Every year Amy from Go Pet Friendly hosts this challenge. It's a great way to take stock of the previous year and prepare for the new one. I did the challenge last year.
Please read through my answers and at the end, tell me how I'm doing. Do you enjoy my blog? How can I make it better for you?
1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
I started blogging in March 2012 to try out blogging and see if I could keep up with it. I'm still here, almost two years in! Now it's evolved a lot more, and become a bigger part of my life, bigger than I ever expected it to be.
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
I guess the thing I'm most proud about is I'm starting to be recognized for what I do. I haven't won any awards yet, but it's nice to have more people think that my work has some value, to be told that my tips are helpful and my writing is good. Especially good to know that people in Florida know my work. It's cool to meet me at events and they say "yes, I follow you!"
|I met Beags and his mom Andrea an event earlier this year. She had read my blog before we met.|
I think it's the time I've put into it. I've definitely put more time into my blog, my brand, and what I'm trying to do. My blog has expanded into a lot of areas, particularly with reviews and bigger stories.
4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?
A lot of what I've been learning has less to do with the blog itself and more to do with building relationships, especially with companies. I don't know that there's anything I could teach any other bloggers. Just that it's important to go out and meet people. Build relationships. You never know where it will lead.
If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
As always, I am constantly looking for constructive criticism on how I can make it better. I've done great things, but I feel like I am hitting a plateau in terms of where my blog is at, especially with my page views and moving further into monetization. Maybe a redesign, maybe I need to change something, I don't know.
|Lulu and I went to Global Pet Expo. We'll be back this year.|
I am a believer in Triberr. I think it's done some great things in terms of helping me bring more traffic to the blog. Giveaways have also been really helpful, and I've had more. My third biggest thing, I've found, is to focus on beagles. The beagle stories are doing the best in terms of traffic. People seem to share them the most.
6. How much time do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I don't really keep count. I try to post several times a day though. I think I need to work on posting smart, not more. I haven't quite figured out how to do that though.
7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
Engagement, either on Facebook and Twitter or on the blog itself. In some cases though, the message trumps the appeal. I could fill my blog with pictures of beagle puppies and have thousands of followers. My goal is to help people. And I'm hoping that what I do over the long term is exactly that. Maybe somewhere down the line what I say will help someone. It's all about the SEO.
|Lulu as Snoopy last Halloween.|
I have to feel like I have something to contribute. I never like to post "oh, cute picture," or something really useless. If I can't contribute something useful, I'll try to share it instead.
9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways? If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?
I think it depends entirely on the product. One thing I do need to get better at is writing more effective headlines while keeping in SEO and all the proper terminology. I think that hurt me on a few giveaways.
10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
I go to work, LOL! I walk away. I go back to the basics, which is spending more time with Lulu. It helps.
11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
I take short breaks. I took one over Christmas because I was so burned out. It was nice to be away and just talk to people instead of just promote my blog.
12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
Just keep plugging away! Continue to grow this project, continue to help people have a better relationship with their pet.
|Me and my pals from #PetChat at Barkworld!|