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Pet Blogger Challenge 2019

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Pet Blogger Challenge 2019

Happy 2019! Once again, I am participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly. As always, the Pet Blogger Challenge is a great way to learn from and support fellow pet bloggers.

2019 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. I took a few years off after he passed away in 2013 and returned in late 2015 with my new dog Ruby.

The big news this year is that I rebranded and changed my blog name from The Daily Pip to My Rescued Life. The new site is all about second chances, rooting for the underdog, and choosing compassion and rescue as a lifestyle.

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

2018 was a difficult year for me personally but professionally and blog-wise it was pretty great. I am proud of many things this year, a few highlights include:

  • I won a BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Award for Best Written Blog Post 
  • I won a Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writers Association of America for Humor. I am also nominated for two more DWAA awards this year.
  • I had my first feature story published in Best Friends Magazine.
  • I am joining the leadership team of the Dog Writers Association of America as Secretary in February.

3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?

My rebranding was a huge challenge on many different levels, way more work than I anticipated but also pretty emotional. The Daily Pip felt like my last connection with my dog Pip and I had a really difficult time letting it go. But in April 2018, the new name just kind of popped into my mind and immediately felt right.

4. Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)

This is a tough because I have a whole bunch of favorites this year. Top three include:

My Rescued Life, All Things Kind, Fierce, and Furry. This was the very first post on my rebranded site! I’m proud of the writing and believe it captures my past, present and future hopes.

3 Perks of Living With A Socially Awkward Dog. This post is part of a four part series about being socially awkward. I am now expanding the series into a book of funny tales for socially awkward people and their equally socially awkward pups.

On Being More Tree-like. I published this post on January 1, 2018 and the metaphor literally carried me through a year of losing my dad, my rabbit, and several other loved ones.

5. Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

My post about LaCroix, a rescued cattle dog puppy with Spina bifida was hugely popular. Sadly, sweet LaCroix didn’t make it, but his story is inspiring and hopeful and continues to touch lots of hearts.

7. As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?

I started using Pinterest more regularly and intentionally in late 2018. I have had an account for years, but never used it much. Foolishly, I always assumed my content wouldn’t do well on Pinterest because I don’t post DIY projects or recipes.

But after I attended a blogging conference in August, I started to rethink things. The main reason people are on Pinterest is to be inspired – and light bulb moment, my content is all about inspiring people! So, I spent November and December creating new pins for all my rescue posts and socially awkward posts. I also joined Tailwind, deleted a bunch of old pins, and reorganized my boards to reflect my new mission (choosing compassion and rescue as a lifestyle). I’m now getting lots of traffic from Pinterest, which makes up for the traffic I lost when StumbleUpon went away.

9th Annual Peg Blogger Challenge

8. Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?

As I mentioned above, I am expanding my socially awkward series into a book. I’m going to use my blog to try out some of the new content to see how it goes over and adjust accordingly. It’s pretty funny stuff and I think will be popular with fellow introverts and/or socially awkward folks who maybe sometimes hide behind their pets (and that would be me).

9. What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?

I have about half the book drafted and a quarter edited. I am signed up for a six-week accountability, writing workshop later this spring so hopefully that will help keep me on track. I am also taking on extra contract writing January through May so I can afford to take a month off this summer to finish up the book.

10. Where I could use some help …

I need to build up my email list. Any tips for getting people to sign up? Also, Instagram – I am halfway thinking of starting a second Instagram account just focusing on funny socially awkward posts to build up an audience for the book, but also that sounds like way too much work. Thoughts?

41 Comments

  1. January 21, 2019 / 3:03 pm

    I’ve enjoyed this challenge today. Many have participated and it’s good to see how you started and travel to the present. I hope you achieve your goals this year.

    Have a fabulous day and week. Scritches to Ruby. ♥

  2. January 21, 2019 / 3:11 pm

    I am soooo looking forward to reading your book!!!

  3. January 21, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    As a fellow socially awkward person I can’t wait to see your book, what fun! Congrats on all your awards and achievements this year.

  4. January 21, 2019 / 3:52 pm

    Congratulations on all the achievements! That’s awesome! I did get to read your Best Friends article and it was excellent. As far as Instagram goes I think I may be dropping out of that race. Building my email list is near the top of my priorities. Right now I’m trying to create free printable and a password protected resource library to try and attract new subscribers. All the best to you in 2019!

  5. January 21, 2019 / 4:43 pm

    I am excited to serve alongside you in DWAA. Writing books is awesome and a focus for me, too. See you very soon!

  6. January 21, 2019 / 4:54 pm

    We just love your blog! You always write such heartfelt posts♥

  7. meowmeowmans
    January 21, 2019 / 4:55 pm

    So much happened for you and your wonderful blog in 2018. We always enjoy visiting you and Ruby. You always present your topics so honestly and with such thoughtfulness, and we are really looking forward to your book. 🙂

  8. January 21, 2019 / 6:04 pm

    We enjoyed reading your answers and we always look forward to your blog posts, they are always first class and from the heart.

