Facts and Fiction about Millennial Pet Influencers

Millennial is one of the hottest buzz words of 2017 and it shows no signs of slowing down. Millennials are, as the saying goes, “all the rage.” What does it mean to be a millennial pet influencer? Merriam Websiter defines a millennial as “a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century,” but everyone from big brands to advertising agencies how their own definition of a millennial.

Aside from its customary definition, millennials are the target of ad budgets and demographic studies from sea to shining sea and beyond. Those born in the period of time between early 1980’s to the mid-1990’s are considered millennials.

Instead of telling you what we think of marketing to millennials, we talked to a group of millennials in the pet influencer space for their direct feedback. This is what they have to say, in their words:

Millennial Pet Influencers

Who Are The Millennial Pet Influencers

Meet Jessica, Emily, Tori, Jodi, and Rochelle. These pet influencers have been involved in the pet space for a combined 30 or so years and they are all monetizing their online influence with their pet blogs. Get to know them here:

Jessica Shipman (JS) recently moved to Colorado from northern Virginia. She is the founder of Beagles & Bargains and has been blogging since February, 2013.

Rochelle Baross (BR) lives in Providence, Rhode Island but recently moved from Brooklyn, New York.  You can find her blogging at The Broke Dog. She has been blogging since 2015, but really started blogging with intention in early 2016 and is 28 years old.

Jodi Chick (JC) hails from British Columbia, Canada, and is 33-1/2 years old (the half is important to her).  She has been blogging at Kol’s Notes for 7 years.

Emily Hall (EH) lives in Georgia and has been blogging for 4-1/2 years at Kitty Cat Chronicles. She is 29 years old.

Tori Mistick (TM) has been blogging at Wear, Wag, Repeat for 3-1/2 years but has been blogging, in general, for 10 years. She is 30 years old and hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

How Millennials Are Being Portrayed in General

JS: I think many media sources portray millennials as obsessed or easily distracted by technologies such social networking sites to the point that these technologies control our lives. There may be some truth to the technologies being a major part of our lives because it’s something we’ve used and seen improve as we’ve grown up, but I think it’s more that we find the value in these tools and want to put them to a positive use. I myself am a web developer and blogger so I’ve built my career around technology.

TM: I don’t identify with most millennial generalizations, although I do spend a ton of time on my phone managing my brand and social media for other businesses. I think that when millennials are discussed in the media they are almost always portrayed in a negative light, which isn’t fair.

JC: More often than not, I think there is a big media misconception out there that millennials don’t want to work hard, but my experience is the opposite. Most of my friends have a side hustle. Most of us work more than 60 hours a week. I know several people who have gone back to school to change their skill set and still worked during that time. They are career-driven, motivated and ready to work. Myself, I’m the Sales Manager for a busy glass distributor putting in around 50 hours a week at the office, before coming home to manage a busy freelance busy and my blog. My story is not unique.

RB: I’ve definitely seen millennials portrayed as phone-addicted, debt-ridden, kale-eating hipsters in the media. I don’t know if I see much of that specifically in relation to blogging — except for the phone-addicted part. A lot of millennials love having our phones because it’s an easy way to keep in touch with our social circle and the world at large.


Dispelling Millennial Myths

EH: I think every generation has people that are lazy, are entitled, don’t like to work, aren’t educated, etc. But I can say that most of the millennials I know went to college, are very hard-working, and know how to deal with life’s challenges.

JC: I don’t think millennials are dissatisfied with work, but definitely, there is a lack of contentment with work conditions. I’m a young, single female and my team is all young and child-free. When there are late nights to be put in, we are the team on call; not because we’re the only team, but because our lives outside the office are less valued than the lives of those who have a family waiting at home or who have “put in their time.

RB: I wish people would stop thinking of millennials as lazy, entitled individuals and see that it’s such a driven group. I know SO many fellow millennials that are socially- and eco-conscious, politically-minded, and just really want to work to make the world a better place. I know several millennials who are starting their own companies, kicking butt in their workplaces, and fighting for what they feel is right.

TM: For the myth that millennials don’t do what they are told at work… I don’t always do what I’m told because sometimes I have a better, more productive way. I’m familiar with technology and tools that my “boss” doesn’t know about.


The Reality of Being a Millennial

TM: There have been lazy, entitled jerks as long as humans have roamed the earth – there were probably some obnoxious dinosaurs, too! This isn’t a millennial “problem”, it’s just human kind. Our generation was raised with the internet. We have had more access to more information than any other generation before us. So we learn and work in different ways. I don’t consider myself a millennial. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a dog, asking everyone to love me. (*classic millennial movie reference)

JS: We know the world isn’t perfect and we want to fix it or at least help improve it. We aren’t here to point fingers at who is to blame, only to make the world a better place. Sure, we might do things differently – a 9-5 didn’t quite work out for me – but we don’t expect things handed to us on a silver platter. In fact, we don’t really have a need for a silver platter at all. And we definitely don’t need a trophy for showing up (I already have a box full of those that I don’t know what to do with).

