By Carol Bryant
The Dog Daily

These days, dogs are on Facebook and Twitter, and they're even "blogging" with help from their owners. These fun projects are all part of the social media landscape that embraces and encourages owners and their dogs to bark and mark their online presence. Here are a few tips to get you started on a blog for your dog.

What Is a Blog?
It's a type of website with regularly updated information that is refreshed several times a day to several times a week.

Why Blog?
The reasons for blogging include being able to give a dog its own personality and voice online, helping to promote a rescue/foster program for dogs or a group effort with other dog owners, or simply having some fun and entertainment -- canine style.

Where Should I Start?
Define the blog's purpose and be able to summarize it in less than a minute. Will the blog offer dog news about a particular breed, the latest information about a rescue effort, showcase dog product reviews, or will it be a potpourri of dog-centric stories? Decide and stick to that mission statement.

What Platform Should I Use?
Three of the basic platforms (host for the site) for bloggers are WordPress, TypePad and Blogger. Research each one, find other dog bloggers on each platform for examples and be certain to select the one that suits the purpose and goal of your blog.

How Do I Learn Layout and Theme Items?
Online courses are available, as are platform experts. Ask dog blogger friends and contacts for referrals to designers they used. Learning the back end of the blog (the control panel/dashboard) is something to consider so updates and changes can be made without the added cost of a consultant.

Is There a Place to Network?
Pet blogger expos and conferences have emerged in recent years, including BlogPaws and BarkWorld. Being able to network with like-minded dog parents is priceless in terms of learning, applying and growing a dog blog.

Launching and maintaining a dog blog is a fun and engaging way to share a love of dogs with the millions of other dog lovers online.

Carol Bryant is the Social Media and PR Director for Fido Friendly magazine. A frequent media contributor, Carol is a two-time nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America, and she maintains her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality. Her articles have previously appeared in The Dog Daily.

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