Are Blog Stats Like the Skinny Model on Your Fridge? Pet Blogger Challenge III

Honey is a Golden Retriever.

Are you saying that my picture on the fridge could make people feel bad since they could never be as beautiful as me?

Everyone who makes money telling people how to blog (and even a few who don’t) says you need to track your stats. See what posts attract the most readers. Then write more of those.

Voila! Success!

But how do you know the people giving you the advice aren’t sabotaging your success to ensure their own?

Maybe they’re like the picture of a skinny model you put on your fridge to help your diet—you think it will help but it actually dooms you to failure.

Pretending to Follow the Rules of the Pet Blogger Challenge

Ok, I’m not totally antisocial. So before I go galloping off to write the piece other challenge posts inspired me to write, I’ll show you my conventional reply to last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge questions.

And I’ll bring my own take to the questions Amy and other bloggers suggested for the hop.

Goals Schmoals

I set notoriously nonspecific goals. Some wouldn’t call them goals at all. Last year I didn’t aim to raise a certain amount of revenue or target a specific number of blog readers.

I did plan to keep a record of my life with Honey, connect with like-minded people, and figure out what place blogging has in crafting a meaningful life. I’ve certainly kept the first two goals. The third is a work in progress.

But I did take a huge action that affects my blogging. I left my job as a full-time employee with a nonprofit and continued working for them as an independent consultant, setting my own hours and concentrating on the part of the job I enjoy most, home buyer education.

I’m attempting to redesign, rework, and relaunch my Hands on Home Buyer blog as a for-profit site.

And I’m wondering what’s next for Something Wagging.

Honey the Golden Retriever guards her stick at Ithaca Falls.

I always have goals. How would I ever get to the bottom of this stick if I didn’t?

I know how I could make money from it. And I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s a personal project that I don’t feel comfortable commercializing.

In money management, you always have two choices: make more money or spend less. Hosting Something Wagging This Way Comes is a cost I don’t know if I can justify as a hobby. The smart thing would be to move to a free platform, like back to WordPress.com or Blogger. Especially if I have no intention to build or monetize the blog.

But I’m struggling with the decision. I guess the budget hasn’t gotten tight enough yet. Any thoughts?

As for you, I’d challenge everyone to think about their goals and why they want to meet them. I suspect I’m not the only one looking to craft a good life. But if making a full-time income as a blogger is lurking in your mind, look carefully to see if the work you’d have to do to monetize your blog will give you the life you want to live.

You might find you lose what drew you to blogging in the first place.

Posting – Don’t Ever Stop

Last year I published 258 posts on Something Wagging plus another 10 posts as the Pet Travel contributor to A Traveler’s Library.

I post nearly every day except Sunday.

Why?

  • I have a lot to say. I have far more ideas than I have time to write.
  • When I post less often my stats go down (bad motivation, but there it is).
  • If I stop I’ll have trouble starting again.

I have long lists of things to write. I try to break up serious posts with silly ones. But I’m rarely at a loss for what to write.

I’ve toyed with the idea of setting up a subscription service for pet (and probably other topic) bloggers where I’d send 10 to 20 potential blog posts each week for them to choose from. Interested? Let me know in the comments. :)

You Can Make More Money; You Can’t Make More Time

Ahh, time. We never have enough of it.

Honey the Golden Retriever Shows Her Introverted Side

As long as you leave enough time for walkies I don’t care what you do.

And even when we free up some hours, we fill them so quickly we don’t know where the extra time went.

It takes me about 3 hours to write a blog post. So 20 hours a week are just spent writing.

I’ve started triaging my commenting—I am more likely to leave a comment on a new blog or with someone who doesn’t have a lot of interaction yet. Comments are encouragement. And when I’m on a tight schedule, I try to be sure the people who need them the most get them.

But it also means I miss some of the interactions with people I really like. I’ve spent far too little time visiting Little Dogs on Long Leashes whose people are planning a change in life similar to one I have in mind.

I have a feeling the thoughts stirred up by this challenge will force a change, though.

I used to worry more about making the most of my time. I even spoke about it at BlogPaws last year. But I discovered that people are far more interested in increasing their stats and making money.

Worrying about making time to blog is like complaining about jury duty. It bonds us together as a community.

Back to the Skinny Model in the Bikini on the Fridge

And stats? They’re deadly.

Like Jan at the Poodle and Dog blog, I’ve found myself listed as Technorati’s #1 pet blogger without doing anything special. The next week, with lots of links and engagement, I’ve been demoted to 257.

