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Monday, July 12, 2021

10 Years Together

 Can you believe it! We've been blogging for 10 years!!! 

Two Persian cats being held by blond haired woman
The three of us - Then and Now!

On July 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm ET, Mom Paula announced a new blog and the addition of future kittens. 

I'd been blogging for 3 years with my previous Persian Cat, Sweet Praline and after she died from cancer in April 2011, I continued posting memory posts until on her 3rd blogoversary in June 2011. I knew there were new kittens coming to live with me in the Fall, but I didn't know their names or what the name of the new blog should be. After much research on the Internet, conversations with other cat blogger friends, and respecting Sweet Praline, the name Sweet Purrfections was decided for the new blog.

Name of Blog

Everything about the name of the blog and the names for Truffle, Beignet, and Brulee were in honor of Sweet Praline. When Sweet Praline left for the Bridge in April 2011, I wanted to bring more Persian Kittens into my life and began thinking about how I could continue blogging in Sweet Praline's honor and memory, but not use the current blog because the new cats wouldn't be named Praline. Pralines are a sweet confections from New Orleans and to honor Sweet Praline, I wanted to think of names of cats that were French/New Orleans confections. I wanted to keep the first word of "sweet" because I believe Persians are one of the sweetest breeds of cats and I think they are perfect. I kept playing around with words and it popped into my head that confections rhymes with perfections and I changed "per" to "purr" because one of the best sounds from a cat is a purr. Thus, the name of the new blog became Sweet Purrfections.

Ann, from Zoolatry, designed the first header for Sweet Purrfections and has continued to work with me through the years because she tends to understand my vision for the blog. I chose to use pastel colors for the new blog because my future kittens were Silver Shaded Persians (white coat with black tips that give the illusion of silver shading) and their soft coats reminded me of sweetness and the South. 


First Blog Header designed by Ann Adamus from Zoolatry


Transition Over 10 Years


The first blog post was an introduction to the blog and the announcement that new kittens would soon be joining my home. I shared photos of the two Queen Silver Shaded Persians with their litters of kittens. I also thanked people for the special words as I grieved Sweet Praline. 

In the beginning, I basically used the blog as a daily journal of living with two Persian Cats. I wanted to chronicle their lives through photos and stories, which was basically what I did with the Sweet Praline blog for three years. In December 2011, I was contacted by Mr. Chewy, now known as Chewy.com, to review their webpage. This was the beginning of becoming a pet influencer. I became a regular influencer and reviewer for Chewy.com. In January 2014, I was approached by Pet Box to do a review of their product. This was the first company outside of Chewy.com to reach out to me and I was honored. I look back on that first sponsored post from a Brand and realize that I still had so much to learn, but it was a beginning of our role as a pet influencer. Over the next few years, I became a pet influencer with BlogPaws and applied for and was accepted for campaigns. I worked hard to make sure my initial reviews included photos of Truffle and Brulee with the products and I shared facts and my honest reaction to the products. After attending my first BlogPaws conference in 2015 in Nashville, TN, I began working on improving the brand of Sweet Purrfections. Even though I'd been blogging for almost 6 years between the two blogs, I didn't know much about setting up a post to encourage people and brands to visit the blog. I knew people and brands knew about Sweet Purrfections because when I'd introduce myself and give them my card, they would say, "Oh, Truffle and Brulee! We love them!" I remember sitting down in the one-on-one sessions at that first conference and being told by representatives of BlogPaws that they loved the blog, but one of the major things I needed to work on was my photos. I needed to take more photos using natural light and the photos needed to be more focused and a larger size on the blog.

