Pet Blogger Challenge: Making It As A Dog Mom Lifestyle Blogger

One of the best parts about being a dog mom lifestyle blogger is the amazing community of pet bloggers that I get to be a part of. This is such a supportive group of people brought together by our love of pets. When I saw that Go Pet Friendly was hosting another Pet Blogger Challenge I knew I had to jump on board.

This is the 9th year that pet bloggers have been teaming up to share our success and make goals for what we want to do with our blogs moving forward. It’s been really great read everyone else’s entries so far (you can find them all listed at the bottom of this post) and share my own story as a dog mom blogger.

What I love most about reading the other entries is seeing where there might be an opportunity for me to help another blogger. We all have so much knowledge about blogging, social media and the pet industry as a whole. Why not share it so we can create more dog lovers in the world?

9th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Making It As A Dog Mom Lifestyle Blogger

For those who may be visiting you blog for the first time, how long have you been blogging and what is your main topic?

If you’re new here… welcome! I’ll be celebrating 6 years of Wear Wag Repeat this May. I actually had another blog about 10 years ago that was all about eco-friendly fashion, but that only lasted a couple years.

Now I blog about living the dog mom lifestyle! That means all the style, home decor, travel, recipes, DIYs, hotels, gadgets and events that I make it possible for me to make the most of my life with dogs by my side. My inspiration comes from my own dogs, Lucy and Burt.

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing because I get excited on a weekly basis! But I would have to say one of the highlights was working with Stella & Chewy’s on a long term basis. I’ve been working with brands for two years now and this has been the most rewarding relationship so far. I love that they support causes I care about, like adopting senior pets, and give me the freedom to write about that.

I think long term brand partnerships are so much more beneficial than one-off posts. I hope to form more partnerships like that this year!

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

To be perfectly honest, one of the biggest challenges I faced last year was working with a site that hired me to write guest content for their blog. After I did hours and hours of work on a post for them I discovered that we didn’t see eye to eye on what constituted safe and reliable recommendations for dog friendly activities. Rather than lowering my standards, I walked away from the opportunity and ran the post on my own blog. Lesson learned, always stick to your values!

Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? 

One of my favorite blog posts is this one that includes a video about the AquaPaw. I created it when I got home from the BlogPaws conference. One of the sessions there was with a writer for BuzzFeed and she shared how they put together their viral product review and video posts. I did my best to implement every tip and trick that she recommended and come up with a BuzzFeed style post. I had a lot of fun working on it and I really love how the video turned out. It didn’t go viral, but I’m very proud of it!

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

The post from last year that got the most traffic was my 2018 Dog-Friendly Pittsburgh Event Guide. I think it did really well for a few reasons. One, I kept updating it throughout the year so it was current and kept getting shared as new events popped up. Two, I met many new friends in the Pittsburgh dog community. And three, I think more people want to take their dogs to events with them! Of course, I created a new guide for 2019 and will be updating it throughout this year.

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

Yes! In the Fall of 2018 I hired a podcast producer. One of my favorite things about my business is the podcast. I love getting to talk face to face with dog mom-preneurs around the world. But editing it wasn’t as fun. Outsourcing has enabled me to spend more time finding awesome guests and it’s also made the show more consistent which has doubled my downloads! I just recorded episode #50 and have my goal set to interview 100 women in pet industry!

And how could I answer this without bringing up the Wear Wag Repeat Shop! That was a dream of mine and I pulled it off for an August 1st launch! The Shop carries handmade goodies from dog moms across the country. Many of the items are exclusive designs just for my shop and some feature original artwork. I’m looking forward to growing that even more this year!

9th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

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

I’ve been sharing my blog posts more consistently on Instagram stories. I find that I don’t get a ton of clicks on the link in my bio because it requires so many extra steps for a reader to get there. If they’re watching stories it’s just one swipe up to click on a link. I like to share photos from the post and record a video talking about it. I think that’s help to communicate to my large Instagram following that I’m not just a grammer… there’s a whole huge website full of dog mom lifestyle tips!

