dog internet rock star
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How to Make Your Dog an Internet Rock Star

dog internet rock star

If you landed here, you want your dog to be popular online or you are in some way curious about what to do to make it happen. I can relate: My dog is the face of this blog and his life is lived out loud through the words, images, and activities encountered in our travels. The American Pet Products Association estimates that 70-80 million dogs live in homes within the United States. Couple that with more than 1 billion people on Facebook, and yes, there are indeed masses of mutts and parades of pedigrees gracing social media pages. If you have a dog and a social media account, why not create a social media following to rival the likes of someone like Boo? Here are some tips to make it happen:

Time to Walk the Blog

People start dog blogs for a variety of reasons, including giving their pooch a voice, showcasing her latest travel adventures, or even to share pet-friendly restaurants. With pet bloggers representing a big part of cyberspace, you’ll hardly be alone if you start a blog.

According to the Washington Post, prior to social media, when blogs stood on their own,  bloggers were counted by tool use. A 2009 estimate put the count at 452,000; by July 2012, a survey had the number at 31 million. Once you didn’t need to log on to a blog tool to blog, those counts became difficult.

Let’s go a step further: Want to know how many blog posts are written every day? Visit WorldoMeters.com for a real-time count. Hint: It’s staggering.

So how can a dog mom or dad stand out and get started?

Come to the BlogPaws 2015 Conference: It takes place yearly, and this year’s event is in Nashville, Tennessee at the Sheraton Music City Hotel from May 28-30. This pet-welcoming extravaganza unites 500 of the pet industry’s top influencers and key bloggers from around the country (and world) convening for a yearly conference of networking, learning how to make money, learning, and more. Founded in 2009 by three dedicated pet lovers and bloggers, BlogPaws helps pet bloggers and pet enthusiasts connect digitally, build their online presence, enhance their social networks and support animals and shelters/rescues across the world. BlogPaws works year-round to connect bloggers and micro-bloggers to the brands they buy every day. Limited tickets at this stage.

Carol Bryant Steve Dale
Me with pet journalist, Steve Dale, at BlogPaws.

In 2010, I walked into the very first BlogPaws conference in Ohio and found a kindred connection with hundreds of other pet bloggers: This was a new concept: to actually blog about pets, but there we were and here we are. My dog and I have attended all six conferences to date and would love to meet you and show you around in Nashville in a few weeks.

Drop any sense of being intimidated at the door: This year, over 60 percent of attendees are newbies. The number of folks who attend is capped at 500, so when tickets sell out, they are gone. Imagine talking to big name brands face to face where they want to get to know you. Consider that you will meet people who have “made it” and are blogging for an income and loving it: From the comfort of home (present company included). These people are approachable, helpful, and it all happens in an educational and fun environment. Rather than ramble on about it, here’s a video of what happens at a typical BlogPaws Conference:

P.S. Did I mention the media covers it, too?

Get On Instagram

My dog and I will be presenting a session at the BlogPaws Conference along with Facebook rock star, Positively Woof aka Larry Kay, titled, “How to Rock Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.” If you like taking photos of your dog and wish you could share them with the whole world beyond Facebook where your circle of friends can see them, Instagram is the social media platform for you.  It’s easy, fun, networking at its finest, and with about 10 minutes of your time a day, your dog can be the next social media superstar (or at least be on his or her way). However, there are some do’s and don’ts for properly using Instagram.

Get a head start on making your dog an Instagram rock star by clicking here, then come meet me and Dexter in person in Nashville this month.

learn instagram

It can happen, and overnight, especially with a targeted plan of attack. I interviewed the humans behind Instagram dog rock star, Manny the Frenchie, at the BlogPaws Conference on Lake Las Vegas last year.

“It all happened fairly quickly,” Amber Chavez remembers. “Manny had 1,000 followers within a few weeks and then it just exploded. He went to 10,000 followers and landed on the popular page.”

Amber Chavez and Jon Huang have had Manny share their lives since he was 4-1/2 months old. This pint-sized dynamo just recently turned four years of age. Manny does do public appearances, but most of his “business” is online via Facebook, Instagram,  and Twitter.

“Most of Manny’s life is content based so we are always trying to document what Manny is doing when he is out and about,” Chavez shares.

