Am I weird for wanting to have a blog for or about my pet? Not at all! In fact, pet parents are in the majority and no longer have to feel like tucking their tails between their legs and scurrying into the catacombs of the Internet. Rejoice, pet moms and dads: Pet blogs are all the rage and here to stay.
According to Nielsen Wire, about 6.7 million people publish blogs, with another 12 million considered “micro-bloggers,’’ such as having a Facebook or Twitter account. Bloggers are well-educated, too: In fact, 7 out of 10 of us are college attendees, with a majority having graduated. But what about the pet blogger? Are we in the minority? No way! We’re soaring.
Basically, a blog is a type of website with information updated regularly: perhaps several times a day like Yahoo.com or maybe once a week. People start blogs for a variety of reasons, including giving their dog a voice, report on animal welfare issues and even to help establish a rescue or dog-themed fundraising effort.
What if you want to blog and have no idea where to get started? Begin by researching your platform. A platform in blog world is where your website will be hosted. Three of the most common platforms are WordPress, Blogger, or TypePad. Talk to folks who blog and get some feedback about what worked (and did not work) for them; then decide which “platform’’ meets your needs.
Some people write in their own voice, while other bloggers “talk’’ as if their pet was writing the post. There are general themes to many blogs, so be certain you know what the focus and goal of your blog will be. Are you interested in pet health? Dog travel? Cat behavior? Maybe a variety of topics is more your cup of tea. Have a plan in place.
Attend a pet bloggers conference like BlogPaws. Year-round, BlogPaws is an online community site for pet bloggers and brands. With four conferences to date, BlogPaws is the go-to resource for bloggers and brands to partner on projects and campaigns. So successful are these in-person conferences that BlogPaws is currently planning their fifth right near Washington, D.C. in May of 2013.
What if a traditional blog is not something you are interested in but perhaps having a pet-oriented Facebook or Twitter account is? Use caution with Facebook and pet accounts, as the powers that be have begun cracking down on pet accounts. It would be more advantageous to have a pet business page on Facebook.
On Twitter, however, the sky’s the limit. In fact, millions of folks have embraced the “my pet has a Twitter account’’ sensation. Have you heard of Twitter parties? According to @CokieTheCat on Twitter, “A Twitter Pawty is an online event, where anipals and animal lovers socialize, play, ‘eat and drink’ virtual hor d’oeuvres from a linked menu of pet related foods (noms) and beverages – dance and cut loose. Twitter Pawties are the ultimate mental break from everyday work and personal stress and drama, allowing you to just ‘be’ your pet for a while.’’
Sounds like fun, right? With a personal Twitter account that my dog hijacks from time to time (@FidoseofReality) I feel right at home with the millions of other pet people and their personas on Twitter.
Here are a few links to whet your palate for starting a pet blog: