When I launched Keep the Tail Wagging, a
local marketing expert took the time to ask Google how many pet blogs were
active and came back with a crazy number.
I don’t remember what it was, but it was huge. I realized that I’m a minnow swimming in an
ocean full of pet bloggers.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.
A year later, Keep the Tail Wagging had over 14,000
followers on Facebook and Twitter. I was
emailing regularly with PR professionals from major pet brands and coming home
to fun packages for our dogs. I even had
the courage to submit a proposal to be a speaker at BlogPaws 2013.
How did I get my blog
to stand out in a popular niche? I just
Not everyone is interested in blog notoriety or making
money. But I think pet bloggers have a
bigger responsibility to consider. We
have a powerful voice and a dedicated audience of animal lovers we can
influence on a daily basis. This makes
us very valuable to pet brands, rescue groups, and even the reputable breeders
out there. The impact we can have on
animal health and wellness is tremendous and that should inspire us to do more
to stand out.
That being said, here are 10 ways to help your blog stand
out in a popular niche like pet blogging.
1. Identify Your
Blog’s Purpose – are you blogging to raise awareness, promote a business,
or just blab on about your adorable fur baby?
Knowing why your blogging and what you hope to gain (traffic, influence,
friends), will help you create boundaries to keep your blog on tract and sets
expectations for your audience and brands.
2. Set Goals for Your
Blog – you can start by asking yourself what you would like to do with your
blog this year and dream big! Setting
goals is another way to stay on track with your blog. If you want to build a target readership of
dog lovers, then you should probably stop writing about guinea pigs.
3. Select a Micro
Niche – a micro niche is a topic within the topic of pets or dogs and cats. The benefit of a micro niche is that you can
attract a dedicated audience who can relate specifically to your subject. As a dog blogger, my site attracts dog
lovers; but I have a dedicated following of fur parents who are raising
4. Create Quality
Content – yeah yeah, we’ve all heard this one before. When I started Keep the Tail Wagging, I
created an image of my ideal reader and I write for her; today, 90% of my
readers are women who love dogs. My ‘ideal
reader’ helped me create quality content and develop my blog’s tone.
5. Write Clickable Titles – I struggled
with this step until I started noticing what made me click on one title versus
another. A great place for this experiment
is your Triberr stream. Some posts I
would just share, others I would click/read/comment.
Today, when I write a title, I keep two things in mind: (1)
what people are searching for and (2) what spark’s a dog lover’s
curiosity. In the example below, which
would you click?
What Inspired My Love
of Animals vs. My
Passion for Dogs Sprouted from My Mother’s Hatred of Me
6. Go Where the Bloggers Go – I belong to
Triberr and several groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. My Triberr membership helps me with post
promotion and all of these networking sites have helped me connect with other
bloggers who inspire and teach me every day.
Other bloggers not only share what’s working for them, which gives you
ideas of things that’ll work to build your blog.
7. Became Your Own
Cheerleader – I use Help a Reporter
Out (HARO) to find opportunities to promote my blog; check out the February
issue of Women’s
Day magazine, page 152. HARO sends 3
emails a day; I scroll through them looking for opportunities to promote myself
and my blog by responding to queries about blogging, social media, and dogs.
8. Become Familiar with SEO Basics – Many
bloggers shy away from SEO, because it seems too hard but there are great
resources out there to help you get the basics. You can start today by increasing inbound
links to specific pages and posts on your site when commenting on blogs. Think of what keywords people would use that
will bring them to your blog post and use those when crafting your title and
article. And link back to your older
articles when you’re writing.
9. Become an Authority – I don’t know everything
about dogs, but I do know something about living with three dogs and raising
littermates. I share this knowledge by
starting and participating in discussions on various social networking sites. Go a step further and share your thoughts on
a discussion in a blog post.
10. Celebrate You! – No matter how popular a
niche is, the one thing that you have that others don’t is YOU. We’re all unique and have a unique voice and
ultimately our audience is attracted to us.
So don’t compete with all the other bloggers out there; instead, let
them inspire you.
Now it’s Your turn!
What do you do to stand out in a popular niche?
About the Author: Kimberly
Gauthier is the Editor in Chief of Keep
the Tail Wagging and
offers dog care tips to dog owners. She also distributes the weekly
newsletter, Blogging in My Pajamas. When she's not gabbing about dogs and
blogging, she is hanging out with three dogs, her dog co-parent, and planning
to take over the world.