Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pet Blogger Challenge - Paws to Reflect


Once again, Amy from Go Pet Friendly has put us to the task of reviewing our goals and achievements with the third annual pet blogger challenge.This is open to all pet bloggers, so grab the questions, put on your thinking cap, and join the linky!









1.  How long have you been blogging? Provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.

 I've been blogging 5 or 6 years

Here's last year's post

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?


Last year I challenged myself to step it up with more useful content, topics that will help other pet parents or get them thinking.

 3.  Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

I’ve added Brooks’ Books (book reviews), more guest posts, and a feature called Pointer and Counterpointer, discussing two sides of an issue.  I’ve also started a newsletter, PPP’s Pawsitvely Pets which is kinda like a short, cool ezine, where I share good news, dog treat recipes, and popular posts, and I’m having so much fun with it, I hope you check it out!

 I don’t tend to take on really controversial topics on the blog, but I think I’ve been successful in steering away from obvious topics that may be common knowledge to most pet blog readers who, as you know, are very smart already.  In my effort to avoid controversy, however, I think sometimes I play it too safe. I may brush the surface instead of revealing my deepest thoughts. I still marvel at some of my favorite bloggers (you know who you are!) and wish I’d said that.

4. How often do you post? 
Minimum of 3 days/week, up to 6 days/week

5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?

I love having a schedule!

If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?

As a freelance writer, I have multiple projects going at all times, so I have to stick to a schedule or I’d have papers and notes flying all over the place and no idea what I’m doing. (Haha reality isn’t much different.) I have a general editorial calendar for the year which is subject to change as the need arises. Then I have a schedule of what specifically I plan to write for a couple months, and I try to post at least a week in advance. I love it when I get several posts scheduled ahead, so that takes the pressure off a bit. The key is being flexible, because I often have to shuffle things around.

I have to admit that I’m never stuck for inspiration, I always have more to blog about than there is time to blog. Kelly and Brooks aren’t always in the midst of exciting blog-worthy stunts, so I read the newspapers and check out pet websites to see what catches my eye and what people are talking about. I receive quite a few requests from companies and individuals asking for reviews or offering guest posts, which I also welcome.

 6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.

Agh! The answer is too much and never enough. Most days I visit other blogs and leave comments, and this takes 2 or 3 hours every morning. It could take even longer because I have so many wonderful blogs in my Google reader that I would want to keep up with, but I never can do it all. I love connecting with so many other bloggers and always feel like I’m missing out when I fall behind.

 I have no idea how long it takes to write the blog, it feels like I’m doing it on and off  all day-- between scouting ideas, writing, designing, posting. Book reviews are the most time consuming because it takes a few days to read the books first.

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

I feel really good when I get a lot of comments because that means the content was engaging enough to initiate sharing of thoughts and opinions. When I don’t get many comments, I try to analyze if it was a boring topic or was it because I hadn’t had time to connect on all my social media networks? I have no scientific method of analyzing this however! I actually don’t check my stats often, and envy those who analyze posts and are so smart about it all. I check my overall pageviews once in a while and I’m really happy with how well they’ve grown!

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Great question! Actually, if I may, I’d like to ask for help with two issues

*Do you enjoy reading product reviews?
 
*If you’re familiar with my Wednesday Pet Roundup, do you have any tips for how I can improve it? Do you click on the links? Are there too many or too few links? Too much or too little details? Should I move it to a different day of the week? Anything else?

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

My goal is to be more personal, to dig deeper, and to focus on quality posts that say what I really want to say. I will continue to support pet adoption and focus on healthy lifestyles with pets. I am so grateful to this community of bloggers and their pets, some of whom we lost this past year, and I thank you all for being a part of my world. I’m looking forward to continuing to celebrate, support, share and grow together in 2013.

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