EH: Though I don’t have a full-time job in the traditional sense, I am a free-lance musician and pet-blogger who constantly has several projects and income streams going at the same time. I work all the time, often 7 days a week, and I am certainly don’t have a “gimme” mindset. From what I can see from my “millennial” friends, they are all doing similar things. Perhaps because most of my friends are also musicians/artists/writers, but I see the millennial generation as made up of many individuals who are tired of the status quo and are pursuing alternative careers rather than the typical corporate America-type job.

RB: “Millennial” is such a broad term and encompasses such a large age range. It’s impossible to categorize such a huge swath of individuals with one word.

Millennial Pet Influencers


Final Millennial Pet Influencer Thoughts

JS: I have friends who aren’t bloggers that use social media to help promote a cause they are passionate about our even take a political stance. It gives us all a voice, which can be both good and bad. There’s now a lot more information and opinions to filter through.

TM: To say that millennials need better parenting makes me want to point out that there have been terrible parents throughout all of time. These myths all seem to be something that people say to try to make themselves feel better about their own lives.

JC: It’s true that a shockingly large number of my contemporaries live at home with their parents, but then you look at the fact that the minimum income in my area to purchase a home is around $120k and the average family income is $75k and that makes a lot more sense. The truth is, many of their parents couldn’t afford their homes without their kid’s financial contributions either.

RB: Millennials supposedly need jobs and parenting from corporations? Not the ones I know! I know so many talented individuals who CHOOSE to work at corporations — but also know how to make money online or in consulting, or who choose to pursue work that’s meaningful to them at a non-profit or socially conscious company.


How to Connect with Our Interviewees

Jessica Shipman: Beagles & Bargains Instagram and Beagles & Bargains blog

Emily Hall: Kitty Cat Chronicles Instagram and Kitty Cat Chronicles blog

Tori Mistick: Tori Mistick Instagram and Wear Wag Repeat blog

Jodi Chick: Kol’s Notes on Facebook and Kol’s Notes blog

Rochelle Baross: The Broke Dog Instagram and The Broke Dog blog

Author’s Note: When we asked each of the above pet influencers to provide one social media platform for the article, 4 of the 5 chose Instagram. 


Don’t Stop Now

How to Be a Professional Influencer

The Art of Storytelling and Influencer Marketing

How Influencers Work with Digital Marketing and PR Agencies


Your Turn

Do you identify as a millennial? Do you feel that as a pet parent, your demographic is represented and fairly at that? 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:   Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

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Pet Influencer Mythbusters Blog Hop

Every industry has facts and fiction, and the pet blogging and pet influencer space is no different. You need to be a confident influencer, and that means having the facts in your online journey. This week’s blog hop is dedicated to the topic of pet influencer myths and facts.

Pet infuencer facts

Influencer Marketing Myths and Facts

Myth: Influencer Marketing is a fad.

Fact: Influencer Marketing is here to stay. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “Influencer Marketing is to identify the influencers in your niche and make them work for you by promoting your brand.”


Myth: Twitter influence is dying on the vine.

Fact: Nearly 40 percent of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer, says Influencer Marketing Hub.


Myth: Consumers rarely rely on influencer recommendations.

Fact: When consumers feel safe with the recommendations the influencer gives, they’ll follow through and buy the recommended product, per Veloce Network.


Myth: Influencer marketing is slowing down in terms of online customer acquisition channel.

Fact: Influencer marketing is quickly gaining traction. In fact, 51 percent of marketers believe they can acquire better customers through influencer marketing, says Veloce Network.


Myth: The influencer marketing industry makes millions of dollars per year.

Fact: Veloce says that the influencer marketing industry is expected to reach $1.7B in 2018.


Myth: Blogging is not as popular as it once was.

Fact: Blogging is one segment of the social media and pet influencer pie. Blogs are popular. Bloggers are influencers with an entire toolbox of social media tools with which to work. Tap Influence describes an influencer as, “A real, relatable person who has attracted a loyal following on their blog or social media channels. We call them “influencers” because by inspiring others to follow them, they’ve earned the power to move those followers to action.”


Myth: An influencer writes a few social media posts and a blog post now and then for succes.

Fact: A day in the life of an  influencer is quite vast, and you can read more about this here.


Don’t Forget

Get the Latest in Social Media, Pet Blogging and Pet Influencer Education at the BlogPaws 2018 Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  If you want the early bird rate before a sell out, claim your BlogPaws 2018 Conference tickets here.

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:

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Image:  holbox/  Ysbrand Cosijn/ Shutterstock

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Unique Selling Propositions for Influencers

Yes, you love blogging and social media. It’s fun; you love to write, and readers love to read what you’ve written. But have you thought about what sets you apart from other bloggers? And, more importantly, what is your long-term vision for your blog?