  9. January 21, 2019 / 7:25 pm

    Wow!! Your new design is fantastic and I love your new mission. Congratulations on a hugely successful 2018.

    My advice on building up your email list is to make special offers to your subscribers. I imagine brands reach out to you all the time to review their products. What I do is let the brands know that I don’t do reviews in exchange for products, and I don’t offer sponsored posts on the blog. But they can get in front of my audience by providing their product as a giveaway for a certain number of my newsletter subscribers. It makes the brands happy, and keeps my newsletter readers opening the emails because they know only the first ones to reply will receive the giveaway. Everyone’s happy!

    For me, Instagram is sticky. Meaning it’s hard to get people to leave the Instagram platform to go to a website. With that in mind, I think I’d stick with one account. Most people can relate to being socially awkward, or having a pet who is socially awkward. I don’t think I’d make them follow two accounts to get all of your great posts.

    I hope that helps and that you have a great 2019. Thanks for joining the Challenge!

  10. January 21, 2019 / 8:25 pm

    When we come to visit your blog, we always leave knowing that the world is a better place because of people like you.

  11. 15andmeowing
    January 21, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    Great to learn more about you. I always enjoy your posts.

  12. January 22, 2019 / 2:47 am

    that is a super plan to write a bokk about this topic… I think many people will feel like you and they will see their own me in your book ;O)

  13. January 22, 2019 / 6:00 am

    So happy for you and how many goals you reached with your writing in 2018. With rescue being your thing, you have found your specific area to write about. Hope your book does well. Writing is the easy part, marketing is the hard part.

  14. January 22, 2019 / 8:21 am

    Your book sounds interesting. We can’t wait to read a few sample stories.

  15. January 22, 2019 / 9:49 am

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Kristin you know I’m a huge fan of yours and Angel Pip was Angel Madi’s first beau and he took her to her first dance. My mind’s eye sees them dancing the night away OTRB.
    Hugs Cecilia

  16. January 22, 2019 / 11:18 am

    I’m inspired by how you rebranded the blog. I know how much work it is and I’m lagging far behind your example.

    I think the book will be crazy popular. It’s such a great idea. Offering small things, like snippets from your book or an “are you socially awkward” quiz might be a good way to get people to sign up for email.

    Looks like 2019 is going to be an amazing year for you.

  17. January 22, 2019 / 11:19 am

    What a terrific job on this challenge. Looking forward to seeing all the new accomplishments. Keep up the good work and best wishes as you move toward completion of your book.

  18. January 22, 2019 / 11:35 am

    Life is so crazy with its ups and downs. What a year you had last year with so much success, yet so much loss and sadness. The fact that you kept your chin up and kept pushing forward is so admirable! I can’t wait for your book – Luke and I are definitely kindred spirits in that department!
    I sometimes think of setting up a separate Instagram account for the farm, but I feel like it would just take material away from blog account. Plus I agree with someone’s comment above….Instagram is a difficult place for promotion I think. But social media certainly isn’t my fortè, so what do I know? LOL
    Good luck to you with everything, it looks like you have an exciting year ahead!

  19. January 22, 2019 / 1:57 pm

    You did a terrific job with your blog in 2018, and your goals for 2019 are so exciting ! We enjoyed reading your answers ! Purrs

  20. January 22, 2019 / 2:56 pm

    guyz….we dinna noe mom had an article in best friends !!! how….total….lee……kewl….iz….that !!! 🙂 ♥♥

    best best fishes in 2019….♥♥♥

  21. January 22, 2019 / 5:23 pm

    First off, I love the new blog name – it’s just perfect! But I could see why letting go of the other name was hard. And that is so cool about your book! I can’t wait to read it once it’s done. I hear you about Pinterest! It’s a big traffic driver for me and all I do is post photos of my cats. People love pets, so it’s easy to see why Pinterest would be good for us pet bloggers. Can’t wait to see where 2019 takes you!

  22. January 22, 2019 / 5:52 pm

    You are an amazing writer and have accomplished so much already! I have a feeling a lot more exciting things are in store for you 🙂

  23. January 22, 2019 / 9:30 pm

    Friend you know how I feel about you, your blog, mission, writing, accomplishments and more.You are spectacularly talented! I cannot wait to read your books! 💙🐶🐱🐰

  24. January 23, 2019 / 12:01 am

    I don’t have an e-mail list either. I think most people add their names to lists 1) in exchange for some freebie and 2) to enter a contest. Those might be two things you can try.

  25. January 23, 2019 / 7:18 am

    I’m so glad I had a chance to read your socially awkward post through this! It’s nice to know there are other socially awkward people with socially awkward dogs out there–there are definitely some days when Rye is having a complete meltdown and I’m like “well, at least this means nobody’s going to try to talk to us!” Usually, I try to help her through the meltdown, but there are a few neighbors that I never want to talk to and I just kind of shrug while she barks and we keep moving on 😉 I’ll definitely be checking out your book when it’s finished (and I’m totally supportive of the separate Instagram account)!

