Let’s Do This! The 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge

It’s time once again for the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge!  This blogging challenge is for pet bloggers and is brought to you by our friends over at GoPetFriendly.com!  Each year in January, GoPetFriendly.com poses 10 questions for pet bloggers to answer about their blogs and themselves.  This promotes sharing and helps other pet bloggers get to know those blogs with which they might not be familiar.  We are excited to be participating once again.  We hope to make new blogging friends this year and we feel this challenge is an excellent way to start the year off right.

The following are the questions and our answers to the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge:We also

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.  I have been blogging since 2007 in one form or fashion.  Our current blog, Walks With Rama, was started in 2014 as a way to chronicle the ways in which hiking with a dog changed my life.  We try to promote getting out there and being active with your dog, as a way to keep people and their pets physically and mentally healthy.  We also educate about dog training and care, as well as share our feelings on pet products, foods and other aspects of the pet industry.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?  That would be hiring a personal trainer and making fitness a priority in my life.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)  My favorite blog post of 2015 was this one:  Why I’m Feeling Thoughtful This Thursday.  It marked a pivotal point in my life and my relationship with dogs.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?  I became a brand affiliate, working with recognizable brands to get their products and services in front of a wider audience.  

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)  For some reason, my Top Post plugin isn’t working properly.  I can see my most popular month was July 2015, but I’m having trouble narrowing it down to the post.  If I figure it out I’ll update.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)  I try to visit as many blogs as I can, but one of my favorites is DZDogs.  I love watching their hiking adventures in such a different landscape from my own as well as their devotion to training their dogs.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?  I try to read a lot.  I also keep an eye on blogger forums and sign up for newsletters from industry experts.  Attending pet expos and dog shows is also on my list of skill-honing activities.  I am a big believer in YouTube University.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?  To connect with other bloggers.  Join support groups, online forums and communities specifically for pet bloggers.  Join Blogpaws.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?  My vision for Walks With Rama in 2016 is to be more involved in spreading awareness of various subjects, to get out there and hike in places we’ve never been and encounter new and exciting adventures!  One of my goals for 2016 is to finish the book I’ve been working on for the past few years.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?  I think that I, like most bloggers, want to drive more readers to my blog.  I’m always open to new suggestions in that area.  

If you would like to participate, click on the link below:

 

Join the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 9th, 10th and 11th

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30 Comments

  1. Jean Dion January 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I love the idea of doing a book. If you do get one pulled together, I’d love to hear more about what worked and didn’t work for you.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you, Jean! I will definitely let you know. It’s been quite the project.

  2. Barbara Rivers January 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Chapeau to hiring a personal trainer and to sticking to your fitness goals!

  3. The Daily Pip January 9, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Congrats on becoming a brand affiliate! I agree about joining groups. It’s so important to connect with other like-minded bloggers. I look forward to seeing you in this summer in Arizona!

    P.S.: Always enjoy your hiking posts. If only I could get my husband, daughter, and our dog, Ruby, interested in hiking. LOL!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much! I have struggled with getting the family interested. Sometimes they are super into it, other times not so much. Here in Florida the terrain isn’t as exciting as elsewhere, so they tend to get more excited for trips out of state. I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

  4. Dachshund Nola January 9, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I loved reading your answers! I’m doing my post on Monday. Good luck on your goals!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks! I must go read yours now!

  5. Elaine January 9, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Great answers and I think it’s awesome that you’ve highlighted your training and fitness goals too. I love reading about your hiking adventures because I’m always interested in new places to take Haley and cool hiking products.

    Maybe they’ll have some great new products in Orlando in March. I’ll see you there and hopefully we can meet up during those three days! Here’s to a great 2016!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      I thought it important to mention those goals as the core of my blog is about moving forward and changing your life. We will be adding quite a few cool hikes to the itinerary this year. And yes, we definitely should get together in March!

