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What Is Your Blog About?
You are reading this right now, which means you probably have a pretty good idea what you want your blog to be about - you are writing a blog about pets! But you will need to go a little deeper to determine what you want your blog to accomplish if you want to stand out. Do you want to write a blog about rat terriers? A blog about goldfish? A blog about spiders as pets?
You will have an easier time deciding on what content to write and what tone to use when you know exactly what your blog is about.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."
Establish Your Niche
When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on the Spruce Pets all at once, you will be overwhelmed immediately, because they are far too well-established to compete with.
The key is to find a subject that is not too wide, like “pets”, but that is also not too narrow, like “3-inch lizards”. If your subject is too wide, you won’t stand out. If it is too narrow, you may run out of things to write about or not find a big enough audience.
Some examples of niche pet blogs are:
- Daschund Blog - Ammo the Dachshund
- Dog Travel Blog - Bodie on the Road
- Pet Blog About Two Cats - Rascal and Rocco
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
Finding Your Audience
Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.
Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.
Are you writing to small dog lovers, large dog lovers, cat lovers, or to people who prefer their pets cold-blooded? You can see immediately that each audience is going to have preferences and needs that are different from one another. Your goal is to choose an audience so that you know who you are writing to.
Create a Persona
One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.
Here is an example of a target audience persona:
Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.
Be Your Own Persona
Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect pet blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.
This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.
Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?
No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.
Some examples for your pet blog may include:
Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.
How Will You Present Your Work?
Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.
There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your pet blog. They include:
As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.
A good option for evergreen content for a pet blog is reviews of pet products. You can write reviews of new pet products, products that claim to be “revolutionary”, and products that are considered tried and true. Reviews work as evergreen content because new readers will be searching for such reviews year after year, particularly reviews of products that everyone says are the best. With enough reviews, you may even find companies asking you to review their products before they go out to the public.
While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.
Your video content will need to be based on your specific niche and the needs of your audience. If you teach people how to train dogs, you can create how-to videos for your audience that show them how to train their own dogs. If you write about traveling with your pet, you can take videos showing your pet having fun in different locations. Do not worry too much about getting your videos perfect at the beginning. Soon enough, you will find that your skills improve as you make more and more videos.
News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.
Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.
The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.
Pets are becoming more and more popular, which means that there are new products and new studies coming out frequently. You can write news-type articles about all the events that are relevant to your niche. You could talk about the products you are interested in seeing when they come out, results of research into pet health, and anything else that fits in your blog. You can draw in readers by finding news about the topics that they are really excited about.
While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.
While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.
Pets offer you so many opportunities for image-heavy content. Whether you find the images online, take your own photos or both, you can learn to incorporate plenty of great images into your blog.
If you travel with your pet, you can take lots of photos to post on your pet travel blog. If you teach your readers how to train their pets, you can take photos of each stage of the process to include in your how-to article. It all depends on your niche and what you want to accomplish. Push yourself to use more images because your readers will really respond when you show them cute, beautiful pets!
Mix and Match
You need to mix and match your content delivery strategies to be competitive as a pet blogger. Your audience is going to expect variety, even if you are not overly enthusiastic about some of the types of content they want. Don’t worry, you can improve your skills in any area that you are not comfortable with now. Try taking more photos, changing up your writing style, and making videos. With regular effort, you will improve and your blog will improve as a result. Stretch yourself so that you and your readers benefit!
How To Make Money From A Pet Blog
One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.
There are a few great ways to make money from a pet blog:
Display Ad Networks
Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.
There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.
The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.
While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.
Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.
Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.
You have a lot of options for affiliate programs when you are a pet blogger. You can pick and choose the ones that make sense for your niche and for your personal goals.
Pet Care Supplies is one of the most popular affiliate programs for pet bloggers. The company is a top online seller of pet health care products, and they offer a commission of between 10% and 13% for each sale that you facilitate. They also give a money-back guarantee with their products, so your readers can purchase without any risk.
TruDog is a little different - instead of being a pet supplies giant, they are a smaller family-owned pet food company. They still give a 10% commission, though, so you make a decent amount from the sales you facilitate. TruDog offers food, treats, and supplements.
When deciding on an affiliate program, think about what you feel best recommending to your readers. Long-term, you and your audience will be happier if you focus on more than just the commission amount.
Sell Digital Products
Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.
Examples of digital products are:
- Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.
- Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.
- Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.
Every pet blogger has a unique approach to serving their audience, which means that there is no one size fits all approach to digital products. The key to deciding which products to make is understanding your audience, your niche, and how you can deliver the most bang for the buck. For instance, a dog training blogger could create an online course to teach owners to train their dogs. By breaking up the lessons in digestible chunks, the blogger makes it more likely that the owners will try out the course. And such courses can sell for hundreds of dollars or more, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.
The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.
Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.
Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.
You can definitely sell products through your pet blog if you are interested in doing so. However, you will want to plan your product sales carefully, because it is easy to try too much early on. To begin with, you can purchase things like stickers, hats, shirts, and so on, with your logo on them. You can mark such products up quite a bit as well. Once you have a bigger audience, you can create your own pet products based on your niche and sell them through your blog.
While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.
Create A Service
Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.
Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.
If your pet blog focuses on dog training, you can offer your services on a one on one basis or in a group setting. If your blog focuses on designing reptile habitats you can offer design services to your audience. What you decide on for a service will all depend on your niche, your skills, and your audience’s needs.
Try to avoid over committing yourself when you first start offering a service. It can be easy to get excited when demand is high and the price is right. Just remember, your blog is what is driving your traffic to your service, so you need to make sure you take care of your blog first and foremost. With the right balance of blogging and services, you can make a solid income and serve your audience better than ever before!
Next Steps To Get Your Pet Blog Started
Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.
This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
Get your blog up and running today with our step-by-step course.