What Do You Want Your Blog to Achieve?

It’s likely that you’ll want your blog to get:

  • More likes, shares, and comments
  • A larger audience that feels that you’ve written specifically to them

To be able to do the above, you have to be influential. The simplest way to become influential is to have a strong, unique selling proposition (USP). You’ll be credible and trustworthy, and readers will remember and like you. They’ll look forward to reading your blogs.

Unique Selling Propositions for Influencers

What Is a Unique Selling Proposition or Point?

A unique selling proposition (or point) is the one thing that you have that no one else in your field has. It needs to be different, exciting, and memorable.

Your Passion Is Influential

You blog for a purpose: You have a genuine interest in and passion for a subject. And, you want to influence and engage people who share your passion.

Understand Yourself

To be a great influencer, you need to understand yourself. Do you know what your strengths and opportunities are? Are you a risk taker, or more cautious?  Are you confident, or nervous? Are you loud or quiet?

You can use your uniqueness to influence your readers. Some examples:

  • You have a particular, professional tone of voice that sets you apart from others. Use this to your advantage, and it will pay dividends.
  • You could be friendly, personable, and approachable. Nowadays, lots of people on social media prefer informal styles of communication, which can be beneficial to you.
  • Alternatively, you could be a great listener and promote the fact that not everyone has the same opinions. You could set up a comments page on your blog and ask others to leave feedback and add their thoughts and ideas.

Keep It Simple

Your unique selling point doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler and easier it is to recognise, the better. Decide what your unique selling proposition is and stick to it.

The Benefits of a Unique Selling Proposition

If you have a strong, unique selling point, are consistent, and maintain a social media presence then readers’ will develop confidence and trust in you. When you’re trusted, you’ll find it easier to establish and use your influencing skills.

You’ll soon have readers leaving you comments, engaging in your posts, and liking and sharing your content. In the long term, if your vision is to continue to publish great content, your popularity will grow, and so will your audience.

Tell us: What is your unique selling point? How do you stand out from the crowd?

Pam Hickman is a published copywriter who has been content writing for over 30 years. She covers businesses, increasing sales, travel, and lifestyle. In addition to copywriting, Pam helps students who are struggling with English language exams and practices photography in her spare time. 

Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

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How Do You Make Money Blogging?

We kicked off The Business of Blogging series with a little bit of tough love in the post Think Like a Boss!

Today, we’re shifting gears and sharing some #MondayMotivation! Here goes…

How Do You Make Money Blogging- #MondayMotivation - BlogPaws.com

How do you make money blogging? That’s the most asked, most repeated question in nearly every blogging community.

And there’s advice around every corner of the web: SEO strategies, image sizes, platforms, sharing schedules, and so on.

We want to let you in on a little secret though.

How do you make money blogging?

Well, it’s not about the tips, tricks, and techniques.

That’s part of your marketing strategy, for sure, but the key to making money as a blogger lies in building an audience that generally cares about you and what you have to say.

It’s all about your audience.

By building an audience that likes you, that trusts you and what you have to say, and that’s genuinely invested in you and your work, only then will you be able to make money.

It’s no longer enough to think of it as monetizing your blog. It’s most accurate to say you’re monetizing your influence.

We’ve talked a lot about how to earn an income from your blog. We’ve mentioned methods such as:

  • Ads
  • Affiliate Relationships
  • Products
  • Passive Income
  • Services, like consulting

When it comes down to it, though, none of those will sell unless you already have an audience that trusts you.

How Do You Make Money Blogging- - BlogPaws.com

And here’s where the motivation comes in: The best way to build an audience is by being 100 percent YOU! Write from the heart. Share meaningful photos. Cover topics that inspire you. You’ll find that, in turn, you touch the hearts and inspire an audience.

No, your audience won’t ever be everyone. No one is for everyone. By being truly authentic in your work, you’ll attract the right people. Your audience will be comprised of those who feel an affinity for you.

Then, once you’ve assembled your tribe, you can start to implement monetization strategies, as long as you choose ones that remain true to you and true to your audience.

How?

Here are a few of our favorite tips:

To turn your blog into a business that actually makes money, you must create your best work. Only through being true to you–consistently–can you build an audience that trusts you enough to buy from you!

Now what? Join the SLC Mastermind Discussion!

All month long, we’ve discussed the business of blogging in the Social Learning Community. Soon you’ll have the opportunity to download a free workbook that shares all the insights from the month’s theme.

Not yet a member? Sign up! Or, if you’re already part of the community, head over to the Courses page and look for The Business of Blogging course.

Images: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

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How to Create a Name That Gets Noticed: For Your Pet Blog, Your Brand, or Your Product

Remember choosing a name for your furry friend? Did you think about how it would sound when spoken? Whether it fit your pet’s personality? How it would be spelled?

Much like naming your pet, naming your blog (or brand or product) is a big step. It’s one of the trickiest parts of brand strategy. However, with these guidelines, you can create a memorable name that gets noticed.

