It’s time for the 5th annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by Go Pet Friendly. This is our third year participating! This is a great time for pet bloggers to review where we’ve been this last year, and where we plan to go in 2015.
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is all about. Two years and four months. My blog is about “all things pet related” ; my focus is on my own dogs and cats and my life with them. It is also about many pet related subjects; health and exercise, social issues, and anything I feel might be of interest or help to pet families.
2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud. During the summer I started to notice my numbers dropping off, so I decided to start posting more often. I went from an average of 3-4 posts per week to now 5-6. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I had that much in me….but it has turned out to be easier than I expected.
3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs? To be careful of burning out. I’ve seen a lot of great blogs drop off this year, and even though I don’t always know the exact reasons, I think burnout is a big part of it. Even though I’m posting more, I try not to overdo and to give myself a break. So what if my post doesn’t go up until noontime when others plan ahead and post early morning? I have to do what works with my schedule.
4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content? I still believe that visiting and commenting on other blogs is the best way. I don’t discount social media, but I believe reaching out to other blogs and interacting gets the best results.
5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular? “Strong, Active, Happy #Natural Stride (& Giveaway)”. I’m not really that surprised, I think giveaways are a great draw.
6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year? “A Good Life“ Even though it was emotionally difficult, this story about the passing of our beagle Kobi and his life with us was something I needed to write to help me grieve. I also think it was some of my best writing. I think that emotion can be one of the greatest drivers for creativity.
7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year? I really just started doing them this last year, and I’m happy with how it’s working right now.
If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all? For one thing, I try not to do too many because I think people can get bored with that. Trying to find a different angle, especially when reviewing treats, can be difficult. I try to find a way to tie it into something else that is going on in our lives. If I can, I’ll include a review in a post that has other parts to it as well. That way if people aren’t interested in the review, they can just skim over it. I especially do that when I can’t come up with an original idea for the review!
8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers? I try not to focus too much on the numbers. Enjoy what you’re doing and all that will work itself out.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015? I want to do some redesigning, with a new theme that will let my photos be larger, and just some general changes. I haven’t made any major ones, other than a new header, for a while now.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be? I installed Google Analytics a few months ago, but I don’t understand it, or have a clue how to use the information it’s giving me! Even though I don’t want to overly focus on the numbers, I think that can be a good tool and the stats can be interesting.