2018 Pet Blogger Challenge

Every year since 2015 (WOW!) I have been doing the Pet Blogger Challenge. This is a chance to look back at the year that was, evaluate how you done and what you learnt and then also look forward on a New Year to set new goals and challenges. It also is a great way for myself and others to connect with others in the Pet Blogger Community, something I know that I need to do more of. After you have read mine, I would love it if you go to the bottom of the post to all the other wonderful posts by other amazing bloggers and read a couple :) 

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 have been blogging since 2014, where I originally started the blog as an outlet for my love of animals and writing. I never started a blog while Daisy was alive, and once she passed away it was so upsetting that I hadn't had anything physical to remember her by. Now, my blog focuses on living with Diego, I mainly review products, places and events related to owning a dog but also throw in some posts about my personal thoughts on things, as well as struggles of owning a reactive dog (more in 2018 on that!)

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2017?
This is hard, I promised a big year for Daisy Pets in 2017, and although I had a bunch of successes, nothing has stood out as the proudest blogging moment. A couple of memorable moments was completing #300km June where Diego and I walked three hundred kilometres in the month of June raising funds for HUHANZ; Diego getting chosen by Wolves of Wellington to star in their Kickstarter Campaign; and writing for PetLife Magazine.

Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
This was a personal favourite for me as I spent a lot of time working on it and it was awesome to collaborate with a food company. Black Hawk's PR company approached us when they were first releasing in New Zealand, and sent us an amazing box with some samples as well as ingredients to make a human dish inspired by the dog food. I thought this was such a great idea, and Diego loved the food so I purchased more. I hiked a bag of food up a mountain incline to get some amazing views with the bag, instead I got photos of the bag up in the clouds! I also got an amazing response on this post, due not only to the giveaway but it allowed for open discussions on dog food choices.

In terms of your blog, how do you measure success?
I haven't really thought of this before, I mainly blog for the social side of it, for providing something to my readers but not for 'success' or 'fame'. I guess because of that I measure success in how many people I have helped, or who enjoy my content. When they comment on my posts, on Instagram or Facebook I feel so happy and realise that there is a reason for what I am doing. 

In what ways has your blog changed during 2017?
Each year I think my blog seems to change and adapt. I have now veered away from blogging about my Guinea Pigs, and although I still own them, I didn't find I was passionate blogging about their doings. In 2017, I really started to review more and more products and this is something I really want to continue within the New Year. I think I have finally started to find my niche. 

What was the biggest blogging challenge you overcame in 2017, and what did you learn that could help other bloggers?
In 2017 I opened up and admitted that I was struggling with Diego's reactivity. I got an amazing response on Facebook which made me realise that this is not something I should be ashamed about or hiding. It made me go see a behaviourist who gave me some tips and tricks to help Diego. He also told me that Diego isn't an aggressive dog, he just is nervous and has pent up energy. We are still working on this, and in 2018 I would like to blog about it more.
What I learnt from this is to not be ashamed of what you see as flaws. Own them. This opens you up to the ability to get help, or you will learn they are not actually flaws. 

When things get hard, what keeps you blogging?

  1. (Question submitted by Pamela Douglas Webster of Something Wagging This Way Comes)
In 2017 I got the dreaded writer's block. I didn't feel like writing any more, it didn't feel fun to me and it was more of a hassle than something I wanted to be doing. You can see this in my lack of posts throughout the year. I would really enjoy working on certain posts, and get really excited for them, but after that post had been written I would go back to not really wanting to do it. As I write this, I am now wondering if I have really gotten over this, or I am just in the New Years Honeymoon Phase... I guess we will see as this month and year progresses. What has kept me going during these times, even if I don't post as much as I would like, is my readers. I have such supportive and encouraging readers and they really are the reason I am still doing this today. They learn from me, but I learn so much more from them and I love the friendships I have been able to make through doing this. 

Looking forward to 2018, what are you hoping to accomplish on your blog this year?
In 2018, I am hoping to accomplish my goal of posting two blog posts a week (Monday and Thursday NZT) as well as one video a fortnight. This video will range anywhere between a vlog of my daily life, a walk we have been on, a review of a product and so much more. I am really inspired by video content so want to be able to make more in the future. I also have a couple of personal goals until August to sell one piece of merchandise, collab with a brand/business to make a product together and get featured on another blog! 

In addition to what you’d like to accomplish, is here one specific skill you’d like to improve or master this year?

  1. (Question submitted by Jodi Chick of Kol’s Notes)
Definitely my photography/videography. I feel like I say photography every year but I think it is one of those skills that you can keep improving and you should keep working on it. Videography will be nice with me making videos more I would like to improve my filming and editing of these.

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? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in the comments
How do you get your blog seen? Have you stepped into the YouTube space and how have you found it? :)