How to Handle Negativity Online Blog Hop

It happens to the best of us: Someone rocks the apple cart and says or does something to make us feel down, bad, or ruin our day. Knowing how to handle negativity online takes on a whole new meaning for bloggers and influencers. In #BlogPawsChat on 02/06, here are some of the comments surrounding watching what you say and do online:

@FidoseofReality shares, “My favorite tip for working with brands: Watch what you say on social media EVERYWHERE. Brands are watching. Trust me. Big time.”

@Truffle_Brulee replies, “Great tip! Some people think they are safe in private groups. I’ve had reps to tell me they know what is being said. “

And @TrainWithBain says, “Nothing on the internet, in an app, or in email (or text!) is ever private. This is the internet. We screen shot everything.”


What we say and how we react to negativity online can greatly impact the way followers, fans, and brands choose to engage (or not) with us.

If you want to know what to do when someone is wrong on the Internet, read what Maggie Marton has to say.

Controversial blog topics are definitely reader and traffic inducing, but as with all blog topics, there is a way to approach them, handle the content, and respond to feedback.

How far is crossing the line? What won’t you write about? Is there anything that doesn’t deserve the spotlight? How do you handle “haters” and “trolls?” What about the folks who respond and aren’t so nice but they provide their name, email, and/or Facebook info: In other words, they aren’t hiding their disdain to something you wrote?

Case in point: I wrote a blog post titled, “Five Things Your Vet Should Never Say To You,” and though the post was very popular and garnered a lot of views, shares, and feedback, I kept abreast of where it was being shared. These are my words and my reputation, after all. Set a Google Alert at the very least and follow your post.

In the event someone bashes me, calls me names, becames defamatory or otherwise puts me down, their comments are toast. Civil debate is encouraged, but being plain mean and offensive should never be tolerated. Watch what you put in writing, so resist the urge to blast someone with your words: they can end up splattered all over Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Here’s how to handle criticism and what to do if you are trolled from Maggie Marton, BlogPaws’ Director of Content.

The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:

Image:  Moshbidon/ Shutterstock

The post How to Handle Negativity Online Blog Hop appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Blog

Facebook seems to change its algorithm the same amount of times that a cat parent scoops the litterbox. Fortunately, some of these changes are actually to a blogger’s benefit, including the way they affect a Facebook page for your blog.

Despite all of the recent Facebook algorithm changes, a Facebook page for a blog still is something you should have, engage with, use, promote, and help to foster a community with or around. We live in a day and age where many people derive information about a business via a Facebook page. You, as a blogger, are a business.

How to create a Facebook page for a blog

Get Started on a Facebook Page for Your Blog

Head on over to this link:

Facebook page

Click on Brand or Product in the upper right box. You’ll be prompted to choose a category. I chose News/Media website for my blog, but the choice is yours. You can visit other blogs and businesses for examples.

Facebook will want some basic information about your page, so continue on with answering these questions.

Upload your Facebook page photo. You’ll want to brand yourself properly, using a photo that accurately and best depicts your blog as a business.

Here’s how to create a branding strategy for your pet blog.

Continue through the final steps, which Facebook will walk you through.

KEEP IN MIND: When you sign on to Facebook, your blog page will now appear in the dropdown of your Facebook page on the right, like this:

Facebook page


When posting on your fan page, your blog name will show up, not your personal/real name. If you want to visit another page or profile and wish to comment as yourself, you will need to toggle. Here’s a screen shot:

Facebook toggle pages

This toggle box appears when you head to any other page or profile on Facebook near the comments:

Facebook pages

Now you are set up with a Facebook page. Getting traffic and engagement is a whole other post, but keep reading because we have you covered there!

Here are some tips of what to do next:

Customize a Facebook Page

If you share the URL (link) to your Facebook page and it looks like this:

Then you need to fix that ASAP.

Facebook allows the option of creating a clean, custom URL instead. Be aware that you need at least 25 fans before you can create a custom URL for your Facebook page.

  • Go to:
  • Go to “Set a username for your page.”
  • Click that link.
  • If you the admin to more than one page, the pages will be shown here. Pick the desired page you want to customize.
  • Enter Desired Username will appear. Once entered, click “Check Availability.”
  • Choose wisely, as this cannot be changed.

Clear Profile Picture and Cover Image

Does your cover image sum up your blog just by looking at it? Is the image properly sized? Does your profile picture pop? You’d be surprised the number of businesses who overlook this important step.

Call to Action button

Your page’s Call to Action button is customizeable with (as of this writing) these Sign Ups (located under your cover photo on the right hand side):

Facebook CTA

Fill in Your About Page Content

Be very thorough and enter the information in each section so that your page’s contents are visible, able to be found in Facebook search, and accurately describe your blog and its mission. Here are 11 things your Facebook About page needs right now.

Don’t Stop Now

Beyond a Facebook page, you might want to consider a Facebook Group. Here’s How and Why to Start a Facebook Group.

Get more help with creating a Facebook page directly from Facebook’s tutorial.

Get a ticket to the BlogPaws 2018 Conference taking place April 18-20, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri. We will have information about Facebook and taking advantage of its best features there!

Your Turn

What are your biggest Facebook challenges these days? Let us know in the comments below.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images: Kastaprav /

The post How to Create a Facebook Page for Your Blog appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Use Lead Magnets to Grow an Email List

Grab my download of 50 Tips to Puppy Proof Your Home!

Click here for a free ebook to help your adult cat adjust to a new kitten!

These are examples of lead magnets: You promise the reader something in exchange for a piece of information (their email address, for example). High-converting lead magnets are those that you can incorporate into blog posts and social media content, and that provide a valuable, tangible ROI (return on investment) for both you and your subscriber.

Last week we talked about how to clean up an email list, and this week we will dive into the do’s and don’ts on how to use lead magnets in order to grow an email list.

How to grow an email list

Getting Started on Lead Magnets

You need an email list service in order to entice subscribers with your lead magnet so that your email list will grow. When I decided to go from blogger to entrepreneur, email strategy was and remains one of the key components to do so. With the recent changes in Facebook’s news feed targeting businesses, growing an email list is more important than ever.

Over at WP Beginner, they’ve outlined the 2018 edition of the best email services for professional bloggers. Which one is best for you depends on your goals, budget, plans, and needs. I’ve been a Mailchimp girl for a long time, but my 2018 blog plans include switching to something more in tune with my goals, so a change is coming for me.

