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!
How long have you been blogging?
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.
Kimberly Gauthier says
I had no idea you were so new! You’re doing GREAT!!!!
Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Fur Mom Confessions | I Stole a Box of Riley’s Organic Dog Treats
Tzu Mom says
Thanks so much Kimberly!!! Hence the reason I was bugging you a few months back!! LOL
PawsandPedals (Kate and Scooter) says
I didn’t realise you were a newbie like us. Love the insights this Blogger Challenge gives you into other Blogger’s Worlds. Just wish I had got my act together to have been part of it 🙂 Very jealous that you’ve managed to book in all those blogging conferences. Enjoy!!
Tzu Mom says
Well Kate… if I could I would trade all those conferences to come and see you and your beautiful country!!! And I barely made this hop… didn’t know it excited until 10pm that night!!LOL
Jessica @YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner says
You haven’t been scheduling posts? You crazy woman! ha, ha. I couldn’t live without my WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin (I have NO IDEA how I did) and post scheduler.
I am really glad I met you this year and it has been nice getting to know you. You said you were going to BlogPaws right?
Jessica @YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner recently posted…2014 Pet Blogger Challenge
Tzu Mom says
there is a plug in Calendar? OMG.. just started using my ipad calendar and schedule the posts… okay now I have to go find it!! lol Yes I will be at blogpaws… I am having trouble deciding if I should take the flight being offered to me or drive… 🙂
Golden Woofs: Sugar says
So glad you joined PBC as we love to hear perspective from a new blogger. First, we are so happy to connect. Did not realized you have 9 dogs, wow. Your dog photography brought us to your blog. We are not familiar to Reddit (see you taught us something new, Golden Thanks). Definitely going to see you at BP and BW. Happy Blogging. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
Tzu Mom says
Thanks! I have had so much fun being a part of this wonderful blogging niche….
I can’t wait to meet you! Only 4 more months!!! Yippee
You’re the first blogger I’ve seen who mentioned Reddit. I’ve never posted Something Wagging posts there but I used to for my other blog, Hands on Home Buyer. I got a really nasty reply to a perfectly good article and I lost my taste for it.
Reddit seems like a very mixed bag. I wonder if the dog people are just nicer? 🙂
You’re going to have an awesome time at 3 conferences! Takes lots of business cards. And remember that the best things you’ll learn will be talking to other bloggers in the lobby, not in the workshops or sessions. 🙂
pamela recently posted…What It’s Like Having a Reactive Dog
Tzu Mom says
I have a ton of cards!! Though I want to make new ones (designer in me). I can’t wait to meet all my blogging friends 😉 . I think by going to both BP & BW I’ll get to see most of them 🙂 I do want to let you know that I don’t post all my stuff to Reddit, just because I have heard they can be nasty and will boycott your blog if you link to often. Normally I will link 1-2x week 🙂
Caren Gittleman says
I think you are a wonderful addition to the Pet Blogger community and have been a faithful follower since the beginning! Pop over to the Blog Talk group on BlogPaws….I posted some blog posts of members in the community that address those sponsorship, give-away, brand connection answers you are seeking!
Love your blog, especially your photographs, they always brighten my day!
Caren Gittleman recently posted…Love is:”I and Love and You!” Review and Give-Away!
Sue at Talking Dogs says
Oh my! With all those conferences, you will learn so much and make some terrific connections, I’m sure. I’d be lost without my editorial calendar and, thanks to you, I’m going to check out Reddit 🙂
Tzu Mom says
I am hoping so… i sure am looking forward to some of the traveling 🙂 They have a great “dog” following, though most of the time I post to the ‘Shih Tzu’ group 🙂