This is my second year of participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by GoPetFriendlyBlog.com and Will My Dog Hate Me?, and it’s sooooo much fun for me, because this is how I start drafting my goals for 2014. So here goes…
1. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in 2009 (so nearly 5 years) and Keep the Tail Wagging is 2 years old.
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you the most proud.
I love the Keep the Tail Wagging community! Connecting with dog lovers is amazing and my followers really came through in 2013 when I needed them.
3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
I’ve learned that the following phrases are very valuable!!!
- In my opinion
- With my dogs
- In my experience
- I’m a dog mom and a pet blogger, not a pet professional
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?
I learned how to better deal with conflict, online bullies and trolls. My secret? I don’t deal with them; I choose to walk away and I no longer give them a platform on my blog or Facebook page.
Alternatively, if you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re still having with your blog, what would it be?
I need more guest for my podcast!
5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
Talk with your followers and get to know them beyond the blog; make friends! We dog lovers need to stick together.
6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog — and do you think you should spend more or less time next year?
I promote daily.
7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience? And how do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?
I find that if I stick to my own experience with our dogs, then my audience is pretty generous with their time and feedback. I write for a group of pretty savvy dog lovers and I love that they will share their experience with me too. When I get that feedback, I know I’m on the right track!!!
8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
I love blogs that give me a glimpse inside the family of other dog lovers, because it’s a way to gain new ideas of fun things to do with our dogs, cool training techniques I never considered, and other things that help me become a better dog mom.
9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
Yep. It works best if I do reviews/giveaways of products I want to try out. Just taking on any review becomes tedious and boring and my readers are pretty savvy, they can tell when I’m luke warm about a product and I don’t want to waste their time or mine (or the brand).
10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
Reading, movies, dogs, puppies; I have a pretty busy life outside of my blog so if I just start doing non blogging stuff, inspiration usually hits. Just the other day, I was sweeping and mopping and got a great idea for a post.
11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
Nope. I hope I never do. I try to keep my blog scheduled at least a month or more out so that when I need a break, I can take it. I also write for other sites so I have to be careful of burnout.
Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?
Absolutely! When a reader emails me with gratitude for my blog, because they found someone who they can relate to; that’s what keeps me going. My readers are pretty amazing!!!
12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
I want to double my monthly income.
I want to continue to work to raise awareness of puppy farms.
And, most of all, I want to have an absolute blast.
Whether you’re a blogger or not, share a goal that you have for 2014.