The allure of making money online is undeniable. Just think about it. You spend time writing up helpful pieces of content about a subject you love and, somehow, you get paid for it.
I’m not talking about pennies here (though that is how it starts). I’m talking about income that should easily rival most side jobs and can, with work, grow to the point where blogging is your day job.
The thing is, in order to do it right you really should find some subject you are passionate about. For me, that is just about everything so I know it can be hard.
Today I want to give you a detailed look at how you can make money blogging about pets. These days, that’s how I earn the majority of my online income. Getting started isn’t as hard as it seems and, lucky for you, I’ve encountered most of the bumps in the road and can help you avoid them.
Why Choose the Pet Niche for Your Blog
The pet niche is a great one to get started with for your first niche site. In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association, in 2019 U.S. pet owners will spend an estimated $75.38 Billion dollars on their pets. (source)
Yes, that’s B for billion.
To clarify, that’s not just dogs and cats. In fact, they break down the number of U.S. households that own a pet into the following categories:
|Type of Pet||# of Households|
|Freshwater Fish||11.5 Million|
|Small Animal||5.4 Million|
|Saltwater Fish||1.6 Million|
The pet industry is booming. In fact, the data shows the numbers increasing year over year. You know how they say the best time to plant a tree is yesterday? The same is true for a blog in the pet niche!
Prerequisites for a Pet Niche Blog
If you are thinking about starting a pet niche blog it will be 100 times easier if you actually own one of the type of pet you intend to blog about.
If you don’t own the pet, do you have or can you get easy, regular access to one?
You see, taking your own pictures will be helpful. Nothing is better for a post titled “Can dogs eat carrots?” than a picture of a cute dog munching on one.
Could you blog without owning the pet? Sure, it is possible. In fact many people do it. Just know that it will take more work to accomplish the same goals.
Keep in mind that you do not have to be an expert. In fact, being new to a particular type of pet may help you in this case. As you learn about your pet, all of the things you type into Google are often the types of posts you should be writing about.
Some examples are: “What to feed a bearded dragon?” or “How to know if my hedgehog is a girl or a boy?”.
Often, the most basic questions about pets are not written about because experienced owners just assume they are common knowledge. Putting yourself in the shoes of the beginner gives you a much wider, and often underrepresented, audience to target.
Picking the Right Pet Niche for Your Blog
If you already have a pet, it is easiest to just blog about that pet. You should have plenty of material for a new blog.
I know you dog and cat lovers out there are probably thinking, “But isn’t the dog (or cat) niche over saturated already?”.
The answer is no. It’s not. There is still plenty of room for hundreds, if not thousands, of new bloggers in these niches.
You see, blogging isn’t just about setting up a domain name and writing about what interests you. While that technique does work for some, it isn’t the most effective way to gain traffic.
Techniques you will learn in other articles on this site, as well as other places on the web, will help you get traffic.
Being here, reading this post, means that you are already one step ahead of the competition. You had enough sense to explore your idea before jumping on it. That means you are more likely to actually put in the work that is needed to make your blogging dreams a reality.
If You Don’t Already Have A Pet
If you don’t already have a pet, which pet is most interesting to you. The best kinds of pets to blog about are ones that are readily available. Think about what is available at your local pet store. What do they have on display?
Take a look at your social media feeds as well. What types of animals are all your friends talking about?
Talking about pets and the propensity for pet owners to share on social is what makes this niche so alluring. If you are interested in the types of pets your friends has this has 2 great positives:
- You have a ready made audience.
- You have a “source” of information and/or pictures available to you.
These two items alone will help to drive content to your site as soon as you publish your first article.
Building A Pet Blog Without Owning Pets
If you don’t own pets and don’t want to, the first question is why choose the niche?
Yes, it can be done. You can, absolutely, build a successful pet niche website without actually owning a pet. The key is to decide whether or not you are going to be able to stick with it.
The idea for a niche is only the first part, follow-through is 99% of having a successful blog and it is easier to follow through when you are writing about a topic you are passionate about.
Pets aren’t feasible for everyone though and that’s OK. This is, again, where you are going to want to try to rely on friends and family members where possible.
If they don’t have the types of pets you want to blog about, is there a local rescue you can volunteer for that does?
Again, it is possible to be a successful pet blogger by just writing articles and using stock photography. Speaking from experience, that isn’t as fun.
Popular Types of Content for Pet Blogs
A majority of the organic traffic views a pet blog is going to receive are going to be from informational content. These are articles that answer some questions an animal lover may have.
Typically, these posts are going to be along the lines of:
- How to do ____ with your pet.
- Why a pet is doing ____.
- Where to go do ____ with your pet.
- The best ____ for your pet.
- Do ____ like/want/need to do ____ .
- Best ____ for ____ .
- Will a ____ be good for ____ .
- Best breeds/types of ____ for ____ .
- Names for ____ .
- ____ vs. ____ which is better.
- ____ vs. ____ what is the difference.
- Can a ____ do ____ .
- Does a ____ like to ____ .
- How much does ____ cost for an ____ .
- Should ____ be used for ____ .
The 15 examples above are just a starter set of the types of topics common in the pet niche. This is by no means a comprehensive list.
That means if you wanted to start off with 60 articles, you would only need to write 4 posts of each of the types above and you are already there.
How to Monetize Your Pet Blog
Passive income is the ultimate blogging goal, at least, that’s what the content of this site is designed to help guide you towards. The following are some ways you might monetize a pet blog.
