A recent study showed that the number of stay at home dads has quadrupled over the past 25 years, in part due to the rising cost of childcare in the UK.
Ricky Willis- aka Skint Dad- left his job to look after his young children, and now blogs full time after winning our 2013 Smartest Shopper competition. Here, he tells Savoo about his journey from stay at home dad to blogger extraordinaire.
What were you doing before you started blogging?
Before I started blogging I was a stay at home dad looking after my 1 year old daughter Chloe. Before that I had been working in London as an Area Account Manager for a large print firm. My job consisted of looking after numerous public sector print contracts in the South-East and I made sure everything ran smoothly.
Why did you get into blogging?
I became a stay at home dad near the beginning of last year because the cost of childcare and travel was outweighing my wages. It was great at first; spending every day with my youngest daughter but, after a couple of months, I started missing adult interaction. That’s when I started blogging so I could have a little access to the outside world.
How easy did you find it to start your blog?
Quite easy. As soon as the idea about blogging was in my head I started researching how and what I needed to do. I spent quite a few hours on WordPress forums and reading books from the library. By the time I came to start it I knew pretty much what to do.
Give me a ‘typical day in the life of’ being a blogger
Being a stay at home dad, most of my day between 6:30am and 5:30pm is taken up looking after the children and the house. Between these hours I may get the odd 20 minutes here or there to work and I use that time to check and reply to emails, schedule posts for social media and do a little marketing.
Once the day is out the way that is when my real work starts. As well as producing content for my blog I have also taken on other freelance writing work. Because of this I try and split my time equally between the two (depending on workload).
I normally try and write for at least two hours each evening. Following on from that I spend the rest of the time on a number of things. These include brainstorming new content, tweaking my blog, marketing, researching blog topics and lots of other jobs which I could go about for another 500 words.
I probably do this for 5 or sometimes 6 nights a week and roll into bed around 11:30ish.
What is your favourite part of being a full-time blogger?
Apart from the writing obviously, I love marketing my posts. Once that publish button is pushed, and my content is cast into the blogosphere, I then try and get the content read by as many people as possible. I use a plethora of social media platforms, forums and people targeting to get those views up. This is something I really enjoy and get instant satisfaction by posting my blog on a forum and seeing 20+ people start reading it.
Has your attitude to money changed since becoming a blogger?
Totally. Because my blog is predominately a ‘money-saving’ site, I practice what I preach. From saving money on travel to reducing the amount spent on food shopping, I immerse myself into the niche and I hope that shines through when I write.
What advice would you give to people who are thinking about following in your footsteps?
I would say do it 150%. Find something you are passionate about and start getting those words out there. You will have days when you think to yourself “is it really worth it?”, but you need to fight through those feelings and keep moving forward.
Personally, starting a blog has been the greatest decision I ever made. In such a short space of time I have achieved so much and this is down to pushing every day, giving it my all and wanting to do better in life. If you can follow those three things you’ll do alright.
Check out Ricky’s fantastic money saving blog here.