Get to Know Team BlogPaws 2018 Conference Blog Hop

For this blog hop, let’s introduce the team! As we inch closer and closer to the BlogPaws 2018 Conference, get to know the various team members and ambassadors you can look forward to meeting in person. Each staff member and ambassador is there to help make your conference experience the best it can be!

BlogPaws 2018

Team BlogPaws

Maggie Marton, Director of Content 

My BlogPaws Story: Maggie Marton

Staff Spotlight: What Makes BlogPaws Special: Get to Know Oh My Dog! founder, and BlogPaws staffer, Maggie Marton: http://blogp.ws/2FJJ3DJ

Posted by BlogPaws on Thursday, March 15, 2018

 

Carol Bryant, Marketing/PR/Social Media Manager

My BlogPaws Story: Carol Bryant

Get to know BlogPaws' Marketing/PR/Social Media Manager, Carol Bryant of Fidose of Reality and why she has been to all 9 BlogPaws Conferences to date: http://blogp.ws/CarolBryantBPStory

Posted by BlogPaws on Monday, March 19, 2018

 

Bernard Lima Chavez, Influencer Campaign Manager

How I Was Dragged to My First BlogPaws Conference

Some people's lives are changed by the BlogPaws Conference experience, and our Campaign Manager, The Graffiti Dog 's Bernard Lima Chavez, is one of them. Here's his story and how you can meet him this April for our 10th Anniversary Conference: http://blogp.ws/GraffitiBP

Posted by BlogPaws on Thursday, March 22, 2018

 

Aimee Beltran, Director of Community Education

My BlogPaws Story with Aimee Beltran

What does the BlogPaws Conference mean to our Director of Community Education, Aimee Beltran of Irresistible Icing ? In her own words, here's Aimee's story: https://blogp.ws/2q594HP

Posted by BlogPaws on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

 

Felissa Elfenbein, Director of Influencer Marketing

Felissa

Ambassadors: BlogPaws 2018 Conference

An ambassador is someone who shares in a mission and helps support it every step of the way. Each year, BlogPaws selects a group of pet bloggers as ambassadors to the conference. They are chosen for their professionalism and talent in social media. They will assist everyone in the BlogPaws Conference experience before and during the conference.

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:



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.®

Image: Carl Kerridge Photography

The post Get to Know Team BlogPaws 2018 Conference Blog Hop appeared first on BlogPaws.

30 Days with Vero

Any social media influencer knows how challenging it is to keep up with the all the changes that social media companies implement. Social media, by nature, is never static and always evolving- and our use of the various platforms must evolve too.

Sometimes these changes can be exciting and sometimes they can be frustrating, but all the tweaks, new features and changes that are hurled our way mean that using social media to promote our content or our brand is never, ever boring!

Enter the new(ish) kid on the block: Vero!

Though Vero has been around for a while, in the past few months it has really taken off. Social media influencers, artists and others have been jumping on board to check out all the hype. But what sets Vero apart from all the other social media options? And is it worth investigating and trying out?

Since social media influencers can’t be everywhere at the same time- at least not successfully- these are important questions. When I first learned about Vero and then saw many in my online communities joining and using Vero to promote their work, I had to try it for myself and I set out on a 30-day trial.

Here are some takeaways from my 30 days with Vero that, hopefully, will help you gain a broader understanding of Vero, what sets it apart from other platforms and also help you decide if Vero is right for you!

So, What is Vero?

Vero has been described as the best of Facebook with the best of Instagram but with no algorithm. In my 30 days of using Vero, I think this sums up Vero perfectly. Here are some key highlights that make Vero standout and worth considering.

The name Vero is based on the Latin word, vērus, meaning ”truth”.

How Is Vero Like Facebook?

