Tom Briggs is the man behind Diary of the Dad, which recently shot up the charts in the Top 10 UK Daddy Blogs. Started in 2010, Diary of the Dad has gone from hobby to full-time profession as Tom tracks life parenting three kids. We caught up with Tom to find out what makes father’s day special, why his own dad is his hero and how he works with different brands and PRs.
How do you describe what you do to other people?
I just tell them I’m a full-time blogger. People sometimes still ask how that works but blogging for a living seems to have become much more recognised as ‘a thing’ in the last couple of years.
This doesn’t necessarily equate to people respecting it as much as other career choices yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Perceptions of social media jobs have changed dramatically since the first ones were advertised and the same will happen here.
How do social channels work with your blog – are any more important than others?
I think they’re all important as they appeal to different audiences so I have a presence on all of the main platforms.
Personally, I’ve always preferred Twitter but I think it’s vital to be on a few – particularly if you make a living out of blogging.
What’s the perfect father’s day?
This probably sounds really cheesy but spending the day with my family is all I need. The usual routine is breakfast in bed with a gift and cards from the kids.
We often go to my parents’ house for a barbecue, so I get to spend time with my dad too. In fact, we play five-a-side together every Sunday evening as well. I hope I’m still playing when I’m almost 70 – it’s one of the many reasons he’s my hero!
How much does father’s day affect your content?
It has always been my busiest time of year in terms of approaches from brands and PRs, so that translates to my blog content.
It’s also a good opportunity to write about topics related to being a dad. Last year, for example, I wrote posts calling out dad-bashing and dad skills lists.
How is the role of dad changing in society?
I think we’re in the early stages of a cultural shift in attitude but it will still take years or even decades for dads to be truly recognised as equal parents. Workplace legislation has a key part to play here. It needs to change to help things along.
Paternity leave is woefully inadequate while shared parental leave is open to relatively few, so dads are already at a disadvantage. I’d love to see the UK following in the footsteps of countries like Sweden by making it easier for fathers to spend time with their families from day one.
What’s the best balance between visual and written content?
I started out as a journalist so written content has always been more important to me. Achieving a balance is vital though and, to a certain degree, blog posts will succeed or fail based on how they look at first glance.
I’ve really upped my game with photography in recent years and need to get braver when it comes to creating more video content too.
Do you accept press releases?
Yes, I’m always open to receiving press releases and they’ve led to some brilliant collaborations as well as ideas for content that has performed really well.
What are the best collaborations you’ve worked on?
There have been so many over the years and I’ve only ever agreed to things that really appeal to me, so most have been great. Going to Berlin with Coca-Cola to blog about its annual grassroots football event ranks highly though.
I witnessed kids from all over the world making friends over the common language of football, met three World Cup winners and even scored a diving header in the match arranged for media and PR!
What advice would you give to PRs/brands reaching out to you?
The best approaches I’ve received are where the PRs or brands have taken time to read my ‘work with me’ page plus a post or two to get a feel for who I am and the kind of content I work on.
Those that come with a detailed brief are always good too. Having all of the important information in one place makes collaborations so much easier, particularly if a quick turnaround is required.
What other blogs do you read?
I read a lot of other parenting blogs and, perhaps unsurprisingly, many of them are written by other dads. Dad Blog UK, DIY Daddy and Father Hood are among those that I read most often.