Today’s article is about pet blogging. I’ll be back to regular dog training articles next time.
I am participating in the annual “Pet Bloggers Journey” hosted by the blog Puppy in Training. Myself and several other pet bloggers answer the same 10 questions about our blogging goals and struggles! My answers are below.
You can see a list of all the participants’ at the end of this article on the Puppy In Training blog. From there, you can visit all the bloggers’ articles and read their answers. Or, post your own article if you’d like. Here’s the post that explains how to participate.
If you have a blogging question or suggestion for That Mutt, please leave a comment at the end of this article!
2021 Pet Bloggers Journey
Here are my answers to the 10 pet blogging questions:
1. When did you begin your blog and what do you write about?
I started That Mutt in 2008. Articles here are usually about dog training & behavior, life with dogs and feeding a raw diet.
2. Name one thing about your blog that you accomplished during 2020.
I opened up a one-on-one dog training service. For a small fee, dog owners can send me unlimited dog training or puppy training questions and I respond quickly with helpful suggestions. I really enjoy helping people with their dogs and puppies.
3. Which of your 2020 posts was most popular with your audience?
My most popular posts are all older articles, some more than 10 years old! This just goes to show that it is important to write content that can stand the test of time.
My most popular 2020 post was this article on food puzzles for dogs written by my writer Barbara!
One of the reasons this article had the most traffic was because I offered a giveaway out of my own pocket where people could win various puzzle toys. My newsletter audience responded well to the giveaway, and they left comments on the article to enter. I will try to offer a few more giveaways like this in the future.
4. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2020?
I decided to return to full-time blogging! This was a challenge because it was a big career/life choice. Do I want to focus on this other full-time business, with its separate rewards and challenges? Or do I want to return to full-time blogging?
It was a hard choice but I ended up choosing to return to That Mutt full time in October 2020. It was the right decision.
5. Tell us one thing you learned in 2020.
It’s important to regularly schedule time to revisit my priorities, my process and what makes me excited to get to work.
I do this often, like at least once a month. And I keep a list of my top values and vision.
We all get stuck in this grind of I “have” to get this article out or this Facebook post or these three emails done or whatever it is. No. No, you don’t.
Take a step back once a week or set aside a few hours a month to really evaluate what you’re doing. Cut out what’s not working for you anymore. Acknowledge the difficult work that requires your focus. Put your real work before other people’s requests. Make a point to keep learning and growing in your field.
I’m always working on all of this and I get off track frequently but at least I’m aware of it.
I’ve recently started setting a timer for 60 minutes while I work and during that time I turn off my phone, close my email and sign out of Skype. After that 60 minutes I can check my email. If I can get in three 60-min blocks like this in a day, it is a good day.
6. What are your top three goals for 2021?
Goal #1: I am thinking about completing a draft of a self-published book. I want to self publish it outside of Amazon but still sell it on Amazon. More details to come as I don’t even know my specific outline yet.
My goal is to finish a solid draft in 2021 and hire editors and self publish in 2022. If you are an editor or can recommend someone, please do (nonfiction dogs and cats topic).
Goal #2: I am going to prioritize updating my existing articles. I have a few hundred articles that have potential to rank well in google and help more people. I just need to focus my time!
Goal #3: Donate each month to a nonprofit group that my readers choose. I plan to get my act together for this in Q2.
To accomplish these goals I need to say no more often to the things that are lower priority. And, as I keep saying, focus better.
7. Where do you see yourself and your blog 1 year from now?
I would like to double my blog’s pageviews in a year by focusing on updating my existing articles. This means I will be posting fewer new articles.
8. If you had $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?
I would use it for all the expenses involved with hiring a book editor, self publishing, printing, etc.
9. What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2021?
I say this every year, but I am going to try making more videos this quarter and see if it helps grow my traffic, audience and ad revenue.
I don’t know how to edit videos (my husband helps me) and I’m not comfortable on camera but I’m going to try anyway. I’m going to make a short, 1- to 2-min video for each of my most popular existing articles. I’ll post the video on Instagram, Youtube or TikTok if it fits those platforms and then embed it into the article.
I figure this can only help as far as connecting with my audience, growing traffic, getting people to stick around and growing ad revenue. But I guess I will find out! If the videos don’t seem to be helping with these things, then I won’t continue making them.
10. If you could ask bloggers for help with one challenge, what would it be?
I would just like some positive feedback, please.
If you’re familiar with That Mutt, let me know how I’ve helped you or inspired you or what you admire about this site.
If you’re new here, let me know what you like so far!
Thank you for reading!
Just a reminder, you can view all of the blogs participating in the “Pet Bloggers Journey” HERE.
Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training and behavior, healthy raw food for pets and running with dogs.