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Did you know there are certain steps you should take AFTER you publish an article from your blog?

Yeah. Really!

And what you choose to do can help determine how far and wide your message is spread. After all, you are wanting to publish to a room full of people, right? Not just in the bathroom to yourself?

Haha. Ok get the image?

We spend all this time writing the articles and then hope that somehow, somewhere, there are people out there just following our website waiting for new content to come out.

But that isn't reasonable.

We want lots of people reading what we write. It shows google that you are an authority on the subject matter. It can drive a lot of people to your website. Like the day I got 1700 hits in one day! So while your competition that is out there sitting dead in the water with their static 5 page website that hardly gets much traffic... you are out there being the popular kid that everyone is attracted to!

Want to learn how to do this? Without spending a TON of time?

 

5 Things You Can Do The Next Time You Press Publish:

Here are actual things you can do to get traction on your blog articles. I think it is really important when you are trying to get it going and let people know that you are out there.

In addition to creating a killer title, and I don't mean by keyword stuffing, you want to post in these places:

Google +

As you may know, each post in Google + is searched by the Google Gods. It is like creating your own micro blog. There is a certain posting recipe that seems to work pretty good:

Title
Hook and description and mentions of other people of businesses.
Url
Hashtags

When you post, you can choose a circle or two to send your message to via email to ensure they see your posting. Basically, your article gets delivered straight to their inbox!

Facebook Business Page: 

Again, teasing an article by asking a question around it is always a good thing. Think of a way you can create some foreplay to your article. Ask thought provoking questions like "Have you ever thought about..." or "What would you do if..." then link to your article.

If your article mentions any other business or area of your city, feel free to find their interest pages and post there as well. If you think it is a valuable teaching article, why not find a reporter or newscaster who often reports on subjects close to it and post it on their wall with your own "pitch" or even message them the article?

Remember, don't spam them. You message should be inciting, relevant, and helpful. Otherwise you will turn them off. Who knows? Maybe they will either use your article in a story or look towards you as a resource on the topic?

Personal Facebook Page: 

There is no harm in sharing your business postings on your personal page. Especially in the warm, cute, and fuzzy business of pet sitting! It helps keep you top of mind awareness in your own personal network. People that actually like and care about you!

Twitter 

This is one of my favorite ones! A quick 140 character message with hastags for your city, topic, or your business always work well. Follow me @Bellas_Pets to see what I mean! Be relevant or interesting enough and others will retweet you!

Email: 

How many of you have a email service where you can send mass emails out to your list? Even if you don't, I am sure you have a client database either in excel or in your client management system, right? How about sending out a link to your article to them via email? Maybe every Friday?

The name of the game these days is 10 seconds or less! Let me get your message and SCAN (not read) though it while I am at a stop light. We are a stop light culture!

So if you send a quick email out every week or every two weeks, just basic text "Hey everyone! Wondering what to do this weekend? Here are 5 pet friendly dog patios in CITY, and they have super yummy food! Hope you are well!  LINK" 

See? Now your brand just smacked them in the face and you are now top of the mind awareness!

 

3 Bonuses For You!

It really isn't that hard to promote your articles. You just have to take ten min and do it all! Here are two other quick tips you can do:
Tip #1: Your articles can be like weapons! You need to fire up your arsenal and prepare to strike and impress!  Sometimes you might find yourself on your blog, reading articles, finding them for posting on FB or to an email you are sending a client. When you are ON YOUR OWN BLOG, press the social media share links while you are there. Share it to Twitter, G+, FB  It can't hurt you and you are already there!

Tip #2: Insert your blogs into your website under major categories. For example, if you are talking about puppy sitting or cat sitting, take some of your existing blogs and insert them into your services list. It gives your company more depth and allows your potential client to get a 360" feel for the actual service other than you talking them to death and boring them! I mean come on, let's STAND OUT from the rest! :) Right?

List of services

List of services

 

Tip #3: When you are sending an email to a potential client about their new puppy, or cat that they don't know if you "get it", send them links to your blog via email that talk about what happens on a puppy sit, ideas for cheap puppy toys at home, or a commentary from one of your pet sitters about a cat sleeping on her head. Your articles can be like weapons! You need to fire up your arsenal and prepare to strike and impress!

"Your articles can be like weapons! You need to fire up your arsenal and prepare to strike and impress! "

Just because you have shared an article once on FB does mean that everyone who follows you has seen it. Use it over and over again. Let it GROW. Plant the seeds! Promote it! Each blog you write does you no good if you just publish it and then forget about it. They can have a HUGE impact on driving lots and lots of visitors to your website if you promote them correctly.

What do you currently do? How do you get your hard work out there to the world? Do you do any of the above? Does it help? Do you have any other ideas to share?

 

Would You Pet Sit For This Potentially Aggressive Dog?

Recently a great post was created in our group and I wanted to get your thoughts on it as well. The advice was many comments long with lots of different suggestions. We had Endless Consulting, a dog training and pet sitting team in New Jersey weigh in on it too. What do you think?

