“I want to start a pet blog. I know I love dogs, have a lot to say and wish I could just find the time, resources and pretty much, how to do it. Help!” Want to meet a pawer woman?
If I had a quarter every time I heard those words or a likeness thereof echoed in the past year, I’d probably be able to feed my pooch for a year on the earnings. Is a blog time-consuming and does it take work? Absolutely. Is it fun and rewarding and potentially profitable? Just ask Paris Permenter. Her name reminds of one of those fictitious characters in the many short stories I read as an English major in college. Paris sounds born to travel and write about it. And oh does she ever.
In part three of our 10-part “Paw-er” Women series, Fidose of Reality introduces you to this guru of the pet blogging world (she has way more than one very successful blog by the way), author, and go-to gal of all things blog. Here, Paris wuffs it out with us and tells us what it takes to make a dog village, or in her case, a DogTipper.
Fidose of Reality: We love your name! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
Paris Permenter: I am the co-publisher and founder of DogTipper.com. I’m a full-time blogger and author with 20 years experience as a professional writer including 11 years experience as a blogger. My husband, John Bigley, and I started out as professional travel writers, writing guidebooks, magazine articles, and, starting in 2000, travel blogs. I’m a lifelong pet lover, and, since John and I married, we’ve never had fewer than four pets in our home at a time. We live in the country near Austin, Texas and have two dogs, Irie and Tiki, and four cats.
Fidose of Reality: You are one busy lady! Why DogTipper and what can people hope to gain by visiting?
Paris: DogTipper.com is a site for dog lovers, by dog lovers that features tips on improving your life with your dog. Along with daily tips, we feature dog-related news, product reviews, Dog and Adoptable Dog of the Day, and more.
I wanted to start a website and blog that covered a wide variety of dog-related topics in a positive manner. We took a lot of the skills we used in creating our travel websites and started DogTipper. Because the economy was on everyone’s minds (including our own) at the same time DogTipper launched, we soon wrote a book, Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos, to help people learn how they can save money on their dog’s care while, at the same time, providing their dog with a happy and healthy lifestyle. My educational background is in Economics so it was a natural move.
Fidose of Reality: When did you launch the site and have you garnered any media attention?
Paris: We launched DogTipper on August 28, 2008, the day we adopted Tiki. Since we started DogTipper, we’ve been lucky to appear in FIDO Friendly, Life + Dog, American Dog, Dog Living, and other publications. Our site was the featured Site of the Day on My Fox Houston’s morning television show and I’ve been on many radio shows.
Fidose of Reality: That is one of the biggest blogger obstacles I hear about time and again. People want to know, “How can I get the media to notice my blog?”
Paris: We decided to set up a press section on DogTipper to make it really easy for the press to reach out to us if they have a question. We did this with our travel blogs and it got us some great coverage with publications ranging from Redbook to USAToday. We followed the same format on DogTipper and explained that we had experience working with the press in television, radio and print and were eager to work with media looking for story ideas, expert quotes, interviews, and more. When we’re contacted by media, we respond immediately. We’ve spent many years writing articles on deadline for magazines so we know that they need a quick turnaround.
Besides having a press kit online, we also subscribe to several free resources that feature journalists’ requests for interviews and sources. We always check:
We receive all those services by email and do a quick scan every time we receive one to see if we would be a good match for any of the coverage.
Fidose of Reality: Those are great resources, and ones we recommend highly. People reading this may want to start their own blog but are not sure where to start. Are there any sites or nuggets of info that helped you get going?
Paris: One resource that really helped us move DogTipper from a start-up to a more prominent site was BlogPaws. The conferences and the online community have really helped me to connect with pet professionals.
We also subscribe to the pet trade publications such as Pet Business, to stay up to date on new products and developments in the pet world.
Away from the pet world, we rely on ProBlogger for excellent articles about all aspects of professional blogging. We also depend on the forums of WebmasterWorld for all kinds of help including news about changes in Google indexing and help with coding questions.
Fidose of Reality: What’s next for Dogtipper.com?
Paris: We’ll be launching a niche site next called MyPetAllergies.com. We had thought about making it a section of DogTipper or of our cat site, CatTipper.com, but allergies are a problem for all types of pet lovers so we decided to make it a separate site. Sadly, one of the top reasons for relinquishment of pets to shelters is allergies but there are so many products on the market today to help reduce pet dander in your home. I have allergies and asthma myself so I wanted to show people that’s it’s possible to have allergies, asthma, and animals and that you can work to minimize the impact of the pets on your allergies.
Fidose of Reality: In addition to repeating how much we love your name, allow us to reiterate how busy you are! What advice would you give others wanting to pursue their pet/dog-related business?
Paris: I would definitely tell people to go with their passion. Writing comes so much more easily when you are writing about a subject that you love and, while I haven’t worked in very many other fields besides writing, I feel that it’s probably the same with all types of work. If you are excited about getting up every day and not just waiting for 5 o’clock so you can check out, it will make a huge difference in your life and in your work.
Find Dogtipper on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/dogtipper
If you have any questions for Paris or any of the paw-er women in the series, feel free to shout out below and/or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss any pieces of our series? Catch up below: