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?