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

I have an idea for my 6th blogiversary this May that will tie into Dog Mom’s Day. I want to do a big free event for all the dogs of Pittsburgh! Whether it’s through the podcast, local events or blogging conferences one of the best parts of what I do is getting to connect with other dog lovers. So I hope this event will be a chance to everyone who’s interested to come together, fawn over our dogs and make some new friends.

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

I’m getting my local dog mom squad involved. They’ve already agreed to help me plan and promote the event to make it a success. The next step is to look for sponsors (if you know anyone… just saying!)

Now it’s your turn, lovely! How can the pet blogging community help you? Is there an area where you could use some advice, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and I’ll answer you in comments. You might even get a response from some of the other bloggers!

9th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Did you enjoy this post? I think you’ll love these, too:
Episode 146: How to make a living as a Dog Influencer
The Best Jobs for Dog Lovers
Figure out the best blog post topics for your business
Top Podcasts to Listen to While you Walk the Dog

9th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

29 Comments

  1. Colby

    That’s awesome you had a long term relationship with Stella & Chewy’s. I’d love to find a long term relationship with a brand, but I’ve kind of given up and don’t plan on working with brands this year. Congrats on your 50th episode! I’ve listened to a few of your podcasts and they were great. As we speak I’m browsing your podcast list 🙂 All the best to you in 2019!

    Reply
    • Tori

      Thank you so much Colby! It’s definitely been years of work building up to where I cam now. Don’t give up! I think it’s important to be really clear on what you want and why you want it. That helps the universe send it your way!

      Reply
  2. Pamela

    It’s great that you’re tying in to the local dog mom scene. I truly believe that the future is in hyper local. People don’t just want to connect online. They want to use the online world to explore their neighborhoods.

    Because I live and travel on a boat, my community is much more fluid (ha, did you see what I did there?). But I like how the map on my site helps me connect with other bloggers and dog lovers as I travel through their area.

    Reply
    • Tori

      LOL I love a good pun! And I agree, people (especially dog people) want to connect in person. I’ve gone out of my way to meet instagram friends in real life. And it’s so hard to make friends as an adult, but I think a lot of people want that. Dogs are a great connector!

      Reply
  3. Candy Pilar Godoy

    Awesome! It is so inspiring to hear from people who have been blogging in the long term. Also, wow!, podcast, store, blog, etc….you do it all! Major goals. Congrats to a successful 2018 and here’s to an even better 2019.

    Reply
  4. Lindsay

    Congrats on everything you have accomplished. This is my first time visiting your blog and I’m so impressed with the design (I’m viewing it on desktop). Your dogs are also beautiful!

    Reply
    • Tori

      Thank you so much! Yes, I really LOVE the design of my site. I hired someone to create it for me a couple of years ago. She did my logo too : )

      Reply
      • Katelyn

        I love that there’s a community out there for dog lovers! I’m getting to start up a blog focused on child-free/puppy-parents content and I came across your blog in my research. Any suggestions or moral support you’d be willing to offer would be GREATLY appreciated!

        Reply
        • Tori

          Hi Katelyn – congrats on the hardest step which is getting started with your new blog! The pet blogging world is so awesome, everyone is very supportive of each other. You should join the Wear Wag Repeat Labs FB group where you can connect with many of us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231332497516377/

          Reply
  5. Misty @ Fun Sized Paws

    oh my goodness! your blog is everything I aspire to be … it’s so FUN!

    Reply
    • Tori

      You are TOO SWEET!! Thank you so much for reading. And being FUN is the best compliment ever!

      Reply
  6. Amy@GoPetFriendly

    Thanks so much for joining the Challenge, Tori, and congratulations on all you accomplished in 2018! Your blog is so much fun, and it’s great to see that you’re successfully expanding in new directions.

