Does your pet business website have a blog section?
Have you thought about writing one but never quite got round to it?
Or maybe you’ve started one and life got in the way.
You’ve heard about the benefits when it comes to SEO and people being about to discover your products and services and think it might be worth a try?
If this is sounding familiar and you’re thinking about getting started the podcast this week is all about blogging.
It’s a recording from a workshop I did at the Pet Industry Federation Virtual Pet Index event on Sunday June 14th.
You can listen in on the player link below or read as a blog post.
All the recordings of the webinars from Virtual Pet Index are available until July 14th.
If you’d like access, you can set up an account here: https://vpetindex.vfairs.com/en/login
What is blogging?
According to the WordPress website, a blog is an abbreviated version of web blog, which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information.
There are 50,000 blogs launched each day globally on the world WordPress platform.
Think of your blog as being like having your own newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station where you share news, show how you help and collaborate with businesses that complement your own.
It’s a powerful tool for letting you put what you do out into the world and helps you build connections with clients.
Why start a blog for your pet business?
First of all, it can drive traffic to your website.
The more places we’re showing up on Google, the better.
The more the more presence we have online, the more we increase our search engine ranking.
Having a blog lets people into your world a little bit more.
They land on your website and can have a look round and you can really show your values, your personality and what you stand for.
This helps build the know, like, and trust in your brand that we all know is so important.
Your blog can make you stand out in a crowded market.
When it comes to service providers, not a lot of pet business owners have a blog.
If you are one of the few pet businesses in your area that does, that’s going to make you stand out.
It can help you demonstrate that you can solve your clients problems.
Imagine you run a hydrotherapy business and you have a client with a dog who had arthritis, you can talk about how hydrotherapy helped them.
If you’re a dog groomer you could talk about grooming a nervous dog and have a client explain how their dog is now happy to be groomed.
If you’re a dog walker, you can simply talk about the adventures that your dogs go on.
This can help your prospective clients make a decision as to whether you’re the right person to walk, groom or help their dog.
Your posts are there forever.
Unless you take your post down, it’s there forever.
Unlike a Tweet which only lasts a short time or a Facebook post that drops down the news feed, your posts are evergreen.
Apart from the initial setup costs and hosting, it’s free.
All you have to invest is your time.
What do you want your pet business to be known for?
What would people put into a search engine to find you?
You might want to be known for being a dog walker in Newcastle, creating gifts for terrier owners or for holistic dog grooming.
Your blog can be the place where you create your own media for these key terms.
This makes it easier for you to be discovered when people are put to putting those keywords into Google.
Getting started with your pet business blog
If you haven’t got one already, all you need to do to get started is to add a blog section to your website.
If you aren’t techie, then your website creator can do this for you.
Next, think about how often you’re going to be able to write blogs.
If you’re going to post once a month, that’s absolutely great. If you want to post every other week you’ll see changes in your rankings sooner.
Most blog posts take around half a day minimum to write and promote and to upload onto your blog platform.
The final step if you really want to get started with your pet business blog is to be accountable.
Share your new plan blog plans with your audience. If you put it out there, chances are that it that you will stay consistent as people will be expecting updates from you.
What can you write about on your blog?
Here are five ideas to consider for your first five posts.
Why you started your business.
A day in the life – this is where you write about a typical day.
Essential information on your product or service.
A case study from a client you’ve helped – think of this as being like a more detailed testimonial.
An interview. Is there a vet you could chat to? The owner of a local dog field or pet shop? Someone you respect in the industry?
Essentials for each blog post
With every post you need to have the following.
A headline and be mindful to make it searchable. Think about what people are going to put into a search engine to find you.
If you’re a dog walker in Warrington, your headline could be ‘Five tips if you’re looking for a dog walker in Warrington.’
Images to break up your blog post. Use your own or find royalty free images on Pixabay or Unsplash.
Sub headings – break the topic down into shorter paragraphs or chunks of copy so it’s easier to read – remember lots of people read on their phones.
Add a title and meta description and keywords for Google and SEO.
When you put a search into Google and a list of URLs comes up, you want yours to be the most appealing.
The keywords are the words most relevant to your post – ie dog walker warrington.
Underneath the title of the URL you will see a short paragraph, and this is your meta description.
You want to be the most helpful link in the page so that they click on your blog post or website page.
Finally, give a call to action. Think about what you want the reader to do next?
When you’ve hit publish the next step is to push a blog post out to make it reach as many people as possible.
Send it out to your e mail list or include it in your e mail newsletter.
Definitely share on social media – I would try to share and at least five times on your social media channels.
That might be couple of Facebook posts, an Instagram post where you use a picture from the blog, then you might do a couple of tweets.
Another way to promote your blog is to put it in your email signature.
Remember we all start at zero – even Zoella
That’s no readers, no listeners, no social media followers.
So don’t worried that you don’t have a lot of people reading at the beginning.
It does take time for these things to build.
Pet business blogging success stories
Jude Davidson is a dog walker from Parklife Honiton in Devon
She started blogging last year because she wanted to be more visible on Google.
Just after Christmas, she ramped up her blogging efforts and covered really helpful and relevant topics.
One is ‘Can dogs get Coronavirus?’ and another is ‘How to cope with life after lockdown with your dog.’
In the last few months, she’s gone from page three of Google for dog walkers in Devon to page one.
Read her blogs here: www.parklifehoniton.com/
Alex Graves from Rove Pet Services in Essex
Alex started blogging because she wanted to answer the regular questions that she had from her clients.
She’s now one of the three best rated dog walkers in Basildon.
Alex has had posts that have been shared hundreds of times on social media and viewed thousands of times.
In lockdown, she launched a loose lead walking challenge involving 1200 dog owners and generated hundreds of pounds in online sales.
Alex wasn’t able to go out and walk dogs but she was able to bring money into her business from the audience she built on her blog.
Learn more: www.rovepets.com
Lottie Clements from the Cosy Canine Company
Lottie started blogging to drive more traffic to her pet accessory business.
Her first blog was about the muddy walk clean up as she has Cockapoo named Pickle who loves jumping in muddy puddles.
Because of this, one of her products is an apron to wear while bathing your dog so you don’t get covered in nasty stuff.
Lottie did a post about a few different products and steps that people can follow when they’ve had a muddy dog walk.
She shared brilliant photos of Pickle having a bath and being covered in mud and she sold three aprons on the night that it was published.
Lottie is number two on the first page of Google for ‘personalised dog walking bag’ one of her signature products.
And another post about ‘What Cockapoo owners know’ is right at the top of Google and has had 10,000 visits in a year.
That’s potentially 10,000 people who may not have known about Lottie’s products but found her via her blog.
Read her blog: www.thecosycaninecompany.co.uk/
Thinking of setting up a pet business blog and want some help?
If you’d like to work together, we can work one to one for an hour, half a day, or over a six month period where you have regular, 90 minute, one to ones each month.
You can find out more on my work with me page here.