Welcome to the 6th Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly! This is my fourth year to participate. The Pet Blogger Challenge is a great way to find blogs you are not familiar with, pick up some good blogging tips from others, get a bit of motivation, and simply have fun with other pet bloggers. Even if you are not a blogger, you may find the questions and answers interesting.
Each year, there is a set of ten questions for bloggers to answer and post. I got comfy with my laptop and starting working. Below is what I came up with for this year.
1.How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.
I started my blog in November 2011. This is my fourth Pet Blogger challenge. You will find my previous year posts in the links below. I started out blogging about what I was up to, my breed, all with no real plan. With time, I have shifted more towards what is the GBGV breed, and how to give your dog a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness with a big dose of fun and the occasional senseless “just for fun” posts. I also include cat bro Bert in my posts now and then for cat lovers.
- 2015: https://mygbgvlife.mystagingwebsite.com/2015/01/10/pet-blogger-challenge-2015/
- 2014: https://mygbgvlife.mystagingwebsite.com/2014/01/11/pet-blogger-challenge-2/
- 2013: https://mygbgvlife.mystagingwebsite.com/2013/01/10/pet-blogger-challenge/
2.What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?
Being a finalist in the Best Dog Blog category for a Nose to Nose Award. My GBGV Life didn’t win, but being nominated was huge, and being a finalist was almost the same as a win in my book!
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
I went back over my entire year, and it was so hard to pick a favorite. I like so many of my posts for so many reasons. I decided to choose my Vimtag posts as my answer for several reasons.
We had been wanting a video monitor to catch Bailie in all her naughtiness for a long time, but we wanted a good one, one Mom could watch remotely, and one with the ability to hear and speak remotely. When the Vimtag offer appeared in my inbox, I knew it was exactly what we needed. The entire review process was so eye opening we could hardly wait to share our findings in my posts. I think these two posts are informative for other pet parents, while being super fun at the same time. My GBGV Life is all about learning and having fun, so they are a perfect fit.
4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
Social media expansion. I started building my Instagram following in July, and in the fall I started posting to Stumble Upon. These two things haven’t caused a major traffic boom yet, but they have led to increased traffic. I’ve also been working on more “pinteresty” images for Pinterest.
5.Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)
Spoil Your Dog With #PetSmartGrooming https://mygbgvlife.mystagingwebsite.com/2015/11/10/spoil-your-dog/ I think it was a fun and informative post, with some great photos, and being a BlogPaws campaign, they have really helped to promote it.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)
We follow tons of blogs, but there are a few we really love, and I would say Barking from the Bayou is our number one pick! We love the humor, great photos, it is fun to read, and is informative. This blog is also a great example of someone diving into blogging and becoming pretty successful in a short period of time.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
Several Facebook groups, BlogPaws conferences, and several other local blog related seminars during the year. I use Photoshop to resize and watermark my photos, and PicMonkey to add text. All our photos are real, not “photoshopped” in with hats, objects, etc. Editing software is only used for improving the quality of the original or text if necessary.
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
Be consistent, and write what comes from your heart. We get very frustrated by blogs that post and post and then disappear for a while, maybe they come back but post very randomly without a real content plan. We completely lose interest in following them. It makes a blog less credible if it is obvious they are writing what is “in”, and not what they are really about too. It is hard not to follow the most popular trends, but if they don’t fit, don’t do it.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I want to build a few more relationships with brands we love to work with on projects that are mutually beneficial. I also want to try to hit 10K pageviews a month, and keep our monthly pageview numbers a bit more steady. Currently they vary by sometimes 1000 or so a month which is a lot when you are under 10K. I am thankful to have such a solid, engaging audience but I feel there are more of these types of readers out there and I would like to find them.
10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
I’m trying to figure out a way to be more successful with our SEO. I think it has improved, but I could use help there. I have taken several keyword classes, but I feel like I end up writing for SEO and not what Iwant if we follow keywords. Somehow I think I’m missing a piece to the puzzle. I also always appreciate any tips people have regarding anything on the blog. My GBGV Life is always evolving, and welcomes constructive input.