Pet Bloggers Journey 2021

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Pet Bloggers Journey 2021. Golden Retriever puppy sits on a slide in his playpen.
Pet Bloggers Journey 2021

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you a blog post about blogging.

If you ever wanted to start a blog about your pet or you currently are a pet blogger then today’s post is for you.

If you’re looking for puppy training tips then check out our archive of blog posts. We’ll be back to our regular scheduled programming tomorrow.

So, what is the Pet Bloggers Journey? It’s our blog post answering 10 pet blogging questions, but it’s much more than that…

  • It’s our chance to share our pet blogging accomplishments from the past year and share a glimpse into the future by sharing the hopes and dreams we have for our blog.
  • It’s a time to support our fellow pet bloggers by sharing some of our own wisdom from the things we learned this past year.
  • It gives us the opportunity to learn from others and leave words of encouragement as we comment and follow other bloggers on this journey.

Without further adieu, here’s our PBJ post for 2021:

Pet Bloggers Journey 2021

Check out our Pet Bloggers Journey informational blog post for directions about how you can join and follow other bloggers participating in this community event.

1. When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?

I launched my blog on August 1st, 2007. I write about my experiences raising and training service dog puppies.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2020, that made you most proud.

2020 wasn’t all doom and gloom. I took a step forward in several areas, hitting all-time highs in traffic and revenue. Since this is my full-time job that’s a big deal.

Even though I hit record numbers, the one thing I’m most proud of this year is I finally asked for help. I hired a coach and I started bringing on writers to help with content.

In 2021 I’d like to continue what I started in 2020 and outsource more work to help with Pinterest, graphic design, content, social media, scheduling, etc.

3. Which of your 2020 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

When we picked up our black Lab puppy, Elsa in June my plan was to put together a series of posts tracking her week-by-week progress.

Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed and only able to put together a post about her first week home.

I wrote a very detailed post about bringing home an 8-week old puppy. Almost immediately I started receiving emails and comments thanking me for sharing my experience with Elsa and how helpful it was to hear about our experience raising and training her.

Someone even told me my post was better than the entire Puppies for Dummies book he ordered from Amazon! High praise for sure!

Here’s the post in case you want to take a look: What Should I Expect From My 8 Week Old Puppy?

Oh, and why does the post do well? I tried to make it as detailed as possible and answer every question you’d have about an 8-week old puppy.

4. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2020, and how did you tackle it?

I’m sure a lot of us will have the same answer to this question. The pandemic has been my biggest blogging challenge.

I’m lucky that traffic and revenue have gone way up thanks to the pandemic, but besides those key metrics, other parts of my blog suffered.

We decided not to put our kids in daycare because of the pandemic. The big challenge is taking care of my 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old twin girls and trying to blog at the same time.

I’m cherishing this time with my girls and enjoying every minute, but the truth is my blog has suffered because it’s tough to work when you have three young kids running around the house like wild animals.

Oh, and did I mention we had a litter of 8 puppies to go with a 5-month-old puppy. It was a busy ending to the year.

It’s definitely fun. It’s definitely exhausting. I’m glad I get to spend this time with my family. πŸ™‚

5. Tell us one thing you learned in 2020 that can help us all become better bloggers.

Constantly test new things. Small changes can have big results.

You can increase your ad revenue by making small changes like changing the size of your font, increasing the line space, making smaller paragraphs. Mediavine has an RPM Challenge that has helped me increase my revenue.

Test different affiliate programs and products. Some products will resonate better with your readers than others. Promoting the products that your readers are looking for will greatly increase your affiliate earnings. The trick is finding those products. You do this by testing and trying new things.

“Big things have small beginnings.”

David – Prometheus

One more thing. Always check to see what your site/blog posts look like on mobile. There’s a good chance the majority of your visitors are reading your blog posts on their phones.

Ten years ago 9% of my traffic was mobile. Today 79% of my traffic is mobile!

In my best Bob Dylan voice:

“The Times They Are A-Changin'”

6. What are your top three blogging goals for 2021?

The theme for my 2021 goals is diversify. Here are my top 3 for 2021.

#1. Diversify my traffic sources by mastering my email list – I’m part of an email mastermind group sponsored by AdThrive with live sessions beginning this Monday. I’m so excited to be part of a mastermind group.

Complete by January 31st, 2021.

My reward: If I successfully complete all the lessons in this mastermind group then I’ll buy each one of my kids a special gift. Watching my kids open presents is my guilty pleasure. It puts a huge smile on my face.

#2. Complete all 15 challenges in Income Schools Ultimate Content Warrior Challenge – I don’t expect to win the 55-pound tub of Thai Curry, but I’ve already learned a thing or two completing the first 3 of 15 challenges.

Complete by February 22nd, 2021

My reward: If I complete all 15 challenges? I’ll order food for the family from our favorite Thai restaurant. If you haven’t had Nam Sod Kao Tod you’re missing out. Hopefully, they’ll have the Roti for dessert. Sorry, Income School guys I won’t be ordering the Thai curry.

