Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

Hola kitties and any woofies that might be joining us today! For the past eight years, the pet blogging community has joined together virtually for the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly. This is their 9th year and the first year for this little ghetto kitteh so I hope I ace it. This challenge is an opportunity to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments and share victories. I admit, I'm not in this for the money or glory. OK, I like the glory part and wish for the money part but that ship has sailed. I've never done this before since I'm not a "serious" blogger. I don't really care about numbers. I care about entertaining those few readers I have and putting a smile on their faces.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

Let the fun begin!

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 starting blogging in September 2009 so this will be my 10-year blogoversary. My main topic is a feisty little half-feral cat named Cathy Keisha and why not? Who else gonna write about Me? I also do product reviews and occasionally an evergreen post about human/cat bonding.

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?
My blogging hiatus and the fact that I didn't give up when the chips were down. I'm still blogging even though the numbers are truly disappointing. I was really going to quit and it will be a proud moment if I'm still blogging at this time next year.

I take pride in my product reviews and try to tell a story in each one. In the one pictured below, I took a trip through America for a cat food called American Journey. For one on Meow Like a Pirate Day, I wrote the entire post in pirate speak. If you hire me, you can be sure your product review will be read in it's entirety.

There are a couple of post images that I'm really proud of too. One of these images (below) is in my most popular post. I've used those images to illustrate this challenge.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?
I think my biggest challenge, other than trying to get people to read my blog, is trying to debunk myths and correct people's perception about my chosen blogging platform. It's free (except domain hosting), it's easy, it doesn't get hacked and, yes, I own my own content. It's also part of Google so why would they give preference over another platform when they rate sites? To tackle this, I joined a few Blogger forums to learn about how Blogger can do more than people think and that there are bloggers on my platform who make a lot of money. In turn I've tried to educate others. I need to learn more about coding which I'm terrified of but did learn how to embed Pinterest images into certain posts like this one. Brands don't care what platform you're on as long as the content is good.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)
My favorite would have to be G-d Save the Cat (I Mean it Man) about my wellness vet visit. I tend to like my funny posts the best cos I love to make people laugh. Dr. D. and the staff at Foster's Animal Clinic liked it too.

A yearly favorite of mine is the 9/11 post. Pop survived the attack on the World Trade Center. Last year's post was Never Forgotten Always Remembered 9.11.01. It's an important post although it's not about cats.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?
Smiling Paws Pets Presents the Amazing Keisha Working Her Magic! was the most popular. Why? I had a giveaway of a popular product. Posts with giveaways always outperform the other posts.

Friends Never Say Goodbye was the second most popular according to Google Analytics. This was supposed to be my swan song in which I discussed why we wanted to quit blogging. I guess everyone wanted to say goodbye.

Number three was another giveaway. How to Bond With Your Cat Using the FURminator.
Other popular posts were my Gotcha Day post and my Amazing Facts' series always does well.

Did you implemented a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?
Yes. I'm doing the Music Monday blog hop cos we're a family who loves music as much as we love cats. I do it my own voice. It's fun to do and has attracted some new readers and, hopefully, hasn't alienated too many long-time readers.

I also started a series based on those Facebook memes only using questions that appeal to cats. Several blogs linked back to me and posted their own answers on their blogs.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge
I love this image cos I got to pose with some furrends AND TW taught herself
to type on a path in Photoshop

As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?
I'm not into marketing. I don't pretend to be into marketing. I promote Stunning Keisha on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. I throw it against the wall and hope that it sticks. I've upped my game as far as my FB page and now not only are my blog shares reaching more people but FB is becoming a leading source of blog traffic. I also join a lot of blog hops though I'm not sure that blog hops is still relevant 2019 as I see less blogs linking to them.

Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?
Keeping it real and having my readers know they'll be smiling after they finish reading my posts. I would like to increase readership but it seems that most cat blogs are going through a down period with readership. I gave up on trying to monetize although if any opportunity presented itself, I wouldn't turn it down. Again, I'm not sure at this point whether I'll be blogging in 2020.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge
What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?
Instead of forcing a post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I'm only posting when I have something to say. Every year I say this is the year we join Instagram but it hasn't happened. TW is older than dirt and can hardly keep up with the accounts we have. If we stop blogging, that's prolly the place to post.

Now it’s your turn! How can we help? Is there an area where you could use some advice, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in comments!
Are blogs still relevant? Pop says his company had four blogs and stopped all of them to concentrate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I know many blog creators are saying their traffic is down and I'm wondering if perhaps I should concentrate more on SM content. Should I continue blogging and, if not, which social media platform should I spend the most time with?

How did I do? Thanks for reading. Hopefully, many of you will return to read more posts.

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge


31 comments:

Lone Star Cats said...

We like da Amazing Facts posts and da mewsic posts are always fun - I might start doing those too since momma luvs music.

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

I totally think you aced the Pet Blogger Challenge, CK! Your answers were really well thought out

Brian said...

Those were really good CK and we hope you are blogging for a long time, we always look forward to anything you have to meow about!

