If you’re here, it’s likely, you have a passion for pets or helping people understand their pets, and you’re considering whether starting a pet blog can help you to share that passion, and make money at the same time. Starting a pet blog can be a very fulfilling way of sharing your passion with others, and it can be a low-risk way to start a pet business (beyond blogging). In this article, I’ll be sharing with you how to start a pet blog, answering common questions startup entrepreneurs might have on the topic, and guiding you step-by-step, so you can get started.
What is a Pet Blog?
First, if you’ve been hearing the term, “blog”, but you’re not sure what it is, then, let’s first start by answering the question, “What is a pet blog?”. Explaining what a pet blog is can have two answers because it’s a different thing to the blog owner than it is to the blog reader, so let me explain both.
For the successful blog owner, a pet blog is a marketing tool that’s used to build an audience, build trust, and sell products and services. Others who get into blogging usually think about it as journaling, but don’t realize that if you want to be successful in blogging, you have to treat it as a small business, and sell products and services like all other business owners do. The blog is simply the tool that’s used to get attention of potential customers, so you can offer product and service solutions that will make their lives better.
For the blog reader, a pet blog is an online resource center where you can go to read articles, see videos, or view graphics that answer your questions about your pets. Some blogs are very sophisticated resource centers with lots of information, and others are not so good.
Pet Blog Ideas
Pet blogs can include:
- Cat blogs
- Dog blogs
- Sea animal blogs
- Wildlife blogs
- Pet tips
- Pet product review blogs
- Pet news
- Or, Pet owner advice blogs
Are People Looking for Pet Advice Online?
People are looking for advice online all the time, and Google gets lots of queries from people who want pet advice. Internet users ask questions like:
- What to feed your dog
- What to feed a cat
- What to feed birds
- What to feed ducks
- and so many other things!
As you can see using the Google Trends graph below…
In addition to the “what to feed…” queries I demonstrated on the Google Trends chart (above), there are many other things that internet users search for to learn how to best care for and interact with pets. You can use the Jaaxy market research tool (below) to get estimates of how many times search engine users search for particular key phrases…
Why Would People Listen to My Pet Advice?
Although having expertise in the pet industry would be ideal for starting a pet blog–that’s not what’s required to be successful. Starting a pet blog doesn’t necessarily require a pet-related degree, or lots of experiences with pets. Any relevant experience you have with pets can be hugely advantageous, but you can be successful without tons of experience.
What makes people want to engage with your blog content is:
- Your author voice
- The quality of your blog user interface
- The quality of your articles
- How you leverage sources and do your research
- And, eventually, you’ll be able to build a reputation based on how well your advice worked
If you’re passionate about starting a dog blog, you don’t have to postpone your dream because you don’t have loads of experience. Instead, focus your attention on giving the highest quality information, doing your research, gaining the niche-specific experience, and providing the best experience for website visitors.
Are pet blogs profitable?
Starting a pet blog can be done as a hobby, or it can be done as a small business. As a hobby, a pet blogger might:
- Write whatever they want
- Blog when they want
- Blog solely as a creative expression
- and, show little concern about what others are looking for.
A pet blog hobby may or may not be profitable. When a pet blog is a component of a small business marketing plan, a pet blogger would:
- Create content that’s in demand
- Blog when there’s a demand
- Present products and services that are in demand to a relevant audience
- Blog as a creative expression, but mostly as a service for others
- and show the utmost concern about what others are looking for
Small business profitability is contingent on the choices made by the business owner, whether or not they treat it like a business, and whether they sustain low enough expenses, high enough sales volume, and high enough prices to sustain a profit.
The Modern Way vs. the Traditional Way of Starting a Pet Business
As a startup blogger, your long term goal may be to branch out into a full-blown pet business of some sort, and that’s a totally viable plan with the modern approach to starting a pet business.
The Traditional Way
With the traditional way of starting a pet business, you’d start by investing in your incorporation, legal consultations, accounting consultations, inventory, service design, the intellectual property (logo, brand guidelines, software, digital products, artwork, books, etc.). After you have your products, services, branding, legal, and accounting out of the way, then you’d start to build an audience and sell your products and services to recoup the costs and make a profit.
