Welcome to the 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly! It is the 7th year for the challenge and will be our 5th year to participate. We joined in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. If you are not a blogger, this post may not mean all that much to you, but for bloggers it is a great way to pick up some tips, and maybe offer a fellow blogger some advice.
As always, there is a list of questions for me to answer. You will find the questions and my answers below.
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?
My GBGV Life blog started in November 2011. At first it was just about the GBGV breed, but over time it has changed to be about our breed as well as health and fitness for dogs. I would say My GBGV Life is 70% about sharing our lives with our readers and 30% a resource.
2.What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
2016 was really just an average blogging year really, but I guess what made us super happy was being one of just a few blogs asked to write additional posts for BRAVECTO®. Merck is a big company and if they liked our posts enough to ask us for more, that means something.
3.Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why?
I guess it is rather sad, but the two posts that stand out for the year were the hardest to write and mean the most to My GBGV Life. They would be Mom’s farewell to Katie, and my Farewell. It was wonderful looking back at Katie’s entire life, but it was oh so hard because it has been so sad for all of us losing her. She was a huge part of our lives for so long and to realize she is gone, is hard.
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?
I think it would have to be joining a large boost group on Facebook. I focused on Twitter RT’s and the days I participated I did see a spike in traffic. There are only a handful of pet bloggers in the group, so my posts are shown to a whole different audience. It is a lot of work to RT all the posts, but it pays off for me.
5.Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
The Lip Fold Dermatitis post was top in 2016. Usually my baking posts and any health related posts seem to get a lot of traffic.
6.What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog?
I have followed Will, Eko, and Penny since starting my blog. I’ve always loved his adventures and his dogs. This year was tough as he suddenly lost Eko, but we also felt like we could somewhat relate having lost Katie. He has amazing photography and his videos are fantastic. It’s been interesting watching his writing style since losing Eko. It feels like he has a whole new way of writing, but I like it! For me he is an inspiration.
7.What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
Me, Emma, I am a total diva dog. With age, I have gotten more difficult on many levels. I don’t much care for other dogs, but I love people. Mom says the blog has gone to my head, I don’t think so. My sisters are fun loving, wild, and crazy, but I prefer to be alone or hang out with my mom. I’m fairly serious about whatever I do, and I really do enjoy modeling and working on the blog.
8.What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
My GBGV Life switched to blogging Monday to Friday in 2016 which really freed up a lot of time. Finally, it has become clear that I don’t live from this blog, and I probably never will, so I am now focusing on having fun and not worrying about the numbers thing so much. Fun is what My GBGV Life is all about and I think it will help me stick with it all for a longer time if I’m not worrying about numbers and what everyone else is doing.
9.What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
I still need to work on SEO as it is just something I don’t get. Maybe I will hire someone to have a look and help me out. For now I use the Yoast plug in, but there is more to it than that. It just feels like I are missing something when it comes to the SEO puzzle.
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?
I guess I’d just like to know if you like the blog as is, or if you would like to see more or less of certain topics.
The Daily Pip says
I think you have achieved a perfect balance of stories, great photos, and resources and product reviews! I also find the boost group super helpful especially with the twitter boosts.
Thank you. It takes a lot of time to boost over 100 tweets in a day, but it pays off and I kind of have a system for it now.
I agree with you… I loved the letter to katie so much… but it was so very hard….and I love will, emily and penny too…. I never thought that we all have to share the same sad happening within one year……
Katie was not unexpected but Easy and Eko were totally out of the blue which makes it more difficult.
Two French Bulldogs says
You have done a magnificent job we must say
Lily & Edward
Christmas the Dachshund says
I took the challenge yesterday…it looks like this year had its ups and downs, but the team at My GBGV Life are ready for another pawsome year of blogging!
Every year is another opportunity to forge ahead and that is our plan.
It is all about having fun, why make it a chore? When you’re having fun, we can see that and have fun too. And ya, SEO…who knows. My biggest tip on that is to tag every single image you put on the blog. Image search is a big thing.
We do tag, and always have. It’s fun being a rare breed because almost always when one googles GBGV we pop up. Unless someone gives us a good crash course for cheap, probably not much will change with our SEO.
