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The New Year means one thing…time for the Pet Blogger Challenge 2017!
Whether you’re a new pet blogger or you’ve been around the pet blogging block the Pet Blogger Challenge is a great way to learn from your fellow bloggers, share your knowledge, and build great new relationships.
Thank you Amy Burkert from GoPetFriendly.com for hosting the 7th annual Pet Blogger Challenge!
Without further adieu, my answers to #PBC2017:
1. When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for 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 launched PuppyInTraining.com August 1st, 2007 to follow the journey of my first guide dog puppy in training, Stetson (funny thing is my first post was about adopting my first puppy, Linus).
Nearly 10 years later my story remains the same: I share my experiences raising and training service dog puppies in training.
Over the years this blog has become more of a resource and I’m answering hundreds of questions every week (I wish that translated into more blog posts).
This year I plan to get back to more storytelling similar to what we did with Dublin back in 2012 with Puppy In Training TV.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
Getting the chance to bring Stetson to BlogPaws 2016.
Stetson was the reason why I started this blog, but since he was career changed from guide dog to pet he’s largely been in the background of the blog.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
One of the things I love about blogging is helping people with their puppy problems while weaving in a few stories of my own.
For some reason (I’m not real smart) I answer the same questions over and over again via email.
One of those questions was how can I adopt a retired service dog.
My answer was a two part blog post:
- How Can I Adopt A Retired Service Dog Or Failed Guide Dog?
- The Ultimate List: Service Dog Schools With Adoption Programs
The good news is all I have to do is send this link to people when they ask me this question.
The better news is these two blog posts average about 300 visitors a day which means I’m providing an answer for thousands of visitors every month.
4. 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?
If you don’t know about Pinterest, you’re not on Pinterest, you’re not working on your Pinterest strategy then you’re missing out on boatloads of traffic.
I’m 99.9% sure my answer to this question next year will be Pinterest.
There’s a 0.1% chance Russian hackers will take down the blog again and I’ll throw in the towel.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
There is a theme across my most popular posts and it has to do with puppy pee and poop.
However, a non pee-pee-poo-poo post has risen to the top and that post is:
- The Ultimate Guide: How To Stop A Puppy From Biting And Nipping: I think I hit a combination of good SEO along with an image that Pinterest really likes which translates to 18K pageviews a month.
6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
One of the blogs I started following this past year that I really enjoy is K9sOverCoffee.
I’m not able to read or comment on every post, but when I do I feel like I always have a nice little discussion with Barbara.
I enjoy how she engages with her audience and it’s something I plan to be better at with my blog in 2017.
7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
Stetson sleeps in bed with us and has a strong reflex kick.
Amongst other places he’s kicked me in the face and Ali in the chest….HARD! It’s kinda funny unless it happens to you.
8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
Optimal image sizes in social media:
- Pinterest: 1000 x 1500
- Facebook: 1200 x 627
- Instagram 1080 x 1080
By the way, I’m not sure if those are truly optimal sizes (please correct me if I’m wrong), but I came across those numbers somewhere on the inter webs and they’ve worked well for me in 2016.
9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
The word for 2017 is “Engagement”.
I’d like to have a more engaged community around my blog and social channels.
10. 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?
What are your top tips for email list building/marketing?
That’s a wrap! Thanks everyone! If you have any blogging questions, puppy questions, or questions in general please let me know.
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.