  26. January 23, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Congratulations of all of your accomplishments in 2018! I’m looking forward to reading all your posts throughout 2019 – we love your blog!

  27. January 23, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    I love your writing, and your post On Being More Tree-Like stirred me.

    I’m going to try and build my email list through freebies, contests, and maybe a small shop – who knows. For now, my reach has to be organic and that means a slow roll.

  28. January 23, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    2018 was tough on all of us. I’m really grateful to still have you. You’ve been following my blog for so many years, been so kind and wonderful and lovely in every way. Your Pip books are treasured possessions! You’re a real force for good in the world. Hopefully 2019 will be kinder to you. (And Ruby looks adorable in her little jumper, oh my gosh.)

  29. January 23, 2019 / 8:21 pm

    I adore you and look at you with a book idea!!!!!! YAY you! Sorry about so much pain in 2018 – but hopefully 2019 will bring you so much more As far as Instagram I would not do a second account — it is still the “rescued life” brand – just the lighter side so I would leave it all under that. And do you REALLY want to manage another account? I do not want to even manage the one I have! 🙂 I hope 2019 is AMAZING for you!!!!! Hopefully we can put our rescue heads together too and do something great.

  30. January 24, 2019 / 12:15 pm

    So many successes in 2018 and congratulations on DWA. I’m in Instagram a lot I have more accounts than I care to admit. It all helps as traffic generators but I will say the shelf life and pay off is best with SEARCH, PINTEREST, FB & INSTA is a tie. So I had an aha moment to refocus my efforts in that order for 2019.

  31. January 24, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    Concats on your spectacular year and 2019 looks to be just as great. TW is certainly socially awkward and she says I am too. The nerve of her. I hope your book does well. You are certainly more social media savvy than we’ll ever be. PS: I miss Pip too.

  32. January 25, 2019 / 2:40 pm

    Congrats on an amazing 2018! I have a socially awkward dog and look forward to reading your book!

  33. January 25, 2019 / 9:39 pm

    You need to read Pat Flynn, he is a friendly approachable entrepreneur who has free and paid courses that encourage everyone from the beginner to get it right! I aim to use his mailing list beginners start course this year!

    You have had an amazing year and you rebranded the blog brilliantly. I just metamorphosed and dug in my fingernails to keep Dash Kitten.

  34. M. K. Clinton
    January 26, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    You know I love you and your blog! Have a wonderful 2019!

  35. January 26, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    You know I love your blog,and I’m one of yours and Ruby’s biggest fans. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for you.

  36. January 26, 2019 / 9:23 pm

    Congrats on all the awards! You’ve certainly established yourself as a pet blogger.

    I love that you started your blog to raise money for your dog’s rescue shelter! My volunteer work started as a tribute to my cat after I lost her to kidney failure.

    I’m a socially awkward introvert too. Your planned book sounds like an inspiring one!

    I don’t really have any advice as I’m still fairly new to Instagram and Pinterest. This year one of my plans for Instagram is to post content about my therapy cat that I hope to reuse for a book. So, I do like where your thoughts about Instagram posts, but I probably don’t know anything.

    I’m sorry for all the losses you’ve had this past year. You’re doing a lot of good for the world with your writing!

  37. Chelle
    January 27, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve seen your site since the rebrand…but I remember visiting when you were still using the old name. I especially love your rabbit posts! I used to keep house rabbits too and really miss them, but after my 11+ year old rescue passed I decided I could do with a break from having hay in the house (I’m allergic to it). Now I have to live vicariously through other rabbit owners, haha. I currently manage 4 separate Instagram accounts and haven’t found keeping up to be too much of a problem. It helps that all but 1 are pet/animal related and I’ve always taken a lot of pictures of my animals even before Instagram. I’ve personally always found Instagram to be the easiest of the social media channels to keep up on. Good luck in 2019!!
    http://www.pawprintpetblog.com

  38. January 27, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    So sorry you had a tough year, especially your Dad. Love your rebrand and your writing. You are so talented. I think your book will be wonderful and I really hope we can meet up again this year! I have 3 accounts and I find Instagram so much work, keeping it fresh and entertaining, and all the commenting and liking and interacting. best Susie

  39. January 28, 2019 / 5:17 pm

    Congrats on a successful 2018!

    I have a fairly solid email list and I would recommend you use SumoMe to have some sort of pop-up or scroll bar for getting new email signups (doesn’t have to be a full-page, obnoxious pop-up). You can also do things like give the option to download a post as a free pdf they can read later if they signup for your list. I’ll have to sign up for your emails now, but I would also recommend a solid welcome email that encourages a reply back. That way, once people have responded to you, you’ll be in their “contacts” and less likely to go to spam or promotions. I just ask a simple question like, ‘what can I help you with?’ or ‘what led you here?’ or what kind of dog do you have? Something easy for people to respond to.

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