Saturday, 7 January 2017

2017 Pet Blogger Challenge

I can't believe another year has been and gone already. I know everyone has been saying this, but this year has literally whizzed by, I felt like I didn't get to settle into 2016 as much as I thought I would. A lot has changed throughout 2016 for me, which will all be shared in a 2016 recap post, but for now I will be doing the annual Pet Blogger Challenge. I have done this for the past two years, and it is a great way to recap on how the blog has gone over the last year, and get some fresh inspiration from other bloggers for the New Year. If you want, go have a read of my 2016, and 2015 challenges as well to see how DaisyPets has grown.

When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for the first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?
I started DaisyPets in March of 2014 as a way to express my love of animals, through a creative means while I was working in a very bland, corporate job. DaisyPets is a mixture of reviews for everything pet related, to stories about our own experiences through owning pets. In 2017 I hope to make it a lot more review based, with our social media sharing more of our personal lives.

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
A huge highlight of 2016 was being hired as a freelance writer for an up and coming pet magazine in New Zealand, Pet Life. This was a role that was offered to me after Amy, the magazine owner, came across my blog and loved my work. The first issue has just come out and I am super excited for this to continue into 2017.

Which of your blog posts was your favourite this year and why?
My favourite would have to be the Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treat Recipe I posted. This has turned out to be one of our most favourite recipes, and I am now frequently whipping up batches of them. I even sold some of these as part of my fundraiser for Chico's vet bills. The post itself also contains a video I made for the recipe, which was a lot of fun to shoot.
You can find that post here.

Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?
This past year, I started discussing my blog to people I met a lot more frequently. I used to be shy, and a bit embarrassed that I was writing a blog about my dog, but this past year I have embraced this as something I really love doing and have started sharing it with people I know and meet. I have been giving out more business cards to people who I meet when out with Diego, or people that I have had discussions with. I find this is a great way to get real people following your blog, and also to get a close community with some locals. I am not sure of the actual conversion on how many readers I get from this, but I think it is a great way to get the DaisyPets name out there.

Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
Funnily enough, my most popular post of 2016 was my 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge. This one had a lot of views coming in from other bloggers, and it was an awesome way to see the community get together.
Following that, my next popular was my review on the Planet Dog Diamond Plate Ball. This was part of our Tough Dog Toy Hunt series where I review toys in hopes of finding toys that are tough enough to stand up to Diego's crazy chewing. I am happy that this post was so well received as the Plate Ball is by far one of Diego's favourite toys, and it has lasted amazingly well considering he plays with it daily.
Themes across my popular posts are they are generally reviews of products that get more views, and I think this will be from other searches where people are looking for more information on a product before they buy it.

What blog do you find the most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog?
I have actually been terrible this year, and not supported the blogging community as much as I should have been! I haven't kept up to date with any blogs, and I feel terrible about it. I do have a couple of amazing Instagram accounts that I follow though, that keep me inspired to produce amazing photographs and go on wicked adventures.
Westie_wolves
adventureswithkero
c3mery
biscuit_the_boxer

What is one thing your readers don't know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
I love this question, and gosh I have had to think it over for a while to come up with a decent answer. People may be surprised that Diego sleeps in my bed, under the covers and in the early hours of the morning will crawl his way up and sleep with his head on a pillow with the rest of his body under the covers.


What is something you've learned this year that could help other bloggers?
Don't give up. 2016 has been one of the hardest, but most inspiring and life changing years of my life, and through it all I remained positive in my passion for continuing this blog. I did slow down towards the end of the year, which could have put a stop to the whole thing, but instead I treated it as a break I truly needed. This has all paid off in the long run as more opportunities are coming up for DaisyPets and I through the hard work and dedication.

What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
I would love to continue the growth that I started in the first half of 2016, and continue building an amazing community. I want to start getting involved in more projects with other bloggers, companies and brands and develop some amazing content on a range of platforms and mediums.

Now it's your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community - is there a question you'd like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you'd like input on?
This is isn't technically blog related, but it is a current question that I have been wanting opinions on. I have recently moved into my own house, and now have Diego back in my care, but after such a crazy year in 2016 Diego seems to gained a lot of fear. He is super nervous around bigger dogs,  and will nip and growl at them which does start fights. This is worse when I am walking him compared to if a family member walks him. He also gets super worked up if I leave him alone, and will pine for me until I get home. I know this will all be problems occurring from me leaving him with my mother last year, and he has gained some separation anxiety, but what would be some steps to get this sorted out for the future? How would you suggest I work on these issues?


10 comments:

  1. That is a very complex question you have which does not have a simple answer, unless I was the answer "behavioral modification training." I doubt there are any shortcuts there. Need to try avoid triggers as best as you can until you manage to change how they make him feel. I recommend finding a good trainer to work up a plan of how to do all that. In the meantime, if calmer with other family member, try to have other family member to walk him. (also see if you developed anxiety yourself and are transferring some of that as well). Could try Adaptil collar, ThunderShirt, Rescue Remedy ... but all that is just means to eventually changing how he feels about things. You can look up some videos on Donna Hill's youtube channel to see what is meant and how some of that can be done.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestions and recommendations. That is my aim, maybe in February to get a trainer in once Diego has settled more into the new home.

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  2. I'm sorry Diego is having a difficult time. Maybe he just needs some time re-adjust? Our dog, Ruby, gets super stressed as well and sometimes she just needs some quiet time and reassurance. Hope life calms down for you and Diego this year.

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    1. Yes, that is what I am thinking. He has already settled a lot in the past couple of weeks so I think it will be something we just have to chip at. Thanks for your comment, hope you have a great year also :)

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  3. Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge again, Morgan, and congratulations on landing the free-lance position. That's fantastic!

    I'm sorry to hear that Diego's having some behavior challenges. Jana is absolutely right, it's a complex situation and determining what what helps each dog is different. I'd recommend reading Debbie Jacobs' Fearful Dogs Blog - she's brilliant and puts things in a way that really helps me understand how my dogs are likely feeling. Patience and consistency will get you through, and your relationship with Diego will be stronger for it. All the best to you both in 2017!

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    1. Thank you so much!
      Thank you for the recommendation, I will have to go check her blog out now! Good luck for 2017 to you :)

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  4. Congratulations on getting hired as a freelance writer for a pet magazine! Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for Diego's behavior challenges. My older dog Linus has some minor separation anxiety and we've gone through some private training to help him. I'd recommend finding a good certified professional dog trainer that can help work with you and Diego. All the best to you in 2017!

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    1. Thank you for the well wishes!
      Diego's separation anxiety has actually gone down significantly recently after following routine, which is amazing. I will definitely be looking into a trainer for his other issues though, so thank you for the advice.
      Wishing you all the best for 2017

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  5. Congratulations on your success in 2016. I hope 2017 is amazing. Rodrigo is the only dog who likes to sleep with me and he gets too hot under the covers. Sometimes I put a fan on him to keep him cool at night - LOL.

    If you haven't heard from her already, I recommend reaching out to Lara Elizabeth of Rubicon Days. She's helped me a lot with reactivity and fear issues by sharing her experience with her dogs and one on one :)

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    1. hehe that's super cute! Diego seems to be oblivious to any heat and maintains his bed sleeping position year round.
      Thank you I will have to check her out.
      Wish you all the success in 2017

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