It’s time for the annual Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Amy from Go Pet Friendly!
I look forward to this challenge every year. It gives me a chance to reflect on our last year of blogging and focus on a new year of blogging!
Let’s get started!
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?
I started this blog in April 2010 . My Brown Newfies is a blog about my life with 2 Newfoundland dogs, Sherman and Leroy. I would say that our blog focuses on a little bit of both. We share funny day to day stories and provide information about dogs in general and Newfoundland dogs.
What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
My proudest blogging moment of 2016 was when I finally switched over to Genesis and created our monthly newsletter. I’ve been wanting to do both of those things for the past 2 years and in May of this year I finally took the plunge and did both in the same week!
Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
Oh! That’s a hard one because I have a lot of favorites for different reasons! I always like posts that I can go back and giggle at but I also like the posts that help people. My favorite posts are the ones where I connect with people.
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 experimented a lot this year with things. I tried implementing Barks n’ Brews at the beginning of the year to see if I could reach a different crowd and I did, but after a few months it wasn’t really working. I wasn’t bummed about it because I actually started drinking more wine. I tried it and it didn’t work. I then narrowed down my niche even farther and that’s when things started to grow.
Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
The blog post that got the most traffic this year was 5 Easy Ways To Stop a Dog’s Bleeding Nail. That post was written in 2015. The blog post that got the most traffic that was written in 2016 was So You Think You Want a Newfoundland, Here’s 9 Things You Should Know. A theme that I’ve noticed is that List posts are my most popular over time.
What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
I’ve really slipped on reading other blogs so I don’t have an honest answer to this. I think any blog that has been around for a few years is inspirational. Blogging is not easy and we lose great bloggers every year so to see some veterans that have been blogging for 5+ years inspires me to keep going. But since I’m not going to bail on this question this year I will have to say that the blogger that most inspires me Amy from Go Pet Friendly. I’ve had the chance to sit down with Amy in person on more than one occasion and she is extremely knowledgeable in blogging and everything that goes on behind the scenes. She has helped me many times over the years and I always enjoy our meetings because we compare notes and lend a helping and offer ideas to each others in areas that we struggle.
What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
I lost my job at the end of June this year. The place where I worked just closed their doors one day and that was it. I’ve been doing odds and ends of things to make ends meet but I haven’t decided what I want to do. I don’t think I want to go back into the veterinary world but I’m not sure. For the last 15 years I’ve worked in a field that’s animal or pet related and I don’t know if I need a change or I want to stay in this area. Let’s face it, I still don;t know what I want to be when I grow up.
What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
Try new things! If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work BUT what if it does?!
Write for your audience, they are your key to success so give them what they want. Are you going to nail it every time? No, but over time you’ll get better and nail it more often. Your blog is only as good as your readers are so be kind to them and make that connection.
What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
I want to continue to grow. After 7 years we are still growing and that’s something that I’m very proud of. It’s not easy to blog and it’s not easy to grow a blog so I would like to keep moving upwards! Our best year was last year so I want to keep getting better. I also want to try more live videos. This will be a challenge for me because I hate public speaking. I might have to drink wine while I do it to loosen up.
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?
What keeps you guys motivated to keep blogging? How do stay on top of trends. What social media tool is your biggest traffic driver?
Thank you to Amy from Go Pet Friendly for hosting this challenge every year!