In Part 1, I followed up on the resolutions I made at the beginning of this year for my pets. In this part, I am reviewing the resolutions I made regarding this blog.
Here’s a recap on what I resolved, and a grade on how I think I’ve done:
1. Advocating for animals through the blog and my Facebook page. (B) I haven’t written a lot of posts I would consider “advocacy” this year, I counted a total of 10. Those types of posts take a lot more time and research, and I just haven’t been as motivated to do them. It’s more fun to write about my own animals. I think I’ve realized that those types of serious posts may not be my niche. My blog has evolved more into stories about, and experiences with, my own pets. I didn’t expect them to give me so much material, but interacting with other blogs has helped me to do more with my dogs.
However, just recently I have started participating in the Tuesday’s Tails blog hop at least every other week, sharing adoptable animals. I also try to share the other bloggers’ posts for adoptable animals on Facebook and Twitter. If I read an especially good post on puppy mills or other issues, I share it. I will still be writing those types of posts, especially when Blog the Change comes around, but I know now that they aren’t going to be my focus. I will continue to do what I can to spread the word about these issues, but I’m not going to beat myself up for not doing more. I feel that everyone does what they can, and what they are comfortable with. I greatly admire and respect people who can deal with these issues on a daily basis, but I’ve come to accept that I am just not that person. I have to admit that it simply just makes me too sad.
Don’t get me wrong, these issues are all still very important to me, and I’ll still be writing about ending puppy mills and animal testing; as well as encouraging spay/neuter and sharing adoptable and lost pets on Facebook and the blog.
I won’t forget about issues such as this, which I wrote about in one of my first blog posts “It’d Be Easier to Be an Ostrich”.
I also wanted to write more letters to Congress and the government, as well as companies that test on animals, and share them on the blog. I have written some emails, though sometimes they are suggested letters that I just personalize a little bit. But I have heard back from my Senators and Representatives more than once, so I at least feel like those emails are being seen. I also try to sign and share petitions for different causes, and I think I’ve shared quite a bit of that on Facebook. I truly hope these small things help.
2. Do better photography on my blog. (B-) I still struggle with my camera sometimes. There are days when I seem to do really well with it. I think I’m better at certain settings than others. But there are also days when I spend more time muttering to myself because the camera doesn’t seem to be cooperating. I download the photos and then I just groan. They are blurry or the flash didn’t go off. I was just whining the other day and my hubby suggested I get the camera book out and read it. Good idea….like I hadn’t thought of that. Reading those books is tedious, and things never make sense unless you’re actually doing them anyway!
I have been spending a bit more time learning what I can do with PicMonkey, I learned to add a splash of color to black and white photos, and to finally add my watermark. I have a lot more to learn, but I think I’m making progress! Here are some of what I think are better pictures I’ve done below:
3. Make money blogging (C). I haven’t made any money. It’s not that I haven’t tried! I tried a Google Adsense ad. It’s netted me a whole $1.16 and they won’t pay me until I reach $100. I don’t think that’s going to happen, at least not for a long, long time! It took me forever to realize that the ad was only showing up on my Home Page, and wasn’t being seen very much, since people with an email subscription come directly into a post! I finally (after much frustration and whining) figured out how to fix that. It hasn’t made any difference.
Before I even started any of that, I knew that I needed to focus more on building my readership. Now that is something I think I’ve made progress on. I have seen a big increase in the number of comments on my blog this year, especially from April/May on. It took me a while to learn the different ways to promote my blog; by joining blog hops, visiting other pet blogs more, and using social media. All of this has helped, as well as trying to increase the number of times I posted per week.
I have learned to look at my page stats and even though I don’t understand completely what it all means, I can clearly see the numbers increasing, and I know that’s a good thing. I once read another blog which suggested to just keep plugging away; to just keep writing, and eventually the readers will come. So that’s what I’m doing. I try not to get discouraged when I don’t get as many comments on some posts than others. I just keep posting! I also am trying to spend more time sprucing the blog up….did you see my new header? Isn’t it awesome? I am so thrilled with it and want to send out a huge thanks to Glogirly for designing it for me. I had seen her work on other sites and just loved it, and I knew she could do what I wanted. Debbie was great to work with, and I highly recommend her services.
Thanks to a fairly recent post by Pamela at Something Wagging This Way Comes, titled “When Ads are Good for Bloggers But Bad for Dogs“, I’ve been re-thinking the advertising issue lately anyway. The Google Ads have been known to pop up things that people might not want to see (i.e. internet puppy sales). Though I’m not aware of that happening on my site, I worry about it. Now I am taking note of what other blogs do; there are opportunities through the community of BlogPaws as well as Amazon.com for advertising and sponsored posts. I just got picked for my first opportunity on BlogPaws and I am very excited about it!
I’m not looking to get rich blogging, I have two part time jobs that pay the bills. I just wanted a little extra income, or to at least be able to cover some of the expenses incurred in having a blog. I think more of that will come in time; but I will never compromise my principals in order to make money.
In conclusion: Writing about and sharing my progress on my resolutions has really helped me to refocus and consider where I’m at. Some of my goals have changed as the year has progressed, but I feel pretty good about where I’m at. I know that further improvement on these resolutions boils down to better time management. I resolve to be more organized and manage my time better…..well, maybe I’ll save that for NEXT year!
For my fellow bloggers out there….do you feel good about where you’re at with your blog, or do you have a lot more that you want to accomplish or change? Do your goals sometimes change over time?
Dogs N Pawz says
I am so glad that you have joined the Tuesday’s Tails blog hop! One of my goals is to try to get that blog hop to grow! I also love your new header and have been thinking for some time about redoing my blog–header and theme. Maybe one of these days!
