When I started this blog a little over 10 years ago it was just a place for me to share some of the 4,000 pictures on my camera roll of Sherman and Leroy.
It was a place for me to write down all the silly stories I had of the boys because no one else really cared to hear them over and over.
No one read the blog back then besides my sister and my mom but it was such a relief for me to get those stories out of my head and to a place where I could have them forever.
Leroy never failed to give me enough content and Sherman never failed to supply me with his adorable cuteness.
Blogging was just starting to become a thing back then and after a few months, I met a few other bloggers online that were writing about their pets.
It was refreshing to see that I wasn’t the only one that this passion for sharing my dogs.
After a few years of randomly blogging some pretty neat things started to happen when brands began connecting with bloggers.
Somehow I got on the radar of Eukubaba and began a partnership with them that included a few free bags of food, a few trips to their manufacturing plant and then an invite to be apart of the press at the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show.
It was an amazing experience and something that I’ll never forget as I sat on the platform with all these professional media people watching and touring the show.
After that I was hooked and I continued learning about blogging.
Making money and earning free products just for writing about my dogs seemed weird at first but after a few more years of doing it, the weirdness started to fade away.
The more I continued to blog the more I realized how hard it was and how much was involved to stay on top of things.
Blogging became more competitive and social media really started to take off.
I remembered something my mom once said when I asked her why she didn’t sell any of the beautiful crafts that she made;
“It’s my hobby and if I sold them and turned it into a business, it would take all of the fun out it.”
I kept that in mind as I continued to work full-time and write this blog.
I had thought that maybe one day I could earn enough money from this blog to quit my regular full-time job but I didn’t want this blog to become stressful or lose its authenticity.
As the years went on, this blog started to earn more and more income but I was also investing a lot more time in it.
I was able to change jobs which gave me more free time to devote to this space.
And then I changed jobs again which gave me the freedom to devote even more time here.
Some would say that I have the perfect job.
I write about my dogs and I get paid to continue my education on learning about the Newfoundland breed.
After several years I was able to turn my passion into a business that earns a decent income each month.
Blogging Isn’t A Dream Job
Contrary to popular belief, blogging isn’t a dream job like everyone thinks.
Yes, I get to stay at home with my dogs all day which is awesome but blogging also involves long hours, sometimes more than a regular full-time job.
Because you are sometimes working long hours and judging multiple tasks and social media sites, you can get burned out quickly.
And then there’s the motivation or lack thereof.
I’m the type of person who has never had a desk job because I can’t sit at a desk for 8 hours.
I’ve been a vet tech, managed a small pet boutique and walked dogs.
My jobs have always involved pets and they’ve all kept me moving so working from home at a desk was a HUGE adjustment.
I tried it once before and I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the structure to do it.
Heck, even now I still have to get out and walk dogs a few days a week just because I’m a puddle if I don’t.
There’s also a big learning curve and social media is ALWAYS changing. You have to fight those algorithms all the time to stay on top of things.
You still have to deal with people and some of them are nasty.
Depending on your niche, if you write about something that you’re passionate about not everyone is going to have your same views and many people aren’t afraid to tell you that.
I have had my fair share of online bullying and people and organizations have been downright nasty to me.
Because I’m dealing with MY dogs and a breed that I love, sometimes that would lead to tears and a lot of emotional distress.
I have wanted to quit this job more than once but something always draws me back. (I think it’s Leroy)
Another downside is reaching the people that you need to reach.
I love all of you that come here and read this blog but when I write some posts it’s not you that I want to reach.
You know what I’m talking about. You get it.
I want to reach the people that don’t get it.
The people that buy from puppy mills.
The people that get a Newfoundland on a whim.
It’s frustrating but all I can continue to do is try.
Sharing the Good and the Bad
When I started this blog I vowed to share the good and the bad and that has never changed.
Leroy’s long battle with being sick is a prime example.
I’ve shared every step of his sickness over the last 6 years and sometimes it was easier to share than other times.
Leroy in return gave us many happy stories and too many laughs to count.
Losing Sherman this year wasn’t only a loss for me but also a loss for thousands of others that have followed along on his journey for several years.
I didn’t have the luxury of dealing with his loss quietly like most other pet owners do and having to break the news to everyone weighed heavily on my mind both before and after Sherman passed away.