How to Create a Name that Gets Your Blog Noticed from BlogPaws.com

5 Steps to Creating a Memorable Blog, Brand, or Product Name

STEP 1 Define Your Naming Strategy

Before you begin developing ideas, jot down your naming strategy:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What does your brand stand for?
  • What feeling do you want your name to convey? Tone? Image?

Your naming strategy is a game plan that will help you make clear choices down the road.

STEP 2 Determine Your Naming Style

Now, think about different styles of names. I group them into three categories:

  • Descriptive: Clear over clever, these names are self-explanatory. Descriptive names do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Fanciful: Newly created words, two or more words “crashed” together, and creative phrases fall in this category. The name I chose for my blog (Happy-Go-Doodle) is an example of a fanciful name.
  • Your own name: If you have established your own name as a brand, this may be a successful strategy for you. It conveys that you’re an expert in your field and that you stand behind your work.

STEP 3 Do Your Homework

Take time to research what’s on social media and in the marketplace. Think about what makes you unique.

STEP 4 Brainstorm

Armed with your strategy, naming style, and marketplace knowledge, coming up with ideas is easy breezy. Here are a few brainstorming tips:

  • Choose a time of day when you’re not rushed.
  • Find a comfy space. (I love sitting by a window.)
  • Add a favorite snack or drink.
  • Invite your furry friend to snuggle next to you for inspiration.
  • Jot ideas on index cards. (Makes for easier sorting later on.)
  • Let the ideas flow. Don’t edit yourself.
  • Stumped? Take five. Often my best ideas come to me when walking or playing fetch with my dog, Chloe.

For more ideas on how to get the creative juices flowing, check out How to Be Creative Instantly.

STEP 5 LOVE IT! LIKE IT! LOSE IT!

Armed with your stack of names, sort them into three groups:

  • LOVE IT (Keepers!)
  • LIKE IT (Maybe with a tweak.)
  • LOSE IT (No way.)

When evaluating ideas, ask yourself:

  • Does it fit my naming strategy?
  • What feeling or image does it convey? (Important when considering your design style.)
  • Is it brief? Is it a quick read?
  • Is it memorable? Does it have a ring to it?
  • How does it sound? Say it aloud. Does it roll off the tongue? Can it be mispronounced?
  • How does it look when written? Is it easy to spell?
  • Could it be confusing? Check social media platforms. Are similar names in use? Is it available across social media?

Choose two or three names that make the cut. You’ll need back-ups if your first choice isn’t available for use.

Finally, think about what you love and what will resonate with your audience. Your intuition and passion will help you feel confident in creating a name that gets noticed.

Cuddle up with your furry friend and happy naming!

Question: What helpful tips do you have for creating a name?

Bonus Tip: Questions about next steps after you’ve created a name? Wondering how to register a name?

The 2017 BlogPaws conference will include a three-hour workshop on legal issues including trademark. For more information, check out the conference agenda: Legal Do’s and Don’ts/Fair Use/Copyright/Intellectual Property.

7 Tips for Creating a Memorable Blog Name from BlogPaws.com

Jenise Carl is a marketing communications consultant, freelance writer, and best friend to her three-year-old goldendoodle, Chloe. With over 25 years of experience in product innovation, Jenise has led name development for everything from toys to gifts to greeting cards.  When she’s not playing fetch or going for walks with Chloe, she’s creating social media content grounded in joy and positivity. Her vision is to share as much joy with others as Chloe shares with the people she meets. Stay connected with her on Twitter @Happy_Go_Doodle, Instagram @happygodoodle, and on her blog www.happygodoodle.com.

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5 Ways to Blog Like an Entrepreneur

You want your blog to be treated like a business.

That means you’re growing an engaged audience, and you’re appealing to brands.

But, if you’re just starting out, or if you’ve lost momentum, how do you hit that professional level? Blog like an entrepreneur! Entrepreneurs create and grow businesses, often taking risks to do so, but always by hard work and consistent effort. Borrow that mindset for your blog!

5 Ways to Blog Like an Entrepreneur - BlogPaws.com

Here are 5 ways to blog like an entrepreneur:

Know your target audience.

Entrepreneurs know who their business serves. No one can (or should) be all things to all people. Identify who your readers are–how old are they, what types of pets do they have, where do they shop–and create content that speaks to them. This serves you two-fold: First, you and your readers will feel like you’re having a conversation since you’re speaking about topics you’re both interested in. Second, brands who want to appeal to that specific audience will want to work with you since you can speak directly to that potential customer.

Read more: How Do You Serve Your Audience?

Offer solutions.

Entrepreneurs launch business to solve problems. What problems do your readers face, and how can you help? If you blog about geriatric cat care, your readers might look to you for solutions on, say, mobility issues. Or, if you blog about hamsters, maybe your readers want to know if they can train their pet to do tricks. Whatever problems your target audience needs to solve, offer them solutions.

