Pet Blogger Challenge

Today’s post is different than what I would normally write about here on That Mutt. It’s about blogging.

I am participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly. This is a way for us pet bloggers to connect, help each other out and support one another.

I’ve been blogging on That Mutt since 2008, and I am participating in this challenge/”blog hop” because I hope I can offer advice to newer blogs.

If you have a blog and have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

I also recommend you check out some of the other bloggers participating in this challenge. Their links should all appear at the end of this post. This is a “blog hop.”

Pet Blogger Challenge 2018 – Ten Questions

Ace and Lindsay - Pet Blogger Challenge

1. 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 started That Mutt in early 2008. My topics have always focused on dog training and dog behavior.

I also write about exercising dogs, nutrition/raw dog food and dog products.

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2017?

My proudest moment was probably around late January when I saw that my Patreon page was getting some traction.

Patreon is a platform that allows a creator’s audience to support them monthly for amounts like $1/mo, $5/mo, etc., in exchange for various “rewards.”

I’ve enjoyed having a closer relationship with my biggest “fans.” Patreon is a work in progress for me, but I’m trying to offer new perks to my community there.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why?

My favorite blog post was Dog training advice I’m glad I ignored. It’s about training my weimaraner puppy Remy and how he challenges me!

I always try to be open to all types of dog training ideas. We all raise dogs in different ways and through this post I was trying to say that you have to train the dog in front of you in the best way you know how.

Don’t listen to what anyone else tells you, including me.

Lindsay and Remy - Pet Blogger Challenge

4. In terms of your blog, how do you measure success?

I care very much about numbers: pageviews, email subscribers, income.

But true success for me is knowing I’m a great writer and dog trainer and being recognized for that. I want to make sure I’m making a difference for people and dogs through my writing.

5. In what ways has your blog changed during 2017?

I brought on two writers. They each contribute about two articles a month, and I’ve really enjoyed working with them! Thank you Julia and Barbara!

I like that we’re able to publish more frequent blog posts through multiple writers.

Also, at the end of 2017 I switched my ad management from Google Adsense to MediaVine. I can’t recommend this enough! Thank you to Colby from the blog Puppy In Training for this advice.

My dog Remy the weimaraner - Pet blogger challenge

6. What was the biggest blogging challenge you overcame in 2017, and what did you learn that could help other bloggers?

Nothing stands out as a greatest challenge. Thankfully I didn’t face any major technical issues!

An ongoing challenge for me is prioritizing writing vs. getting stuck in the endless cycle of checking email, posting on social, obsessing over numbers, etc.

I try to write early in the day and focus on “busywork” or other people’s “problems” later. It’s an ongoing challenge.

7. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging?

I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed easily. About once a month, I make sure to list out everything that’s weighing on me blogging-wise and then I prioritize what’s really important.

For me, it usually means focusing on great content and producing a high-quality newsletter. The smaller “projects” can usually wait.

Setting clear goals is important for me and sticking to a strict morning routine. I like to write/focus early in the morning.

8. In 2018, what are you hoping to accomplish on your blog?

Good, quality content is my main goal.

I know I’m a good writer, but I also know the majority of my blog posts are not my best work.

In 2018 I would like to publish more articles that I’m truly proud to share. That means I need to prioritize my projects much better. I need to say no more often, minimize distractions, spend less time on social media, etc.

Ace from That Mutt - Pet Blogger Challenge

9. Is there a specific skill you’d like to improve or master this year?

Videos. I have a YouTube account and have posted some videos, but I don’t have any video-editing skills and don’t know where to start.

Could someone recommend a good, simple video-editing program? I have a PC.

10. Is there a question you’d like answered? We’ll answer you in the comments!

Whether you are a reader or a blogger or a new visitor, I would like some constructive criticism of That Mutt:

1. What is something you would change about That Mutt? Or something you don’t like?

2. What’s something you admire about That Mutt?

3. If you’re brand new here, what are your first impressions, good or bad?

Thank you!

And like I said, if you have any blogging questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. And check out the other blogs in the links below.


21 thoughts on “Pet Blogger Challenge”

  1. Happy New Year! Thanks for the shout out! I always enjoy the content on your blog I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store. I probably will ask you a little more about Patreon when I get a moment. As far as video editing software I’ve been using Premiere Pro and before that iMovie. Years ago I used Camtasia for screencasting and I’ve heard many others used it as their editor so that’s one you might look into. As for your questions:

    1. Change usually has a negative effect when you visit a site often like I do with ThatMutt. One thing that I think might be confusing is your “Start Here” box in your sidebar going directly to a popup email optin. Clicking on that button I think I’d be expecting an introduction with some of your top resources.