It’s both a blessing and a curse that he lived and died in the spotlight.
Blogging is Rewarding
The good of blogging definitely outweighs the bad that I mentioned above.
Not only have I met so many other pet bloggers that have become lifelong friends over the years but I have also connected and met many Newfoundland owners over the years.
This had kept me going and has furthered my knowledge and learning with the Newfoundland breed.
If it wasn’t for this blog I doubt I would have connected with so many others who share the same passion as me.
It is so rewarding to share something that I thought that I was the only one to experience only to have hundreds of people feel the same exact way.
Sometimes, if you look at the numbers, you think that no one is reading but then you receive a message like one that I received about a year ago from a fellow Newfie owner and the numbers don’t matter.
This owner’s dog had experienced bloat and if it wasn’t for finding my article on dog bloat she said that she may not have gotten her Newf to the vet in time to be saved.
She went on to say that she had read several articles on canine bloat but mine was the only one that she really understood.
Well, as you can imagine, that made my entire year and saving a dog’s life is better than any amount of money.
Another reward is giving back.
This platform is amazing and has a pretty good reach and when used correctly it can benefit a lot of people and Newfies.
This year we were able to donate over $3,000 to rescue organizations across the country that take in Newfoundlands and we have provided education to many people that we wouldn’t be able to reach if it wasn’t for this space.
Blogging For Love And Money
Blogging is not free so in order to pay for some of the fees that come with it, I do earn money.
I pay for hosting, security, plug-ins, photo editing, stock photographs, blogging themes, social boosts, a lawyer (as needed for copyright infringement) and an accountant.
If you’re wondering how this blog makes money I’m going to tell you.
I make money a few different ways.
My Brown Newfies is a participant in the Amazon LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We also link to other affiliate programs in this post.
The first is through the ads that you see here.
I belong to an ad company called Mediavine.
They place ads in the blog posts.
Every view on an ad earns money.
You don’t have to buy anything or click on it.
You just have to scroll past it.
They may be annoying to some people but those ads are why I’m still able to do this.
I’m an Amazon affiliate which means many times I will link to products on Amazon and if you purchase one of those items I earn a small commission.
I’m very picky about what brands I become an affiliate for.
I don’t link to items that we don’t use or trust.
If you purchase one of the items through a link here on the blog I earn a small commission.
I get several e-mails a day asking me to join affiliate programs but I only participate in ones where I really believe in their products.
Normally these are going to be smaller companies that really care about the products and consumers.
Duo Gear is a newer company that I’m super excited to be working with this year and next year because they make amazing dog harnesses and they are a business that wants to learn and grow from their consumers.
They are currently working on designing a harness for bigger dogs like the Newfoundland.
I actually have a conference call with them tomorrow to discuss design features specifically for a Newfie walking harness and that’s very exciting!
Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored blog posts are when I work with a brand and they pay me to write about their product.
These are normally products that I have used before or use often.
Spot Shot is Brand that I work with a lot and it’s a product that we use often in our home.
How Did I Learn All Of This About Blogging?
A lot of it was trial and error but I also participate in many blogging groups and have attended blogging conferences.
Carol and I normally have a phone chat once a month or every other month and we discuss what’s working and what’s not working. We also ask each other questions and brainstorm together.
We pick each other up when we need to and we cheer each other on.
Carol and Maggie have recently launched a wonderful book called Pet Blogging For Love & Money.
I just finished reading this book and it is amazeballs.
It has 300 pages and 15 chapters that are packed full of practical tips and actionable advice that bloggers or influencers can put to use right away.
From launching a blog to hashtags to business plans this book has it!
It’s perfect for anyone that has a desire to learn how to make money from their blog or social media channel through teaching or entertaining.
It’s also perfect for pet professionals who want to learn how to attract more clients and grow their revenue. This could be dog groomers, vet clinics, pet retailers and dog trainers.
Included in the book are worksheets for you to write down your notes, checklists, plan, templates and case studies from several successful pet bloggers including myself!
(I’m on page 191 for diversifying your blogging income)
There is so much knowledge in this book that I learned a few new things myself!
So if you’ve ever wanted to look into starting and growing a pet blog this book is a must-have!
Have any questions for me about blogging? Ask away!