    Good luck with your event! What a great way to connect with more dog lovers in your area. I’m sure it will be a big hit.

    Reply
    • Tori

      Thank you so much Amy! I’m really excited about the direction everything is headed. Living the dream, truly!

      Reply
  7. Rebecca Sanchez

    Oh yes, the Pittsburgh guide was super helpful and timely – my girlfriend was going there and I sent her the link to your post! You have great images too – wonderful 2018, and here’s to an even more grand 2019!

    Reply
    • Tori

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing the guide. It’s really fun to update it throughout the year and see all the fun things going on. : )

      Reply
  8. Hannah Zulueta

    So many great accomplishments in 2018. Glad to have met you at Blog Paws and here’s to a great 2019!

    Reply
    • Tori

      thanks Hannah! I always learn so much from you, can’t wait to see where you take all your stuff this year!

      Reply
  9. Ruby and Kristin

    I love idea of combining your anniversary with Dog Mom’s Day! Also, will check out your Dog Friendly Pittsburgh post. I have been planning on doing something similar for the Chicago area so maybe this will motivate me to finally do it.

    Happy 2019!

    Reply
    • Tori

      Thank you! It’s going to be one big colorful dog filled event!

      And you should totally do a guide for Chicago. People love my Pittsburgh one!

      Reply
  10. Beth

    It seems like 2018 was a great year for you! I love, love, love my candles from your shop. I am looking forward to seeing what you do for your event in May! I’m sure it will be wonderful.

    Reply
    • Tori

      Thank you so much Beth! Yes! 2018 had a lot of big things for me and my brand. It’s so good to reflect on all of that instead of just looking for the “next thing”, this post was really fun to put together.

      Reply
  11. Marjorie Dawson

    I never thought of doing a post in a certain style How inspiring you are!

    There is so much we can have fun doing and I am so attracted to the podcast idea. I am a doer not a sitter and thinker!

    Reply
    • Tori

      Trying to copy the Buzz Feed style was an interesting challenge! I have kept up with a few elements from it, like more intriguing headlines, but in general their style is a little too fluffy for me. I’m a total doer too! I also call it shiny object syndrome! : )

      Reply
  12. Melissa Clinton

    Congratulations on all of your success! I love the idea of sharing local events. You’ve done wonderful things and I’ll visit your shop.

    Reply
    • Tori

      Thank you so much!! It’s crazy how much work this all is, but I enjoy it so much!

      Reply
  13. Michelle & The Paw Pack

    I love that you stuck to your values when you didn’t see eye to eye with the site you were hired to write for. I’ve been in a similar situation and also decided to terminate the relationship, stick to my morals, and instead share the content on my own site. It’s refreshing to know there are other bloggers out there who value their morals more than money. I’ll be sure to check out your podcast! I love to listen to podcasts while I work and need to add some new dog themed ones to my lineup. Best wishes for an amazing 2019!

    Reply
    • Tori

      Yes! Love that. It’s so important to stick to your morals and quality. There are so many sites that just pump out content and I feel like they miss the point – we’re writing about the most amazing, inspiring creatures in the world! It’s an honor to work with dogs and I feel like I need to uphold that : )

      And yes, please check out the podcast! I’m so excited about how it’s going.

      Reply
  14. Richard Paolucci

    Thank you for sharing your post about PET BLOGGER CHALLENGE: MAKING IT AS A DOG MOM LIFESTYLE BLOGGER. Your blogging inspires me. I am new to blogging and just getting started. I wish you great success. Very nice photos also.

    Reply
    • Tori

      I’m so happy to hear it! Welcome to the wonderful world of pet blogging!

      Reply

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Tori Mistick Labrador Dog Mom Blog

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Tori Mistick is the ultimate Dog Mom Lifestyle blogger with a passion for style, chocolate labs and the color pink. Based in Pittsburgh, PA.

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