Author Archives: maggiem1

What I’m Working On…

It’s been a bonkers 2016 so far! (I feel like I say that about every year…)

I took on the role of Senior Editor at BlogPaws at the end of 2015, and it’s been a whirlwind of activity since. I’m proud of all that’s been accomplished on the BlogPaws blog and would love for you to go check it out.

I’ve also contributed two columns each month to Pet Age Magazine. It’s such a pleasure to work with leading pet industry manufacturers and media pros on a monthly basis. I learn so much with every story I write. Check out some of my recent work.

It’s been a travel-heavy year, too. It started with the BlogPaws team summit in Phoenix earlier this year, followed by Global Pet Expo in Orlando, and my trip to Best Friends in May. BlogPaws is around the corner, in Phoenix at the end of June. That’s followed by SuperZoo in Last Vegas and a girlfriends’ trip to Vancouver at the end of August. Whew!

I took on a bunch of other little side projects, too, like contributing blog posts to PAW5 each month. I love that gig because they’re an eco-friendly brand that’s all about enriching our pets’ lives. How great is that?

Lastly, I’ve been chipping away at OMD. To be honest, I’ve struggled to keep up with it, not just because of all the work stuff, but because it’s hard to find our herd’s new voice after we lost Lucas. Everything changed, and it’s just taken me time to wrap my head around it and find this new voice. But, it’s coming.

So, that’s where I’ve been! How about you? Connect with me on Twitter so we can compare project notes!

Why BlogPaws?

On a sunny May morning in 2010, I pulled into a gas station somewhere between Bloomington, IN, and Columbus, OH. I pulled out my phone while the tank filled. I spotted a ton of tweets from other folks who were on their way to the first ever BlogPaws conference.

I actually considered NOT tweeting that I was on my way, too, because I felt like such a fraud. Who was I to be going to a social media conference? Who was I–a blogger with less than a year under her belt–to think I could hold my own in a professional crowd?

Of course, it all turned out fine, despite myriad doubts and fears and insecurities. In fact, it turned out great. Some of the dearest friends and most important people in my life today were friendships formed at that first BlogPaws. I learned a ton, though I was incredibly intimidated. I vividly remember hearing a speaker say that you can’t really make any money at the blogging game until you have at least 5,000 followers. I balked. At the time, I don’t think I had more than 50 or 100 readers at that time. Not per day. Not per week. Per month!

Since then, since BlogPaws 2010, I’ve topped 20,000. I credit my herd with that growth because they’re the ones who give me the stories to tell. But, I also credit BlogPaws–not just the speakers and sessions and keynotes, but the relationships formed. If I have a WordPress question or need a contact at a PR agency, or if I just need someone to cry on the phone with (which I did when Lucas was diagnosed with cancer), that community is there.

Sure, BlogPaws isn’t perfect. But there’s truly no other organization like it, and we can all improve if we work together in constructive, positive ways.

We’re lucky: We’re in two growth industries. The pet industry has become a massive, innovative behemoth, and the blogosphere continues to expand and develop. Both industries are primed for development. We, as pet bloggers and social media influencers, are in position to lead, to direct the future of both capacities.

We have that power.

And that’s why I go to BlogPaws.

Join me?

5 Affordable holiday gifts for bloggers

Sure, we could all use a shiny new digital printer, a DSLR camera, or a powerful laptop. And if those gifts are in your budget, by all means! Get them for the blogger on your list! If, however, you’re on a tight budget or your gift list is longer than Santa’s, one of these five affordable holiday gifts for bloggers will do the trick!

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5 Affordable Holiday Gifts for Bloggers

A pretty notebook

Even though we work in a digital space, nothing beats putting pen to paper. When an idea hits–maybe for a new blog post series or a possible collaboration–every blogger needs a nice notebook to jot down the inspiration. I’m a huge fan of Moleskine notebooks because I love the paper quality, and they’re available just about everywhere. And they’re pretty.

Conference pass

Most bloggers attend at least one annual conference. It’s a great way to sharpen skills, network, and step away from the daily grind. A conference pass makes an excellent gift that’s as thoughtful as it is generous!

Amazon gift card

I was going to suggest a few specific blogging-related books (that are, ahem, on my wish list, like this* and this* and this*), but everyone has different needs. Because the blogging world changes so rapidly, staying on top of trends is incredibly important. A gift card to Amazon (or your bookstore of choice) can help the blogger in your life stay on top of what’s new through the latest releases.

Smartphone gloves

Have you ever been out walking your dog on a snowy winter morn when your phone rings. Or that text pops up. You know the one. The One. You’ve been waiting to get news to break on your blog. Long story short: Your hands are swaddled in warm winter gloves that don’t allow you to respond to that important message. Enter texting gloves! These babies will let you keep your hands warm while replying to that oh-so-critical message.

eBook

Finally, you know no list would be complete without a little self-promotion thrown in for good measure! For the blogger who loves useful, actionable tips and a step-by-step plan, I obviously recommend my eBook, Authentic Blogging: How to find (and use) your authentic voice. I’m a partial observer of course, but I’ve heard from many of you that it’s been incredibly useful in developing fresh content. Plus, it’s only $7 so there’s no reason not to buy it!