Why Do I Need Lead Magnets

A solid email list is a must have in every professional blogger’s toolbox. Even if you are a hobby blogger or someone who plans to monetize a blog, an email list is comprised of your loyalists. In offering a valuable product via download and delivering on that promise with quality, your email subscribers are the ones who will promote you, return to visit, and spread the word about your awesomeness.

Sponsored posts, ad revenue, and affiliate-related posts rely heavily on pageviews and click throughs. Give your loyalists what they want and it returns to you tenfold. This statement is hard to apply in a day and age of less and less pageviews on Facebook and pay to play on most social media networks.

Asking someone to subscribe to your email list works for friends and family, but this is not a viable long-term sustainability plan for your blog’s success. Lead magnets ensure someone gets a quality product or service in exchange for giving up the holy grail of online marketing: their trusted email address.

Lead Magnets That Deliver

In order to get that highly coveted click through with email address freely given, the lead magnet you offer (“incentive”) needs to deliver. Gone are the days of “get 5 free tips”–100 words later, the person unsubscribes, potentially never to return.

It’s a new generation and everyone is vying for email addresses. Deliver quality that solves a problem or one of these other lead magnets that deliver:

  1. Checklists: 25 Conversations to Have With Your Cat’s Veterinarian or Checklist of Emergency Numbers for Pet Parents.
  2. Cheat Sheets: Everyone loves a hack, so consider delivering a ‘cheat sheet’ to make life easier. For example, Discover Insider Tips to Nail Your Next Job Interview or How to Find a Work From Home Job You Love.
  3. Free Ebooks: I’ve seen authors offer a small chapter from a book and offer it out for free as a lead magnet. You can embed a link into your freebie to entice the reader to purchase your entire book.
  4. Coupon: This is perfect for any professional blogger who sells products or services. “Get 10 percent off your next purchase” – and the means to obtain the code or discount is a name and email address.
  5. Printables: Everyone loves a freebie to hang on their bulletin board or refrigerator. Printables can be an effective tool especially if you offer a series of them. Be certain the printables are in line with your blog mission.

Promoting Lead Magnets

Once you’ve landed on an newsletter/email service and build out your lead magnet(s), the next step is to promote it.

  1. Place the lead magnet as a non-intrusive pop-up on your blog’s homepage. Most lead magnet programs include the option for the pop up not to appear if the visitor is already a subscriber. In doing so, the subscriber is not annoyed every time they visit your blog.
  2. Include the lead magnet in your email signature line. I use the professional version of Wisestamp, which allows me to customize my email signature’s content.
  3. Squeeze it in with a squeeze page. defines a squeeze page as, “A landing page designed to capture opt-in email addresses from potential subscribers. The goal of a squeeze page is to convince, cajole, or otherwise ”squeeze” a visitor into providing one of their most sought-after and coveted pieces of personal data: the email address.”
  4. Call to Action in Blog Post: Use your Calls to Action wisely by including a relevant one at the bottom of a blog post that beckons to your link magnet.
  5. Use the sign up button on Facebook and direct readers to your lead magnet in the cover photo.
  6. Make LinkedIn work for you: Add a lead magnet link to your personal profile in the summary area.
  7. Tweet with a purpose using your lead magnet. Experiment with text and images to see which one(s) work best and receive the most engagement and click throughs to actual sign ups.
  8. Business cards with a URL or a QR code on the back are great ways to include lead magnets at networking events and conferences, such as the BlogPaws Conference.

Advanced Lead Magnets

Here are a few more ideas if you’ve been working with lead magnets for a while or want some unique ideas to collect emails without annoying your visitors:

  1. Hold a Contest: Yes, there are folks who unsubscribe afterwards, but you can monitor this with a high quality email service.
  2. Create a Facebook Group and share quality content via lead magnets in the group weekly or monthly.
  3. High Quality Infographics make for a tempting printable. Provide one in exchange for an email address.
  4. Conduct a Free Webinar: Host a 20 minute webinar and collect emails to sign up. You can upsell in the webinar by referring folks to another piece of saleable content that you promote at the end of your webinar. You can also give something away during your free webinar to anyone who signs up for your email list.
  5. Atomize Your Awesomeness: Jay Baer shared that quip at last year’s BlogPaws Conference and it stuck. Develop a video and/or audio version of your content, perhaps with a podcast. Some people like to listen, as evidenced by the present popularity of podcasts. Provide this content as a lead magnet.

How to grow an email list

Lead Magnet Mega Important Tip

Once you acquire a fan, you want to keep them. It might sound like common sense, but keeping a fan is probably harder than acquiring them. If you promise a standout piece of content as a lead magnet, overdeliver. Be certain you do not abuse the emails you are collecting, and most importantly, that you deliver amazingly awesome future content with a plan and purpose.

The worst feeling a professional blogger experiences is that of an unsubscribe pang in the pit of their stomach. I know, I’ve been there. Watch your open rates, unsubscribe rates, and never spam or overshare content to the point that you annoy subscribers. People will always remember how you make them feel, so spread the good vibes.

Don’t Stop Now

Keep the knowledge flowing and make email magic with these blog posts:

How to Clean Up an Email List

How to Grow an Email List

Go Face to Face with the Pros

Learn more! BlogPaws has always been and will always be about and for the bloggers and influencers: Those who want to learn, grow, network, and take their blog to the “next level.” BlogPaws connects brands to bloggers and influencers and those who want to monetize, form relationships, and turn a passion for pets into a way to make money.Get your tickets to BlogPaws’ 10th Conference before they sell out.

Your Turn

Are you using lead magnets? If not, how can we help? If yes, are you successful with them?  Let us know in the comments below. We respond to all comments.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images:  Floral Deco  / Jacob Lund  /

The post How to Use Lead Magnets to Grow an Email List appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Write a Knockout Blog Post

Having an idea for a killer blog post is the easy part. Writing a knockout blog post that touches on all the key elements from content to photography, promotion and inbound/outbound links is the more involved process. It sounds like a no brainer, the process for writing a knockout blog post, right? Even long-time blogging veterans may be surprised to find some tips and pointers to apply to future blog posts or updating older blog content.

How to write a knockout blog post

Pre-Requisite: Know Your Blog Audience

Something that we see time and again in the BlogPaws offices is a well-done post, but it is written to an audience that may not be the one best served by said content. Define your why and know your purpose.

