Musings Parenting

Celebrating 10 years of Being a Blogger: Looking Back at Blogging Journey

10 years ago, my Facebook status update asked, “I’m thinking about starting a website where I can share my writings and promote my acting jobs. Any ideas how I can do this?” The overall consensus was to head over to WordPress and buy a domain, which I did. I played around on WordPress and then bought TheJasonGreene.com at Go Daddy. Fitting considering the direction the new website would go.

Prior to starting my blog, I had never visited a blog. I thought blogs were like a diary that was publicly shared and I had no time for that. When talking about my new project, I would say I have a website where I share my stories and updates. In those days, the only people that read anything I wrote were people I was related to.

As I started writing more about my day, I became rawer and share what it’s really like being a dad to small children. I wrote about being tired and frustrated. I wrote about not being able to become the actor that I wanted to be and the death of that dream. And then, an email popped up in my inbox from some guy on the other side of the country and thanked me for sharing my struggles. He said he felt the same way, but didn’t want to talk about it because he didn’t want to seem weak or like he was complaining. And because of that email, I started opening up more and sharing more. And more messages came in and some guys asked for advice. But I still thought I was the owner of a website.

Shortly after starting my “website,” I looked up things for dads to do in NYC. The first thing that popped up on my search was the NYC Dads Group and my life changed. NYC Dads Group was a relatively new meetup group at the time and had groups gathering together all over the city. (They now have City Dads Group and have meetups around the country.) I joined the group and brought my kids to a meetup at a playground in NYC. As my kids played in the sprinkler, Matt Schneider, co-founder of NYC Dads Group, walked over to introduce himself. While talking, we shared stories of being stay-at-home dads and what that was like. As we talked, I shared I had a website where I talked about being a dad. Matt said, “Oh, you’re a dad blogger?” That was the first time I heard the term, “dad blogger.”

While talking about dad blogging, Matt suggested I look into attending Dad 2 Summit, a conference for dad bloggers. In fact, there was a Dad 2.0 meetup happening that summer, and Matt put me in touch with Doug French, co-founder of Dad 2.0. After emailing back and forth with Doug, I would attend a conference at MetLife Stadium, where Doug Flutie would be the special guest speaker.

On the day of the event, a car arrived to pick me up. Now, I’m not from a background where cars pick you up. When the car arrived outside my house with my name on the window, I felt important. As I sat down, they gave me water and an energy bar and I sat back and relaxed on the black leather seats. I was used to traveling with kids with cheerios all over the floor, so the nice clean car was a relaxing way to start the day.

When I arrived at MetLife Stadium, they ushered me to a large room where a large group of dad bloggers were eating. As I stood in line to get my food and chatted with guys in the line, I thought to myself, “These are my people.” It was while chatting with “my people,” that I realized I needed to be on social channels and I joined Twitter.

When I got home that day, I excitedly shared my day with my wife and we agreed this was a great new opportunity for me. I bought my ticket to Dad 2.0 that day. My involvement with the NYC Dads Group increased, and they even asked me to write for their blog a few times. Also, while attending the Dads Group, I became better friends with Matt and Lance Somerfeld, the other Co-founder of NYC Dads Group, as well as other dads that were part of the group.

Dad 2.0 was in Houston that year and it was their second Dad2 conference. When I arrived at the airport in Houston, I saw 2 guys wearing shirts that said, “National At-Home Dad Network.” I did not know there was such an organization. I began talking to them while we waited for the car to take us from the airport to the hotel. My world continued to open up as the guys chatted about the National At-Home Dad conference and about what to expect at Dad 2.0.

When I arrived at the hotel and checked in, I faced a major dilemma. To go downstairs and introduce myself to the guys that were gathering at the hotel bar or take a nap. It was the first time that I was alone and I was tired. I dropped my stuff and headed down to the bar and ran into my new friends from the At-Home Dad Network. While hanging out with them, I saw Matt and Lance and immediately held onto their coattails as they talked with other guys and introduced me to other bloggers and brand representatives.

Many eye-opening experiences happened at my first Dad 2.0. This was where I found out a blog can be a business and there is money to be made. I learned about SEO and how to draw traffic. And I learned that being vulnerable in your writing opens up some wounds, but can also heal much more. The biggest thing I left Houston with though was friends. I had many more. Friends that understood me, even if we came from different backgrounds. We all had the same thing in common and that was writing about the joys and challenges of fatherhood.

That friendship, or brotherhood, really started while eating at a restaurant in Houston with a group of dad bloggers. Sitting next to me at the table was Oren Miller. As we sat together, we commiserated about being both introverts and extroverts and about the challenges that it brought. He told me about a closed Dad Blogger group on Facebook and invited me to join. When I got back to my room, I joined the group. That group has been a lifesaver. The group is a place where we share successes and failures in all aspects of life. It’s why the group is huge and continues to thrive. It’s probably also why I continue to feel inspired to blog to this day. (Oren Miller passed away after battling lung cancer and I hiked across England with 11 other dad bloggers to raise money for Camp Kesem in his honor.)

