Welcome to 2021 Annual Pet Bloggers Journey!
If you randomly found this post you might be asking;
What is the Pet Bloggers Journey?
Well, I did some research and have found that the Pet Bloggers Journey was started back in 2011, making this the 10th year anniversary of the journey. It was originally started by Amy at GoPetFriendly.com, but last year, Colby from Puppyintraining.com started hosting the event.
Thank you Colby! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have a chance to participate this year.
Ok, but that doesn’t tell you what it is.
The Pet Bloggers Journey is a chance to look back on the past year to see how you are doing. It’s also a way to both, support and learn from fellow pet bloggers. You participate in the Journey by answering 10 questions about your blog and how things are going. You can learn more about the journey at puppyintraining.com
I originally found the Pet Bloggers Journey last year. At the time I didn’t think I had enough experience to join but I loved reading all the posts.
Reading the posts gave me both hope and inspiration to keep moving ahead with my own blog.
One of the great things about the Pet Bloggers Journey (and there are many) is that it’s done by real people who are committing to improving their site. Not someone telling you how great blogging is just to sell you something.
If you have ever had an interest in starting a blog or improving one, then reading the posts from the journey can give you insight into the world of blogging. Now this is in no way a tutorial to start a blog. But seeing the success and challenges that bloggers can face puts a whole new perspective on the process.
While I still consider myself a newbie in the blogging community, I’m excited to take part in it this year. So here goes…
Pet Bloggers Journey Q &A
1. When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?
I bought my domain name Happyoodles.com back at the very end of 2017. This was when we were still looking for a dog. It was not a quick process for us. We were having a lot of trouble finding a dog. We were open to either breeders or rescues but I was determined to find a dog that would not trigger my allergies, which limited the type of dogs we could get.
In the past, the dogs in my life had always seemed to find me, but not this time. Whether it was difficulties with finding a reputable breeder or being turned down by rescues who thought our kids were too young. something always happened that kept us from getting a dog.
I figured we couldn’t be the only ones to have these issues so I decided to write about our experiences.
As you might guess the blog is about finding a dog at a time when demand is very high and also about taking care of them once they are home with you.
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2020 that made you most proud.
Although the official start date of the blog was in 2017, I didn’t start writing consistently until the middle of 2019. In 2018 I was too busy raising a puppy and my kids to write much. So, my one blogging goal for 2020 was to write more. I am happy to say I did write more. This in turn increased my traffic which was another goal for last year.
3. Which of your 2020 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?
I don’t have one stand out post that gets more traffic or engagement than the others. But I do find that posts which talk about my own experiences and how I went about solving my problems do the best.
4. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2020, and how did you tackle it?
Where we live was hit early and hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that starting in March my kids became full time virtual students.
Previously, I would work on the blog while they were in school, now they were home 24/7. It took a while for everyone to get into the grove of our new normal. But we did get there.
For me it meant using the time I had more efficiently and working at night.
5. Tell us one thing you learned in 2020 that can help us all become better bloggers.
This is probably no surprise to anyone who has been blogging for a while but keyword research is an important step to a successful blog. When I first started writing I wrote about my experiences with no regard to keyword research. But once I started to pay attention to it my traffic increased quickly.
Also as you learn new things take the time to update old posts with what you learned. You may be rewarded with increased engagement.
6. What are your top three goals for 2021?
My number one goal is do something with my Instagram account Happyoodles. I created it years ago with the intention of capturing Bella’s first year, but outside of a profile picture and some text I don’t have a single post on the account.
The next goal is to finally appease google and pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment. My understanding is that this will become more important as time goes on and I want to be ready.
My last goal is to learn to create link worthy posts.
7. In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog 1 year from now?
I really do enjoy blogging and sharing my experiences with other people so turning this into a career is my ultimate goal. Not sure if it will happen this year but the question was what could happen in the perfect world.
8. If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?
I would move to a premium hosting provider to hopefully increase my page speed
9. What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2021?
As I mentioned above one of my goals is to get better at creating link worthy posts. I believe this is a skill I am lacking in and could really use to improvement on.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
That would be the secrets of link worthy posts. In particular what types of posts get the most backlinks? Are they list posts, infographics or personal experiences? Any insight to what works the best is greatly appreciated.
Well that’s it.
