If you love pets and writing, starting a pet blog is something that might be perfect for you. Not only will it be a great creative outlet for some of your favorite passions, but it could be something that begins to produce an income. By now, you’ve likely already seen a pet blog or pictures of someone’s pet on Instagram and thought you could be doing the exact same thing.
Fortunately, starting a pet blog is relatively easy and something anyone can do. All you really need is a great idea, a domain, and a desire to write and post frequently. There’s no magic formula that is going to make any blog more successful than any other.
There might be some science for the best time of day to post on social media or how frequently you should blog in a week, but it’s not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is that, if you love your pets and you want to start a blog, you can get up and running in no time.
Why Should You Start A Pet Blog?
The question of why you should start a pet blog is going to have a bunch of different answers. If you asked 10 different pet bloggers why they started their blogs, there is a good chance they will all have different reasons.
With that said, here are a few main reasons that you might want to start a pet blog.
The first is that you have something you want to share about your pets or pets in general. That might be why your dog has had a positive influence on your life. It could also be how pets have a history of being great for those with anxiety.
Another reason might be that you want to create a side income. Starting a blog is a great way to create a potential opportunity for new revenue in your life through ads on your website and social channels or through brand sponsorships. People love to earn money from their hobbies—maybe pet sitting or pet training is your niche, so you want to help promote that.
That brings us to the next reason, and that is to promote a business. If you are a dog walker or you love to foster animals, all of these are businesses you might want to promote. A blog can help you market yourself online, especially if you learn how to promote your website through search engine optimization (SEO). The more traffic you can bring to your site, the more revenue you can make.
One additional reason might be that you want to blog about a journey with your pet. Does your pet have a rare illness or a special trick that you’d like people to learn more about? Starting a pet blog will be a great way to help document the path you and your pet are on and help you create a following that’s engaged with you and your pet’s story.
Steps To Start A Pet Blog
Starting a pet blog is simple and easy when you have the right tools.
Setting It Up
As you look to start setting up a blog, you have to start with what is likely the most important aspect of your blog journey: choosing a domain name. It’s really important that you pick a name that is meaningful, memorable, and available on social channels. There are lots of different sites online that can help you pick a domain name.
Try playing with a few different words that are meaningful, like the name of your pet, the type of pet you want to focus on, and other associated keywords. Here are some great tips to help you identify the right domain name:
- Try and find a name that is available with a .com at the end. While there are many domain suffixes available, most people tend to trust domains with .com at the end the most.
- Give yourself some room to work with. For example, if loveyourpetswithme.com isn’t available, try loveyourdogsandcatswithme.com.
- Synonyms are your friend. The word “dog” has multiple synonyms including puppies, hounds, canines, pooch, fido, tail-wagger, etc. If your first choice for a domain name isn’t available, try and utilize these synonyms to find the next best thing.
- Shorter is better. You don’t want a domain name that is 40 characters long (one letter equals a character). Limit your domain to 2 to 4 words at most.
- Last but not least, make sure your domain name is relevant to your blog focus. Trainingdogsandcats.com is a great name for a blog about training your pet, but ilovedogsandcats.com isn’t a great name for someone who is going to write about training.
Once you have chosen a domain name, you need to purchase the domain itself from a web hosting company. Choosing a host is important, as there are various options and you want to choose one that is relatively inexpensive, has promised 99% and above uptime, and allows you to purchase a domain for multiple years at once.
Bluehost is an ideal choice for beginners offering inexpensive plans, very reliable uptime, and a fantastic reputation for customer service. Purchasing your domain shouldn’t be more than $10-15 per year. You can even host your site through WordPress, which is the best blog host around for a couple of extra dollars per month.
Now, you need to consider what type of hosting solution you want. Bluehost offers four different solutions, but it’s likely you’ll only need the lowest tier ($2.95 monthly), which is good for one website. After choosing this hosting option, you can now select the domain you have already chosen and purchase or create your domain as part of the process.
As a final step, you then enter your personal information like your name, address, etc., as well as what type of package information you want. This is where you can choose to purchase support for 12 months or 36 months as well as some additional extras like stronger website security. Enter your payment information and, voila, you’ve got yourself a website!
Once the website is set up with WordPress, which Bluehost will take care of for you, you can then go in and redesign the site to your liking. Do you have a logo you want to use? You can add that. You can redesign nearly every element or you can purchase one of the thousands of WordPress themes available online. The best part is you don’t even need to be computer savvy to make these simple changes.
Don’t forget to secure the social handles that relate to your domain name as well. It’s a good thing to secure them so you know they are available if and when you want to use them. Spoiler, you should definitely use them. At the very least, you’ll want to secure Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter handles with the option to expand into YouTub, Snapchat, and TikTok.