Frankie and Ernie says
Good answers to all the questions…
Dolly the Doxie says
We love your blog you know that! Mom read your challenge first as she hasn’t done her post yet and not sure she wants to or not. Maybe you could give her some advice to get more motivated? Love Dolly
We missed out knowing about it until later on Saturday, so we had to really buckle down and get it done. This year was different since we changed our worries a bit and have a different outlook on it all. Now that your header is fixed, you have plenty of time to get the post together. Go for a walk, answer the questions in your head, come home and write.
Sparkle the PBGV says
I love your blogs. Losing your Katie was so very sad. You are wonderful at responding to our responses. Love you! XOXO, Sparkle
Thank you. Losing Katie has been a lot harder on Mom than she ever thought it would be. We are still all having a blast, Madison is wonderful, but so many things still make Mom really sad. It will take time.
Melissa Clinton says
We love you just the way you are. ❤
Awww, you guys are the best! I’ve been toying with a blog makeover, but not sure if I’m really ready to tackle that right now.
We love coming to your blog and seeing what you are up to and your posts and photos are always first class!
Thank you. We love seeing what you kitties are up to and can’t wait for the two new felines to get out from behind bars!
The Katie posts were so moving–I can only imagine how hard they were to write, but I know how necessary that kind of reflection is, too. I love reading your personal stories about your walks, noseworks, etc. (and I can’t wait to hear what your sisters thought about agility!). And don’t worry about preferring people over other dogs–my mom says I have Bossy Big Sister Syndrome (and I think Barley has a bit of that, too), so there’s nothing wrong with ignoring the wild children 😉
I’m destined to be a grumpy old lady dog when it comes to other dogs, but if I am left alone I’m very happy. As long as I have my mom and my nose work, I’m good. Mom really misses Katie a lot and it is hard for her, but we have to get through it.
Jan K says
In 2014 my favorite post was the one I wrote about Kobi after he passed. I think those types of posts stay very close to our hearts always.
Emma, you remind me of Kobi sometimes – he liked other dogs, but he was such a serious boy! I think if I’d started things sooner with him he would have enjoyed a lot of the things you do.
I think you are doing everything right here; and I often wonder how you find the time to do all the things you do! You’ve found a great balance that keeps things interesting.
Mom says each new puppy has a better life than the previous one. I didn’t start sports until I was 7. I was off to a good start in Germany with going places and obedience, but moving to the USA put me in a protected state, since nothing is dog friendly and I lost my way with other dogs. I’m happy being on my own or with people. We are real busy, and Mom keeps adding more to our plate, but we are happy and that is what matters.
Really glad I joined in the blog hop this year (my first), this was a great read and I look forward to checking out your site.
It is a great thing every year. We always learn a lot from visiting the other blogs and from comments we get too.
Lola The Rescued Cat says
We enjoyed reading your answers. We always enjoy the posts we read when we visit. Emma is so cute!
Thank you. We want to be a fun place to visit.
Groovy Goldendoodles says
2017 will be a wonderful year for many Emma, you included.
We have high hopes and positive mental management in place!
Your post to Katie was my favorite too and so heartfelt. Just beautiful!
I think you’re absolutely amazing to consistently put out high-quality and interesting posts and five days a week, no less. Talk about inspirational.
I wish I could give you some SEO tips, but Yoast is my plugin too and I still never quite make it happy enough, haha!
Keep up the wonderful posts in 2017!!
Thank you. It’s a lot of work, but since we love it, it doesn’t feel like work at all. We have fun and want our readers to have fun. Losing Katie kind of threw a wrench into things at first, but we are dealing with her being gone. It’s just hard.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Awesome post, I so enjoyed reading your answers. I too find wills writing inspirational. I like your content you have no need to change anything to me.
Thank you. We try to have a good variety to keep people interested.
We love your blog just the way it is Emma!
Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo
Thanks you guys!
That’s pretty cool that you were one of only a few who to write additional posts about Bravecto. Hopefully your relationship with Merck will continue into 2017. I have a pretty good handle on SEO as the majority of my traffic comes from search engines. If you have any specific questions please feel free to send me an email. Best of luck to you in 2017!