No matter how long you have been blogging, each blog post should be geared to your target audience. If you are a cat blogger who writes about health and wellness, then articles about kitten training, cat litterbox issues, and senior cats and kidney disease are the types of content your audience wants. You know they want this content because you did your research prior to creating the blog.

Sometimes a blog post is geared for a specific portion of your blog’s audience. One of my consistently popular blog posts deals with torn anterior cruciate ligagments in dogs. That post is geared to a dog parent who either thinks their dog ruptured the ligament, indeed the dog is injured, or they want more information and options. Write to THAT audience for THAT post.

LEARN MORE: How to Serve Your Blog Audience

Develop the Content Idea

Our Director of Community Education, Aimee Beltran, suggests this system when developing content for a blog post:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What do they need to know?
  • What do I want them to do with the content? (Subscribe, share, etc)
  • How will the content be delivered? Blog post, social media post, video, ebook, etc?

Outline the Blog Post

As a second phase to developing the content idea, next you write an outline. This need not be a laborious process, but I could never do a blog post without some sort of outline.

Outlining helps hone your craft, tightens the focus, and like a map, it guides you to your destination. Some of the sections in my outline for a blog post include:

  • My topic or idea
  • A working headline, which I refine later
  • The problem it solves or addresses.
  • Why my reader should care. I ask myself “who cares” and until I can answer that, I won’t blog.
  • Sources and quotes/experts
  • Outbound and inbound links to include
  • Terms to rank for SEO-wise
  • Images I want to take and/or already have in my files

Your outline can be as simple as a one-page sheet of paper with subheadings on it or as intricate as desired; we all have different learning and planning styles.

Visual Asset Planning

A picture says a thousand words and a video says even more! Know what shots you want before you get the post started so that you can capture exactly the visual message you want to complement your prose. I take close to 2,000 photos a month on my iPhone, no kidding. I take candids of my dog, things we do together, places we visit (from PetSmart to the park, visiting friends), and I dump them onto my computer once a month. From there, I categorize and separate the images into files. I actually have files the likes of:

  • Body shots
  • Face close ups
  • Park
  • Dog with people
  • Sleeping

…and many more.

I do this so that whenever I am writing a blog post, I have an arsenal of photos from which to choose. Quite honestly, I have my own stock photos that I took! I edit the photos I love the most and might use, ditch the blurred ones, and then I clean my phone up, back up my files onto a hard drive and an online photo storage service, and I am good to go.

Videos I plan to embed into a blog post or those in support of my blog post I will use on social are a part of the visual asset planning process. It’s never one and done: If you blog it, use it over and over in a variety of ways. The same holds true for visual and video assets. More about that later.

Keyword Research

This is oh-so-important to your knockout blog post process. Keyword research does NOT mean keyword stuffing. The traditional definition of a “good” keyword is one that has low competition from other sites attempting to rank with traffic from the keyword along with a high number of monthly searches. Finding that balance is the sweet spot for bloggers.

Your goal with a blog post is to create an ultimate resource with both short and longtail keywords. Long tail keywords have long staying power if properly executed in blog post. Why long tail? Longtail keywords are more closely related to the questions your readers are asking/searching for; they are actually easier to rank for; and since they target your specific audience, more relevant traffic is directed to your blog.

Here are three steps for finding juicy keyword nuggets.

Write a blog post

Determine Headline and Subheads: Brainstorm and Then Brainstorm Again

Work primary and secondary keywords into your headline if possible, and apply some time in determining your headline. Our Director of Content, Maggie Marton, says, “No matter how brilliant your writing, or how gorgeous your photography, unless you grab a reader’s attention with a catchy, click-worthy headline, you won’t capture new readers.”

An eye-catching title can make or break a post. Personally, I tend to spend more time developing a worthwhile title than many other things.Regardless of how your post is discovered: From a search engine to a tweet, the first thing a reader will see is that all important “headline” aka the title. Is your title worthy of the content within the post? Does it give the reader a full, enticing glance at what’s to come?

Think about those catchy headlines on glossy magazines as you stand in the supermarket check out line. The titles are designed to lure you in to buy the magazine or tabloid.

Here’s a 3-Step Process to Write Click-Worthy Headlines.

Subheadings break up a post and divide it into sections as this blog post illustrates.

It makes it easier for the reader to use and is another way to hold one’s attention span.

Similarly, bullet points and numbered lists are helpful. Bullet points are useful for stats, benefits, product features, short bits of info, and other data that you want to stand out.


Blogging is not sheer opinion if you want to be considered an expert. I am not an expert in many of the topics on which I blog. I am, however, pretty darned good at finding folks who are experts in their respective fields. I utilize places like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), message boards, groups on Facebook, in-person networking to exchange business cards, industry-oriented mixers, Twitter, and so on.

Experts are out there. You need to find them to add credibility to a blog post. I suggest doing a blog post with opposing views and let your readers decide. Whichever route you take, do your research.

Please please and please check your grammar and spelling: It matters. Read it out loud to make sure that everything makes sense.

A stellar blog post instantly loses its appeal when a run on sentence comes into play and it never stops and the person writing it thinks that I want to stick around because I have nothing better to do than to hear about a great product and how super it is. See how annoying long that was? Don’t do it.

Bring it Home

An abrupt ending leaves the reader scratching their head, so summarize in a nice neat package for them. Re-emphasize your main points, perhaps circle back to your introduction, and give the reader the all-important call to action. A call to action is important at the end of a blog post but also in your social media promotions. A Call to Action is a statement that encourages your readers to take some sort of action.

For example:

  • Subscribe to my newsletter for posts just like this!
  • Add a comment to the bottom of this list and tell me what you think.
  • Follow me on Facebook.

Learn More: Discover how to successfully use a call to action.

Social Media Plan and Promotion

Our own Aimee Beltran says, “Writing blog posts takes a lot of time and hard work. The last thing you want is for nobody to read your posts. That is why you must have a solid promotional plan in place to grow your pageviews and audience. An effective social media marketing plan will help with this.”

Knowing how to promote a blog post and making the time to do so are pivotal to blog post success.

You don’t need to be on every single social media platform, and you don’t have to post everywhere at one time. In fact, the latter is highly frowned upon so as to avoid content saturation. Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, and Co-Schedule allow for timed social media content.

