Yes, I am a blogger. Yes, I am a pet blogger. This is my confession to you. In case you didn’t know already…which is stupid, because all of you know I am a pet blogger. I think.
Let’s get into Confessions of a Pet Blogger.
I didn’t want to blog. Tom made me do it. Reality is, blogging was new back in 2004. I had just self-published a book, and I needed a way to connect to people online. My first thought was to start a newsletter, of course. It didn’t thrill me. Newsletters are not always the best way to communicate. Tom encouraged me to blog. And so, blog I did. I did not know what it was or how to do it, so he taught me.
I fell in love. My Lipsticking.com blog made me famous. Sort of. It did connect me with all the right people. It did get me speaking engagements. And, it did bring in a little money. But best of all, it allowed me to write and share and talk to other people who were interested in what I was interested in. Can you understand that?
I continued to blog for many reasons, and money was NOT the first reason. Here are five reasons I continue to blog:
- Blogging helps me be a better writer. Writing takes work. Blogging is practice.
- I enjoy blogging. It fulfills something in me that was empty, all those years ago. Blogging brings joy into my life.
- I make money blogging. I never expected to make money blogging, but I do. I am a professional blogger, and I’m proud of it.
- It’s easy. I get my morning coffee, sit down at my computer, and write. Not everything I write makes it into the blog, by the way. I delete a whole lot of stuff.
- People compliment me on my blog every time they comment. I can’t explain the happiness I get when I see a comment on a post. YOU, dear family, cannot imagine how much happiness comments deliver.
You also need to understand that pet blogging is unique. You need to stop telling me I am wasting my time. Or, I should spend my time more productively. As if pet blogging could be a hobby and never a career.
Pets are important to me. I believe in the human-animal bond. I believe in educating you, dear family, and by process, everyone else who might read my little blog (www.scratchingsandsniffings.com) that animals are important to the human condition. You laugh at me, or smile a little as you turn your head away, patronizing me because of my love for animals, thinking I don’t see you snicker.
Some of you share my love for pets and animals in general, I know. But, even those of you who bring your beloved pets into your lives as family members, do not seem to understand the value and importance of animals in our lives. You are more likely to accept my career path in pet blogging, but you still wonder how I do it. How, you ask yourself, does she get paid to just write about pets (as if writing about pets is… silly, inconsequential, not worth paying money for?)?
Here’s what I get paid for, just for the record:
- My influence. I influence a lot of other people on what they buy. I don’t tell them what to buy. Don’t be silly. I just share my thoughts and some people take my opinion to heart.
- My writing. I consider my writing a craft and I study and hone it. Blogging, at its core, is about the message and how you convey it. I get paid to share messages in proper English, without rancor.
- My ability to take great photos of my pets. I’m stretching it a bit here, because my photos could be better. I am learning how to make them better, however. So, when a brand wants me to cover their product, they will be happy with the photos of said product.
- My ability to take video. I do not take very good video at present. I admit I fall down on this but again, I am learning to do better. I know how important it is to the brands I work with and honestly, it’s important to me because I want to be good at what I do.
- My ability to engage with others. Brands want comments. Brands want to hear from other pet people. Those of us who have a ‘good’ following and who inspire comments, are the ones sought after for programs.
- My knowledge and continued learning of social. We live in a world of social. Even you, dear family, are on Facebook, at least. You engage there. You share and post and laugh and cry and check your feed every day, multiple times a day. Well, I do that and more. I live in social and make it my business to understand the new apps and programs, and brands pay for that.
I don’t want this to be a negative letter, dear family. My confession is that I am a professional blogger. It’s my career, and I wish you would both respect that and engage with it. But you don’t have to. Because, I have a very big family here in the pet community, and they not only ‘get it’, they share it. I love them. And they love me.
Very Sincerely Yours,
And, this is my Confessions of a Pet Blogger: A Letter To My Family. I bet it could be a letter to a lot of families out there.
If you’re a pet blogger, I hope to see you at the 8th BlogPaws Social Media Marketing and Educational Conference in Phoenix, AZ, June 23-25th.