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2019 Pet Blogger Challenge: Get To Know Us

We celebrate the pet blogger. 2019 is the 9th year for Fidose of Reality, and we celebrate our fans, our followers, and our loyal readers who have helped up us become a relied-upon destination for Cocker Spaniels and their canine friends. Dog health and wellness are our specialties and main areas of interest. As a pet blogger, I thought it would be fun to partake in the yearly Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by the folks at Go Pet Friendly.

Each blogger is asked the same series of questions. I’d like to go behind the green curtain and allow our loyal followers a personal peek into our lives. I get to know you through your emails, texts, DMs, and posts, so now the tables are turned and the spotlight is on me. Once you read through my Q&A, scroll down and you can learn more about pet bloggers in the list at the end.

Dog Writers Association of America President


On Pet Blogging

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 started blogging for other pet-related companies long before I started doing it for myself. I was hired by a then-fledgling dog magazine as a writer and eventual managing editor. Realizing they did not have a blog, I suggested allowing me to do it. It worked, it won an industry award, and the rest, as they say, is her-story. Jumping off from blogging for others to blogging for myself came to fruition in the summer of 2011, when Fidose of Reality was founded.

Fidose of Reality has evolved into a health and wellness resource for Cocker Spaniels and their canine friends.

Proudest Moment

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

For the first time in a while, I have a few proudest moments. Here are the five:

  1. I received the Dog Writer’s Association of America Distinguished Service Award sponsored by the American Kennel Club and accepted the role as President of the Dog Writer’s Association of America for a 2-year volunteer term starting in mid February, 2019.
  2. Helping to save the lives of other dogs through my writing and my own dog’s health challenges. To receive letters and notes from dog parents telling me how something I blogged alerted them to go to the vet or to have a conversation with their veterinarian means everything to me.
  3. The decision to take my blog to the next level and make this one part of my very own business. The growth of my blog, support of my followers, and intrinsic desire to pursue my passion contributed to this decision.
  4. Being asked to cover the Beverly Hills Dog Show as a NBC Social Media Correspondent.
  5. I co-authored a pet blogger book that will be out soon along with Maggie Marton of Oh My Dog Blog. Come join our Pro Pet Blogger Facebook group to keep up and stay in the mix!

Pet Blogging Challenge

What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?

In March of 2018, I learned that my position at BlogPaws under Chewy’s leadership would be eliminated. For those who do not know, I was the Marketing/PR/Social Media Manager at BlogPaws for close to seven years. My family and I, Dexter included, attended all 10 BlogPaws Conference and I helped to grow the community and company to the social media pet industry icon it became.

One thing I have learned in my life after three corporate mergers with eventual layoffs: It’s not the action of the corporations that define you…it’s how you react, rise up, reinvent, and own your destiny that says it all. I will never walk away from something that is in my DNA and I feel so strongly about.  I am never leaving the pet blogging world. I can’t change some things, but I can change me and my direction so that I am a part of this amazing tribe that I love from the bottom of my heart. Pet bloggers, unite, our time is now. We are a force with which to be reckoned.

Favorite Blog Posts of 2018

Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)

Anyone who has ever suffered the loss of a beloved dog, or any animal for that matter, I empathize, sympathize, and walk this path of hell with you. Wounded warriors we are: All this love we used to give away is now contained within the deep recesses of our hearts. I came home from the experience and blogged this post: My Deceased Dog Connected With Me In The Twilight Zone.

Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

In the fall of 2017, my dog Dexter, was diagnosed with IMT, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, a life-threatening disease that nearly took him, without warning, from this world. I was devastated, shocked, but determined. I blogged his journey and have helped other dog parents whose dogs are suddenly afflicted with IMT. The blog post from October 2018 that highlights my dog’s journey over a year was popular. Journey of a Dog With IMT: One Year Later

And the original post remains a heavily trafficked post with purpose: Help for Dogs Fighting IMT

IMT in dogs

New Features

Did you implement a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?

