The GoPetFriendly Pet Blogger Challenge
One of the most exciting aspects of being a pet blogger are the amazing people you have an opportunity to meet and get to know along the way! There's a treasure trove of outstanding individuals who are toiling away at crafting a blog that is fun, informative, helpful, educational, and varied in its content. The GoPetFriendly Pet Blogger Challenge is a great way for folks to learn about pet blogs that they might not have discovered yet. I will share some information about A Dog Walks into a Bar and you'll have a chance to visit other bloggers who have also shared a snapshot about their sites.
When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?
A Dog Walks into a Bar celebrated it's one year anniversary at the end of November! It seems like we've been blogging for a whole lot longer (in a positive way). Our site discusses the two things we (the humans behind the scenes) love, which would be dogs and drinking. We talk a little bit about dog and beer related products that we like, dog friendly breweries, wineries and distilleries, fundraising events, and anything else that tickles our fancy.
I would say that our blog provides a resource for our audience through providing our unique stories and experiences.
What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
My proudest moment in 2016 was when we were nominated as a finalist for the Best New Pet Blog Nose-to-Nose award through BlogPaws. It helped to legitimize our site, which in turn, led to a multitude of opportunities that likely wouldn't have manifested themselves otherwise. The red carpet event was a highlight of the BlogPaws conference and was an experience I will never forget! The photo below includes two amazing pet bloggers who I met at BlogPaws. Alison Reder from SarcasticDog and Elizabeth Tucker Keene from Chronicles of Cardigan. They did not sign a waiver, but I'm posting their photo anyway, because I like to live on the edge! Muahahahaha...
Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
Wow, this is tough! We've written a lot of fun posts this past year. I'd have to say one of my favorites was when we "interviewed" Egg, the resident brew dog at a dog friendly brewery in Tampa, Florida called Cigar City Brewing. She gave us an exclusive private tour (in exchange for Natural Balance Lamb Meatball Treats) and we got to learn the inside scoop about the brewery and its yummy beers.
Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?
Instagram is where all of this craziness started for us. So with over 10,000 followers on our Instagram accounts, I would say our largest driver has been that social platform. I think a primary reason is my focus on photography and sharing compelling imagery in posts, even if we're doing something simple. Pictures really are worth 1,000 words, so I try to make sure they are impactful.
Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
Our post that shared information about the multitude of dog friendly breweries in the Tampa Bay, Florida area had the largest amount of foot traffic. Whenever we share information about locations when humans can visit with their dogs, we seem to get more visitors. Pet owners want their experience to be a joint experience, particularly when traveling. It's not much fun for you or the dog if it has to stay behind in a hotel for the day! We're thankful for sites like GoPetFriendly that help to share information about pet friendly spaces that we use when planning travel.
What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
I view two different blogs to be inspirational. Fidose of Reality was one of the first pet blogs I stumbled upon when I was researching information about Bean's Mast Cell Tumor. Carol Bryant is able to combine insightful medical information, with uplifting stories, humor, and dedication to sharing valuable resources. Moreover, Carol, the person who pens the prose, works tirelessly to help fellow bloggers find their voice and purpose. I view Carol as a mentor, and I will forever be thankful for her guidance, feedback and encouragement. Dexter, her famous Cocker Spaniel also happens to be adorable! Take a look at a shot I took when participating in WiggleButts Uncorked at the Nation's Oldest (and dog friendly) Winery, Brotherhood Winery in upstate New York.
I also look to Dog Mom Days for insight and ideas. I've learned about DIY projects that I would never have thought of on my own, the behind the scenes of a dog modeling lifestyle, daily adventures, and so much more. I don't know how I found Amanda's site for the first time, but I remember it was early on and that I stayed for HOURS reading her posts. In a world where attention spans are shorter than a goldfish (literally, there's scientific evidence), that's saying a lot! Amanda (previously Yantos) Genovese, has also spent much of her time helping fellow bloggers, which is much appreciated. Wynston, her dapper Chihuahua happened to be my next door neighbor at the BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose awards. I gave him tiny bits of carrot to nibble on and might have stolen a kiss.
What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
Yoda - Is really just (finally) learning how to "dog," after having spent his first year and half on this planet as a stud for a breeder. He just really got the hang of things Bean has always enjoyed like snuggling and playing with toys.
Bean - First, her real name is Quincy but we always call her "Bean." For being almost eight, her energy level is very much like a puppy. A lot of folks who meet her for the first time are surprised by this because she seems so calm and serene in the photos I take of her.
Bryn - My first summer job was working at an aquarium. I got to tell folks over and over that the penguins are birds, they don't fly and they don't have blowholes. It's SHOCKING how many adults believe penguins have blowholes. It's worrisome for our future.
What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
It's okay to ask for help. Most people are more than willing to spend some time to share their insight and they genuinely want for you to succeed. We're not really competition, we're a great network of like-minded pet lovers who figured out how this internet thing works! The picture below has absolutely NOTHING to do with this question, but it cracks me up!
What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
A BOOK! Which really isn't the blog, but we'll be embellishing parts of the book on the blog and highlighting adoptable dogs that we meet in our adventures.
Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
What has been your most successful way of juggling blogging with your other responsibilities? As a person with a full-time job, I have found it difficult to dedicate the necessary time to write posts more frequently than once or twice a week. Any input?