Happy 2018! Once again, I am participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by GoPetFriendly.com. As always, the challenge is a great way to learn from and support fellow pet bloggers.
2018 Pet Blogger Challenge
1. 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 on and off since 2011. I originally started the blog with my dog Pip as a way to raise money for his rescue shelter. When he passed away in 2013, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue without him. I returned to blogging in 2015 with our new dog Ruby, but kept the original name in Pip’s honor.
The Daily Pip is an eclectic mix of inspiring rescue and adoption stories, personal reflections on my life with animals and midlife comeback, and a whole bunch of random furry cuteness.
First and foremost, I blog about rescue animals, my own as well as others I find inspiring. I am a huge advocate for animals with special needs and those viewed as less adoptable: seniors, those with chronic medical conditions, behavioral or temperament issues, as well as misunderstood pets like pit bulls and black cats.
Bottom line: I want more people to adopt and I want to broaden the definition of what makes animals adoptable.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2017?
Without a doubt being nominated and winning a Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writer’s Association of America for my post Does Your Rescue Dog Have Issues (Or Do You)? I was also a finalist for two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose awards for Best Cause Blog and Best Dog Blog.
Another big moment in 2017 was leaving my day job. I don’t make tons of money directly from my blog, but blogging has led to other writing opportunities and I now work from home.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
My two favorites are The Specials: Adopting a Deaf Feral Cat and When Your Dog Is Socially Awkward (And So Are You). Both are personal posts about my life with animals (one serious and one funny) and best represent my range as a writer and overall mission of the blog.
4. In terms of your blog, how do you measure success?
I measure success by making a difference for rescue animals. This year I raised over $3,000 for shelters and rescues as well as individual animals in need. I also received several lovely emails from readers who were inspired to adopt special needs animals after reading my blog. Two of my favorites were a family who adopted a deaf injured dog and a long time reader who (after following Pip in our early blog years) has rescued multiple hospice, senior, abused, and special needs Yorkshire terriers. This is what it’s all about for me.
5. In what ways has your blog changed during 2017?
My blog has become more personal this year. Although I still focus on rescue and adoption, I am now sharing more about my own life with animals.
6. What was your biggest blogging challenge in 2017, and what did you learn that could help other bloggers?
I went through a rough patch from May-July where I wasn’t feeling inspired and didn’t post very often. But I re-focused in August and since then have written some posts I am really proud of and are among my best posts to date.
My biggest piece of advice for overcoming writer’s block is not to fight it – trust that your inspiration will return when the time is right. Sometimes we just need a break, but everything eventually comes full circle.
7. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging?
1. I am stubborn as hell and don’t give up easily. 2. My twelve-year-old daughter is really proud of my blog and I don’t want to let her down. 3. Supportive comments and emails from readers who find my blog inspiring and have adopted special needs animals. 4. My blogging accountability group that keeps me focused and on task.
8. Looking forward to 2018, what do you hope to accomplish on your blog this year?
I want to take my storytelling to the next level and also find ways to use my blog to raise more funds for shelters and rescues. Additionally, I am also going to be bringing back my Specials series, but focusing exclusively on senior adoption.
9. In addition to what you would like to accomplish, is there one skill you would like to improve or master this year?
In an ideal world, get more comfortable with live video (I am hopelessly socially awkward so this probably won’t happen). In the real world, build my email list and improve my game on Instagram, posting more consistently and intentionally.
10. Is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
This year I am focusing on building my writing portfolio and looking for opportunities to write for other sites and/or publications. I would love tips on pitching story ideas and/or suggestions on potential sites/publications.
Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts!