The pet industry is swelling at an alarming rate, so how do you stand out in such an aggressive market? Enter Sponsored Blog Posts.
You’ve already got a mailing list, you’ve already got a website, you’ve got great products and now what you need is eyeballs.
So, you get your socials going, that’s tough and laborious, but it’s going, but growth demands more. So you turn to paid advertising. You hire expensive marketing companies and they come up with all these strategies that involve paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram and Google – but… it’s really expensive for every lead – and let’s not get into competitors clicking on your links and wasting all that money…
So what’s the alternative?
Me! I’m the alternative!
A sponsored post is a heckuva choice, because a sponsored post? Is – you ready for the buzzword?
Got your interest? Thought so! So now, let’s look at why you need to book in with me! Ali of Rebarkable.
Reasons Sponsored Posts Are Worth It With Rebarkable
I’m here to test and sell your product, to represent it to the best of my ability. Honest words, and independent verification, and done so in a very simple manner, no jargon, no complications, and usually a good pinch of fun and humour!
I usually hit 1,200 words or more, which gives you a phenomenal edge on SEO, and gives your consumer something to get their teeth into.
The goal of these pieces is usually brand awareness and sales (tell me if it’s anything else!) – but – it’s really important that we get you your people as opposed to just anyone – because your product needs to be valued for what it is.
Consequently, my reviews will alway be tested, honest and I will highlight positive and negative elements.
It’s also good to note here that my content is FTC compliant. Meaning that there will be no fines for me, or for you for this piece. Yep, I take my job seriously enough to know aaaaaaall the guidelines.
You don’t go to the sales guy to get an honest insight.Ali Smith, Rebarkable
Something that google loves is unique, high res imagery.
So do your customers.
I mean, you go on to any website when you’re looking to buy a thing and inevitably you flick through pretty much every image to see if there’s something you’re not keen on.
And that’s something that comes as standard with my sponsored posts.
These extra images stand you in really good stead for your customer to get the right idea of your product and I use these images to try and paint a picture of what they’ll use it for. Whether this involves a little staging or purchasing a couple of things that will really help your product pop! I try to make sure that the branding is subtly featured?
I do all my own photography, and photo editing these days. I have three “Willing” models (Shelby, Lucy & Indie), but they’re all very high res images in their normal format, for WordPress I actually have to decrease their size, or they won’t upload (shocking!).
I’m always happy to share these with you for your socials or website too, comes as part of the price!
Here’s Lucy helping show off the Big Barker Bed and how adorable is she? We only advertise products we believe in, so it makes it substantially easier to get the shots we need to make a good blog.
These sorts of images, with my own dogs, focusing on the features I love, or don’t love where possible, make this really relatable to your audience. They can see other dogs with it, that aren’t ‘model dogs’.
Note: I am working with dogs, and they are pretty darned good! But injuries & sickness happen. So sometimes, it may go wrong! I do my very best, but if I have a product that only works for one dog? Then sometimes its just how it goes.
What set-up do you have for photography?So, I run a Nikon D7500. I have (and my fave to shoot) is a Nikkor 85mm 1:1.8G lens. I shoot in raw, and edit on Photoshop 2022. Most of my shots are outside, which really gives our shoots a nice, natural vibe.
I actually do my work. I know, you hear it from others and you get generic content that’s not actually insightful, or whatever, but you can see my work, and there’s probably something pretty close to what you’re trying to do already in there.
I have great insight into health, behaviour and well-being of man’s best friend. I’ve got my ear to the ground too. Whether it’s dog apps, tech, training tools, or health and wellbeing – I have a good grip on the pet market.
I pack my pieces full of personality too.
Data: Edelman Trust Barometer. Polling conducted in October and November 2011-2020 (via Bloomberg)
Whilst consumer trust is at an all time low, there are still wins to be had. see the graph up there? That’s the Edelman Trust Barometer. That shows you graphically how consumers look at media, and wherein they’ll place their trust.
Social media and brand-controlled media (oh yeah, that’s you…) are the two lowest forms of trusted media. And what’s above that? Traditional media, so your newspapers and your TV shows, but that’s huge money, right? And then, top of that list? “Search engines” which is what you’re leveraging with me.
I get rankings, I get that trust, and when you feel like you’ve done your research, you buy an item confidently – and over the last 9 years, Search engines have given the most trusted results most of the time – and that doesn’t seem likely to change.
You’ll notice that the images I tend to use are a little larger than most blogs, this is because most people read and process their information on a phone! So, having a slightly longer image mimics social media (such as Instagram!), and allows for a more full view of products!
I put huge effort into the website – which is why it’s been named the “Best pet blog” 2021, and 2022 – and I launched in 2021 (pretty cool, huh?).
I’ve been publishing between 2-4 blog pieces a week – all of which are a minimum of 1000 words each, and my average rank is something like 7. As you can imagine – this is my life.
The blog follows positive reinforcement techniques, the modern way of training dogs, because that’s how I teach both my dogs and my clients dogs to live with their dogs, as well as how I learned, but I also don’t shy away from tackling sensitive subjects.
I pay a lot of attention to my content, to my site and to the power of what I do.
SEO is really important, we all know that. Google is king when it comes to search engines, so making google happy? Is really important, and we all want those rankings, right?
Let me start by telling you that no one, can guarantee you google rankings. Okay? So if they tell you they can, run away.
So for the ruffwear front range review example, we’re not only third listed, but we’re also listed as a critic there on the right. – I’ll be replacing this with a video as soon as I can to demonstrate some more.
I get results… just sayin’…
Commitment to SEO
Whilst I cannot guarantee rankings, or traffic, and I would be arrogant to suggest that, I’m also massively commited to getting us results. So, I’m always looking at the latest google updates and keeping their algorithms happy.