Keep the look professional.

Entrepreneurs understand the importance of visual appeal. This includes a cohesive visual branding strategy–are all your logos, colors, and fonts consistent?–along with a site design that conveys that you are a professional to be taken seriously by the brands that want to hire you.

Engage. 

Entrepreneurs spend time getting to know their audience and engaging. Why? It builds community! Community builds trust and long-lasting relationships. That serves you to grow your audience, and it serves the brands you work with by being a trusted source for information. Reply to comments and emails, and find ways to incorporate interaction.

Include a call to action.

Entrepreneurs keep an eye toward business growth at all times. Do the same with your blog posts. Include a call to action that inspires your readers to do something to help grow your business (subscribe, follow, etc.). Want to learn more about calls to action and how to leverage them to grow? Come back tomorrow, and BlogPaws’ social media guru, Carol Bryant, will share everything you need to know about calls to action!

Here are 5 Ways to Blog Like an Entrepreneur - BlogPaws.com

Finally, grammar and spelling errors detract from that professional polish you’ve just created with your content. Don’t forget to proofread everything before you click publish! (Be extra sure to avoid these five common grammar mistakes bloggers often make.)

What questions do YOU have about treating your blog like a business? Coming in March, we’re going to tackle blogging-as-a-business challenges here on the BlogPaws blog, and we’d love to hear from you: What do you want to know about professional blogging? 

Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws blog manager. 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.

Images: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

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How to Gain More Blog Traffic By Updating Older Blog Posts

Everything old is new again, and this is certainly the case when updating older blog posts. New readers find your blog on a regular basis and sometimes, even your loyal followers miss a post or two. You can actually gain more blog traffic with content you have already written. It isn’t a difficult process, and it is something you can do right now by committing to update at least one older blog post a week. If the payoff means more blog traffic, then the formula to make it happen is worth learning. Here’s how to get it done:

How to Recycle Blog Posts and Get Traffic

Check Your Google Analytics for Most Trafficked Posts

Why:  Google Analytics can be your best friend when it comes to what is working and what isn’t. I use it regularly for my own blog and for monitoring posts and the social media platforms sending me that traffic. I adjust and update blog posts and create new content accordingly.

How To Do It: As luck would have it, BlogPaws has a compilation of how to use Google Analytics. Since the weather is cold in many places, a chilly weekend is the perfect time to dive in.

My Best Advice: Ignore what you don’t need and focus on what you need most. I use the content and social media sections most often, but there is a whole host of information that is beneficial for bloggers.

Make the List: Identify the posts that are performing well and take a look back to posts from long ago. Perhaps it’s time to update the post, re-write it, or give it a complete makeover while not losing the structure and content. Speaking of which…

Update the Post and Give it a Complete Housecleaning

How to Do It: Pick a post you want to update and make shiny new. Let’s use “10 Tips for Chihuahua Parents” as an example. Comb through the post on the front and back end and make a checklist including:

  • Images to Update and What Types of Images
  • Any backlinks to add or remove
  • Inclusion of NOFOLLOW code
  • Any affiliate link updates
  • Add LIKE THIS? Here’s More type links to other related blog posts
  • Has the content changed and is there more current info?

Use something like Canva or PicMonkey and add images to your Tweets associated with the blog post. The images should be Twitter ready, and the beauty of Canva is this: The templates for each social media platform are there! PicMonkey and Canva both have mobile-ready apps and free versions.

Make the Most Pinnable Image Ever

Pictures say a thousand words, and if you are a blogger who works with brands: Pictures can make or break a post. BlogPaws’ Director of Community Education, Aimee Beltran, shares this hot tip: She simply updated an older blog post that barely reached 100 views and was able to garner thousands of visitors to that blog post. How did she do it? She embedded the post with this image, re-promoted it, SEO optimized it, and watched the traffic roll in as one of her most popular posts to date:

Chihuahua Pinterest example

Note the clear image, call out, vertical landscape, unobtrusive watermark, and this is what took her post to a whole new level of traffic.

What Makes for Pinnable Image?

Here’s how to use Pinterest for blog traffic.  Follow BlogPaws for influencer marketing, blogging, and social media strategy and tips along with pet care posts: http://pinterest.com/BlogPaws

Re-Promote and Update Across Social Media Platforms

So many pet influencers and bloggers mistakenly believe that promotion of a post stops not long after you hit publish. Never engage in the one and done mantra. There is a multitude of promotional means to get the word out about a blog post. If the content is evergreen (meaning timeless), then re-promotion is easy peasy.

My formula: Same post, different messaging, different visuals, and focus on the social media platform’s intended audience.

We’ve blogged 25 ways to promote a blog post after publishing, and now here are some tips for repurposing blog posts long after you hit publish.

