5 Ways You Can Benefit from BlogPaws (even if you stayed home)

Golden Retriever with kerchief

Next time, can we go to "peanut butter paws?" It sounds a lot more interesting than blob paws.

Are you sick of hearing about BlogPaws 2011 yet? Because I worry a little bit that folks who wanted to attend but couldn’t will find all the blah, blah, BlahgPaws talk obnoxious.

That’s why I’m sharing my 5 ways you can benefit from BlogPaws even if you stayed home:

1. Watch bloggers who attended to see if they implement anything they learned.

If we were paying attention to the fabulous speakers, you should start seeing improved design, new projects being announced, and more interesting social media. So see if the lessons stuck and if there’s cool things you see that you’d like to steal copy for your own blog.

2. Join the BlogPaws community to see the spirit in action.

Now with over 600 members, the BlogPaws community builds on the fun and education of the BlogPaws conference.

One event that I’m looking forward to is 31 Days to a Better Blog, organized by the amazing Dawn Miklich. (Don’t believe she’s amazing? Click the link to learn about her dogs, cats, parrots, ferrets, and rabbit!)

Based on material developed by Darren Rowse of Problogger, the challenge will give you three assignments each week to strengthen your blog.

Want to see what Dawn’s doing with her own blog? Check out afFURmation for yourself.

3. Enter the BlogPaws Blogger Carnival Contest

Write your pet adoption story for a chance to win a grand prize of $2,500 for your favorite Petfinder.com member shelter. Sponsored by BlogPaws sponsor, BISSELL Homecare, the carnival deadline is September 10. So get writing and share your special adoption story.

4. Keep an eye out for swag contests.

Everyone who attended BlogPaws got an abundance of swag. Look for lots of giveaways soon.

Check back here on Saturday for my own version of Something Swagging This Way Comes.

And anyone in the world will be eligible to win a prize. If a contest winner is from outside the United States, I’ll offer an alternative prize that will keep me from getting in trouble with customs or the department of agriculture. I can just see Interpol–the police, not the band–showing up at my door because I tried to send illegal dog treats to New Zealand.

5. And of course, stop by tomorrow when I’ll try to pass on one lesson I learned in each BlogPaws workshop I attended.

Hopefully you’ll find something you can use for your blog. Or at least you’ll get a better idea of what the BlogPaws workshops are really like.

Afraid you’ll miss something? Become a Facebook fan, follow on Twitter, or become a subscriber to get a link to new posts by email.

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  1. I haven’t heard nearly enough about Blog Paws:) Wow, how did you decide which workshops to attend? They all look marvellous.

    I think I can detect a couple of subtle additions on your blog already?

    Surely it wouldn’t be illegal to send dog treats to New Zealand? Or are the dog treats going to be illegal … my mind is boggling! Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’ve got lined up for us. Frankie says bring on the illegal dog treats!

    • Figuring out what workshops to take was made easier by dragging my husband along and sending him to all the “tech” related workshops. :)

      Most of the changes I’ve implemented so far are in my attitude. Both my blogs need a major design overhaul and it’s a matter of finding the time to work on it. If you have any secrets, having done this recently, do share.

      Of course Frankie doesn’t care if I send illegal dog treats. He’ll just eat them before the ag police show up at the door!

      Knowing that the state of California stops cars at the border looking for fruit that could carry diseases and that islands are notoriously persnickety about what they let in, I’m kinda worried. I’ll try to do some research. But if the choice is between excluding international visitors from winning a prize (which is what most Americans do) or sending some thing that doesn’t include food products, I guess I’ll try to steer a middle course.

      Of course, you don’t have to tell Frankie there are dog treats available. :)

  2. Such a good list! I learned so much – now I just need to sit down and start implementing all of those tips from BlogPaws. :)

    • Did you notice there were no workshops on how to find the time to do all these spiffy things? I think that’s a good idea for a course next year–how to create time out of thin air.

  3. I’ve been meaning to update my blog for eons. I am so not visual and don’t “do” design. It didn’t even occur to me how boring it was without any pictures. And because I don’t want to identify myself or the people I write about, I’m a bit leery of photos. :(

    As for social media… I’m on Twitter, but I know I’m using it “wrong.” I mostly respond to other people’s tweets instead of tweeting memorable stuff myself. Because of that I have few followers, and therefore when I tweet a blog post, it’s mostly going to people who already subscribe. And it gives me the willies when I get an e-mail saying “HotDogMama is now following you on Twitter!” It’s fine if I “know” the person (even just virtually), but when it’s a stranger I feel stalked. Ridiculous, but true.

    As for facebook, while I “friended” bloggers with blog pages (as opposed to personal pages), I only have a personal page, and I don’t imagine my blog buddies are too interested in what I have to say about a friend’s child’s first day at school! Honestly, though, at this point, while 2000 blog followers would be awesome, I feel lucky I’ve made the friends I have and enjoy the sense of camaraderie I’ve developed with you, Pup Fan, Kristine, and a few others. Keep on sharing your views and wisdom– both are welcome in my life.

    • Hahaha! I love your description of Twitter! I used to feel the same way. I hated that whole stupid site and swore I would never sign up. And now I am kind of hooked. I still don’t have a FB page for my blog, at least not one I maintain, because it is just too much work. Twitter is simple and something I can do while on the bus.

    • We should check in six months from now and see if any of us have changed our minds about social media. It is a funky world to learn to navigate.

