HOW I SOLD OUT MY AUTHENTIC DAD BLOG

HOW I SOLD OUT MY AUTHENTIC DAD BLOG

I’ve no idea how this will go down with anyone reading but it’s something I want to discuss openly and honestly. I’ve sold out my dad blog. 

When I first started my dad blog dadvworld.com in February 2016, I had the vision of sharing my journey as a dad to help and/or inspire other dads. I spent time looking around for other dads sharing their experiences and there were very few. I thought I could add something to the small community of online dads to make it a touch bigger. 

I feel I’ve achieved that. I feel I’ve spoken and I’ve been heard, here and there. 

Fast forward two and a bit years and I’m just a small voice in an ocean of many online dads. The online dad community has grown incredibly which is awesome to see but it’s also changed dramatically from what it was only a short time ago. 

When I first started there were a handful of ‘top’ dad bloggers that wrote many posts about their experiences as a dad and the community was mostly positive and encouraging. 

Then influencer marketing hit the blogging scene in a big way. 

I know influencer marketing has been a thing for years, but I think it’s fair to say that 2017 it went up several levels in the blogging industry. Brands have noticed the influence and impact everyday people, bloggers, can have. I certainly noticed things change last year and it’s changed blogging forever.

I genuinely started my blog to share only my story and to connect with others via social media, to build new relationships. I then began to discover blogging can be an actual career. Blogging can be and is for many a fully fledged career, a career with many opportunities to earn very good money.

Almost inevitably my innocent little blog started to attract the odd brand collaboration here and there. It was great and after a few collabs I started to see a path to an actual career. I was literally sharing my everyday life and thoughts online and brands wanted to pay me for it! 

Blogging is an absolutely brilliant career and the opportunities our family have benefited from have been fantastic. Blogging has also allowed us to work from home and has enhanced our family life no end. 

After looking back on the previous 12 months, unfortunately this money making side of blogging and the rise of influencer marketing has taken over the original motivational of why DadvWorld was created. 

More and more brand collaborations appeared on the blog with less and less authentic posts about me and my family. The blog slowly became more of a product review and brand promotion website than a dad blog. 

I think if other bloggers whether they be dads, mums or whatever their niche is, were honest with themselves, they too would agree this has happened to many of us. I’ve seen it happen many many times. I’ve spoken with new bloggers to offer advice, answer their questions and even help them pitch to brands for work. As they’ve evolved their new blogs and become more established their blogs have slowly been gripped by the influencer marketing drug. 

Before we know it the last 8 blog posts have all been #ad

Now there’s nothing wrong with agreeing as many brand collaborations as you can, after all if blogging is your job it’s these pieces of work that pay the bills. I think it’s a balancing act. If you agree 4 collaborative paid pieces of work for a single month then you’ve got to put your foot down on the authentic side of your blog too. You need to at least match the brand work with the blog posts that got you into a position to make blogging your career in the first place. If you can make your collaboration work as authentic as possible then you’re really onto a winner, although with all the new laws etc it’s more difficult to achieve that than ever before.

DAD BLOGGER

I feel like I’ve let myself down a little. In fact I have. I consciously made a decision to not get dragged into the habits of promoting this brand, that brand and every other brand unless I really wanted to work with them. Truth be told I did get dragged in and there’s several posts on dadvworld.com that mean nothing to me at all. For one reason or another, financial reasons mainly, I’ve accepted guest posts and link insertions with money as my motivation rather than believing in the content. 

I’ve always been open and honest about accepting work and I’ve always declared it, but it’s not what I set out to do with the blog. 

What I do want to make clear is that 90% of the brand collaborations I’ve done have been brilliant and we’re working on some currently that I’m excited about. Some of the opportunities my dad blog has given our family have been unreal! Trips to Everton, Disney On Ice, receiving tech products we love and loads more, it’s been great and long may it continue! 

The message I want to get across is that it’s very easy to get caught up in what the world of blogging can give you and forget what your actual intentions for your blog are. Whether you’re a new blogger or you’ve been around a while, please try your best to stay true to what you’re about. It’s good to continually evaluate the direction of your blog and of your own brand. 

It’s been a great two and a bit years of learning, not only about the blogging community and the way it all works, but learning about myself, that’s probably the best thing to have come from my short blogging career so far. 

I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this, have you ever felt you’ve sold out your blog a little, veered away from your original motivation and how you feel about the massive impact influencer marketing is having on the blog scene…

Thanks for reading, 

David 🙂 

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david and donetta

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22 Comments

  1. August 12, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    Great post mate. It’s pretty difficult when brands throw themselves at you offering easy money. Also, there are far, far worse examples of sell out blogs than yours, believe me. I know you do collars but I’ve genuinely never got the impression you’ve lost the essence of what makes your blog yours.

    • August 12, 2018 / 4:01 pm

      Thank you mate appreciate that. It’s strange you’ve commented today, I’ve just put you in my BritMums post due this week 😲😂

  2. August 12, 2018 / 4:04 pm

    Interesting statement, I certainly don’t think you have sold out, but I guess that’s for you to judge about yourself.
    Influencer marketing is here to stay and been around a long time even in the world of Dad bloggers. People get hooked up on selling out for money. All of us are a bit guilty of that. But for every post that I get paid for I write possibly two organic posts. That to me is the secret I see so many people just to decide to do sponsored work, there blogs will become boring or not. Even with my sponsored posts I try to write them naturally and even though it will have a link it is also related to me and my family and hopefully that makes them interesting.
    Personally that’s the way I do it, but if somebody wants to do just paid work why not good luck to them instagram is full of that some instagrammers don’t post a picture unless it’s paid nothing authentic about that. But I also think Instagram is the most false platform out there. I think I have said enough sorry for the long comment. P.S Blogging and bloggers are far too judgemental. And they are so quick to jump on each other.