New Traffic for Older Blog Posts

Space it Out and Be Purposeful in Doing So

Here’s an example social media calendar to give you an idea as soon as you hit publish on that blog post:

Facebook: Right after publishing, with a properly sized image and a specific call out. Here’s a recent post I put $10 behind on Facebook to boost it with tremendous success. Why? Because I targeted specific people, a certain audience, and included a properly sized image with an engaging headline.

Facebook ad spend example

Pinterest: Same day, various boards, various pictures from the blog post that make sense to pin.

Instagram: The day before I post to tease the content or the day after to get Instagrammers: A high quality image is essential. You can even improve your Instagram strategy in one weekend.

Twitter: I re-tweet the tweet, especially for brands on campaigns. Re-read that: I re-tweet. Does a commercial air one time and never get aired again? Nope. So be thoughtful and use something like Buffer, Tweetdeck, or Hootsuite to time your tweets out.

Bonus tip: Be original in your social sharing: Which sounds better?

Cat Litter Review

Or

8 Reasons Your Cat Hates the Litter Box

Seriously, which of the above would you click on?

You do NOT need to be everywhere. You need to be where YOUR ideal reader is. Repeatedly. With a purpose. With a plan.

Finding new ways to recycle your existing content is a time-saving strategy that successful bloggers and influencer frequently use.

How often do you update older blog posts?

DON’T STOP NOW

If you liked this post, you’ll swoon for these:

20 Ways to Promote Old Blog Posts

7 Tips for Writing a Successful Blog Post

13 Social Media Content Ideas That Sizzle

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:  Artem Samokhvalov /Giulio_Fornasar/Shutterstock.com

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Email Do’s & Don’ts: Tone, Font, Style, and Fails

In Part 1 of Email Do’s & Don’ts, I covered how to make a great first impression. You can read the original email tips here, but here’s a quick catch-up:

  1. Capture the recipient’s attention with a great subject line
  2. Keep your message brief
  3. Explaine what you want–what action you want to elicit
  4. Mention any potential deadline
  5. Close the message properly

If you’ve done the first five steps, you’ve gotten the meat and potatoes of the email message. What we’re talking about today is the gravy on top.

email dos and dontsProofread before you send

If you want your email not only to be read, but also to be taken seriously, make sure you proofread and fact check. I may be engrossed in your cause until I read the sentence, “Their is no stopping the good you’re donation can do.” What?! Now in the back of my mind, I am not taking you seriously nor will I give much weight to the other sentences in your email. This is problematic if you’re trying to wow me with facts and figures. If you can’t use the correct “there” or “your” can I really trust that you other facts are correct? Harsh, but true.

Now, keep in mind, we are all human. We all make mistakes, but simple errors make people doubt your larger topic and message.

Font size and style

Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot read fonts that are smaller than 12 point. Some days, if I am tired, even a 12-point font is a struggle, especially if I don’t have my computer glasses handy. Give me an email in a font that is eye-friendly. This doesn’t mean I want to see an email with a 30-point font, but I don’t want to be squinting at 6-point Arial.

There are myriad font styles available, and one day I hope to have used them all! Joking… kind of. When you’re sending a professional email, especially to someone you don’t know, use a “boring” font like Times New Roman, Courier, Bookman, or even Arial. Don’t make the reader have to determine whether that curlicue is a “Q” or a “2.”

I realize that many email carriers allow you to change the background color and even the background design on your email. I humbly beg of you not to do that. Just send an email with a white background with a black or dark blue font. Know, too, that your recipient’s email carrier may not work well with the carrier you’re using, and the fonts, background, and colors could get muddied up or lost in translation. Keep it simple and plain… aka boring.

Jazz it up with your email signature if you want to. In my email sig I use a font I am obsessed with, Harrington. It may not transfer well to other email carriers, so I have it as an embedded jpg. Even though I love Harrington, I keep the rest of my fonts in my signature readable–Book Antiqua.

Don’t be afraid to put a headshot in your email signature. Personalize it and let the recipient get to know you. The photo you add in your email sig could jog their memory and help them remember you.

Tone matters 

There’s no body language in an email: LOL doesn’t take the sting out of a comment. Your tone and the words you use in person are tempered by body language. A comment like, “Nice hair,” could be taken many different ways depending on your tone, your relationship with the person, and your body language. In an email there is none of that. An innocuous comment could lead to a misunderstanding.