I'm proud to say I've been part of several BlogPaws Campaigns, written reviews of many wonderful cat (and dog) products, hosted giveaways for our readers, and received our first major sponsorship with Sleepypod®. I've worked with other companies through affiliate programs and continue to work on my craft of blogging and being an effective and informative pet influencer. I've attended four BlogPaws Conferences, one BarkWorld Conference, four Cat Writers' Association (CWA) Conferences, and four Global Pet Expos. I was honored to serve as an Ambassador at the 2017 BlogPaws Conference in Myrtle Beach and received a Certificate of Excellence from BlogPaws for a Nose-to-Nose Award for Best Written Post: Sponsored (Eye Envy) for a post I wrote as part of the 12 Days of Catmas series. I served as a Council Member of the CWA in 2017 and was elected as Vice President of the Cat Writers' Association (CWA) in June 2018, and am currently the CWA President (September 2020). I received my first Certificate of Excellence from CWA for the 2018 Blogging Cats Weekly Planner and have since received a special CWA Award from the Pet Sitters' International (PSI) for a blog post on choosing a pet sitter. and a CWA MUSE™ for the Sweet Purrfections Blog.  I took over as managing editor for The Cat Blogosphere along with Terry Frum from Brian's Home (Technical Advisor) and Ann Adamus from Zoolatry (Graphic Design). 


New Design in July 2018
Design: Ann Adamus from Zoolatry


Three years ago, the blog had a new look and a new focus. There was a new focus on branding with shades of pink and green and an emphasis on education about living and learning with Persian Cats. I went from blogging every single day (7 years) to posting 2-4 times a week where the posts were more research-based and informational for those who owned, loved, and admired Persian Cats. I continue to work with brands on writing evergreen content and product reviews. I still share photos of my two beautiful cats, Truffle and Brulee. Many of the posts I share are applicable to all cats, not just Persians.


The last two years, I haven't posted as much. There are at least two posts a month and most are educational and informational in nature. I still share special celebrations, such a blogoversaries, birthdays, Gotcha Days, and holiday posts. I'm pleased that many brands reach out to me for product reviews and allow me to host giveaways for our readers with products I believe are beneficial to cats.


This month, I worked with a Blogger Expert, Zera Zoya from Balkeni Studio, to totally revamp the blog with a new theme, a new logo, and a fresher and updated look. There is a menu bar at the top that allows readers to find posts on specific topics such a health, behavior, daily care, the animal-human bond, and product reviews more quickly. We've updated our subscriber app from Feedburner to Follow.it. If you haven't received emails about new blog posts, you may want to resubscribe or subscribe using the Follow.it link on our sidebar. If there are any topics you are interested in, please let us know in the comments section.


graphic of a silver Persian cat's face looking forward
Top post from the past 10 years!


Top 10 Posts


As part of our 10th blogoversary celebration, we wanted to share our top 10 posts from the last 10 years. It's very interesting the variety of posts our readers have enjoyed.

  1. Understanding and Caring for the Eyes of a Persian Cat (October 2019)
  2. Who's Who? Silver Shaded Persians (January 2017)
  3. Dealing with Tear Stains in Persian Cats (December 2019)
  4. Say Hello to Ciao Cat Treats (July 2016)
  5. 5 Level Scratching Post and Lookout (January 2020)
  6. Sunday Selfie Blog Hop (April 2015)
  7. Six Tips for Keeping Cats Cool in Summer Heat (June 2020)
  8. Whisker Free Stress Dish (August 2015)
  9. Wellness Checkup for Cats: Understanding the Blood Chemistry Panels (November 2019)
  10. Jackson Galaxy Collection from Petmate (June 2017)

As you can see, our most popular posts are equally divided between educational/informational topics and product reviews. There are several posts from our early years that I'd like to revisit and update the content with additional resources and information. As always, I'll continue to include photos of Truffle and Brulee with every post! 

Which was your favorite post over the last 10 years?