Here are quick ways to promote blog posts (note: It isn’t one and done; be sure to recycle your posts and share social media content throughout the year).

Don’t Stop Now

If you want to start a pet blog and have no idea how to get going so you can use the tactics above, here’s a good place: How to Start a Pet Blog.

Learn how to do keyword research for your next blog post.

If you write it, readers will come, right? Not always, so if you want the readers, then identify them, determine how you will find them , and deliver with a knockout blog post and social sharing plan to enhance its longevity.

Connect Face to Face

Register for the BlogPaws 2018 Conference and invest in you. The BlogPaws 2018 Conference takes place in Kansas City, Missouri, April 18-20.  Join us and get your social media and blogging plans in order!

Bloggers at conference

Your Turn

What’s your process for writing a blog post? Do you have one? Does it resemble the above? Let us know in the comments below. We respond to all comments.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images:  Floral Deco/  GaudiLab /

The post How to Write a Knockout Blog Post appeared first on BlogPaws.

Advanced Tips To Drive Blog Traffic Using Instagram Stories

There are many creative ways to use Instagram Stories to increase blog traffic, and the Internet is full of recommendations. BlogPaws shared our creative Instagram Stories tips recently, and now to take things to the “next level,” here’s the second of a two-part series. This time around, let’s dive into advanced tips and techniques to drive blog traffic using Instagram Stories as the vehicle.

Using Instagram Stories for blog traffic

Rejoice: Use Older Content in Instagram Stories

It used to be that Instagram Stories only allowed images and videos taken within the past 24 hours on your mobile device. You can now add content to stories from any point in time, so rejoice.

How This Drives Blog Traffic:  The advantage of this is infusing a combo of video and image into Instagram Stories posts.

Insta Hack: Older photos and videos will automatically have a date stamped on their courtesy Instagram. There’s a work around. Just tap it, hold and drag, and put in the bottom of the screen to the trash can icon. You may also want to change the sticker date color and you can do so by tapping on it.

Invite Guests to Instagram Stories Live

This one has set the Insta-world buzzing because you can do live videos with other people without fancy software or confusing apps. Yes, can now invite viewers to be part of your Instagram Live Stories!

Simply start a Live IG Stories broadcast and click the overlapped smiley faces in the bottom right portion of your mobile device once you are live. People who are viewing your live will appear and you can click to invite any of these viewers. A split-screen will appear once they accept the invitation.

Instagram Stories tips

During any live IG Stories broadcast, someone may request to join you in your live video. As you can imagine, you’ll want to be sure to only allow people in whom you know and trust. Otherwise, you can just ignore the request from that viewer to go live with you. When inviting guests into your IG Stories Live, it’s a good idea to ask in advance.

How This Drives Blog Traffic: Provide a clear call to action to your viewers when doing a Live IG Stories broadcast. Tell them to visit your blog post with more on the topic and make it easy for them by providing your blog post URL into the profile section of your Instagram account.

Interactive Poll Stickers for Instagram Stories

People love emojis, stickers, and feeling that their voice is heard. The perfect storm is created with these three elements thanks to the new interactive poll stickers feature for Instagram Stories. Here’s how Instagram describes the interactive poll feature:

Whether you’re trying to plan tomorrow’s outfit, choosing which class to take or figuring out where to go for dinner, now it’s easy to share a two-option poll right in your story. After you’ve taken a photo or video for your story, select the “poll” sticker and place it anywhere you’d like — you can write out your own question and even customize the poll choices.

How This Drives Blog Traffic: You can do this for fun or to get the pulse of your viewers and followers. For example, you can post a video or photo of your cat to Instagram Stories and ask your followers if they want to know more about “cat health” or “cat behavior” in your next blog post. Then, when you write that blog post, thank your followers for the advice, and even cooler: Host an Instagram Live Stories session and talk about the post with a call to action sending followers to your blog post, as detailed above. #winwin

Use Hashtag Stickers With a Purpose

Stickers are used for many different purposes within Instagram and Instagram Stories. Have a purpose to using them and know why you are using them. This is what is meant by “with a purpose;” you only do something if you have a reason for doing so, and that includes hashtags.

Simply tap the sticker that says hashtag on Instagram Stories and customize it with the desired hashtag.

How This Drives Blog Traffic: Other folks can find your story if they are searching that hashtag. It is clickable! So if I use the hashtag “DogHealth” and anyone is looking for doghealth info on Instagram Stories, I will be in that mix!

Insta Hack: If you use certain stickers repeatedly, you can access your favorite stickers by tapping the smiley icon and swipe right. Your recently used stickers will appear. #IKnowRight?

Tag People With a Purpose

When adding text to  Instagram Stories, tag people by clicking typing and start with the @ symbol.  If you follow that person, the icon will pop up. Just tap on it and that person will be tagged in Instagram Stories. This is helpful to help get on the radar of your followers, brands, and more. Just don’t be annoying. At present, you have the ability to tag up to 10 people.

How This Drives Blog Traffic: People who follow you on Instagram Stories are alerted in Instagram Direct Messages, so your friends and followers know you posted an Instagram Live. Maybe one of your followers has a ferret who just won’t eat. You can do an Instagram Stories segment and tag them and share a blog post you wrote to help!

Also, if you tag people who are not following you a notification will appear in their message requests. I get some annoying ones and spammy things, so only tag someone you are certain is okay with being tagged.

Consider Instagram Stories Sharing

If you see an Instagram Stories segment that you like, there’s a way to share the love by sharing other people’s stories. At the bottom right of the Stories screen is a “direct icon,” which resembles a paper airplane, as seen in the image below. Tap that, then tap the friend with whom you want to share the story, write a message, then send.

How to share Instagram Stories

To send a story to a group of folks, tap New Group in the upper right of the share screen, name your group, tap on the check mark icon, then tap send.

If you receive an Instagram Stories alert, it will be within your direct inbox. The story disappears after 24 hours as of this writing, so be sure to view before it’s history.

If you do not want others to share your Instagram Stories, you can turn that feature off within the Instagram Settings menu > Story Settings and toggle Allow Sharing off.

How This Drives Blog Traffic:  By alerting people of your stories, this can be a good traffic builder as long as you are not overtly annoying.

Engage with Other People’s Instagram Stories

At the bottom of Instagram Stories you view, there is a place to write messages. Personally, I love this because everyone loves praise and to be acknowledged. If I see something I like, I let the person know with this feature. You can send text messages or visual reactions. Just tap the camera icon, take a photo or video, snazz up your photo/video if desired with stickers and filters, then send.

