The popular image of parent blogging is a new mum, using her blog to chart daily life with young children. But as it happens – gasp – a significant chunk of parent bloggers are in fact dads!
One of the most popular Daddy bloggers is Alex, who writes as Daddacool. Known for a love of cars, gadgets and hilarious video blogs, Alex's blog also charts life as a married dad of three, and the challenges of balancing home and work.
Alex started his blog in 2009, inspired by seeing his wife's mummy blog. "I've always liked writing, but never really had the sticking power, and had started lots of things and given up," he confesses.
"Parent blogging gives you a rich tapestry of life to write about and with three kids aged five and under, there's never a shortage of things to write about."
Alex likes to give 'a bloke's perspective' on parenting issues, and his blog tends to focus on things that make him laugh, alongside more emotional posts about the children, like this post about the birth of his third child.
"I'm naturally a funny person, and any old excuse for a joke is good by me. But I also like blogging about what I see as the milestones in my kids' lives, and what they consider milestones – there's precious little overlap."
Fitting blogging in around a career in the finance sector can be tricky, but Alex tries to blog three or four times a week, writing posts before work or in his lunch break. "It sounds a lot but I prefer to be creative rather than consuming," he says.
Alex's video blogs are a regular feature of Daddacool, and come complete with a home-made theme tune. Alex is first to admit he's not a professional film-maker but he enjoys the creativity of putting something on camera that works better visually than as a written word post.
His top tip?
"Rehearse it for goodness' sake, and try to be better than me at editing the rambling bits out. Short is snappy."
Being a dad blogger in a community dominated by women makes life interesting, although Alex says there are more and more dads getting involved in writing blogs about their families.
"Nowadays, daddy bloggers are ten a penny, though I think there's still some stigma attached to being a dad and getting emotional about having kids."
As a blogger, Alex has had some great opportunities to work with companies on promotional campaigns, including the chance to join the Shell Network of Champions (catch them on Twitter using the #SVPChamps hashtag).
This involved Alex travelling to Marenello, the home of Ferrari, Shell's F1 partner, for a tour of their factory and a day on their private race track driving Ferrari cars. Alex also visited the Belgium GP and the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. "I was immensely proud of my comparative review of our Vauxhall Zafira and a Ferrari 458 Italia," Alex laughs.
Alex is also currently involved in a competition with Nissan called the Big Turn on campaign, promoting a new electric car. Over the coming weeks, Alex must secure the highest number of votes from his friends and readers, to try and win his family a new car.
"I've had a blast trying to think of innovative ways to promote the car, including seeing how many mummy bloggers we could cram into it," he says. It's 11, if you were wondering.
As for the future, Alex hopes to just keep on writing. "Writing something I'm proud of is what inspires me. I always like having opinions, even if some of them are over the top, like a post about Last of the Summer Wine causing moral decline and I'd like to keep doing that," he says.
"I've seen a few of the American dad bloggers pack it in recently because they've been doing it for seven or eight years and feel they've said all they have to say. I suppose I'd aim to always having something new to say."
www.hootsuite.com: Great for reminding me to read my favourite bloggers and keep up with what's going on.
www.hotukdeals.com: A user-sourced bargain aggregation site I use a good deal.
www.reddit.com: The best place to find web stories to make you laugh. I promise.
www.theregister.co.uk: My favourite place to keep up with Internet and tech news.
www.xckd.com: Great if you want to waste half an hour on something funny.