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Pet Blogger Journey 2022 – Another Year

Welcome to my 2022 Pet Blogger Journey!

In case you are wondering what the Pet Blogger Journey is, here is a quick overview.

It was started back in 2011, by a pet blogger who wanted to connect with other bloggers that focused on their pets.

The Journey is an annual look back at what we as bloggers have accomplished and also what we hope to do in the coming year.

It’s a way to share what we have learned and to ask for help from other pet bloggers who may have tips on what we are looking to accomplish in the new year. This is done by answering a series of 9 questions.

Welcome to the 2022 Pet Blogger Journey - title picture

This is the second year that I have participated. If you want to read my journey post from last year, you can find it at 2021 Annual Pet Blogger Journey.

Before I get into my journey I want to thank Colby from Puppyintraining.com for hosting this event. This is the third year he is doing it.

If it wasn’t for him taking over the administration of the journey, I would not have had the chance to participate.  

2022 Pet Blogger Journey – Year two

The first year I participated in the journey I was still fairly new to blogging and didn’t feel like I had that much to contribute. But I loved reading about everyone’s journey and learned a lot from them. They gave me both hope and inspiration to keep moving ahead with my own blog.  

Now that I have a couple of years of writing under my belt, I hope to help other pet bloggers stay motivated and continue to love the world of blogging.

One of the things I love about the Pet Blogger Journey is that it’s done by people just like you and me. People who started out with an idea. Maybe it was just a hobby, maybe they always liked writing and wanted an outlet or maybe they were looking for a life beyond a 9 to 5 job.

For me, it was all three. It started as a way to capture what we were learning about finding a dog so we wouldn’t forget the information the next time we needed it.

But it also provided an outlet for my writing desires. I always loved the idea of being a writer, but never thought I was good enough. With my own blog I could write without getting approval from someone else.

After writing on and off for a year, and reading the previous years Pet blogger journeys from people who made a living from their blogs, I realized that maybe it was something I could do too.

While I still consider myself a newbie in the blogging community, I’m excited to take part in it again this year.  So here goes… 

2022 Pet Blogger 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 before we found our current pup, Bella. You can see her in the title picture above.

Finding a dog was not an easy process for us. I have been allergic to dogs all my life. I have also lived with one or more dogs for most of my life. Some dogs bothered me more than others.

The last dog we had before Bella was more problematic for my allergies, so this time around I wanted to find a dog that I could comfortably live with. (FYI we had her for 15 years before she died of old age)

After a lot of research, we settled on getting either a poodle or poodle crossbreed. Hence the blog’s name, Happy oodles as in poodles.

We did look at other hypoallergenic breeds, but they were either difficult to find or very expensive.

Even with the popularity of the poodle and poodle crossbreeds, finding a dog was difficult.

We were open to either breeders or rescues, and looked at both. Along the way we learned a lot about both options.

As a way to record all the stuff we learned and also in the hopes of helping the next family looking for a hypoallergenic dog we started the blog.

In the end my daughter had her heart set on rescuing a dog and we found a rat terrier, poodle crossbreed in need of a home.

The blog focuses on finding the perfect dog, and caring for them.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2021 that made you the most proud.

My blogging goals have been the same for the last couple of years. Write more high quality content.  Each year that goes past I find my writing skills improve. I also become more confident in my writing. This allows me to write quicker and with less fuss.

Which in turn allows me to meet my forever goal of posting more content.

 3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2021. How did you tackle it?

This year’s biggest blogging challenge was the Google Core Web Vitals that rolled out over the summer.

In case you don’t know what this is, in November of 2020, Google added three new page experience indicators that they called the Core Web Vitals.  Together these vitals measured how quickly your posts would load. Faster loading posts ranked higher than posts that were slower to load.

Of course there are other things that affect your rankings, like quality of the posts and domain authority, but site speed is now a bigger driver than it used to be.

While I had been gaining readers during the spring of 2021, once the update happened I started to lose rankings.

My blog theme was older and needed to be updated to a newer platform that could load faster.

Once the blog was moved over to a new platform we saw a pretty quick uptick in our sessions and also a rebound on the rankings we had lost due to the update.

The simple lesson here is to stay ahead of the curve by making changes before it happens. Google warned everyone ahead of time.

4. Tell us one thing you learned in 2021 that can help us all become better bloggers.

This is a simple one, but breaking down your paragraphs to a couple of sentences each makes it easier for readers to skim your post.

