Today, we are talking about blogging, participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go
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?
We started Paws for Reflection about 9 years ago to promote become known as a credible cat writer, with a goal of getting published in cat related publications, notably Cat Fancy magazine. We have also had several articles in CatTalk. With very few traditional publications still in existence, our goal is now to promote cat tourism and ‘getting your cat fix’ on vacation, on the road and at home.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?
Last year, 2018, was not a good blogging year. I took on a second job which zapped the limited time I could spend on my blog. I was also struggling with how to re-focus. I think my best moment was being part of a mastermind class where I was able to clarify how cat tourism fits into Paws for Reflection without giving up what I have accomplished over the past several years. I have about 10 posts that generate most of my blogging traffic.
3. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?
Time and focus were the biggest challenges faced in 2018. Paws continues to do well with SEO, and while we struggle with social media, we have a better grasp on it than in the past. We also struggle with staying connected, and this is a big reason why I wanted to participate in this challenge.
4. Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)
One of my favorite blog posts of 2018 was Cats are good for us – for our mental and physical health because the world should know just how awesome cats are! One of my struggles for 2018 was to continue to blend the ‘cats good for us’ theme into the tourism angle.
I also really liked the guest interview post with Gwen Cooper, Best Selling Author Gwen Cooper tells how cat tourism & events
5. Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?
My most popular posts date back before 2018. As 2018 was such a dismal year, I don’t think much did that well, but 2019 is a whole new story. The interview with Gwen Cooper did get quite a bit of traction, as did the stories about PopCats and CatCon.
6. Did you implemented a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?
I am in the beginnings of implementing the get your cat fix while on vacation, on the road and at home, and I look forward to continuing this series, and hope to incorporate these posts into a book.
7. As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?
The majority of my traffic has come from SEO, and I am working to build my Pinterest engagement to bring more traffic to my blog. I will definitely be using more Instagram and Facebook groups in 2019.
8. Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?
Our goal for 2019 is to put a real focus on the cat tourism and use the blog as a way to promote my book about all the cool places there are to visit worldwide where you can get a big dose of cat. We also plan to incorporate a whole lot more video and start a Facebook Group that will feature some improv humor about cats.
What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?
My life will be changing dramatically. As of March 31, my full-time job that takes 13 hours out of 4 days every week will evaporate. I plan to write a weekly post that focuses on part of the info for that book. I plan to take my blog to another level, as I will have the time to really focus on making things happen.
10. Areas where I could use some help.
2019 Pet Blogger Challenge, time to refocus, and work towards my goals. Book publishing and video will be a huge part of 2019. I also need to redesign my site so it is more professional. Any links on how to best accomplish this would be greatly appreciated.
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I did major redesign and rebranding in 2018. I’m still working on the focus of the blog, but it will always be on my girls. Good luck this year.
Your redesign is great! And your girls are gorgeous!! I will have a lot more time at the end of this month, so I’m looking forward to working on all kinds of cool things then.
It’s sounds like you’re embarking on a very exciting time! I’m also working on some redesign projects, and the advice I’ve received is to design for mobile first, and then figure out the desktop design. In the past designers always did it the other way around, but now more and more traffic is coming from mobile devices, and that trend is expected to continue. By starting with the mobile design you’ll optimizing the site for the biggest source of traffic and putting yourself in a good position for the future.
I hope that helps! Thanks so much for joining the Challenge, and all the best to you in 2019!
Thanks for the advice. Any links or suggestions on how do you work with the affiliate links and email sign up forms for mobile. By the way, I love your book. It’s a real inspiration. I’m a bit of in a holding pattern until March 31, when the job ends. but I am trying to get my thoughts put together for the big re-launch.
We wish you best of luck for 2019 ! Purrs
Thanks. You keep up the great work in 2019. Great blog!!
That’s great that you get lots of traffic from SEO. I think you will find Pinterest helpful. I started taking it seriously in late 2018 and it’s made a big difference with traffic.
I am hoping to do better on Pinterest this year so I hope to see you there! My problem was getting the hang of the pin size so thank heavens for templates from Canva and Envato Elements.
2019 will be a good year for you and I look forward to seeing a lot more of your posts!
The Dash Kitten Crew
Canva is great for sizing Pins. Are you going to be putting together a class on smartphone video this year?? Or do you have some youtube videos you’d recommend?? I’m sure I will see you around on Pinterest. I’ll start following you.
Yay for cat tourism. Although I bring my cat along on my travels. Plush the Traveling Persian would like to do to one of those big cat events one day. He thinks it would be really awesome to meet Jackson Galaxy or Pam Johnson-Bennett some day (so do I.) I look forward to reading along!
Maybe we can meet up at one of the awesome events, someday. It’s so cool that these mega events help cats, and are so fun for people too!
Congratulations on 9 years of blogging! I have back and forth years with my blogging too as some years life gets in the way. I’m hoping 2019 is a big year for me, dogs, and the blog.
I don’t know much about book publishing. I have taken several classes on video production and I’ve read a few books that I like that might be helpful. If you have a chance check out: How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck and The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video. Hopefully that helps.
Thanks for the suggestions for the video books. I will check them out. Glad to meet you as part of the challenge, as 2019 promises to be an exciting year.