Is starting a blog for your pet business one of the many things on your to-do list?
You know you need to get cracking but there’s so many other things to do, and it’s something that lingers at the bottom of the pile.
If this sounds familiar, it’s ok. I’ve been there. In fact I put off doing any kind of business blog for years because I was scared.
Instead, I’d just share stories and links to articles I’d written because I was worried about ‘putting myself out there.’
I thought people would laugh, take the mickey, or think ‘who is she to tell people what to do?’ or ‘why would anyone care about what she has to say?’
Fast forward a few years and I’ve got an award winning pet blog www.thepawpost.co.uk and now this website too, a business blog geared towards helping pet entrepreneurs.
Today I’m going to run through the five fears that stop pet business owners from blogging and how YOU can overcome them.
- I can’t write
You might not have written since school. You might have hang ups about writing and dread expressing yourself with words.
Feeling like you can’t write can hold you back, but remember it’s not like doing essays where anyone is going to mark your work.
You don’t have to write in a stuffy, formal style. You can simply write as you talk and this will help you build a connection with your reader.
If you’re stuck, get the recorder on your phone and say what you want to say into that, then type it up, or you can use rev.com to transcribe.
You might do a Facebook live where you cover a certain subject. Have it transcribed and turn it into a blog where you will sound exactly as you do when you talk.
In the digital world, sounding authentic and true to yourself is key. It’s not about coming across like a boffin or stuffy expert – be proud to be you.
2. I feel silly
This is something everyone over a certain age feels but the benefits far outweigh the initial embarrassment.
Tam Wilson from Born 2 Run pet care in the North East www.born2runpetcare.com was bullied at school for writing poetry and it stopped her from writing up until she set up her business in 2010.
Tam said: “The girls didn’t like me standing out and took the mickey. It stayed with me. Then, when I set up my own business, I knew I had to blog.
“At first, I felt self conscious, but I just wrote about things I felt passionate about and that people could connect with emotionally.
“When people responded saying they’d enjoyed reading my blogs, it spurred me on. Now I don’t care what people think and I enjoy it.”
If you feel silly, remember the outcome. You’re helping people visiting your site and their pets. Check out Tam’s blog and you’ll see what I mean.
3. I want to share my knowledge outside Facebook/Twitter/Instagram but don’t know how
Social media is one way of reaching customers, building relationships and communicating your message, but it has its limits.
If you want to go deep on a subject, or it’s something that you’re asked over and over again, then it’s better to cover it on your website.
Say you’re a trainer working with anxious dogs. You can post about this regularly on social media, but you need a clear piece of content on your website explaining this.
Make this an unmissable piece of content answering all the questions your ideal client may have so if someone gets in touch you can direct them straight to that page.
“Blogs, podcasts and e mails, they’re more immersive and you can put more of your personality in them,” says Dominic Hodgson from www.growyourpetbusinessfast.com.
“They’re more memorable than a Tweet or a Facebook post and are something people can refer back to.”
Remember you can share your blog on Facebook and Twitter by posting the link, and use a photo from the post on Instagram and direct readers to your blog link in your bio.
4. I don’t know where to start
If you have an idea for something you’d like to share, get it down as soon somewhere as it comes into your head.
That might be on a scrap of paper, a note in your phone, bullet points in a document on your computer or a quick voice recording.
I call this ‘the bare bones,’ and it’s the skeleton of a story and you flesh the rest of it out as you write it. Write down the key points you want to cover first then build on them.
If you have an idea write it somewhere and get it written up as soon as you can. Turn off your phone, your alerts, and set a time limit to get it done.
Try to capture the story in the first line, then build it up by covering the following:
What – what is the story?
Who – who is the story about?
When – when did it happen?
Why – why did it happen?
Where – where did it happen – localise as much as possible.
How – how did it happen?
At the end, try to have conclusion. What lesson can be learned?
Don’t feel it has to be polished, just tell a story. Done is better than perfect.
5. I’ll run out of ideas
Rest assured, if you’re in the pet industry, you will never run out of ideas. Think about the questions you’re asked over and over again.
Or things that happen in the day to day running of your business that you might share on your Facebook page or if you meet a friend for a coffee.
The kind of things that you’re dying to tell other people make interesting, sharable content and if people are sharing your blogs, you’re reaching a new audience.
Another helpful tool is a media diary which is packed with Awareness Days and other key dates that you can plan content around.
You can read more about how to use one here: Easy ways to generate ideas for your pet business.
Don’t feel pressure to blog all the time. There is so much to do as a business owner and it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
Posting once a month is better than not posting at all and once you get into the habit, it will become easier – believe me!
If you’ve read this and felt inspired to blog, I would LOVE to see your work, so please send me any links, or you can share on my Facebook group, Publicity Tips for Pet Businesses.
Finally, if you’d like to join my next group programme where you’ll learn all about blogging for your pet business, you can find out more here!
- With thanks to Danielle MacInnes for the image on this post. See more of her work at Unsplash.com/dmacinnes