CORNWALL, Ontario - Shannon Ferguson has two things going for her in an online venture that is starting to pay dividends - she has an opinion, and chances are you're going to know what it is in short order.
Kidding aside, the Cornwall native and newlywed has also been on a date or two in her life, which has helped her mold a blog about dating into a repository for Internet love advice that is even catching on overseas.
Thelovehawk.com was recently sought out by Only Dates, a dating service in the U.K. that boasts millions of members, which wants to use her items on its website.
Ferguson, said her blog began about a year ago as place where people could look for advice on everything from learning how to get over a break-up to dating your best friend.
But it took a massive overhaul in August (she switched platforms) and some intense marketing (she has successfully offered her blog to other relationship sites for free use) to get some much-needed exposure.
Things appeared to pay off when Only Dates came calling.
"You could be the best writer in the world, but if no one sees it...," she said in an interview. "I've always enjoyed giving people advice.
"And this really helped me build a brand."
Her strategy is simple. Ferguson is using real-life instances (she often tells stories that revolve around interactions she's gleaned from talking to friends) and provides a no-holds-barred interpretation of what went right - and what went wrong.
But where does a happily married newlywed get off giving dating advice, and how much expertise is she bringing to the table?
"Not enough," Ferguson said with a laugh. "I rely on things I have experience and talking with my friends a lot.
"I write a blog the same way I would give someone advice."
She also backs things up with a degree in communications that includes a minor in psychology, as well as a post-graduate diploma in broadcast journalism.
The blog also has a Facebook page, which can be found here.