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Welcome 2015! Many thanks to Amy at GoPetFriendlyBlog.com for once again hosting the Pet Blogger Challenge.
It was a bit rough blogging in 2014 especially the last few month. However, I actually got a lot done in 2014 with the exception of blogging. A few highlights last year:
- I sold the condo I lived in for 14 years.
- I bought a new home in an Eichler neighborhood I’ve been stalking for the past 6 years.
- I moved.
- I sold the Eichler house I lived in for just over a year
- I bought an Eichler house just down the street. The yard is twice as large and the doggies love it!
- I moved
- I got engaged!
We’re still in the process of moving. Picture this: boxes all over the house. Half painted interior. Jungle in the backyard. Half removed light fixtures. Removed baseboards…it’s a work in progress. I’m slowly getting back to blogging, but I have to emphasize “slowly”. So hopefully I can hit my blogging groove again in the coming weeks. Now that I have internet back I have no excuses.
So lets get it on…with the 2015 PBC!
Pet Blogger Challenge Q&A
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.
We started blogging in July 2007. I guess that means we’ve entered our 8th year! Things haven’t changed much since the beginning. It’s all about sharing our puppy training tips and experiences raising and training guide dog puppies.
2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.
Unfortunately, it didn’t have much to do with content creation last year, but one thing that I did do was I improved my technical expertise as my blog was hacked several times. I learned a little bit more about the WordPress backend database, file structure, permissions…yep, all the boring stuff…
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?
Stepping back to question 2. I believe the reason why I had more issues with hacking is because I wasn’t logging into my dashboard often enough leaving WordPress and Plugin Updates hanging for long stretches of time. I’ve read that some of the most common ways for WordPress blogs to get hacked is when hackers exploit vulnerabilities from blogs that have not been updated.
However, on the flip side I’ve been bleeding edge and ran updates almost immediately which has also broken my blog. I guess you have to try and find the happy medium.
4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
It’s always been search traffic on this blog. If you look at my most popular posts they are all about solving some kind of problem. If you want search traffic think of problems in your niche and write a blog posts that solves that problem.
5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?
My most popular blog post is always decided by Google. This year was no different: How To Handle Your Puppy’s First Night At Home – 73,066 page views.
6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?
One of the final steps in our journey as puppy raisers is returning our puppy in training to their school where they start “college”. A few month back we wrote about Adelle’s next steps in her adventure to become a service dog:
7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?
Our policy on product reviews has not really changed, but we haven’t accepted any new products for review in a couple years.
If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?
We’ve had good success with some of our video reviews. Here’s an example of one of our video reviews for the ComfortFlex Sport Harness. I’m also a fan of doing multiple blog posts when writing product reviews. I know we’re all very excited to write a review as soon as we get that shiny new toy, but how does it stand up to the test of time. Are you still using the product 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months after purchase? Did it break? Was it made much cheaper (or better) than you originally thought? Your opinion may change in a follow up review.
Not to say it doesn’t work at all, but not mentioning the product or not being descriptive of the product in your title can sometimes hurt your review.
If you don’t do reviews, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?
8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?
I always go back to forming good habits. If I can do it for 30 days straight it will stick. It worked last year when I started diet and exercise. I lost 25 pounds over 6 months. This year I plan on doing the same with my blog.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?
JUST BLOG! With a measly 27 posts in 2014 I’d like to get back on a consistent schedule. Time to get in the groove.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Blog products. Have you created one? Has it been successful? Please tell me more about products you’ve created for your Pet Blog.
And that’s a wrap!
Here’s to 2015! I can’t wait to see you all in the Pet Blogosphere!
Top Picks For Our Puppies
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack - Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Best Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.