Ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday, Gorkana’s Ebunola Adenipekun caught up with John Adams, founder of one of the UK’s most influential dad blogs, DadblogUK, to find out about what’s made him stand out in such a crowded parenting market, his successful move into vlogging this year, why PRs should pay more attention to YouTube subscribers, and his top tips for how PRs can help with content.
How did DadblogUK come about and what do you think is key to its success?
My blog started in 2012 as a place for me to write about life as a stay-at-home dad. Over time I have diversified my content. I write about all aspects of parenting – education, childcare, SATS tests, clothes, schooling etc. I also cover a lot of lifestyle issues, including men’s fashion and grooming, days out and product reviews.
Fatherhood and parenting remain at the core of what I do. I think the key to my success is that I write about parenting from a male perspective. I’m a different voice in a world largely inhabited by mum bloggers.
Earlier this year I branched out and started vlogging. To my amazement, I now get as many monthly views of my YouTube video as I do page views of my blog!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Blogging has now become an occupation for me that I fit around family life. Seven days a week, I will be out of bed at 5am. This gives me two hours to work before getting my eldest daughter to school and my youngest to pre-school (she goes four mornings a week).
If my youngest is at pre-school, the next few hours will be spent writing, producing videos or on admin. Basically, I will be dodging housework!
Afternoons are spent looking after the kids. I may squeeze in an hour or so of work in the evenings but I try to keep these clear so my wife and I can spend time together.
Tell us about DadblogUK readers.
My readership is almost 50/50 men/women. My core readership is people aged 25 to 44. That makes up about 65% of all readers.
My YouTube stats are similar. It’s fractionally more men (56%) than women (44%) watching my videos. The main age group watching are 25 to 34-years-olds, with 35 to 44-year-olds being the next most likely age group to watch my channel.
Talk us through the categories on your site.
I have a total of six categories:
- family life
- fathers issues / men’s interests
- home improvement
- family finances
- days out
My YouTube channel contains similar content to the blog. I try to make sure they are complementary.
Describe your relationship with PRs.
I used to work in PR so I am generally very happy to hear from PRs and SEO agencies. I’m always happy to receive an email or phone call. I won’t always say yes to your ideas, but I have no problem with you asking. We all have a job to do.
How can PRs help with content for the site?
I do always want to hear from you so don’t be shy of getting in touch. Secondly, I am incredibly busy. If you want me to get involved with a campaign or attend and event, please give me as much notice as you possibly can.
Also, content should be relevant to my readership. I do write blog posts about my sedate hobby of home brewing real ale. I am not, however, going to publish your infographic about drinking games you can play during Eurovision.
Do you invite guest bloggers to contribute to the site?
Yes, I do invite guest bloggers to write for my site. A hint for you – the summer holidays are on the horizon and I am especially keen to host guest content during this period so I can spend more time outside with my kids.
You still contribute to different forms of media: TV, online, print. What can PRs do to help with this?
I can regularly be found in the media commenting on parenting issues. I’ve appeared on everything from the Victoria Derbyshire programme to The Times Magazine. With my background, I enjoy working with the media.
In terms of PRs approaching me, my message would be thus; do not underestimate the value of a blog post backed up with a corresponding YouTube video. As I’ve got more and more into YouTube and seen my visitor stats rise, I’ve come to appreciate its true value.
Believe it or not, however, I have never been asked by a PR what my YouTube visitor numbers are. I’m going to leave that thought hanging…
What’s the best way for PRs to get in touch?
It’s probably best to email me in the first instance, but do call if you wish. I will always consider reviews, guest posts and competitions. I think I may have dropped enough hints; I also want to record YouTube videos!
For some content I will request payment of an admin fee. It all depends what is involved.
What are your three top tips for PRs when pitching ideas?
- Make sure the idea is relevant to my readership
- Please give me as much notice as possible
- For fashion pieces, I think a post needs three or four items from a collection for a post to be worth the effort.
And finally, what are you most looking forward to for Father’s Day?
Ha ha, maybe I’ll get up an hour or two later? No doubt my eldest daughter will bring me breakfast in bed with some help from little sister. I always look forward to this as the creative selection of foods is quite an experience!
John was talking to Gorkana’s Ebunola Adenipekun