Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Was A Busy Year For Lola The Rescued Cat!

As 2017 comes to an end it’s time to reflect on the year that has passed and give thanks for the many blessings that have come my way. I’ve started this post over two or three times, writing it in Lola and Lexy’s voice (since they did our look back last year.) But this year it seems to flow better coming from me (much to their dismay. Sorry, girls!)




2017 was a whirlwind for the blog and I was blessed to receive many opportunities and form collaborative relationships . First, I’d like to start by sharing our top 10 posts of the year.






6. Four Reasons BlogPaws Made Me Cry



BlogPaws
              
7. Pet Animal Welfare Society - Blog the Change for Animals #BtC4A 


Pet Animal Welfare Society|PAWS CT
This is Thomas, and my friend and I fell in love with him.
He is now in his forever home. 
The Tabby’s Place post was in our top five last year, earning the number three position, and I’m so happy that people are still reading it. Our “About Us” page was also among the top viewed pages in 2017 and actually came in at number three. (I’m glad I revamped it!)

2017 marked a period of growth for Lola The Rescued Cat and was my busiest yet. I participated in three sponsored posts for food (Two for Wellness -here and here- and one for Hill’s), as well as two sponsored posts for BlogPaws. For BlogPaws I wrote about what I’ve learned that improved my blog, as well as why I choose to write (most of) my blog in my cat’s voice. I also had the opportunity to write a guest post on the BlogPaws blog about how to turn your blog into a book

I was thrilled in April when I won two Certificates of Excellence from the Cat Writer’s Association. Stressed by the Vet? Try a Cat Friendly Practice and my Tabby’s Place post were both recognized. I had submitted entries to the annual Communication Contest in the past, but those entries but did not score high enough to win a certificate. I worked hard to produce content that was better than what I had submitted in the past, and it paid off. 


Cat Friendly Practice
Lola at the vet.

The biggest, and most exciting, event this year was our re-branding! I attended a workshop on branding at the BlogPaws conference in Myrtle Beach and walked away inspired to make big changes. I absolutely love the new look (thank you, Debbie Glovatsky!) and I really think it helps the blog stand out more. It was a fun process, and I learned a lot about myself and my readers through it. 


My new and improved logo.


In addition to all of the above I was able to continue to do one of my favorite things - visit and write about shelters. Of course I visited Tabby's Place (which you can read about here and here. And stay tuned for an exciting story about them coming in the near future!) I also got to visit The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation - a cage free sanctuary on Long Island and Best Friends' NYC Pet Adoption Center in Manhattan. Best of all, I got a tour of Pet Animal Welfare Society with blogging friends Kevin and Tracey of Animal Shelter Volunteer Life. It was great meeting them in person for the first time and seeing first hand the love and dedication they show to PAWS as an organization and the cats that call PAWS home. 


Pet Animal Welfare Society|PAWS CT
This is Gabe, one of Tracey's favorites. I believe he now
has a forever home. 


In addition to visiting shelters, I was so excited to tour Alley Cat Allies' Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project. This was definitely a huge highlight of the year! I was so impressed with the program and I commend the devoted volunteers who not only go above and beyond to give the cats exceptional care, but provide them with an outpouring of kindness and love as well. 


Alley Cat Allies| Atlantic City|Boardwalk Cats Project
Volunteer Frank Hoopes and Groucho, who I got to pet!

There are always brands that bloggers aspire to work with, and two of those brands for me were Sleepypod and Petsafe, both of whom I was over the moon to be involved with this year. My Sleepypod giveaway was my most successful to date. 

Forming relationships with Tina Traster of Catnip Nation and Dr. Susan Whittred of Patricia H. Ladew Foundation (both of whom I met at Cat Camp NYC) were other highlights of the year. I'm glad I've been able to get the word out about the wonderful work they do for cats. I will have more information about Dr. Susan's work with the Paw Project coming in 2018, and Tina will continue to share information about Catnip Nation's work. 

Writing this post makes me realize just how much time and effort I have put into this blog. Sometimes I feel like I don't write enough quality content, but taking a retrospective look at the past year tells me differently. Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel, but I'm very glad that I haven't. 

And of course, a big thank you to my boyfriend, Will, for posing for photos that I don't want to pose for! 


sleepypod mobile pet bed|cats in the city


My biggest thank you goes to every single one of you who takes the time to read my blog, and to those who have the time to comment. Without your support I wouldn't have the determination to continue. And if you've actually read this entire very long post, many thanks. I didn't intend for it to be so long, but it was actually cathartic to write. 

