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Pet Bloggers Journey 2023

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The years keep rolling by. Can you believe this is year 17 for this blog?!

In 2007 the first blog post went live on Puppy In Training!

In 2007 the first iPhone was released.

Coincidence? Maybe…

The popularity of both has grown beyond my expectations (the iPhone might be slightly more popular than Puppy In Training).

Seriously a lot has changed in the world since 2007.

This is our chance to take a look at the past year and look forward to the new year.

Here’s a look at last years Pet Bloggers Journey 2022

We’d love to hear about your goals for the coming year.

Do the following on your blog:

  1. Copy the questions below to a blog post and answer each question.
  2. Leave a message in the comment section with a link to your Pet Bloggers Journey blog post.
  3. Visit your fellow pet blogger’s PBJ post and read, comment, encourage your fellow participants.

PBJ 2023 Questions

  1. When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?
  2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2022, that made you most proud.
  3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2022? How did you tackle it?
  4. Tell us one thing you learned in 2022 that can help us all become better bloggers.
  5. What are your top three blogging goals for 2023?
  6. In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog one year from now?
  7. If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?
  8. What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2023?
  9. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Let’s get it on!

Pet Bloggers Journey 2023

For those of you who participated in last year’s Pet Blogging Journey make sure you read through last year’s post before answering this year’s questions.

1. When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?

I launched my blog on August 1st, 2007. I still write about my experiences raising and training service dog puppies.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2022, that made you most proud.

Working with brands.

The last time I worked with brands was way back in 2018, before my twins, Maddie and Kayla were born. Instead I pushed hard to build my blog traffic, work on affiliate marketing, and optimize for ad revenue.

While it wasn’t part of my 2022 plan I slowly built a handful of strategic relationships with several brands I love.

I’m super happy with my progress in this area and it has helped diversify my income streams which was one of my 3 goals in 2021 (it’s actually a goal every year).

3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2022?

I don’t know if this is the biggest blogging challenge I faced but it definitely affected me long term.

Shortly, after writing my 2022 PBJ post I came across an opportunity to acquire another blog that I was super excited about.

I negotiated with the owner and we agreed upon a price. A couple days later he told me he decided not to sell. I was courteous and said okay and to please let me know if he ever changed his mind.

A couple months later he re-listed the blog for sale (without telling me). I inquired and again we agreed upon a price.

I formally sent an offer.

The next day I got an email saying he accepted another offer at the exact same price I offered.

I was upset, frustrated, sad…

I have a tough time letting go and felt these frustrations for several months.

How did you tackle it?

If you read the above then you know I didn’t handle this well. Instead of thinking about how poorly I handled this rejection maybe I should think about how I could have better handled it.

What if instead of stewing over this missed opportunity I turned it into a positive? The price of this blog was significant.

What if I took the money I would have invested in the purchase of a blog and invested it in this blog?

I could think of several key areas I could have invested time and money including:

  • Hire Writers
  • Update Old Content
  • Build Email List
  • Create And Sell A Product

If I have any setbacks this year I will not linger on it and turn negatives into positives.

4. Tell us one thing you learned in 2022 that can help us all become better bloggers.

Do one thing and do it well. Don’t spread yourself thin.

Back in 2011 I went to Blog World Expo and attended Pat Flynn’s session on “Be Everywhere

As I remember it he talked about trying to have as many touch points as possible for your customers to find you. It made total sense. The more places you could be the better chance you’ll have of getting noticed.

Back then it was:

  1. Write to your blog
  2. Post to Twitter
  3. Post to Facebook
  4. Post to Google Plus – This was being pushed heavily by several heavy hitters.
  5. Upload YouTube videos
  6. Start a Podcast

Probably a few other things like be active on Digg and StumbleUpon. Increase your Technorati rank. Increase your Alexa rank. How many of your remember Alexa before it became the voice you talk to on your Amazon Echo?

