This is my first time joining the Pet Blogger Challenge, and I’m super excited to jump in! This blog hop is the brain child of GoPetFriendly and was designed to help us pet bloggers better connect with each other and our readers.
It also gives us a chance to reflect on the year passed and ponder our blogging plans for the future. So this is a quick peek behind the scenes to get a better idea of what GoneDogMad is all about and where we’re heading this year.
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 launched the GoneDogMad blog in November 2017, but I’ve been writing for other businesses for the last 7 years. In fact, during the first part of 2018, it was my passion for the GoneDogMad blog that spurred me on to niche and work only with pet businesses. If you’re curious, you can find my professional website at www.karlyedwards.com
I hate to say it, but I suppose I’m a generalist dog blogger. I don’t really have a main topic because I like to share all aspects of life owning a dog. Whether that’s dog grooming advice, dog training, dog behaviour, dog health, canine enrichment or recipes for dogs.
Many of my articles cover my experiences with my own dog Loki. Because I groom her myself, I have lots of tips about grooming long-coated breeds. We do lots of brain training at home and I even make DIY games for her, so I like to share these ideas in my articles. I also bake dog treats occasionally, so I’ll share those recipes too.
What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?
That’s a tough question – there was no real standout moment for me, other than I’m proud of how far the blog has come in a year.
I’m not where I want the blog to be in terms of how many visitors I get, but when I tell people how much traffic it attracts every month, they’re impressed. So I must be doing something right.
What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?
I think my biggest challenge has, and always will be, time. Because I’m a copywriter and content strategist for other pet businesses by day, I can struggle to find the time to publish a post every week. Which was my initial aim.
I tend to write more detailed, long form posts which do take a while to create. But I’d never want to skimp on quality just for the sake of getting a post out there.
I’d need to grow the blog further and make it my ‘full time job’ to really get over this hurdle. But we’re not quite there yet!
Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favourite and why?
I quite like my DIY brain games article. I’m a creative at heart and I love coming up with fun new games for Loki to try.
In the end she loved them all, so I thought they’d be great to share with my audience. A couple of people asked if they could link to the article too, so I’m glad it could be of use to others.
Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?
The same ‘DIY brain games’ article was the most popular last year. Perhaps it did so well because the ideas are quite unique. I haven’t seen them in any other article.
It’s filled with images and step by step guides on how to make each one, so I’ve made them really easy to follow and make.
Did you implemented a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?
I added a page to the blog for my Dog Lovers Facebook group and I’ve enjoyed interacting with pet owners over there. Although I do want to be more active in the group and grow it further. But time is never on my side!
As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?
From the very start, my goal was to focus on organic traffic and slowly grow my social profiles over time. I quickly found Pinterest was an absolute powerhouse for sending traffic, so that’s where I’ve focused a lot of my efforts.
Pinterest is my main traffic driver, followed by Google. But I’m hoping that will only improve over time as I create more quality, long-form content.
I’m reasonably active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but I haven’t seen results quite like Pinterest.
Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?
By the end of 2019, I have a certain monthly sessions figure in mind that I’m hoping to achieve. This should open me up to new opportunities and income streams. And I’m not that far off either, so I’m just hoping to keep momentum going so I can reach this goal.
What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?
Just keep writing! Ensuring my posts are optimised for the search engines and always provide value for my readers. I may ramp up my efforts on Pinterest and see if I can get more traction on any other social sites too.
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!
Absolutely! I welcome any kind of feedback. Are there certain posts you enjoy and would like to see more of? Is there anything you dislike about GoneDogMad? Anything that annoys you or puts you off?
Be sure to check out all the other awesome pet bloggers involved in the challenge.