The 9th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

2018 was my first full year of blogging! To celebrate, I'm taking a look back at this inaugural year and joining Gopetfriendly.com's Pet Blogger Challenge.

2018 was my first full year of blogging! To celebrate, I’m taking a look back at this inaugural year and joining Gopetfriendly.com’s Pet Blogger Challenge. It’s so easy to focus on what you didn’t accomplish, and to harp on what you’ve yet to do, but amidst the ups and downs of blogging it’s important to focus on all of the good too. Read below as I reflect on 2018. 

2018 was my first full year of blogging! To celebrate, I'm taking a look back at this inaugural year and joining Gopetfriendly.com's Pet Blogger Challenge.

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’ve been blogging for 1.5 years. I blog about pet travel, pugs and dog-friendly things to do in New York City. I travel frequently with my two dogs, Boogie (a pug) and Marcelo (a chihuahua) and I include a good mix of travel tips, pet friendly activities, and personal stories.  

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

2018 is when I got serious about my blog. I attended BlogPaws, worked on the design and layout, and began learning about things like SEO. There are so many moving parts when it comes to blogging, and there is always something new to learn. I’m proud of myself for tackling these challenges with an open mind, and continuing to move forward. 

What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?

Since there are so many facets to blogging, it was hard for me to decide where to focus my attention, what to learn, and what to start implementing. I had to learn SEO, begin researching keywords and work on my blog’s design, and also grow my mailing list and tackle Pinterest. The list goes on and on and often seems endless. 

On top of that, there are so many people selling workshops and courses to teach others how to grow their blog. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer number of bloggers teaching people to blog successfully. Their marketing is enticing, but if I bought all of these programs I’d go broke. 

This year, I plan to be more organized. I’m going to write a list of things I hope to tackle, and try to focus on one thing at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)

I really enjoyed writing content about New York City, especially creating the dog-friendly NYC bar crawl. My dogs are a big part of my life, and I was born and raised in NYC. I love showing people that having a dog in this city is great, and that they can incorporate their dogs into their daily lives in new and fun ways. 

Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

My most popular post was 10 Free Things to Do in NYC With Your Dog. I think it did so well because people are always looking for ways to incorporate their dogs into their lives, and they don’t want to go broke doing so. New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but there are many options for dog-friendly activities that won’t cost you a dime. 

Did you implement a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?

I was able to reorganize my blog and divide all of my blog posts into easy-to-navigate sections. I think it will be helpful to readers, since everyone is always at a different stage when it comes to traveling. Some might be looking for inspiration, while others want to learn how to save or plan. I am trying to tackle everything under the umbrella of pet travel. Even if you’re not traveling internationally or taking big trips, you can always enjoy local adventures. 

As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?

My biggest audiences are on Instagram and Pinterest. I always share new blogposts there and use hashtags. I try to respond to every comment I get and engage with readers. 

Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?

My biggest goal is to reach 25k sessions per month so that I’m able to join Mediavine. I’m still a ways away, but it’s definitely the light at the end of the tunnel for me. 

I’d also like to share more personal stories. Lots of people think of their pet as a burden when it comes to travel, and I want to share stories that show people that it’s quite the opposite. Pets enrich our lives so much, and I’ve learned and experienced so much from mine while traveling. Of course, you have to adjust a few things if you’re going to bring them on the road, but you’ll also do more of what makes life fun: spend time outside, spend time together, and find happiness in the little things. It’s impossible not to smile with a dog around. 

What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?

I’m working on SEO, optimizing old blog posts, and guest posting on other blogs so I can raise my DA score (want a guest post on your blog about pet travel? Hit me up!). 

I’m also going to work on sharing personal stories in an informative way. I always appreciate a personal touch when reading other blogs, and I need to work on doing the same so I can connect more with my readers. 

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!

I’d love readers to click around the blog and see if the navigation works for them. What makes sense for my brain won’t necessarily work for others. I’d also love to hear thoughts on my homepage, which I feel is not quite there yet. Feedback is much appreciated! 

It’s always great to connect with other pet bloggers. There is so much we can learn from each other! 

2018 was my first full year of blogging! To celebrate, I'm taking a look back at this inaugural year and joining Gopetfriendly.com's Pet Blogger Challenge.

Thank you to Go Pet Friendly for organizing this blog hop. Until next year! 

 

2018 was my first full year of blogging! To celebrate, I'm taking a look back at this inaugural year and joining Gopetfriendly.com's Pet Blogger Challenge.
About Boogie

Hi! This is our dog Boogie, the traveling pug. He's been on over 20 flights to three continents. We're here to show you how to travel with your dog. Join us as we take planes, trains, and automobiles to different parts of the world.

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Boogie

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31 Comments on “The 9th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge”

  1. I think your homepage is really nice! I love the scrolling effect on the photo at the top. Also the photo at the top of this post is super cute!

  2. You should be so proud of all you’ve accomplished in such a short time. I would never have guessed you had been blogging for 1.5 years. Your site looks so professional.

