Each week I’ll be bringing you an interview from a different Dad Blogger from around the planet. The idea behind the ‘Why I blog’ series is each week a fellow blogger can share tips and some motivation about what drives them to blog.
Kicking off the series is Mike from twindadtalks.com here’s a little about Mike before we get started.
I am a middle school assistant principal and father of twin toddler girls. I have contributed to The Good Men Project and Grown Ups Magazine and have articles pending in TWINS magazine and Multiplicity Magazine. I have authored an e-book entitled: “Twin Dad Talks: Help for First-Time Fathers Navigating Pregnancy” and am starting a Twitter chat for twin parents called #TwinsChat on Monday evenings.
I’ve been married for over seven years to my wife, Holly, who also has a blog called “When Two Became Four: The Adventures of Twin Girls”. I enjoy blogging about my family, specifically, raising twins. I also talk about other stuff that may be relevant in the news or in my head, but the focal point is family blogging about raising children.
Mike, how long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for five months now. I started my blog in late July after I saw how much fun my wife had with it (hers is over a year old now) and went “public” with it on August 2.
How (i.e a friend showed you how) and why did you start your blog?
My wife’s blog is through Blogger, so I knew it wasn’t hard to begin. I started blogging because I needed a hobby and golf was too expensive. I’ve always enjoyed writing and people I know tend to find me funny. I’m also quite sarcastic at times, so I thought the combination would go well in a blogging atmosphere that is not deeply saturated yet. Daddy bloggers are not a huge community yet, but they are growing. In addition, I felt as though I could approach it from an interesting angle because there are not a lot of dads with blogs who also have twins and are school administrators. I felt as though I could give interesting views on topics in my family and about education. However, I don’t write much about education, because that’s what I do and I try to separate myself from that when I’m at home.
Have you learnt anything specific from blogging?
I’ve learned that someone that writes really good content can go a while and not get a lot of pageviews. I’m not saying that my content is awesome, but I know I’ve written a couple of decent posts that if exposed to the right communities, it could get a lot of views. I’ve also learned that being active on social media is pretty much everything. Before blogging, I had less than 10 followers on Twitter, now I have 1500. But, I’ve spent a lot of time following other people and recently, joining in some Twitter chats to get my name out there. Ideally, I’d like to tell you that I just do it as a hobby to document my thoughts, but realistically, I want people to read what I write. That’s why I’ve put myself out there for writing for online publications. I enjoy doing it, but it can get time consuming, and if you’re not getting paid for it (I’m definitely not), you start to wonder what the point is.
List 2 benefits you can see from starting a blog?
1. You have something that your kids can look back on. They don’t have to ask you all the time, they can read your blog and know your thoughts when the situation happened. When they ask you about family pictures 15 years from now, you tend to forget some things about it, but if you keep a blog and update it frequently, it’s kind of like keeping a piece of history.
2. If you have interests in freelance writing or something on a bigger scale, it’s a place to start.
Do you have any specific tools that you use for blogging? i.e. plugins?
I use the Twitter buttons like “follow” and Tweet the post, but I had my blog design customized by someone on Etsy. I highly recommend if you are serious about blogging and want it to look nice to have someone do it for you…I know very little HTML and would have a really hard time trying to do any of it myself. The free themes you can find are good to get started, but ultimately, you want it to look unique to anything else. I also purchased my domain name through GoDaddy.com and got a huge discount, I think I purchased www.twindadtalks.com for $3.00.
Where can readers find your blog and how can they get in contact with you?
My blog can be found at www.twindadtalks.com, and I am on Twitter at @TwinDadTalks. I also have a Facebook page for my blog Twin Dad Talks and have started an account on Pinterest (mgcrider). I love connecting with new people and want to join conversations with other parents on what their joys and frustrations are in parenting. I’m also trying to start a Twitter chat for parents of twins, since I have not seen one on Twitter.
I also enjoy taking the opportunity to do interviews like this, and I’m very appreciative of the opportunity. I’m honored that people read my material and like it, and I just want to be able to enhance my writing and submit material that people enjoy reading. Thanks James, for allowing me to be a part of this interview!
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