Oh, did I mention I met Jackson Galaxy this year? I didn't? Well, I did! 


Jackson Galaxy|Cat Camp NYC



Happy New Year from our house to yours. May 2018 bring you happiness and abundance in all ways. 

Dawn




29 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful and fun year you had, we can't wait to see what you do in 2018!

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  2. It's been quite a year for you...and we know 2018 will be even better!

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  3. What a totally pawesome year and cheers to even more "pawesomeness" in 2018!

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  4. What a pawsome year ! Concatulations ! Purrs

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  5. Such a pawesome year ya'll had and Mama still needs to get me one of those sleeptpods fur when I got to da vet. I fink I would be so much more behaved if I was riding in style ;)

    xoxo,
    Matilda (& Matt)

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  6. You forgot becoming a Best Friends Ambassador! We love you guys and wish you all the continued success in the world!

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  7. You had a wonderful 2017 and we are certain 2018 will shine just as bright for you! :)

    the critters in the cottage xo

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  8. Wow, you have had quite a year! My human was actually one of the CWA judges for your Tabby's Place post, and she says your Certificate of Excellence was well deserved... and she does not give extra points for friendship, so you know she means it!

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  9. These are all great posts, but every post of yours is wonderful. I hope you have a happy 2018!

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  10. Whoa! You had a totally amazing year, Dawn, Lola and Lexy! And you didn't even include seeing the Amazing Acro-Cats. :)

    We were so pleased to finally meet you in person, and are so grateful for all you do, and for your friendship. Here's to even more wonderful things for you in 2018!

    Hugs!

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  11. I am wishing you, Lola and your entire family the best of years to come. XX

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  12. What a wonderful year you've had! Wow! Congrats on winning the Certificates of Excellence! I look forward to hearing about Paw Project.

    I hope you have a very happy New Year! We love you guys!

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  13. That was a great year for you. I hope 2018 is even better.

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  14. Have a spectacular New Year!

    Noodle and crew

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  15. Dawn, your blog is one of the BEST and I love how much you focus on helping cats. This recap shows how much you do for them and where your heart truly is. Kudos to you for all of your accomplishments this year. I definitely look to your blog as inspiration. (I also met JG this year!) Best of luck to you in 2018. I can't wait to see where you blog takes you next!

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  16. Hey Dawn, congrats on a fantastic 2017 -- and may 2018 be even better! I need to do that "top post" roundup thing, yours makes me want to go read them all over again.

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  17. It's obvious that you had a lot of fun with Lola's inspiration last year. Congrats on all of your achievements! I'm looking forward to following your success this year...and yes, Debbie is awesome with branding...love your new logo.

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  18. It was a great year for you and we're sure 2018 will be even better. Having Lola advocate for feline rescue is such a win for everyone!

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  19. So many great posts. I loved following along with your adventures and reading your writing. Wishing you a great 2018!

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  20. Lola, my cats are such slackers! Loved this round up.

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  21. I love reading about all the accomplishments that were met! Meeting Jackson Galaxy must have been a huge highlight on top of everything else you were successful at. Looking forward to seeing you meet all your goals for 2018!!!

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  22. I love reading reflective posts like this one. Your writing just oozes with enthusiasm for your blog and your niche. Not to sound gross in flu season, but oozy enthusiasm is contagious, so I'm pumped after reading this! Woot!

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  23. Writing a ‘year in retrospect’ gives you such a great snapshot of all one’s accomplishments. And from this it’s evident you have had many! What a wonderful collection of great content. I actually clicked and have read quite a few that I have not seen before. Thanks for giving us this list all in one place as it’s a super showcase of your brand and mission.

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  24. Sounds like you've had a wonderful year and we predict more exciting things to come, especially with you being an Ambassador for BlogPaws this year. Mom Paula met Jackson Galaxy this year, too, and she says it's the highlight of her blogging career.

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  25. You have the most brilliant blog. Well done.

    I need to do one of these review posts don't I???

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  26. What an amazing year Dawn! Wow, so many blessings. I'm looking forward to seeing you in Asbury this spring and then BlogPaws!

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  27. It has been so much fun to watch your blog grow and see all of the amazing things you are doing! You are inspirational, Dawn! Congratulations on all of your achievements - I look forward to seeing where the new year takes you. Amazing places, I'm sure!

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