Easily Share Lots of Different Types of Content. With Vero, you can share many kinds of content! You can share each of the following types of content with your followers:

  • Photos/ Videos
  • Clickable Links to Written Content, i.e. a blog post you are promoting
  • Music you are listening to or like
  • Television or Movies you want to share information or your opinion about. You can label each one as:
    • Watching
    • Watched
    • Want to Watch
    • Recommended
    • Don’t Recommend
  • Books that you want to share information or your opinion about. You can label each one as:
    • Reading
    • Want to Read
    • Recommended
    • Don’t Recommend

Vero- CREATE POST Screenshot
NOTE: With music, television/ movies and books, if you click the share, an option is provided to listen to the music or purchase the music, television show, movie or book- directly from the Vero mobile app! I use iOS, so for me it defaults to iTunes or iBooks. I suspect that if you use Android and the Google Play store, your option will be to listen or purchase through Google Play.

  • Clickable Links
    Just like with Facebook, when you share links on Vero, they are clickable. This is fantastic for social media influencers who are promoting blog posts or other written content, especially on a visual platform such as Vero, since each click drives traffic to your blog post! Image options for your blog post or article share are pulled from the blog post or article itself and you can select which image will be used.
  • Content Captions
    You can add a caption to any share to communicate additional messaging or information to your audience and increase engagement- whether that is a like, a comment or a click to your blog!
  • Edit Your Content
    Once you have shared something to Vero, you have the ability to easily edit the caption to correct a typo, a dreaded or unfortunate “auto-correct” or tweak the messaging itself.
  • Defining Your Relationship with Other Users
    In addition to following someone, you can define a relationship, known as a “connection” on Vero, with that person. Connection options include “acquaintance”, “friend” or “close friend”. Unlike Facebook, the process of categorizing your connections is very clear, easy and intuitive, and it’s extremely easy to change that relationship at any time.

Vero- DEFINING YOUR CONNECTION Screenshot

  • When Sharing Content, You Can Easily Define the Audience
    When posting any content on Vero, one of the steps that you must do before sharing is defining who can see your content. This is very easily done by choosing from 4 buttons: followers, acquaintances, friends and close friends. To get your content in front of the most people, you will, generally speaking, select all 4 buttons.

    NOTE: It is possible to follow others without defining a connection, and others can do the same. That is why you will see a difference in the number of connections and followers you or others have.

Vero- DEFINING YOUR AUDIENCE Screenshot

 How Vero is Like Instagram

  • Vero is a Visual Platform
    Like Instagram, high-quality, engaging photos are key to grab your followers attention…and encourage engagement. Just like on Instagram, it’s important to make sure you create great photos that support your branding.
  • Your Feed is a Stream of Tiled Content
    If you use or are familiar with Instagram and how content is delivered to you, Vero will seem very familiar. All content in your feed is a series of tiles, much like Instagram. For some key differences between Vero and Instagram, please see the How is Vero Different and Unique? section below.
  • Hashtags!
    Just like with Instagram, you can strategically use hashtags to label your content. Hashtags are searchable, so not only can others find your content based on the hashtags you have used, you too can search and find content you are interested in.
  • Tag Other Users
    Just like with Instagram (and Facebook for that matter), you can tag other users in your content.

How is Vero Different and Unique?

  •  There is NO algorithm!
    When you look at your Vero feed, you are seeing all of the content of all the people you follow or have connections with in chronological order. Think Instagram…before they decided that they know you and your interests better than you do!
  • You Must Use the Mobile App
    Unlike Facebook, and Instagram to a lesser extent, you cannot share, access or engage in any Vero content from your desktop using a web browser.
  • Vero Supports Square, Horizontal and Vertical images!
    When sharing photos directly to Vero, you can use the best sized photo for your visual content. The only exception to this (that I’ve noticed) is that when sharing a blog post or other written content, the images are automatically resized to horizontal images. So choose your images strategically for the best viewer experience!

VERO- HORIZONTAL IMAGE EXAMPLE Screenshot

  • Set Featured Content on Your Profile
    You can set any content you share to be featured on your profile. With all content appearing chronologically on everyone’s feed, this is a great way to call out any content you definitely want to be seen or are especially proud of.
  • The Content You Have Shared is Categorized on Your Profile
    Depending on the type of content you are sharing, it is automatically categorized on your profile. This makes it easier for other people to find specific types of content that you have shared. The categories are:
    • All
    • Featured
    • Photos
    • Videos
    • Music
    • Places
    • Movies/TV
    • Links
    • Books
  • The first million plus users have free access to Vero for life.
    Initially, Vero offered a “free for life” option for the first one million users. The demand was so high that Vero quickly surpassed one million users and has temporarily extended this “free for life” offer. (More on the future of free-for-life access below). If you think that Vero is something that you will incorporate into your social media strategy or just want to try it, whether that is now or in the future, go ahead and download it now! If you don’t use it, fine, but at least you have it for free when or if you want to use it!
  • No ads. Vero is an ad-free platform focused on the goal of “enhancing your life, not detracting from it.” By (eventually) employing a subscription-based model, Vero will remain free of ads and, importantly, its users will remain its customers, not a product to sell to advertisers or a third-party. This means that Vero is accountable to you, the user, not an advertiser!
  • Monitor Your Time Using the App.
    Vero makes it easy to monitor the time you spend using the app so that, in the words of Vero, “As an advertising free platform, we don’t view addiction to our service as a measure of success. We want Vero to enhance your life, not detract from it.”

    “Vero is proud to be the first social network to show users how much time they are spending on the platform. We hope this information will help you keep Vero a positive experience that adds value to your life instead of detracting from it.”

    You can easily enable Usage Info in the app Settings.

The Challenges:

  • When you first sign up for Vero, you will have zero followers or friends. This means that you have to create a following and friends from scratch. Searching for people you know is one way to begin to create a following. Another way to find content that interests you and aligns with your content (and the people who create it) or to meet new friends is to follow hashtags. A third way is to look at who is following or has made connections with people who are sharing content similar to yours and begin to follow them. Creating a following on Vero takes time, strategy and commitment- the same as it does on any social media platform.
  • Like all social media, you have to be social. It’s not enough to just follow or add someone as a connection. You have to engage in their content regularly and you will begin to see your following and engagement increase!
  • Though Vero has well over 1 million users, this doesn’t compare to the tens and hundreds of millions of people using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat or Tumblr. For me, this is both a benefit and a challenge. With fewer users and less content, it is easier to get your photos, blog posts or other shares to stand out on a less crowded platform. It’s easier to break through the noise and be heard! At the same time, with fewer users there are fewer people listening. Ultimately, I think it’s a trade-off and each influencer has to decide what aligns best with their strategy.

The Unknown

Though Vero is currently free and does not require a subscription, Vero has clearly stated that this will change at some point. They have not indicated when a subscription-based model will be implemented or what the cost of a subscription will be. This is one reason I encourage people to take advantage of the current “free-for life’ option. If you use Vero, great! You got it for free. If you try it and decide it’s not for you, the experiment didn’t cost you anything out of pocket!

Will influencers be willing to pay for a subscription to use the ad-free Vero platform? Only time will tell, and a key factor in many people’s minds will be: Are the benefits worth the subscription? 

In addition to his role as the BlogPaws Campaign Manager, Bernard Lima-Chavez is a street art lover, deaf dog pet parent, blogger and freelance writer. He shares his life with with deaf dogs, two hearing dogs and a whole bunch of cats. You can find him at The Graffiti Dog and on Instagram at @thegraffitdog.

The post 30 Days with Vero appeared first on BlogPaws.

BlogPaws Speaker Series: Making A Brand Swipe Right

Welcome to our weekly BlogPaws speaker series in preparation of the 2018 BlogPaws Conference in Kansas City, MO. Each week, we feature a different speaker so that you can get to know them and learn what their session is all about. Be sure to also tune into our weekly Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 4pm EST on the BlogPaws Facebook page. If you can’t attend live, no worries! You can always catch the replay at any time on Facebook or right here on this post.

Say Hello to Jenny Guy from Mediavine

This week the spotlight is on BlogPaws speaker Jenny Guy from Mediavine. Jenny Guy is the Marketing Associate for Mediavine Publisher Network. She’s well-versed in all forms of digital marketing, specializing in the growth of influencer marketing, affiliate programming, branding and creative copywriting. She’s a native Okie who loves to read and watch Top Chef ad nauseum. She has an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Arkansas and in her previous life, taught theater courses to college students and toured nationally in a children’s musical.

Jenny’s session, Making A Brand Swipe Right: Get The Relationship You Need With the Brands You Deserve, takes place on Thursday, April 19, at 2:30pm. You can sign up for her session on our interactive agenda.

Want to work with bigger brands with longer and more lucrative contracts? Get a step-by-step guide from an experienced brand representative and Mediavine Marketing Associate, Jenny Guy. We’ll cover everything from site auditing from a brand’s perspective to drafting the perfect pitch and everything in between. Plus, tips for once you’ve landed the deal. Takeaways include:
  • What brands are looking at when they visit a site.
  • Researching a brand.
  • Crafting a pitch.
  • Brand expectations and exceeding them.

Facebook Live: Watch the Replay Here!

In case you missed it, catch the Facebook Live interview here with Jenny Guy and Aimee Beltran.


Aimee Beltran is the Director of Community Education for BlogPaws. She also writes two blogs, Irresistible Icing and Irresistible Pets with her Chihuahua, Chuy. Aimee is passionate about her mission, “create an irresistible life you can’t resist!” She loves anything with glitter, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.

The post BlogPaws Speaker Series: Making A Brand Swipe Right appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Come Up With Pet Blog Post Ideas Blog Hop

Whether you have a pet blog for a hobby or as a business, knowing how to come up with pet blog post ideas can be a challenge. In honor of this week’s blog hop, here are 10 ways you can develop ideas to produce evergreen content that will keep your readers coming back for more:

Pet blog post ideas

1. Bookmark the BlogPaws 2018 Pet-Related Holidays and Themes: Bookmark this post, refer back to it, and save it for a year’s worth of 2018 pet-related holidays and themes to blog about and share on social media. Remember to put your own blog niche’s spin on the holiday(s). For example, if it’s National Cat Day and you are a general cat blogger, consider a post on litter box training, plan in advance, promote early, and then jump aboard the appropriate hashtag the day of the holiday.

2. Turn Back the Hands of Time: Share a historical perspective. When did cat litter first hit the scene? What mistakes were made along the way? When did ferrets become popular as pets? Great historical blog posts can perform well.

3. Frequently Asked Questions: Read through social media replies to your posts across platforms. What blog comments seem to present themselves time and again? Start gathering a list of all the questions and pain points received by your readers. These make for awesome blog post. Each question can likely be turned into a topic for your core audience.

4. Searches Related To: This is a favorite; head on over to Google, and type in “searches related to” for a treasure trove of what people are searching on with regards to a specific topic.

5. Pet Mental Health: No matter what pet(s) you blog about, the mental health and well being of that species always makes for good blog fodder.

6. Pet Supplies: This topic lends itself nicely to an affiliate post wherein you monetize. Compare and contrast. Use links as you are able for monetization without impeding the natural flow of the text. Looking for ways to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing? Attend my session on Affiliate Marketing at the BlogPaws 2018 Conference in April.

7. Newsmaker Pets: What are the pets in your niche doing in the headlines, whether locally, nationally, or internationally? Blog about it! Be sure to appropriately backlink.

8. Blog History: Not all of your blog followers have been with you since day one, and thanks to this fab idea from Dash Kitten (Marjorie Dawson), do a history of your blog post and loop in your best content! Great idea, Marjorie. Check out The History of Dash Kitten.

9. Poll Your Readers: Whether a blog post or a short post on social media, try polling your readers with a topic of interest.

10. Interview Pet Parents: Interview some of your regular readers on a topic. Share their tips and what works for them.

BONUS: Here are 10 more ways to generate blog post ideas.

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:



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.®

Image: il21/Shutterstock

The post How to Come Up With Pet Blog Post Ideas Blog Hop appeared first on BlogPaws.

The Trick to Writing for SEO

Writing can be difficult for a lot of people. Even those of us gifted with a passion for wordsmithing can often find ourselves hitting walls when it comes to creating the right copy for the right occasions. This perhaps happens most often in the world of SEO copy.

For many, SEO copy is a difficult beast to wrangle. Not only does it involve checking off all the boxes of any other writing (easy to read, good grammar, economy of words, etc.) but it also needs to include the kind of content that will catch the favor of search engines. A lot of writers tend to get hung up on that last part, sacrificing their normally stellar writing styles for a difficult-to-read, keyword-stuffed tome that could only be enjoyed by search bots.

The one thing that a lot of people don’t realize about creating search engine optimized copy is that it doesn’t need to be approached much differently than one would normally approach their copy. With a few small tweaks and a solid plan, you can easily strike a balance between engaging content and SEO-friendly content.

Here are a few ways to create great SEO copy that will be loved by spiders and humans alike.

The Trick to Writing for SEO

Keyword Research

As with many SEO-related tasks, you’ll want to start with a solid keyword research plan. We’ve already covered keyword research in depth here, here, and here, so you likely have a good idea of what this entails.

Once you have a list of optimal keywords, it’s time to brainstorm. Pick a handful of the most relevant and highly-searched keywords and jot them down. Next, begin thinking of synonyms and related terms. Feel free to use a thesaurus, if you like, or a free online tool like KeywordTool.io or the Google Keyword Planner. Once you have some related terms, put them aside—we’ll come back to those in a minute.

Organize Your Thoughts

You likely already have a pretty strong idea of what you want to write about. And while jumping head first into writing may seem like the next best step, consider making an outline first.

An outline not only helps you stay focused during the writing process, but it also allows an opportunity to contextually organize what you want to say. Why is this important? Because search engines, Google in particular, are all about context and relationships these days. Just like a human would, spiders often figure out the purpose of a page by comparing its content against itself and against the content on the rest of the site.

For instance: Before smart phones really took off, people used to search with single words or concepts. For instance, someone looking for a local pizza joint might type something like “pizza place” or “pizza place in Philly.” But because mobile searches and voice searches have gotten so popular, the average person has evolved to the point of asking Google questions instead, such as “What’s the best pizza place in Philly?” or “Which pizza places in Philly sell beer?”

To take advantage of this, you need to anticipate potential questions a reader may have and fashion your content towards that. This can be difficult, however, a quick brainstorming session can go a long way.

Don’t be afraid to go long

It’s no secret that Google tends to rank longer-form content a bit better than shorter content. This isn’t because Google is “rewarding” higher word counts, but usually because those longer pieces are more comprehensive and answer more potential questions for users.

So, when creating your copy, consider writing something a bit more long-form that covers all the possible topics that could relate to your theme. By doing this, you’re essentially casting out a larger net and may end up ranking for more relevant searches than you might with a shorter piece of content.

That said, you don’t want to add words to a document just for the sake of it. Adding fluff doesn’t help readers, so it likely won’t help in Google’s eyes, either. Always practice “quality over quantity.”

Don’t use too many keywords (or use certain keywords too often)

You have your keywords, you have your outline, you have all the topics you want to cover—you’re ready to write. But unfortunately, this is the part where a lot of people get hung up. The reason? Keywords.

As mentioned earlier, the right keywords are essential to a successful SEO campaign, however, sometimes we put a little too much emphasis on them. When this happens, we often end up with hard-to-read, keyword-stuffed content that borders on nonsense. Not only does this suck for readers, but it sucks for search engines, too—and they’ll show you how much it sucks with lower rankings.

The best way to combat this? Be yourself! Put the keywords aside and start off by writing as you normally would, using the verbiage you normally would. Once you get a draft committed to paper, go back and think about places where keywords could organically fit into the copy without affecting readability. By being yourself and not thinking about keywords, you may find that you’ve already done this naturally!

The trick here is to be careful not to use a keyword too much. Instead, bring out those synonyms we discussed earlier. Part of Google’s charge toward understanding context included understanding the relationships between words (for instance, Google likely knows that a hoagie, a sub, and a grinder are all the same thing). Take advantage of this by using some of those synonyms you found earlier in your copy. This could potentially help the content rank for a wider range of searches as it could potentially answer a wider range of queries.