How This Drives Blog Traffic:  If you share other people’s stories, this is fostering a sense of giving and puts the ‘social’ in social media.

Comment on Stories with Words or Photos

At the bottom of your friend’s Instagram Stories, you’ll see a place to write a message.It does not have to be a long message, and I often chime in with a few words and/or emojis.  You can also send visual reactions by taping on the camera iconand then taking a photo, Boomerang, video or Rewind. You can decorate your image or video reply with stickers, filters and drawings. Make it jazzy!

Plus, your reply will automatically include a sticker of the Story image you’re replying to. The sticker can be moved and decorated, too. When you’re done, hit Send. Your reply will end up in your friend’s inbox.

Replying only works for people who have comments enabled, though.

Use Instagram Stories for blog traffic

Re-purpose Instagram Stories with a Purpose

I like to save my Instagram Stories and re-purpose them on Facebook or in my private Facebook Group for Cocker Lovers. Not everyone who follows me on Instagram follows me on Facebook and vice versa. There is a cross over, but they can be two completely different audiences. So if you do a blog post, create an Instagram Stories piece around it, save it to your phone. You can choose to save a portion of a story, the entire Instagram Stories segment, or within settings you can adjust so every story is saved.

Go to profile screen, tap the menu. Tap Story Setting under account heading. Slide the Always Save Photos and Videos option under the Camera heading. If you tap the gear icon while on the Instagram Stories screen, you can slide the Always Save Photos and Videos option.

Don’t Stop Now

How Do Instagram Stories Work

How to Develop an Instagram Hashtag Strategy

10 Tips to Create an Instagram Editorial Calendar

Your Turn

Are you using Instagram Stories? How is it working out for you? Anything we can help you with here at BlogPaws? Let us know in the comments and we will respond.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images:   g-stockstudio/

The post Advanced Tips To Drive Blog Traffic Using Instagram Stories appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate

Knowing how to make money as an Amazon Affiliate is one of the topics we are asked to cover here at BlogPaws. Fortunately, our team has many years of combined experience with this topic, as they, too, are successful Amazon Affiliates.

We are pulling back the curtain and going behind the velvet ropes with a ‘deeper dive’ into making money as an Amazon Affiliate. There are many ways to monetize on Amazon beyond affiliate links.

How to make money Amazon Affiliate

Two Keys to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate

  1. Must have consistent traffic to your blog
  2. Must realize that people just need to CLICK on your affiliate links or posts and buy something even if it is NOT the item to which you linked

Being consistent, solving a problem, and being a valued resource to your readers and potential followers are all important elements to gain and maintain blog traffic.

Be sure to check out 5 Easy Ways to Increase Blog Traffic.

When someone clocks through your affiliate link, said person has 24 hours to make a purchase on Amazon in order for you to receive a commission. However, if the person clicks through on someone else’s Amazon affiliate link before the 24 hours are up, that Amazon Affiliate will receive commission. If the person clears cache and cookies on their browser, the cookie is lost.

Making Money with Amazon Opportunities

Most folks know the term “Amazon Affiliate,” but there are a plethora of ways to make make money with Amazon, so we’re calling them Amazon opportunities.

During a recent Facebook Live in the BlogPaws Social Learning Community Facebook Group, BlogPaws’ Director of Influencer Marketing, touched on some of the many ways to make money with Amazon.

“Most of you are probably familiar with Amazon Affiliate links,” Elfeinbein says. “This is where you search for a product you love and share the link in your blog post or on your social channel. This, however, is not the only offering you can take advantage of through Amazon. Visit your affiliate account and you will find all of your options as drop down menus at the top of the screen. You can use any combination of the following options.”

Banner Ads – This is not traditional banner ads and it almost looks like this might be fazing out or getting a facelift in time for the holidays.

CPM – You need an existing ad network set up but once you have one you can create banner, sidebar, header, and footer ads from Amazon. Amazon allows you to set your cost per mill (or cost per thousand impressions). If Amazon cannot fulfill a space at your set CPM the ad will revert back to your regular ad network.

Native Ads – Various times throughout the year Amazon runs specials using the Native Ad Platform. Native Ads are customizable so that you put in the exact products you would like displayed or you can pick subcategories of products to display.

Mobile Popover – If you choose this option be mindful of your readers experience and make sure to test it on your own site before full implementation.

Link to a Page – Instead of linking to just one product you can link to hot topics, best sellers, special offer pages, or search results.

Seasonal Promotions – This option allows you to have a static sidebar ad on your Blog that promotes one of hundreds of different special offers. Everything from Prime Pantry for Pet Food Delivery to deep discounts on open boxes of camping gear. Use the search function to find an option that makes sense for you or scroll through the categories to see what is currently on offer. Traditionally, Amazon creates holiday-themed pet promotions sometime in November.

Bounties – Amazon has a number of subscription-based products that they want your help in promoting. These are called bounties. You can copy and paste code onto your blog that allows your readers to take advantage of a trial offer. When they sign up for the offer you get a set payout. Bounties change seasonally so check back often to see is something new has popped up.

