Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
I know you don’t want to think of it, but… the holidays are just around the corner — there I’ve said it! When that time of year is upon us, it can sometimes be difficult to fit our pet blogging and pet business duties into our schedules, right?
Here is a quick list (because I know you’re busy!) of 11 steps to better pet blogging which may help you at the holidays and year-round:
- Make certain that writing time is, well, writing time. I know I get distracted by the notifications from my email or the Facebook pings that sound when someone leaves me a message or includes me in a comment. I’m like Doug from the movie, “Up” because to me those notification are much like “Squirrel!” and I know I have to ignore them or my writing will turn from what should have been an hour long session into two hours simply because of distractions. Turn off your notifications; the world will not come to a screeching halt if you don’t respond during your writing time.
- Do your research prior to your writing session. If you plop yourself down in front of the computer and think, “I am going to blog starting now!” but you don’t know what to blog about, then you’re spinning your wheels. Write an editorial calendar. Keep a notebook in which you add your blog ideas throughout the week. If something intrigues you, write it down, and research it during the week (or prior to your blogging time).
- Be interesting. What, you say?! Yes, keep your posts interesting. How? Let your personality shine through. Write posts provide your unique take on a current, perhaps controversial, topic. Use your post to respond to the post someone else has written. Tell a story in your posts — they don’t always have to be in a “Just the facts, Ma’am” style.
- Pen a great headline. I know I’ve written about this before, but it cannot be stressed enough. A great headline not only makes Google love you, but it makes your post more searchable and therefore could put it in front of more readers. Spend as much time mulling your headline as you do writing your post. Use keywords that make sense, understand how your unique readers search for you then write a headline, and a post that goes along with how they find you.
- Give ’em what they want. Your readers come to you for a reason — you impart the information they want. Whether that information is technical (medical tips for caring for your pet) or for fun (great costumes for your pet) or whether you offer training tips or how to pick a puppy or kitten or how to introduce an older pet to your existing pet family. Know your readers. Ask them what they want. Pose a question on your social media pages to help you uncover their true wants and needs.
- Prettify your blog post. Add photos. Include videos. Break the text up with bullets or numbered lists.
- Break a couple of the writing rules. If you were always told (and as I tell my children) do not end a sentence with a preposition, don’t worry that all of your sentences need to be 110% grammatically correct. While you don’t want to pepper your posts with misspelled words or horrifically mangled text it’s much easier to write in colloquailisms than to stress over the small things. I suggest making sure your nouns and pronouns “agree” but if you end a sentence with an occasional preposition, I don’t think your readers will abandon you.
- Don’t write just because you “have to.” Yes, your readers have come to expect that you will post a new blog five days a week, but if you can’t keep up that pace, let your readers know. Yes, you read that right. Let your readers know that you will be cutting back to two or three days a week of posting. Don’t make them wonder what happened when they come to your blog daily expecting a new post and now they’re only seeing one three times a week. If you’re writing just for the sake of “having to” your pet blogging will become a slog.
- Don’t be passive. Use an active, engaging tone in your blog. For example, don’t write, “dozens of pet parents have benefited from our dog training programs,” say instead. “we have helped dozens of pet parents connect better with their pets because of our programs.” More active. More engaging. Your second sentence is stronger and shows, up front, what it is you do.
- Claim your power. This sounds like a self-help guru kind of sentence, but what it means is that you should be not only writing in an active voice, but you should be using strong language — not foul language, mind you! — strong like: will instead of may; can instead of should; do instead of perhaps. Look for weak words and exchange them for strong ones.
- Leave ’em wanting to come back. Use a call to action on your blog posts. Whether you’re wrapping the post up with, “What would you do in this situation? Tell us in the comments,” or “If you have a dog that needs obedience training, give our office a call.” Note, though that you don’t want to be constantly selling to your readers, but you do want to give them something to think about once they leave your post. Encourage the reader to take some sort of action. Invite them to sign up for your newsletter. Ask them to call your office and make an appointment. Don’t just end your posts and leave your readers with a, “that’s all, folks” feeling.
How do you keep up with your blogging and pet business duties when the holidays are upon us and time is limited?
(Photo: Shutterstock Guinea pig on computer)
(Photo: Shutterstock Gecko on computer)