Can you believe it’s 2020 already?
Another year with Matilda and Cow, almost a full year since we’ve moved into our new home, another year with you guys, another year of writing, taking photos, and sharing our lives with you.
I always love doing these pet blogger challenges because it’s the perfect time to reflect, look back on my blog, think about what’s next, and actually share all of those thoughts with you.
I’m also looking forward to reading responses from my fellow pet bloggers, be sure to check out theirs in the linky at the end of this post.
Here it goes!
- When did you begin your blog? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about. Little Dog Tips started June 2015, so it’s going to be five years old soon. This was around the time Matilda turned a year old, so this year she’s going to be six. At the time, I wanted to write about positive reinforcement training, and I still do, but now I also write about raw feeding, adding fresh foods to a kibble diet, and sometimes, I just write what’s on my mind, like when I wrote 10 Weird Things You Should Know About Cow.
- Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2019, that made you most proud. More tricks with video! Matilda has been painting for almost a year now, but I’ve always found it difficult to capture things like that on video, and I’ve also been able to make some posts about other fun tricks… oh, like the burrito trick. I don’t think most people actually want to teach their dogs these tricks, maybe it’s a lot of effort or their dog isn’t quite ready, but a lot of people love seeing her do them.
- Which of your 2019 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.) Do Small Dog Owners Need To Worry About The Link Between Grain-Free And DCM? This past year, there’s been so much confusing information going around about this, and with so few small dogs actually being affected, I wanted to know whether it was something we really need to worry about. So, I researched it, I looked at the actual data, and I broke it down for my readers. We can’t depend on any single diet, nor should we fall for those crazy fear-mongering headlines.
- What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2019, and how did you tackle it? Page speed! My site was so slow, but switching from Siteground to BigScoots helped a TON.
- One goal that we all seem to share is we want to reach more people. What is your #1 tip for bringing more traffic to your blog? Spice up your headlines a bit. Many of us are writing about similar topics, like puppy potty training, but that’s okay – people read many, many articles when they’re trying to solve a problem. It’s important to put your own spin on it and touch upon your reader’s real concerns. They should feel relieved and hopeful after reading your post, not just informed.
- Do you do sponsored posts/reviews? If so, what do you find works best and how do you determine what to charge for a blog post, social media shares, etc.? If not, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way? Sometimes I do them, and I price it based on my freelance rates, because when I’m taking photos, writing, and promoting a review, it takes away from my usual work. It can be difficult to help brands understand that they’re not paying to have me say their product is good, they’re paying for all of that work it takes to create an in-depth review, plus, reviews that I wrote in 2015 are STILL making sales, so it’s part of a long term sales strategy.
- Looking forward to 2020, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is? I really want to write about nutrition more, and partner up with more veterinarians and behaviorists. It can be tough because even experts have conflicting views, so they have to be the right match, but I also want to help answer my readers by asking the questions they’re afraid to ask, or unable to talk about with their vet.
- What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal? I’m actually going to settle into doing interviews via email more often. One reason I don’t do a lot of them is because phone interviews are a little stressful for me, I find it hard to coordinate writing notes and talking and listening all at once, and I’m a bit phone shy. I’ve worked to get over that, but there’s a point where you have to meet yourself halfway.
- The blogging landscape is constantly changing. What changes in blogging do you see coming in 2020 and beyond? What plans do you have to evolve? People are always saying that video content is getting more popular, but I personally prefer to read written content. Still, I plan to find more ways to incorporate videos into my posts, even if it’s just cute ones of my dogs. I feel really uncomfortable talking on camera, but I still want to help people who prefer video over written content.
- If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be? How do you get over that fear of “being seen,” of taking video, going to conferences… when you would so much rather just make blogging about the dogs?