I just love being a newbie to this blogging stuff. And this year is the 4th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, a very cool challenge for pet bloggers to look back at where they have been throughout the year and look forward to where they are going. Hosted by Amy Burkert ofGoPetFriendly.com – Take Paws and Edie Jarolim from Will My Dog Hate Me?
So without further ado, here is my recap of my first 8 months!
I have been blogging since April 12,2013… 8 Months, with my first post Counting the Days. My first post was pretty indicative of why I started blogging, preparing for the day my terminally ill dog were to cross the rainbow bridge. JoeJo was and still is the love of my life. Since this first post, I have pretty much stayed within the same theme of sharing my weekly and daily experiences and antics with my Shih Tzus.
Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
Once I became more active blogging my goal was to publish 100 posts for 2013. I was so happy that I was able to reach this goal by the end of November.
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?
This is my first year so it will be great to look back next year and see the difference of where I was and where I went.
What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?
Being a newbie to blogging I am constantly learning. But I feel that the one thing that will contribute to my success in the new year is creating an editorial calendar and scheduling posts.
What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
I still don’t have a huge traffic count to my site but I have found success with Reddit when it comes to numbers. I hope to learn more this year to drive traffic, but I know that will take extra commitment on my part.
How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I do not spend enough time publicizing my blog. I am hoping to add this item to my “to do” list.
How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
Boy these questions are rough… I am learning that I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to becoming a “blogger”. In the past I have wrote posts depending on what hop is going on, but one of the changes I am making this year is to write more relevent content and not necessarily let hops dictate what I am writing.
When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
I try to comment for encouragement. I know how much I love to receive comments so I really make an extra effort to comment on posts of bloggers like me who don’t have as many followers as the “big girl” blogs.
Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
I’ve only don’t 1 product review and giveaway. I hope to do more but I have found it very difficult to make those brand connections. So I have become content with improving my content and writing skills.
When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
When I have writers block, I usually go out and take pictures or work on homework from school. I will then come back to one of my many drafts in que and begin writing again 🙂
Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
I did take a long break this year when I started going back to school. Now with the first semester under my belt I am regrouped and organized to handle school, blogging and all 9 dogs!
Though I have thought about quitting due to my return to college, I remember how much I love it. In addition I am finding sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences with my dogs to be very therapeutic. I am not a writer by nature so coming up with content can be very difficult for me.
What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
I am so excited about 2014… I really haven’t laid out a bunch of goals besides becoming more organized but I think as the year progresses I will have a huge list. I will be attending several blogging conferences; BlogPaws, May in Las Vegas (so excited as I won the BlogPaws or Bust 2014 Twitter Contest); BlogHer, July in San Jose; and BarkWorld in October! So I am sure that with next years bloggers challenge I will have a long list.