Eastside Cats said...

Keeping it real! Love that; you have to use your own voice. That's what us readers want to read!

Caren Gittleman said...

Kudos CK for participating in the challenge, which as you know, I kept saying I would and NEVER DID. I have always loved how you "keep it real", and like you, I pretty much don't give a rat's ass about numbers (I stopped worrying about numbers years ago). Also like you, I now only post when the mood hits (and lately because I have been sick since Monday afternoon), this week has been re-runs!! (Hey there is always someone who missed it! lol) I think part of the reason readership is down is there is a GLUT of cat blogs, (when we started there were probably under 50, imagine that?) now there are thousands......and....I agree I have read that blogs aren't as relevant as they once were......I think everything has gone the way of Instagram (which I do belong to but haven't been there in about a month)..........just keep on keeping it real, you and I need to get through and celebrate our 10th blogging year together...........this time next year? Who the hell knows lol

Amy said...

Thanks so much for joining the Challenge, and I'm glad to see you're still blogging. For a lot of people, blogs are a way to connect with friends and share their stories. It's a hobby that brings them pleasure. I say if it's fun, do it! And who cares if it's relevant or not.

Most companies are investing in social, because building and maintaining quality blog content is expensive. But companies are concerned with the bottom line - so their priorities are different. I use social as another way to connect with people who love traveling with their pets. It's a great way to touch base, but to really get to know us, it's still best to visit our blog.

I hope that 2019 brings you joy and happiness - whatever you decide to do!

Sandee said...

What a wonderful way to get to know you better. Love it.

Have a purrfect day. My best to your mom. ♥

da tabbies o trout towne said...

ck...plane trooth; all thoz other platformz will run "their courze" two.....give it time. we haz been round sinz de my space dayz N haz seen sitez go by de way side

if ya blog what EWE want, WHEN ewe want & HOW ewe want; thatz all that matterz; numberz can bee falze....like we saw sum "numberz" ona post we rited N new they waz boguz....

stay stunning, stay funnee, keep it reel, thanx for sharin...thatz why we stop bye N all wayz will.... un less de FSG canna get two a pea sea ~~~~~~~~~ ♥♥♥

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I always enjoy your posts because they are fun, but also have a mix of informative ones as well.
I read your Pop's post every year, and I wish it could be seen by more people because a very powerful post like that really does need to be read.

Catscue Cats said...

Good answers - I like your blog, it'd be sad to have it go away. Social Media is fun, but it doesn't have the depth of a blog.

World of Animals, Inc said...

We always love coming to read your posts and we hope to have many more years ahead of pawsome blog posts. We loved your answers and got to know so much more about you. Thanks for the share. We hope 2019 is another great year for you.
World of Animals

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

You should be very proud of your blog, CK! Your product reviews and graphics are in a league all their own. And I have you to thank for introducing us to the Mewsic Moves Me hop! Paws crossed the "quitting blogging" thing is behind you once and for all. We would miss you too much!

edie said...

I love your Amazing Facts posts, those are always fun. Your Pop's 9/11 post is a must read for me every year. I enjoy reading your blog.

meowmeowmans said...

We think you did great, CK. We love that your answers are so well-articulated. You obviously put lots of thought into them. We personally love your blog, and are glad you're still here!

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

You have a wonderful blog, CK (and how could you not, being as STUNNING as you are!) The was a really good post, very thought-provoking, though I fear my Human is far too lazy to do it herself. But it made her think about things! XOXOXO

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

You aced it. Our numbers aren't that great, either. We think the pet niche is just hard to get bloggers in other niches to visit regularly

Ruby's Rescued Life said...

You did great and I'm glad you didn't quit! I like your philosophy of throwing it out there and seeing if it sticks. I definitely do this, too. My traffic goes up and down. It's been up the last few months, mostly from Pinterest. I am kind of over Facebook. No reason in particular just bored with it. But good for you for making it work!

Happy 2019!

H said...

You're writing from the heart and it shows. It's a pleasure to meet you through the Pet Blogger Challenge. Here's to a great 2019.

Ruth said...

Hi! I joined Instagram in 2018, just because everyone was telling me I'd really like it, and although I still don't quite know how it all works, it's a great platform. There are so many amazing photographers! And people like me who are crazy about sheep! I feel quite at home there, however my blog will always be my number one. I've been at it almost as long as you have, and yes, everything has changed in those years but I refuse to give up. I love my little blog. It's mine. No one can take it from me! Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best! <3

M Dawson said...

Cool answers for the Challenge. I bet my stats are lower than yours any day bo problem on that front!

I love your pictures best, they are inventive and so much fun when I visit!

Have a great 2019 and one day I WILL get back to New York for a visit!

Holly said...

You aced it SK. I love your posts, there's so much personality in them and your graphics are the bomb. Seriously. You keep on keeping on - always be biting!

Three Chatty Cats said...

