Pet Bloggers love a challenge and I am delighted to join what may be the best blogging challenge of 2019! I tip my hat to Brian’s Thankful Thursday and am thankful for all of my blogging friends and their support. Please join our double hop cornucopia!
For the past eight years, the pet blogging community has joined together virtually for this event. We reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments and share our victories. We also help each other through our challenges, offering ideas and advice to get the new year off on better footing.Go Pet Friendly
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 have been blogging for five years and my main topic is cats, their health, wellbeing and beauty. I have developed a niche that I love, working with cat owners to create smartphone movies. More recently explore the very first steps in working with a DSLR camera to capture the best images of our cats.
The Dash Kitten Crew have starred in sponsored movies that showcase drinking fountains, cat engagement opportunities and feline probiotics. Our most junior member is our poster cat for Basepaws DNA CatKit and I await her results with interest.
As a family, we are also proud adopters of senior cats. The family have reported on our ‘fospice’ care experience with a little cat called Nemo which truly enhanced our lives.
What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?
2018 was a busy year with some exciting changes of direction, and the start of new developments which I hope will enhance my readership’s enjoyment.
I met so many of my cat blogging colleagues at the wonderful BlogPaws® conference, which was a huge positive for us. We met a new regular sponsor and discovered that Kansas City is the best place for a conference. We were nominated for three Nose to Nose Awards, which was amazing. Sadly, the blog didn’t win but meeting so many inspiring people was so encouraging for us. How can you not be inspired by people like Carol Bryant and cool dude Dexter?
Dash Kitten’s new look with StudioPress is a source of great pride and something I am pleased with. Our relaunch included taking over co-hosting of the popular Pet Parade blog hop which we really enjoy.
What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?
Building my mailing list has been an ongoing challenge, so is a niggling sense of ‘imposter syndrome’ in spite of immense support from the blog’s many readers.
Mailing lists are there to build our community against the times the social media shifts its focus, or changes its algorithm. Loyal readers are the lifeblood of every blog and our list communities need to be given epic value at all times. For me, this means many improvement in 2019 and as a special treat, finishing work on a new mini-course in movie making for my mailing list members and……
- There is a Dash Kitten Podcast Incoming Soon!
I aspire to get my podcast online in February and aim to make sure that the readers learn a lot and have fun with the ‘pod’ version of Dash Kitten.
Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favourite and why?
This post is my absolute favourite. I realised that people were genuinely curious about feline DNA and what it can tell us. Doing the research was so interesting.
I was introduced to the Basepaws CatKit by blogging friend Erin the Cat Princess and was fascinated by the idea, as well as the potential for positive improvements in feline health due to the unique approach of Basepaws.
- It took work to make the science user-friendly in our DNA CatKit Post and it has paid off. The post was also a lot of fun to put together and still excites interest today.
Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you t
hink it does so well?
- New Zealand’s Premiere Cat Show in Wellington.
Our visit to the New Zealand Cat Fancy’s National Cat Show was our hit of 2018.
The show took place in Wellington, New Zealand and generated a lot of excitement. I was there early with my smartphone ready to capture the cats, and the video I created has been well received. One of the breeders got in touch to identify the two talkative Oriental Shorthairs you see which was such a thrill.
Did you implement a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?
The introduction of the Pet Parade and its social media interaction with pet blogging friends has been a big positive for the blog in 2018. Working alongside cat and dog co-hosts makes the hop a positive cross-species experience each week.
I also began to explore my new DSLR camera, and my journey resonated so strongly with many readers who travel the same path that I report regularly on progress. I recently began to adopt a more structured approach to learning and sharing so that I can teach readers in a fun and low pressure way.
As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?
My mailing list is the most important thing of all and there is plenty of work to do here.
As a blogger I need to remain creative and invested in the work I do I aim to become more selective about the social media Dash Kitten invests in. Those channels will be ones that resonate with my niche, and I will beat them all into submission with my trusty Social Bee scheduler (if it appears on AppSumo again – buy it!)
Also, I think that as bloggers, we all need to love and enjoy the work we do. We need to acknowledge that while we are blogging as a business, we are not all trained business graduates or software experts. Networking with colleagues and exchanging experiences is one of the most life-enhancing things we can do. There is so much support and encouragement out there if you look for it.
Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?
Build a much stronger brand and be a more confident blogger for my sponsors and readers. Dash Kitten is never ever forgotten and his helping ethic lives on in the work I do now.
What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?
- Dash Kitten is a fabulous blog and an amazing work-in-progress and I am building quality content with every post. I am heading in the right direction with confidence and inspiration in 2019.
- I will continue to invest in my technical skills and science knowledge. There is new software to learn and new science to explain to cat lovers. User-friendly English is my weapon of choice.
- My podcast will be up early this year on iTunes to entertain cat lovers and explore the world of cats. Thanks to Pat Flynn.
- I will ignore how everyone else is doing. Tough love for me. I need to remember that their niches are different to mine, and we all take a different route to our goals. I will not stress myself out. Ralph Waldo Emerson is right……
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
Where could I use some help?
SEO. What ever I do it doesn’t work. I have read enough SEO posts and tips to fill the Library at Alexandria but, as evidence shows, getting it right doesn’t help. Google changes its algorithm and even major blogs lose all of their traffic (and I do not have the finances to remedy a major change).
I remember life before Google and people had fun. Now Google penalises bloggers unless they hitting specific points. SEO may seem like common sense but if it is how come so many people aren’t getting it right?
I look forward to seeing everyone’s plans and achievements. [I had a commenter let me know about an error message they received. If this happens please let me know I am trying to trace the source of the gremlin. Whskr @ mac.com