I am not a full-time pet blogger. I have another job, which I love and which keeps me very busy. And yet, I set aside a full week each and every summer to the health and development of my pet blog. That conference is BlogPaws (and Sinead is doing a lovely job of modeling last year's badge, don't you think?).
Starting today, I'll be soaking up the knowledge in Phoenix at BlogPaws. And before you think I'm crazy for going, let me tell you a little bit more about why I think all pet bloggers should go to a conference like this.
Reason one: You'll get new readersDuring meals, mixers and classes, you'll be elbow to elbow with other pet bloggers. And anyone you meet could, in theory, be a reader. Last year, I met tons of really wonderful pet bloggers and their pets, and many of the folks I met have become my most devoted blog readers. I see their names in the comments of my blogs, and they tap me on social media to check on my progress.
That's publicity you might struggle to realize outside of a pet blogging venue. And it could be worth a lot. After all, when you're trying to use your blog for something like a job or a sample or an award, you're required to demonstrate a boost in readers. You could get that boost if you network at a conference.
Reason two: You'll meet brandsWant to get cat litter, dog toys, dog food or pet bowls for free? You could, if you become an influencer. The product reviews I write are often triggered by an email from an industry representative who wants me to try something out in return for my honest opinion. How do these people know how to contact me (aside from my contact page)? They met me at a conference.
Exhibit halls are the center points of conferences, and at pet blogging conferences, they're stuffed with animal product brands. Every brand is a business opportunity. If you make your time count, you could have dozens of new connections (and new swag opportunities) after a conference.
Reason three: You'll pick up technical skillsPet blogging is a little easier for people (like me) who spend all day in a day job working on internet marketing and SEO. It's harder for people who don't know anything about building, maintaining, tracking or improving a website. You can pick up some of those skills at a conference. Take a class, ask questions, take notes and sit down for one-on-ones. You might not be able to learn everything you'll need to know, but you'll learn a lot.
|Coming to BlogPaws? We are. Stop us and say hello!|
Reason four: You'll get inspiredKeeping up a pet blog, in addition to doing things like working and cleaning and walking and volunteering, can be a little draining. I've seen more than one pet blogger give up on the enterprise this year due to basic fatigue. Going to a conference can help.
There's something about sitting in the room with other people who do what you do, struggle with what you struggle with and feel what you feel. You walk away with a good feel for what people want to hear, and you're motivated to bring those words to life. Believe me. There's no way you can go to a conference like this and feel like blogging isn't worth it.
Reason five: It's just plain funConferences aren't just classes and swag and glad-handing. They're also about eating and dancing and dress-up and play. They're about getting away from work and life and just enjoying your time. For me, this conference is also a way to connect with Sinead one-on-one. It's just the two Dion girls against the world. And I always come away from the experience with a deeper understanding of this little creature that trusts me. It's wonderful.
So have a convinced you to go to a conference? Drop me a note and let me know. Need more convincing? Check out the blogs in this hop, hosted by BlogPaws. Many of the people in this hop are going to the same conference I'm going to. See the expertise you could connect with!
And finally: Want to stay up on the latest and greatest with me, Sinead and our conference? We're slaying social! Check out my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds. I'll be posting throughout the conference.