Layout matters

To varying degrees, search engines take readability and usability into account when ranking a page. To take advantage of this, you’ll want to make sure your post isn’t just a giant block of text but is instead broken up in a way that makes it easier for a reader to consume.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by breaking up your content into sections—similar to how you did earlier with the outline. Make sure each section is designated with its own subhead line, and that said subhead line is contextually relevant to the section it’s introducing (also make sure you’re judiciously using keywords to create it).

Also try to take advantage of numbered and bulleted lists, if it makes sense for your copy. Not only does this make it easier for users to process the copy, but Google tends to favor these as well.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to process in the above steps, but if I can impart one primary lesson it’s this: Stay true to your writing! While it’s tempting to write copy for rankings, what’s most important is the message you’re trying to convey and doing it in a way that resonates with readers. If you write great content, great rankings are likely to follow!

Michael Ferrari owns and operates Pen Cap Online Marketing, an agency specializing in search engine optimization. When he’s not helping businesses dominate the search rankings, he’s most likely hanging out with his wife, son, and beagle. You can reach him at “michael(at)pencapseo(dot)com”.

The post The Trick to Writing for SEO appeared first on BlogPaws.

BlogPaws Speaker Series: Protect Your Digital Property!

Welcome to our weekly BlogPaws speaker series in preparation of the 2018 BlogPaws Conference in Kansas City, MO. Each week, we feature a different speaker so that you can get to know them and learn what their session is all about. Be sure to also tune into our weekly Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 4pm EST on the BlogPaws Facebook page. If you can’t attend live, no worries! You can always catch the replay at any time on Facebook or right here on this post.

Say Hello to Jamie Lieberman

This week the spotlight is on BlogPaws speaker Jamie Lieberman from Hashtag Legal and Businessese.

Jamie’s session, Protect Your Digital Property! A Content Creator’s Guide to Trademarks and Copyright, takes place on Thursday, April 19, at 3:45pm. You can sign up for her session on our interactive agenda.

Jamie will answer the following questions:

1. What are trademarks and copyright?

2. Why do I need to know about trademarks and copyright?

3. When should I consider registering a trademark?

4. How do I protect my intellectual property?

5. What do I do if someone uses my intellectual property without permission?

Attendees will leave better equipped to protect their businesses.

Facebook Live: Watch the Replay Here!

In case you missed it, catch the Facebook Live interview here with Jamie Lieberman and Aimee Beltran.

Aimee Beltran is the Director of Community Education for BlogPaws. She also writes two blogs, Irresistible Icing and Irresistible Pets with her Chihuahua, Chuy. Aimee is passionate about her mission, “create an irresistible life you can’t resist!” She loves anything with glitter, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.

The post BlogPaws Speaker Series: Protect Your Digital Property! appeared first on BlogPaws.

10 Blog Post Ideas to Engage Readers Blog Hop

This blog hop is dedicated to blog post ideas to fill your content calendar and engage your audience. We all get writer’s block, or as I like to call it, blogger’s brain, and that’s where these 10 blog post ideas and topic starters come into play. See how many you are currently using and how many new ones you discover. Then jump into the blog hop and add your link as directed below. It’s a fun way to engage and network with other pet bloggers.

How to write engaging blog post

FAQs

Read through your Facebook comments for your blog’s social media page. Take a peek at Instagram feedback on your posts. What blog comments seem to present themselves time and again? Start gathering a list of all the questions and pain points received by your readers. These make for awesome blog post. Each question can likely be turned into a topic for your core audience.

Pet Holidays

Even though a holiday presents itself on the calendar does not mean you should cover it if it does not make sense for your niche. For example, National Snake Day would not bode well for a hamster blogger and so forth. Use pet holidays to your blog’s advantage. If it’s National Puppy Day and you are a general dog blogger, consider a post on puppy training, plan in advance, promote early, and then jump aboard the appropriate hashtag the day of the holiday.

Product Comparisons

This one works particularly well if you are wanting to monetize with affiliate marketing. An honest look at how two products compare and contrast can really help a reader. You can link to the various products with your affiliate marketing accounts. Learn more about this during my Affiliate Marketing session at the BlogPaws 2018 Conference this April.