    The problem I’ve had is relearning new things after doing things the old way for so long. You’re coming to blogging at a great time. And don’t get me started on cleaning up categories and navigation when you’re working with over 1450+ posts.

    I think your navigation is very clean and easy to follow. The only confusion I had was wondering what I would find when I clicked “resources.” Maybe it’s more direct to refer to “helpful links.”

    From one blogger who travels with her pup (on a sailboat) to another, I hope 2019 is an amazing year!

    1. Thanks so much for the tip! I see my blog so much and so often, sometimes I don’t trust my own eyes. It’s always good to get a fresh set on it to give feedback. Happy 2019, I hope you have an amazing year too!

  3. I’m about a half a year behind you, I hope my site looks as nice as yours in 6 months. I hear you on the list of things to do – I suffer with the whole shiny object syndrome. I’m hoping getting organized will help me too. I just have the time to do that too. I write about all things cat – but I travel with Plush the Traveling Persian. Cat friendly travel is one theme of mine too, though more of it is on social than the blog.

  4. I was in NYC for the Westminster Dog Show last year (spectator only). My friends an I were amazed at how dog owners make it work in the big city — tall buildings, no yards, public transportation.

    I agree, your blog is nice and clean. Blogs that are cluttered and riddled with pop-ups rarely hold my attention.

  5. Thanks so much for joining the Challenge! It’s always nice to meet a fellow pet travel blogger. I think the design of your site looks great – nice and open, easy to navigate on mobile. One thing you may want to look into if you haven’t already is ShortPixel or another photo compression plug-in. Our travel blogs tend to be photo heavy, and compressing your photos will help keep your site loading speed up.

    I’m always happy to have guest posts with “paws-on-the-ground” advice, so feel free to reach out!

    Have a great 2019.

    1. Thank you so much for organizing! It was great to sit down and reflect. Plus I learned about so many other pet blogs. Can’t wait to join again next year!

  6. It sounds like your 2018 was a big hit, and you accomplished a lot in a short amount of time! I like your website, it’s easy to navigate and the way you broke up the sections is very good. I’m with you on learning SEO – it does feel a bit like a foreign language to me! Good luck in 2019 – you will definitely hit the sessions mark for Mediavine!

    1. Thanks so much Rebecca! I really hope to hit the sessions mark for Mediavine, it is by far my top goal. With algorithms changing and updating, it seems so hard to remain stable.

  7. Congrats on having such a successful first year blogging! I’m going to read your post about things to do in NYC with your dog. I live in Chicago, but love visiting NYC and one of my goals is to take my dog Ruby on trip there soon!

    It’s great that you are going to work on both SEO and adding personal stories to your posts. I think balance between the two is so important.

    Off to read your NYC post!

  8. Followed Boogie on IG, everything looks professional and comprehensive. I had no trouble navigating through your website and clicking through was very easy and organized. Searching you is also easy for new pug owners so tweaking it may get site visits – I’m always looking at it from that angle bc honestly I wish there were more traveling american bullies 🙂

    Anyway, looking forward to reading some of your posts in leisure. Glad to be part of this blog hop!

  9. I didn’t realize that you’ve only been blogging for 1.5 years! I think you’ve done a great job throwing yourself into the scene and finding your community. That took me a very, very long time.

    Your homepage has a lot of great information on it. Some suggestion I have for you:

    You only introduce Boggie and then later, you mention Marcelo. A new reader to your blog might find that confusing. Unless you add in Boogie’s “hello” why the blog is from his perspective and give a short shout out to Marcelo.

    I would so suggest moving your topics to your drop down menu. That’s where I go to look for that information. I think they’re super well-organized, but they’re just not in the spot where I’d normally search for them. Instead, I’d suggest a “new to us?” page and put some highlights there.

    Lastly, the photos with the topic buttons over them ( after Boogie’s hello) need some kind of division. They all blend together and it’s tough to distinguish the different photos/categories. Just a small space would help!

    1. Thanks so much Jen! I hadn’t even thought of mobile, so your note is a big help. I’m glad I’ve found the community – as well as other travelers like you. There are so few of us!

  10. I’m so excited to see your progress. Increasing DA score is a great goal. Here’s to a fantastic 2019 and no where to go but up!

  11. I never would have guessed that you haven’t been blogging that long! Your site is beautiful and your content is fantastic. I remember sharing your post about 10 Things Free To Do In NYC With Your Dog because I thought it was great! I’d love to feature all of you on my blog!

  12. Well done on a year of blogging, these are fun times with so many sponsors for bloggers to meet and opportunities you will love discovering!

    I think the blog layout is lovely although to be honest I have no idea what your blog is called because there is no banner or label indication at the top.

  13. Hey Boogie! Congratulations on your blogging success. Your pug is precious. I have family in NYC and it is always fun to visit and see dog walkers walking a bunch of dogs at once!

  14. Hi! Here from the Pet Blogger Challenge. Congratulations on your first year of blogging. Your duo is adorable! I also really love your airplane logo with your pooch’s heads in the windows!

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