There are blogs, and then there are brands. Started in 2012, "Scottie Mom" has grown to successfully be both. With its own store, over 2,270 Facebook likes, 2,000 Twitter followers, and thousands of people visiting the website daily, the message is clear: people can't get enough of their furry friends!
The Scottie Mom blog centers around travel, health and daily life, all captured through the eyes of very adorable Scottish Terriers worldwide and Scottie Mom's own dogs, Heather and Mr. K.
The curious cat usually wouldn't approve of having animals of the barking variety up on The Curious Cat Project's Interviews with Writers page, but I just had to share with you the story of Scottie Mom's amazing success. I think you'll fall in love with the site, but I know you'll also learn tons you can then apply to your own blogs and writing.
Meet Scottie Mom!
Obviously Scottie Mom is inspired by the love of your own dogs, but can you tell us about what made you start a blog?
Scottie Mom (SM): In March 2012, my first Scottie - affectionately known as Mr. K - came down with a sudden and serious illness. We rushed him to the emergency veterinary clinic and by the time we got there, he barely had a pulse. The team worked their magic on him and just over a week later, Mr. K came home a happy and healthy pup. Three months to the day later, my other Scottie - Heather - was taken to the vet for what we thought was a urinary tract infection but turned out to be the same mysterious illness.
Nearly a week in the animal hospital later, Heather also returned home to us. The vets were never able to give us a definitive diagnosis or any tips on how to prevent this sort of thing from happening again so I turned to the Internet and began the blog in hopes fellow Scottie Moms could help a girl out!
The Curious Cat Project is about connecting "full time something else" writers who want to get connected with others but may not have the benefit of having a connection to a full time writing program. What is your "day job" and how do you find time to balance your blogging with your career?
SM: I'm a health care communicator by profession. I pitch stories relevant to hospital marketing and health awareness goals to Atlanta media. I also design marketing campaigns for select hospital service lines and lead reputation management efforts. When I first started blogging, it was easy to come home feeling excited and energized to continue writing as it was a pet project - no pun intended - about which I was extremely passionate. Two and a half years into it, I'm still just as passionate as ever but have had to schedule extra time on weekends to keep the blog going and engagement up as I've recently accepted a job over an hour away from home.
Your Facebook page already has a huge following and is growing. Your blog has tons of followers. Of course, I'm using general language, but it's certainly the truth! Your blog is a hit! Do you have any tips for other bloggers about what it takes to grow such a following? To what do you attribute your own success?
SM: Collectively, Scottie Mom has over 5,000 combined followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GooglePlus, etc. Social media is critical to any blog's success. I'm not saying everyone has to maintain five or more profiles like Scottie Mom does but it is important to be active on one or two platforms and do them really, really well. The secret to building any following organically is to find content that is relevant and engages your target audience. To date, I've only spent $5 in Facebook promotion. There's no need to put a lot of money behind promoting your social media profiles if you're constantly looking out for what your audience wants to hear or see from you.
We like inspiration here at The Curious Cat Project. What's your favorite quote?
SM: "If you're going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning. If you're going to fight something, fight for those in need. If you're going to question something, question authority. If you're going to lose something, lose your inhibitions. If you're going to gain something, gain respect and confidence. And if you're going to hate something, hate the false idea that you are not capable of your dreams." - Daniel Golston
"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. And dance like no one is watching." - Anonymous
It's cliche, but I still love it!
You recently redid your website. Can you share one thing you wish you knew on the technical side of blogging before you got started? Any other tech tips?
SM: For the first two years, I used WordPress but I recently switched to Blogger. There are pros and cons to each platform. Both are relatively easy to use. As for tech tips, it sounds ridiculously simple but I would recommend any blogger get a smart phone with a really good camera. As a pet blogger, it makes my life incredibly easy: I can shoot quality video, take a quick snap shot and upload the finished products without having to sit down at the computer for editing.
If you could give a writer/blogger one tip of advice, what would it be and why?
SM: Do it because you want to write and love to blog. Monetization isn't everything.
Where can we follow you? How can our readers get/stay in touch?
SM: Subscribe via ScottieMom.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to Scottie Mom for sharing her story. Be sure to also follow her on social media-- you won't be able to keep from smiling at the adorable posts, especially on #toocutetuesday!