If you would like to read more posts from the Pet Bloggers Journey head over to Puppy in Training to read about their journey and to find links to the other posts.
Are You Looking for a Rescue Dog to Adopt?
Here are some resources to help you with your search
Friday 2nd of April 2021
Thanks for sharing your journey.
In my experience, I've found that the blog posts that get the most backlinks are ones that answer a question in great detail or provides an useful list for the community for which the blog targets. For my blog, I will write 2k-3k posts that go into great detail. One of our dogs was recently diagnosed with cancer and I have two posts that I'm constantly updating with details of detecting and treating his type of cancer, his diet, supplements, and more. It's reviewed a lot.
A good example for you would be to create a post of all of the reputable "doodle" breeders (if you don't have one already) and keep it updated. This list can include breeders by state, what type of Doodle they breed, years in the profession, average cost, how often they breed, and any rules they may have for buyers. Basically everything anyone would need to know about buying a Doodle puppy.
Another pillar post can be a shopping list for people who are bringing home a Doodle puppy. These lists seem like common sense, but when you bring home that puppy, our brains go to mush as we're quickly overwhelmed by the puppy energy and having a shopping list (which you can turn into a downloadable to build your mailing list) takes some of the stress away.
Best of luck to you in 2021.
Friday 2nd of April 2021
Thank you for the great tips. I will definitely be putting your advice to work.
So sorry to hear about Scout having cancer. I just read the post. I will be checking your blog to see how he is doing. He is extremely lucky to have you by his side.
I wish you and Scout all the best.
Tuesday 2nd of February 2021
Hi and so good to read all about your journey! I don't focus a lot on backlinks but find that the stuff that gets picked up by others are my well-researched pieces with credible experts. I always ask myself what would my reader like to know and then go write the most comprehensive post on that topic. Sometimes they are long, sometimes shorter.
I am excited to watch you grow and flourish. Happy and healthy 2021!
Wednesday 3rd of February 2021
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Also thank you for the words of wisdom from the journey and your book. After completing the journey I went back and reviewed the chapter on Blogging communities. Lots of helpful information.
Have a great year! Bonnie
Friday 22nd of January 2021
Congrats on all your accomplishments this year!! Your website looks like it’s filled with lots of helpful ressources :)
I‘ve also found my personal experience blog post do better as well. I think it’s because people are looking for connection and relatability!
As for Insta, I hesitated to start posting on Henry’s account at the beginning too, because I really didn’t know where I was going with it. But the best thing to do, is just start! It totally evolved over time, plus it’s such a fabulous way to connect with the dog community.
To increase the speed of your website, if it’s a wordpress, I’ve found the WP rocket plugin to work really well, for me.
As for links, (I don’t know if you already have) but maybe you can try collaborating with other bloggers and pet industry experts?
Friday 22nd of January 2021
Thank you for all the helpful tips. Looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings!
Wednesday 20th of January 2021
I just swung over and gave you a follow on Instagram. That's a platform that I'm definitely working on building as well moving into 2021. While I have been posting and slowly growing, I still have a long way to go! I can't wait to see what you share there when you do get started...
As for creating linkable content, the topics that I find draw the most organic links are generally those that offer an actionable solution to a specific problem. Examples include specific steps to puppy proof your home and a breakdown of common cat litter problems and how to solve them.
Thursday 21st of January 2021
Thank you for the follow. I followed you too. Your fur babies are adorable. I love the photos of them in the suitcases and with their gifts.
Thanks for the tips too. I think I just need to find the right topics to wrtie about.
Wednesday 20th of January 2021
It's hard because the posts that get linked to the most are the posts that already show up first in searches. People are lazy and will just grab the first resource they see and link to that if it's good enough. So ... I don't know, I think just writing the best resource you can on that particular topic so yours is truly the most helpful. Then hope it ranks high enough in google eventually to get noticed, haha. That is probably not very helpful but that's my strategy. Write as much top-quality content as I can and hope that some of it eventually takes off. And just remember it's a long game. Some articles will sit quietly for a year or more and then suddenly get traffic. Some never get traction. Occasionally, one will seem to get traction right away. Haha.
Thursday 21st of January 2021
Thank you for the advice. I was hoping there was some magical formula that everyone knew but me. HaHa.... But I knew better.