Award-winning blogger Edmund Tay shares the joys—and other benefits—of blogging about one’s family.
Contributed by Daphne Ling
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
Today’s social media revolution has seen a rise of in the number of blogs in the cyberspace. Literally online diaries, blogs are now increasingly popular with parents who use it to chronicle their parenting journey. Given the accessibility of the Internet, it is easy to see why blogs are the medium of choice to keep family and friends constantly updated. At the same time, blogging offers connectivity with other bloggers, making it a fantastic way to meet parents who may be walking a similar path.
In the local blogosphere, Edmund Tay, 38, is a daddy blogger who has been featured in parenting magazines like the best-selling Young Parents, and received numerous awards for his site, Ed Unloaded (www.edunloaded.com). Ed Unloaded came in second in the global Blogger’s Choice Awards 2008 under the Hottest Daddy Category, and the site has also been mentioned in the Bloggy Award Website.
Tay began his blogging journey on October 2007 after a friend encouraged him to keep a blog about his kids. His debut post was well-received, and this led to the start of what is today a lucrative and name-gaining blog.
Tay’s website has a unique angle: it showcases parenting from a father’s perspective. His wife, Lu Jiahui, is its editor, providing valuable feedback before he posts his articles. She also guest blogs occasionally. He credits the success of Ed Unloaded to the stars of the site, their three children, Nicole, 5, Nathan, 3, and Nadine, 2 as they provide the content for all his articles
“It is our kids who make the blog unique,” said Tay. “The three of them have vastly different personalities, and it is the way that they interpret life which gives me something interesting to talk about.”
The beauty of blogs lies in the lighthearted and humorous tone parents can adopt. One of the most interesting stories Tay has shared online is about how his eldest child, Nicole, orienteered her way home. When she was about two and a half, Tay and Lu set about teaching Nicole to identify landmarks so that she would have visual aids to guide herself back home. During a “test’, they realized that instead of choosing big landmarks like the nearby McDonald’s, she was relying on familiar objects like her underpants hanging out from the window.
Tay feels that blogging has revolutionized the way today’s parents communicate with their family and friends. He gets to keep in touch with the friends that he doesn’t normally have a chance to see or talk to. They “visit” one another’s blogs and his family members also come to his site on a daily basis to keep updated on their lives. Tay feels it’s even better than traditional modes of communication as blogs allow busy parents to view pictures and check in at their own time, which reduces the hassle of coordinating hectic schedules.
Besides keeping people up-to-date on their children’s progress, Ed Unloaded has also become a source of income for Tay. He describes it as one of the perks of this hobby. “It’s at a stage where it is definitely not enough for anyone to quit their day job. It’s just enough to pay for the children’s milk powder or diapers.”
In addition, he gets invited by companies to attend product launches and media events, plus other perks like receiving products to review on his blog.
“It’s a real incentive to keep on writing,” he says. “In that way, it becomes a hobby that fuels itself. As bloggers can be selective about their products they want to endorse, they can offer information that benefits the readers.”
Recently, Tay was approached by the PR firm representing Julia Gabriel’s School of Learning to collaborate on a forum for parent bloggers to meet and share parenting tips. The event allowed him to network with other bloggers and explore opportunities in the blogging arena.
For the last two and a half years, blogging has been integral to Tay’s life and he updates his blog several times a week. He often encourages other parents to start a blog themselves. While the idea of starting a website may seem daunting, he shares that blogging is so user-friendly that it does not require the knowledge of complicated HTML codes.
“There are several blogging websites such as Blogger and Wordpress that make blogging a really simple task,” says Tay. “In fact, the free templates ensure that you have a really cool design for your blog, so don’t be afraid to try it out!”
Daphne Ling is the author of popular mothering blog, www.Motherinc.org.
|More Great Parenting Blogs:|
|Daphne Ling’s MotherInc offers witty sharings on daily dramas. http://www.motherinc.org/|
|Sandra Tan’s diary of her son.
|Klessis Lee’s Babies In the Daisies chronicle her adventurous life with her babies.