I am excited to be participating in my 7th Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by Amy at Go Pet Friendly. Each year we get a list of questions to answer; it’s a great way to look back and forward on our blog to see where we’re at, and where we’re going. It also gives us a chance to support our fellow bloggers and give encouragement and help where we can. Once again, this year I’ll include some cute photos of the Wag ‘n Woof Crew, for those that might not be as interested in the technicalities of blogging!
- For those who may be visiting your blog for the first time, how long have you been blogging and what is your main topic? I have been blogging for over 6 years, having started in the Fall of 2012. My main topic is my life with my own pets, now including our farm birds (chickens and guinea hens), with an emphasis on staying naturally healthy and happy. I share personal stories, product reviews, and cover training and health topics that we deal with personally.
- What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018? Opening an online store on the blog. It had always been my plan to sell products online through the blog someday. This year I started making homemade products under our farm name – organic dog cookies, all-natural skin care, and gifts. I sell locally but wanted to expand to selling online as well.
- What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it? See above! I procrastinated because I was so nervous about tackling creating the shop. I wanted to do it myself but knew nothing about the process. I did some research and decided on WooCommerce. They made it easy, even though I do still have a couple of glitches that need to be fixed.
- Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.) “A Happy Beagle Life” was my tribute to our beagle, Cricket, who went to the Rainbow Bridge this past March. Cricket had such a happy life, that writing about it was joyful for me even though heartbreaking at the same time.
- Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well? “Teach Your Dog to Crawl – Trick or Treat Giveaway Hop”. It’s obviously because this was part of a group giveaway. The truth is my most popular posts are all from previous years! That’s something to think about for sure.
- Did you implement a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying? I’m posting less than I was, averaging 3 days/week and therefore I’ve taken a little pressure off myself. Also, with only one dog and one cat now, I find myself writing more about my farm and our birds. Readers seem to be enjoying that as much as I do.
- As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers? I’m not doing anything different, other than sharing all my posts on my social media channels and trying to share more photos on Instagram as well. Promotion is ever challenging for me, and clearly I DO need to do something different!
- Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is? I simply need to get more eyes on my blog, leading to more eyes on my store, and hopefully more sales!
- What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal? Working on that promotion! Lately Pinterest seems to be drawing the most people to my site, and I’d like to use that more. I’m not even sure why that is happening, but I feel like if I focus more on it, I can do even better with it. Facebook is next, but I find Facebook so frustrating! I’m actually amazed it draws anyone to my site, considering the fact that my Facebook posts are seen by so few people.
- 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! For those other bloggers who also sell products through their blog, what have you found is the best way to promote that, without a lot of financial investment?
Thanks for reading! This challenge is a great exercise for me, especially since I hadn’t really put much thought into what my goals were for the blog this year. I had hoped to be more settled into things and better focused by the end of 2018, but it hasn’t really happened yet. This helps me to get my thoughts together and come up with at least somewhat of a plan!