2 Year Blog Anniversary: Lessons, Highlights & Many Thanks
416 posts since June of 2014. What in the world? Since it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long I can’t help but wonder where in the hell all those posts came from.
2 Year Blog Anniversary: Holy Cow, Is This For Real?
Apparently most blogs don’t survive the first year. So how in the world did Puppy Leaks manage to make it 2 years?
Well I don’t think I’d still be here if I’d kept on my original plan of just posting dog news. Sure dog news has a place in this world, but it wasn’t my passion.
I’ve turned Puppy Leaks into a place where I can let it all out. I try to inform & inspire. Does that always work? No, but damnit I try.
To celebrate 2 years of blogging here’s a few lessons, highlights & many thanks.
3 Blogging Lessons Learned
Just to be clear I don’t like giving straight out blogging advice per se. There’s a crap load of “how to blog better blogs” out there if you’re so inclined. These are just 3 tips that have worked for me in my little part of the dog blog world.
Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind
After writing some more opinion pieces I realized something: it feels damn good to just let it all out. Whether it’s about the rescue vs breeder debate, the “ethics” of PETA, or how we judge our own dogs past.
Not everyone will agree with you, but being able to speak openly about issues is what makes blogging so powerful.
I read a lot of opinionated blogs, even the ones I don’t agree with. They’re passionate about their topic & that makes me come back for more. Regardless of how I feel about the subject I always walk away with a different perspective, and that’s what keeps my inspiration going.
Stop Publishing Just to Publish
When I started this blog I was syndicating dog news, so 7+ posts a week was pretty easy to achieve. But after awhile I realized I didn’t have a lot of passion for the stories I was writing. I was just regurgitating news that had already been published elsewhere.
Once I started writing some more informational articles I found my sweet spot. I enjoy the research process, and I like being able to put my own perspective on dog issues.
Today before I publish a post I ask myself: will this entertain, inform or inspire others? If not I don’t bother and wait until I have something I’m proud to publish.
Get Active on Pinterest
Pinterest is my my favorite social network & it continues to bring in more traffic than any of the other networks.
My favorite thing about Pinterest is how much attention posts get long after their original post date. Unlike other networks posts can continue to bring in traffic for months (possibly years) to come.
It does take awhile to gain traction there. My best tip is to create some great vertical images (730 x 1200 or so) for your favorite posts with a benefit driven headline. You can take any of your big list articles or how to posts and turn them into a “Pinworthy” image & headline.
If you’re looking for a simple way to create images I suggest using Canva. It’s free (some options cost $1), simple to use, and comes with a lot of great templates to try out.
I get 1000+ visitors a day from Pinterest. 33 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors is my best performing Pin with over 80,ooo repins. I credit that to the headline & this big vertical image:
I know getting started with Pinterest sucks. It takes a lot of effort & some luck to start gaining traction, but once you do it’s well worth it.
One of my the things I did to get started was create some specific dog related boards. I made one for dog treats, diy dog toys, dog training & one simply called “funny dogs” for memes & jokes.
I filled those boards with great Pins from other people (ones that were already popular as well) and that’s how I started picking up a lot of new followers.
When it comes to having your own Pins go viral well some of it’s just luck. I’ve created Pins that I thought would do well & go nowhere, and others took off by surprise. The ones that do really bad? I delete them & try again with a new image/headline combo.
It’s a lot of work, but the traffic is awesome.
Favorite Posts From the Past Year
Here’s 5 of my favorite articles from the past year.
- The 5 Types of Dog Articles I’m Tired of Seeing – One of the best comments I saw on this article was on facebook. Someone said they were expecting to hate this post because it was a rant, but ended up finding it quite good.
- 59 Simple Dog Care Tips All Dog Owners Can Use – Awesome life hacks from some of my favorite dog bloggers. From making your own tug toy from old clothes to using dryer sheets to pick up loose dog hair.
- Some Of Us Can’t Handle Euthanasia, and That’s OK – One of the hardest posts I’ve ever written. This spent a lot of time in my head before I found the courage to let it all out.
- 10 Dog Training Tips & Myths I’m Tired of Hearing – I love dispelling training myths. My hope is that these will eventually reach someone that’s considering using these methods.
- Is There Really a Best Breed For First Time Dog Owners? – Here’s a look at my opposition to all those top ten breed type lists, and why I think we can do much better.
Future Plans For Puppy Leaks
I want to continue to work on long form articles & opinion pieces. Those are the two kinds of posts that I’m most passionate about, and they’re the ones that keep me going.
Planning for the future of this blog (and in general) is a pitfall of mine. I don’t have a set plan, hell I don’t even have a filled content calendar anymore. I just write when I feel like it.
I’m going to change that. I am going to create a set schedule, and I am going to get more organized. I’d like to tell you some more lofty goals, but getting more organized is going to be a huge enough challenge for me this year.
I’m going to be less “all over the place.” At the moment it looks like I have 209 posts drafted. They’re all just sitting there waiting for that little extra push of inspiration to finish.
Thank Your For Your Support
Thank you for all your comments, shares & e-mails, and thank you for reading this little blog. I wouldn’t be here without you, and I appreciate all of your support.
As a wise woman once said in a theme song from the 80’s “Thank you for being a friend.”
And for all my fellow Golden Girls fans just remember I’m a Dorothy at heart. If you see any unexpected harshness, word vomit or sarcasm while you’re here just remember “Oh yeah, Jen’s a Dorothy.”