I like reading all of the responses to the pet blogger challenge. Perhaps I'll do it next year. I think your readers would definitely be sad if you stopped blogging. I also really enjoy your graphics! As for your question, I don't know if blogs are still relevant. I do it for fun (as most cat bloggers), so I'll keep doing it until it's no longer fun! But I am also having fun interacting more on social media too.

Pamela said...

I guess the answer to whether you should blog depends on whether you have things to say that only work with a longer form.

Congratulations on 10 years.

M. K. Clinton said...

Thank you so much for your help with my Blogger questions! I sometimes think about slowing down to three days per week now that I'm babysitting my grandbabies a few times each week. A two-year-old and a five-month-old don't leave a lot of spare time. LOL! I hope you have a wonderful 2019.

The Swiss Cats said...

Great answers, CK ! And we're so glad you didn't quit blogging ! Purrs

Peaches and Paprika said...

I'm so glad you took the challenge so I could read all your answers and get to know you and your work better which I've always admired. I really do enjoy your cleverness & all the different things you do. ! And your "In the Kitchen" post is to die! I really did a double take when I saw Mudpie & Brulee/Truffles (?) in it!!!! I And that pirate Influencer post is just wonderful. I also like the ideas you dream up whether they stick or not, they are fun. I subscribed to your blog just now so I don't miss any more of your fun posts.

Going down to your last question about whether blogging is still relevant. Catscue echoed my sentiments when she (he? they?) said a blog bas more depth. That's it, really. You're limited to one pic or one album with FB/Twitter and on a blog you can really expand an experience. To share a thought, I write VERY differently for FB vs my blog. A blog is much more personal so I think you want to always have it as long as you enjoy it, whether you make money or not. Over and out and thanks again for your great work which I always enjoy reading, whether its often or not! - Carol, Mom of Peaches & Paprika

Marie Symeou said...

We love this post. We can relate to so much of what you said. We also love your blog and would hate to see you give it up.

We find Facebook annoying so we are rarely on there but Instagram and Twitter is our fave place to be seen and we enjoy our time there.

But we love blogging because we have made such amazing friends here who are much more loyal than on social media.

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie

Janet Keefe said...

We have way too much to say to get it all on social media, and I suspect you might be the same. I don't think blogs will go away; there are still people who want more in depth reading than just a photo and a few words.
I think it's great you did this Challenge, and you did a superb job with it! You've had a successful and productive year, especially considering that you were going to give it all up. We're glad you didn't. We appreciate how you stick to your values and beliefs, and write entertaining product reviews.
We don't spend a lot of time on social media, because it's annoying how they seem to pick and choose what we see and don't see. No matter what your platform, you are the boss of your own blog! We've always been with Wordpress but that's simply because that's where we started and it's nice to stick with what you know.
Jan & the crew at Wag 'n Woof Pets

Chelle said...

Although I do now make some money from it, I think of my blog as a hobby and try not to turn it into something stressful. Dog knows people have enough stress in their lives without adding to it! I'm not really a numbers person either, I try to focus on putting out quality content that I enjoy working on. I think taking a break from blogging can be a good thing sometimes, too. For a long time I forced myself to put up 3 posts a week. Due to some health issues early in 2018 I ended up taking a short break from blogging and when I returned I decided to cut back a bit on my blogging frequency. The funny thing is that my numbers actually started to go up! I think it's because I'm putting out better content that I'm motivated to write, rather than just posting because I feel obligated too. Anywaays, I enjoyed reading your responses and wish you all the best for 2019!
www.pawprintpetblog.com

Marv said...

Great post CK and TW! Well said!
I would have participated, IF I knew about it.
We noticed that our numbers are about 1/3 of what they were 3 years ago. (That's why I have not been a vigilant about getting the posts out as I was then.)
Another thing that bugs me is being in Canada, we don't have any influencer opportunities. 10 years ago, when Penelope started, there were a lot of companies interested. We talked about computer products, diffusers, calming treats and cat food. We had about 6 regular sponsors (all from the US).
I hate to say it, when some organizations started to aggregate the companies who wanted blog posts with the blogs that wanted sponsors, opportunities for Canadian Blogs stopped.
I now just blog for fun and I follow the the blogs I enjoy and I check out the new blogs that "stop by". I follow and comment on their posts...I like encouraging the new bloggers.
I used to try to stop at all the blogs on my list everyday, but now I am lucky if I can get by once a week (and I apologize to you guys).
I gotta tell you that I LOVE your blog and I am glad you did not quit for good!
Love Barb

Allison said...

Congrats on your 10-year blogoversary!

Your decision to post as you have something to say is a good approach. In 2010 I started a book review blog. I built it up and enjoyed all the work. Then I started to find my enjoyment of books had waned. I was also more passionate about writing for a local animal welfare group. So I took a year to just post when I wanted. That year gave me time to rejuvenate.

A fellow blogger and I were talking the other day about different social media platforms. We still believe that blogs are relevant. A lot of people like to read online stuff and that's what blogs offer. I use Facebook to connect with others and Instagram to share photos. Love live blogs!