May 24, 2011
/ by Laurie Mahoney
Even before the comments started coming in on my first post in the Dad Blog (I’ve since learned many of you don’t like the word Daddy) series, I thought it would be interesting to pull the list using different metrics for the next post.
To select blogs for today’s list, we used a mix of impression-focused Web analytics, such as Unique Visitors per Month, Page Views and Average Time Spent per Visitor, along with measures of online engagement such as tweets, Facebook Likes, inbound links, blog comments and votes on bookmarking and news sharing sites like Delicious and Reddit. In all, we consider about 50 signals of reach and sharing activity to produce toplists that reflect blogs which are performing well across a wide variety of indicators.
The Top 25 Dad Blogs based on this criteria are:
Thank you to Adam Cohen (#20 on today’s list) of Dada Rocks for taking the time during his family vacation in Florida last week to answer some Q&A.
Q. When did you start blogging?
A. I started blogging at the beginning of the blogging era. I started dadarocks.com when my son was born. Dadarocks.com started to catch on in January 2010 – which was nicknamed the year of the daddy blogger. As that year went on I certainly noticed more and more dads coming into the blogging space but my viewership blossomed.
Q. What was the reason you started blogging? Are you a stay-at home dad or a working dad?
A. I’m a working dad, as a director of web services; I never really thought that dada rocks would grow into something that people outside of my friends and family would read. I really started it to share information and stories of being a dad and the products that I was using at the time. I was the first of all my friends and first of many of my wife’s (Suzanne) friends to have a child. Our son was always in the 97 percent tile for weight and height, as he kept growing he outgrew many things faster than his peers, and it just seemed we were being asked – what was next or why we got something for him. It just became easier to stream line the process instead of repeating the same answers to our friends who were the parents of new borns and to give updates and stories to friends and family, the blog was born. Over time the blog, which went to the universe, lost some of that personal story telling to more of an evolved sense of the questions, issues, and products that all parents have. That’s what makes blogging great. The ability to talk to others about topics we want to talk about.
Q. In your opinion, how has your space (Dad Blogs) changed since your began?
A. It’s certainly growing in terms of numbers of bloggers and it’s evolving in terms of type of content and type of engagement we’re seeing from the other dad bloggers. I think for some bloggers it’s just a hobby, or just storytelling, like how I started, for some of us it’s a passion that requires research, product knowledge and trends in order to blog ahead of the curve. But the common thread that we all share is desire to inform others so that all of our children can benefit to live the best life possible.
Q. How has your blog evolved since its creation?
A. This is probably the topic I could really talk the most on, if you read the archives or dada rocks there was a personal narrative – which had its good and bad – except my wife wasn’t crazy about any type of bad being shared – so it became mainly good and funny stories – until I started to think those funny stories, while funny in that moment ended up being either a bit embarrassing or just a little to personal. So my evolution was to cut some of the personal narrative out. I’m doing the best I can to get word out there on which products/events/information is the kind of knowledge I’d like to have as well and that’s what you now see in my dad selected and approved posts.
Q. Any tips for new bloggers trying to get started?
A. You can’t be all things to all people… remember to write from within yourself. Do what you want to do… if you list to others – you’ll never get where you want to go. Remember to think twice about what you post…I’m not talking about editing for grammar and spelling ( I wish I was better at that), I’m talking about the content…As they often say, “You can’t put the genie back in its bottle.” Finally and most importantly, for a blogger who is getting started Brand – Brand – BRAND! If you setup a blog thinking at some point I’ll move it to my own domain name with some catchy .com name, stop right now and do it. Create your brand under its own domain name.
Q. How do you feel about pitches for PR Pros? Do you accept them?
A. I get more than my fair share of pitches – some are totally on target with what I do write about on dadarocks, others not so much. But those PR Pros that actually know my blog and actually read it regularly, know my site is a good fit, those are the ones that generally work for both of us. The PR firms that just read the latest 2 posts and then think I can write a good story to a large universe for them, generally are not pitching the right product or don’t get what the audience wants, and that does not do any service for any of us, the product, the readers or my site.
Q. What was the best pitch you ever received?
A. One that knew my entire family’s first names, the stage of my son’s development in terms of the item being pitched and gave a relational story to how this item will help a wide circle of families, maybe even how it was used in their own family. But for me, any pitch that has the ability to “pay-it-forward” or to donate to help a charity based on sponsorship. I feel strongly the need for all of us to help someone. So any pitch for anything with that feel to it, gets as much attention as I can give to it, to help spread the word about that need.
Q. Is there a really bad pitch that stands out? You don’t have to name names.
A. I get a ton of BAD pitches but the ones that show off those failed mail merges like… Dear %%blogger%% really take the cake. The ones that just make me laugh out loud… Like being pitched a solution to baldness was to have the rest of my hair lasered off.
Q. What do you wish every PR Pro knew about your blog?
A. That things change… the best part of being a blog is the ease in which you can grow and change coverage – that my blog is always evolving – like my child who inspired the blog. Last week he couldn’t speak English, now he’s making people around him laugh out loud with his sense of awe and sense of humor. And so my blog can change; no red tape, no editors, no up the ladder review to decide on a change. Just follow the intuition that it’s time to change.
Q. Any additional thoughts?
A. Blogging is my passion, it’s inside me and I love spending the time to get an understanding about what I write so when I tell readers about products, services, events, and stories it’s based upon something that we share as Dads with that commonality of being parents, so moms can read it too, and maybe get a different prospective or maybe just realize, that I’m writing based upon trying to help us all share the desire to be the best parents we can be.
Keep an eye out on Cision Blog for Laurie’s final installment of the Dad Blog Series with Q&A from Josh Becker of Dad Street.
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