moderator I had it easy just asking the questions), and it sparked some excellent dialogue with the audience.

2. There is money in blogging. No, really there is and it’s not from ads and reviews either.  This was something I started to figure out a few years ago when I was blogging full time (an endeavor I have recently returned to after working as a content strategist for a web marketing agency for the past few years). What I didn’t realize, though, was how much money can be made through blogging. Several of the panelists disclosed making between $20,000 to $40,000-plus from in some cases, a single client! (Sorry, they didn’t say from whom.)  Such opportunities came in a variety of forms to include copywriting, brand relationships, and freelance articles all of which came about because of their own personal blogs.  And the keys to such success? –being persistent in what you do, demanding compensation for your work (and we’re not talking about a few measly gift cards and free products here), building relationships within your social network, and takeaway number three...

3. Publishing content that’s worth reading.  This point could not be emphasized enough throughout the sessions. Good content, both in terms of quality and basic mechanics, is in high demand today, and brands are looking for people who can write well and produce content that readers will engage with. The caveat, though, is that like with all good writing, the content has to be unique and valuable. Right now there’s an ocean of bland rubbish out there (see this presentation from Velocity Partners), but if you can stick out in some way then you’re in a good position for takeaway number two. The good news for dad bloggers is that we already have a unique voice in that we talk about parenting from our perspective as father.  Add to this the fact that, with a few exceptions, the majority of us have readerships that are largely women, and we as dad bloggers have a solid argument in selling ourselves to brands and the media.  

Ultimately I will end by saying that, as the relationship between bloggers and brands continues to evolve, the Type-A Parent conference has continued to keep pace with the trends in the space while also helping to shape the dialogue in that relationship. In doing so, the conference has maintained its relevance by offering practical, informative sessions along with the opportunity to strengthen one’s network in a professional, yet fun setting. Everyone should have walked away with something valuable.    

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