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.)
http://www.daisypets.co.nz/2017/08/black-hawk-review-giveaway.html
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? :)

Comments

  1. That's awesome you hiked up a mountain with a large bag of dog food! That must not have been easy. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Most of my blog traffic comes from search engines or Pinterest. If you want your blog to get seen more I'd recommend concentrating on those two channels. I love creating videos for YouTube. I plan on doing more with YouTube and videos in 2018. All the best to you this year!

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    1. A little crazy of me for sure! Eeek I really need to get into Pinterest, but it scares me. Probably more reason to go for it. Thanks for the feedback, have a great year yourself! :D

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  2. Hopping over from the Pet Blogger Challenge to say hi. I think we all get writers block from time to time. You have to just go with it, and take a break. I haven't done much with Youtube, a little here and there. I think it would be hard to get people from Youtube to a blog though. Maybe not, just my perception. Have a great day.

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    1. Hello! Thanks for coming over to my little space of the internet.
      Thank you for the advice. Yes I agree with you there, getting from a visual content to a more written content would be hard but I want to try and make them compliment each other. If that's even possible. I hope you have a great 2018 :D

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  3. I'm so glad you've found the amazing supportive community that is reactive dog owners! That's a big focus of my blog, too, and our readers make the journey so much more enjoyable and less isolating. We've learned a lot from them (and I like to think they've learned from our journey, too)!

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    1. I am so glad I have found your blog, I love it!! Thank you for dropping by and I hope you have a great 2018. I am excited to read more of your posts.

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  4. First of all, I think your photographs are amazing! I also love that your blog name is a tribute to your dog Daisy. My blog name is also for my heart dog who passed away. I sometimes wonder if it confuses people, but it's important to me to keep Pip as part of the blog.

    I had some writer's block this year, too. In terms of getting your blog content seen, we all struggle with this. I used to focus on quantity (posting as often as possible), but now I focus on quality - fewer (but better) posts. And then for each post, I plan out when, where, and how to share them across social media. Different kinds of posts do better on different channels. Unfortunately, I haven't done much with Youtube so can't be of much help there.

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliments!

      I am glad I am not the only one with a name in tribute of a dog, I often get emailed by the name of Daisy. I have gotten used to it now. I am glad you are sticking with Pip in your name, I like it!

      That's such a great tip, and I appreciate it. I feel like we are always focused on more, and quality should be our goal. Thanks for reminding me of that.

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  5. Your photography is so beautiful I can't imagine it getting better. Maybe working with video and photography will keep you encouraged. Visual content is usually more popular than written.

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    1. That is such a lovely compliment, thank you Pamela! I am feeling very inspired currently with the new year and with editing videos so hopefully my writers block may be gone.

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  6. Me, I just write and people find it. Which is easier with some types of blogs and harder with another. I think youtube is fantastic; wish I had the time and the balls to get into that.

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    1. That's a very good point! I'll have to check out your blog. I think you should definitely give it a go, there's no need for balls to do it ;) Once you have got started it's a lot of fun

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  7. You do have some lovely photos!

    I have done some youtube videos, but never had much success at getting views (other than my readers who pop over.) If you're interested in that, I say just start making the video, the nice thing about Youtube is you can delete that video if you aren't happy with it. "-)

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    1. Thank you Jodi!

      That is where I am currently at too, making videos for my current audience but not gaining any new viewers yet. Yes, I believe that is a good way to go. Hope you have a great 2018

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  8. Thanks so much for joining the Challenge again this year, and congratulations on your accomplishments in 2017. Even if you didn't post as much as you'd have liked, you're getting noticed by brands, which is a bit accomplishment!

    I'm excited to hear that you're going to be posting about working on Diego's reactivity. My Buster is reactive, too, and for a long time I felt like it was something I should be ashamed of. Then I realized how many people struggle with this issue, and by sharing my experiences, I was at least helping people recognize that they aren't alone.

    I've not done much with video, though I'd really like to get started. It feels so overwhelming to get started, so I've delegated it to my husband. We'll see how that goes! ;-)

    Wishing you a productive and happy 2018!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post, it means a lot!

      Yay! Another one in the reactive dog club. It's obviously a lot more common than people think. You wouldn't believe it judging by people's reactions when Diego has a bad day.

      Video is so daunting, and takes up so much time! But I do love it, and find it a new creative process that I am not used to. I would love to see you both get started into videos, and I will be watching when you do :)

      Have a great 2018!

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