Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pet Blogger Challenge 2015


Hi everyone!! Happy Saturday! I hope you're all having an awesome day! Today I'm taking part in the 5th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge! This is my first time participating.

You can find more information about it at the Go Pet Friendly Blog.

The Pet Blogger Challenge is a list of questions we are supposed to answer so we can see where we are at with our blogs, celebrate success and talk about our goals.

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

I've been blogging since July 4, 2014, so six months now! My blog is centered around the adventures of my two dogs: Zoe and Phoenix with guest appearances from my cats: Pandora, Lilly and Hurley. My blog features pictures and stories from our daily lives, training and grooming tips, videos, product reviews and more. I also really like taking part in themed posts so we do a lot of the blog hops as well.

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.

I'm really proud of the readership I've gained and all of the friends I've made. When I started my blog I never thought anyone would actually read it. So I'm really excited that everyone is here and continues to come back and support me. 

3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?

The most important lesson I learned this year is to not be shy and to ask for help when I need it. I really appreciate all of my other blogging friends who have been so kind and patient with me and there for me as I learn the ropes! 

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content? 

Taking great pictures. No one wants to look at boring pictures. I feel like I've improved in my photography skills this year and I'm pretty excited about it. I also think sharing on social media is important, too. 

 5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

My most popular post was my review on the Ruffwear Front Range Harness it had 319 views. It doesn't really surprise me as that is a really popular harness right now. It was also really fun to write.

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

My favorite blog post this year was Look Who We Found in Portland! It was a really amazing experience to meet other bloggers and a great trip that led to our most important event this year! Our family moving back to the Pacific Northwest area.

I also really enjoyed writing my Wobble Board DIY Tutorial. I did that with my husband and we had a blast putting it together. It's also another one of my more popular posts.

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

I am actually still working on developing them. I do reviews but the only policies I have in place is that the items reflect our "aversive-free" training style and that the food/treats be somewhat healthy.


7a. If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

I think it's really important to review items that I know I will love. I really like learning about new products but it is easier if I already know something about the product. What doesn't work is reviewing products I don't like or products that just don't work for my dogs and I won't take reviews on those because I would rather my blog not be negative.

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?

Staying true to yourself! Write about the things you are most passionate about. Write about things that are important to you. If you're bored or dislike what you're writing about your readers will know. I also think it's important to connect with your readers. I try to visit other people's blogs and reply to comments as much as possible. 

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?

I would really like to write more training articles. I'm really passionate about dog training but I don't write about it enough. I want to improve my writing skills and content. I would also like to continue to improve my photography and I would really like to grow my blog more and expand my readership.

10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

I would really love help with growing my blog. If anyone has any tips to do that I'd love to read them!



37 comments:

  1. It's so funny that you've only been blogging for 6 months as well. You're doing an amazing job, and I absolutely love your training articles. I'm really looking forward to seeing those this year. As far as growing your blog have you heard of triberr? It's another social networking site - but it's nice because there are a bunch of pet tribes you can join, read their posts thru the syndication service, and share them to twitter. I noticed a nice bump in traffic after I joined.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I have not heard of tiberr! I'm going to check it out! :D

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  2. Beautiful blog. Thanks for sharing and best of luck. Nice job on the wobble board:)

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  3. Nice to read your answers. And I think you are very much on track with your blog. Everyone has that same question though. I wish someone had an answer.

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  4. I agree about the importance of good photos! I got lazy this year and took most of my pics with my phone, which doesn't always take the best pics. Need to start using my camera again! I'm not a great one for blog-growing advice but I think just visiting other blogs is the best way to go. (also the most time consuming though!)

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    1. I do that sometimes, too!! Sometimes it's such a pain to carry a big camera around. My cell phone takes somewhat decent pictures so it's easy for me to get lazy... but I really want to get better so I need to start taking my other camera more. I agree with you about visiting other blogs!! For sure! :D

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  5. Your pictures really are stunning, so I can see why that is helping to bring traffic in!

    I think the most important thing is to be consistent and keep at it. We have felt discouraged many times when it seemed like we were writing good content that noone was reading, but the traffic slowly builds! I just looked at your PR page and your traffic for being 6 months in is fantastic! (Much more than where we were at that time!)

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    1. Thanks so much!! I really appreciate you saying so! I agree about consistency! I think it's really important, too.

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  6. Great post! I am loving this challenge and learning about how everyone else works their blogs!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  7. It's so very nice to "meet" you! This is my first visit to your site, but I will for sure be back! Looking forward to getting to know you better and reading more this year!