Calling all dog experts! I need some help. Signed up a new daily last week, 5x a week. Owner goes back to work on 12/2. It's a male, neutered, Rhodesian Ridgeback about 2 1/2 years old. They have had him since he was a puppy. The last pet sitter they hired said the dog hid in the bedroom and growled at her and she couldn't get him out. My employee and I went and met with the client and, though the dog was a little nervous, we thought with a few trial visits (at the owner's suggestion) he was workable. My employee has gone three times now and has not been able to get him out. Yesterday we asked the owner to leave the leash on to see if we could just grab the leash. No dice, it seemed to make him even more nervous. He does take treats from her hand and sniffs her, but when she moves he runs and starts barking or growling. In my experience, I truly think this dog would be ok if he got used to someone. I just don't have anymore ideas for this client. I'm going to suggest that *I* will try to do the visit myself (even though it's 11 miles one way from me versus 4 from my employee). I just don't think she has as much dog behavior knowledge as she claims to have. Any suggestions? Tricks, tips? Dog must go out on leash since there is no fence.

 

So what would you do? Would you keep taking the pet sitting client? Would you pass it up? Here is what the professional dog

Rhodesian Ridgeback during dogs show in Katowi...

Rhodesian Ridgeback during dogs show in Katowice, Poland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

trainers of Endless Pawsibilities, LLC (www.endlesspaws.com)  and Pawsitive Consulting, LLC (www.pawsitiveconsulting.com)

"There are lots of other points to consider here.  However before we do that you need to decide if he is the right fit for your company?  What we mean is: Safety first!  You need to make sure whoever will be dealing with this pet can handle him, understand his body language and act accordingly. This may take weeks or months, so if you will be the one to win him over, you need to consider a few things.  Can you or are you willing to commit the time for both driving and earning his trust?  If you are not able to and can't trust your sitter will be able to handle him, then we would suggest being honest with the client and simply refer them to a trainer and decline the job.

If you are committed to trying to help this dog, here are a few pointers:

  1. I know you mentioned there is no bite history and that you aren't sure of the full story with the last sitter. If you are entertaining keeping this client, then you need to talk with them again and get all the details. Who was the original sitter? How long had they been walking the dog for before the behavior change? What was the first incident with the sitter? How did the sitter react? What did the sitter do during subsequent visits? Any other behavior changes in regards to food, toys, etc? You need to find out as much about the big picture as possible. And since most owners never want to admit their dogs are less than perfect, you may need to ask the same questions in different ways.
  2. There may be a personality conflict.  As humans, we do not like all the people we meet.  Dogs are the same way.  This dog may have trust issues and he could be this way with all people or it could just be the sitter.
  3. If something did go wrong with the last sitter; such as mistreatment or just a negative experience the dog associated with the sitter (loud car backfired while the sitter was walking him that scared the life out of him), your employee may have something similar that makes him think of the previous sitter.We had a client with a timid Chow with whom Megan had worked with the veterinary office when she was a technician (drawing blood, anesthesia, etc).  Though the dog was great and none of the interactions were bad, she was not happy to be at the veterinary office regardless.  Because of their previous interactions at the office, her fear was more extreme when Megan was her sitter.  She did much better with other sitters on our team.  
  4.  If the dog was better when the owner was present, maybe perform a few trial visits with the owner home.  Stop in for some coffee and chat with the owner.  Often, too much focused attention on the dog can amp their nerves.  You being present in the home a few times without trying to engage the dog may help desensitize him to you.
  5.  When you do care for the dog, ask the owner to close all the bedroom doors so he isn't able to retreat to his "safe" place. Changing the location of the interaction may help. The living room versus the bedroom may be a better place to start making friends. Also, suggest a harness to the owner, one that the owner can put on in the morning and it clasps and releases over the shoulders or midback. The neck is a sensitive area to some dogs and they are not comfy letting just anyone near it. Using a harness that clasps on his back may help because once you gain his trust and he lets you pet him, you can pet him from the butt upwards, and make attaching and detaching the leash a nice motion during loving time. Eventually, you can work up to just using his collar and leash.
  6. If he is taking treats then that is a great starting point.  The sitter’s body language should be in no way confrontational (no bending towards or over the dog, do not make eye contact, do not turn and face him).  Try sitting in a chair or on the floor, it makes us more approachable to nervous dogs.   Again, some dogs can really react to the direct focus.  He should be able to take the treats without any further advancement on him.  When he is close enough, the sitter can slowly take the leash which should already be connected to the harness.We have a client we've been working with for 2 years and when she first called it was because her dog had started growling and baring teeth to the old sitter. I was open and honest with mom when I took the job. It took 6 visits before he stopped baring his teeth when he looked at me. From then on, it was slow motions, awesome treats and knowing how to read him and act accordingly that made him finally trust me to approach me and we were able to create a relationship. Since then, I have been able to introduce 2 of my sitters to him and things went wonderfully. 

Only you know whether this is an endeavor you're comfortable taking on. It can certainly be a liability. It will take time, patience and of course, awesome treats (something extra rare and special like boiled chicken). Make sure you explain to your client that your goal for now is just to make him feel easy, gain his trust and let him approach you for attention. Once you are able to do that - the next goal is attaching the leash - and the next is taking him for a walk. Baby steps! Building a relationship slowly will only help you in the long run.  Good luck!

Tori and Meghan are an amazing pet sitting and dog training team out of New Jersey. They have been at this business for years. They are leaders in their industry and a great resource for anyone needing guidance. Check out their Dog Behavior For Pet Sitters Safety Manual for more information!

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