Perspective on Attending Blog Paws

P3JCP_Feb2013aWhere to begin?

From the moment I entered the lobby of the Sheraton
Premiere, on Thursday morning, to the time I finally left to catch my flight home on Sunday afternoon, I had one of the best times of my life.

As a newbie to Blog Paws conferences I admit to being a little nervous but, standing there in the lobby my nervousness soon disappeared as I heard my name called, turned around, & saw Caren Gittleman (Cat Chat); arms open wide, a smile on her face, charging forward to embrace me in a welcoming hug.

Soon I was walking the halls, attending my first speaker
session in the afternoon, and the welcome speech and get together in the
evening, like I’d been coming to the conference since forever.

Blog Paws 8I started my first day with a wonderful, informative, 2 hour
visit with my friend  the Creative Idea Gal, Amanda Socci
(Her adorable little daughter wasn’t exactly sure about me,
though).

The people who attended this conference are bloggers, freelancers, published authors, writers all! They are rescue volunteers, shelter workers, veterinarians, blog readers, major names in our niche of social media, pet related retailers and food manufacturers, and more.

They are male and female, representing all age groups, social/economic status, races and many nations.

Unlike a comic book, or Star Trek convention people were not
the only ones playing dress up; from cats and kittens, chicks, dogs and
ferrets, to cute, but humongous wabbits, many animals were strutting their
stuff, dressed up and not.

Sidebar Badge1 During the day I would wear either my shirt with Nikita and Elvira on the front, or the one with the blog header design, as a way to make it easy for people to find me and learn about the Opinionated Pussycat..

For anyone who writes online as a pet blogger this event is the best hands on introduction to how social media involvement is important.

You will get an ego boost in the most amusing way; imagine a 53-year-old, balding, dude finding himself being approached by a pair of women old enough to be his mother, all smiles as they breathlessly tell him they
are big fans of his blog!

Blog Paws 15

You will get an education on many subjects, at as many as 9 presentations that will help you be better at what you do. You will make new friends, meet old ones only known via online interaction, and connect with various industry types in many ways. Inspiration to be the best will come from attending the awards dinner recognizing some of the best in the world of pet blogging.

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You will take a ton of photos and pass out 100 of your blog cards, collecting just as many from others; buy a few things, including books you will get autographed, and maybe get pep talks about your writing efforts from the most unexpected people. You will gain 3 lbs. eating fabulous free breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and leave your room key in your room at least twice….but, um, let’s not get too much into all of that, hee, hee!

The Blogs of Kiril Kundurazieff:

1. Mad Macedonian

2. The Opinionated Pussycat

3. SMFCB: A 365 Day Project

Day 71: A Long Week Ahead

As readers know I will be attending the Blog Paws Pet Bloggers Social Media Conference, in VA., this week.

A long, busy, week began for me today (well, actually Saturday) and as part of it I am writing and scheduling blog posts for every day, Wednesday through Sunday, on this blog and The Opinionated Pussycat.

I will be taking my laptop and also plan to blog daily on the cat blog and on Mad Macedonian, as well, as time permits.

I will be attending a lot of  presentations, taking pictures and notes, meeting many people I only have known online, and expect to learn a lot.

Day 69: So You Have a Facebook Page? What Next?

Thoughts on how to get folks on FB to notice your page.

Thoughts on how to get folks on FB to notice your page.

There you are, with your brand spankin’ new Facebook page about your pet blog, the trick is now to get people to stop playing Farmville long enough to notice. 😀

The folks over at Socially Stacked have their own theories about how to go about this, and made a nifty, thought provoking  PDF one can save for future reference and study.

Their 14 ways to boost visibility and attract shares are a varied lot:

1. I post more than 5 times a week, but there’s no guarantee anyone is reading if I get no feedback.

2. Does what time I post play a role in attracting more shares? I post when I get a chance, not just the same time every day so can’t really say without feedback.

3. Would photos attract more sharing? Hey, Elvira! Come over here, I need you to lay in your patented “sexy” pose, with your food bowl!

4. Would treating your status updates as you do Twitter, and do maybe just 3 lines of text (150 characters) matter?

5. Writing something relevant to your audience might bring more likes and shares, but it still comes down to getting feedback to know.

6. Your fans like what you do so staying true to your brand makes sense if you know what your brand is and how to promote it on Facebook. Something I am still learning how best to do.

7. When it comes to asking readers to share and like how much asking is too much? With asking for comments I have no problem asking when I feel appropriate as I want feedback and am trying to engage readers in discussions of a subject.

8. Not having tried contests and surveys, but having seen others do so, I know the participation level can vary widely.

10. Before posting consider whether readers will find something useful, interesting, or entertaining. As a blogger I like to thing every post meets that standard, and when it comes to posting links to content from elsewhere I try to post things I feel worthy of sharing.

11. “Entertaining” is my middle name…and that of each of my cats, too!

12. Did I mention that we each have TWO middle names? It is “Educational”. 😀

13. Are you a list maker? Do you check it twice? Lists may attract readers who would want to share them.

14. Being seasonable is no problem; I’ve written poems with the themes based on the subjects I blog about quite often, especially during the Christmas season.

With a little time, effort and patience, these ideas may help attract an audience

 

My other 2 blogs:

Musings of a Mad Macedonian

The Opinionated Pussycat

Day 60: An Experiment in Social Media Engagement

My friend Amanda Socci brought to my attention a new month long creative challenge going on at the blog of Marian Allen and at the Story a Day website: it is a story a day challenge. The idea is to write a short story every day for 31 days and live to tell about it.

