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Pet Blogger Challenge | This Year, I’m Wearing Pants

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014

This is my second year of participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by 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.


  1. That is great to know more about you and your blogging experience

  2. Hi there and thanks for participating again!

    It was very nice to e-meet you earlier this year through your comments on my blog, even though part it partly involved shared sadness over loss.

    I’m very impressed with what you do with your blog. You’re looking to double your income, huh? You go! If I doubled mine, it would be 0 x 0 😉 Seriously, I did reasonably well before I stopped blogging for a year and yours is an admirable goal.

    • Thank so much, Edie – this is one of my favorite blog hops!!!

  3. P.S. (to a comment that may or may not have disappeared): I just read your post about the ASPCA ad; we’re on parallel tracks. I think you’ll get a kick out of my Pet Adoption Videos That Don’t Make You Want to Kill Yourself series, which I mentioned as the feature I’m considering bringing back.

  4. Great goals for the new year! Why don’t you add guest posting at TLPB to the list? I would love to have you come write on my website this year! Let me know your thoughts.

    I want to see more puppy pictures in 2014, too! :)

    • Ahhhhh, thanks for the invite :) That’s very generous.

  5. It’s long past my bedtime. I need to give pain meds to my foster dog. And my joints are stiff from sitting so long. So why am I commenting on your Pet Blogger Challenge post? Because I couldn’t resist your title.

    And I’m not just blowing smoke up your skirt. :)

    You’re a great model for a pet blogger who wants to create a business while keeping her integrity. Keep up the good work. You’re well on the way to meeting some fabulous goals.

    • Thanks so much, Pamela. Not too late here, but I’m catching up on blog reading – by the time I’m finished, it’ll be very late.

  6. Congrats on an already successful blog and best of luck in 2014 – I hope you reach all of your goals (and thanks for wearing pants!!)

    • Thanks, Julie and thank you for stopping by :)

  7. My goal is steady and simple. Being part of helping making dogs’ lives better.

    • Great goal! :)

  8. I like your goals. Especially having a blast! So few people have said that, yet what a great goal! I also think you are great at networking and promoting! I don’t know how you do it all!

    • Sometimes I don’t either. It feels like I’m rarely ahead, but then I remind myself that I don’t need to be. One “secret” that seems to help me is to give as much as I take, which is why I moderate so many groups. It’s so important to share what works, because so many people helped me get to where I am today without charging me a dime.

  9. You really amaze me – how far you’ve come in such a short time with your blog. Kudos! Those 2014 goals of yours are awesome and I wish you much success achieving them :-)

    • Thank you so much, Sue :)

  10. Hey Kimberly –
    Really enjoyed the post! Great goals for this year. As a new blogger, mine would be getting more and more in touch with my readers and building the Bark and Swagger community, getting more involved in the pet community and creating a steady income. I love blogging, too, and getting feedback from followers saying they really enjoyed a post is such a great feeling!

    • You will get there. I have a good feeling about you!

  11. Readers are so very awesome! I love when I get an email from a reader! Normally its from a person who doesn’t comment on posts, but instead emailed me to let me know that they have been a reader for a long time and just had to say thank you! Oh! This makes my day every time!

    • OHHHH, I KNOWW!!!!

  12. Hey Kim! Happy new year. This was really interesting…I love “behind the scenes” posts. I’m in awe of how productive your are, especially with a f/t job. You have a dog blog not a blogging blog, but still, if you ever wanted to expand on your time-management & organization strategies (ie, when do you write, how long does it take to write a post, etc.) I’d love to read it. Personally I struggle to get things done, though of course with all the traveling and homeschooling, I’ve got different things on my plate.

    Cheers & happy 2014!

    • That’s a really cool idea, Renee. I’ll think of drafting something up soon for BlogPaws. It would be fun to compare notes with others! Thanks for the idea :)

  13. PS: I’ve already read your excellent ebook, as you know. Always happy to learn more though. :-)

  14. Love reading these! I’ve already emailed you, but one goal is getting paid more often for product reviews. Doubling my income would be nice too :) Good luck with your goals. I have no doubts you will be able to achieve them!

    • Anytime you want to chat blogging, let me know. I’ll email my number to you. It’s a fun subject.

  15. Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have quite an impressive site! I just started following you, and I’m looking forward to reading your future posts!

    • That you so much. I just love your blog, because it’s a reminder of my Sheltie, Jackson. We used to call Sheltie’s minature Collies, but I learned (after becoming a pet blogger) that this is inaccurate. So I’m looking forward to learning more about Collies.

  16. This is fantastic! Since this will be my first full year of blogging (and I only started my blog in December!) my major goal this year is simply to learn more about blogging and work on improving mine! I also hope to make more friends in the blog and dog loving community! Oh, and I also intend on making it to the Blog Paws conference! Yay!

    I know you will reach all of your goals – keep going strong!

    • Thanks, Amanda :)

  17. You do a great job of running your blog and promoting it! You also toss yourself and your feelings into your writing which readers love. We started doing reviews in 2013 and wish all reviews would pay at least something more than a bag of $4.99 treats, but we figure that since we are new at it, maybe in a while we can demand a bit more.

    • Thanks so much. Personally, I don’t think you have to be around a certain amount of time to ask to be reimbursed for the time you put in a review. A person can have a huge audience, but they may not have the engagement that a smaller blogger has with their audience – this makes the smaller blogger more valuable and more influential. And we worked hard to build our targeted audience, if someone wants access to them, they should be willing to pay us for our time :)

  18. “Most of all I want to have a blast!” Best goal I’ve read so far. If you can’t have fun blogging, it becomes slogging.

    My goal for this year is to participate more–and go to BlogPaws. I’ve got a great start, working my way through this hop–and I’ve bought my ticket to the conference!

    –Woofs (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats.

    • FANTASTIC!!! You are SOOO going to love BlogPaws. I have my ticket, I just need to get my airfare and hotel, which I’m doing next month. I’m so excited.

  19. I think having fun should be everyone’s goal. Even for business bloggers, there is no reason for it to not still be fun.

  20. I think you have a great attitude Kim. I love the product review/giveaway as being something you want to try or use. It’s important to have that relationship of trust with your readers and you’re right, they’ll know if your faking it.

  21. Tell me more about doubling your monthly income – that’d be something I’d love to do! Through blogging or otherwise! One of the things I like about your blog is the design and feel. It is very pleasant, and I love the cartoony version of what I assume is you. :)

    • Yep, that’s supposed to be me. Mostly, it’s a black woman a designer on Etsy created. Thanks for the compliment. Doubling my monthly income is pretty easy. I’m not making loads and increasing how much I make came down to me NOT working for free. I tend to do that sometimes and now only work for free for certain brands I have a relationshp with; otherwise I charge. I go above and beyond for most of my clients to make sure they get their money’s worth and to make sure that I’m creating relationships instead of just jobs.

      The real trick is going to be making $5000/month, which is my goal for 2015. I only think I can do it, because I’ve heard of other bloggers who are making 2x that. I spoke with a PR person who told me about a pet blogger who makes at least $3000 per sponsored posts – she wouldn’t tell me who, but it make me hopeful :)


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