Does your dog blog?
Yes? No? Not sure?
Well, don't worry because mine does.
You're about to get 10 blogging lessons from my black Labrador retriever, Woofie, who turns 10 soon. (FYI her birthday is April 29 and she loves getting birthday notes by email. And she replies to every one!)
What makes Woofie such an authority on blogging? Well, it's simple really - she gets a TON of traffic. Every month, I get emails from GoDaddy, where her website is hosted, to the effect that her website bandwidth (5GB/month) has been exceeded. Sometimes by a factor of two or three!
Put simply: there's a chance that this dog's blog is more popular than yours.
So to help you fix that, here are Woofie's guidelines for blogging.
- Post regularly. Woofie posts updates once a year - usually on or before her birthday. It's regularly scheduled. You should post more often than that - but the point is the word REGULARLY.
- Don't ask for much. Woofie doesn't sell on her blog. She doesn't beg. She doesn't collect email addresses. She offers value (if doggy cuteness has value to you) and she invites engagement (by email or social media). That's it. And it works.
- Be cute and relax. Be the real you on your blog. People ask me the secret to success in presenting yourself online. My answer: it's two things. 1. Authenticity and 2. Enthusiasm. Woofie freely shares both of these traits on her blog - and so should you.
- Let people come up to you first. Pretend you're a dog... you have no opposable thumbs... you can't do much. So you better be the online equivalent of an adorable little puppy who people want to stop, pet, interact with, and give treats to. Do that, and you win.
- Use more photos - visuals sell. Much of Woofie's website is made up of photos of her adventures from the previous year. Photos and videos are where it's at. In the wise words of my digital marketing pal, Jay Baer of Convince and Convert, "Text is going away online. Everything is moving to pictures and video."
- Be easy to reach. Woofie has a whole host of digital communications tools in her arsenal (Here's how to connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, email, blog, Dogbook.) The short story is she is reachable in ways that YOU want to reach her, not in ways SHE prefers to be reached (which all happen to involve bacon and/or cheese.)
- Depend on other people to sell for you. In addition to having no opposable thumbs, Woofie has never made a sales call and has never sent a marketing email. She has people do it for her. Third-party endorsements, referrals, recommendations, and word of mouth from her human friends do the trick. How about you?
- Make people feel better about themselves after engaging with you. Let's face it - this dog is cute. But what's beyond that to make interacting with her worthwhile? Well, if you came over to our house, you could answer that for yourself. But we're talking about online. So each interaction needs to be fun, special, and rewarding in and of itself. Want to try one? Click here to send Woofie an email and see what you get back in a reply.
- It's OK to be silly. Sometimes it's even more than OK - it's required. Self-deprecating humor is the best kind. It puts people at ease and makes them feel better about themselves, too. Plus it's an indicator of expertise if you can portray yourself "as you are" - mistakes, warts, and all. The fearful, the incompetent, and the weak don't have the guts to do that. Woofie does. And you do, too.
- 10 kisses, one bark - keep it positive. Nobody likes to read the blog posts of a perpetual whiner, negative nelly, or always-ranting loon. Woofie has never posted anything negative. And even I, her humble human, try to keep my blog posts 90% positive, aspirational, and fun -- and only 10% critical or "calling out the crazy." It's like the old bumper sticker of doggie wisdom - "Bark Less, Wag More."
And then leave a comment below with your questions, thoughts, and advice on the ideas above.
Are you a DO IT freak? Welcome to the club!! Please use the social media buttons at the top of this post to share it with your network. YOU are a rock star!