Pet Blogger Challenge 2018

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Pet Blogger Challenge 2018
Pet Blogger Challenge 2018 – Every good blog post should begin with a picture of an adorable puppy 🙂

WARNING! Today’s blog post is about blogging and not our usual cute, adorable, cuddly puppies. Fear not! This is just a glitch in the Matrix and we will be back to our regular programming shortly. If you love the ins and outs of blogging then you’re in for a treat…please continue reading…


It’s that time of year! The holidays have come to an end, New Years resolutions are in full force, and of course the pet blogging community comes together to share their most intimate blogging secrets during the Pet Blogger Challenge!

Well, maybe not our most intimate secrets, but if you read through all your fellow pet bloggers posts then you’ll definitely find at least one piece of advice to help you along your blogging journey.

If you’re a pet blogger then please come join the fun by answering the same 10 questions I’m answering here today, join the linky party, and read/comment on your fellow pet blogger’s posts.

As always a special thanks to Amy at GoPetFriendly.com for hosting the 8th annual (8 friggin’ years!!!) Pet Blogger Challenge.

Pet Blogger Challenge 2018

1. For those who may be visiting your blog for the first time, how long have you been blogging and what is your main topic?

I published my first blog post on PuppyInTraining.com on August 1st, 2007! I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over 10 years now. The main topic hasn’t changed:

“We share our puppy training tips and experiences as service dog puppy raisers.”

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2017?

My proudest blogging moment of 2017 was finally finishing up my series of blog posts on raising a litter of Golden Retriever puppies. It just so happens I published the final blog post in the series on the puppies first birthday 🙂 It was fun way to showcase some of the adorable pics of our 6 little fur balls.

Guess what? A new litter of potential service dogs has arrived! We’ll be chronicling their journey to become service dogs starting with our whelping checklist blog post.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

A trip down memory lane. I did a recap post and listed the 11 puppies (and pics) I raised over the years. If you want to know a little more about our puppies then check out Meet The Puppies (at the very least you’ll enjoy some adorable puppy pics)!

4. In terms of your blog, how do you measure success?

“Fortune and glory kid, fortune and glory…” –name that movie!

I’m an analytical mind so things like number of pageviews and subscribers are important metrics. One metric that I find very important that has eluded me is engagement. I’m still searching for my 1,000 true fans.

5. In what ways has your blog changed during 2017?

The biggest change to my blog in 2017 was changing ad management companies moving from Google AdSense to MediaVine. This was a game changer for me and made me realize that I can make a full time income from blogging.

The minimum requirement to join MediaVine is 25,000 Sessions/Month. If you’ve reached this threshold and you’re okay running ads on your site then I’d highly recommend MediaVine.

6. What was the biggest blogging challenge you overcame in 2017, and what did you learn that could help other bloggers?

Luckily I haven’t had too many challenges in 2017. Most of my major hurdles have gone smoothly.

However, when it comes to blogging I’m a DIY guy. This year (per Google’s request) I wanted to secure my blog by adding an SSL certificate. I wanted to ensure that everything went smoothly so I employed a WordPress specialist to take care of all the technical details. Needless to say everything went flawlessly. No headaches, no worries, no problem!

So, what did I learn? It’s a good idea to get help when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. I’m pretty good with the technical aspect of blogging, but I’m not an expert.

7. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging? (Question submitted by Pamela Douglas Webster of Something Wagging This Way Comes)

This is a great question. If you’ve been blogging for any period of time then you’ve probably been hit by trolls, received a DoS attack on your server, or even had your database hacked by someone in China.

Yes, all of these things have happened to me over the years and it’s depressing. I seriously contemplated quitting after getting hacked and losing my blog for nearly a month. 🙁

Not long ago I decided to put together a testimonials/thank you page that contains positive thoughts from some of my readers. When I’m feeling down about blogging I visit this page which reminds me that I can and do make a difference for at least a handful of people.

8. Looking forward to 2018, what are you hoping to accomplish on your blog this year?

My big goal for 2018 is to put together another video series following my next service dog puppy in training. Last time we were able to raise and donate $1,150.00 to Guide Dogs of America.

This year we’re hoping to do more and we would like to partner with bloggers, brands, and readers to help educate people about service dogs and puppies in training.

If you’re interested in partnering with us please leave me a comment or send me a message through my contact form.

9. In addition to what you’d like to accomplish, is there one specific skill you’d like to improve or master this year? (Question submitted by Jodi Chick of Kol’s Notes)

Narrowing it down to one skill is difficult. I have more of a top 5 list:

#5. Photography
#4. Video
#3. Pinterest
#2. Engagement
#1. Email List

I’m enrolled in an online course called Elite Blog Academy to help improve #1 – #3 on my list.

If we’re only talking about one skill then it’s definitely improve everything about building and utilizing my email list. I have over 5,000 subscribers. It’s getting expensive and I’m not seeing the ROI. Someone please give me some tips on building and utilizing an email list!?

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? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in the comments!

Would you be interested in a partnership?

In 2018 I plan on raising another puppy to be a service dog and I’d like to partner with other bloggers to help promote the series of blog posts and videos. In exchange I’d be happy to do similar promotion for your blogs, videos, and social media.

If you’re interested leave me a comment or message me through my contact form.

Okay folks, that’s a wrap.

If you’re a pet blogger be sure and join the party!

If not, my apologies for such a boring post about blahhhhhgging…

Top Picks For Our Puppies

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. BEST DOG TREATS
    We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
  4. BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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40 Comments

  1. Hi Colby – I just read your article! I just heard about this challenge so I googled it up and your post came up first!

    Thank for sharing. Also that video of service puppies and the scene with them in the basket just got me undone lol.

    1. It’s good to know whatever I’m doing with SEO is working. Although I’m sure “Pet Blogger Challenge 2018” is not the most highly searched keyword phrase. I’m glad you liked the video. I’m testing Mediavine video ads and that video actually runs site wide. I’m hoping it doesn’t distract user experience too much and hopefully some readers find it entertaining/informative.

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