The most passive way to earn money on any site is through ads. I want to make it clear here that, while you can make money with Google Adsense, that should be seen as a starting point and not a goal.
You see, Google Adsense pays next to nothing compared to “real” ad networks. I know from personal experience.
The 2019 income for my main pet-niche site paints the picture for this perfectly.
Here is the revenue for the first three quarters in 2019 for this blog.
|Month||Pageviews||Ad Revenue||Ad Partner|
|August 1 – 20||16914||$44.92||Google Adsense|
|August 20 – 31||13016||$113.79||Mediavine|
Ads were switched over sometime during the day of August 20th. You can see how immediately my income went up.
In fact, from August 1 – 20, 19 whole days and one part day on Google Adsense, I had made only $44.92. On August 24th, four full days and one part day on Mediavine, I had already made $45.55.
I wanted to show you this example to explain to you why your goal should not be Google Adsense. Almost every other media partner/ad broker out there will pay you significantly more for the honor of displaying ads on your carefully created content.
Your goal: do everything in your power to ensure your blog meets the other ad agency’s minimum guidelines as soon as possible.
Display ads will probably make up a large percentage of the income most bloggers receive from a passive site in the pet niche, but, there are some other monetization methods available as well.
The affiliate program for Amazon.com is amazing. It is especially nice for pet niche sites because the commission for referring qualified sales can be as high as 8%!
Even better is that you receive a commission for everything they buy so long as they click through from your affiliate link to Amazon. This gives you an opportunity to earn much more than you would from, say, getting a commission from a site that just sells pet supplies.
In fact, I’ve received commissions for TVs, vitamin supplements, iPhones, lawn mower parts and more. Stuff that is completely unrelated to my niche but I received a commission because my site encouraged them to browse Amazon.com.
Other Affiliate Programs
Amazon.com isn’t the only affiliate program out there available to bloggers but it is a popular one. You can look in your specific niche for other available affiliate programs. These can come in the form of big retailers or small individuals promoting an eBook or course.
For example, in the dog niche, you could become an affiliate for Chewy.com or Dog.com. In addition, there are several individuals who have written eBooks or courses on dog training and so, there is often an opportunity to recommend a product and earn a commission there as well.
Online Shop / Etsy
Opening your own online shop, either directly on your website or through a site like Etsy can be a valuable income source as well.
The range of products is almost limitless. Here are a few ideas:
- Drop-ship items
- Sell via Amazon.com
- Create graphics and fulfill using a Print On Demand service
- Create unique crafts (i.e. dog collars, outfits, bandanas, more)
- Create pet art
- Make digital prints or downloads available for sale
From a passive income point of view, digital downloads are the easiest products to set up and maintain. That is, in fact, the type of product I sell on my main website.
Some effort has to be put into making the files but, fulfillment is pretty easy and handled, in my case, via Etsy or one of their partners.
This isn’t something I have personal experience with but it is definitely an income possibility that should not be excluded.
As your blog audience grows, they become an asset to you. One that pet product manufacturers may be willing to leverage in exchange for a paid review of their product.
Often, you will also receive the product or a trial for free in exchange for your honest review of the item. This is an excellent opportunity to explore as your blog gets larger.
Depending on the specific pet niche you are in, there may be some opportunity to be a brand ambassador for a specific brand.
Typically, this is a paid relationship where you are provided with compensation and, in exchange, you use the brand’s products exclusively.
If you have a pet blog in the freshwater fish niche, for example, you might partner with Top-Fin for all relevant filters, water balancers, fish foods, etc.
The brand will typically provide you with a contract detailing what payment/compensation is and what is expected.
It is important for me to note here that not all opportunities to become a brand sponsor are legitimate. Keep an eye out for “brands” who offer to sponsor you or have you be a representative. Typically, the offer will result in a certain percentage off of any merchandise you buy.
This isn’t a legitimate partnership. This is a company exploiting your desire to partner with their desire to sell products and receive free advertising. By cloaking their “discount” as a sponsorship, they are trying to ensure that they at least make a sale off of you and that you then feel obligated to share information about their product to your social circle.
On occasion, these brands may offer you a commission for referring sales. In 99% of cases, you will be much better off just finding a like product on Amazon.com and referring your website visitors there. Remember that on Amazon.com, you are making a commission on the entire eligible purchase, not just the pet part of it.
YouTube is still a great option for monetizing a blog. In fact, you could use YouTube alone as a way to earn extra income. Coupled with a blog, YouTube could be the one-two powerhouse that gives you the extra financial boost you need.
I list YouTube last only because it can be intimidating to work on building both a site and YouTube at the same time. Crossing a technical hurdle for blogging is one thing, YouTube quite another.
Filming, editing and processing video can be a huge time suck. That isn’t to say that it isn’t worth it. It totally is, but, only those who are naturally technically inclined AND comfortable filming themselves should attempt to tackle both at once.
For me, I have the tech part down. I hate being on camera. It is something I may eventually work on but, also, I know that I can earn income without it as well.
How To Get Started
In June of 2019, I joined the first blogging course that actually made a difference for me, Project 24. If you look at the income reports for my Niche Site Project 1, you can see how income started to skyrocket. I won’t lie, it took a ton of work but this was the first course I took that actually made a difference for my blog. Check out the Income School Website for more information about Project 24.