Parenting Win of the Week: This One's for the Dads
This funny dad is showing all the fathers out there that they're not alone.
I often send my husband memes related to motherhood that are oh-so-relatable to just about every one of my friends. And when we had our first child a decade ago, there were far fewer memes that dads could share around about their parenthood journey. Although times have changed and dads have taken more of a front seat, there is still not as much dad content out there. And that’s why Taylor Camus — aka Dude Dad — decided to carve a niche for himself when he had kids. He decided to document his journey from a dad’s perspective, pulling in funny skits and as his kids got older, creating fun and crazy building projects for them as well. With a children’s book on the way in May called "Dad and the Recycling-Bin Roller Coaster,"and a recent local stand-up tour, Taylor continues to lean into fatherhood. Oh, and he has a fourth kid on the way soon too!
We spoke with Dude Dad about his journey into parenthood and content creation.
How did you get started?
It started seven years ago, two weeks before my son, Theo, was born. My wife [Heidi] and I were living in Los Angeles and I was pursuing a career in acting. I had some success, but I wasn’t making enough to support a family consistently. I started up the channel Dude Dad just as a way for me to stay creative while being a father. I have made YouTube videos in the past and I love to edit, write, and direct as well as act. I saw all of these mom blogs, but there wasn’t really anything for dads. So, I started in on it and made 50 videos in the first year, but I had a smaller following — but they were loyal followers. I kept going and that next year, they started to hit with a few different videos that went viral. I hit a million followers by the third year. I found my niche and what resonated with people. At the same time, the conversation about fatherhood really came to the forefront. People wanted to see more invested fathers and what they were doing, so the timing was right.
What kept you going before things hit it big?
Just the response I was getting from the audience. I also enjoyed it. My wife was a big supporter from the very beginning. She kept me going and allowed me to do this. She helped hold the camera here and there. I would bother each of my friends as little as possible because I couldn’t pay anyone. As it started to build I could bring a friend in part time and now, we have a team of six, seven years into it.
How do you figure out what you’ll make videos about?
It really comes from life and what we see around us. We could do a video of leaving the house with kids. It’s a battle every time, even though it should be simple. There are so many things that could go wrong and then you realize your wife has been dealing with the kids and now needs to get ready. We tap into realizing that the best videos are just truth, they don’t always need to be crazy characters, they just need to be relatable. Now, the entire internet has figured that out with Reels and TikTok, but we started doing that before everyone and literally their mom became a creator.
Now that everyone is a content creator, how have you adjusted?
You just have to continue to evolve all the time and figure out what trends are going on and do some of those. It has become quantity over quality at this point, but we’ve been doing this long enough so we still know how to make quality content. Now, anyone can go viral — which is cool, but we have years of understanding what has the best opportunity to go viral. We have a lot of different content. Sometimes, it is comedy, but sometimes I do these crazy DIY projects for the kids and other times it is sharing our home renovations. Sometimes, we will do sketch comedy and other times I will get vulnerable and share experiences I have as a dad.
As your kids are getting older do you think about what the future may be for your content?
Yes, because when we first started I did a lot more straight to camera things about what I was experiencing and it was a lot more about their lives. As they got older, we realized that we didn’t want to tell everyone everything because they are in school and it’s their life. So, then we started focusing more on my wife and I, hitting the parenting stuff, but not putting them in a weird space they didn’t agree to. It’s normal to them, but it’s definitely something we have put a lot of thought into — how we handle this and make sure they are comfortable.
But it’s so much more for you beyond videos…what’s next for you?
We have the Dude Dad store with items other parents would enjoy like a Dude Dad diaper bag, a diaper bag designed for dads. We are going to keep working on that a lot. We have a swaddle. We also started a live show this year, a stand-up show I do and Heidi may be a part of it sometimes. We did a mini tour this year that went well. And a children’s book coming out in May!
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