You shouldn’t be afraid to send a message with a bit of a humorous tone, but you need to know the recipient and you need to gauge whether your message benefits from humor. You don’t have to be so formal that your personality doesn’t shine through in your email, but if you’ve been told you have a sarcastic wit… hold off on that until you know the recipient better. I saw a meme recently that went something like, “Yes, I do speak more than one language–English and Sarcastic.” Know that sarcasm doesn’t translate well in your email and could lead to hurt feelings.

email best practicesKnow who you’re writing to (or more grammatically correct, but awkward, “Know to whom you’re writing) 

I will grant you some leeway in my name/gender as Robbi could be for a male or a female BUT if you send me a message and indicate you saw my profile on LinkedIn and then send me a male-centric offer… well, I don’t think you really saw my LinkedIn profile, now did you? My profile photo is definitely female. I’m not a cartoon avatar, nor do I hide behind my pet. It’s my face, front and center. The following is the email I received. I don’t think I’d be a good fit for a Male Wealth project.

email message

If you’re not sure if you’re writing to a man or a woman, open the message with a “Hi Robbi” or “Hi Sam.” I won’t be offended if you call me by my first name. I will be semi offended if you add an “e” to my name because in this day of social media profiles it will take you fewer than 10 seconds to see that I am Robbi with no “e.”

You’re not the center of my universe

There. I’ve said it. My life doesn’t revolve around you, the email sender. Gasp! I am certain the pet influencers reading this can relate. You open your email, and there is a message full of vague references to something you can’t honestly remember ever having spoken to anyone about. I blame my bad memory on chemo-brain, but even when I had a good memory, a message that read, “You said to reach out to you and we’d talk about you hiring me” or “I wondered when you were going to get back to me about what we’d spoken about last month” or “I’ve been waiting to hear whether you were going to publish the post I’d sent you.” What?! Give me context. WHEN did we meet? WHAT did I tell you? WHERE did we speak?

If we’ve had previous email correspondence, why not forward that so I can refresh my memory?

Take me off your email chain letters

This is especially true if you work in a corporate environment. Does everyone really need to be involved in your conversation about your paycheck with the accounting department? I doubt it. Does the accounting department need to be involved in your conversation about introducing a new product to a new chain of pet stores? Not likely. Too many people get in the (bad) habit of including EVERYONE on EVERY email. I beg of you to stop. If you are trying to coordinate a meeting between a team, then yes, include everyone at first, but put in your message: “Please do not hit reply all when you respond to me.” The entire team doesn’t need to be involved in the back and forth, especially if team members have already responded.

Look at your own inbox and imagine how grateful you’d be if you could receive even a dozen fewer messages per day. It would be great, right? Now do your part to cut back on email overload for your friends and colleagues.

What are your email pet peeves? Share them here! What are some email etiquette questions you have that I can answer?

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter.

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5 Ways to Find New Blog Readers (and Grow Your Influence)

When it comes to growing your audience, you’ve probably seen all the typical advice: leave thoughtful comments on other blogs in your market, share your colleagues’ work across social, participate in boosts and hops, and so on. Yes, those things work, but many bloggers fall into the trap of marketing themselves only within a small group of blogs. Cultivate those relationships while finding new ways to grow your readership! To grow your influence, it’s important to grow your readership. Check out these 5 ways to find new blog readers:

5 Ways to Find New Blog Readers and Grow Your Influence

IRL

Most of us are used to working at home, in cozy clothes, surrounded by our animals. Getting out of the house and meeting likeminded people is a fun way to grow your readership. Find an event, grab a stack of business cards, and start meeting people who just might turn into loyal blog readers. Note: It doesn’t have to be a formal “networking” event. In our line of work, think how many people you could meet volunteering for a shelter or rescue! Need to brush up on those networking skills? Check out this roundup.

Comment Outside Your Niche

One of the most-often-repeated piece of advice for growing a readership is to leave thoughtful comments on blogs in your niche. And you definitely should be doing that as part of your daily routine. However, to really expand your reach, be sure you’re leaving thoughtful comments on blogs outside of your niche! The blogs you already read in other, non-pet categories–photography, fashion, motherhood, business, cars–and likely written and read by people who have pets. Connect through the comments and watch your influence grow!

Blog Challenges

Participate in a blogging challenge to discover new blogs and to be discovered. There are blog challenges for nearly everything: 30 posts in 30 days, 52 weeks of XYZ, photography skills, etc. Some are even hosted within the BlogPaws community. Find a challenge that speaks to you and participate, setting aside extra time to engage with other participants. Head to Pinterest and search “blog challenge” to find one that works for you and your blog.

Email

Do you send an email newsletter? Or have you made your blog available for subscription via email? Both of those are important, but have you considered sending personal emails with new posts? Consider sending relevant friends, family, fellow bloggers, and longtime readers a personal note like, “Hey, Julie! I just published this post, which I think helps answer the question you left on (link to post with Julie’s comment). Let me know what you think!” or “Hi, Uncle Jude! I know your dog is dealing with allergies. I wrote this post all about allergies in dogs and thought it might help.” This is a tactic to use sparingly, but that personal touch can create a loyal fan base.

Press Releases

Package a series of blog posts, awards you’ve won, or events you’re hosting, and send that info out to the media. Local media is a great place to start because most outlets are always searching for a local angle to a good story. Not sure how to start? PR guru Carol Bryant shared How Pet Bloggers Can Capture Media Attention with real-life examples.

