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.
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,