Woman and Dog

How To Make A Living Writing About Dogs

If you love dogs and you are a good writer then you might want to consider combining the two. There are many kinds of writing work where a love of dogs or knowledge about them is essential. It’s not always easy to make a living writing about dogs but you can certainly earn some extra money.

Here’s how to make a living writing about dogs

If you are interested in writing it’s a good idea to take as many English classes as you can. A knowledge of grammar and punctuation is very important. Writing jobs today often require you to be knowledgeable about blogging, HTML, SEO (search engine optimization), and other common Internet issues. No matter what medium appeals to you – Internet, TV, radio, newspapers, books, magazines – it’s good to know as much as possible about as many of them as you can. If you are in high school or college, an internship of some kind with a newspaper or magazine is helpful if you can arrange it. But it’s not essential to your future success, so if it’s not possible, don’t fret. Try to work on your school paper or a school blog, or keep your own public blog. Write a column. Review books, movies, or local plays/musicals. Write articles about local sports or anything local. Many times local magazines have jobs for stringers (local freelance reporters) that are unpaid or which don’t pay much. This is still a good opportunity to get in print or be published online. At this point you need to build your portfolio and gain experience.

While you are working on your writing credentials, expand your dog experience, too. If you have a dog at home, do things with him. Take an obedience class together. Teach a class if you are knowledgeable about a dog activities. Take other classes with your dog such as agility or rally. Go to dog shows. Talk to breeders and exhibitors. Visit animal shelters or volunteer. Don’t just focus on one angle. Get to know different people in the dog community and understand different viewpoints. If you are hired to write about dogs, you could be hired by any of these people in the future and you need to be able to present their point of view.

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Writing about dogs

Once you have some good writing experience and you have a good background in dogs, you can start looking for jobs to write about dogs for dog people. There are many short term jobs available on sites for freelance writers like Elance. People advertise the jobs they need and freelancers bid on them. For example, a boarding kennel might want to hire a freelance writer to write five 500-word articles for them so they can inform people about boarding kennels and promote their business. The articles would then be placed on their web site. You would place your bid on the articles based on things like the length of the articles, how fast the buyer needed them, and the number of articles (5). The buyer would then choose the freelancer they wanted to use.

It can be hard when you are just starting out, which is why it is helpful to already have a good writing background and portfolio before you bid on jobs like these. Prices for such articles are usually rather low so you have to do a lot of these jobs to make much money. On the other hand, articles like these are not too hard to write and they don’t usually take very long to complete. One benefit of these short-term jobs is that if your work is good you can expect to have many repeat clients.

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More advanced work

There are dog writing jobs which pay better than these short term jobs. You will also find buyers on the freelance sites who need e-books about dogs, dog breeds, and other dog-related subjects, especially dog training. These jobs can allow you to write anywhere from 10 to 200 pages and they can take several weeks to write. Again, you need to bid on these jobs. Prices will depend on you and the buyer.

Dog training (obedience training, behavior problems) is one of the hottest topics for dog writers so it’s important that you understand this subject. Do take dog training classes with your own dog. Read books and articles about dog training online. Make sure you know this subject if you plan to write about dogs.

You will also occasionally find jobs online from publishers who need dog writers. By all means pursue these opportunities.

There are also jobs advertised for dog bloggers on freelance sites. It’s fun to blog about dogs but the pay is usually terrible.

Writing for magazines

There are lots of magazines about dogs. If you have an idea for an article, browse through some magazines online or off the rack and see which magazine covers the kind of subject matter you have in mind. You can usually find writers’ guidelines on the web sites for the magazines or you can contact an editor to find out how to prepare and send the magazine your article. Make sure you check and double-check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Send the article to the editor you’ve been told to send it to. Be sure to include your contact information on a separate page. Do your best work. If they like the article they will certainly use it. Dog magazines usually pay moderately well, as magazines go.

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Writing books about dogs

There is a steady supply of good books being written and published about dogs. Alpine, DogWise, Hoflin, Doral, Bowtie, and others, all publish dog books on a regular basis. Some publishers publish series of breed books so they may be looking for writers who are familiar with particular breeds. Publishers also publish books on dog training, cooking for dogs, dog care, therapy dogs, first-hand dog stories that are interesting, and the list goes on. If you have an idea for a book about a dog subject, check out the web sites of some of these publishers, or look inside the dog books you like for publishing information, and look for the writers’ guidelines. Most publishers ask you to send them a query letter about your subject instead of a manuscript. They will then respond to your letter in a few weeks to give you their answer.

As you can see there are many opportunities if you love to write about dogs. Like anything else, it takes time to build a reputation and develop clients. You probably won’t make much money at first but if you keep at it you can make a living writing about dogs.

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