Wendy Shankin-Cohen, President and CEO of Dr. Harvey’s Fine Health Foods for Companion Animals asked us to visit the company’s headquarters in beautiful Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Since my dogs have been consuming their food, treats, and supplements for over 20 years, my family and I, dog included, went road tripping to their healthy headquarters. My wife and I drove out with our dog, Dexter. I signed on a blog ambassador and I’ve been teaching my readers about healthy eating in dogs and why it matters.

We also started a birthday club and giveaway with prizes. Join the Birthday Club and Giveaway here.

Club Cocker Wigglebutts Worldwide

Social Media Changes

As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?

Club Cocker: Wigglebutts Worldwide Facebook Group: For Cocker Spaniels and their canine friends: Club Cocker

More video and investment of time and equipment with videos is something we are getting more into as well.

2019 is the year for me to finally embrace Pinterest kicking and screaming. I just love Facebook and Instagram, but Pinterest sends traffic our way. We need to embrace it.

2019 Goals and Steps

Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?

Book sales for several books and monetize the blog itself more.

What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?

Business plan, dedicate steps to make it happen, and a wife to help me get there. We have a few trips planned, too.

Where We Could Use Help

Advanced SEO and Pinterest tips.

Fun Facts

My heart beats dog®. I so very much believe and live that mantra, that I have it permanently tattooed on my left bicep, see?

My Heart Beats Dog tattoo

 

In my acceptance speech at the 2018 Dog Writer’s dinner and awards in February, I shared the (fidose) of reality of who I am:

Two things got me through my childhood, which was not an easy one, and those two things are books and dogs. Here I am as an adult, and two things continue to save me and those are books and dogs. (although now I have the love of the most incredible human being on the planet, but that’s another blog post).

My heart beats dog® and I know I am not alone in this canine cardiac rhythm. We live in a country divided and I think it’s safe to say that dogs unite us. Dogs are the best of us when the worst of us let us down. My life is truly a celebration of dogs’ time here on earth.

Those who have learned to love more richly because of a dog I have found carry a light in their souls. Dogs welcome us into their worlds and they want us to celebrate with them. Dogs have taught me to be more of a human being and less of a human doing.

Today, tomorrow, and until my final breath, I celebrate dogs.

Links to Connect With Me

Get the Fidose of Reality Newsletter delivered to your inbox weekly by clicking below. We don’t spam or sell names or emails out ever.

https://fidoseofreality.com/get-the-fidose-of-reality-newsletter/

Club Cocker: Wigglebutts Worldwide Facebook Group: For Cocker Spaniels and their canine friends: Club Cocker

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

LinkedIn

 

Comments

  1. I can’t wait to read your book.

    Even though my heart beats cat 😉 I love your blog. I’ve been having design envy all day long reading through the hop.

    I’m inspired by the work you have been able to do outside the blog itself. Maybe someday CFA will pay me to write their breed profiles or do the social media reporting from the World Show.

  2. Last year was a year of transition for many of us, and I’m so excited to see you meeting the changes with enthusiasm. Congratulations on your position with DWAA, and much luck to you with the blog.

    My advice on Pinterest is to create photo specifically designed for the platform and get a Tailwind account.

    Thanks for participating in the Challenge and all the best to you this year!

  3. Nice to get to know your blog! I thought I might have a Pinterest tip, then I looked at your boards. No, I think you could give **me** some tips. Starting with, get pinning again!

    I do have an SEO tip, in case you are on WordPress. I’ve tried most of the Schema plugins and I prefer WP SEO Structured Data Schema. But again–just looked at your source code. You’ve already got some sophisticated stuff going on there. Maybe my comment will help someone else!

    Cheers!

