I was fortunate enough to win a free pass to BlogPaws 2010 – a conference for pet bloggers and pet related website owners that was held this past weekend in Columbus, Ohio.  It was amazing to meet so many other bloggers that I already “knew” through twitter, facebook and by reading their blogs.

The conference went off without a hitch – from a great opening reception to a fabulous closing “pawty” – and it was held at the Westin, which was a fabulous place to stay.  There were speakers such as Andrea Arden from Animal Planet’s Underdog to Wonderdog and Elisa Camahort Page, the co-founder of BlogHer.

I finally got to meet Rod and Amy Burket, of GoPetFriendly and got a personalized tour of their new Winnebago!  Check out the outside here on YouTube.  GoPetFriendly.com launched around the same time as ThePhillyDog.com, and it’s been fun sharing the journey of creating a website and growing fans.

I also met Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me, which is a hysterical book and blog about the experiences of her dog, Frankie.  Also Michelle Hollow of Pet News and Views, which is a great resource for any pet owner.

Interestingly, there is a website in Richmond, Virginia that is very similar to ThePhillyDog!  It’s called RichmondDogs.com and provides information on pet-related events and a directory.  It was fun exchanging information with the owner, and learning about a new charity that she is helping start called “Save This Pup.”  Save This Pup will be like a PetFinder but instead of just showcasing adoptable pets, Save This Pup will allow you to donate online to “adopt” a pet or to donate to a specific shelter.

One of the best parts about BlogPaws was meeting all of the other pet bloggers out there.  I learned about so many cool sites.  Check out pawparty.com, dailydogscoop.com, ohmydog.com, FIDOFriendly, and dogjaunt.com.

I learned all about SEO optimization, how to better run contests and giveaways, how to give fair and accurate product reviews, and met some great vendors from Bamboo, PetSmart, DogTimeMedia, PuppyTweets, the Furminator, Bella’s Pain Relief and Purrfectplay.com.  I got some great ideas for new posts and features and some great products that Dash is looking forward to trying.  If you are a pet blogger, I can’t highly recommend this conference enough – it’s a must go to!  Look out BlogPaws 2011!!!!