#3. Diversify my monetization channels by releasing a product Last year I tried hiring a coach to walk me through the process. Even though we pretty much completed the project, I missed the mark with my product offer and pulled the launch 2 days in. My plan is to relaunch with a new product that should better resonate with my audience.

I’m currently working through a product launch course that I plan to complete by March 31st, 2021.

My reward: Donate the first $500 in sales to my favorite charity.

7. In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog one year from now?

In a perfect world, a 50% increase in traffic and net profit would be amazing!

In a perfect world, a more even distribution of traffic sources would be amazing. Right now traffic is heavily skewed towards Organic Search. In my ideal world this would be my traffic split in January 2022:

  • 45% Organic
  • 30% Social
  • 15% Email
  • 10% Direct
  • Less than 1% Referral and Other

In a perfect world, a more even split between monetization channels would be amazing. Right now income is heavily skewed towards affiliates. In my ideal world this would be my income split in January 2022:

  • 50% Affiliate Income
  • 20% Product Income
  • 20% Advertising Income
  • 10% Sponsored Content

One final thing. In a perfect world, I’ll be able to celebrate birthdays and holidays with friends and family next year. I’m really hoping this will happen in the first half of this year. Fingers crossed.

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

I’ve had the same theme for over 5 years now. I’ve had the same logo for almost 13 years. I even wrote a blog post when I designed my own logo on July 30, 2008 (YOWZERS!).

I think it’s time for a change. I got an invitation to Mediavine’s Trellis beta theme. The child theme designs aren’t great so either I’ll have to do some of the design work or hire someone to do it for me.

Two years ago I had a few designers work on updating my logo. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the results so I held off on changing the logo. I think I’d like to revisit a logo update.

So, moving to Trellis beta along with hiring a designer plus updating my logo could hopefully be done for $1,000.

9. What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2021?

VIDEO! VIDEO! VIDEO!

Another one I bring up every year. I did a series of videos for my guide pup, Dublin between 2010 and 2012. Since then I haven’t done much with video.

Last year I published one new video. That’s right, just one!

A big reason is my lack of skill as a videographer, scriptwriter, editor, actor, and everything else involved in creating a quality video. Plus I have stage fright. I need to up my video skill set.

I guess producing two videos would be an improvement. Doubling my year-over-year output! That’s sad.

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

Sorry, I’m going to throw two questions at you:

  1. How do you organize, store, and backup your images?
  2. What security measures do you take with your blog?

Thanks!


There you go! A glimpse into last year’s achievements and this year’s hopes and dreams.

Now that you’ve read through my post go and visit other bloggers participating in the Pet Bloggers Journey by clicking on the links in the table below.

If you are a participant don’t forget to leave a comment including a link to your PBJ post and I’ll add your post to the table.

I’ll continue to add participant links up until January 16th, 2021, 11:59 pm PST.

Thanks, everyone, and all the best to you in 2021!

Pet Bloggers Journey Participants

1. Puppy In Training2. That Mutt
3. Peaches And Paprika4. Oh My Dog Blog
5. Pet Faves6. Service Cats U.S.
7. Kol’s Notes8. Pet Frenzy
9. Maggie Loves Orbit10. Boogie The Pug
11. Wag A Bond12. K9s Over Coffee
13. BJ Bangs14. Keep The Tail Wagging
15. Dash Kitten16. Random Felines
17. Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, & Meows18. Shed Happens
19. Homestead Prowlers20. Sweet Purrfections
21. Stunning Keisha22. Love Newfoundlands
23. Fidose of Reality24. Henry The Smol
25. Happy Oodles

If you’d like to participate in this year’s PBJ make sure you visit our first blog post with information and details about the Pet Bloggers Journey.

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Pet Bloggers Journey 2021 - English Cream Golden Retriever puppy sits on a slide inside his playpen.
Pet Bloggers Journey 2021

Top Picks For Our Puppies

  1. BEST PUPPY TOY
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
  2. BEST DOG CHEW
    We Like: Natural Farm 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: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide 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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59 Comments

  1. Ok, now I’ve had a chance to read your whole post (accidentally found your blog via another blog yesterday and wanted to get my post done before time ran out πŸ˜‰ before delving into all the posts) and the first thing we did was check ourselves out on the mobile. You clearly have way more experience blogging than we do so I’ll be going back thru to jot some things down for future. We also thought it was so interesting that you raise and train service dog puppies. Thanks much for hosting PBJ and nice to meet you!

    Candice~Marie

    1. I’m glad you found us through another blogger and you were able to join the fun. I’ve been at this for a long time so if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Have fun visiting all the other bloggers on the list, and if you know any other bloggers that would like to join please let them know.

    1. Thanks for participating. Yep, I asked everyone to leave a link in the comments and I’m updating the Participants table manually. I already added your link to the list. Have a great 2021!