    2. I’ve always admired your content. I always enjoy reading about training/behavior and what’s going on with Ace and Remy.

    3. N/A – I think I’ve been reading your articles since 2008 🙂

  2. I am new to your site, but my first impression is very positive. Easy to navigate and love your logo.

    Congrats on bringing on additional writers! That’s pretty amazing. I have also heard great things about Mediavine.

    Finally, I am also an early morning writer. I’m always most focused first thing in the morning.

  3. I also enjoyed your post on training advice you threw out for Remy. I experienced the same thing when I was fostering puppies. What had worked for Honey was a disaster for some foster puppies.

    In the end, training is about a relationship and that varies with every dog.

    No suggestions. Your blog is one I look to for ideas.

  4. I really hate the pop-up that doesn’t let you click away (at least I didn’t find it) and I have to reload in order to get to the actual content 😉 I hate those things in general, though I appreciate their purpose. At least it should have a cross to close it or “No, thank you,” or something.

  5. First time here, and I’d like to congratulate on reaching the stage with adding writers, that’s a great accomplishment.

    As a first time reader I’d say I do like the colors of the site. The white and blue give it a crisp, professional look. For me, the ads were too much. There were five in the body of the post, and one on the side that was distracting because it moved with me as I moved down the page. I’m sorry to say it, I don’t like to say things like that, because I understand why bloggers use these.)

  6. Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge, Lindsay, and congratulations on getting some traction on your Pateron page – good for you! And I’m so glad to hear that you added two writers and are enjoying working with them. I’m in the process of building a small team for my blog, and your success is encouraging!

    I agree with Jana that the email pop-up is annoying, but otherwise your site is great and I wish you all the best in 2018.

  7. Hopping over for my first visit to your site. Looking at your content, I really love your style. After I saw “Don’t listen to what anyone else tells you, including me,” I read your post about dog training advice to ignore. The fact that you’re making the best decision you can for the dog in front of you makes all the difference in the world to me in my perception of your content. Your answer to question #3 and your favorite post both articulate that you’re a reasonable caring person who understands that every dog is unique. And every person or pack is unique. I’m a former teacher, so kids are the same way. In my 20s sometimes I would wonder what parents were thinking letting their kid do XYZ. Then I realized. Not my kid. Different value system, maybe. Different approach. Different whatever. But unless that parent is abusing that kid, their decision is just that. Their decision. I think raising a puppy is quite similar. Your measured tone appeals to me as a reader. Wishing you a fantastic 2018!

  8. Happy New Year!!! This is one of my favorite blogs and although I don’t always comment, I share and learn. I love your training style and it makes me feel comfortable that I’m casual about my dogs and from you, I learned that we’re always training, it doesn’t end at puppy classes.

  9. Happy New Year! I love this hop as I continue to find great blogs to follow!

    I am going to enjoy reading and learning from both your blog and newsletter. I am working to improve my newsletter’s content.

    I have heard about Mediavine on several of this year’s hoppers so I will definitely need to look into it. I’ll admit I was a bit confused as I thought the advertisement was a link to one of your posts and saw it listed multiple times finally realizing it was an ad.

    Congratulations on being able to add a few more writers that is a HUGE accomplishment!

  10. We’re so glad you came to Mediavine this year and really appreciate the shoutout!
    As publishers ourselves, we completely agree that ads aren’t always our favorite, but we also firmly believe that digital content creators should be compensated for all of the wonderful material they create.
    We do everything we can to continue improving our ads and avoid doing the things that really interfere with user experience.
    If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact us at
    We’re looking forward to an awesome 2018!
    ~Jenny, Mediavine Marketing Associate

  11. We post videos a couple times a month usually, but we stink at them too. We use the movie maker, but it is real basic. Videos are not something we enjoy watching much and that makes it even harder to try to post them. The only thing we notice about your blog that we don’t like is the entire screen sign up for the newsletter. We can’t click it away so we have to reload your post to get rid of it. Not sure if others have the same issue. Hugs to Ace, we love the older fellow!

  12. Thanks Lindsay for your great ideas about pet blogging! Your answers made sense and showed that you really care for your dog and has a very close relationship. I am very excited and looking forward to your upcoming posts this new year 2018. I congratulate you for doing a great blog last year of 2017 and I wish you the very best blogging this new year.

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