The Top Three Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging
I did a little hop-jiggle dance when my copy of Pet Blogging for Love & Money arrived in the mail, recently. It’s a book I’ve been anxiously awaiting for quite some time. There are a few reasons for that anticipation. First, two of my favorite people in the pet blogging universe are the co-authors. They are individuals in the niche that I highly respect and have looked up to ever since I took on the role as a pet blogger. I’ll introduce you to them in a moment. Second, and this reason is a little selfish, I’m featured in the book as one of their Case Studies! You can flip forward to page 98 in the book to read it, once you get your paws on a copy. This book should be a resource for any person in the pet blogging community, whether that be a seasoned blogger or a person who is considering a blog but hasn’t jumped in, yet. I don’t want to divulge valuable information that you’ll learn about when reading the book, so this is my own twist. Here are the top three things I wish I knew when starting a blog. But first, here are your authors.
I received a copy of the book Pet Blogging for Love & Money in exchange for an honest assessment of our views. Our opinions are our own and are an accurate representation of our experience. This post contains amazon affiliate links. Should you click and make a purchase, we will make a small commission.
I was seriously star struck the first time I met Carol Bryant, one of the Pet Blogging for Love & Money’s authors. She had been communicating with me leading up to my trip to a pet blogging conference called BlogPaws. Her blog, FidoseofReality.com was one of the first blogs I started to read when I considered pet blogging. I continued to read it because of the wealth of information it included. Her posts are passionate with an aim at helping to improve the lives of pets and their owners. Whether it’s about a tool she’s found that she thinks others would benefit from having, to a deep dive conversation about a medical diagnosis that her dog Dexter faced, it’s always something informative and thorough. The photo below is of Dexter, on the first day I met Carol in Nashville, TN.
I remember laughing hysterically in a hotel hallway with Maggie Marton, co-author of Pet Blogging for Love & Money. What was the source of the laughter? I couldn’t tell you, but it lasted for way longer than what’s considered socially acceptable, and we became fast friends. Her blog ohmydogblog.com will bring you on a journey. Whatever the subject, her storytelling makes you feel like you’re experiencing each moment with her as an active participant. It’s that evocative ability that immediately makes you feel connected, invested, and committed to hearing what she has to say. I truly felt like I knew her, and her pets, before I ever met her.
Below is a photo of Maggie, plus her double fisting wine holding husband at a baby shower fellow pet bloggers helped to coordinate as a surprise. I'm not sure what that onesie said, but it was clearly hysterical.
Who better to take the helm and write this book? I’m assuming you answered “no one.” Which means we’re in agreement and we can move on to the top three things I wish I knew when starting a pet blog.
The more you read, the better you write. I feel like my (now retired) high school English teacher father wagging his finger when making that statement, but it’s true. I mentioned I read both Carol and Maggie’s blogs before ever meeting them. Once I started to consider starting a pet blog, I began to search for pet blogs that I liked. I wish I had done even more reading. I wish I had read other types of blogs that aren’t in the pet space, to see where the similarities and differences were. I wish I had read more to see what types of blogs and blog posts resonated with me, and took the time to distill the reasons why I was moved by them.
The positive, in this category, is there’s no reason why you can’t start reading more blogs now. It will help you to find your own voice while also appreciating how other people’s voices and stories paint their own unique tale, even when the subject can be the same.
Take the time to talk to your readers. Like, really talk. Develop a relationship with them. Isn’t that what really matters in this world? I think feeling connected helps to bridge the geographical gap. It’s hard to put yourself out there, essentially shouting your message from the top of a mountain, to not get anyone telling you “yeah, I heard that, and it helped.” If you take the time to connect and talk with your readers, they’ll (possibly) take the time to tell you that they’ve heard your message. It’s a win win.
Talking to your readers is just one part, though. Talk to brands. There are a few representatives for brands that are on my Christmas card list and have been for years. It’s because we took the time to connect authentically, and we’ve developed a friendship. I know I can ask for opinions or share ideas, and the conversation will be meaningful and informative. I don’t have thousands of brands in my virtual Rolodex, because it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. I’m thankful for these connections, and I’m happy to know we’ll still be friends even if I step away from the pet blogging world.
Talk with each other! Pet blogging can feel very alone if you feel like you’re the only one dealing with a certain subject, or issue. There’s no need for bloggers to feel like they are competing with each other. This post is a great example. It’s one in a series of blog posts from other bloggers. We’re all working together to celebrate the release of a single book Pet Blogging for Love & Money, but if you read them all, you’ll see that all of our posts are unique. It’s our own twist. We agreed to join in on the fun, because we’ve realized the value in community, in working collaboratively with other bloggers. It all began with talking.
Education Should be Ongoing!
The world wide web is ever changing. Learning new skills to help meet the changing landscape of online platforms and social media is not a “one and done” process. There’s a reason why conferences are offered yearly. Continuing to learn new things is essential if you want to continue to succeed.
Each quarter, I try to identify a subject that I feel I need to learn more information about. It could be a social media platform, photography, SEO, etc. I then look towards my blogging friends to see if they can provide resources they can share that will help me to improve in those areas. Some folks have recommended online classes that were affordable and informative. Others have attended a conference that they felt was worth the expense. Some have taken the time to teach me directly. My quarterly self-assessment is relatively knew. I wish I had thought to do this earlier as it would likely have assisted me in being more targeted in my research and focused on a single subject when attending conferences.
Education is why I feel this book is so valuable. It can help to inform you on a variety of subjects. It may not be the end of your educational pursuit in a certain area, but it will most certainly provide you the framework to be more informed as you move forward.
I cannot recommend Pet Blogging for Love & Money more. If you purchase a copy, please take a moment to also provide a review for the book on Amazon, as it can make a huge difference for ranking which will result in more people finding it in their searches down the road.