How to make money Amazon Affiliate

10 Fast Facts About Amazon Affiliates

  1. Please ensure when sharing Amazon affiliate links in your blog posts that they do not appear in your newsletter or RSS feed. This is a great reason to switch your blog posts from read-in-full to click-for-more option. Be sure that if you do include affiliate links in your post that they appear below the read more links. Also, you cannot use Amazon affiliate links in ebooks or PDFs. You can link in ebooks and PDFs to your blog posts that contain Amazon Affiliate links (again, with proper disclosure in the posts).
  2.  While you can share links freely to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram please be aware that Amazon Affiliate program policy is a little less clear on sharing to Pinterest. To that end, we recommend not sharing to Pinterest until terms of service change. Links shared on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter must have proper disclosure.
  3. When sharing to your blog and social media,  please remember to fully disclose.
  4. You have the options of being paid via gift card or direct deposit. Either way, you will receive payment on a minimum of $10 earnings. If that takes one month or six months, the payment will accumulate in your account. If you prefer to receive a check be aware that payout on check does not occur until you have accumulated $100 in payment.
  5. A strong Call to Action is essential in any blog post, especially with affiliate links.  Learn more to use a call to action successfully.
  6. Regarding the handshake tool on Facebook, as of this writing you are not to tag Amazon. You should tag a brand in the post that you are promoting. You also need to properly disclose, as indicated in #3.
  7. When sharing an affiliate link on your blog, it must be a nofollow link. Learn what a nofollow tag is.
  8. Watch for promotions and bounties in your Amazon Affiliate dashboard. Promotions expire, but in most cases, bounties do not.  If you plan to use these sort of affiliate opportunities with Amazon, you can either start a spreadsheet to track expiring promotions and/or you can choose the “set it and forget” option.
  9. Give your readers options: If you show them a favorite dog bowl you use, give them a variety of bowls using ads within blog posts. Or you can say something like, “This is the stainless steel bowl that my dog uses or you can try this one.” If you hyperlink “stainless steel bowl” to the one you use, you can also hyperlink “try this one” for folks to have choices.
  10. If you build it, they will come. Personally, I set my top 10 posts up as Amazon affiliate posts with proper disclosure because Google Analytics tells me they are the most trafficked posts on my blog. In doing so, I have seen a direct conversion of those products recommended and related ones. Remember, as long as someone clicks through and buys something from you on Amazon from that clicked link within 24 hours, you will get the commission.

Bonus Amazon Affiliate Tip

Check your dashboard from time to time. I check my dashboard weekly, but I know folks who check in daily. By following what people are purchasing and related products, you can even build content that makes sense around this data. Check out the clicks and ordered items within your affiliate dashboard and to track sales and revenue. You are a business owner, so work this facet of your business like a boss!

Don’t Get Kicked Out

There are many ways to get kicked out of the Amazon Affiliate program. You need to work the program so that folks are actually clicking on your links. Amazon won’t keep affiliates on who are not contributing to their bottom line: Sales. Also, this is a great post on things not to do as an Amazon affiliate.

Amazon Program Policies

As of this writing, Felissa Elfenbein, shares the following policies in place as an Amazon affiliate. Always check your Amazon Affiliate terms of service for any changes and/or updates.

  1. Pet products receive an eight percent standard fee. This means that whatever you share that falls under pet products you will receive eight percent on the sale.
  2. Be careful when sharing Amazon Affiliate links to free Kindle books. If you share too many links or that is all your readers are clicking on and “purchasing,” you can be locked out of your affiliate and bounty payments for that month. Regular Kindle books or Kindle books that are discounted but not down to free are fine to share and would not make you fall into this category.
  3. If you currently have multiple Amazon Affiliate accounts so that you can take advantage of visitors from the UK and Canada you can now take advantage of the OneLink feature. Basically it links your accounts and you can use one code for everyone. The OneLink code takes your visitor to their local Amazon Store to purchase the item you are featuring.

Don’t Stop Now

Take the BlogPaws Affiliate Marketing course and let us help you with blog traffic and affiliate strategy along with a bunch of FAQs answered for you.

Access the two Amazon Affiliate videos in the BlogPaws Social Learning Community Facebook Group.

Your Turn

Are you using the Amazon Affiliate program? How has it worked out for you? How can BlogPaws help? Let us know in the comments below.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images:   Monkey Business Images /Creative Lab /

The post How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate appeared first on BlogPaws.

Blog Hop: How To File a DMCA Complaint

One of the most important things a pet blogger can do is to pay attention to content scrapers and those that post your content on their site(s) without your explicit permission. Plagiarism is a very serious online problem. Thankfully, there are things you can do to protect yourself in the event of content scrapers. We will show you how to file a DMCA Complaint and more in this post.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and alerting Google can help. This is a step-by-step what to do, how to report it, and how to protect yourself from content scrapers and copycats:

How to file Google DMCA complaint

Copyright Infringement Act

Protect Your Blog Content With Terms of Use Disclaimers:  Every blog should have a terms of service/terms of use website policy outlining what visitors are allowed to and not allowed to do with the information on your website.

Here are some free Terms of Use templates and information.

Register Your Blog Posts

Some bloggers bundle a group of blog posts together and pay to register the content with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Without formal registration of your blog content/posts, you can file a DMCA notice, which this post outlines.

As a formal LLC, this blogger is going to start registering her posts in batches from time to time. As a result, I can take greater action, as copyright infringement is a serious crime with monetary rewards. Personally, I am sick and tired of having my blog posts stolen.

How to File a DMCA Notice

As the time of this writing, this blogger is in the process of filing a DMCA notice for takedown of her blog content, which a few unscrupulous bloggers are scraping from me.

Send a Cease and Desist Letter

This is the first step in alerting the party to remove your content immediately. I did this through an email, as found in the ‘CONTACT US’ section, but often times this information is not readily available.

Sometimes an RSS feed is attached to a website or blog and the offending party is pulling your content in this fashion. However it happens, the bottom line is this: The original content is yours. Send an email to the party to let them know they must remove the content immediately. Here’s a sample:

Dear Sir or Madam-

 You are using my text and image content online without my permission. Remove all content immediately. You do not have my permission.


I never heard back on the above, and I simultaneously filed a DMCA complaint and Google Takedown notice.

DMCA Takedown Notice

According to, “When content is removed from a website at the request of the owner of the content or the owner of the copyright of the content. It is a well-established, accepted, internet standard followed by website owners and internet service providers.”

This notice is filed and the perpetrator is noticed that the content must be removed. Here is an example of what I am experiencing:

My original post:

The content scraper copycat posts:

DMCA takedown copy cat


DMCA takedown copy cat

They are doing this for all of my posts.  I wrote them the above letter, sent it, then sent a cease and desist letter. Now I am filing a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Contact the Host Provider of the Copycat

Search the Whois site  or Who Is Hosting This and find out who the owner and/or host domain is. When you know the host, you can contact the owner or host directly, which is what I did. Here is that email. Each host provider has different ways of reporting this, and this example happens to be for HostGator:

You may need to file something else or you may need to email the host provider. Follow host instructions carefully.

I went to the WordPress domain to secure their process for filing a formal DMCA notice.  If you need to report more than one site, you must do so in separate reports.

How to file a DMCA complaint

Alerting Google to Remove the Content

On their Legal Help Troubleshooter page, Google says, “This page will help you get to the right place to report content that you would like removed from Google’s services under applicable laws. Providing us with complete information will help us investigate your inquiry.”

