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2019 GoPetFriendly Pet Blogger Challenge

The winter blues has always impacted us this time of year, which was true last year as well. Sometimes, we need a little prompting to start writing again and being creative. While it’s not the only reason we have enjoyed participating in the GoPetFriendly blogger challenge, it has certainly been a great way to jump start the year! You can take a look at our posts from last year and the year before in the links provided. Now, without any more of a delay, here are our responses to this year’s prompts!

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 guess we can no longer consider ourselves a “new” blog, as we’ve been a part of the blogging scene now for three years! Time sure does fly. We started blogging after winning a trip to the BlogPaws conference. At the time of the trip, I didn’t have a blog and I had NO CLUE what I’d talk about. After waiting in line at a local brewery with our dog, Yoda, and finding that most of the guests waiting in line wanted to say hello to him, we realized that dogs and drinking go hand-in-hand! Voila, A Dog Walks into a Bar was born. I still don’t know why/how the domain was still available, but I snagged it, and have been using dogs as an excuse to enjoy adult beverages ever since.

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

I had been a finalist for the BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose awards in a variety of categories since the blog started. I am happy to report that I FINALLY WON in the category that I was most hoping to be selected for, photography. You see, this whole crazy adventure started with a photo, so it’s only fitting (in my opinion) that the prize was for a photo on the blog! I am proud to have received that recognition and I continue to work on learning and improving my photography skills with each post for the blog and on social media.

Did you know, you can find some of our most ridiculous photos on our original instagram account called Beanparty.Yodabash? There’s no beer there, or at least not often, just the two dogs being their normal crazy selves. If you want to see beer and dog related adventures, check out our other instagram account called A.Dog.Walks.Into.A.Bar.

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

Technical, behind the scenes stuff, which hopefully never impacts the reader has been and will continue to be our biggest challenge. You see, I had a panic attack when I tried to use WordPress to create the blog for the first time, and aborted the mission. I elected to use a plug-and-play site creator instead, called Wix. While it has been easy to navigate and looks nice for the reader, I’ve outgrown the platform and really need to switch over to WordPress. I still have panic attacks thinking about moving over, though and I don’t know where to start, so I’ve done minimal work on achieving this goal. My hope is to find some helpful resources to learn the steps and make the switch, so if you can make recommendations, feel free to comment below.

Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why?

To commemorate the fact that we were also a finalist for Best Humor Blog last year, we hosted a competition to help come up with the punchline to the joke. A Dog Walks into a Bar, and then what? Considering that’s the name of our site, having a punchline makes sense. The entries were hysterical, and one of my favorite posts from last year was the roundup post for all the entries, including the winner and runners up! You can find the punchline we selected and the runners up on this post.

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

The loss of a pet can be incredibly hard for people. Trying to help ease the pain by finding a way to commemorate the pets we know and love can be a challenge. That’s why I think the post we wrote that included Unique Ways to Commemorate a Pet that has passed away has been the most visited post since it’s been written. I hope that the post has helped people find ways to honor a pet that they have loved and also find some closure.

Did you implemented a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?

Our “Brew Dog of the Month” feature is not something we’re able to host each month, but it is a feature that I’ve enjoyed writing and readers seem to enjoy seeing. Basically, we try to find breweries, wineries, distilleries, etc. that have a dog on staff. We visit the magical land where adult beverages are made, spend time with the staff and the dog, and determine what their “job” would be. Examples of jobs have included: security, greeter, human resources and public relations. It’s fun to write, the dogs are amazing, and it’s awesome to meet some dogs that help the staff of breweries behind the scenes.

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

Sometimes, Social Media seems like the wild wild west, in that the rules keep on changing before any of us fully understand the new landscape. It’s hard to feel like we have a complete grasp on which channel is best aligning with our readers. That said, we’ve focused a lot on visual platforms, as we find that being able to tell stories with images matches our mission in a lot of ways. As a result, instagram continues to be our most active platform, followed by Facebook and Pinterest. Whether or not followers on those platforms are actually visiting our site, varies from each account. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, though.

As long as we’re connecting with people, helping to bring some levity to their day, and a smile to their face, that’s what I care about. Conversion rates, and other numbers are things that I could very easily become obsessed with, and I try really hard to focus more on the intangibles, like connecting with readers, and helping them in some way. If that happens to be five readers, it’s still an impact. Numbers mean nothing, if there’s no substance behind them.

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

MOVE this whole situation to WordPress before it kills me. Send whisky and well wishes.

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

Contact some experts in the field to help train me, or possibly pay them to assist with the move. I don’t really have much of a budget to do this, which is why I’ve hedged on doing it in the past. I’m really talented at a lot of other stuff if we want to work out a trade for skills (which is a small plea for help, if you’d like to help a girl out).

Now it’s your turn! How can we help? Is there an area where you could use some advice, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in comments!

My request of you is simple. Is there specific content you would like to see us create that we have not yet created? I'm open and willing to write about anything, so whatever you'd like to see more of from us, let me know and I'll gladly accept the challenge.

Thanks for joining us, and welcome to 2019! I can't wait to see what it has in store for us!

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