I know, you’re thinking, why would I want to make it easier for someone to skim my posts? Because that’s how people read these days.

Most people do not have the time to sit and read a 3,000 word informational post. They just want to get to the important stuff.

By breaking down the paragraphs and adding headers they will actually read more. They will also appreciate you taking the time to think about their needs.

5. What are your top three goals for 2022?

Last year my goals were to:

  • Start to use my Instagram account Happyoodles
  • Pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment. 
  • Learn to create link worthy posts.

So I still have not done anything with my instagram account so maybe I will make that a goal for this year.

I did pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment, but later than I should have, so a goal this year would be to stay ahead of any new changes, because you know there will always be changes in the blogging community.

Not sure if I have mastered link worthy posts, but I do plan to post more often. This year I will be using a content calendar to keep on track. So far it’s working.

6. In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog 1 year from now?

I would like to triple my monthly session count by the end of this year. It may be unrealistic but in a perfect world I hope to achieve it.

7. If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?

Last year I said I wanted to move to a premium hosting provider to hopefully increase my page speed.

While I didn’t have the $1,000, I took the plunge anyway and it worked for the best. In addition to changing my blog’s platform, having a better hosting package (i.e. more expensive) helped with my page speed.

This year’s wish list would be an audit on the blog to see where I could make improvements.

8. What is the one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2022?

How to master an email list and create a newsletter that will bring increased engagement to the blog.

9. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Creating high quality posts quicker. I feel like it takes a lot of time to research and write a well written post that will rank. Are there any tricks or advice to speed up the process?

Well that’s it.

If you would like to read more posts from the 2022 Pet Blogger Journey, head over to Puppy in Training to read about their journey and to find links to the other posts.

Thank you for Reading my 2022 Pet Blogger Journey

Cathy

Saturday 15th of January 2022

Congratulations on passing the Web Core Vitals. I still haven't passed it though I have Trellis too. What do you think helped you the most to pass it?

I take a long time to write a post too so don't think I have any good tips for that. I do read it out loud to myself before hitting publish. It's surprising how many errors I find that way compared to just reading it in my head.

Lindsay

Thursday 13th of January 2022

On those long posts where you're trying to rank, I'd say hit publish before it's perfect and then you can always go back and add better photos, pins, more content, etc. Most likely, no one will even notice but it can start getting noticed by Google. You can always share it on social or in emails later on.

Bonnie

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Hi

Thanks for stopping by and for the advice on long posts. I agree about stepping away from the post and going back later to complete it with a clear mind. Each time I read an old post there is always something I want to improve on.

Have a wonderful 2002!

Carol Bryant

Thursday 13th of January 2022

WOW I loved getting to know you better. Getting that "Core Web Vitals Assessment: Passed" Is definitely nerve-wracking. My tech guy (I pay him monthly) switched me to Kadence and takes care a lot of the backend stuff. I thought about moving to a different server but Ive been happy where I am.

I like the idea of trying to get a post done in 2 or so hours, as Colby suggested. I tend to interview people for credibility to my posts, but doing more posts where I am the sole expert is something I've been experimenting with. Google loves their EAT, so focus on speed and feeding the Google monster. However, as you know, write for the reader.

Happy new year and all my best to you with your 2022 goals!

Bonnie

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Hi-

Thanks for the advice. It seems that Kadence is a popular option. I will take look at it for the future. I hope to start another blog one day.

I always wanted to do an interview type post, maybe one of these days. I agree they add credibility to a blog.

Wishing you wonderful 2022!

Hannah Zulueta

Thursday 13th of January 2022

I will have to say Google keeps us on our toes.

I also adore the new design. Migrating to a new platform can always be hairy.

Tripling your traffic is a wonderful goal and I'm certain you will accomplish it!

Here's to a wonderful 2022!

Bonnie

Thursday 13th of January 2022

Hi-

Thanks for stopping by! Google does keep it interesting. Thanks for your tips on Instagram. Maybe I will start with short reels to get going.

Have a great 2022 too!

Hannah Zulueta

Thursday 13th of January 2022

I'm with you on the email list.

And thank you for your writing tips. I actually found myself effortlessly reading your entry. You write very well.

As for Instagram - well that continues to evolve but what I have found is very short 7 to 15 second reels do fantastic!

Here's to a GREAT 2022. m