Giveaways


I shared a few days ago that several of our favorite brands agreed to help us celebrate our blogoversary this month with product/reviews and giveaways. We've already given away a PetSafe CozyUp Steps & Ramp combo. We are currently hosting a giveaway for a Seaside Pet Fountain from Pet Safe. Over the next few weeks, we'll host giveaways for:
  • Sleepypod Go Bag
  • Catit Dinners
  • Sure Petcare Feeder Connect
  • Catit Double Tree
  • PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder
  • PetSafe Peek-a-Bird Electronic Pet Toy
  • Gift Basket from Sweet Purrfections (includes 2021 Cats of the World Weekly Planner)
  • Gift Basket from Propel
Make sure you subscribe to our posts so you can enter the giveaways as they are posted.

Celebration graphic photo of Mom Paula and two persian cats from 2011 and 2021
Celebrating 10 years together


We want to thank all of our readers for your support the last 10 years. You've been with us through the good times and the bad times. You've celebrated with us and you've shed tear with us. Your kind words, thoughts, and support has been worth more than I can say. 

What's your favorite memory from the last 10 years?

Would you like to comment?

  1. Happy Blogoversary!! We love that you are our friends!

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  2. Concats!! Happy 10th Blogoversary!
    That is quite a milestone!

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  3. Happy 10 year Blogoversary!!! XO

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  4. WooHoo!! Congrats to 10 years blogging girls!!!!!
    Hard to believe 10 has passed already :o
    Purrs, Julie

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  5. Congratulations on your 10th blogoversary!

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  6. Happy Blogoversary! Ten years is a long time to blog and you have done so much.

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  7. Happy Blogoversary! We've only been with you through part of your journey - but we wouldn't miss a second since then. I only wish I'd been around to read more about Sweet Praline. I can't get enough of her!

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  8. Happy Blogoversary from all of us! My fav is, of course, when you announced new kittens would be headed home.

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  9. Really interesting history of your blog! Congrats on your ten year Blogaversary with Truffle and Brulee! And congrats also on all your accomplishments and awards!

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  10. Happy blogoversary! It's hard to believe it's been 10 years - I keep thinking the girls are the same age as me!

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  11. Woo Hoo we are so happy to be here to help you celebrate. We changed our email some years back and lost track of many blogs we were following but now with follow it we get yours once again! Yay! Purrs for many years to come!

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  12. Happy Blogoversary!! We would like to say congratulations to ten wonderful years of blogging. We love stopping by and we hope many more years to go. Thanks for sharing. Have a beautiful rest of your day.
    World of Animals Mayfair

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  13. Congratulations on your 10th Blogoversary!

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  14. Woooo! Happy 10th Blogiversary! What a wonderful achievement! And many kudos for all your accomplishments. Here's to another 10 years of wonderful blog articles and kitty love!

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  15. Happy 10th Blogoversary! We are so glad you are our friends!

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  16. Congratulations on ten years! We can't wait to hit that milestone!

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  17. Congrats on 10 years. Way to go girls

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  18. Concatulations on your tenth blogoversary !

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  19. Oh your kittie babies are gorgeous ur so lucky my husband is extremely allergic I'll be following thanks so much for sharing them

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  20. Congratulations on 10 years Paula! It's been great discovering your blog with Truffle and Brulee (and your angel cat Praline). I took a peek at your old blog with Praline. She's such a beauty and see why she was your heart cat. Reading about your journey is inspiring. Congrats on your continued success. and PS Yep, I get your followit notifications too!

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  21. Happy 10 anniversary, Layla woofs pawsome

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  22. WOW!!! What an astonishing achivement. You have done wonderfully well and have such a history! Your girls are the perfect advertisement for your blog and for their breed.

    Happy Blogoversary to you all.

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  23. Congratulations on your 10th Blogoversary! So many bloggers never make it that far. It really is an incredible accomplishment and one that you should definitely be proud of. I am loving the recent changes to update your blog - they all look so sharp and professional. Looking forward to seeing what's to come in the next 10 :)

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  24. Whoohoo!!! Happy 10 years. It was so fun to read about your journey blogging. Congratulations!!!

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  25. Happy belated 10th Blogoversary! We regret we have been slacking a bit.

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