Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Here it is, another day in front of the computer screen, working your way through your editorial calendar and writing your pet blog posts. We’ve written about why people should give a damn about your blog, and how to get readers to your blog, but do you still sometimes wonder, “why do I even bother to blog?”
Chances are we have all been there. I’ve been a writer/blogger for more than 10 years now and believe me there are times I want to just throw in the towel, but then I wonder… what if there is that one person out there reading my posts and waiting for me to post again? What if they read but just don’t want to or don’t know how to, comment on a post (believe me I have heard from people that they can’t understand how to post, so it’s possible).
What if the post that you write today really helps someone out either by addressing a pet health issue she’s having or by making him laugh or simply by making the reader feel she is part of your community (yes, even if she’s a silent community member)?
How can you and your blog make a splash when there are so many blogs available? Here are some of the reasons I can offer to answer the “why do I even bother to blog” question:
- If you want to make money. Even if you have an offline, physical store front chances are you sell products online as well. Without a blog presence, which will then feed your social media properties, how will people discover you? If you have an online only presence, ie you’re a pet blogger who wants to make money, how will a brand find you if you’re not blogging? If you don’t show that you know what you’re doing, no brand will want to work with you. Brands want to work with pet bloggers that have an audience and a robust social media presence.
- If you have an opinion. Whether it’s on the greatness of poodles (Henrietta asked that I write that!), the need for foster homes for shelter animals, feeding raw diets, dressing your dogs, cats and ferrets, safety tips for pet parents, information on how to travel with a pet, or tips on helping a pet deal with a health issue. You are the only one who can blog your unique story. If you’re living through it or have found ways to make it (whatever the “it” may be) chances are you will find a reader with whom your information and knowledge will resonate.
- If you’re an authority in your niche and want to build your credibility. If you walk up to a stranger in a grocery store or meet a pet brand representative at a BlogPaws Conference and they ask what you do and how they can find you, if you don’t have a blog presence how will you show your authority ie expertise? Chances are they won’t take your word for it, but will move onto the person standing next to you who does have a robust blog presence and is blogging in a particular niche.
- If you want to save your money, but still drive traffic to your website. Updating your pet blog regularly will help you rank in Google and if you use your chosen key words wisely potential readers will be able to find you. How do you “use key words wisely” you ask? Be specific, BUT not so specific that you’re “unfindable.” For example I write about my diva poodle, Henrietta; I use her name and the phrase diva poodle quite often. She is on the first page of a Google search for the phrase “diva poodle.” It’s a broad enough phrase that I don’t limit myself but small enough that we have found a niche. If, however I used black and white poodle as my key phrase I may not rank as well. What key words can you use to help your blog get found? Finding the correct key words would be part of the steps you would take when you put together a pet blogging business plan.
- If you get tongue-tied on social media having a blog will offer you a way to have fresh content to share with your followers. Word of caution, though, don’t continually make your social media status updates of the “buy me, buy me” variety. Even if you don’t sell a product or a service, your posts can still be of the “buy me” variety if all you do is offer a social media update about the new blog you’ve written. Shake it up. Post fun pet videos. Share content you’ve found during your online searches that you think your readers might appreciate, but may not find on their own. Ask a question that may be of concern in your area of the country and see if it’s an issue across the country. For example, in our local newspaper this week a letter writing debate has been raging because a gentleman wrote, “if mall operators want more shoppers they should plant trees so pet lovers can bring their pets to the mall and have a cooler place to park while they shop.” My first thought — after I’d cleaned up the coffee I spit across the breakfast table was, (and I’m cleaning it up here) “Is this guy whacked?!” Even under a tree you are not doing your pet any favors by dragging her to the mall with you. Leave her home in the comfort and safety of the house, not in a hot car because even under a tree, in the hot, humid weather of Western New York cars heat to unbearable temperatures in short periods of time and your pet could perish. Am I blogging about this? You bet I am. Is this a topic that would appeal to, or outrage, your readers? If so, give your opinion (see point above) and blog about it or ask the question on your social media platforms.
One blogger/marketer wrote on Facebook this week that there is an overload of content online. I agree, there is a lot of content, but not all of it is good and not any of it — other than your own — is written in your unique style, manner and voice and that is one of the number one reasons why you should bother to blog — because you have something to say and only you can say it.
Can you see now why you should bother to blog? You are unique. Your blog is unique. The story you have to share is unique. Go forth and blog!
(Photo Shutterstock: Fish and computer)
(Photo Shutterstock: Kitten on Computer)