2020 was a year of ups and downs.
When it started, I was so optimistic.
I was able to work extra overtime at work and was working on my blog(I find winter to be my most productive blogging period.). It was going to be a year when I finally got ahead.
Yeah. 2020 had other ideas.
I am luckier than a lot of people in that I got to stay working at my job. I lost my OT, but my job was safe.
But 2020 still wreaked havoc.
I lost 2 friends and a relative to non-COVID issues. I lost my cat Bitsa, my guinea pigs, Diva and Eurwheeka, my chinchilla, KeeKeeDee, and my dog, Mellie.
I also lost my motivation to blog.
But it’s been coming back. I got a part-time job to help fill in the finances.
And I got Gusto.
He is now a 7-month-old part-color standard poodle. A dog I wanted for years and waited almost 2 years for him to be born once I was ready for another dog. He’s a big goofy, happy, easy-going dog and my hope is to do some different dog sports with him. I’m happy to be thinking about training and being active with my dog friends again.
With 2020 behind us, I can feel the optimism creeping in for 2021. Like a lot of people, I think I’m wary of putting too much faith in it yet. But I also want to be positive and excited for the possibilities 2021 brings us.
Part of looking ahead is looking back. The Pet Bloggers Journey hosted by Puppy in Training gives us a chance to do that by answering some questions that reflect on our year in blogging and look to the year ahead.
My answers are below. You can check in with other pet bloggers by visiting Puppy In Training to see the participants.
When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?
My blog first started out as Pet Product Review in 2007 and became PetFaves in 2011. I write about pet products that may be useful or fun for pets and their people.
Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2020, that made you most proud.
My blogging has been on and off through the years and my traffic really showed the effects. My goal this year was to increase my traffic and I did!
I made a point of writing more posts like How to Control Dog Hair in the House that provided helpful information for pet parents that helped. It was also nice to see older posts finally start to rank in search.
Pinterest was a big traffic driver at the beginning of the year, but like a lot of people that traffic dropped off (Did you see the same?). Luckily, search traffic picked up to make up for the loss.
Which of your 2020 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well? My posts tend to take a while to stew before picking up traffic. My top posts for 2020 were older posts:
I do have a few posts I wrote this year that I am hoping to see grow over the next year.
What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2020, and how did you tackle it?
I was so motivated at the beginning of the year. Then COVID and politics pretty much killed it.
And I’ll be honest, I didn’t tackle it. And I don’t feel bad about not tackling it. I spent time working in my garden. Playing in the yard with the dogs. With everything going on, it felt good to do “simple” things.
My motivation is coming back especially after see my traffic grow more at the end of the year.
Tell us one thing you learned in 2020 that can help us all become better bloggers.
I got nothin’.
I did attend a couple of online summits, but there is SO much repeat info out there and everyone seems to be writing about blogging as a business that I think I’ve heard it all.
My advice is to find those that are doing something you’d like to do with your blog, but maybe in another niche and follow them. Learn from them.
What are your top three goals for 2021?
My goals are probably the same as last year-
Continue to increase my traffic (come on baby. Momma wants to get on Mediavine.)
Get more print on demand products uploaded (I do my own designs so this take some time.)
Get my email list going ( I know I really, really, really need to do this. So why is it so hard?)
In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog 1 year from now?
My goal is to make an income from my blog so 1 year from now I’d like to be making a decent side hustle income.
If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?
I would LOVE to have someone tweak my blog under the hood to make it faster and more streamlined.
What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2021?
Writing and publishing good posts faster.
I’m always amazed how quickly some bloggers can put out posts while I’m over here… Day 5-still writing, Day 6- add external links, Day 7- images. I do work a full-time job, plus a part-time job, but taking a week plus seems s-o-o-o long for getting a post out.
Any tips to share on how you do it?
If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I think getting inspiration from other niches is important. What courses, bloggers, or Youtubers that aren’t in the pet niche do you follow to get blogging inspiration?