Now that 2017 has come to a close, it’s time to look forward to 2018 and what I would like to do with Bridle & Bone. By happy accident, I encountered the 2018 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly. I hope you enjoy reading this and learn a little more about me and Bridle & Bone as well.
As such, a number of questions must be answered as part of the challenge in this blog hop. Here are the questions for the 2018 Pet Blogger Challenge:
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?
I’ve been blogging for just over one year. Bridle & Bone began in December 2016 and focuses on natural health and wellness for horses and dogs.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2017?
Wow, this is a tough question to answer because I had so many amazing moments and opportunities this year. Perhaps my proudest blogging moment was when I submitted my recent post, Keeping Your Horse Calm Naturally During Stall Rest to American Horse Publications, of which I am a member. After the press release went out I received several inquiries to republish it and to become a regular contributor for two equine magazines.
The positive responses to my writing was an extremely proud moment for me, and a validation that I’m providing important information for animal health.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why?
My favorite blog post of 2017 is by far, My Daughter is My Hero. I needed to write this, it was in my brain and refused to be put away. I did not write it with the intention of publishing it, however. Once I wrote it, I showed it to my husband who cried. My eldest daughter, whom I wrote about, read it as well and thought it was marvelous. She told me I had to publish it and share her story so it could help other people that had a “brain bleed” or other “challenges”. How could I not?
The day I posted this I was extremely nervous. While we are very open about Cameron’s challenges with her and our close friends and family, this isn’t something we had ever shared widely. And to the public? Terrifying. But we always said it had to be Cameron’s decision and she was determined.
The day I posted this it received over 700 views. By far my biggest hit for the day yet. But more, the comments and the shares were so inspiring. I hope this post will continue to inspire others. As for Cameron? She wants me to do a video interview. Perhaps we’ll do that in 2018. I don’t know.
4. In terms of your blog, how do you measure success?
Generally the number of unique visitors and page views are the way I’ve measured the blog’s success. But I don’t want to focus so much on numbers as much as impact. How is Bridle & Bone impacting my readers and their animals? I’ve been honored to be told on a few occasions how I’ve inspired them, helped them with their blogs, or helped to improve the health of their pets with my posts and advice. This to me, is the true measure of success.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that when I contacted eventer Cornelia Dorr to do an interview she’d already heard of my blog! Or when Melissa Woodson of Fowl Dog attended a pet expo in Pennsylvania a stranger approached her saying she’d heard about her company and products through Bridle & Bone. Somehow, word is spreading and this means so much to me.
5. In what ways has your blog changed during 2017?
2017 was the first full year of my blog, and it did evolve. Both my writing and my photography improved significantly. I have a distinct voice and found confidence in writing informational posts as well as sharing my personal journey with the Confessions of a Timid Rider series.
As I look forward to 2018 I would like to focus a little bit more on video and getting comfortable with that!
6. What was the biggest blogging challenge you overcame in 2017, and what did you learn that could help other bloggers?
My biggest challenge was having confidence in myself and sharing my writing. Through practice, positive engagement, and interacting with other pet bloggers and equestrian bloggers, I really came out of my shell and owned the very thing that sets me apart.
If I could give one piece of advice it would be this: write what you know, write what you are passionate about.
7. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging?
(Question submitted by Pamela Douglas Webster of Something Wagging This Way Comes)
I’ve been lucky to be quite inspired this past year. I set aside time to write during the week, because as we all know life gets busy. I own two businesses, am a full time wife and mother, and spend as much time at the barn as I can. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to write. But I want to help animals. The more I write, the more I share information, and the more animals I can help.
I note down topics in Trello that I’m interested in writing about, so if I have a lull I can focus on one or two. My “Confessions” tend to be more in the moment, and I write them when I have the compulsion to put my feelings on paper. A personal diary if you will.
I try to post regularly, twice a week and occasionally I will add a third if I’m really flush with posts. I’m very organized and usually have posts scheduled for 3-4 weeks. However, I do change them around if something really timely happens and I need to post about it quickly.
8. Looking forward to 2018, what are you hoping to accomplish on your blog this year?
This year I’d like to focus on working with more brands, and possibly a sponsorship with the right fit. More, I would like to continue to work on my photography and include some more video elements.
9. In addition to what you’d like to accomplish, is here one specific skill you’d like to improve or master this year?
(Question submitted by Jodi Chick of Kol’s Notes)
I’d like to learn how to use video. Seriously it’s a joke! Half the time I think I’m recording on my iPhone and it is videotaping the ground. I sat down to do an extensive interview with The Brodie Fund Founder and my friend, Sally Williams. My DSLR was all set up on the tripod. We were perfectly framed. And we had a wonderful interview. The only problem? I got home and the interview was garbage because there was absolutely NO SOUND. I have issues with video, I’m serious. It’s like I’m cursed. So I really need to buckle down and practice, and probably read a few how to books as well.
10. Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in the comments!