The Social Media and Pet Blogging Conference Went to the Dogs (and Cats, Horses…)
Recently I attended my second BlogPaws pet blogging and social media conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Another year of blogging under my belt meant I had different goals and a different experience overall. Most of my friends and fellow attendees will agree this year was unique.
Attending last year I paid special attention to preparing for my first blogging conference. Connecting with fellow attendees in advance of the conference was by far the most helpful. Unlike many other large networks in social media and marketing, the BlogPaws network has a very tight community feel. Largely because of the core structure of people including Chloe DeVita, Carol Bryant, Bernard Lima-Chavez, Maggie Marton, Aimee Beltran, and Felissa Elfenbein. While they are not the focus, they are indeed the heart and this trickles down to the rest of the community. We all talk regularly and share information, suggestions, and requests for assistance.
My favorite part of the BlogPaws annual pet conference is seeing the friends I’ve made over social media in person. Our lives are incredibly busy, and most of us work more than one job. I’m proud to say that many of my friends are entrepreneurs that own their own businesses and strive to raise awareness for animal health and rescue among other organizations.
Warning: Name Dropping Some Awesome Influencers You Should Follow!
Beth Miller, Wagtown
Winner of the inaugural “Founder’s Award” this year, the founder of Wagtown is dedicated to creating truly dog friendly communities throughout the nation. Keep an eye out for this amazing organization, and for her upcoming interview with me, here on the blog.
Tori Mistick, Wear, Wag, Repeat and InstaMistick
Fabulous in pink! Tori and her canine companion Lucy are Instagram phenomenons. If you are a fashionable dog mom and like pet products and DIY, make sure to tune into her blog Wear, Wag, Repeat. Tori also hosts a podcasts and has created courses on how you can be successful on Instagram too!
Want to watch the interview I did with Tori last year?
Gals Best Friend
Check out these three best friends and gorgeous ladies, inside and out. While they live througout the US, these women have their brand on pointe making being a dog mom fashionable AF. They host events throughout the year for pet brands and animal rescue, and be sure to keep your eye on them. Megan, Jessica, and Chelsea each bring something special to the table, and it’s not just their fabulous pets.
The Instagram Pupsation, Bruce Wayne, and his little lady Meesha Kauffman were in attendance this year with “The Others”, ViaGen Pets cloned puppies. Meesha has a keen eye for marketing and Bruce Wayne has a snark that cannot be contained. Plus, he and his clones are incredibly photogenic.
Jill Caren, 2 Dogs Design and Charity Paws
Fellow Jersey Girl, Jill Caren is a woman of many skills! Pet photographer, SEO Queen, and animal rescue advocate, she is an inspiration to women everywhere. We met last year as we were both on a late flight to the conference and bonded from the first! While we don’t get to see each other often due to our many business, non-profit, and family interests, Jill is an absolutely inspiration to me in every way.
If you need help with search engine optimization, she’s your gal. Trust me, I know!
The list goes on. But I want to give a shout out to these amazing women who truly work overtime to benefit the lives of animals and know how to get stuff done professionally yet fabulously.
I was incredibly proud to be a speaker at this year’s conference on the topic, Blogging to Books: Increasing Your Reach and Your Wallet. Set as a table topic during lunch, the session was limited to a small number of attendees. I was absolutely floored at the interest. Almost 40 people “signed up” for the 10 person session, and many more expressed interest on the sidelines. We ended up combining two tables and the feedback from my session was amazing. I wish I would have had a private room with a screen and room for more attendees but hopefully next year!
After my session, I had one-on-one sessions. These are similar to speed dating in which I spend 10 minutes answering questions specific to the needs of each attendee. It was lovely to meet new faces and learn more about their blogs and wishes for book publishing!
Nose-to-Nose Awards Finalist
I was incredibly honored to be a finalist for the “Best Beyond Paws” Pet Blog at this year’s awards ceremony hosted by dog celebrity, David Frei. There were a huge number of nominations and to be selected in the finals was a huge honor that I so appreciate. More, my blog was in competition with two other equestrian blogs, Saddle Seeks Horse and Paperchases & Petticoats, as well as a therapy rat blog, Healing Whiskers.
While of course I was disappointed not to be named the winner, I was so happy to see Lindsey of Paperchases & Petticoats win for the second year in a row! But the best part was the chance to meet with her and speak in person.
Many of my friends were nominated for awards and quite a few won as well! I’m so proud to know and work amongst these amazing, smart, and caring people. Plus, it was incredibly fun to walk the red carpet and get glammed up!
While I’m unaware of the judging criteria for these awards, I’ve got my sights set on winning next year. Challenge accepted!
Natural Health and Wellness Brands
A major goal this year was to meet and connect with natural pet wellness companies. I’ve increased the number of product reviews on Bridle & Bone and really want focus on animal health & wellness products.
While my website is primarily an equestrian blog, I work equally as certified equine massage therapist and canine massage therapist in Monmouth County, New Jersey. As such, I’m always looking for high quality, natural pet products for both horses and dogs alike.
The BlogPaws conference is heavily geared toward dog and cat blogs. While many brands have created an equine line of products suitable for horses, I have yet to encounter a brand here dedicated to horses alone. Not surprising, considering 99% of their audience in attendence.
My goal was to speak with brands and learn about products that would be suitable for both dogs and horses. Some of these brands include:
Would you like to know all about those brands and products? Good! Make sure to subscribe because I will be posting more information on them in the coming weeks.
The Sheraton at Crowne Center in Kansas City was the epitome of pet-friendly. One of the biggest draws of this social media and pet blogging conference is to be able to attend sessions and meet potential sponsors with your pets in tow. Or for lack of pets, since I could not bring my pony Ferrous, I was able to play with old furry friends and new!
These three days were jam packed with brands, friends, and education. The only thing I which I had more of was Kansas City BBQ. Luckily I have family based in both Missouri and Kansas, and I’ll be visiting again in August to spend time with them.
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