  4. Pinterest is so much fun, designing pins takes time, but it does seem to pay off in more traffic. We need to work more on that ourselves. Facebook is something we hate, but do it because it sends a lot of traffic. It’s great that you love it. We used to, but it has gotten so difficult, it is ridiculous. Your confidence in the dog world will get you wherever you want to go. 2018 was a hard year for so many, but like you, we don’t quit and we too keep going because we love dogs and blogging. We all miss BlogPaws, but life goes on.

  5. So glad you joined the hop and let us see a glimpse behind the curtain. You’ve been so amazing for so long and it’s nice to learn a little more about your journey.

    Sorry I have no advanced SEO skills. But I know you’ll embrace learning more as you always have.

    Hope 2019 is a kickass year for you, Darlene, and Dexter.

  6. It has been a huge year for you with much to be proud of!! I love what you wrote about what really matters is how you react and rise above challenges. Very true though sometimes difficult to remember in challenging times.

    On Pinterest – I have pretty much ignored Pinterest for years. I didn’t think my content would do well because I don’t do DIY or recipes. Totally silly, but this is how I justified ignoring it. Right before Thanksgiving I decided to give it a go – I made new pins for all my evergreen posts and reorganized my boards to reflect my mission, etc. It’s made a huge difference and literally turned things around overnight. Now getting lots of traffic from Pinterest. Turns out Pinterest isn’t as pointless as I thought it would be. LOL.

    See you soon! Can’t wait!

  7. We are just inspired by all that you do. 2018 sounds like it was such a wonderful time for you. We hope 2019 is going to be bigger than 2018 and that you keep growing. Thank you for sharing your story. Have a wonderful day and good luck to you in the future.

  8. Advanced SEO help? C’mon! 🙂 (waves hands wildly) — besides you are killing it with SEO! So proud of how far you have come – how much you continue to learn and the leap you are taking into making this a full time venture and a way to help more animals! I got your back and know 2019 will be amazing for the Fidose family!

  9. Hi Carol,

    Congratulations on your new accomplishments. No where to go but up.

    Meeting you at Blog Paws was a game changer. Even though it was it’s last year you were so accommodating and welcoming even though our interactions were short – made me feel part of a community.

    I love your blog. I often share articles with my other dog mom friends.

    Here’s to a great 2019!

  10. Waiting patiently for your book. 🙂 I’m sorry about the whole blogpaws/chewy debacle. You’ve done a great job rebounding and have so much to look forward to in the future. I’ll be working on Pinterest and SEO this year too. I don’t think I have any actionable tips that you don’t already know. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. Happy 2019!

  11. As every year, you’ve accomplished so much in 2018. I think we all knew you’d wind up on your feet and better than ever. I don’t believe there’s any social media channel you haven’t conquered forward and backward—even Pinterest. Much success in 2019 and beyond.

  12. It’s thanks to you that I am trying Pinterst and not giving up. You are right to say it’s a big social media thing and

    I am SO GLAD I have met you for real, You, Darlene and Deter made the trip to Kansas City worthwhile and – Bottom Line _ Chewy had NO IDEA of the quality they were letting go!

  13. Sounds like you had an awesome 2018! I’m not great at all the social media stuff, but Pinterest is one I’ve really be neglecting. I’ve been hearing from a lot of fellow bloggers about how many views they get from Pinterest, so it’s motivating me to give it another go. I love visiting your blog and seeing all the cocker Spaniel stuff. My first dog growing up was a cocker spaniel, so it brings back lots of good memories. Here’s to an awesome 2019!!

  14. Congrats on your success in 2018! I feel like you probably know everything I do about SEO and Pinterest! If you’re not already using Tailwind for Pinterest, I’ve found that it saves me a ton of time but hasn’t necessarily increased Pinterest traffic by a ton. Because of the time it saves, I think it’s worth it.

    Thank you for putting together and organizing the pet blogging group on Facebook. I will be paying attention to your book updates.

  15. Congratulations! I’m also a dog lover. They are adorable pets in the world. Most of the time they taught us a lesson to be kind to animals. Thanks for sharing this awesome blog. Very Informational and worth sharing blog.

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