Follow the instructions here to report it to Google. The tools appear in Webmaster Tools.  Here are some screen shots, and you can submit multiple requests in a group, as I did.

You can follow the status to Google through Google Webmaster tools.

How to file Google DMCA complaint

How Do I Know If My Blog Content Is Being Stolen

  • Pingbacks on your blog like this: (which is how I discovered the theft)
  • Google Alerts
  • Search for copies of your content on the Internet using Copyscape and Copyscape banners.

How to file Google DMCA complaint

The above information is not legal advice and is being shared for educational purposes only.

Your Turn

Have you ever had your content stolen? What are you doing to protect your blog content? Share in the comments below.

The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:


Images: Solis Images/Mallmo / Shutterstock


The post Blog Hop: How To File a DMCA Complaint appeared first on BlogPaws.

Blog Hop: Back to School Blogging Brush Up

Can you believe September is here? This week’s blog hop is dedicated to back to school and the time to brush up your blogging skills for influencers and bloggers of all skill levels.

brush up on blogging skills

Get ready to learn, grow, and be inspired with these tips to brush up your blogging skills:

Back to School Supply List for Bloggers

Boost Your Blog 10K With Affiliate Marketing

Tips for Better Affiliate Marketing

Grow Your Blog Even When Traffic is Slow

The Business of Blogging Mastermind

What is one of your goals you want accomplished before the calendar turns to 2018? Tell us in the comments below.

back to school blog tips

The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:


Images:  ESB Professional /  goodluz / Shutterstock

The post Blog Hop: Back to School Blogging Brush Up appeared first on BlogPaws.

Get Your Blog Ready for the Holiday Season NOW

How do you get your blog ready for the holidays? Ah, the age-old question.

The first answer is not a how, but a when. As of early September, the time to get your blog ready for the holiday season is now. As an added bonus, here are hardcore, hands-on tips you can start using right away to make magic on your blog this holiday season. After all, traffic is every blogger’s perfect present!

how to prep a blog for the holidays

Clean It Up: Front End and Back End

1. Be sure your blog looks professional from a front-facing perspective as well as on the ‘back end.‘ Is your blog uncluttered, are links working, are your header and contact information up to date, and just when is the last time that ‘About Me’ page was updated?

Stand out from the crowd and try a unique spin on your About Me page:

Make a List: Sometimes a list that is easily scannable is just the ticket, like this:

10 Things About Maryann Smith

1 In school, the kids used to call me “Star Bright” and I loved that.

2 I never owned a cat until I was 23 and now I am hooked.

3 I played the tuba until my dad told me to take up the clarinet. Now I am a whiz at it.

2. Design Tweak Magic: First impressions are everything and that goes for blog appearance. If I stumble on your blog, you want me sticking around. Like an oil check for a car, here are 7 design tweaks you can do in a weekend.

3. Keep Hackers Away: You can never guarantee that you won’t be hacked, but you can make it harder for hackers to get in. A firewall can protect from intrusions and scan your files for issues. Is your virus scan up to date? Are you changing your passwords? Is your back end running smooth and plug ins are up to date? Read more: Tips for Internet Security: Your Email.

Back Up So You Don’t Crack Up

Backups can be life savers, but many bloggers don’t back up regularly. This is a task I perform at least monthly in addition to my photo backup services.

Here are 3 Steps to Make Your Blog More Secure

Back Up So You Don’t Crack Up

Prep blog for holidays

Images Preparation

You should always add pictures to your blog – but only when it makes sense. Similarly, any image on social media should be clean, clear, and representative of your brand. As an influencer, you are a brand. Now is the time to start taking images, getting deals on props, learning a photo editing software tool, and snagging deals on stock photography where you plan to use it.

Sounds like a lot, right? It is, which is now is the time to prep your blog for the holidays. High-quality images increase the engagement on your post and encourage others to share your content.

Tyler Brown of DragonSearch told BlogPaws, “Our biggest and most important tip – stay away from Google searches! Google images return pictures that best match your search query from thousands of websites. Even though these pictures may fit your search, they don’t belong to Google. Using these pictures interfere with copyright laws, and you don’t want to steal someone’s photo!”

Optimize Blog Images for SEO and Get More Tips

Of course, if free stock photography is more your style, then check out these 3 places to find free stock photos.

Be sure to attribute any photos properly to avoid getting into legal hot water. No one was a takedown notice for the holidays. Be sure to attribute to the right party in the right format. Stock photo sites detail this information.

Is your style your own?  Here’s How to Create a Branding Strategy for Your Pet Blog

Holiday Editorial Calendar

Like Christmas shopping, blog posts can creep up on you without warning and then boom, it’s a frenzy. The holidays are hectic enough without worrying last minute about content. Create an editorial calendar. Truth be told, as much as love Trello, I use little sticky notes in a paper planner for my actual blog post plans. Here’s how we use Trello as a blogging editorial calendar, and you can, too!

Determine if you actually have time to work for brands and take on sponsored content. If so, how much sponsored content is right for you?

Don’t go it alone: The holidays are the perfect time for blogger collaborations. Are you a part of the two BlogPaws Facebook groups? Every Wednesday in the News and Boost Facebook Group, we host a Wants and Needs post. Ask your collaboration questions there!

Think outside the box with editorial content: Are you a DIY blogger? Do you ever blog about pet food? Why not infuse the two concepts into holiday posts?

Sponsored posts and campaigns are not the right place to try something for the first time. Test now. What works for you?

Need holiday theme inspiration? Check out our comprehensive list of holidays to blog about. At the very least, start prepping your blog and get images ready for the various social networks. You can fill in content later. 

Media Kit Mania

If you plan to work with brands, they will likely want to see your media kit. Is your current media kit where you want it to be content and branding wise?

A media kit is your blog’s calling card: a business card or synopsis of your blog in a snapshot. Discover how to make a blogger media kit here.

