Skip to Content

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

Today’s post is a little different. It is about blogging.

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

I’ve been blogging on That Mutt since 2008, and I am participating in this challenge to look closely at my own blogging goals and to offer advice to other bloggers.

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 2019 – Ten Questions

1. For those visiting your blog for the first time, how long have you been blogging and what is your main topic?

I’ve been blogging for 11 years and That Mutt is primarily focused on dog training. I also write about feeding dogs a raw diet. The blog features my mutt Ace who sadly passed away in 2018 and my weimaraner Remy.

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

In 2018 my husband and I finalized a partnership with the dog products company, Mighty Paw, which had previously been a sponsor of That Mutt.

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

I would like some advice on this, please …

An ongoing challenge for me with That Mutt is finding the balance between:

1.) writing evergreen, SEO-focused content that answers questions for new, one-time readers


2.) writing more personal stories about myself and my dogs that my small, dedicated audience will enjoy.

I know my best articles do both those things – answer questions with some personal examples – but since 90 percent of my traffic is from people who will visit my site only one time, they do not necessarily care about me or my dogs.

Not sure what the answer is there, it’s just something I struggle with. Any advice?

4. Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why?

This is a sad post that is a bit different than most of my articles on That Mutt, but my favorite post this year was a short essay after my dog Ace died. It was called, “When my puppy said goodbye to my old dog.”

I also really thought I did a good job on another post about grief called, “Do I have to be there when my dog is put down?” (No, you do not have to be there.)

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

One of my top posts in 2018 was about what to do when dogs in the same house don’t get along.

I think it did well because it gives more details and more practical advice compared to other articles out there on this topic. And, it includes my personal examples.

6. Have you implemented a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?

I’ve started saying no to 99% of paid partnerships with brands such as paid product reviews and other promotions because in the long run it’s more valuable to spend my time on creating high-quality, evergreen content.

A good article on my site will earn more money over time (and provide more value to dog owners) than most paid partnerships.

I’m also focusing more on longer-form content in the 3,000+ word range.

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

Google and Pinterest bring in almost all of my new readers so I am focusing on continuing to create new content (that will ideally do well in search).

I re-share a ton of old content on an ongoing basis on Pinterest and in my newsletter.

I spend very little time on Facebook. I made a list of about 30 old posts that tend to do OK on that platform and I just rotate through those same posts + post my new articles.

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

I care very much about the numbers.

This year I have a certain number of average daily pageviews that I’d like to hit regularly through search and Pinterest. I would like to hit this daily number with or without sending a newsletter and without sending any paid traffic.

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

I hope to do this through creating new, high-quality content and spending less time on paid partnerships with brands (like paid reviews). So basically focusing my time better and keeping my goals right in front of me!

Remy working on the place command

10. Now it’s your turn! Is there an area where you could use some advice, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? We’ll answer you in the comments!

Yes, whether you are a regular visitor or a new visitor, I would like some constructive criticism:

1. Other than my email popup (that’s not going away!), what is something you think I should change or something you don’t like?

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

Thank you!

If you have any blogging questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer. You can also visit the other blogs or join us yourself in the links below (which I’ll add once the “blog hop” is live).


Talent Hounds

Sunday 27th of January 2019

So sorry about the loss of Ace. It seems to work well for you to give great SEO'd evergreen advice and training tips with a touch of personal to make them relateable. I agree Pinterest is great- that is an area I plan to grow. I really like your photos and images.


Saturday 26th of January 2019

Hi! I'm new here from the Pet Blogger Challenge. I had a really hard time penetrating your popup and almost gave up before finding a way to the actual post. I'm also a trainer and love that you share some of your own personal stories along with dog training information. So sorry to hear about the loss of your dog :(

The Dash Kitten Crew

Friday 25th of January 2019

I nearly passed you by because I could not figure out how to get past the pope up.

I am sorry for your loss. We are losing our best friends and often people do not realise the impact of such a loss.


Thursday 24th of January 2019

I love your pop up - it's a Boston - and so cute at that!!!! Its comforting we all share the same challenges - what to write - and it's truly a mix of stuff for me, stuff for search, and stuff for loyal readers. Actually I think I will make that a new content pillar =) as I type about it. Good luck in 2019 and may your blog continue to grow.

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 24th of January 2019

Thank you, Hannah!

Michelle & The Paw Pack

Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

Haha that pop up though... ;) Took me a minute to figure out how to continue on to your blog. I'm just finding you for the first time! I'm a raw feeder too, so will be sure to check out your raw feeding stuff. I struggle with maintaining a balance between evergreen and more personal type posts too. I love to write about my own pets, but for my blog the evergreen stuff gets me more views. So nice to "meet" you thanks to the blog hop. I hope you have an awesome 2019.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

Haha, thank you Michelle!