Golden Retriever with an orange stuffed duck in her mouth

The only stats you need to worry about are how many treats and toys I get.

My U.S. Alexa ranking has been below 70,000 just to skyrocket the next time I look.

And I have fewer readers than many bloggers who haven’t matched these metrics. Which demonstrates how worthless they are.

Stats are important if you need to justify rates to advertisers. If you sell your site, an investor will want to know about them. And if you’re changing your content to capture the most page views or lowest bounce rate, then yes, load up Google Analytics and start analyzing.

But stats just make me feel bad.

When I get 1500 hits for a funny post, I feel bad that it drew lots of people for a peek but few stuck around. Or I wonder why posts from 2011 did better than anything I wrote in 2012. Am I slipping?

See? There’s no way I can ever be made happy by looking at stats. And I’m starting to see the people who advise us how to track our stats as like the fashion and weight loss companies that thrive when we’re dissatisfied with ourselves.

But I appreciate the comments from thoughtful readers. The comments are often better than the original post. And sometimes they spur a new discussion on another blog. That’s fun.

If stats are the skinny model on the fridge that makes you wallow in chocolate, smart comments are the supportive friend who joins you on a walk.

A Little Help, Please?

Amy urged us to ask for help from other bloggers. I have a weird question I’ve never known anyone else to ask.

I’m a big fan of the Creative Commons. Knowledge should be free. And I’m happy to have my content posted anywhere with a link back here.

But I occasionally have content scraped.

If a fellow pet blogger or finance blogger republishes any of my articles with a link back to me, I’m fine with it. But when my content shows up on a commercial site for unknown purposes I get steamed.

What do you think? Does using the creative commons license mean any uses of my content are legitimate as long as they attribute the original source (some do; some don’t)? Or is it reasonable to distinguish between other bloggers using my content and commercial sites loading up free content for their own purposes?

Okay, back to the challenge at hand.

Finding My Tribe

Golden Retriever is ready for a road trip

Yeah, where are we going in 2013?

If collecting stats dissatisfies me and I dislike turning the focus of Something Wagging to making money, where am I going in 2013?

I think it’s time to reconnect with my tribe.

Some of my friends are finding the term “pet blogger” too narrow for their current interests. They are drifting off into other pursuits. And, as I’ve read their statements about moving on, I’ve questioned myself—asked if I was thinking too small.

But I have more to learn about the human canine bond. And more that I want to write on the subject.

My dogs have done for me the most profound thing one creature can do for another. And no, the story is too personal to talk about. Maybe I’ll save it for my last blog post.

So for now, I’ll work harder at being an authentic and generous person in every area of my life, not the least of which is blogging about dogs.

And if I pursue that goal in 2013, I’ll be successful. No matter what the stats say.

If you made it this far, congratulations! And thank you, Amy, for pulling this diverse group of people together on such an interesting project.

 

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Comments

  1. It’s so nice to meet you! I haven’t monetized my blog yet either, (and it’s not strictly a pet blog), but that is part of the future plan; just as a sideline though. Have never been too interested in stats,rankings, etc. and I am almost afraid to make the leap, because, money has never been a motivating factor and I would really hate to “sell out”, as it were.
    Enjoyed reading this post and I shall return to get to know you and your blog better.
    Cheers!
    Debbie

    • Just came from your blog. Looks like you have a really distinctive vision. I can’t imagine anyone expecting you to “sell out.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money someday. It’s a matter of finding the people who want what you’re offering. :)

      • Thanks for dropping by my blog and sharing your thoughts, Pamela. :-) I guess what I meant by “selling out”, is getting too wrapped up in things like SEO, page rankings, etc. and letting the creative side suffer. “Blogging for bucks”, so to speak. That’s just not who I want to be. Spent almost 20 years in the corporate world and that was more than enough business-oriented twaddle.
        Have a great weekend.

  2. An amazing, thoughtful and interesting post, as always, Pamela. I am in awe of how you continue to post meaningful, thought-provoking content day after day. It is, in part, why I find it so hard to comment regularly. There’s never a post where a two-word comment is appropriate and, you know me, once I get talking, it’s hard to shut me up.

    Like you, I have been trying to “triage” my commenting. I like to get out and encourage new bloggers but I miss connecting as much with old friends. I’ve made adjustments to commenting on my *own* blog’s comments to allow more time to comment on others’ instead. I still need to find a balance because it’s not working.

