My heart beats dog.® I mean that so much that I trademarked the quote. If you are like me and have a passion for pets in general, you’ve probably thought about how to take a passion for pets and somehow turn it into profit.
My life’s mission is to make the world a better place for animals. When my wife and I founded Wigglebutt Warriors®, we wanted to crusade to save dogs’ lives. Some said two women could not do it alone, but we are proving that where there is a will and a passion, there is a way.
On Friday, August 14th, goosebumps peppered my arms as Shawna Schuh, President and Chief Wrangler, Women in the Pet Industry, read my name in front of a crowded room of over 100 pet industry women. See? (H/T Laurren Darr)
For my dedication to dogs, advocacy to raise money and awareness for dogs in need, and passion for pets, yours truly was named the Women in the Pet Industry 2015 Advocate of the Year!!!
Winners of the 2015 Pet Industry Woman of the Year awards were announced during the annual Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN) conference held August 13-15 in Portland, Oregon, and I was there to receive the award.
Award categories include Solopreneur, Entrepreneur, Corporate, Advocate, and Rising Star. Five finalists were named in each category and one overall Pet Industry Woman of The Year was chosen from the top 25 finalists. A panel of four independent judges reviewed and scored nominations for more than 60 applicants in the five categories. The judges included a broadcaster, a publisher, a CEO and a former business school owner.
Why This Matters
For being recognized, I hope to inspire others to be the change for pets in their own lives. You don’t have to do a lot: Even small steps can make a difference. Cyber foster a pet, give $10 a month to a rescue who needs it, share a photo of a pet in need: We all can do something alone, but collectively we can save many lives. I do hope this calls more attention to Wigglebutt Warriors and we can sell out our April 16, 2016, gala fundraiser weekend sooner than later with sponsors who recognize the value of the event.
If you don’t know what the Wigglebutt Warriors is and you want to be part of the Spring of 2016 premiere event, click here for an invitation and details to Wigglebutts Uncorked.
During the awards ceremony, one of my mentors, Yvonne DiVita, BlogPaws‘ co-founder, Yvonne DiVita, received the coveted “Pet Industry Woman of the Year” title at national conference after taking home the Rising Star trophy.
“Right now, my plan is to show the world, both the pet world of “paw-some” bloggers at BlogPaws and the bigger world beyond our ‘borders’, that we matter,” DiVita said. “We are women of significance and the pet industry will hear us shout, this year. We will be noticed!”
Can You Make Money As a Pet Industry Professional?
Heck, yes: Like anything in life, if you have a passion and a plan, it can be done. Part of what I do in my full-time career as well as part-time for myself is to blog. I am also heavily ensconced in public relations, marketing, public speaking, and networking.
Pet bloggers are making an impact on the pet industry. Brands realize the power of a well-written and visually appealing blog post by an authoritative source. Anyone can tell you that blogging is lucrative. Anyone can tell you that if you stick with blogging long enough, you will succeed. Anyone can tell you that you can make a ton of money blogging. So can you make money pet blogging? Well……
Working for it and not wishing for it are two completely different aspects and I am not just anyone. I am working for “it” (pet blogging), too. And yes, you can make money pet blogging: It all depends on:
- How you do it – as defined by your blogging business plan;
- If you are willing to put the time into achieving (A);
What your idea of “making money” is;
I walked into a conference in 2010 with the notion of figuring out my next career step in life. I walked out a changed woman. Though there are hundreds, if not more, conferences that a person can attend these days, there is none that has ever had the profound impact on my life like BlogPaws.
BlogPaws yearly conferences bring together hundreds of pet bloggers, pet enthusiasts, shelters, rescues, and the brands who serve them, for social media education, networking, and promoting worldwide change for pets in need. This means if you like pets in some capacity: Whether that’s on a traditional blog or a microblog, like Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter, etc., this is the conference for you. Lifestyle bloggers attend the conference because brands understand that families come in all shapes and forms: From traditional mom and dad to two dads to single moms raising a dog and everything in between, see?
I loved the feeling of making a difference and a career in the pet world so much that I pursued having BlogPaws hire me over the years. About three years ago, they listened: And the rest is her-story. I am employed as the PR and Marketing Manager for BlogPaws and aside from that I blog on Fidose of Reality and formed my own fundraising arm of the blog, Wigglebutt Warriors®. With over $50K raised to date, my spouse and I crusade to save dogs’ lives through fundraising galas and year-round rescue support for dogs in need.
Proof is in the Dollars
Here are some of the 2014 accomplishments from BlogPaws in the pet blogging space, so let the numbers speak for themselves. All of our call-outs from brands looking to work with bloggers are sent out to the bloggers who are a part of the BlogPaws Community: (and that can be you)
- In 2014, BlogPaws worked with 35 brands – double what they did in 2013;
- In 2014, they showcased over 1,100 sponsored blog posts;
- During the year, they activated over 780 bloggers for campaigns;
- That’s 207 UNIQUE bloggers – individuals receiving payment for campaigns;
- The overall growth in 2014 was 175% over 2013 for sponsored posts;
- PLUS… BlogPaws paid out over $160,000 to its participating bloggers;
What inspired me to form Wigglebutt Warriors® came partially, in part, to the BlogPaws Be the Change for Pets movement. While people are being educated, learning social media and engaging in hands-on learning, BlogPaws also donated overall, from 2010 – 2014 $73,500. In 2015, they expect to break the $100,000 mark!
PLUS… they’ve given away $15K in goods alone.
I was inspired. And Wigglebutt Warriors® was born: We crusade to save dogs’ lives.
I am thrilled to the umpth degree to be recognized with the Advocate of the Year award from the Women in the Pet Industry. So yes, my heart not only beats dog, but it is overflowing with gratitude. I get goosebumps thinking of that moment when my name was called.
Don’t let anyone tell you that blogging is not a business: It is. You need a plan and you need structure: And it can be done. So can helping animals in need. From big ways to small ways, it can be done. I am living proof. And I’m not rich: I am a woman who decided the sad photos of dogs filling her feed on Facebook needed a voice. I can’t help them all, but I can try with a team of Wigglebutt Warriors, like you, who wants to help.
If any of the following apply to you, then you should consider joining the BlogPaws Community (for free) and get to making money blogging and/or microblogging:
- I am a lifestyle blogger who sometimes writes about pets
- I am a pet blogger
- I want to be a pet blogger or lifestyle blogger who writes about pets
- I have a social media account as a microblogger, like Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/YouTube that focuses on pets and/or touches on them occasionally
- I want to become more involved and learn more about blogging about pets and make money doing so
Join the ever-growing, nearly 5,000 member BlogPaws Community for free:
Click here to —–> Join the BlogPaws Community
Join the Women in the Pet Industry group and meet me in Oregon next year and network with pet industry ladies along the way:
For more information, please visit www.womeninthepetindustry.com
Are you a pet lover?