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Saturday, January 10, 2015

5th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

We decided to participate again in this years Pet Blogger Challenge.  We participated last year and had a lot of fun answering the questions and reading what other folks had to say.  If you would like to join in, click here!  Are you ready? 
Iz waiting, Momma!
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about. 
I have been blogging since July 2008, although at the time we had no idea what direction this blog would take.  It kind of fizzled out.  We consider our official start date to be April 2009.  We knew we wanted the blog to be about our dogs, but didn't quite have the format down.  We love to put up quirky stories, Photoshops, photos and posts that hopefully make folks smile.

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.
I've always been hit and miss with blog posts.  My goal was to beat my highest year for posts which was 2010 with 126 posts.  We managed to squeak post that number in 2014 with 130.  My goal this year is to pass that number.  
3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?
My answer is actually the same as last years - the dog blogging community is wonderful.  They have shown that to me time and time again.  Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help or questions.  Technical support, dog questions, and a great support team when life gets a little rough - they are there.

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
I love visiting other blogs and reading what folks have to say.  I've had a jump in readers in the last month and I think that is mainly because I've expanded my list of blogs I visit.  Being friendly really helps.  I also share my posts on Facebook and get a few folks that wouldn't normally read blogs visiting that way.

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?  
That's a tough one!  Reviewing my posts from last year I can see several that came out in top.  Harlow's broken toe had a lot of comments, as well as Sugar coming to Phoenix.  We also get a lot of comments on our humorous posts, such as Garth Riley's Dog in the Box contest and our new year's post from last year. 

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?  
Another tough question!  My favorite posts are when I get to tell stories through a series of photos.  I have the most fun putting these together.  Our most recent was where Harlow decided to take up hiking, or when our Halloween decorations caused some concern.

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?
I don't mind doing a limited amount of reviews.  Typically I have one review a month right now from chewy.com.  I'm not sure I want to change that amount, as I've noticed reviews get the least amount of traffic/readers.  This year I want to change my format of the reviews to see if I can put that "quirky" spin on them that I love to do.

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?
Just have fun.  I love to do this because I have fun putting the pictures together and love the feedback I get from folks who read our blog. 

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?  Well, as mentioned above, I want to get a little better with consistently getting posts up.  Last year it was a minimum of two posts per week, this year I'd like to try for three.  I also want to make sure I'm not just posting for the sake of posting, so that is challenging me to take a look at the content of my posts. 

10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Wow - that's a good question.  Right now I'm not experiencing any challenges that I need any help on, but I know if I do, I've got a great support group to ask for help!
 Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Dis isn't what it looks like...


34 comments:

  1. That you have fun with your blog is very evident, and great advice. Bloggers tend to worry to much and forgot how much fun it can be :)
    The fun you have is also contagious, and is my best guess why people always come back for more, who doesn't want to read/see something and smile?

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    1. Thank you, Team Kenzo! That means a lot to us!

      Monty and Harlow

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  2. Great read and more importantly, thanks for posting, we've joined in too!

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  3. Who can resist visiting when one might be greeted with Harlow's smile?!? We really like your bloggy. We haven't been blogging OR reading as much as in the past as mom got a new job where she works on the computer a lot more!! Butt your goals are similar to ours :-)

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  4. Hi Y'all!

    You hit the nail on the head! When my Human isn't working every waking minute and I can steal the computer for more than just time to put up a post, I get lots more visits and comments. Trouble is, there is little chance for me to use the computer.

    Thanks for stoppin'.

    Y'all come on back,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  5. You are so right about the blog and or dog community. The best bunch of people to be a part of.

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    1. We always knew it, but this year we found out how big the collective heart of the dog blogging community is. They made a very tough year better.

      Monty and Harlow

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  6. Beautiful dogs. I know what you mean about enjoying visiting blogs. As part of the challenge I am aiming to visit each one and have been really inspired and impressed.

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  7. What great answers and of course, beautiful Goldens! I actually found you through a combo of Facebook (DWB Group) and common friends....so glad I did!

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  8. We really enjoyed reading all your answers. We didn't realise that we started blogging almost exactly at the same time!

    Woofs,
    Tommy

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  9. We love the quirkiness of posts and seeing what dogs are up to. We love seeing other parts of the world, wildlife and just dog fun.