    • August 12, 2018 / 4:10 pm

      I agree with a lot of that mate. I think you’ve got the right mindset and theory on how to balance it. I think Instagram depends a lot on who’s in your community, it’s by far my favourite place to be online and we’ve made loads of great genuine friends through there. As long as you have an eye for bullshitters you’ll be fine. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts mate, appreciate it as always 😃

  3. August 12, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    I hear what you’re saying. I feel the same at times but I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘sell out’. I’ve no issue doing #ad or review posts but they need to be ‘me’, whether that be the product itself or how I can talk about it. It is a fine line between making some cash and promoting stuff you don’t particularly like though.

    But I also feel for every sponsored post you need to have of your own content (at least 1-1, but preferably more). I just spend all day having fun and trying to turn that into content, if a sponsored post will may good content then I’m in. Just like you I don’t want to have my site become solely a money making venture.

    Great post 👍

    • August 12, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      That’s it, if you find a balance then you’re winning. Ad and review posts are necessary as it’s part of the job if this is your actual job. Sell out is maybe a tad dramatic 😂

  4. Daydreams of a Mum
    August 12, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Such an interesting post. I don’t think you should worry about ‘selling out’ though. If opportunity presents we’d be daft to say no

    • August 12, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you, I appreciate that. I don’t think I’ve gone way over the balance I mention in the post but I’ve not stuck to what I wanted entirely, that’s what bugged me. It’s all a learning process though, there’s no rules in this game. Thanks for reading and commenting 😃

  5. August 12, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    Oh wow if you think blogging has changed in the last two years imagine how it’s changed since 15 years ago?! I remember the days when blogging meant sharing what you did that day… all of it was “day in the life of” type posts. No sponsored content and nobody gave a shit about copyright! So many of us just googled celebrity images to use as website backgrounds. It was happy (or happier even) times!

    But I don’t think you’re a sell out. At the end of the day, money pays the bills so a few #Ad posts here and there isn’t going to matter is it? I do them, and it’s a bit of extra money occasionally. I just always try to make them fit with what I blog about… which is pretty easy since I blog about anything!

    • August 12, 2018 / 10:09 pm

      I can imagine it’s changed dramatically over that many years. I feel it’s taken a giant leap recently though and blogging is no longer writing on a blog, it’s much more. Your blog is now your own brand. I’m just disappointed with the balance, I’ve let it slip but it’s a learning point for the David and Donetta stuff. The balance will be maintained and the content will be as good as possible at all times. Imagine day in the life stuff only… I’d never read anything 😂

      • August 12, 2018 / 10:17 pm

        Are you going to let the DadVWorld brand slide and solely go for the D&D stuff?

        Oh I still have some of my blog posts from years back… #embarrassing

        • August 13, 2018 / 10:26 am

          I’ve never deleted a post ever. Will be interesting to read them back in years to come.

  6. August 15, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    I like to have a load of my own bits scheduled and non #ads and then when an ad comes along I’ll throw it in amoungst them, it makes it flow better I feel. Blogging is a job though so got to earn the pennies somehow and I think people know that.

    • August 17, 2018 / 10:21 am

      That’s a very good plan and I agree, it will help the flow of your blog. Yes blogging is a job and our landlady doesn’t accept exposure for rent! HA!

  7. August 20, 2018 / 6:40 am

    Thanks for being open and honest. As a brand new blogger I appreciate this candid insight! I started a blog because I wanted to pursue my passion for writing and I think perhaps naively that I have something to contribute. With that said, would I love it if my blog took off and became a great source of income? Absolutely, but do I want to embark on all that that will entail? I don’t know…but I still don’t even know how to monitize myself or put in affiliate links so for now I’m good! ;). Thanks again!!

    • August 20, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you, I’m always happy to help if you have any questions about anything. I don’t claim to know everything but I know a bit about a little. You absolutely have something to add, every person is unique and even discussing the same things can be interesting coming from a different perspective. Appreciate you taking the time to comment 🙂

  8. August 20, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. As someone who would love to progress and work with brands, I think the ratio of #ad to natural posts is definitely sometime to consider as my blog (hopefully!) grows.

    • August 20, 2018 / 6:39 pm

      Thanks, appreciate your kind words. That ratio and balance is key I think. If you crack it then you’re all good 🙂 Let me know if I can help with anything when you get your blog going.

  9. August 30, 2018 / 7:29 am

    For me its all about balance and as long as your voice comes through on the post then I think it’s perfectly authentic. Thought provoking post!

    • August 30, 2018 / 11:45 am

      Same with everything isn’t it I reckon, balance. Along as there’s a decent balance I think everything is fine. What I’ve discussed in the post spins around my head often though, I need a paracetamol. HA!

  10. September 4, 2018 / 3:58 am

    Enjoyed reading this, mirrors a lot of my concerns/thoughts about blogging….not that I make any £££ at all!! I constantly worry about appearing authentic…even when I’m posting a cake recipe and saying it’s delicious…..think I over think things 😂😂😂

    • September 4, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Over thinking can be the devil. I’m really trying to focus on more doing and less thinking, see where it takes me :/ Good look and thanks for reading and commenting, appreciate it 🙂

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