Our problem with SEO is not really specific. We are generally at a loss, and are not the type to sit down and research to figure it out. Maybe one day we will have someone help us go through things and figure it out a bit better.
Tails Around the Ranch says
One of these years, I’m gonna have to participate in this challenge. It could possibly be a great way to increase readership and find a few more friends along the way.
It is fun to find new blogs and get new ideas.
GoPetFriendly.com (@GoPetFriendly) says
Thank you for joining the Challenge again this year, Emma, and congratulations on being asked to write more articles – that’s great! It seems to me that some smart brand should sign you up as their spokesdog for the great pictures you post!
I can only imagine how difficult losing Katie must have been for you all. I’ve lost pets, but never so publicly as it will be when Ty or Buster pass on. We had a couple of scares with Ty this year, but fortunately he’s doing alright now, and we’re enjoying every day.
Hearing you say that you’re worried less about the numbers and focusing more on having fun is wonderful! I want you to keep blogging for a long, long time, and it only makes sense to do that if you’re having fun. All the best to you (and your mom) in 2017!
Thank you again for hosting this wonderful event every year! It has been hard losing Katie. In some ways losing her publicly helps with the grief, but it is still a tough road to get used to without her.
I’ve had so much fun over the years following you! Your pictures and creative posts always make me smile! It’s a lot of work what you do and I’m glad you took some days off this year to relax!
Wishing you all the best this year!
We love your Newfies. It’s always fun when we see them in nose work as they are almost as big as the rooms we are searching sometimes, but they are such gentle pups too.
christycaplan (@christycaplan) says
I must say – I love your nosework and tracking posts. There aren’t very many of us that are as passionate about Nosework and it has changed the relationships I have with both Sherm and Walter. Especially since like Emma they’re not super social. I love reading about your challenges and successes with the sport. I also loved your post about Katie. I lost our dog Sandola in 2012 and it’s so hard for me to write about. There is nothing more painful and heart breaking. I could feel that in your post and I cried. I appreciated your post. I also love watching Madison grow up – it’s so fun living with three and I know your pack is getting that dynamic all figured out! I love reading about her and seeing the pics of the three. All girls too! So Sweet!
Thank you. It is always fun to find someone else who enjoys the same sport, especially one like nose work that not many are involved in. We are excited Bailie just got spots in L1C and L1I Elements trials the end of February. We are hoping to start the new nose work season off with some titles. It is a winter trial which is the first in the Midwest which will be interesting. Writing about Katie is still really hard, but Mom says it is therapeutic too, so we still do it sometimes.
christycaplan (@christycaplan) says
Good luck at your trials! We are too – and this week we get to enter the next NW1 trial and boy we are READY!
Yay! Lots of trials are opening up the end of this month, so we are hoping to get into a few we need. Mom is also contemplating hosting a trial the end of the year, but it is a big undertaking, so we shall see if it works out or not.
My Golden Life says
I love “My GBGV Life” just the way it is, but it’s your blog so whatever you do with it is okay with me.
I can totally relate to how much you, Bailie, and your Mom miss Katie. It’s been over a year since Callie became one of Heaven’s angels and I miss her more every day. She was such a big part of Shadow’s and my life, it’s hard to believe she is only here in spirit.
I don’t think you realize how big a part of your life someone is until they are gone. At least we can feel she is still with us.
I’m glad you gave yourself a couple of days off from posting a blog to just enjoy life. You put so much effort into your blog posts, and it shows, but I’m sure giving yourself some breathing room makes the ones you do post even better. Good luck in 2017!
It’s hard to step away, but we have set some “rules” that give us time unplugged and it is working well for us.
Jen Gabbard says
I love your blog the way it is, it’s very genuine and that’s harder to come by these days in the blogging world.
Your Katie posts are some of the most memorable things I’ve read this year; it’s such a sad subject but you made them into such beautiful tributes that anyone whose been in that situation can relate to.
Thank you. They were so hard to write, but at the same time they were good for us to force us to start thinking back to her complete 14 years.
2 Brown Dawgs says
it sounds like you had a successful year.
It was a good year, nothing outstanding, but we are happy with it.