    What I’d really like to learn to do better this year is something I think you do extraordinarily well: give back to this community. Your encouragement, support, linky-love, it’s inspiring (and intimidating!) But it’s also part of what makes you and Something Wagging so well loved. If your goal next year is to be ‘authentic and generous’, just keep doing what you’re doing because you’re already there.

    • Thank you, Leslie. I often wonder if my quirky thoughts could possibly be interesting to anyone else. I’m so thrilled to have made such wonderful (and quirky) friends.

      As for giving back. I think your honest posts about working with Bella have been an extraordinary gift to the community. I wish I could have read your posts when I was living with Agatha and Christie so many years ago. I’m sure I would have been inspired to try so many different things that never occurred to me.

      I know many dog people coping with fearful dogs are thankful to know they’re not alone. And to see how much a dog can blossom with a loving family willing to learn all kinds of new things to give her a good life.

      • Well said, Leslie. The first dog/pet blog I go to is Pamela’s because I know she’ll have content I can use or consider, it will be offered in a kind manner and my comments will be taken seriously with helpful, generous feedback (like your Justus comment, P., which I put in Evernote).
        Whew re: stats since I just don’t pay attention to them. I have no intention of monetizing any of my blogs (total of 3); they are fun to write and share. I enjoy having followers but I know there are so many blogs out there I’m missing which are very good.
        Much food for thought here again, Pamela – plus I didn’t even answer the questions (yet).

  3. If you can’t justify paying for somethingwagging.com, but are going to be paying for the Hands on Homebuyer site, you might want to consider making Something Wagging a subdomain- so the addy would be somethingwagging.handonhomebuyer.com. Or, you could do like I’ve done and buy kind of a generic website name and make the blogs pages of that website. (I will say that most people recommend the subdomain route over the pages route- and you can do subdomains even with the generic domain name).

    The other thing I want to mention here is that I would love, love, love if you would be willing to write a guest post for my personal finance blog that I could put up when you relaunch Hands On Homebuyer. It would help me meet one of my goals and hopefully get you exposed to a slightly larger audience, too.

    • That’s a great idea Erin. Here’s something else to consider, with my bluehost account (something like $5 per month) I can have as many domains as I want. I have a blog that has it’s own .com name, but it is not affiliated with HLAD except in my control panel.

    • I third that suggestion! I have had several subdomains on my Bluehost site with only have to pay the yearly domain name fee.

      Which creative commons license do you have your blog under? I don’t believe any of them require permission to use your work (although all require attribution), so in reality anyone could use your work and depending on which license you use could change it up and add to it using it in some way you would never intend it to be used. I like the idea of Creative Commons, but I don’t like not having control over where and how my work is used.

      And another great post! Stats are one of those things I’ve just kind of accepted as something to look at, to get some information on, but I never agonized over them. They’re interesting to look at, have a giggle over some of the search terms, but they aren’t the end all and be all of blogging for me.

  4. I almost wish I’d read your post before hacking out my own. You’ve answered a lot of the questions I had about stats! I’ve never paid attention to numbers. It’s just not my thing and I’ve learned recently that I tend to avoid things I dislike. I was feeling bad for not paying attention and not know what the heck Technorati is but you’ve made me feel so much better, almost like I’ve dodged a bullet! So thanks. This is why I love the PBC so much!

    I wish I could help you on the Creative Commons issue but I don’t have any experience with that sort of thing. My writing tends to be so personal it’s not really content others could use. It would be pretty awkward if they did! If it was me, I’d probably be okay with it as long as they attributed, especially if it was another pet blogger. But if it was a commercial site that actually runs like a business and my content was swiped without any permissions asked or links back? I’d be steamed too.

    Good luck in achieving all of your goals. You are one of the bloggers I feel most connected with as a friend. I hope wherever your life takes you, you won’t quit blogging. It would be hard for me to say goodbye.

  5. Oh, and sign me up for the idea subscription! I know I could use the inspiration! 😛

  6. Following up on the last comment, I have A Traveler’s Library, and also my book site, the Quincy Tahoma blog, under my writing site, Pen4Hire, which means I’m only paying one hosting fee. And they each have independent names, so readers never know they’re attached. (unlike Shenandoah’s example). The money to pay for the domain name is minimal, and I only use techie help that I have to pay for about once a year.

    All of those expenses (and an occasional spa day for Bogie) are reimbursed by ads at A Traveler’s Library. I do not accept offers for sponsored posts, because my subject matter is too narrow, and although I’m classified as a travel blog, I’m not in the business of booking travel. I don’t have a site where people come when they want to book travel either, but they might be inspired to travel and therefore click on an ad that I’m running.