How To Posts

So you did a DIY post. Great…did you break it out step by step? Did you show video and pictures? Did you link out to the supplies and products with your affiliate marketing accounts? Whether it is a DIY craft or how to get your cat to use the litter box, there is something you know how to do that someone else does not. As a blogger, you need not be the one who knows it all; this is where knowing who to contact as a resource (or two) comes in handy. ”

Best Blog Posts

This is a favorite idea of many: What are the best blog posts you have read lately? Turn those into a roundup post. Be sure to properly link out and credit the bloggers you are citing. This is a good networking technique as well.

People in Your Niche

Interview someone. Consider doing the interview on a platform like Facebook Live and following it up with a blog post that includes the embed video from Facebook. The key is to promote the post and Facebook Live in advance.

MythBusters

I love mythbusters and I am not alone. Busting myths and dispelling untruths is a huge keyword search these days. Debunk in your niche. People love to learn what they have been doing is either right or wrong.

Go Back in Time

Share a historical perspective. When did cat litter first hit the scene? What mistakes were made along the way? When did ferrets become popular as pets? Great historical blog posts can perform well.

Gift Guides

It need not be a holiday season to put a gift guide together. People always want to know what to buy for a pet or a pet lover year-round. Think of “20 Summer Outdoor Games for Dogs” and include affiliate links to some of those products included.

Forthcoming Events

Tell your readers where you will be locally or perhaps feature local or national events that allow well-behaved pets. Oh, there’s a bonus 11th blog post idea: How to raise a well-behaved pet.

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:



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.®

Image: mala_koza/Shutterstock

The post 10 Blog Post Ideas to Engage Readers Blog Hop appeared first on BlogPaws.

How to Level Up Your Blog Writing

So much content, so little time.

Whether you’re creating or consuming, content is everywhere. Because there’s so much published each day, much of what’s out there is mediocre. A lot is even worse than that.

As content creators and content consumers, we want to make sure that how we’re spending our time–reading or writing–is well spent. So, as a content creator, how can you become a better writer and take your blog to the next level?

How to Level Up Your Blog Writing

Here are 7 ways to level up your blog writing:

  1. Develop a daily writing habit: Even if you commit to five minutes a day, write those five minutes every single day. You won’t publish most of what you write, but you’ll be developing those muscles.
  2. Generate more ideas: Brainstorm often. Carry a notebook to capture random thoughts. Ask questions. Become practiced at coming up with ideas. Check out these 15 creative hacks for coming up with more blog ideas.
  3. Read deeply: William Faulkner said it best, “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
  4. Create outlines: Telling a good story is the key, but it has to be told in a clear, organized way. Outlines enable you to visually spot any information gaps or jumps in the narrative. Create outlines for all your good ideas (see point #2). Many might not make it to your blog, but you’ll have a library of great ideas started in case you’re ever hit with writer’s block.
  5. Avoid grammar errors: Take a writing class, read books on style, check Google for answers to your questions. Grammar mistakes can make an incredible writer seem like an amateur. Check out these 5 common grammar mistakes with tips on how bloggers can avoid them.
  6. Proofread in preview: Always proofread–and edit–your work. A first draft should never be a final draft. It’s tougher to read in the little editing pane or in HTML. Instead, open your post in preview mode so you can see it as your readers will.
  7. Get feedback: Bloggers often work in isolation. Getting constructive feedback from readers or other bloggers can help you spot places for improvement that you would otherwise miss. Writing groups can also help you stay productive and accountable for your writing goals. For more tips, check out how to succeed in an accountability relationship.

Each one of these seven tips is powerful on its own. Together, though, they make up a robust suite of tools that will help you take your blog to the next level. Try one, or try them all, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!

New to blogging? Be sure to check out the Pet Influencer Starter Kit in the BlogPaws community. The self-paced course is full of tips and tricks to get your blog up and running. Then, head back here to take your new blog to the next level!

Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com. 