There you have it! My five recommendations for affordable holiday gifts for bloggers! What’s on your list this year? Tweet me your wish list so we can compare notes!

How did you become a pet writer?

Of the many questions I get about what I do, probably the most-often-repeated question is: How did you become a pet writer?

This is just a theory, but I suspect most people in the pet industry got here not because of a specific desire to work in the pet industry. Rather, I suspect most people in the pet industry are here because of a pet.

A special pet.

The special pet who comes in, sheds all over your house, and changes your life.

That’s how I became a pet writer. I recently got to tell this story to a group in my town. I posted it on my blog, and I’ve gotten a number of follow-up questions via email.

It’s interesting how my worlds overlap. The pet world seems to live on my blog, while this website is sort of a hub for storing not-specifically-pet-related ideas. I’m working out how to manage the cross over, though, and I thought this was a great opportunity to make progress.

So, if you’re a writer who’s interested in the pet industry, and you’re wondering how did you become a pet writer, here’s my full answer: It all started with a dog.

Here’s what I’ve been working on

Long time, no post!

Whew. Things have been busy, busy, busy. My goal for November was simply to keep my head above water! We relocated, and the move took up far more time than I ever imagined. And we’ve moved a lot. This one was an extra-big-beast for some reason. Thankfully, though, we’re settled in and (mostly) unpacked. I’m grateful it was all completed before the bustle of the holiday season!

In the meantime, I’ve been working away. I’m finishing up the semester teaching writing skills to an eager bunch of adults who are all working like crazy to get to the final paper.

I’ve also been writing for one of my favorite sites, PetGuide.com!

Plus, I’ve had the unique opportunity to serve as a campaign manager for several blogger campaigns for BlogPaws. It’s been an incredible learning experience. Part of the job requires reading a handful of blogs every morning, and I’ve spotted so many “best practices” and clever ideas. Soaking it all up!

There is so much on the horizon, so many big, huge things about to happen. I can’t wait to share them all as the projects get finalized. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, have a wonderful week and a productive start to December!

Authentic Blogging eBook: FAQs

So excited to announce: Earlier this morning, my eBook officially launched! Authentic Blogging is now for sale! <– click here to check it out and buy or share. Plus, between now and Monday, it’s pay-what-you-want pricing!

Authentic Blogging eBook

A few FAQs to learn more about Authentic Blogging:

Why “authentic” blogging?

The blog world is full of bells and whistles: SEO, algorithms, image optimization, HTML, CSS, tagging, social sharing, social tagging, speed dating… no, wait. Not that last one. The reality is that there are tons of moving parts, and it’s difficult to keep up. At the end of the day, though, the thing that differentiates successful bloggers from those whose sole reader is their mom is the writing. I believe the best writing, the writing that will captivate an audience, comes from within. Learning how to identify and leverage your authentic voice is the key to long-term success in the ever-changing blogosphere. This eBook–really, an eWorkbook because it’s full of worksheets–will help you find and use your authentic voice.

Is this for new bloggers or experienced bloggers?

Excellent question! While I assume that you have some basic knowledge of blogging, the concepts are the same whether you’re fresh or seasoned. That said, it’s not a stuffy technical guide. There is no coding or WordPress magic included. It’s all about the writing. If you haven’t yet started your blog, this could be a really great way to find your voice to get started. If you’ve been blogging for a while, use it to refine what’s working for you already.

I know you’re a pet blogger. Is this eBook just targeted to pet bloggers?

Another excellent question! You’re so smart!

The book isn’t specific to pet blogging at all. The examples are wide and varied, and the ideas apply to any niche–from pets to cars to interior decorating to organic gardening to whatever else you can think of. I believe that what makes a blogger successful transcends genre. Good writing is good writing whether you’re blogging about your cat’s litter box habits or your elementary school classroom binder organization system.

Where can I learn more before I buy?

On my blog, I wrote a bit about what inspired me to tackle this project. I also have more info on this website’s page dedicated to the book. Or, you can view more on the product page.

Any other questions or comments? Please send me an email (info at maggiemarton dot com)! I’d love to connect!

Thank you so much for your interest and support. This project means a lot to me, and I’m so grateful you’re here!

eBook News! In just one week…

It’s here! It’s here!

Well… almost.

I mentioned before my BlogPaws talk that the concepts I presented there started out as a rough outline for an eBook. I wanted to tackle an eBook project for ages. I had the ideas. I just needed the motivation, which arrived suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago.

Now {{drumroll, please}} my eBook on authentic blogging is finished! All except the cover, anyway.

So, here’s the plan: Next week it’ll be available on my blog as a sneak peek, pre-launch, and I’ll explain what finally pushed me into finishing this long-lingering project. After that, it’ll be available on a sales page here and on Amazon for Kindle. Woot!