Abhishek Joshi of ‘Dog with the blog’ fame shares the story behind the blog and how a set of patient readers (read dog lovers) made this long journey possible.
While most of us may be fortunate enough to have known about this one-of-a-kind dog with the blog, here’s an enlightening story for the others. Back in 2008, a dog lover by the name of Abhishek Joshi decided to start a blog and in his own words describes the idea as ‘merely concocting a cocktail of the twin loves of my life – dogs and words – in that order’.
Little did he know about how it is going to shape up.
“What began as a standalone post of an educated dog talking about engineering colleges, satellites and state of the planet has since then traversed many terrains- literary and movie reviews, ramblings from the daily life and everything in between. None of this would have been possible if not for the patient readers.”
Abhishek attributes the community culture to be the core of the blog, wherein the readers are not only posting comments but also creating content via guest posts.
“From celebrating birthdays to paying tributes to our departed furry friends, adoption updates to intolerably cute pet moments captured on camera, the community is still shaping, thanks to the members.”
Dog with the blog has a vibrant Facebook page too. Interestingly, the Facebook page which was started two years later than the blog, faced no hurdles in finding a community as the blog had had a substantial reader base by then. At present, there are more than 7000 dog lovers in this community.
“Facebook is a relatively new terrain for the blog (two years younger) since we had a substantial reader base before marking our entry in the Facebook space; we didn’t face an identity crisis as such. Minor tweaks in blog posts like-adding social signatures helped readers land in our digital channels.”
The community on Facebook has grown so much that now Facebook helps the blog to reach out to people who want to adopt and not buy pets. Abhishek owes all this to the viral nature of content on Facebook. Thanks to Facebook, adoption stories are now reaching a wider audience than before, apart from the conversations it can lend itself to.
Facebook has helped us start a dialogue with the visitors, something that the blog didn’t always have the access to.
Abhishek is of the firm belief that content is pivotal to any digital channel. Talking about the content shared on Facebook, he believes that the objective behind the Facebook platform has defined the nature of content strategy. The Dog with the blog just needed to be itself.
“Our strategy has hovered around being original and driving engagement with the fans. Since ours is a non commercial intent, we are not selling products, pets or books but trying to find loving homes for homeless animal friends.”
Interestingly, Abhishek does not believe in the number game and prefers organic growth. Content is always aligned with the objective apart from striving towards sincerity and providing his followers the same experience as they would have had in the real world.
“The virtual world is but an extension of the real world, no one wants to listen to self pompous claims of greatness, and it’s a two-way channel. They don’t want numbers but sincere efforts, relevant news and thought leadership in the niche you are in. So you can say we are still learning and evolving with the content.”
Abhishek is grateful to social media and firmly believes in its power.
“The power of social media is unquestionable and the very fact that we have been able to find some of the strays, abandoned dogs loving homes bears testimony to the same. Minus the digital channels, there wasn’t an efficient way to reach out to dog lovers across the length and breadth of the country.”
Today everyone wants to start a Facebook page for a cause. But Abhishek is of the opinion that success will come only if they are clear with the vision. Starting a page is the easiest, but the real challenge is to take it to the next level and that can happen with sticking to the vision and being flexible with content.
“I think that one should be clear with the vision; the driving purpose behind initiating a Facebook page- be it sales, customer support or altering mindset, and join the dots accordingly. One should not be rigid with the content strategy and must revisit it frequently. Be flexible about what and when you post. After all it’s a conversation and unlike physics there are no guaranteed consequences so let you hair down and breathe easy. Things will work!”
We asked Abhishek whether this dog with the blog has ever faced a writer’s block.
“Every one faces writer’s block even the dogs! Yet you just have to look around you, and there you find a story that needs to be told, even if it’s a drunken cat reading Chetan Bhagat:)”