Post by Yvonne Divita, BlogPaws CEO
No. As noted in the quote below from Men with Pens (now isn’t that an interesting name for a blog? especially one written by a woman named James), fame and fortune is not what you should be focused on, if you want to achieve success:
“Every businessperson I know receives emails from their subscribers after they pitch a new product to their massive list of followers. These emails all go something like this:
‘I used to really like what you were doing, but now it seems every second or third email is trying to get me to buy something.’
And they unsubscribe.”
Well, let me rephrase my opening… fame and fortune? Fortune and fame? Can you have both?
My new answer is…Maybe. If people don’t unsubscribe every time you offer a product for sale.
But, probably not.
Just saying. People love you till you ask them for money.
Are we good?
What? You need more explanation. Ok. I get it. You’re thinking of all the really popular pets online who are BOTH rich and famous. Like Grumpy Cat. But, I ask you, did Grumpy Cat start out rich or famous? The answer is neither. Grumpy cat was just grumpy. The humans behind Grumpy cat did the work involved to make the cat the icon she has become. Tardar Sauce, Grumpy Cat’s real name, was just a cat with an overbite and a frowny face, until the people around her posted a picture, recognized the power of the response, and actively pursued the opportunity. I suspect, though I don’t ‘know’, that the work involved in keeping Grumpy Cat active as a celebrity is pretty involved. And, we all think she’s making her pawrents rich, but is she? Only she knows!
Then, there’s this pet pig who has over 30,000 likes on Facebook and a busy life, according to recent posts. I don’t know how rich she is, but she’s mildly famous. We are left to wonder if her ‘mom’ is prepping her for fame and fortune. Clearly, pet pigs are high among the popular pets today.
My third example of a pet site that has achieved fame and fortune is BlogPaws. Many of you think we’re both rich and famous. Truth is, after a ton of hard work, with a team of about 6 regular workers (and a great salesteam that is totally separate from the day to day BlogPaws activity), we have achieved a modicum of … fame. You know us. Lots of other people in the pet community know us. Most pet brands know us or know of us. And yet, so many people don’t know us, we remain a big fish in a little pond.
And, we are still working on the “rich” part, however. None of us are rich, none will ever be rich (not from BlogPaws) and we don’t lose sleep over that. This is a career to support our passion, not to build our bank account. We work hard to maintain the website/blog, the community, the awards program, the conference and the growing network of bloggers who work with us and the brands we love. It’s highly rewarding.
The thing about working to be “rich and famous” is that when you strive for fame and fortune, you spend a lot of time worrying about one or the other and not achieving either.
Back in the day, when I was a blog consultant to small businesses in Rochester, NY, and worked with a few big brands too, I learned that if you do the work and pay attention to the little things, the big things fall in line. The bottom line, which you read about everywhere, takes care of itself, if you’re taking care of the business of your business.
I could have written a post called “How To Get Rich and Famous Being A Pet Blogger” and shared an outline, best practices, advice from a dozen experts, all created to inspire you to fame and fortune, but I didn’t. I decided to be more serious. The goal of your life, of the career you chose for yourself when you decided to turn your passion for pets into a blog that might return a profit, cannot be based in a focus on rich or famous, or both. Yes, you can dream in your spare time of the riches and fame that will come when you and your pawsome pet are ‘discovered’ but if that’s your purpose for your blog, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
UNLESS… unless you have created a solid business plan that outlines the exact steps and actions you need to take to garner the fame you seek – followed by all the work needed to turn that ‘fame’ into fortune. Unless you have done due diligence and explored, researched, studied other bloggers who have achieve the kind of fame and fortune you wish for yourself…and are prepared to follow their lead. To be blunt, unless you DO the work, ALL of the work, you will NOT reap the reward.
Rich and famous is all very well. The movie industry loves that plot line. Generally, it ends badly. When it works, when the rich and the fame go together, it is always because those involved were building something of value, something that served a purpose to a wide audience, something bigger than themselves. What are you doing that is bigger than yourself and will last beyond your last … day at your keyboard?
We are all in this together. Our passion is for pets and the human animal bond. We have a chance to be part of something that can change the world. Together, this fantastic community can teach the world the true value and purpose of having animals in our lives and how it makes us better human beings. We can earn a living at it, if we pursue the work with a smile and a skip in our step, but if our only need is to be rich and famous, we will never achieve the true meaning of being a pet parent. We will merely become loud, annoying voices in an otherwise crowded world of foolishness.
I personally don’t want rich or famous. I want success based on how well I have served my people … because they are the ones who care for the animals I love so very, very much. I recommend visiting the links in this post. They were added for a reason. You would do well to heed the advice in each one of them.