Some entrepreneurs stay in the concept phase for years where they’re thinking about what to do, how to do it, testing what tools to use, and seeing what products or services would serve the market demand best. As a result, the traditional approach could cause them to buy inventory that goes to waste, incorporate way early (before they have liability to protect), pay legal fees and accounting fees they don’t need to, and overall, pay much more they could be using to get higher returns on their time and money. The traditional way is much higher risk because you’re investing money before really testing what buyers would be willing to pay for.
The Modern Way
Now, with the internet, you no longer have to invest so much upfront. Instead, you can focus on building an audience and social following first, learn about their interest, and create products and services tailored to the demand of your audience–this can minimize the risk and improve the return on investment significantly. In this post, I’ll be explaining how to start a pet blog step-by-step using the modern approach to starting a business.
Successful Pet Blog Examples
If you’re looking to start a pet blog, you’re probably wondering what a successful pet blog look like. Honestly, there are several examples of successful pet blogs, and the possibilities range quite a bit. Here are two examples…
You did What with your Weiner – $7.7k/mo
On You did what with your Weiner, there’s lots of recommendations and advice for how to care for a dashcund. The blog is primarily making money from MediaVine ads, coaching, dog sitting, and affiliate marketing. You can see the full income report by going here.
HerePup – $15k/mo and growing
Herepup is a website that gives product reviews to pet owners to help them by giving added details that help them make the online buying decision. The website is mostly monetized with affiliate marketing using the Amazon affiliate program, Chewy affiliate program, and a few others. You can see the full income report here.
How to Start a Pet Blog – Step-by-Step
If you’re ready to start a pet blog, these are the recommended steps for starting a pet blog the modern way…
1. Choose a Niche
First, you want to choose a niche. You may think “pets” is a niche, but when you think about it, there are so many types of animals, types of animal owners, and goals people are looking for advice on, it would be near impossible to address them all.
Instead, it’s important to choose a group of people who have similar goals, and create a website that’s tailored to help them.
- Pet Blog Niche Examples
- Dog food reviews
- Cat food reviews
- Dog accessories
- Cat accessories
- Specific dog breeds
- and more
2. Build a Website
Once you’ve chosen a niche, then it’s time to build a website. Your website will serve as a place where you can meet new people who are interested in advice like what you’ll be sharing, and once you’ve built trust on your website, then it becomes more possible to get sales and make money.
3. Monetize the Website
Once you’ve set up your website, then it’s time to monetize the website to ensure you make money from it. Some options for monetizing a website include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Ad revenue
- and Services
4. Create Content
When you’ve decide how you’ll monetize your content, then you want to start creating content that will attract your ideal customer. You want to think about the questions they might have, the problems they may be trying to solve, the products they might currently be using, and the alternatives you offer that can make their life easier.
5. Build an Audience
As you build a resource library with content on your blog, you’ll build more and more traffic. Similar to offline businesses, you can’t make sales without having people visiting your storefront, therefore, it’s really important to build the content that drives the traffic, so you can build an audience. Once you have traffic, you can collect email addresses and stay engaged with those who have expressed interest in what you’re doing.
As your audience grows, your sales and liability also grows. As you’re getting more sales, you’ll have more income that can be taxed. You’ll have more people who can make legal claims about what you’ve said (which is fairly rare but it can happen). When you have more liability, then it’s a good time to incorporate to minimize the impact of the business liability on your personal situation.
With incorporation, you’ll likely be able to lower your tax burden and minimize the potential of personal loss in the event of a lawsuit.
7. Make Money
When you have a website, a regular content flow, website traffic, an audience, and products and services that solve problems, then this is when entrepreneurs usually see incremental growth in income: from making their first sale and going up from there.
If you’re passionate about pets and helping pet owners, starting a pet blog could be a very fulfilling way to make a living sharing that passion with the world. This step-by-step guide is a resource you can come back to over and over to make sure you’re on the right track with building your pet blog. If you want ongoing support and guidance as you grow your pet blog, join me here for a free website, training, and support.