I’m Ann Brocklehurst, Scottish Terrier owner and investigative reporter who gets the Scottie scoops in more ways than one. I run the Scottie News, which has its world headquarters in Toronto, but serves readers round the world.
That’s me in a four-year-old photo that I really need to update. Bridget, my dog, was only one at the time and I had much shorter hair.
Many people think I started this site because of my love of dogs, but that’s not the case. I actually began dog blogging because I thought I could make some money. I found most dog websites to be a spammy mess or dominated by dog extremists, who thought you were cruel if you watched a TV show your dog didn’t like.
I wanted to see if high-quality websites about specific dog breeds could generate an audience and, then, a profit. I was highly influenced by the The Long Tail, which is all about niche markets.
Along with the Scottish Terrier News, I also started the Dachshund News as part of my experiment. The Doxie News was designed to test whether dog breed news scaled. Given that there are 10 times as many wiener dogs as Scotties, 10 time as many Flickr photos of Dachshunds and 10 times as many YouTube videos, my question was whether there would be 10 times as many visitors to a Dachshund site. Even though I don’t actually own a Dachshund, I have two in the family so I thought I could fake it.
Alas, I haven’t succeeded in generating 10 times as much traffic to the Dachsund News. But I’m still not sure if that’s because dog breed sites don’t scale, wiener dog owners aren’t as passionate as Scottie owners, or if it comes through that I don’t have the knowledge of and devotion to Dachshunds that I do to Scottish Terriers. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been far less active at the Scottie News than the Doxie News. For now, at least, the jury’s still out.
As for my original business goals, well, my sites are successful enough that I don’t know how to quit them, but not successful enough that I can quit my day job.
What else? I also have a personal website where I write about journalism, new media, books, movies, food and wine. And you can check out my profile on LinkedIn or read some of my old articles in the New York Times archives.
Feel free to either leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.