  6. Dory's Backyard January 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I also love your fitness goals! As a gal who loves hiking (but usually has to leave the pups at home) I am looking forward to more of your hiking adventures!!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Thank you! The fitness journey was a big thing to get rolling in 2015. It goes hand in hand with the hiking/backpacking, as it’s much easier when you’re in good shape! I’m thinking of creating a page just for the fitness-related posts. What do you think?

  7. Beth January 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Good luck with the goals for this year! We’re looking forward to reading about your hiking adventures–that’s our favorite way to connect with other bloggers!

  8. Kimberly Gauthier January 10, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    FINALLY! I can comment on your blog. Turns out that Chrome won’t allow me to comment, but Safari will.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. I’m loving this blogging tour this weekend. So much fun. For more traffic to your site, have you considered networking with outdoor and hiking bloggers as well as pet bloggers?

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Yay! Glad you could make it! LOL I’m having fun with the challenge, too. I’m learning a lot. To answer your question, I have here and there, but not nearly as much as I should. That is actually on my plan for this year. I’ve struggled with organization and sticking to my editorial calendar. I need to simplify my life! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  9. MyDogLikes January 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    BlogPaws has been a huge help to us as well – it was so great to meet you at the conference in May! Also congrats on becoming a brand affiliate!

    As far as traffic goes, putting time into Pinterest has been the most worthwhile investment we made last year. It is amazing how many pins still bring traffic months and even a year later!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      I’ve been trying to dabble more in Pinterest. It’s not something I’ve taken full advantage of, that’s for sure. It was great to meet you, too!

  10. Forest Poodles January 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Your blog looks very professional! I look forward to following it!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s a process! 🙂

  11. Colby January 11, 2016 at 5:28 am

    BlogPaws is a great site to join and follow. We’re going to try to make the BlogPaws Conference in Arizona this summer. It’s always great to meet your fellow pet bloggers in person. Best of luck to finishing yoru book this year and all the best in 2016!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks so much! Best to you in the new year as well! Hope to see you at Blogpaws!

  12. Elena January 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Hello!
    Thanks for checking out Travel Hund! Congrats on becoming a brand affiliate, btw! I really like your focus on hiking as a way to reconnect with yourself and to slow down and appreciate things. That’s part of why I like to hike and backpack as well. It’s almost like the rest of the world (demands of life, etc.) is constantly testing you. But when you’re outside, the only tests are the ones you place on yourself (pushing yourself, or not) and the ones that nature throws at you (did you bring your rain jacket, etc.). I find that kind of thing incredibly refreshing.
    Please write a book – I bet that would be very inspiring!
    Also I thought I would let you know that I’m splitting my blog out slightly – Travel Hund is soon to have a sister site – Adventure Hund, which is more about hiking, backpacking, and eventually skijoring (praying for more snow here in Maine), kayaking, and SUP.
    Keep up the inspiration and it’s nice to meet you!

    1. Shannon Adams January 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      It’s nice to meet you as well! Thats so much for the comment. I can’t wait to read your sister site, too!

  13. Kristen–well minded January 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Great to learn more about you. Congratulations on hiring a personal trainer and taking the next step in your fitness journey. We love to hike! We live in Phoenix less than a mile away from multiple trail heads, which is amazing. Our dog, N.A.S.H.A. is only eleven pounds, but she keeps up pretty well!

    1. Shannon Adams January 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks so much! I am going to Phoenix this summer. Can’t wait to check out the trails in the area! Any tips on good ones?

  14. Amy@GoPetFriendly January 26, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    How fantastic that you’re writing a book, Shannon, and good for you for getting a personal trainer. Being dedicated to your health will no doubt pay off massively in the future. My advice for getting more traffic is to keep doing what you’re doing – providing great content with a unique voice. You’re doing great!

    Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge again this year – I hope 2016 is even better than you imagine.

    1. Shannon Adams January 27, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you so much, Amy! You as well!