      I hated FB when I first got on. I only “friended” people I considered true friends. And I tried to keep my work and personal life very separate. But I’ve started to enjoy bringing some of my work associates into my personal world.

      Thanks to FB, I now know that the lawyer I sit across from at closings is a vegan and likes British punk bands. And the real estate agent who has taught in my class is a serious dog lover. It’s been fun.

      But I’m still figuring out Twitter. I think it’s a bad fit for such a wordy person as myself.

      BTW, I think you use twitter just fine. I like the “conversations” we’ve had.

      • Well, you guys obviously know I was always leery of photos and sharing my identity on social media! I’m getting better about it though. :)

        I always thought Twitter sounded silly – but now I’m so addicted! And I agree with Pamela – I think you use Twitter just fine and we always have great convos.

  4. I agree with Greyhounds, I don’t think it’s possible for me to get tired of hearing about BlogPaws. I was really looking forward to all the posts about what people learned and experienced at the conference, especially because I wasn’t there.

    I am also glad you are also participating in the 31 Day challenge. Septemeber is going to be crazy, especially with Kolchak and Peggy’s K9 Kamp, but it should be a lot of fun!

    • I’m a little worried about participating in the 31 Day challenge. I don’t know if I can do it without letting other things slip. I guess it’s better to try and fail than to fear failure and not bother.

  5. I am really looking forward to reading more about what you learned too. I wish I had been able to go. I am happy with my blog for the most part, but am ready to start taking little extra steps to keep improving it. Maybe you can offer some ideas, with all you learned? :)

  6. I cannot wait to hear more! My biggest issue is being technologically challenged. I have the hardest time trying to figure things out!

    And time, OMG I don’t have enough time in the day to do everthing I want to!

    • I think most of us can relate to the fear or tech. But when you look back, aren’t you amazed at what you’ve learned to do in a short time?

      I can’t believe I ever got my blog self-hosted or that I’ve learned enough HTML to help other people in my office. I’m sure if you look at what you’ve done, you’ll see the same thing.

      As for time–aren’t Samson & Delilah helping with the housework?

  7. I am so glad that you shared your blog on the BlogPaws Facebook page! I love it! Can’t wait to read all of your posts!

    Have a question for ya. How did you get the subscription thingee at the bottom of your blog? The fire safety dogs and I are dying to know! Can you please email me and let me know? I’d be forever grateful!

    Again, thanks, and you have a new fan!

  8. I need to slow down long enough to integrate it all. Seriously, that’s my biggest challenge. I love to learn, but I don’t seem to integrate it all. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Looking forward to doing the 31 day challenge, I’m signed up, too! :)

    • There’s gotta be a way to use a clicker to make learning easier, huh? First, click and treat for putting keywords in your headline. Second, click and treat for using emotion-filled words.

      Nah, huh? :)

  9. As someone who didn’t attend, I enjoy reading what other bloggers got out of going. Hopefully I’ll pick up a few tips and tricks I can implement and can stay just enough in the loop to be ready for next year :)

  10. As a relative newcomer to the scene, I didn’t know anything about BlogPaws until it was WAY too late to even think about going. I am hoping to go next year. Thank you so much for posting this blog and the links with it. I plan to study up! As a web designer by trade, I have an advantage on design and other little tricks here and there. However, I am not all that skilled in marketing or promoting myself, which I really want to learn to do. My second love is writing, and I would love to really make something of Paddy’s blog. Thanks again for sharing!!! I’ll definitely be keeping an even closer eye on you. lol

    • Glad you came by. I’ll do my best to provide some helpful things I learned without rambling too much–my big weakness. :)

  11. Excellent list and ideas-we learned so much!

  12. 1) Don’t watch me; I only attended one session (and I was distracted).
    4) I need to figure out what’s in those bags that are taking up my whole dining room table.
    5) I can’t wait to hear what you learned (cause I got nuttin’ – other than great memories of some great people and animals).

    BTW, I’m itching to revamp my format, too. So much to do, so little time. :)

  13. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to share, and I think I detect a few subtle changes, too!

  14. I can’t wait to hear more! I really wish I could have been there. I think I’ve noticed some subtle changes already. A bunch of my favorite bloggers came home and removedCAPATCHA from their blogs. Whichever speaker inspired that has my undying gratitude. I hate that wordy verification thing!

  15. Certainly now sick of hearing about it at all. In fact, I love hearing about all that you saw/learned/gained from BlogPaws.
    I actually signed up for Dawn’s challenge, but didn’t complete the whole disclosure. Guess I should go back and do it now that you’ve reminded me. Are you doing it Pamela?

  16. It’s been really great to read everyone’s posts about Blogpaws – we get to live vicariously through all of you :) I’m excited about the 31 days to a better blog too! I’ll be interested to read all of your tips from the seminars you attended!

  17. Shawn Finch, DVM says:

    SO not tired of hearing about BlogPaws! Keep the awesome posts coming! Next time I really hope to join you all :)

  18. Great posts on BlogPaws! It’s great hearing what everyone learned especially at sessions I didn’t attend. If only I could split myself into 4 so I could go to all of them.

    And thanks for promoting 31DBBB! It’s going to be fun working through it with everyone. I’m going to make it 2 tasks a week because I want everyone to have time to do the tasks and be able to work along with the group as much as possible, especially me! If there is one thing dog training taught me, it’s that you want to set yourself up for success.