Experts share their insight about a changing publishing world at the 2013 CWA Annual Conference.

Experts share their insight about a changing publishing world.

Networking is a powerful tool when it comes to getting published, attracting more blog and social media followers, and yes, even finding that dream job.

While Paws’ mom know this, the power of networking was reinforced 100 plus percent at the Cat Writer’s Annual Conference this past weekend in Atlanta, GA. Held in conjunction with MeowWorld and BarkWorld, the CWA conference is one of few that allows professional members to meet one on one with publishers. With additional BarkWorld sponsors and doggie people, there were even more opportunities to connect with pet people we would not have otherwise had a chance to meet.

This was our fourth CWA Annual Conference. Each year, Paws has benefited from attending including receiving the coveted Muse Medallion for a newspaper series on problems caused by ‘too many cats’ our first year. This first year, we ventured down into Manhattan to check out Meet the Breeds, and connected with some interesting folks there as well. Year two, we connected with Catster. Year three, we received positive feedback from the Cat Fancier’s Association’s CatTalk magazine, and Cat Fancy. Paws mom will be published in both by the end of 2014.

Year four we solidified those relationships and opened the dialogue for potential future articles. We discussed what I’d be interested in writing, and how it could fit into their needs. Reconnecting in one to one meetings gave us an opportunity to have a dialogue and come up with ideas that might be a good fit for Paws and for the publications.

Through networking, we become a person, a known product, that has a face and a reputation. When working with a publication or a business, people want to know a lot more than what they can find out from a resume or even a first-hand interview. They need to know your style, your product, and your dependability ratio.

Additionally, we had an opportunity to reconnect with some brand that we had met a few years

Lots of fun at the CWA conference.

Lots of fun at the 2013 CWA conference.

ago at BlogPaws. As Paws’ mom was ill at that time, we did not have an opportunity to do adequate follow-up. Now that she’s crossed the ‘bridge’ and is at peace in a life beyond, we can plod ahead with our catworking. We find a couple of opportunities for some affiliate marketing for companies that we do believe in, and have tested their products first-hand. This is the only way that Paws will promote products. If we don’t believe their good, we aren’t going to promote them.

As conference photographer, we indirectly connect with people, as they get to know who you are, even if you don’t have a chance to meet them. This year, Paws will serve as vice president of CWA, and is looking forward to meeting and connecting with even more people in the cat world. That will open up an entire new world. We discussed how to promote CWA and it’s membership with Good News For Pets. It has awesome potential for book authors.

We even came away with some incredulous ideas on how to market an upcoming book through some future articles.

Paws came away from the conference a real believer in the power of networking. Now it’s time to get to work and tackle the newly created possibilities one by one.

We only wish we’d realized the power of networking some 20 to 30 years ago. We knew it was important to know people, but we never knew just how powerful networking really is. The professional life probably would have been quite different. But if it had, maybe Paws would not exist. Maybe we wouldn’t be writing about cats – our true passion. And we wouldn’t have a chance to meet all the wonderful ‘cat people’ that are sprinkled all over the country.

Do you have a successful networking story that you’d like to share. If so, please share and weigh in on the discussion.

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Category: Cats

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About the Author

BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

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Catpersonable BJ Bangs



At Paws for Reflection, we're serious about cats, writing about cat health, cat rescue and cat news. We delve into why cats are the absolute best soul mates. We spring in a little humor with lots of travel tips, photos and a few feline tales, making Paws for Reflection a must stop for cat information on the cat crazed Internet. BJ is an award-winning blogger/journalist, communications professional and photographer.

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