I started blogging in 2012 when I left the United States for a couple of years. At the time, my blog was a means to update friends and family with pictures and stories of my life abroad.
Over time, my blog changed. I moved back to the United States, bought a new domain and dedicated half of my posts to topics that reached a broader audience. Most of those topics revolved around my pets and life in a city apartment with 2 dogs.
Those posts generated the most natural interest, responses, followers and social shares. That got me thinking: Maybe pet blogging was something I should get into. But first I wanted to make sure I was doing it right.
1. Know Why You’re Blogging
A few of my passions are:
- My dogs
Pet blogging combines all 3 and gives me the opportunity to share them with other like-minded people.
When I ask myself, “Why do I want to blog about my pets?” the answer is simple: I enjoy it. For me, blogging is fun — from creating the posts to adding the photos and talking all about my pups (of which I can never get enough).
If you love your pets, don’t cringe at the thought of writing a few hundred words every week and believe that others will enjoy your pets’ stories, consider giving blogging a try.
2. Identify Your Readers
Knowing your audience is as important as choosing your subject.
If you’ve been blogging regularly about your charming collie and his everyday adventures with your 2 kittens, that’s precisely what your readers are expecting. Changing topics without warning can lead to a loss of followers. For example, if you suddenly begin blogging about the many culinary applications of broccoli, you’ll lose a lot of traffic.
Consistency is key. If you start your blog about Joey the collie and his cute cohort, Magpie and Yoder the cats, then maintain that topic until the end. Unless you’re discussing an amazing pet food recipe that calls for broccoli, leave the veggies out.
Also remember to maintain your tone. “Setting the tone of your blog is extremely important. Whether it’s professional and formal or chatty and informal, it doesn’t matter as long as you keep it fairly consistent,” says Louise Amy Kennedy, creator of the popular blog Bailey Boat Cat.
When I started my blog, my readers were almost exclusively friends and family. I had no outside traffic because my subject didn’t interest anyone uninvolved with my personal story. Once I started writing about something interesting, though — life with 2 dogs — I found a group of curious readers.
3. Keep Your Blog Interesting
Finding readers, engaging them and keeping them coming back for more are important parts of being a successful pet blogger. If no one is reading your posts, you’re basically writing an online diary — just for you.
How do you keep your blog interesting? Try to provide great:
- Content: Keep your posts interesting. Whether you do that with humor, emotion or insight, try to find topics that are easy to read and engage a broad audience.
- Photos: Illustrate your stories with adorable pictures of your pets. Higher-quality pictures will draw more viewers, while consistently poor-quality photos may scare them away. Some blogs are almost exclusively made up of photos with very little text.
- Information: If you’re providing pet care advice, make sure your information is top-notch. Avoid plagiarizing other sites and always test your advice before doling it out.
4. Patience Is a Must
I’ve come across blogs with tens of thousands of followers and Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that have almost a million fans.
That didn’t happen overnight — those bloggers made a distinct effort to promote their stories. They shared with family and friends, posting links on social media sites. They are active in the blogging world, visit other sites and leave insightful comments on others’ posts. Most importantly, they don’t give up.
Where does that put me with my pet blog? Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m still at the beginning of it all. Yet while following my own advice and tips from the pros, I’ve already found a growing group of followers who are as keen to read about my dogs’ apartment adventures as I am to post about them.