I have to admit, before I started using Twitter, I had no idea that people were blogging as their pets. It wasn’t until I got a DM from a mysterious someone who said that their mom really liked bizchickblogs. My first thought was, “Cool!” So I went and checked out their blog. It was then that I discovered that this mysterious someone was none other than a cat named Cody.
So here I am, several months later, getting ready to chat with Cody’s (and now doggie Dakota’s) mom Caren Gittleman, an amazing pet blogger who was the first to introduce me to this blogging niche! Her pet blogs are Cat Chat With Cody & Caren and Dakota’s Den.
Check out our interview below! We are ALSO going to be chatting it up on bizchickchat LIVE this Monday at 12:30 ET on BlogTalkRadio. It’s going to be so much fun. Join us!
1. What gave you the idea to start blogging on behalf of your cat, Cody? And Dakota?
In a prior life I was in newspaper advertising for 21 years (in Cleveland, Ohio at The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper). I moved to Michigan in 2001 (after meeting my husband online) where I had NINE jobs! Lost my last one in 2007 due to downsizing. I was incredibly depressed the first two years. I applied to job after job with no luck. Then, I answered an ad from a local newspaper in Michigan (The Oakland Press), they were seeking Citizen Journalists. I had always loved to write and thought maybe that would interest me. They were going to assign me to City Council meetings. Noooo way! Not for me!
I am a kind of a crazy person, I consider that to be waaay too boring. In the group workshop they had I learned that they had feature writers and online bloggers. I checked out their blogs and noticed they had a Dog Blog but nothing for cats. I asked them instead of covering City Council meetings, could I do a blog? They had me submit ideas, I submitted Cat Chat, also an idea for a food blog (I am a HUGE foodie), also Reality TV. They chose Cat Chat.
Listen in LIVE to “Do Pets Make Better Bloggers than People?” Monday on bizchickchat live!
Cat Chat was born October of 2009. I had no clue what I was doing. Dakota’s blog “Dakota’s Den” is less than a month old. People on my current blog were responding favorably when I would include photos of my Sheltie and I decided to start Dakota’s blog which sadly I am not keeping up on the way I should.
2. How did you promote your blog at first?
I didn’t. I had no clue what I was doing. I was not on Twitter at the time and was very “anti Twitter” (which changed in June 2010). I mostly promoted it on Facebook.
3. How has the promotion strategy changed over time?
The promotion strategy has changed drastically. I was blessed on October 5, 2010 by Blogger. I was awarded their “Blog Of Note” award which jumped my follower count immensely. In June of 2010 I joined Twitter and started learning my way around there. I created more than one Cat Chat page on Facebook (I lost some followers of those pages when I changed from a group to a page). Twitter was probably the most successful form of promoting my blog that I have used. I have connected with some amazing people there (like yourself). I also participated in Blog Hops (which I don’t do as much now because I am following so many blogs). I leave comments religiously on the majority of the blogs that I follow.
They look at me and either say “you have WHAT???” or their look conveys what they are thinking.
4. What is the usual reaction people have when you tell them you have blogs for your pets?
I have to say that sadly it isn’t favorable. They look at me and either say “you have WHAT???” or their look conveys what they are thinking. Most people look down on it. They think I am sitting and playing online all day which as you know is far from the truth. My family and close friends sadly are probably the LEAST supportive of anyone that knows that I have a blog. It is amazing how you can’t get your own family or friends to follow your blog. Some of them don’t understand what it is that I do. Some, just don’t care.
5. Are your blogs monetized? Do pet services/product companies approach you for sponsorship?
I am actively trying to make more money with my blog.
6. Anything else that you’d like to share?
I barely make any money (but would LOVE TO)… the first 6 months of my blog I was blogging for free. I wasn’t being paid. I would still do it for free (but I prefer not to lol)… I work harder blogging than I ever did on ANY traditional job I have ever had. Blogging doesn’t end. I am up as early as someone who has to go to an office (tradionally by 7am at the LATEST)… with social networking, reading other blogs, etc. I am often STILL UP at 1am.
I do book reviews on my blog, product reviews, etc. This all takes TIME. My husband is a retired teacher and money is tight for us (as it is for so many)… if there is anyone out there who would like to give a crazy cat lady pet writer (I can write about more than just pets, but I prefer humorous writing) I am ready, willing, able and AVAILABLE!!!. I also have a dream of writing a pet related humorous book, we will see.
Last thing, Tia I love the work that you do, I have been a follower of yours for a while now. I THANK YOU for noticing me and for affording me this opportunity of speaking with you! You have no idea how flattered I am!!!
Hilarious Video of Dakota and Cody’s… butt.
THANK YOU Caren! I cannot wait to chat about this on Monday’s bizchickchat LIVE!
P.S. I just got a cat. Should I give her a column on bizchickblogs?
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