Thanks, I’m glad to be part of that hop. I enjoy looking for different animals to share, and it’s so wonderful when we find out one has been adopted!
There’s so many more things I want to do with my blog, it just all takes time….I’m sure you’ll get to yours eventually too, when the time is right!
Great that you are increasing your readership and learning to do more with your photos. Those are important, especially if you hope to garner some more income down the road. (Sorry they are holding your dollar and change hostage!!!)
As for finding out that you prefer to focus on topics closer to home, I think there’s nothing wrong with that. If you are just writing topics that you don’t want to, or worse – make you sad, your writing will be stagnant and choppy and people will see right through it. Following your heart is the way to get the best words on the page, at least IMO. 🙂
Thank you, Donna. I think you are very right about that. I don’t ever want it to feel like a chore, or like I’m forcing myself. You are right that that would show through.
Wow, lots of things you wanted to get accomplished, blogging sure takes lots of time and dedication, over time I just try to make sure I have fun and anything else is a bonus…. loved your pics! 🙂
Wags to all
Your pal Snoopy 🙂
Thank you, Snoopy. You are sure right….having fun should be the most important thing. If it turns out to be just a hobby, that is fine too! We all have hobbies that take time and money anyway!
SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) says
Good for you doing this retrospective – it’s always difficult to do self- assessment, but I think you were really open and honest and that can be tough! It really helps to set goals like this. I love your new header – what a nice job. And I think your photography is great – Love the pic of Crickett in the pool.
Thank you so much! I do think it’s been a good exercise for me, and definitely helped to get me back on track too.
The Island Cats says
We blog for fun…and we have met so many wonderful anipals and their humans. 🙂
That is definitely the best part of it! I have to remember to be careful not to let it start to seem too much like work, I want to keep the fun in it too.
Jackie Bouchard says
Love your new header!
Man, you made a lot of resolutions this year! What a go-getter you are!
I feel okay with where my blog is. (Although that comes and goes. Sometimes I wonder if all the time/effort are worth it – but that usually passes cuz I enjoy working on it.) My goals definitely changed. It started just as a way to post info for family and friends about my last dog and her cancer. Then I hoped it would be an inspiring blog to others dealing with cancer. Now I just want to spread some smiles and laughs. It’s not a lofty goal – but, hey, there’s a lotta depressing stuff out there so folks need to smile/laugh now and then! My blog is like a public service, really.
You’re welcome. 🙂
Thank you, Jackie. I think I might scale back the resolutions next year. 🙂
I have also questioned it all at times, thought about giving it up, and then realized that I just didn’t want to, also because I enjoy it so much.
I think it’s pretty cool the way your blog progressed from something sad, but now is something that spreads happiness. You always make me smile and laugh, and that is such a great thing, especially these days. Yes, thank you for your great public service! 🙂
Good luck with the resolutions 🙂 I haven’t done much on Twitter or FB either 😛
Thanks….it’s all a little overwhelming at timesm maybe even a lot overwhelming… 🙂 So I just try to work on things a little bit at a time, and hope that eventually I’ll get where I want to be!
LOVE the new header, Jan!! And great pics for sure-you are doing a great job on this blog!
Thanks, Lynn, I really appreciate your support!
2 brown dawgs says
I love your new header. Very nice! I think you have done a good job on your goals. The pictures are great! One of my goals was to use my twitter and FB accounts more. I am using FB more than last year, but twitter is still no man’s land to me…lol. I need to work on that!
Thank you! I don’t do a lot with Twitter yet either….I’m trying to do more, but I really barely understand it half the time! Baby steps, I say….lol
Ok, I’ll be like the rest and say FABULOUS HEADER! Sounds like you have some good game plans set up and I’m sure you’ll achieve them, especially with support of your bloggy buddies. 🙂 Those pics are fab btw! Keep up the good work. The blog is looking better and better!
Thank you, Bren! I really appreciate the kind words and support. I certainly couldn’t do it without my bloggy buddies…..you are all such a great help! 🙂
Go GloGirly headers, she made my new one too! Love working with her! Have you thought of taking a camera class? Mom took a couple at National Camera Exchange and they helped her out. She says it takes forever to read a manual and figure it out on your own, but with a class, they show you the important stuff, you can ask your most pressing questions and be on your way. They weren’t terrible expensive either. My blog is going in the right direction, wish things happened faster, but at least it is growing and growing how I want it too. Mom and I have learned a lot in the past six months or so.
I think yours was one of the first ones that I saw from Glogirly, Emma, and I really love it.
That’s a good idea, I should look for some camera classes around here. That could be a good thing to do over the Winter.
Your blog is great, and you have the book now too, so I think you are definitely going in the right direction!
I LOVE your new header…lucky you to have glogirly design! The blog is looking great these days…and like you i don’t always understand the stats, but I keep writing and folks keep reading so I’m letting it all grow organically…and the photos you post today are great!
Thank you, Gizmo! I think it is a good idea to just let things grow organically….it’s less stressful than trying to analyze and stress about every little thing.
Glad you liked the photos too!
Ann Paws says
I am so jealous of the Glogirly header! I think I’ve wanted one since I started blogging practically 🙂 Been thinking about getting one for my blogiversary maybe. I really like the shot of Cricket in the pool. It’s actually amazing what all you can do with PicMonkey. I created an entire infographic with it last night. I am happy with what I’ve accomplished so far, but always want to do certain things better. My goals definitely do change over time.
You should definitely treat yourself to a Glogirly header for your blogiversary, Ann! I thought about it for quite a while before finally deciding to do it. I’m so glad I did.
I was going to buy expensive photo software but after seeing all that PicMonkey does, I don’t really think I need to!