  2. I have recently made the call to pick up an external hard drive where I can store and organize my images and files. I use a system where it’s sorted via date starting with years, then months within that.

    Thank you for putting this all together! As a newer member of the pet blogging world, I really enjoyed going through all the questions and I am really excited to now go through and read everyone else’s answers!
    https://shedhappens.net/pet-bloggers-journey-2021/

    1. I’ve been using a couple external hard drives for a while, but I’m afraid they will fail since I’ve had many fail in the past. It’s usually just a matter of time. I’m probably going to use a cloud solution moving forward.

      Thanks for participating. I hope you have a great 2021!

    1. Thanks for participating in the Pet Bloggers Journey! I remember visiting your blog over the years through Amy’s Pet Bloggers Challenge. I’m glad you were able to join again this year.

  3. I just had to get involved gir 2031 it WILL be an awedome and PAWsome year!

    Proud to add my link (below) to your endeavour I can’t wait to read everyone’s inspirational posts.

    1. Darned cats can’t see the screen!

      Sorry Colby. 2031 will be awesome and the Pet Bloggers journey gets us all off to the best start.

      Thank you.
      (Spell checked while the cats had supper!)

  4. Thank you for hosting this event once again. It’s so helpful to look back to better understand the steps I want to take as I move forward.

    Are you talking about the Income School on YouTube? I love them and have always wanted to join their program, but I’ve held back. Maybe next year.

    I back up my images on the Cloud (Apple). And when I moved my hosting to Amazon, security became easier and spam practically vanished. I now do managed hosting instead of self hosting and although it’s more expensive, this is the first couple of years where I had no stress about the back end of my website.

    1. Hi Kimberly! I’m glad you joined us again this year. Yep, the Income School on YouTube. I’m not a member, but I do enjoy their YouTube videos.

      I like the technical side of blogging, but just like you I decided it was one stress I needed to remove. I’ve been on managed hosting for several years now.

      I can’t wait to read your post. I always enjoy seeing what your up to. All the best to you in 2021!

    1. I’m glad you found us and joined the journey! Video has been on my list for a while now too. Hopefully 2021 is the year I get more consistent with producing video content. Thanks for participating in this year’s Pet Bloggers Journey. Have a great 2021!

  5. Thank you for hosting the journey again, Colby! You can find my answer here: https://k9sovercoffee.com/nutrition/pet-bloggers-journey-2021-what-happened-at-k9sovercoffee/

    To answer your image related question, I keep mine on Canva and on the Cloud. My new hosting provider SiteGround takes care of daily back ups! They’re so great.

    The pandemic gave me a lot of time this year to focus on my blog and updating it, as well as finally going through the provider changing process. I don’t know why I was so worried about it – definitely necessary and so worth it.

    Great, thorough post on the expectations of an 8 week old puppy! I so wish I would have used my camera when I brought my 8 week old puppies Missy and Buzz home back in 2011. I’ll never NOT record that process again.

    Thank you for the reward ideas once you hit your goals! I hadn’t though of doing that, but now I will. I may split any rewards 50/50 – some will benefit me personally, and others will benefit animals in need. OK, I may also take my boyfriend out for a yummy dinner πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks Barbara for joining us on our Pet Bloggers Journey again this year. Whenever I talk to people I always tell them to take as many pictures and videos as possible of their puppies. That stage is so short and before you know it you’ll have an adult dog. I wish I had more puppy pics of Stetson and Linus. At least we have a handful of good ones to remind us of them when they were adorable little fuzz balls.

      When I was thinking about rewards I was trying to think what would make me happy. Watching my girls open gifts, eating good food, and helping out charities are all things that put a big smile on my face. I can’t wait to tackle and complete these goals!

      Happy New Year! and have a great 2021!

  6. Hi Colby, I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime. I believe I’ve also backlined a puppy training post of yours in one of my articles. I love your writing style. It’s authentic and honest because it comes from your own experience. I’ve recently started my blog and I’m a huge believer of Blogger outreach. The more you share, the more you learn.
    I read all your answers to the questions and I can’t imagine what it must be like to juggle a blog with kids and a litter of puppies!! Kudos to everything that you’ve achieved. Very inspiring!
    The Pet Bloggers journey that you’ve hosted is a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to connect with other bloggers and know more about them. Here is the link to the post with my response – https://wagabonding.com/pet-blogging-journey-2021/

    1. Hi Siddhika! I’m glad you were able to participate this year. The Pet Bloggers Journey is a great opportunity to meet some of your fellow pet bloggers. We participated for the first time in 2012 (the first challenge was in 2011) and love reading everyone’s responses.

      When I started blogging it was just me, my rescue, Linus, and my guide dog puppy, Stetson. Everything is very different today, but the subject of the blog remains the same.

      Thanks again for joining us on this journey. I hope you have a great 2021!

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