An Interest in Pinterest

NOW is the time to get those pins ready and get to pinning! Here’s a quick checklist:

  • If you sell products, include a “Pin This” button on them.
  • Know when to Pin: The folks over at Tailwind (scheduling for Pinterest) say that “in a post-Smart Feed world, Pinterest is looking for signals of user engagement in order to rank your Pin…If your content is posted at a time when it’s likely to get in front of the right people when they are most likely to engage with it, you are sending a powerful signal to Pinterest that they should show it now, often, and to more people!” Start looking at your Pinterest analytics and Google Analytics. What’s working? What isn’t? What times are your pins getting the most engagement?
  • Add descriptions to your pins with holiday-related keywords.
  • Create a board on Pinterest specifically for your blog posts. Followers on Pinterest can easily access your posts and you have a place to show brands, advertisers, and others with whom you want to work. When you write a blog post, pin it to your blog’s board on Pinterest along with:
    • The perfect pinnable image for that blog post;
    • An optimized Pin description about the post;
    • A link directly to your blog post when the Pin is clicked;

Get a refresher below or start jumping in, feet first, to these oh-so-Pinnable and helpful Pinterest posts:

Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic

Pinterest Tips for Better Blogging 

How to Use Pinterest for Blog Traffic

Your Turn

What are you doing to prep your blog in time for the holidays?

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images:  Floral Deco / ouh_desire / Shutterstock

The post Get Your Blog Ready for the Holiday Season NOW appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Promote a Giveaway on a Blog

Do you know how to promote a giveaway on a blog to get entries rolling in? Consider this scenario: You just published a giveaway or contest on your blog and are sitting back, waiting for the entries to come pouring in. Crickets! The worst sound a blogger can hear is the sound of silence. BlogPaws to the rescue! Publishing a blog giveaway or blog contest is the fun part; promoting it and making sure the right audience sees it are keys to success.

Here’s how to promote your next blog giveaway or blog contest like a pro:

Promoting a blog giveaway or blog contest

Post to Giveaway Websites

There are contest junkies out there: Folks who visit your site or your giveaway simply to enter the drawing. Many of these folks will fall off, unsubscribe, or only return for the next giveaway. This is a fact of life and part of the giveaway landscape.

That said, here are some giveaway websites to consider for promotion:

Online Sweepstakes: Free. One of the oldest and most frequently used giveaway promotional sites. This site tends to bring in solid traffic for any giveaways I’ve run.

Blog Giveaway Directory: Free and premium versions

Sweeps-Takes: Free.

Just Sweep: Free and premium selections.

Giveaway Promote: Basic listing is $6.

Contest Girl: “If you know of a sweepstakes that I don’t have on my site, please tell me about it.”

Win a Sweepstakes: Free.

Remember: Not all giveaway, sweeps, and contest listing sites are created equal. Read the rules, the terms, and only promote where it makes sense to your content and goals.

Hey, Why Didn’t I Think of That?

StumbleUpon can work in your favor by doing what it does best: Stumbling upon great content and shareable stuff on the Internet. StumbleUpon is free, and if enough people “stumble upon” your content after you submit it, you may get some decent traffic to the giveaway.

Social Shares

If you promote your giveaway one time on social, then entries are likely not to be super high from referral traffic.

Twitter can be your best friend with giveaway promotions. BlogPaws’ Director of Community Education, Felissa Elfenbein, says, “Promote the heck out of it on Twitter with hashtags including #giveaway or #sweeps or #win and get it into chore threads so that it gets retweeted to more eyes that will enter.”

She says not to view the chore thread to be your entries but to get it in front of the people that will enter.

What is a chore thread? If you are a member of the BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost group, you are familiar with chore threads. These are threads or groups that take place daily or weekly wherein members post social media links and everyone partakes and reciprocates.

For example, in the BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost group, Tuesdays are dedicated to Twitter re-tweets. Everyone in that chore thread must retweet the listed tweets.

Pinterest is social media search engine, not a social media platform. With that in mind and the Smart Feed feature, by the time a contest or giveaway gains momentum, it may be over. There are folks who use Pinterest for giveaways, and if you are interested, the folks at Rafflecopter have some solid Pinterest giveaway advice.

Pet blogger and long-time BlogPaws Community member Dawn Miklich has a Facebook group to list Pet Contests and Giveaways you can request to join as a blogger and/or someone who wants to enter giveaways.

How to promote blog giveaway or blog contest

Dedicated Newsletters

Do you have an email newsletter? Promote your giveaway with a section in the newsletter or a dedicated eblast about the giveaway if it is something of value to your subscribers.

Need help growing an email list? CLICK THIS: Expert Tips to Grow an Email List

Virtual Assistance Help: Strength in Numbers

Elfeinbein suggests the help of a virtual assistant (VA) with a giveaway.

“Honestly, if I had a giveaway, I would be paying a VA to list it for me,”  she recommends. “I don’t have that kind of time on my hands at this point.”

If you have a giveaway for a sponsor, such as a sponsored giveaway, hire a VA who will list your giveaway for you in a number of places for a nominal fee. The VA might be listing 25 or more other giveaways for influencers, so your costs are kept down while saving you time to promote in other places.

Linky Sites

The Wordless Wednesday blog hop is one of the longest running linky hops in the pet influencer space, and the original. Linky parties and hops are not exclusive to Wordless Wednesday.

Adding giveaways to linky sites may help with the giveaway traffic. Here’s list of linky sites for giveaways. Remember, not every site or linky hop is right for everyone.

Remember, hosting a blog giveaway is a great way to bring in new readers or build up your social media following. You can’t just set it and forget it. Giveaways are not a crockpot meal: You need to nurture them, promote them, stir and turn the heat up frequently.

Final Thoughts on Giveaways

Determine if your giveaway is legal: “Consideration” is something to keep in mind. If you give something away from a sponsor, prize or money, tread cautiously about how you proceed. If you require participants to like or follow you, the law may deem this “consideration.” Have you ever sent participants to a third party and then instructed them to come back to your blog? You might be treading into “illegal lottery” status. This is not to say you can’t run a giveaway, but understanding what is legal and illegal is imperative. Sara of shares important blog law posts worth a peek.

One of the many methods influences use to engage fans, draw traffic, and work with pet product and service companies is to host a giveaway or contest. It seems easy enough: You set rules, you post the contest, and you watch as entries roll in.

There are, however, rules and legalities pet bloggers need to know before posting any sort of product or prize contest or giveaway.

Links for More

Don’t stop now. If you are considering hosting a giveaway, there are a lot of things to consider, and BlogPaws has you covered. Check this out: The Mechanics of Hosting a Blog Giveaway.

Your Turn

Do you host giveaways or contests? Are you successful with entries? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images: Floral Deco /  garagestock /

The post How to Promote a Giveaway on a Blog appeared first on BlogPaws.