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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of an animal blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own animal blog, check out our free blogging course.
What Is Your Blog About?
If you’re here, chances are you have a pretty good idea of what you want your blog to be about - you are starting an animal blog! Of course, there are many ways to approach an animal blog, each of which will dictate what you write. Are you starting an animal blog for dog lovers? An animal blog for cat lovers? An animal blog for rodent lovers?
You need to refine your subject so that you can stand out from the crowd and choose the appropriate tone.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everybody, 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 Animal Planet all at once, you will find yourself squarely outmatched and very disappointed.
The goal is to find a subject that is not too broad and not too narrow. “Animals” is too broad - you can never hope to differentiate yourself. “Dog nail clippers” is too narrow - you will run out of content to write or not find a big-enough audience to sustain your blog.
Some examples of niche animal blogs are:
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.
Brand Your Blog
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool will help you brand your business with a unique logo to make your business stand out.
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 pet owners or to those engaged in animal husbandry for financial reasons? There is a big difference in the voice you use and the content you create depending on your preferred audience. Define that audience now to focus your work moving forward.
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 animal 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 animal 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 animal 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.
The evergreen content on your animal blog needs to focus on topics that you are pretty sure will remain consistent in the coming years. Depending on your niche, you might write evergreen content about how to train a dog or cat, or facts about particular animals. Don’t get too caught up in trying to think of topics that are “never” going to change, because you can always go back and edit your blogs to update them if things do change.
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.
Video how-tos are an excellent way to serve your audience and fulfill their desire for video content. For example, if you write about how to train pets or how to make your own pet food, you could create videos on the same subjects. You may already have plans for content - or have already written content - on these subjects, which is just fine. You can use your outline for your articles to get your video planning started. Don’t worry about producing the perfect video. You will get better with practice, but you need to start now.
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.
There is always news in the animal world, whether it’s new products, books, animal celebrities, animal research, or some other topic that interests you. You will probably come upon such topics regularly in your blog research, so you can seize upon them and write up a quick blog post for each to get your content out there while the news is still fresh. Remember, interest in news-type posts is only high when they first appear, so you need to get your posts written sooner rather than later.
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.
People love pictures of animals, so you are going to have plenty of opportunities to fill out your blog posts with images that your audience will enjoy. Which images you choose and whether you take your own photos will depend on your niche and your personal interests.
You can find plenty of images that you can use on your blog online - although you usually have to pay for the really good ones. To save money and achieve a more personal touch, many animal bloggers start taking their own photos. Even if photography is not your strong suit, you can learn to do it better with practice and especially if you take classes. Your audience will enjoy seeing your progress and looking at all your awesome animal pics.
Mix and Match
You can use a variety of content delivery strategies on your animal blog. It’s normal to have one or two styles that you prefer. You may be really into writing long articles or taking photos of your pets. While you should lean into your strengths, it is also important to stretch yourself by taking on new projects outside your comfort zone. You can learn to produce other types of content. In fact, you will probably find that you really enjoy some of the new forms of expression you try out. Take a chance occasionally and try new content delivery strategies, for your benefit and for the benefit of your audience.
How To Make Money From an Animal 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 an animal 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 many options when it comes to affiliate programs for your animal blog - which you choose will depend on your niche and your preferences.
Pet Care Supplies is a major affiliate program that animal bloggers incorporate into their blogs. The commission rate is 10-13% with an average order of $120, which means the commissions you make could add up quickly if you have a lot of traffic on your blog. They offer a huge variety of pet care products, including nutritional supplements, flea & tick prevention, dewormers, and more.
Revival Animal is another big affiliate program used by animal bloggers. It is a major provider of pet health supplies and offers over 1,500 pet products. The commission rate is 10% and the average order size is $110.
Amazon Affiliates is another popular program with animal bloggers, offering a small commission on any product sales that you facilitate. Leashes, collars, harnesses, and other pet supplies are all available on the site, along with just about anything else your readers might want to purchase.
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.
A good example of a digital product that an animal blogger could create is an online course in dog training. If you like to train dogs and you focus your blog on dog training, an online course is a natural extension of your niche and your interests. You can ask your audience what questions they want you to answer in your course and use their answers to help guide your work. A high-quality course in this niche could sell for $100 or more.
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.
The products you sell through your animal blog will vary depending on your niche and your audience, but you should find some opportunities as your blog becomes more popular. You could begin with branded products, such as apparel, stationary, and food bowls, and so on. You can purchase these for a few dollars a piece and mark them up considerably before selling them.
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 animal blog focuses on training animals, you could offer an animal training service or teach group seminars on animal training. If you focus on animal photography, you could offer to take photos of animals for clients or classes on animal photography. Once you know your niche, your audience, and your skills, you can create an appropriate service.
You should be able to charge a premium for your service due to the popularity of your blog. However, you need to be careful to keep up with your blog - since your blog is what drives your business. Even if the money is good and demand is high, you need to balance your blog with your services to ensure long-term success.
Next Steps To Get Your Animal 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
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
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