Who is Your Audience?
Okay, so your website is set up and you’re ready to write. The question is, who are you writing for? It’s really important, even before you start creating your website, that you figure out your target audience. There are likely a few options you might consider:
- People who want to know what it’s like to adopt a pet
- New pet owners looking for training tips
- Pet owners who are looking for health advice
- People who want to find out more information about the various types of cat or dog breeds
- People looking for information on the most pet-friendly places to travel
- Anyone looking for information on the best pets for kids
As you can tell, there is a lot of ground you cover with your blog. Hopefully, you are starting your blog with your focus already set but, if not, that’s okay. You can also write about pet topics in general and cover all of these topics and more.
Research, Research, Research
One of the best paths to success with a blog is to be an expert in your field. In the case of pet blogs, having a niche is probably going to be the fastest way to get an audience over more general topics. To become an “expert” on your topic, even more so than you might already be, don’t be afraid to do research.
Research might mean that you dive more into the facts and figures around your topic, such as how many dogs of a certain breed are adopted each year or how many suffer from a certain ailment. No one becomes an expert overnight, so it’s going to take time. But, the more you research your topic, you will be perceived as even more of an expert by your audience.
Another aspect of research is to do a keyword search so you know what people are looking up on Google (or other search engines) to try and find sources. This is where SEO comes into play. Head over to Google Trends and type in a topic that you would like to use for your blog. Using this term or multiple terms will help more people discover your work.
Is your business local? Look to use location-specific keywords identified by your research to help you stand out from other local businesses. That might be something along the lines of “best dog training Chicago” which you would want to incorporate into your blog title, in the main body paragraphs, in social media posts, and more, to help your blog eventually surface at the top of search engines results pages (SERP).
Find Your Voice
As you do your research and understand what a potential audience is looking for, you can start to craft your own voice. You might consider starting with a first post that introduces you, your pet(s) and the blog itself. Talk about why you decided to start writing, what you hope to cover, add a fun story or two about living with your pet, and add some pictures. What this post does is immediately help an audience to connect to you.
For your second post, you might write about what has inspired you to start your blog. Is it a love for pet training or a passion for helping people select the best breeds for families?
The next ten posts or so are really going to be critical to help you find your voice as you look to expand and dive more into the things you have introduced in your first two posts. It’s really within these posts that you will find your voice and your writing style. Look at the comments and social media posts to see what your audience is reacting to, even if it’s just one or two people. These comments, which are hopefully positive, will help influence your voice.
Write About What You Think Is Important
No matter what, it’s important that you only write about what you think is important and relevant to your audience. Stories about your pets are likely very important to you, so write about those. Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked or go off-topic just because you think it will attract more of an audience.
Do you think pet food recipes are going to be especially helpful to anyone who wants to make sure their pets are healthy? This is a great way to write about what you think is important and your passion will come through.
Make notes as you go along. Did you come up with an idea during the day while running errands? Use a notes app on your phone or a pen and paper to write down the idea. It’ll be great to help you start thinking about future posts so you can keep up with your posting.
The most important thing you can do is show your audience just how passionate you are about your topic. If they suspect or start to believe that you are not as passionate as you first promised, they will instantly shift from fans to trolls and you don’t want that.
Monetizing Your Blog
So, you have a domain, WordPress is set up, you know what you want to write about and you know what search terms you need to include. Now it’s time to consider monetizing your blog and making a return on the investment you have undertaken by starting a pet-focused blog.
First and foremost, it’s important to know that monetization isn’t easy. Competition is fierce and there’s only so much money to go around. However, that doesn’t make monetization impossible. There are a few great ways you can look to monetize your blog.
- Start with ads: Google Adsense is likely the best place to start. Google will run ads on your blog page that appears to be relevant to the content. As your blog is about pets, you can anticipate that ads from Google will somehow be related to pets.
- Also with ads are sponsor ads from different brands. As your blog grows, you will likely start developing relationships with pet brands who will want to sponsor a blog post (and related social posts) and will pay you to help promote their site, products, training methods, etc.
- Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest and most used ways to monetize a blog. Affiliate links from the likes of Amazon will help you earn a commission on every successful sale someone makes when using a link from your blog or a blog post. You should definitely explore affiliate marketing as soon as possible to start monetization.
- If you’re a local business, offering your services will be a great way to increase your revenue by gaining new clients. This is especially true if your focus is on local pet training, for example.
Starting a new blog can be scary, just as starting any new job can be nerve-racking. Don’t let it scare you away, though—you got this!
There is no magic formula to success and, while SEO can be helpful to get discovered, there’s still no guarantee your blog will grow by leaps and bounds right away. It’s important that you keep at pet blogging and know that eventually, you’ll find success.