Also, we’re on Google News! Hooray!
What does that mean for you? Well, another growing ‘platform’ that can find you straight from their mobile devices, and Google likes it too! It’s one of those background things people don’t talk about much? But because I really wanna give the best service I can, you’ll be found on there too.
Not everything I review is a product that goes on a dog! this was a great example of a review done for a human/dog twinning set of accessories! I always try and get some nice shots with the brand-name or logo too. It’s also a good thing to show that I’m happy to bring in props or staging situations.
I work daily on my Domain Authority (this is a very ‘loose’ score given by third part agencies indicating the rough “stature” of your website). Websites are scored 1-100, Wikipedia (for example) is a 96, and new websites start at 1.
In just over a year, Rebarkable is at a 30 – and slowly ticking higher.
This can give you and your website a valuable “Backlink” meaning that a growing, trusted source trusts you. Which means that you too will rank higher.
This in turn gives you more authority and reliability in the eyes of The Goog.
Trust In Ali
I’m an award-winning trainer, I’ve been quoted or featured in something like 60 articles now, with a select few above.
I have built trust and my word carries weight. If I say “This works, and I love it” People listen.
Other Options for Advertising, and why it sucks
Now, let’s talk about your other options for advertising… and I’m going to highlight the reasons these options suck that you already know about to reinforce that you aren’t alone.
Facebook ads cost a fortune! And normally, with minimal access and unpredictable, temporary leverage on a market – in which consumers are continuously losing trust in. So why would you?
Or you can pay for a company to manage it which will get you better results, but you’re looking at an outlay of at least $1,000 for management before you even look at your ad budget.
This was our project with Landshark! I approached them about their collars because they’re a great example of a “tactical” dog collar, which is something I love to discuss because they’re extra safe, and when I really resonate with reactive dogs, strength and safety this is important! But these images are also awesome for social media!
Pay Per Click… That’s an option. Then you get traffic on certain keywords, depending on what you pay for and you may get traffic – but you also may get totally exploited by bots, increasing your spend and it not translating into an actual change in profits. Whamp-wha… Farewell advertising budget! So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.
Access to a huge audience. It sounds awesome, right?
Yet, trust is at an all time low for social media, and the average lifetime of a social media post is seconds. Then, your social media platforms don’t actually want traffic to leave their platform and are actively trying to keep it where it is… is that fleeting exposure worth it?
It’s a snapshot. Sink or swim. And all it takes is the algorithm to change and poof, you’re irrelevant.
I love this harness, it was a total surprise that came from this process, and I’m hugely privileged to do what I do, that’s for sure.
So, these are a great if you get the right person in the right place at the right time. You may even look into outreach! Fab.
However, this involves a lot of luck, a lot of time, a lot of fluff or wasted effort potentially.
And yeah, if you luck across the right person who can actually make a sale for you, this can work.
Screen shot of one of my reports for one customer
Or… Go Evergreen
You can do a one-off cost that works for you… forever.
That’s the option I have for you, with all of the benefits I’ve discussed already.
So Why Work With Me, Ali Smith, Dog Trainer & Dog Blogger?
I’m a multi-award-winning dog trainer, copywriter, photographer, marketer and SEO expert.
I’m your boutique service. I know what you need and I take care of it for you.
So, the question becomes, can you afford not to?
There’s a reason I get results and people coming back for more reviews, just saying!
Before we you go!
I do wanna warn you, I don’t take everyone on. I decline way more than I take on. Why? Because I need to believe in the product and the company I’m getting involved with. I don’t take my partnerships lightly.
Sponsored Blog Post FAQ
What happens after the blog is published?Honestly, I share it as regularly as relevant – I’m a big believer in repurposing content, and it will likely be included in any relevant shortlists or forthcoming videos, podcast mentions or otherwise. I’m still learning when it comes to shortlists about how regularly to update them, so I really don’t want to overpromise and under deliver, but things like The best harnesses, muzzles, or best gear for large dogs will be updated, and sometimes? If I get a good comparison? You may also end up in something like Whistle Switch Vs Fi Series 2.
So I know you freelance too, does this cover that?My freelancing work for other sites is not for sale. Sorry!
Can you guarantee google rankings?I wish I could. But no one can do that.I optimise to the best of my ability, and my track record speaks for itself.
Do you write all of your reviews?Yep. Every single word. I’ve yet to offload anything, but I may in the future branch out to get some small dog reviews – and that either means hiring someone appropriate or buying a dog – and I don’t think that’s an adequate reason to bring a fourth dog into my world.
Do you offer any other things?From video to giveaways, exclusivity, banner ads, all can be done! Just depends on your goals (and budget)
So, you’ll only say good stuff, right?Uhm, no.The whole point of a review is that we get you a customer who comes back. So, if your product has flaws or limitations? They’ll be discussed so that the reader can choose for themselves if this is the right product for them. That’s a good thing.
Will your posts be in perfect English?Nope! My posts come imperfect. Why? Because imperfection shows realism. Realism creates trust. I’m an imperfect person who typos, and speaks a certain way. If that doesn’t suit you, then we won’t be working together.
Isn’t blogging dead?I love this question. Sure, video is growing, but reading isn’t dead, neither is blogging. With the amount of people asking google “What’s the best X” every day, blogging is far from dead.
Will you accept my affiliate scheme instead?Sadly, I don’t take affiliate schemes. To me, I need to know you’re serious. I need to know that you value me, my time and expertise and you don’t want to short change me for any reason. It shows not only ethics in your brand, but that you believe in your product! It also ensures that I have the time to put in my every effort to portray your product to it’s best.
What if my company writes the review for you?Oh no, sorry. The tone of my blog and my word is really important, and there’s no way I’m going to sell that opportunity, sorry.