31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Help Me With My Homework?

Building a Better Blog 

Over at the BlogPaws Community, Dawn Miklich is hosting the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Challenge. With only one task assigned, it’s probably not too late to join. Come on in, the water’s fine.

Honey the Golden Retriever posing

What do I think of when I hear Something Wagging This Way Comes? I don't know. But it's definitely "floofy."

Unfortunately for me, the first task is one I find really tough–writing an elevator speech for my blog.

If you’ve never heard the phrase elevator speech, it refers to a description of your blog that could be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator only a few floors. Oh, and it’s supposed to sum up your blog and make it instantly attractive to the listener.

So what do you do when you’re facing a tough homework assignment? You cheat.

That’s where you come in.

What do you think of when you hear Something Wagging This Way Comes?

I have an idea about what I think I’m trying to accomplish at Something Wagging This Way Comes. Not sure if I’m doing it.

So what do you think of when you visit Something Wagging This Way Comes? Do certain words come to mind? How would you finish the sentence, “Something Wagging is the blog that…”

And if you don’t have a clear picture of what kind of things you’ll find here, let me know that too.

I really appreciate your willingness to comment. I’m interested to see what adjectives come up here. Because I’m really at a loss to find a way to talk about this blog.

I bet you thought I’d never run out of words, didn’t you?
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  1. This is so hard. It took me about 6 months to polish our blog tagline. The elevator speech is always in progress, but summing yourself up in a few words is pretty hard.

    I’ll just throw out some words that come to mind:
    funny, reflective, essay-style

    • Ooh, thanks for sharing that you took 6 months to polish your blog tagline. It’s nice to hear from someone so eloquent that it really is hard work.

      Thank you for the adjectives–they’re going on my brainstorming list. :)

  2. Hmmm… That’s a tough one! I always think of The Puppiness Project when I think of your blog, and your musings about the relationship between human and canine. The words I think of are puppy, humor, musings, relationships. I hope that helps!

  3. The words I think of are Ray Bradbury. wicked, and clever blog title. But that doesn’t help you at all.

    • Yep, Ray Bradbury is never far from my thoughts when I type the blog title. I always thrilled when someone gets the literary reference both to Bradbury and to Shakespeare.

      Thank you, Jan.

  4. Oh boy, this is tough! I need to do this too!!!

    I have to say, that I think you shine the most when you are posting about the Puppiness Project. So it would have to do something with that. I find your blog to be a great learning experience between human and dog, I find it to be funny, I can relate to it, it’s opinionated, and political. Your views are very strong and come from your own heart and experience.

    Did I mention that this was hard :)

    • Thanks for the kind words about the Puppiness Project.

      And I wonder sometimes if my obvious political bents will turn off some readers. (People who share my progressive leanings are saying now, “Political? How so?” while my more conservative friends are saying, “It’s about time someone mentioned that.”)

      I’m always “accused” of being opinionated. I’m trying to learn to be more kind. The Puppiness Project reveals a lot I have to learn.

      I saw you joined the challenge. I can’t wait to get over there tonight to see what you have to say. I’m glad I’m not the only person finding this hard.

    • I like the reference to a great learning experience.

  5. I’m so very, very bad at encapsulating things in just a few words. My blog will likely be subtitled “Life with a Doberman” for ever and ever.

    I, too, think of Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. So, when it’s “Something Wagging…” well, I think of a slightly “naughty” dog. A lovable scoundrel. Scallywag? Sorry, a little bit of free-association there.

    • I like the phrase lovable scoundrel. It doesn’t fit Honey one little bit (except for the lovable part). But it’s a great description. Does it fit Elka?

  6. Sherrie Marshall says:

    I think of a happy unique personality. I
    Am always excited to see the personality
    That come with a wagging happy Tail.
    Especially a puppy in awe of the big new

  7. Variety, wit, serious, silly, deep thoughts to ponder, quiet, simple, loving, caring, sad, compassionate, …geez do I need to go and on? bol!

  8. Yeah. I hate elevator speeches too Pamela. The corporate world is full of them. It’s almost a requirement. I think that’s why I prefer saying I need a blog tagline.

    To be honest, I think most blogs don’t have an elevator speech. I think the person who has done it most effectively is Neil over at Life With Dogs. He never strays from what his blog is about. Start on his part. But, so many of us cover a wide variety of topics that I think trying to define it in an elevator speech is hard.

    I don’t know that I can create your elevator speech for you, but some descriptor words I would use to describe it are:
    Wisdom through dogs
    Doggie zen

    “Something Wagging is the blog that…”

    • Thank you, Mel. It’s so helpful to see the list of adjectives. And yes, not one of them fits in a typical corporate elevator pitch.

      At Blog Paws, however, people would ask me what my blog was about. I told them it was about the relationship between dogs and humans. I don’t think that’s evocative enough to interest anyone in reading it.

      BTW, if elevator pitches are too corporate for pet bloggers, maybe we should come up with a new term–“marking memos” describing your blog in the time it takes a dog to mark his favorite tree? Or how about “Walkie Words” describing your blog in the time it takes a really active dog to pull you around the block? :)

      • LOL! I like those much better than elevator speech Pamela. “Marking Memos!” Bwaha ha ha!

        I do think relationship fits though. The Puppiness Project is all about that in so many ways and I think you do make us ponder our relationships with dogs.

  9. Ugh! I am sorry you are struggling with this too, though I am surprised. You’ve always had a terrific tagline that I think works so well for what your blog is about.