There are two websites, I know of, encouraging their readers to participate so I will share a link to my story on that day’s story on each blog, visit and comment on the stories of others, discovering new blogs, and maybe attracting others to come read my own stories and blog.

Next month I’ll post an update about what might, or might, not happen.

You can learn more, follow along and comment, day to day, starting here:

The Opinionated Pussycat = A 100 Word Cat Story 9: Aubrey

http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2013/05/a-100-word-cat-story-9-aubrey.html

Day 59: Fine Tuning My Facebook Page Name

A salute to a great future still ahead of me

A salute to a great future still ahead of me

I’ve begun reading We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media by Kristen Lamb, and one of the things she discusses, right off the bat, is proper branding:

“As a writer, your big goal should be to link your name interminably with your content…The absolute only acceptable username (brand)  is the name you desire to publish under…The internet has valuable real estate that you will want to command. How you claim tghat  digital real estate is by using your name.”

All of my social sites use my full name, first name with last initial, or first and middle initial with last name (due to space limitations), except for my Facebook writer’s page that I set up last December.

This evening I chose to bring my FB in line with the others by changing A Mad Macedonian and 2 Opinionated Pussycats to…

Kiril Kundurazieff, Writer = https://www.facebook.com/KiriltheMadMacedonian

The Mad Macedonian, The Mad Houstonian, The Cycling Dude, and Opinionated Pussycats (Nikita and Elvira Mistress of Felinity) are all creative sides to me, the writer and by keeping  my name at the front of my social media efforts people will learn to associate me with those personas on my blogs.

 

Day 57: Your Book Collection, a Social Media Tool?

You have 4, 5-shelve bookshelves full of books on subjects that interest you and tghat you often write about on your blog, in one fashion or another, but can sharing what’s in your collection, in an organized way, with a wider audience, bring social media benefits to you?

I think so. LibraryThing joins Goodreads on my list of book sites to consider in this regard.

LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers; a community of people, world-wide, with shared interests, who work together, via the detailed info they provide on their books, to catalog their collections, and share information.

There are member forums and an Early Reviewers program.

LibraryThing gets its book data from Amazon.com and over 700 libraries around the world, including the Library of Congress. That number of resources, alone, boggled my mind.

Being in charge of how you create your catalog means you can make it as simple or as complex as you wish. You will learn a lot about the books you enter and will discover who else on the site has the same book, or a different edition as well as be able to read member reviews, and provide your own.

There are 1,600,000 users and 80 million books in the system and the forum and its many groups is a way to connect with people who may, if they like your catalog, find your blog of interest as well.

As a social networking tool for finding bookstores and events in your backyard the site offers ways to find them, as well as libraries and book festivals, and see who else likes those things.

To get the most out of being a member, though, a paid membership is the way to go.

A free membership allows you to catalog only 200 books,  while there is no limit on the library size for a paid account.

There are 2 paid accounts to choose from:

Yearly membership you can choose to pay anywhere from $1 to $25 ($10 is typical).

Lifetime membership you can choose to pay anywhere from $19 to $55 ($25 being typical).

I took the time to enter all of my cat books and the sheer amount of information may a bit overwhelming but, nonetheless, fascinating and fun..

This post is just a barebones introduction. I will have more to say as I get more involved in the site and add more of my collection.

Meanwhile, take a look at my profile  and my library….

http://www.librarything.com/profile/Kiril_Kundurazieff (profile)
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Kiril_Kundurazieff (library)

Main site = http://www.librarything.com

Day 55: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 3

I get e-mails…this one came in January 2009:

I just wanted to let you know that Gary Fisher and his old business partner Charlie Kelly will be coming to town for a free screening of my cycling film, KLUNKERZ, at the end of the month.
In 1979 these two cyclists started a little company, cleverly called MountainBikes, that was the first MTB company in the world. They are both really fun guys and they will be available for questions after the film.
Klunkerz tells the story of a small group of hippie/athletes who, quite literally, reinvented the wheel. Their passion for cycling created a multi-billion dollar industry and an Olympic sport…
The screening is at noon on Friday, 1/30 at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas. It is part of the Competitor Magazine Film Festival.

If you would like some FREE TICKETS, simply email me.

Thanks for your time and I hope to see you there.

Ride on, Billy Savage writer/producer/director KLUNKERZ

I wrote back expressing interest in a ticket, explaining that, while I was no MTBer, I loved history, and a good movie.

It seems that he found the Cycling Dude “simply by cruising the web and looking for interesting cycling-related blogs.”
Sd_trip8

Imagine, now, if a similar letter was sent to you, dear pet blogger, but about a documentary on the no-kill shelter movement or some other pet themed subject.

Would you be interested? Of course you would!

Would you go if you could? Of course you would!

My 2 post story begins here:

KLUNKERZ: A Recreational Cyclist, and Commuter, Meets MTB Legends

Billy, Gary, and Charlie all showed an interest in my blog and, liking my report, spread the word around their respective circles for some time afterward.

Don’t look a gift horse, or cat, or dog, or ferret, or iguana, in the mouth, you never know where attending and blogging about such an event may lead.

Next up = Day 56: What Do You Do When An Event Invite is Extended? Pt. 4