Dad Blogs Exposed continues this week as I interview fellow Canadian, Adam Dolgin, from the blog, Fodder 4 Fathers. I recently had the opportunity to meet Adam at an event in Brampton and can tell you that he looks much better on the internet than he does in person. Of course, I keed! Here’s what Adam had to say about fatherhood and blogging.
CD: Why did you start blogging?
AD: Truth? I was bored. Not a lot to do when you’re sitting on the couch holding a sleeping 8-month-old around the dinner hour. Sure, you can watch the news, but that will only make you cynical. So I was playing on my Blackberry and thought I’d look in to this whole blog thing and I started one called “The Evil That You Know” (which is better than the evil that you don’t know). But I had no clue what I wanted to write about, so I wrote about what I knew, or was learning about, and that was Fatherhood. Changed the name to Fodder 4 Fathers a few weeks later and the rest is history.
CD: What can people expect from your blog? Do you have a specific goal or do you write whatever you feel?
AD: Honesty, open-mindedness, sarcasm, humor, some great links about parenting, and a lot of reality. Mostly, I like that people can’t say that I write the same thing day in and day out. I mix it up a lot and when people think I’m one way I’ll throw them for a loop by tackling something a totally different way than I had before. In the beginning I was planning out posts days ahead, now I just post about things that bother me, or I respond to things I’ve read, or ideas come to me out of thin air. Anything is fair game for me. And everything is good “Fodder” for conversation. Personally, I write best when I’m pissed off about something, and those are the posts my fans tend to like best too.
CD: What has been your biggest challenge as a father?
AD: I like the challenge of fatherhood, but it’s not really a challenge to me, yet. I think I’ve very well suited to parenting infants and toddlers. Diapers, screaming, tantrums and sleepless nights don’t bother me. I’m more afraid of the tween and teen years. I think everything my kids do now is funny, but when my kid comes home telling me she got kicked out of hockey for spearing some other girl, I’m going to be pretty pissed that I can’t get my deposit back. But I guess if there is a challenge for me being an active dad to a 3-year-old and an 8-month-old it’s getting both kids in to the car by myself when I want to go to McDonald’s on a Sunday morning while my wife sleeps in. Actually, the real problem is getting them and my coffee out of the car when we get back home.
CD: What one piece of advice can you give to a new Dad?
AD: “GO BACK!” Sorry, that was Ione Skye’s speech from Say Anything. Actually, my advice to new dads is pretty straight-forward – if you want to be an equal partner in the parenting of your child, do it. Don’t wait for someone to invite you to do it, just do it. Read a parenting book, change a diaper, feed a bottle, take the kid for a stroll by yourself and get a coffee. Take your rightful place in your child’s life. Often parenting is a battle of supremacy for many couples from the beginning, especially as moms want to take the lead with an infant, but don’t let her. Tell her you want to be an equal partner in raising your kids (if that’s what you want— and you should), and work out between the two of you how to split it up in a way that works to both of your strengths.
CD: Do you have any long term goals for your site?
AD: I went from a small fatherhood blog to a full-service website full of resources and advice for a wide variety of parenting issues for both fathers and mothers. Was it planned? Hell yes. My website is far more serious than my blog, or my Facebook presence for that matter, and I always wanted to turn it in to a place where parents could get real answers to real problems without any fluff. Webinars and online courses will be coming in the future and we’ll be writing a book or two as well. I have it all mapped out on a piece of paper that I keep in my sock drawer (and in a big file on my laptop desktop). But I’m always willing to change as the wind does. Who knows what the future really holds. All I know is right now I’m helping people talking about a subject that I love and making some extra pocket change off of it talking about products I liked regardless. It’s a good start. When all is said and done, I just want to help people find the information they actually need without having to read through a lot of BS. If I can do it and make a living, well, that’s would be nice too.
CD: What is your social media weapon of choice and why?
AD: Facebook! Hands down. I like how it allowed me to create a community and doesn’t force me to talk in a limited number of characters on each post. I like to talk, and sometimes I have a lot to say. That’s not to say I don’t have all my Facebook posts connected to my Twitter or LinkedIn feeds. I just use Facebook as my home base. It’s where I’ve been able to grow a very large following of faithful fans and make a lot of page friends who support me and help my little idea – that parents can talk as equals- grow.
CD: How has blogging affected your life?
AD: One day I was a guy with 30 people, all close friends and family, reading my stuff. Two years later I’m a guy who has 18,000 people reading my stuff and my name is all over the Internet linked to newspaper articles, National magazines, podcasts, corporate campaigns and hundreds of blog posts. The other day my website was ranking 2nd on Google under Websites for Fathers. And the coolest thing is people actually come to me for help with their parenting problems, not because I’m an expert, but because I have created a community of very smart, and very knowledgeable parents who have been there. They trust me to get them help, and to keep their secrets, and that’s something that I never expected when I started this whole thing. It really took on a life of its own and its taking me in directions I never thought I would go… but I’m that F4F guy now. That involved dad guy. That guy who talks about making the world a better place for our kids. And it’s a pretty cool thing to be. Sure, I’m also hated by a lot of people for speaking my mind on a myriad of topics, but at least it has people talking about them. Having a blog gave me a voice (an International one) I would have never had otherwise.
A big thanks to Adam for taking the time to answer all my questions. Don’t forget to stop by next Wednesday to read about another amazing Dad!