• work life

    Authenticity and SEO: Can you have both?

    Of course! OK, see ya next week! Just kidding… sort of… I recently had a conversation with someone who was griping about having to write “SEO copy” and coming off sounding awkward and forced. Hmm. That can happen. That does happen. I read awkward copy all over the web, copy where you can skim it and say to yourself, “OK, this guy’s trying to rank for XYZ.” But it doesn’t have to be like this! There’s a better way! Here’s the big secret. Ready? Write for people, real people, not for bots.  See, all the SEO tips and tricks in the world are designed for the bots that skim websites to…

  • work life

    A True Passion Project: Introducing The Zero-Waste Pet

    A long time ago… I’m not even sure how long anymore… I started to research zero-waste living. Zero waste: Whereby you, as a consumer, produce no trash that goes to the landfill. Instead, you recycle, upcycle, compost, etc. to keep your junk out of the landfill. I’ve been interested in eco-responsible living since elementary school–way back when we had to sort all our recyclables by material then by color, then drive it across town to drop off in sorted bins. But, the thing with zero-waste living is that there’s a huge gap in the research. There is almost nothing out there about how to live a zero-waste lifestyle as a…

  • work life

    What I’m working on…

    The past two months have been so exciting around here, you guys. But also crazy. And exhausting. And where is the time going? Balancing working from home full time with a ton of side writing projects with being a full-time mama to Violet–who’s now 10 months old–and the dog and cats… All I can say at this point is that I’m fueled by coffee. I no longer measure my intake in cups, instead choosing the more efficient pots measurement. As for work, I have two big, huge projects that I’ve been working on to launch this spring: First up is my next ebook, Zero-Waste Pet. This is a project near…

  • work life

    Writing and Blogging Aren’t the Same Thing

    Bear with me. This is a bit of a stream-of-consciousness post, something I never do. Writing and blogging aren’t the same thing. Yes, writing is hard. Really hard. It drives people to madness. So, sure. Writing is really hard. But blogging, I’d argue, is really, really hard. Good writing requires that the writer possess a basic set of skills and a creativity driven by curiosity. Good blogging requires that the blogger possess a basic set of skills, including good writing and creativity. Bloggers, at least the good ones, need to be good writers. They need to be good photographers. They need to be good editors, publishers, and IT pros. They…

  • work life

    The One Simple Trick to Make Every Blog Post Better

    I’m about to drop a little truth on you. Ready for it? Your blog posts can be better. It’s true. Mine can be, too. See, the thing is, we rush our posts. All of us do. I spend a huge portion of my week reading and writing blog posts. I pour over content produced in nearly every genre on the web. Nary a day goes by when I don’t note dozens of typos, even more misspellings, and countless grammar mistakes. (Seriously, bloggers: Please learn the difference between too and to.) No, it’s not everyone. No, it’s not all posts. But it’s a lot of them. And I think most of…

  • work life

    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,…

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    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…

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    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 do 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…

  • work life

    Here’s what I’ve been working on

    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,…

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    BlogPaws 2015 and eBook News!

    I’ve attended all but one of the annual BlogPaws conferences (darn chemo ruined my perfect record), and this year’s was a remarkable experience. They’re all wonderful, of course, but this was the first year I got to speak. That’s me. Speaking. I need a haircut. Anyway, it was an absolute pleasure to chat about authenticity in blogging. I truly believe that the key to long-term success is being completely, wholly true to YOU with your blog. In a cluttered online environment, discerning readers can pick out who’s being honest and forthright versus those bloggers who are just shilling. That isn’t to say you can’t earn money on your blog; you…