Why my dog has a blog, and how yours can, too!

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My dog Mayzie has a blog. That’s right. A blog. Written from her point-of-view. Sometimes her siblings (a dog and two cats) or I take over for the day but mainly, it’s all hers.

When we adopted Mayzie, she’d been the victim of extreme neglect and was fearful of many things. On the advice of an online group I belonged to, I decided to track her progress with a blog. However, I chose to do it through her eyes to make myself more empathetic with her fears and because, well, I thought it would be fun.

At the time, I thought there were only a handful of other dog bloggers. However, I quickly discovered I wasn’t alone. In fact, I found that there are hundreds — if not thousands — of dog (and cat) bloggers all across the world. Some, like me, blog as their dogs. Others blog about their dogs or other animal-related issues. All have one thing in common — their love for their four-legged companions.

Blogville, as many of us like to call it, is a place of silliness and fun. There are contests and themed events. Bloggers share both grand adventures and day-to-day happenings. Adorable photos are posted and funny stories are told. We discuss everything from the quality of poop bags to trips to the vet to the abject humiliation of taking a bath.

But beyond this, there is something much deeper. This place — virtual though it is — is truly a community. We discuss difficult issues and both give and get advice. We celebrate each other’s accomplishments, big or small. If one of us is going through a tough time, we rally around with words of support. We hold online auctions and fund-raisers for those in need. And when a member of our community finally makes their journey across the Bridge, we grieve as deeply as if we’d known them in real life. It is quite remarkable and something I am proud and privileged to be part of.

One of the best things about this community is how welcoming it is. Like our dogs, we love making new friends. So if you’ve ever thought about creating your own pet blog, I encourage you to do it. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Choose your blog platform. My blog is on WordPress but it seems many pet bloggers use Blogger.com. Check out the features of each one and decide what works best for you. Both seem user-friendly and it shouldn’t take long to get your blog up and running.

2. Decide on your voice. Will you blog as yourself or your dog? If you choose to blog as your dog, consider his or her personality. Is he outgoing? Intelligent? Goofy? Shy? Imagine how your dog might speak if given the opportunity. For instance, when I blog as my dog Ranger, he has a formal way of speaking because he tends to be a very serious dog. Mayzie, however, is written with an innocent, playful tone which reflects her personality.

3. Set the tone and focus for your blog. I made the decision early on that Mayzie’s blog would be a happy place because, despite her rough beginning, she is a one of the world’s most joyful dogs. While I sometimes discuss more serious issues, the overall tone of the blog is fun and positive. By being consistent with your tone and focus, your readership will know what to expect and will keep coming back.

4. Visit other blogs and leave thoughtful comments. This is the best way to form friendships and grow your readership. However, I can’t stress the “thoughtful comments” part enough. The dog blogging community is all about creating and building relationships. And, like any relationship, it’s a give and take. Your comment doesn’t have to be long but it should add to the conversation.

5. Take a cue from the dogs and have fun! For some, blogging is a serious business. For most of us, however, it’s simply a wonderful way to connect and share stories about our fabulous four-legged friends. So just relax and have fun!

Have you ever thought about starting a blog about your pet? If you already have a pet blog, what’s your favorite thing about blogging?

Amber Carlton is a freelance blogger and business writer specializing in the pet industry. Owned by two dogs and two cats, she is affectionately (?) known as the crazy pet-lady amongst her friends and family. Connect with her at Comma Hound Copywriting, on Twitter or at Mayzie’s Dog Blog.

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