    Before you discard the idea of advertising on Something Wagging, be sure that you are differentiating between making money being your sole, or most important goal and the goal of just making a little to cover expenses. BIG DIFFERENCE–both in attitude and in how you go about making the money.

    Ironically, I just talked to contributors at A Traveler’s Library about the source of traffic at A Traveler’s Library, so, yes, I DO look at statistics, and I DO find them useful. So do you, actually, although you’ve chosen a glass-half-empty approach. You see, I don’t see them as the impossible girl in the bikini (that’s a model–not a measurement of how I’m doing). I see them as that loss of 1/2 pound that I see on my scales ( or gain of 50 readers I see when I look at Feedburner or Analytics).

    One more thing in this already too long comment–it’s nice to be altruistic, but your comments mean more to newer bloggers if your site is robust. This is about traffic to your site–not money. To get to be robust, you need to balance your “donations to needy causes” (commenting on the blogs of newcomers) with “earning enough to be able to donate” (commenting on blogs that have more readers than you, that have Comment Luv so readers can follow back to a post of yours, and blogs that have readers you’d like to have also read your articles.)

    Everybody goes through these periods of self doubt, burn out, changing goals. Hang in there. What you do is valuable.

  7. I love how you put your own spin on this challenge Pamela, I was wondering when I saw the title…:-)

    No. If someone uses your post or information from your post they need to make that perfectly clear. Plagiarism is plagiarism, plain and simple. It wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else and it shouldn’t be accepted here.

    By a subscription service do you mean that people would pay you for blog ideas?

    As for me, I feel Something Wagging (and it’s creator) is something/one I look up to and try to emulate. You’ve got a great blog with lots of great content and you transition your posts extremely well. I wish I was half as good.

  8. Why don’t you give me the secrets to making money with my blog and I will go ahead and do it. :) You seem to have everything figured out and I like that you walk to the beat of your own drum.

  9. As a newcomer to your blog, I am really enjoying my visits! This post mentions things that I would love to do better with my blog. But unfortunately with work, and all the dogs, and all that life throws at me, I have problems carving out enough time for it and I see the truth in what you’ve said about the stats–sigh…….. :-(

  10. Oh honey (you the human), and here I thought I’d put my large and rather sunburnt foot in my mouth. I miss you but (despite what I said on Kristine’s post), I understand. I’ve cut down a lot myself, on reading and commenting and only make it a point to visit a few friends religiously. How else can any of us fit all we have and want to do into a day and a night? Writing, reading and commenting on this Challenge, I got to bed at 2 last night and was up by 5, unable to sleep. To my horror, the list already had about 40 more posts than it did when I went to bed. We dogbloggers are as indefatigable as our dogs. But you’re absolutely right….comments (real comments) are encouragement. And connection. And that’s what I love best about blogging.

    I wonder if you will start writing about the trip coming up next year! I would love to follow your thoughts and adventures on that one. Till we meet again, when you have time X

  11. I don’t think it’s possible to have time to do everything, though you’re one of the few who seems to do it flawlessly! I aspire to be as prolific in blogging and commenting as you!

    As for the Creative Commons thing… I have a real problem with people taking a post word-for-word and pasting it on their site with an itty bitty link at the bottom. To me, that’s no better than plagiarism because, really, how many readers make it all the way to the bottom to check the source. If someone links to me in their own unique copy, I’m way happy, but I think that’s different from what you’re saying. I’m not sure if this helps at all, but whenever I discover that my stuff has been used without my permission – even if there’s a link – I send an email asking them for a byline credit (with link) at the top or to please take it down. I put words together for a living, and I don’t think it’s fair for anyone else to profit from my work. Or your work!

  12. Oh, Pamela, I knew you would come up with a fresh, original approach to the essay topic. Back when I taught English (I don’t any more, sorry if I have misled people) I always had one student who would blow me out of the water with a creative approach to the often lame assignments I would give. And you have probably done that all of your life. I hope you never abandon writing about Honey and the dog-human bond. You are constantly reminding me of that magic that has existed for thousands of years.

  13. I believe that if someone takes information from your blog they should cite you for it. Period. They didn’t come up with it.. that’s why when I’m doing research I make it a point to cite the website I got the information from and have more than one source.

    I love reading you blog.. and I nominated you for 3 blog awards.. =^..^=
    Please visit my blog to claim them and to get the questions with them.
    http://peacelovenwhiskers.com/2013/01/10/good-things-come-in-3s/

  14. “I have a lot to say. I have far more ideas than I have time to write.”

    Yes, you do. And it’s frightening how well you produce so much quality writing every single time you sit down to post. Wheaties? Coffee IV? Fueled by electricity? I will never understand how you manage, but I am in awe of it every time I push one of your titles through Triberr. I specifically mentioned your blog by name in my PBC post’s comments today for this very reason. You simply blow my mind.

    I, like you, fell on the side of strictly writing what I love and doing it for the sake of enjoyment, not money. Sadly, I posted just 28 times in 2012. With my new and less arduous advisory role at BTC, I suspect my blogging enjoyment will rise again and that number will increase in 2013. The difference between us is that your writing continues to thrive on love alone.

    With this stark difference between us, what we do share is an appreciation for spending time with our beloved furry pals and that supersedes the importance of blogging every time. Without that, blogging wouldn’t matter. I love that this appreciation is what we have in common, yet I continue to look forward to the day when my writing can be as prolific and continuously relevant as yours – because I truly admire that about you.

  15. Wise words on stats and time, but then I always expect wise words from you. I’m always in awe of how you come up with topics all the time!

  16. When I started the website/blog, I was way to “into” my stats. Stats are good but they can be bad, too. I used to put too much focus on how to get Google to crawl & index my site and not enough on making the blog people friendly. Oddly enough, when I focused more on making the visitors happy & interested, my stats got better.

  17. I like the different format for the answers! As for getting mad if your posts are used for commercial gain, I would say I think I might feel the same way! If the information you generated is helping in some commercial venture, shouldn’t you get rewarded for helping out? that would be in a perfect world, but I would also say if knowledge is free, shouldn’t that be included for commercial companies as well? I guess there is no perfect answer really, its a complicated question!

  18. That Technorati thing happened to me, too! It’s so totally bizarre >.>

    I’m glad that you update so often; I always enjoy reading.

  19. When I first started this blog it was to make money. But once I found out how to make the money, I had already found my passion. And let’s face it, my passion doesn’t match what I’d have to do to make money.

    I decided early on to not buy anything the so-called professionals were selling. There’s already plenty of bloggers out there offering the same ole’ same ole’. I want my blog to be unique. I want it to be me. And so it is.

    Truth be told, my blog today is more about me learning and growing as I explore the world of animal welfare. If you care to come along for the ride, you are very welcome. If you don’t, I’ll still be here.

  20. I’m no good at reading the stats, and I don’t follow them unless I have to answer questions for someone. I agree with you, though, that using them to compare yourself to others and as a measure of your success isn’t a good idea. I hope that whatever direction it is you decide you want Something Wagging to go that it brings YOU happiness! We all really started blogging for ourselves.

  21. You know, there is something about your writing, and what you write about, that leads me to want to comment. And not just a hi this is great comment, but a meaningful, engaging comment, because your posts are always interesting and thought provoking. I can’t imagine doing anything more “right” than that. I’d agree to join in on any project you proposed, just because I know if you thought it up, it’s going to be a fun ride!

  22. Great to meet you and a a very thoughtful post. I like your take on stats. I do look at mind and in my opinion they look at me…what do they mean? Some posts that I love and get a excellent comment or two makes me feel good, a post that has “hit the roof” but comments are fleeting or even perhaps needless…I think go figure.
    However I like your blog a lot and to me that’s all that matters. In fact as a reader I do not even consider “how popular” a blog is, its more important that I like the tone and content… and your blog fits that bill. Looking forward to more in 2013

  23. I am always in awe of how much content you come up with – you seem to have a never-ending stream of ideas. Not only that, but it’s all of extremely high quality. Your blog never fails to move me to think, to comment, to engage, to examine. I love that I will find that here. Finally, you are one of the most generous and thoughtful people that I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Whatever path you choose to take with this blog, I’ll be following along.

  24. I’ve stopped by several times in the past – one of the few pet blogs I already knew! I love it! Happy to stop by again on the blog hop!

  25. You write amazing posts and I love reading through your comment threads. Sorry, but I don’t have a great answer for your Creative Commons question. It’s kind of funny because every once in a while I’ll see my content on another persons blog ranking higher than my blog in the search results. It’s frustrating, but I just don’t have the time nor the resources to address the problem.

    You’ve built a great community here and I think any blogger would be jealous of the thoughtful comments your blog posts elicit. I know I am!

