John Adams is the married father of two young girls who gave up a career in PR/communications to become a stay at home father in 2011. He started blogging about his experiences of household management and childcare in 2012. As well as writing and blogging about parenting, fatherhood, family life and days out, John also looks at men’s style and grooming, travel and a host of other lifestyle subjects. In this spotlight John chats to us about why he loves vlogging, the challenges of making content that stand out, visiting Downing Street, and his excitement about working on new brand collaborations.
Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? Dad bloggers are rare enough, stay at home dads that blog are rarer still. I provide the perspective of being male and the main carer of my children. With one child at school and one yet to start in education, I bridge both the early years and school years.
Of course, I also cover a host of lifestyle issues, from motoring and men’s skincare to homebrewing beer and cooking. Added to this, I have been hitting YouTube hard over the past year and I love it.
I vlog at least once a week and I’ve had some great feedback on my videos.
How do you measure the success of your website? This is such a difficult question to answer! I do keep an eye on page views. That said, engagement is an important factor. Are people commenting on blog posts and videos? Are they sharing my content on Twitter and Facebook? All are signs that I am doing something correct.
Are prominent brands asking me to work with them and if so, how? Working on a blog post is great, but if brands want me to work on a long and sustained campaign then it’s clear people think I can add value.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? Writing content for a blog is the easy part. In addition to this, you have to promote the blog on social media, produce good quality imagery, produce your own videos, take charge of your own PR and negotiate with brands and clients.
I have a huge amount of respect for any blogger who pursues it as a vocation or occupation. A blog requires constant attention and it takes time to build a following and make your blog stand out from the crowd.
In summary: be prepared to work very hard and don’t expect anything to happen overnight.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? I am always happy to hear from people who have ideas for content. It may be giveaways, reviews, editorial, an event invitation, whatever, I am always interested. In the first instance, better to drop me an email. I am not always going to say yes, but don’t let that put you off getting in touch.
How do you use social media to promote and share content? What are the challenges?
I use all the main social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. I post daily on these channels and always try to spend some time engaging in conversation with my followers. YouTube is another big one for me. As I have said already, I post at least one video a week. I also post to LinkedIn. I don’t post as frequently on this channel as I tend to post content that’s more relevant to people working in PR and marketing.
As for challenges, there are two. Firstly, finding the time to be active on all channels is a struggle. Secondly, some social media channels are becoming increasingly saturated with content from bloggers. It is ever more challenging to make your content stand out.
What can PRs do in working better with you? Generally, PRs are very good to work with. Only the one thing springs to mind: event invitations. Mum and dad bloggers are in a class of their own when it comes to events. Whether it be the unveiling of a new family car or a charity dinner, we need as much notice as possible. We are not journalists working in well-staffed editorial offices: we are small business people who can’t drop everything with a day or two’s notice and often have to arrange and pay for childcare at our own expense.
This is the one issue I think the PR industry still needs to get to grips with. I’ve seen articles written by people working in PR bemoaning the fact parent bloggers won’t turn up to events at short notice. There are very valid reasons why. Give me two weeks’ notice, I may be able to do something. Give me two days’ notice and I may have to politely decline.
What has been your blogging highlight? Blogging has provided me with many amazing opportunities. I’ve been a guest at No10 Downing Street, helped with numerous academic studies into family life and fatherhood. On the lighter side, racing BMWs around Goodwood Motor Circuit at 130 mph earlier this summer was great fun!
The highlight, however, must be a project I have worked on with the Movember Foundation. It’s a project into men’s mental health and I have assisted by providing advice as a layman. It necessitated flying out to Melbourne in Australia for several days back in April. In doing so, I worked with some great people in an equally great location!
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? I have a lots to keep me busy. Some great and very exciting brand collaborations. I’ve also got some collaborations planned with other bloggers so watch this space!
You’re also going to see me doing more on YouTube. Some of my most popular content this year has been focused on cars, particularly family cars. I have every intention of doing more in this arena.