Manny is not a solo dog, as Chavez and Huang share their lives with Leila and Frank.  The antics of Cooper, one of Manny’s pals, are documented online as well.

Of Note:  Instagram is not Pinterest. You don’t have to separate your pictures into “boards,” and there are no categories to build. Instagram is not something you have to worry about building and following and gaining new followers unless that’s your thing. If you love your dog, want to show the world, and see pictures of other people who love their dogs (amongst other things), Instagram is all that and then some.

 

Dexter meets Manny
Dexter meets Manny

Twitter Is a Dog Park with Billions of Followers

Twitter is more lax when it comes to animals having their own accounts. Facebook frowns on animal accounts and unless you register your pet as a business page on Facebook, you risk having the page shut down by the powers that be at Facebook headquarters. On the other hand, Twitter is fine with pet accounts.  Have you been to a “pawty” or participated in an online animal chat? Businesses and brands host Twitter parties where the atmosphere is pet friendly — because oftentimes the pets do the talking. Millions of dollars are being made in the name of dog. Brands have become savvy to what dog parents want, and as a PR and social media guru in the pet industry, I can attest firsthand (and paw) that tweets by pets are being watched.

Jump in with the #BlogPawsChat three-times-a-month on Tuesday nights from 8 to 10 pm EDT. Follow hashtag #BlogPawsChat.

How can you get your dog noticed? Above all, follow other pet people. It might seem time consuming and daunting, but if your plan is to create a doggie diva, Twitter needs to be a part of it.

Here’s a step by step of how to partake in the #BlogPawsChat: It’s easy, fun, and there is no need to feel overwhelmed:

Take an Interest in Pinterest

We’re a visual and socially connected society, and dogs are very social beings. Dog moms and dads fill their smartphones with photos of their canine family members. Pinterest encourages, fosters, and helps grow your furry obsession into something connected to other dog lovers.

Pinning is a form of micro-blogging, very much like Twitter and Facebook, but without the heavy verbal commitment. If getting your dog recognized is your goal, give Pinterest a try. You need not be on every single social media platform – but if Pinterest is on the list, make a concerted plan of how you plan to capitalize on it. There is a session at BlogPaws on this topic.

I Sniff You, You Sniff Me

Growing an online presence takes time. Think like your dog: He meets a new dog, and in most cases, an exchange of sniffs occurs. The same philosophy should be applied online. You know that person who talks nonstop at a party, rambling about me-me-me? It works the same way. If you want a following, be a good follower. Reciprocity rules; I sniff you, you sniff me.

BlogPaws

Stow Your Electronic Devices

Experience life. Go for walks, engage in face-to-face banter, and then infuse those experiences into your dog’s social media presence. I have a “rules of writing” poster here in my office, and one of the basic principles is to stop writing and go do something. I find humor in things my dog does when on play dates, traveling, going for walks, and meeting new people. I am able to write about those experiences. Probably 80 percent of my inspiration happens within a 10-mile radius of my home, but thousands of followers know about it. It’s amazing how dogs can bring us together, isn’t it? We’re one big happy dog park, in a sense.

blogpaws

Say Cheese

Finally, take your camera wherever you go. If you have a smartphone with a camera, use it. Snap pictures at the pet supply store, the dog park, the vet’s waiting room, and wherever your dog goes. No need to go pup-arazzi style, but the funniest and most engaging visual moments I’ve shared have been when my dog is doing sweet and innocent nothings — which can turn into big somethings online.

There you have it. It might not happen overnight, but social-media stardom can be done. Be sure to never put a dog in harm’s way or make her do anything uncomfortable or upsetting in order to get a good photo or post. Most of all, avoid pitfalls by having fun and bonding with your dog. It worked for Timmy and Lassie in the well, and it works for Boo and his mom on Facebook.

Does your dog have a social-media presence? Bark at me below and share your links. I love making new friends as much as my dog does. You can follow my Dexter on Facebook and Fidose of Reality on Instagram and Fidose of Reality on Twitter.

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49 Comments

  1. I rarely blog about my dog, but that’s not the focus of my site. Every now and then he makes an appearance, though.

  2. I did not know that there was a growing and wide spread community for dog bloggers. I don’t have a dog but this is very interesting.

