It’s once again time for the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly! I want to thank Amy for giving us the chance to take a look back at last year and to see where we’re at for the new year with the blog. As always, I put some cute pet photos in here too for those non-bloggers who might not be as interested in our introspection!
As I seem to do every year, I hadn’t planned on doing this challenge. Then when reading posts from other blogs, I felt more inspired to do so! It’s always good to look back and forward; though maybe sometimes I feel like the blog is stagnant and that’s why I don’t want to look too closely at things.
Here are the questions, and I hope I feel better about where I’m at when I’m done answering them!
When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for the first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience? I started the blog in August of 2012. I’ve always said it’s “all things pet related” but it’s really mostly about my life with my own pets. We focus on training, health & wellness, and just the everyday cute, and sometimes frustrating, things they do! I definitely focus more on sharing stories, but I also try to provide resources for health and wellness topics that have affected our lives.
What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016? It actually is more than one moment….the times that readers reached out to me to share the stories of their own dogs’ struggle with the same condition that Luke has – luxating patellas. That’s why I write about health issues – in the hopes of helping others or at least to give them someone to relate to or talk to about what they’re going through with their own pet.
Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? “Summer of Sheba”. Everything I’ve written about our golden retriever Sheba and her battle with cancer has been important; but what I love about that post is that it helped me more to focus on what was important with her – enjoying each day we have left and creating more memories that will last forever.
Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog? I tried to make more use of SEO at times, but honestly, I’m not sure how much it helped. My numbers have not increased significantly this year.
Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts? “Luxating Patellas – What I’ve Learned (Part 2)” (from 2015). Yes, posts about health definitely get more traffic; or posts about interesting pet facts, such as my post “Barking About – Canine Paws & Toes”.
What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? This is tough because there are so many that I read and love, and many inspire me. One of my newer favorites is Romping and Rolling in the Rockies. There are breathtaking photos of KB’s two gorgeous Labs, wildlife, and the scenery of the Colorado mountains they live in. KB rides a mountain bike – even in the winter – and also does nose work with her dogs. She was where I first heard about the courses available online at Fenzi Dog Academy. She inspires me to get outside and do more with my dogs, which leads to more things to write about on the blog!
What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them? I have one story I’ve never told about a past pet; even though I’ve touched on the subject. The full story is something I’d like to write but it’s so deeply personal that I’m not sure I ever will.
What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers? It’s something I learned from two other bloggers that really worked for me. I post 5 days a week because I want to, but I felt like I never had a free moment. Two blogs I love, My GBGV Life and Barking from the Bayou, also post 5 days, but they went to a Monday – Friday schedule of posting. I decided to try it and it’s really worked out for me! Taking those two days off in a row really help me feel like I’m getting a break. I still do promotional things, writing, and photography on those days, but I feel a bit less obligated on Friday nights and Saturdays than I used to; and it’s been great. If things aren’t working for you and/or you’re feeling overwhelmed, try switching up your schedule in some way and it might help!
What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017? I’d like to find a pet food company to work with that I really believe in. We’re on a quest here at our house to get away from a strictly dry kibble diet, so we’re trying some new things. I want to land on something we really feel good about and hopefully work with one or more companies to inspire others to feed their dogs better as well.
Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? I’ve considered changing my tag line “For the Love of Pets” to something that fits a bit more with what we do now, something more specific to do with health and wellness perhaps. It would mean a lot of changes (new headers which cost money too), and I wonder if it’s worth it.
Yes, I feel better after writing this! I also wanted to mention that I sometimes forget how much this process helps me. Looking back, last year my main goal for 2016 was to write another series similar to my 2015 series on vaccinations. I wrote not one but four different series this year, so getting focused on goals does seem to be good for me!