When I got home after attending the conference, I realized my blog needed a title. My wife and I talked about many titles and she came up with One Good Dad, because often, I would hear while toting kids around a store, “You are one good dad.” And that was how my blog took on the title. But then, I would hear from guys, “Oh, you’re the only one?” So I added the tag line, “One of many.”

And then, I became the Sexiest Man Alive. Before I get into why I am jokingly called, “The Sexiest Man Alive,” by my fellow dad bloggers, I should give a backstory. After a few years of blogging, I wrote a quick, funny piece on why stay-at-home dads are the sexiest men alive. We often hear that men who clean, cook, and take care of kids are sexy, but that’s not really what the media portrays as being sexy. In the years that followed, that post always received a lot of views by people searching for “Who is the sexiest man alive?” And so, I did what many bloggers do but don’t like to admit, I wrote something just for the sake of views. I wrote a blog post saying I was sexier than every single one of the men who has graced the cover of People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue. As I wrote the post, I made myself laugh, because I said that I was sexier than men like The Rock, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and many others. I was asked to read that blog post at Dad 2.0 and that’s how I became known as “The Sexiest Man Alive.”

In the years that followed my first Dad 2.0, I made some money, received invites to go on trips and to movie premiers, appeared in commercials, speak at events and conferences, be a guest on various news broadcasts, and get interviewed by newspapers and magazines from around the world. I interviewed celebrities and I’ve received a plethora of swag. I also received death threats from writing about gun control, called a list of names attacking my manhood, and attacked monthly on social media. I’ve also received an amazing amount of love from men and women who were touched by something I wrote. Still, my favorite thing about being a dad blogger is telling stories about my love of being a daddy.

Bloggers and influencers get a bad rap. We’re often looked down upon. But I’m proud of being a dad blogger. I’m thankful for the 800 posts that I’ve written. Few men can say they remember the last time they held their son’s hand before he grew up. I wrote about that. Long after I am gone, my kids will still have my feelings and thoughts to read. They’ll see what it was like for me to be their daddy.

My blog will probably look a little different over the next 10 years. I often feel like I’ve said everything I could say about being a dad. When I interviewed Liam Neeson about how being a dad affects his life, he said this, “Every time I put on a shirt, I boil the kettle, whatever I do is informed by the fact that I am a father of two boys.” I might not write posts about being a dad, but being a dad affects everything I do. I’ll continue to take on social issues and work with brands. I’ll interview celebrities when the opportunity comes up. My traveling adventures will show up often and I’ll probably write a lot more drink recipes and about my new fitness life, but it will all be done in front of a fatherhood backdrop. (I’m also writing a novel.)

I spoke with Doug French and Jeff Bogle on the Dad 2.0 Podcast about being a dad blogger and other things. Click here to listen to that conversation.

 

Here are some of my favorite posts over the years:

This is my all-time favorite blog post: My Descent into Hell at the DMV with my 3 Kids

Parenting:
Throwing Away My Shot and Hitting a More Fulfilled Life
Losing My Temper on My Way To Receive a Dad’s Matter Award
Swinging Big Sticks is Lady Like
Bid to be the Sexiest Man Alive
How A Friendship Between a Christian Boy and a Muslim Boy Gives Me Hope
My Reason for Getting a Vasectomy
My Morning Conversation with My Daughter About Nuts
A Dad’s Perspective on Miscarriages
Kids and Grief: Dealing with My Kids While They Grieve

Social Issues:
Hospitality and Grace: What the Christian Response to Immigration Should Be
A Civilized Conversation on Gun Control Needs To Happen Now
Don’t Be the Annoying White Person at the Black Live’s Matter Protest
Kindergartners Should Not Have to Hide in Cubby Closets: Gun Control Now!
Raising Fists With My Daughter and Public Enemy
Parenting, Protesting, and Educating: Hoping the World Will Be Able to Breathe

Travel:
Civil Rights Road Trip
Dog Sledding in Mont Tremblant
My Kids Spent $160 on Rubber Ducks On Board a Royal Caribbean Cruise
Beware of Dolphins: They’ll lead you on and then leave you behind
Tips for Traveling the Bourbon Trail
Lost in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Climbing the Castle of San Giovanni and Dropping Parenting Knowledge
A Tale of Two Playas: Luxury and Budge Vacations
Staying in a Haunted Castle in Spain
Wine Tasting with the Kids in Provence
Time of Our Lives on Board a Disney Cruise
My Kayak Trip with my Son

Interviews:
My Daughter and One Direction: The Time I took my daughter to interview the band
Liam Neeson on How Fatherhood Directs Him
9-year-old Interviews Gold Medalist Allyson Felix
Brad Meltzer on Rejection, Comic Books, and Balancing Work and Family Life
Being a Role Model: My Interview with the US Women’s Soccer Team
10-year-old Interviews Mets’ Legend John Franco
8-year-old Interviews WNBA Star Tina Charles

1 comment

  1. Whoa, congrats on your one decade of blogging! That’s a super huge milestone indeed, so congrats for reaching it. Also, thanks for sharing your story!

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