If I recall correctly, a Technorati executive was one of the keynotes at Blog World Expo. How many of you remember Technorati?

Anyhow, I drank the Kool-Aid. I did all of the above except start a Podcast which might be one I should have done.

Have you ever heard the term: “Jack of all trades master of none.” That’s what I was and mediocrity does not make for greatness or even above averageness.

In 2014, I decided to concentrate on my blog first then everything else was secondary. Or something more like this:

  1. Blog
  2. Blog
  3. Blog
  4. Blog
  5. Blog
  6. Blog
  7. Blog
  8. …..
  9. …..
  10. …..
  11. Social Media and other stuff

The good news? My blog traffic is 14x what it was in 2014.

The bad news? For the most part I let go of the social media channels, email list, and other stuff I worked so hard on in the early days.

As a one man/woman show you only have so much time in your day.

Spend that time wisely.

5. What are your top three blogging goals for 2023?

I have a difficult time with the (A)ttainable part of my SMART goals. I want to strive high but I also want to accomplish my goals. Hopefully, I’ll look back in 2024 and check these three off my list.

GOAL #1: Increase to 120 – 150 Patreon Members (I couldn’t decide on an exact number)

I recently took over my friend Lindsay’s Patreon group.

It’s neat little group where for $7 a month you receive a brand new product roughly EVERY 4-6 WEEKS in exchange for your honest feedback.

Products include high-quality collars, leashes, chews and more.

If you’d like to join the Patreon group click here. I’m still working out a few kinks on my end but we are sending rebates for several great products this week including Yak Cheese Topper, Yak Cracker Treats, and Elk Antlers.

We are currently at 88 members and I’d love to bump that up to 120 – 150 members by the end of the year.

Let’s do it!

GOAL #2: 5,000 Email referral Sessions A Month

The goal is on January 1st, 2024 to look in my Google Analytics dashboard and see that my email referred at least 5K sessions from Dec 1 – Dec 31, 2023.

This one is going to be a toughie. I fell short of 5K referrals for the entire year!

I’m not expecting to average 5K sessions a month. My goal is to have an email system setup that regularly sends out emails.

There’s a lot to do here but I think 5K sessions by Dec 31, 2023 is possible.

We can do it!

GOAL #3: Publish 365 New Blog Posts

That’s one blog post a day for the year! I once or twice participated in 30 day challenges where I’d post 30 days in a row. This will be my first 365 day challenge.

I have the benefit of a writing team (working on it) and a lot of partially completed blog posts.

Today is January 1st, 2023. Happy New Year!

Day 1 of the 365 Day Challenge is complete.

Only 364 days to go!

I can do it!

6. In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog one year from now?

Outside of the goals I already listed.

I’d like to setup a sales funnel. I’m planning my blog content around first time puppy owners and I’d like to have a paid product that helps new puppy owners.

This has been a goal of mine for years. If I can successfully accomplish this by the end of 2023 it’ll be pawty time!

Success to me would be a product funnel producing $1,000+ a month in net income.

7. If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?

I’m going to invest in an SEO Tool this year.

Ahrefs or SEMRush?

Which do you prefer.

8. What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2023?

ORGANIZATION & PLAN are my words for the year.

Not just in business but the rest of my life. It trickles down from personal to business.

Do you have any good books, tools, blogs, people you’d recommend to help me organize and plan my business and personal life?

9. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Are you going to any in person meetups and conferences?

I’d like to meet you and talk dogs, pets, and blogs.

Blogging is a lonely journey. I’d love to meetup with people in the blogosphere.

If you live in or plan to travel to Los Angeles/Orange County California. Hit me up and let’s grab a cup of coffee.

Oh, and my one challenge/question, how do you handle the isolation of being a blogger?


That’s it!

If you’re a blogger I’d love to see your answers to these same questions.

Please copy the questions to your blog then share your link in the comment section below so I can read about your blogging journey

Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year!

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    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats – We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
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Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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