Grow your influence- 5 ways to find new blog readers

Have you tried any of these tactics? How do you find new blog readers? What has worked the best for you for growing your audience and your influence?

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

Images: BONNINSTUDIO/Shutterstock.com and Lisa A/Shutterstock.com

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Back to School Supply List for Bloggers

I mentioned in the Summer Reading List that BlogPaws is going “back to school” this fall with the launch of the new SLC. In true back-to-school fashion, we have a supply list… with a twist. This back to school supply list has been created just for bloggers! The BlogPaws team has put together our top must-have blogging tools that we can’t live without. Ready? Let’s dive right in!

Back to School Supply List for Bloggers

Blogging

Email Marketing – You definitely need an email marketing platform to send newsletters to your subscribers and give them the option to subscribe to your RSS feed. Some great “starter” platforms are MailChimp or Mad Mimi. As you grow and get bigger, you’ll find that you may need a more robust platform such as ConvertKit or Aweber. It really just depends on your business goals.

Feedly – Use this to read blogs and find content ideas and inspiration.

Google Analytics – This is a must have to track your blog traffic.

Gmail – While we recommend that you create a domain specific email for your blog, you can have those emails forwarded to your Gmail account. This makes it so much easier to manage on your desktop and mobile. We also recommend checking out Gmail’s Canned Responses Lab to save time in your email replies.

Grammarly – Grammarly has an awesome Chrome extension that will notify you if there are any grammatical errors in your writing.

Lead Pages – An amazing tool if you’re looking to create landing pages, lead magnets for your email list, or content upgrades on your blog posts.

Microsoft Live Writer – I use this for my personal blogs because it makes writing and photo editing so much easier! Live Writer can automatically add your watermark to images without having to do it in a separate photo editing software. For someone like me who shares a ton of pics, this is a HUGE time saver!

Some other must have tools that we recommend for all bloggers include:

  • A Brand Guide that includes your mission, your voice, your colors, your fonts, etc.
  • A current About page with images and text
  • Media Kit

Business

If you want to run your blog as a business you need to have these tools in your toolkit.

  • Contract Template for working with brands and clients.
  • An accountability group
  • A mentor
  • A business plan
  • A budget 
  • Accounting software or tracking method to track your income and expenses. A simple spreadsheet can work if you don’t want to spend the money in software like FreshBooks.
  • PayPal – You need a PayPal account to accept and send money.

Organization

Trello – The BlogPaws team uses Trello on a daily basis for a variety of things from editorial calendar planning, team meeting notes, project plans, and more. Trello is great for collaborating with a team and there’s a mobile app.

Evernote – Evernote is great for saving articles that you want to reference later by organizing them into notebooks. It’s also great for brainstorming blog posts because you can take it everywhere thanks to the mobile app.

Google Drive – Store all of your important documents on Google Drive so that you always have them on the go no matter which computer you’re using. If you use Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, these do not count against your storage space!

Photography

Canva – Canva is a huge time saver and our team could not function without it! We especially love Canva for Work for branding. There is now a mobile version of Canva for iPhone!

PicMonkey – This is great for editing photos and creating collages. Be sure to also check out the new mobile friendly app.

Stock Photo Membership – You don’t always have time to shoot and edit original photos. A stock photo account can save a lot of time!

Some other mobile apps that our team loves are:

  • Aviary Photo Editor – Edit photos and add filters on the go!
  • PicPlayPost – Available in iTunes & Google Play. Create video collages with videos and images.
  • Word Swag – Add text to your photos to create quotes and/or memes.

Social Media

These tools come in handy for scheduling your social media posts so you can spend more time creating and promoting content.

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Tailwind for scheduling Pinterest pins
  • Bitly – Use this tool to shorten URLs for your social media campaigns. You can also track the performance of your Bitly links.

You can use Hootsuite for following along with our weekly #BlogPawsChat. Personally, I prefer to use TweetChat because it shows up in real time like an “old fashioned” chat room!

WordPress Plugins

Akismet – This is a must have to automatically filter out spam comments.

Broken Link Checker – This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.

Revive Old Post – This plugin shares your old posts on twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to help promote old posts and boost your traffic.

WordPress Editorial Calendar You know this one is good when our Senior Editor, Maggie Marton says, “This one’s a game changer!!”

Yoast SEO – This plugin makes it easy-peasy to optimize your blog posts for SEO.

Are you a blogger who shares recipes? Pick a recipe plugin that does the heavy lifting for you. It makes the recipe easily printable, and automatically creates google recipe view. The plugin you pick should also have a database or access to sharing on a database of people looking for recipes. Check out WP Ultimate Recipe or Easy Recipe.

Back to School Supply List for Bloggers (1)

Share Your Blogging Tools

What are your must-have blogging tools? Let us know down in the comments below! Do you want to learn more about any of the tools we mentioned in this post? Let us know!

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.

Images: Valentina_G/Shutterstock.com

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