Pet Bloggers Journey 2021: My First Year As A Blogger
When I saw the Pet Bloggers Journey in a Facebook group dedicated to pet entrepreneurs, I was so intrigued. Pet bloggers everywhere were invited to look back on the last year, share their goals and achievements and provide advice by answering 10 questions.
The Pet Bloggers Journey gave me the opportunity to introspect on the last 6 months and feel grateful and proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. Plus, it’s a great way to keep myself accountable.
This is a tradition that has been going on for quite some time now within the pet blogging community, and I’m excited to be taking part in it for the first time.
Special thanks to Colby of Puppy in Training blog for putting this together!
This questionnaire is also a great way for you to come behind the scenes with me and get to know me a little better! If you’re just stopping by, welcome! I’m Cara, Henry’s dog-momager, and this has been my blogging journey over the last 6 months.
Follow @henrythesmol on social media!
HENRY THE SMOL
Pet Bloggers Journey 2021
1. When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?
I launched the blog in June 2020. Blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s also something people (like my dad lol) have been telling me I should do for years, now.
Becoming a dog mom and joining the dog community gave me the push I needed to start the blog and find my niche.
Henry The Smol is a pet lifestyle blog born from a passion for being a city dog mom. Topics range anywhere from dog mom life and advice, personal experiences and dog product recommendations—I especially love sharing my opinions on dog apparel and accessories!
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2020, that made you most proud.
I launched it! Taking the leap to put the blog out there is something I’m incredibly proud of—the fact that people actually read it and are interested in what I share is unbelievable! I couldn’t be more grateful.
Being the perfectionist that I am, I had been thinking about it for a whole year. In April 2019, I purchased a domain for another idea I had for a blog, but watching Henry’s Instagram account grow the way it did, it just made sense to launch the blog as an extension of his social media. So, I scrapped the other idea, and went in the direction that things were going organically.
I’m also super proud of the fact that I was able to partner with both local and international brands within the first six months of blogging. This is also something that happened organically with brands that I absolutely love and use daily!
3. Which of your 2020 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?
My most popular post was about a luxury dog resort in Montreal; a one-stop shop for all your dog’s needs. We had such a blast bringing Henry for his first swimming lesson at Doggieville and taking him for his first ever groom!
I think my readers could relate to the genuine joy in this post. We shared lots of pictures of our day, and we’ve been back several times since. We love Doggieville, it’s the only one of its kind; it’s THE place in Montreal to pamper your pet!
4. What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2020, and how did you tackle it?
Planning and consistency were my biggest challenges. I wanted to do so many things at once, because I was so excited about the novelty of the blog.The problem with this was I would start to feel overwhelmed and disconnected from my brand. On top of that, the blogging world is all new to me, and it can feel like there’s constantly something new to learn. I started to doubt what I was doing and became discouraged to post.
However, I learned that by stepping away from my computer and taking a break every once and awhile, I actually become a lot more creative (thanks mom!) Breaks are important, people!
The technical aspects of the website were also pretty challenging for me. Luckily, my boyfriend is a digital marketer/graphic designer so he was able to help me with the little set-up details at the beginning of it all (and whenever it’s just “not working” lol)
5. Tell us one thing you learned in 2020 that can help us all become better bloggers.
So. Much. Stuff.
SEO! The ultimate goal of a blog is to get people to find and read your posts. If you’re not in tune with keyword search, SEO and basically any way to get your posts out there, you need to start! Get yourself a plug-in that helps with SEO (I use Yoast for WordPress) and do lots of research. I’m still working on SEO and learning everything I can about it. It’s a process.
Also, make sure your website loads quickly, or else people just get impatient and leave. This gives your readers a bad first impression. I use WP Rocket for mine!
I also learned a lot about Pinterest! I took a course with the Pinterest Queen, Tori Mistick, of Wear Wag Repeat and I learned A LOT! I’ve also bugged my blogger bestie Lindsey & Coco with lots of questions about Pinterest; she is always a HUGE help!
When it comes down to it: be organized, be consistent, be available, be kind and be HONEST (these are my core values when it comes to the blog—and when it comes to life in general, really)
6. What are your top three goals for 2021?
As with every project I take on, I pour my heart and soul into it and I push it to be the very best I can. With that in mind, here are my top three goals for 2021:
1. Creating long-term partnerships with new brands versus the “product in exchange for posts” format, moving forward.
Here’s why: A lot of work goes into creating content (research, brainstorming ideas, shooting content, editing, hashtag research, SEO, scheduling and posting to multiple platforms, etc.) it can really feel like a full-time job sometimes. It’s totally ok to ask to be compensated for the work that goes into promoting a brand’s product.
2. Get to 10k followers on Instagram.
Here’s why: It seems superficial when read out of context, but hear me out: the whole purpose behind the blog is to give back to the dog community as they’ve given to me, as a first-time dog mom. I want to make things easier for my followers to access my blog posts and the products I recommend with practical the swipe up feature.
3. Increase blog traffic and mailing list subscribers
Here’s why: I want to increase user retention and reader loyalty. This is going to mean that I’m creating valuable content my readers enjoy. This will push me to double down on quality content, be more consistent and be more present for my readers. As well, increasing traffic will allow for greater monetization opportunities.
Stretch goal: Start a YouTube Channel.
I have other goals, but none that I’m ready to reveal to the world just yet! Stay tuned!!!
7. In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog 1 year from now?
In an ideal world, I get to make a living from the blog (and its extensions) and hang out with my dog, all day long!
I see myself working from wherever I want in the world, with my pupper by my side, doing what I love most.
There’s no simpler way to put it. For me, that’s #goals.
*Be right back, I’m going to go crunch some numbers*
8. If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?
I would use it as capital for my top-secret project.
I wish I could say more, you’ll just have to keep following along to find out!
9. What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2021?
Creating new content from my existing content, or in other words, working smarter.
This requires better, more thoughtful planning on my part. I think this will better solidify my brand and create more cohesion throughout my social media and blog.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I would love to know more (or I guess better!) ways to increase traffic and monetization of the blog. My traffic sources are quite diversified, but I need traffic to grow more consistently, on a daily basis. As a newbie blogger, I would appreciate any tips or tricks!
This has been my pet blogger journey for the last six months. I am having such a blast connecting with other pet bloggers within the community. It’s been an exciting learning process so far, and it’s given me so much confidence.
I’m very optimistic about the year ahead, and looking forward to growing the blog as much as I can, in order to reach new dog parents who can benefit from my content!
If you’re new here, take a click around and if you like what you read, help me crush my 2021 goals and subscribe to the mailing list!
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