Pet bloggers gathering focuses on connections and causes

Last month, I embarked (no pun intended) on my journey to the annual

BlogPaws Conference held in Myrtle Beach, SC.

What is a BlogPaws? is the web’s premiere community of pet people online and the largest professional network of pet bloggers, authors and social media enthusiasts.

Basically, if you love your pets and love writing about them, then BlogPaws might be the place for you.

Soon after the creation of the website, the conference followed, designed specifically for pet bloggers, writers and social media influencers (and their pets, as the pets-to-people attendee ratio grows each year).

While the online community is now more than 6,000 strong, the conference is limited to the first 500 registered attendees, to keep the interaction and learning in a more intimate setting. It draws participants from around the globe.

The three-day conference features educational seminars on growing social media trends, pet advocacy, welfare, tips and tricks of the trade and how to become a better overall pet blogger, writer and influencer.

It also offers headlining keynote speakers (including Jay Baer, the most re-tweeted digital marketer in the world), awards ceremonies and networking opportunities for face-to-face interaction for the nearly exclusive online-focused community.

Now in its ninth year, the conference was sponsored by Bayer and a host of pet companies and focused on philanthropic initiatives and how pet writers and influencers can use their platform to help readers learn about and participate in the endless opportunities that exist.

Among them is Bayer’s PAWS Act Initiative, which is dedicated to supporting and rescuing pet parents and pets who are victims of domestic violence, and Mer-rick Pet Care’s ongoing initiative to support K9 For Warriors mission of pairing specially trained rescue dogs with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) helping them readjust to civilian life.

Today, you don’t even have to have a pet blog or have authored a book to be an online BlogPaws member or attend the annual conference, which will be held next April in St. Louis.

You just have to love pets and use social media to communicate about them.

To learn more about or join the BlogPaws community, go to

There you will find an entire resource center for collaboration, courses, conferences and campaigns.

You will also find them on Twitter @BlogPaws and weekly chats at #blogpawschat.

Welcome to BlogPaws! Shaping social media excellence, influence and education one amazing pet parent at a time!

Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode is the author of “Have Dog Will Blog,” editor of the Central PA Pets magazine and director of the Central PA Pet Expo. She can be contacted at or by mail: Paws and Reflect, c/o Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode, Altoona Mirror, 301 Cayuga Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.