Last month we kicked off our new blogger interview series with a chat with Montecristo the traveling Chihuahua. This month, we’re switching gears a little to speak with Carol Bryant of Fidose of Reality and BlogPaws.
Q: How did you start blogging? Were you always a dog blogger?
Dogs are kids to me and I’ve always said, “my heart beats dog.” So when I decided to switch careers several years ago, I knew in my heart and gut that incorporating blogging into my life was a must.
I was hired by a dog magazine in order to increase their social media numbers and create a blog for them. As a result of the blog and presence on Twitter and Facebook, their numbers grew by the thousands within months. Under my blog management and leadership, we won a dog blogger award within one year of the blog’s formation. I am very proud of this.
Since moving on to bigger and brighter things, I formed my own canine-centric online magazine dog blog where dog lovers of the highest order unite™, Fidose of Reality. Not your ordinary dog lover blog: Fidose of Reality is all about extraordinary dog lovers.
I have always been a writer, so blogging was a natural evolution for me.
Q: Tell us about BlogPaws!
Founded in 2009 by three dedicated pet lovers and bloggers, BlogPaws helps pet bloggers and 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. The BlogPaws community site welcomes pet bloggers, pet enthusiasts, pet people on Twitter and Facebook, and brands eager to tap into a vibrant, vocal community of serious writers, bloggers, and micro-bloggers. BlogPaws is a part of Pet360 Media.
BlogPaws will host its fifth annual conference in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, right on the Washington D.C. border, May 16-18, 2013. BlogPaws is a pet-friendly event that has made its mark in Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, and Utah thus far.
Q: When did you join the BlogPaws team?
I have been to every single BlogPaws conference since their very first one in Ohio, each of them with my dog, Dexter, by my side. I fell in love with the entire concept of pet blogging and knew this is where I belonged. I officially joined the team in April of 2012.
Q: What do you love most about blogging?
Great question! I love having the ability to provide instant information to fans and interact with (and many times meet) people who otherwise I might not have. Social media is a constant evolution and being able to disseminate information that dog parents can use, enjoy, and apply is my greatest reward.
Q: What’s been the biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is finding time for all of the social media interactions and not getting drawn into “Internet drift.” In writing and researching blog posts, it is easy to keep clicking and getting deeper and deeper into the vortex of the online world.
Q: What kind of advice would you give a new blogger?
So many feel social media is a threat and they run from it. I don’t think social media has even begun to reach its peak yet. The sky’s the social limit. Believe in yourself, do your homework, and stick to a schedule. Come to BlogPaws yearly conference and join the BlogPaws Community. There are fellow bloggers who are willing to help and provide advice. We’ve all been new at one time. Most days, I feel like a newbie and just jumping into the waters.
Most importantly, never stop learning. Set goals and make them doable.
Q: What’s the best thing you did for your online presence in 2012?
I developed a social media strategy and I hired someone to set a new blog up for me. I honed in more on SEO and incorporated what I learned into the flow and rhythm of my words. I stayed true to content but blogged more cognizant of SEO. My blog ranked #1 in Pets/Living on Technorati.com the week of Christmas, so that was like getting a wonderfully unexpected present under my tree.
I also developed a social media strategy and decided what social media networks were best for me. Joining the BlogPaws team allows me to work with like-minded bloggers who want to educate and help connect pet bloggers with the path to them to success.
I learned a ton by attending the BlogPaws conferences and stay tuned in to their blogger network and community, which is something I recommend pet bloggers of all skill levels do.
Finally, pet bloggers should know their voices and words are being heard. Because niche communities have such power in the ever-expansive $55 billion per year pet industry marketplace, brands are reaching out to BlogPaws to connect with bloggers and micro-bloggers in pursuit of solidifying and monetizing relationships. The desire these niche communities have to monetize their blogs, to learn more about how the brands create products, and to test out new products or ideas is strong—as evidenced by the growing attention given to blogger outreach.
Carol Bryant is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and seminars about dog products and travel, has a passion for growing social media, and is a repeat nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America. In addition to Fidose of Reality, Carol contributes to Dogster and Pet360 and works with the BlogPaws pet blogger social media community and conferences.
Fidose of Reality is the canine-centric online magazine dog blog featuring Rover-ing reporter “Dex Marks His Spot” with dog travels, dog health and wellness, dog news, and featured Fidos. “My heart beats dog” is Carol’s mantra.
You can also find Carol Bryant and Fidose of Reality on Facebook and Twitter (@CarolNBryant or @FidoseofReality). Or join her over at the BlogPaws community or register for their 2013 conference.
For more interesting blogs and information on innovative dog safety and travel products, please visit EzyDog.com!