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  10. Great answers!! I love reading what everyone has to say. I found for me, having a set theme and a flexible day were helpful in being consistent in posting. When I first started blogging I posted every day and it became too much. Now I do Sundays (You Make Me Smile/Laugh), Thursday (Barks and Bytes) Friday (Follow-Up Friday) and I can post two days out of Mon/Tue/Weds. Saturday's I rarely post.

    I do owe you a very big apology. I slacked off in my blog reading and somehow I missed it when Sam passed. I came back months later and was heartbroken for you. I was a big admirer of Sam's. I wanted to catch up on your posts and I read them all, but didn't comment because I felt like a POS. How could I miss something so life altering and come back months later and offer my sympathies? I told myself I will write her an e-mail and then that didn't happen either. So here I am all these many, many months later letting you know how sad I was to hear of Sam's journey to the bridge. I can only imagine how hard that was for all of you.

    I promise to try and be a better blog reader and friend going forward.

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    1. I understand, Jodi. It actually means a lot to us that folks still remember Sam and are still reaching out to us after he has passed. The fact that he made folks smile and he is remembered just makes us smile.

      Monty and Harlow

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  11. Howdy Mates. Loved your answers, especially No 3. We are aiming to fix mum's lazybone and blog more this year. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

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  12. I agree with you that the dog blogging community, and pet bloggers in general, are an amazing bunch! I've been blogging for over 10 years, but it wasn't until I became a dog blogger 3 years ago that I finally felt like I had found my "tribe".

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  13. I love your goals! It is awesome that you have been doing this so long. Of course we loved your visit with Sugar too....beautiful goldens hold a special place in our hearts! We can't wait to see your growth in 2015!

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  14. We loved reading this and we absolutely adore your blog, Monty and Harlow!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

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  15. Crikey .... I'm finding out all sorts of interesting things from this. I love your posts ....... all of them!!!!!!!

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  16. It is amazing how the blog ends up taking on a life of its own. I too have found by visiting others (although that can be tough with time) increases traffic.

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  17. It's obvious you have lots of fun with pictures. You're a very visual person. And Harlow and Monty are such good models.

    I could see you doing something something unique and interesting with your reviews when you apply your own style to them.

    You might also want to ask Chewy if they'll provide something for a giveaway. That would increase your readership during review posts and make it more interesting for people.

    Glad to see you posting for the challenge. We'll be watching you for 2015. :)

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea, Pamela! I hadn't thought of that. Thank you!

      Monty and Harlow

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  18. Harlow you are so photogenic. You could be the next top model dog!

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  19. Nice to meet you. I checked our Harlow's hiking post. My little pups love to hike so we enjoy seeing pictures of other doggies out there enjoying it to.

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  20. I think that you've done a fabulous job of letting us all get to know the "true" Harlow this year. Your photos of her are fabulous and almost always make me laugh!

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  21. The pet blogging community is simply amazing. When Leroy over at My Brown newfies was so sick, the outpouring and support was stunning!

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  22. Perfect timing on this post for a newer reader like me, now I can get all caught up.

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    1. Welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting our blog!

      Monty and Harlow

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  23. You guys started about the same time we started Pips blog, which was may or June 2009. Of course, I remember Sam, too!

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  24. Hello there! I am so glad that you stopped by the Bayou so we could meet you. A wonderful Golden Retriever named Tucker lived with us for 13 years. He left us in 2012. They are fabulous dogs and one of Bentley's favorite kind of best friends. ☺

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  25. Thanks so much for joining the Challenge! I had to run over and read about Harlow's hiking experience. That was priceless! It seems your Harlow and my Ty have very similar opinions on hiking. =)
    Nice job publishing 130 posts and meeting your goal! I noticed Jodi Stone's comment about setting up themes. I did that a while back with my Friday Photo Challenge and it's worked out really well. I'm on week 167, and still going strong! Wishing you, Monty and Harlow all the best in 2015.

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  26. One of my goals this year is to be consistent with my blogging. 130 blog posts is great accomplishment. Congrats!

    Having fun is definitely one of the keys to blogging. As long as I'm having fun with the puppies I think I can have fun with my blogging.

    Have a great 2015!

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