Here I am, Madison, doing the Pet Blogger Challenge 2019. This is my first year doing it. My late sister Emma participated for six years from 2013 to 2018. Emma designated me to take over her blogging empire, so I am busy learning the ropes of blogging.
The Pet Blogger Challenge is hosted by Amy at Go Pet Friendly. She creates most of the questions and organizes the yearly event. The challenge is made for pet bloggers, but anyone is welcome to read the ten questions and answers, and offer advice.
Thankfully, I have my big sister Bailie to help me out when I get stuck with some of the questions. She isn’t the most helpful, but together, we will answer all ten questions.
The 10 Pet Blogger Challenge 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?
Emma published her first post on November 8, 2011. This is our eighth year of blogging, just starting our third month without Emma. We blog about our breed, the GBGV, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, our sports, product reviews, and a healthy dog lifestyle.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?
I guess it would be from BlogPaws back in April when we met with the folks from Halo. They were so nice and Halo has turned out to be such an amazing company with great products. Through our meeting we’ve had several opportunities to work with the company and we are thankful for that. We have switched to their food, and are eating more healthy, and feeling good. Halo recognizes our hard work and that makes us feel good.
3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?
Suddenly losing Emma really threw a wrench in our lives and the blog and still does every single day. Mom had planned to one day, when she felt Emma was older, start phasing her out of the blog a bit, and let me and Bailie take over. Trying to move forward without the heart of the blog without warning has been very hard. One forgets how entangled one is in the blog and to start removing Emma from things slowly is very difficult emotionally. We are figuring out how to move forward in our own direction without changing things too much, but it is not an easy task.
4. Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)
There was really no one post that stood out as a real showstopper in 2018. I guess the one we would choose to be our favorite would be Emma’s last kitchen post where she worked with Bully Bundles to turn a bully stick into a late summer treat. It was fun because they used her photos in their own advertising campaign. Pumpkin Spice Surprise on (Bully) Sticks
5. Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?
Surprisingly, the most viewed post of 2018 was Emma’s post from 2016, 5 Reasons to Give Your Dog Beef Marrow Bones. The most popular post of 2018 that was written in 2018 was Deal Of The Day On Bark The Essential Bed!, which I’m proud to say I wrote!
6. Did you implemented a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?
We haven’t formally done anything new, but we have added a lot more posts about our dog sports. Both Bailie and I do a lot of sports and competitions, and we would like to showcase that part of the blog a bit more in our revamp project. Sports with your dog, whether you compete or do it for fun, is such a wonderful way to build a better bond with your dog. It is always so heartwarming when fans tell us they started a sport because they heard about it from us. Mom started my sisters in nose work because of another blogger, so we want to do the same for others.
7. As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?
The biggest problem we have is Mom’s work. She gets so busy sometimes, we don’t have time to promote posts as much as we would like. We are in some boost groups that do seem to help. Pinterest is something we would like to do more with. We did do some work on our boards earlier last year, and we try to create more pinnable images for our posts, but it is a lot of work that we often don’t have time for. Twitter is our biggest social media account, but we don’t do a lot with it, and we love Instagram, but can’t seem to make any progress there. Facebook is a social media that makes us so mad as they are not nice, but they have been and continue to be our best source of visitors outside of search engines, so we have to keep posting there.
8. Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?
We want to get a new theme to update the look of the site, and change it just a little bit to fit me and Bailie better. With the change of CBO (Chief Blogging Officer), it is the right time to make some changes to the look of things. We are working on finding someone to help us with the project because we can’t do it ourselves and the person who helped Emma last time is no longer doing websites. Choosing a new theme is not easy.
9. What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?
We’ve been busy thinking of what we want in a new theme, and what changes we would like to make to the look of our blog. The logo and branding will always be the same. Emma planned it so even if she was no longer here, it would work for any GBGV who would take over the blog. We are glad she had the presence of mind to think about that when she started. Actually, Gramma put that bug in Emma’s long ears and she took the advice.
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 comments!
We would love to know what you want us to blog about more. Are there things you don’t like that we blog about. Should Bailie and I try to learn to cook and bake? How can we increase our readership? Our blog is never going to be a money making venture the way it looks, but we still want to reach more people to share our tips on lifestyle and health. We blog because we enjoy it, and that is our top priority.
Thank you for reading, and thank you in advance for any comments or suggestions you might have for us.