    Best of luck to you in 2013!

  26. Another great post Pamela. I think the human/animal bond is a topic that I could explore endlessly. That, and learning to communicate with one another. It’s amazing what dogs can teach us, if we really learn to listen to them.

    As far as tracking stats, maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t got all that stuff down just yet? :-)

  27. I laughed, I cried as I often do when reading your blog, Pamela. thank you. I love the analogy of the skinny model. And understand the need to make money and not wanting to do whatever it takes (at what cost)… things I think we all struggle with. And it all comes down to priorities, what is most important, what brings us the most value/happiness/satisfaction in life… writing about Cici is priceless. I LOVE being able to write what I want when I want (after so many years of writing what editors and/or clients wanted me to write). And there needs to be a balance.
    Whatever you decide to do, good fortune!

  28. Your casual approach to statistics is refreshing. Thank-you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    In regard to your thoughts on the expense of your blog – I’m really surprised that this costs you so much money you have to be concerned? Obviously, it costs you a lot of time, that is expensive. But my blog only costs me about $50 a year (for the domain and the hosting), and for the amount of joy I get out of it, it’s well worth it. Maybe, if your domain and hosting is costing you a lot, you might want to consider shopping around for better deals? I hope you can find a solution, regardless, because it’d be sad to see your blog go off the air, so to speak.

  29. Great post as always Pamela! I love your writing style – it’s so thoughful and though-provoking. Stats: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I look at my own stat to see how I’m doing against myself – which posts got a lot of hits, which ones got a lot of comments, and which ones got a lot of shares. I don’t compare myself to other blogs (at least I try not to). When I compare myself to others, there’s a winner and a loser. Nobody wants to be a loser! Monitization: I write my blog because I love what I write about – if I didn’t I would stop blogging. I don’t put on a big push to sell ad space or find sponsors because I don’t like selling anything – especially myself. I’m happy with the small amount that I get from participating in ad networks. Community: I love this community! I have met so many wonderful people by blogging, and they expose me to even more great people. Sometimes I’m lucky and I even get to meet them in person. 😉 Whatever you decide to do with Something Wagging, I’ll be right there with you!

  30. Hi Pamela,

    Soothing, insightful, thought-provoking, and comforting post…. thank you for it. Much like our impromptu chat at BlogPaws this past year, your written words help to shed some welcome light on blogging for me. You’ve got a great perspective, and a wonderful way of expressing it – both in person and online.

    I hope Ithaca is treating you well and that you are enjoying life to its fullest! May 2013 be your best and happiest year yet!

    All the best,
    Jason

  31. It took me a while to get here, but I’ve finally made it! Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge again this year, and thank you for putting your own spin on it. You have a special way of engaging your readers, and though I’ve also had to cut back on my commenting, I always read your posts and often spend several more hours thinking about what you wrote.

    As for the people taking your content without permission – with or without attribution – I think it’s stealing. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much time and effort it would take to send requests each time asking the person to give you the credit you’d like or take it down. If you have to choose between that and connecting with your own readers or spending time with Honey and Mike, I think I know which would be more important to you.

    I do look at my statistics each month, but only to compare them to my past results and see how things are progressing. We each have our own audiences, niches, and levels of engagement. Trying to compare ourselves to other bloggers based only on visits or page views is like trying to compare apples and oranges. I’m not going to write posts specifically to draw Google traffic – getting the additional hits wouldn’t be worth the fact that I’d no longer like my own blog.

    I hope that SWTWC is around for a good, long time. The pet blogging community wouldn’t be the same without you, and my personal growth and evolution would definitely be affected. Here’s to a great 2013 for you!

  32. Like you I’ve had to look closely this year at whether the cost of upkeep on Kol’s Notes is worth it as a hobby. Truth be told, it’s not. Between the hosting, the weekly recipes and other expenses, that blog costs me a pretty penny, which is why like you, I get steamed up when someone nabs my content (and why I’ve taken steps to discourage it). I agree that knowledge should be free, but I will never feel comfortable with losing control of how my work is used and by who. Creative Commons just isn’t for me.

    This year will be the year Kol’s Notes either stands on it’s own merit…or it doesn’t. Unlike yourself, who is sharing wise words word and deep thoughts, we’re just a bit of fluff. If I had half the way with words you do, I might be able to blog for the sheer love of it. Hopefully, we’ll get to come along as you move into this next phase of who you are and what your life is about. Even if it’s not a “dog blog” I think you have a lot to offer as a blogger – and as a friend.

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