I could spend my morning solving the pet population problem, curing cancer, or figuring out who likes The Big Bang Theory and why. But instead I’ll be trying to write a clever and amusing reply to the Fifth Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.
Will I succeed?
You tell me.
Pet Blogger – The Origin Myth
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
On March 26, 2010 I was bitten by a radioactive puppy with teeth like a shark. Her name was Honey.
I developed mysterious super powers of blogging. The ability to churn out thousands of words (1169 posts and counting). Traveling to other blogs leaving witty and thoughtful (if not pithy) comments. And the amazing skill of relating every topic in the universe to dogs, from depression to living car-free to racism.
Honey and I have joined forces to raise foster puppies, be good will ambassadors to dog lovers around the world, and share our adventures in our blog.
I’ve taken the super hero name, Pet Blogger. And my faithful sidekick calls herself “Woof.”
But we call her Honey.
And what is our blog about? I can’t top my description from last year’s multimedia Pet Blogger Challenge:
Something Wagging This Way Comes has evolved into my musings on the human canine bond. I let my imagination stray as I consider the serious, silly, and profane things we learn from living with dogs. My teachers are Honey and the dogs we foster for our local shelter.
Pet Blogger – The Continuing Story
2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.
The life of a
super hero blogger is not easy. Villains lurk behind every corner—laziness, distractions, and the dreaded super villain called JOB.
Despite that, I managed to write 221 posts. And while some are obviously better than others, I’m proud that none of them read like I was just filling space. Even my Wordless Wednesday posts have some thought behind them (to make up for my incredibly poor photography skills).
Hey, we all have our weaknesses. Even Superman has kryptonite.
3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?
I’ve been thinking about this for three days and still don’t know what to answer.
Either I’ve integrated my lessons so well that I no longer know what they are. Or I’m incapable of learning anything.
4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
In truth, most of my traffic comes from searches on specific issues, most notably What Do You Do After You Scoop The Poop? So I guess good SEO is my best helper.
That and leaving my last villain tied up and dangling from the Empire State Building with my blog’s address written all over his body.
5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?
The post that got the most hits in one day was What Does Your Dog’s Breed Say About You?
And I’m always surprised by which posts get attention. I have no ability whatsoever to pick what will become popular.
If the Joker kidnapped a thousand babies and threatened to drop them off the highest tower in Gotham unless I wrote a blog post guaranteed to get lots of hits… well, let’s just say we’d have lots of tiny splatcakes on the sidewalk.
6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?
The one I just finished. Every time.
Pet Blogger – Taking Care Of Business
7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?
If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?
A review without a giveaway goes nowhere. Reviews with videos do a little better (people still come to watch me eat The Honest Kitchen dog food in my video review).
And a review tucked into an informative article is best of all. For example, in What Do You Do After You Scoop The Poop, I included my experiences with composting dog systems and flushable poop bags (see the Flush Doggy link in my sidebar to learn more) with both the positives and the negatives of each. As a result, I paid for my web hosting with the small commission I earned from affiliate sales.
I’m thinking of changing my super hero name from Pet Blogger to Poop Blogger as a result.
8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?
Don’t forget new readers.
When you’re first starting, you’re amazed when 60 people find your blog in one day. And most of your visitors will be other bloggers who may become good friends.
But eventually you’ll start attracting more traffic. And random people will start coming by after an internet search. And they won’t know when you write about a past dog that she’s deceased if you don’t tell them. They don’t know the name of your pets. Or that you fight crime with your dogs in your spare time.
I go nuts when I have to search out the About page to figure out if someone is writing about their current pet or a past one. So remember that not everyone reading your blog has read it since the beginning.
Pet Blogger – Looking To The Future
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?
I find it difficult to soar through the skies on patrol as my alter ego Pet Blogger when I keep getting ice on my wings. So sometime this year we’ll be moving ourselves (and hopefully the blog) to our new super hero lair aboard a sailboat.
Just blogging at all with limited access to electricity and internet will be challenging, not to mention writing aboard a vessel that rocks and rolls in the slightest breeze.
I’d also like to find ways to increase the small income I make from my blog to help support us on the boat while keeping things informative and fun for my S’Waggers. Unfortunately, I hate money. And I find it much easier to live on less than to earn more.
But living on less doesn’t always work. Especially since you’ll never find new sails at a thrift store.
Of course my biggest goal for the blog isn’t really about the blog at all. It’s to continue to build my relationship with Honey and to learn from her every day.
And what I learn from Honey eventually appears in the blog.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Is there any one who’d like to move in with me, encourage me when I worry that everything I write is trash, and cure me of my melancholy and neuroses?
I thought not.
Well, you could keep following us on our adventures. Because being the super hero that all bloggers are is always better with friends.
And so we finish yet another Pet Blogger Challenge post.
Thank you to Amy Burkert of Go Pet Friendly for bringing the best community blogging event back for yet another year.
Amy has been promoting this event for the past two weeks. And she’ll spend the next week reading and replying to everyone’s posts in the linky.
We could all sit at our computers and give Amy a round of applause. But why don’t we show our appreciation by
- Liking Go Pet Friendly on Facebook
- Following Go Pet Friendly on Twitter
- Look for pet friendly travel ideas by searching on Go Pet Friendly
And I’ll see you back here for Pet Blogger Challenge #6.