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    1. Thanks so much!! I am really looking forward to getting to know you, too!! :D

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  8. I love your blog and the photos. You are doing fantastic. I missed the Wobble Board post so I am thrilled to have learned how to make that. I think Pierre would be great at it. ♥

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    1. Thank you!! :D I really appreciate you saying so!

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  9. You take amazing photos already! They beautiful, and your videos are great too! Video is a weak point for us, but we are trying to improve on it. We love training for our sports, but Mom doesn't enjoy obedience training at all, and really hated going to class with Bailie last year. Needless to say, we do the basic stuff, but that is it for us. We just watch what your does do with our jaws dropped. Keep up the good work and it is also awesome you know exactly what you want to do.

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    1. Oh Emma!! Thank you so much for saying so.. You made me tear up a little!!

      I agree with your mom about the obedience training. I hated going to class, too!! It's much more fun to come up with my own stuff at home! I think sports would be more fun, though and I wish I could afford to take the girls to those kinds of classes.

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  10. Thanks for sharing your accomplishments and challenges so far. Good quality pictures are very important and sometimes hard to get. I can't wait to start reading your training posts in 2015!

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  11. Awesome answers! So glad you started blogging. :) I love following the girls' adventures!

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    1. Thanks and also thank you for helping me along the way!! <3

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  12. What a great challenge post! It looks like you are doing awesome for only being at this for 6 months! I'm kinda jealous......it took me years! Best of luck to you this year with writing training posts.....you'll do great!

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  13. I'm with Jen. You've made a great start with your blog.

    And your photographs are beautiful. You also have some lovely models.

    As for growing your site, think beyond other bloggers. If you write something that everyone is searching for answers on but few others have written one, you'll attract a lot of attention.

    The example I gave in my Challenge was my post on what to do with poop after you scoop it. I reviewed the pros and cons of all methods of dog poop disposal and I get hits every day even though the post is 2 years old.

    So spend some time searching on Google to see what people are asking about in your niche. And then write the best thing you can on that subject.

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    1. Thank you so much!! That makes sense, for sure!

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  14. Whattt?! You've only been blogging for six months?! No way! :D Your blog looks very clean and professional, and your photos are AMAZING...though you do have some very photogenic pups ;) I have enjoyed your blog for a while now. I have so many pet blogs bookmarked that I don't have time to visit each of them as much as I'd like! I haven't yet figured out the secret to successfully growing my blog, but if I figure it out, I'll let you know ;)

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    1. Thank you so much for saying so!!! I also had the same reaction to some of my favorite blogs when I found out they hadn't been doing it for very long, lol!! Same here about the different pet blogs! I always feel bad when I don't get to everyone!

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  15. Nice to meet you. We're from the Pacific Northwest too - Seattle to be specific.

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    1. Hi!!! Nice to meet you too! Your blog is awesome! I just followed you. :D

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  16. I would say that in just 6 months you are going gang busters!!!!! The best way to grow your blog is to participate in hops, read and share others' posts, network, network, network!

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  17. Hi! You've done amazing things with this blog already - kudos! Love what you offer, the great advice you give, and those beautiful camera subjects of yours. First off - keep doing what you're doing, its obviously working well. After that, Triberr is a great tool for sharing between bloggers, paying *some* attention to SEO (great content is more important than key words and will naturally find it's way in the search engines), and getting your word out in various forms through your favorite social media platforms all seem to be the core foundation to expanding. Here's to a great year ahead!

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    1. Thanks so much!! Your advice is really helpful! I just made an account at Triberr! :D

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  18. Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge and congratulations on your first six months of blogging! It looks like you're doing a great job here and your pups are adorable.

    There are some things you can do to grow your readership, like using social media, writing posts that people might find based on a google search, and visiting new blogs and commenting on them. The other important component is time ... it takes time for google to recognize the value of your blog and start serving it in search results. So try to be patient and not get discouraged. You're on the right track ... just keep doing what you're doing and the traffic will come. Have a great 2015!!

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  19. Congratulations on a great 6 months! I think many bloggers struggle with growing blog readers. You can grow with other bloggers through hops. You already know this. To get beyond the traditional pet blogging community, takes more time and patience. Just stick with it.

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  20. What a great piece on the Portland one - I hadn't seen it. Hope we can meet at the conference in May in Nashville.

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  21. Photography skills is on my short list of skills to improve this year so it's good to hear that great photography is something that helps draw more traffic. It really goes hand in hand with great written content.

    Search traffic is my number 1 source of traffic on my blog. I've found the best way to get search traffic is to find problems and your niche and then solve those problems in your blog post.

    Best of luck to you in 2015!

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