Image: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

The post How to Level Up Your Blog Writing appeared first on BlogPaws.

BlogPaws Speaker Series: Blogging with Goals

Welcome to our weekly BlogPaws speaker series in preparation of the 2018 BlogPaws Conference in Kansas City, MO. Each week, we feature a different speaker so that you can get to know them and learn what their session is all about. Be sure to also tune into our weekly Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 4pm EST on the BlogPaws Facebook page. If you can’t attend live, no worries! You can always catch the replay at any time on Facebook or right here on this post.

Say Hello to Dragon360

This week the spotlight is on BlogPaws speakers Tyler Brown, Alex Ionna, and Jacques Bouchard from Dragon 360.

Dragon360’s workshop, Blogging with Goals, takes place on Thursday, April 19, at 11am. You can sign up for their session on our interactive agenda.

Attendees will be able to develop an outcome-oriented blog with clearly defined goals based off the journey visitors take through content. They will explain how to identify goals for pet bloggers and brands, proper distribution of blog content within social communities, and how to measure success.

Facebook Live: Watch the Replay Here!

In case you missed it, catch the Facebook Live interview here with Dragon360 and Aimee Beltran.

Aimee Beltran is the Director of Community Education for BlogPaws. She also writes two blogs, Irresistible Icing and Irresistible Pets with her Chihuahua, Chuy. Aimee is passionate about her mission, “create an irresistible life you can’t resist!” She loves anything with glitter, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.

The post BlogPaws Speaker Series: Blogging with Goals appeared first on BlogPaws.

Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Blog Hop

In honor of this week’s blog hop for Wordless Wednesday, the topic is Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest. Pinterest is not a social media platform. Pinterest is a search engine. Once you know this and understand why people go to Pinterest, the focus on blog traffic is crystal clear.

pinterest

Pinterest Do’s

You want pins to be the right size, and that means for mobile devices, too. Here’s a Pinterest cheat sheet to get the sizes perfect the first time around.

Make your pinning process easier. Canva is equipped with pre-made templates for Pinterest. Many of the templates are free, and those that have a fee are very affordable (a dollar, in most cases).

Get a font style in place. If you don’t have a font that is your signature style, get one; in fact, get two or three. There are many free font resources available, and one of my favorites is DaFont.com. Just be sure to follow instructions. Once you download the font, files are easily uploaded to Canva.

Do consider rich pins. Pinterest defines rich pins as “pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself. There are six types of Rich Pins: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. Rich pins also add to your credibility and can add to the amount of traffic driven to your site when the users click through.”

Having a social media plan is crucial for blogging success. Scheduling pins into that plan is not only helpful but will keep you consistent. Pin at least five times a day, but if 10 to 15 is more your thing, then do it, but do it consistently.

Pinterest Don’ts

What does not work on Pinterest:

  • Small images
  • Images without some sort of text overlay
  • Most horizontal images
  • Blurry or pixellated photos
  • Crummy descriptions

Don’t neglect the call to action. After you’ve uploaded a photo and added your hashtags and blog link. You can edit the pin and add a call to action. Consider this: “I’m running a contest on my blog, click here (then include the link).” This will drive traffic to your website and may gain you a new reader. This will also amp up your engagement because you’re not just presenting information, you’re giving visitors to your pin boards a reason to interact.

Don’t leave empty or unused boards up: Two definite no-nos are an incomplete profile or empty board. You either pin to it regularly or nix it.

Don’t neglect keywords to help your pins. Keywords can help your blog get noticed by the audience you want seeing them. Take the time to optimize your Pinterest account with relevant keywords.

Learn from the Pros

Pinterest is on the agenda at this year’s BlogPaws Conference. Go face to face with social media experts this year at the BlogPaws 10th Anniversary Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, April 18-20. We’re a 3-day conference jam-packed with educational sessions led by top professionals, networking with influencers, a busy exhibit hall, exciting brand events, more influencers, and lots of pets. Get your tickets for BlogPaws 2018.

pinterest dos and donts

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:



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.®

Image: yDan Kosmayer/Shutterstock

The post Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Blog Hop appeared first on BlogPaws.