Pet Blogger Challenge 2019

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Pet Blogger 2019
Pet Blogger 2019

Thank you to Amy Burkert from Go Pet Friendly for hosting this years Pet Blogger Challenge.

Keeping it short and sweet this year. Here are the answers to this years PBC questions:

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?

My first blog post went live on August 1st, 2007 and was about my rescue pup, Linus who sadly passed away in 2018.

It’s difficult to imagine how much things have changed over the years. This blog started before smart phones and tablets. Today, 85% of the traffic comes from the mobile web.

Since it’s inception the main topic of this blog is about raising and training service dog puppies.

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

Going from blogging as a side hustle to full time blogger.

My only regret is I should have done it sooner.

3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?

Probably changing hosts. I had been with Synthesis hosting for several years and really liked their service. In June/July they were bought by WP Engine and it was announced that they would end of life the Synthesis service in December 2018.

After researching many different hosts I signed up with Flywheel. Unfortunately, mistake after mistake in the migration and during the first week resulted in moving back to Synthesis.

About a month later I made my second attempt to change hosts. This time I went with a host recommended by Mediavine (they manage my ads) called Agathon.

I’ve been with Agathon for over two months now and so far so good!

4. Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)

I put together a tribute post for Linus. It’s tough for me to read, but it was good to reflect back on his life and what he meant to me over the years.

“I have been and always shall be your best friend.”  – I miss you buddy!

5. Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

The publish date was 10:06pm December 31st, 2017, but no one actually saw the post until 2018.

Whelping Checklist – What Supplies Do You Need Before Your Dog Has A Litter Of Puppies?

I try to optimize most of my posts for SEO and this one gets over 3,000 organic page views a month.

6. Did you implement a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?

No, but I do plan on adding a series of posts in 2019. Last year was more about monetizing my blog. I’m shifting the focus to content creation in 2019.

7. As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?

Here’s how I’m prioritizing in 2019:

  1. Email List
  2. YouTube
  3. Pinterest
  4. Facebook / Instagram – one or the other, but not both.

I will be AWOL on all other social channels.

8. Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?

One video a week for my series on raising our next service dog puppy.

***If there was a strong #2 on this list it would be to complete my ebook.

9. What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?

Plan, Plan, Plan!

I’m planning all the videos in the series before our next service dog puppy is born.

10. Now it’s your turn! How can we help? Is there an area where you could use some advice, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in the comments!

If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?

Thank you! And if you have any questions for me please leave me a note in the comment section.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Mighty Paw Naturals Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    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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  1. I have been following your blog for a while now and I really enjoy your posts. You deserve the success you have had, congratulations on the amazing progress in 2018!
    I always like these questionnaire-type posts. It’s always fun to read more about what’s “going on behind the scenes”. I wish you a wonderful 2019, please keep on blogging!

  2. Hi Colby,
    I’m new here from the Pet Blogger Challenge and I’m so happy I found you. I’m raising a service puppy – my first! She’s 9 months old now and I only have her for another 7 weeks before she goes back into her program for more training. I will be heart broken but also somewhat relieved. She’s a LOT of dog, and not super likely to be successful in working with a person with mobility limitations. I’m hoping that they find an alternative career for her that’s more active – maybe search and rescue?
    Anyway – it’s great to meet you. I’m eager to learn from you – both about blogging, engagement and dog training.

    1. Hi Michelle! Thanks for stopping by! That’s great you are raising a service dog puppy. Some of our friends have had their guide dog puppies career changed to search and rescue. Some dogs are cut out for different work or sometimes like my Stetson just want to stay at home and be your companion. I’m sure you puppy will choose the job she was meant to do. Again, thank you for visiting our blog. All the best to you in 2019!

  3. I often look to your blog for inspiration. It’s so well written. And I often pin it to the point I get notices from TW that “you’ve pinned this before”. Also my brother just got a puppy so I sent some of your articles to the kids (ok young adults) who are tasked with training.

    Thank you for the feedback on my own article. Last night I was reading backlinko. And already have some new ideas for SEO.

    As for $1000 on my blog…. that’s a great question. I’d probably sit down with someone to help me with my content strategy to help me get clarity on what to focus on. I’m all over the place sometimes.

    In any event – excited for your puppy and following your journey.

    1. Thank you, Hannah! And thank you for sharing my content. I hope it was helpful for your brother and his kids.

      I’m all over the place too! Organization is something I’ve been lacking in my life for the past few years. I’m hoping to get myself back on track this year.

      I can’t wait for the new puppy too! Coming soon!

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