    I honestly don’t think the elevator pitch works well for a blog that isn’t about selling things. To me, because all we’re selling is ourselves, it feels a bit awkward. Writing brief introductions has never been a strong point of mine. I am long-winded, for one, and they always feel so contrived. Witty and pithy are very hard things to accomplish while sounding natural.

    Maybe you are right. Maybe we’re just over-thinking it. Not the first time, eh? I like Mel’s suggestion of “wisdom through dogs.” I think you could run with that.

    • I think the fact that we’re selling ourselves is what makes it so hard. Our product is our writing and our thoughts and our view of the world. And it’s easier just to say, “it’s just some little thing I write” instead of stand up proudly to say that we do something that’s pretty terrific.

      That said, pondering this with the help of all my commenters is really helping. I’m working on something I’m starting to like and I’ll post it at BlogPaws tonight.

    • So agree Kristine! That’s why I struggle with this one too. I mean how do you write an elevator speech about your thoughts and feelings expressed in the blogosphere?

  10. I agree with everyone! But mostly I commiserate with you, I struggled and struggled with this 1st task and finally just threw a few words together.

    I’m not sure why everyone writes their blogs, but the reason I do is because I want to be a writer. How do you articulate that in an elevator pitch?

    If I were to some up your blog I would use adjectives such as witty, poignant, positive training.

    I hope that helps.

    • Yes, I need to get over to the group to see what everyone’s been coming up with. I wanted to get some ideas of my own before reading too many other statements–it’s so tempting to just steal the good stuff. :) Or to feel bad that I’m not as clever as everyone else. :(

      Thank you for the adjectives. I’ve love to claim witty but I’m not sure my love of potty humor quite fits in that category. :)

  11. I find your blog to be very reflective and thoughtful, and I also get the feeling that you are a very good listener. Reading your blog is like having a conversation with a friend.

    Funny what you say about your progressive friends…it hadn’t occurred to me that your blog leaned one way or the other, but now that you mention it, I’m sure that’s part of why I like it :)

    • Thank you, Kirsten. The term “reflections” is one I keep coming up with so I’m glad to hear you feel it too. And thank you for referring to the blog as a conversation. I love that most about blogging and hope that I create a nice, virtual place to hang out for a few minutes.

      Although dog people are supposed to be more conservative than liberal, (http://www.somethingwagging.com/2011/07/16/dog-is-not-a-republican-or-a-democrat/), I find many of my commenting readers have similar political views to mine. But when I look at the interests of Something Wagging’s facebook fans, I see most people’s tastes tend toward the conservative.

      I’m thrilled that I can be opinionated and biased and still have friends likely to disagree with me on tons of other issues. And who agree with me about loving dogs. :)

    • Oh Kirsten I so agree! It is like a conversation with a friend!

  12. Oof. Your blog is so many things, Pamela. I’m going to have to think more on this one. It’s easy to describe my blog because it’s pretty straightforward, but yours is so rich, complex, and varied. It’s what hooked me in the start and keeps me coming back for more.

    • Actually, I’ll disagree with you about your blog being straightforward. Yes, it has a very specific goal. But the reason you have the following you have is because you relate fostering and dog adoption to many other things in life. If you didn’t, the only people who would read Love and a Six Foot Leash are those looking to adopt a dog in your local area.

      And that’s why I got hooked in the start and keep coming back for more. :)

  13. I’d describe your blog as thought-provoking, witty, humorous, clever, down to earth, mischievous, fascinating and sympathetic (which is probably pretty much how I’d describe Pamela Webster!) with a touch of interesting Omphaloskepsis thrown in for good measure:)

    I think from the previous comments you should be able to get quite a few floors in an elevator now!

    • Ooh, and a ten dollar word! Sue you win the prize… if there was a prize. I’m so happy to see someone using Omphaloskepsis.

      But seriously, thank you. It sounds to me like your adjectives were describing you more than me. :)

  14. It looks like you have gotten lots of great words to describe your blog! I like the idea of really nailing down what it is we are trying to do with our blogs and figuring out the reason that we write them. I definitely need to think about that more – I started it because I love dogs and cats and I felt like I had something to say . . .but then some days I wonder what the heck I am trying to accomplish. I can’t wait to read what you come up with!

    I’m going to go back to the drawing board . . seems like I am doing that in many aspects of my work life right now 😉

    • Sometimes you just have to commit and see what comes of it. How do you solve design problems?

      I’m looking forward to seeing your elevator speech.

  15. Mike Webster says:

    The Husband Butts In:

    I decided to help Pam with her elevator speech (whether she asked for it or not).

    And I thought, “There’s no better way to write a killer speech than to start by subjecting all these wonderful comments above to rigorous numerical analysis, because rigorous numerical analysis is really what SWTWC is all about.”

    That small insight was all I needed.

    So here it is, Pam’s elevator speech, fresh off my keyboard:

    “Something Wagging This Way Comes is a blog. It’s 10 parts Funny; 9 parts Reflective; 5 parts Wise (not 6 but 5); 4 parts Relationship; 2 parts each of Fascinating, Compassionate, Loving and Dog Imagery; and 7 parts Other.”

    And all you bloggers out there thought this exercise was so hard. (Pam, you’re welcome.)

  16. There’s no way I can top The Husband. :) This is a great discussion, but I’m really thankful I’m not having to complete this assignment for my blog. The horror!
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  17. You have such a cute husband. :)

    Sorry I’m coming late to the party; I just want to say that, as usual, I agree 100% with Kristine. I liked writing when it didn’t have to be considered from a commercial vantage point. One of my creative writing profs told me that Samuel Johnson said, “Only a blockhead doesn’t write for money.” I think old Sam was right, but unfortunately, I’ve always been a blockhead.