  3. We’ve had our dog for a year and I swear my post about rescuing her got me more hits than any other post I’ve written about it five years. People like dogs!
    I’d love to do a post written by her.

  4. that’s so cute. Have you heard of the tv show, Dog with a blog? People love dogggie pix

  5. Ha- I think our dog is rather cute, maybe I should start posting more of him 😉 And that’s cool that Blog Paws will be here in Nashville!

    1. There are still some tickets left and we’d love to have you join us – the conference is for anyone on social media or blogging with or without pets, AJ 😉

  6. We have a “Dexter” too. 🙂 He makes an appearance occasionally on my blog as he gets to review some pretty cool products. He’s an important part of our family and we try to include him in everything we do. 🙂

  7. I just joined the Blog Paws community and I am looking forward to working with them. Our little Allie wants to be an internet rock star she sometimes cowrites on the blog.

    1. I can so relate, Debbie. We lost our dog and I said “never again” and Dexter is my “never again.” Hugs.

  8. We don’t have any pallets but I do know someone who has an Instagram account for their dog! I’ll have to check out Dexter’s FB PAGE!

  9. Great tips! I’m not a dog owner but a good friend is and I’m always telling her she needs to start a blog about her four legged friends. I will share this with her!

  10. Carol, this is fantastic advice! When we started, I thought Facebook was the only real source of social media traffic but we are figuring out how to better use each of the tool and have them drive traffic. I think that Twitter and Instagram offer a really cool way of connecting with people and brands that Facebook in particular doesn’t. So close to meeting and learning at BlogPaws!

  11. Holy cow! Those are some statistics on blogs! I know when we started, we didn’t even know if there were dogs online, how naive, but it opened a whole new world. It is fun and a constant challenge.

  12. Hi! Great post and I’m sad to not be able to make the conference this year, I’m newbie on BlogPaws, it looks like it will be fab though!
    I blog about my gorgeous Border Terrier Barney and dog related products, reviews etc… also new to blogging… so steep learning curve!
    Thanks for the tips!
    Michelle & Barney

  13. I seen a post that someone shared that showed a dog and a pet rat playing. It supposedly broke the internet and was shared like 5,000 times. I just had to shake my head. People need to visit those who have pet blogs to see that wasn’t anything new in the animal world. We know lots of people who have dogs and rats, cats, and even guinea pigs that play together everyday.

  14. So many great ideas! I am very excited for the BlogPaws Conference this year 🙂 It really is a great experience. I learn a lot from you Carol and from other people at BlogPaws as well.

  15. Great, great post Carol! I love the I sniff you, you sniff me analogy, it’s perfect! Last year was my first conference (sans dogs), I loved Manny the Frenchies IG presentation w/ his parents. It was so informative. I’m really looking forward to your presentation at this year’s conference – I’ll have my dogs with me this time! My dogs are definitely the focus of my blog as well as the sponsored posts I’ve done! Here are some of our links:
    http://instagram.com/caluvsdogs
    http://www.pinterest.com/caluvsdogs/
    https://twitter.com/Caluvsdogs
    https://www.facebook.com/Dogsluvusandweluvthem?ref_type=bookmark

  16. I call MYA my little “Internet Hottie” because her picture(s) have been in 14 different Huffington Post slideshows/articles and 7 or 8 different AOL slideshows/articles and is on “youtube” modeling in the 1st Annual Eastern NC Pet Expo Fashion Show….. YEP….there was an “honest-to-God” catwalk with an MC…LOL !!….. BUT….I thought “Instagram” was just for folks that had “smart phones” and I don’t have one of those. And Twitter too…. I didn’t think you could do either of those thru the use of a computer. MY “facebook” page is literally THEIR page…..with a few weather events thrown in….LOL!! Here it is………. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008200170854 ……… If they have started ALLOWING “pet pages” on “facebook”……I might just have to REDO everything on a page JUST for them and dump everything on “my” page…… There are NO pics of me on my page…..just them…..:) And if they are allowing “pet pages” ON Instagram and Twitter and it can be done thru a computer….I might just have to check that out too !!….

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