THE PET BLOGGER CHALLENGE

41 CommentsBlog-related, Challenge, Networking, Organizations

This is it!  Today’s the day!!  Here we go………

Dalmatian_runs

QUESTIONS FOR FIRST TIMERS

1. When did you begin your blog?

In 2010, when WordPress.com swallowed up Windows Live Spaces.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

In the beginning, it was just an extension of the Spaces page, with music videos, photos and reprinted articles.  (Yes, yes I know (now); BAD BLOGGER!  In my defence, I wasn’t a real blogger yet and always quoted the source in full.)

3. Is your current purpose the same?

Definitely not!

If not, what’s different?

I am completely immersed in the blogging world now,  and hope to turn parts of the blog into a book or two at some point.  Also plan on switching to a self-hosted site in order to sell said books, (and maybe even make a few bucks on the side with the blog on its own.)

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

Not applicable, as I haven’t, yet, but am making great inroads by being more active on social sites, networking, reading tutorials, making friends with some wonderful professional bloggers and writing, writing, writing.

4. How often do you post?

Depends on what else is going on in my life.  Generally, about once or twice a week, but this is already my 6th post of the new year.  Not likely to keep up that pace.

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

Mostly as the spirit moves me, but occasionally I will join a day-specific blog hop.

 If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?

N/A

 If you don’t publish on a schedule, why?  

When it comes to earning a living, my dog business is priority one and each day’s schedule varies widely, depending on client appointments.  A full personal life with hubby, (priority one overall), and spending time with friends is also important.  It’s all about balance.  (I know this, because I’m a former burnt-out, workaholic Corporate slave.)

How do you think your decision affects your audience?

My core followers will always be there, no matter what, because I have developed cyber friendships with them.  If someone decides to “unfollow”, for whatever reason, that’s THEIR loss, in my opinion.

How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”

A topic is “post-worthy” when it’s something I care to write about.  Have never been a fan of crass commercialism, (ie. writing for the masses, whatever sells).  An old expression comes to mind: “Do what you love and the money will follow”.  Here’s hoping!

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week?

Hard to say.  Depends what else is going on.  Average best guess, perhaps 7-8 hours.

How much time visiting other blogs?

I visit other blogs several times a week and comment on some, as well.  Guessing  also around 7-8 hours.

Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.

Ha, ha!  Talk about an impossible task!  I have started using HootSuite, which helps a LOT.  It keeps track of Twitter, Google, Facebook and many more posts, plus all the blogs I follow via RSS feed.  Very handy tool.  As for the daily chores around here, let’s just say I’m not quite as efficient as I used to be, but, that’s alright, since the standards have been lowered. LOL

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

While it’s nice to see large numbers, for me, it’s all about comments and shares. In my opinion, if someone takes the time to do either of these, then they were really engaged.  

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?

As per above.  Comments and shares mean more than views only.  Likes are better than nothing and do indicate some engagement, at least.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

How do you solicit more comments and shares without annoying people?  

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

I hope to turn parts of the blog into a book or two, make the move to self-hosted WordPress and perhaps earn a few bucks from the blog on it’s own.

This is a Blog Hop.

Click on image to view and/or participate:

Thank you, Amy, for this opportunity!  Am looking forward to making some wonderful new friends and doing it again, next year.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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41 thoughts on “THE PET BLOGGER CHALLENGE

  1. Hi Debbie, I’m still making way through all the posts on the blog hop. You have some impressive goals for the year and I wish you much success with them.

    I’m glad you joined the hop because it gave me a chance to get to know you a little better and understand what’s driving your blogging. It’s always interesting to me to see ‘pet bloggers’ delve into various realms of writing and thought.

    I can appreciate your question about encouraging more comments as I am in a similar situation – I’m telling stories that don’t necessarily lend themsevles to questions at the end. And I have never been good at asking for shares unless it is about a lost or homeless animal. If you ever figure out a way to do that without, as you say ‘annoying your readers’, let me know. :]

    Good luck with all your 2013 endeavors!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughful comments. Yes, my site is more eclectic, but, pet blogging certainly comprises a good portion of it. It’s definitely wkward to insert a question at the end of a creative writing post, but, I gave it a shot recently and did reap some comments. May try that again, depending on the subject. As for generally soliciting comments and shares, I was thinking about changing “All comments welcome” to something a little more action-inducing. Not sure what exactly. LOL
      Appreciate your good wishes and hope you have a wonderful year.
      Cheers!

  2. Enjoyed reading your post and I would also like to know how to solicit more comments and shares without annoying people. I have a hard time posting to my Facebook page because I don’t want to annoy anybody with a bunch of posts. Guess I need to get over that! If you figure anything out I hope you share it!

  3. Wow, I think I’ve met so many pet bloggers and I keep finding more. That’s the most fun of the Pet Blogger Challenge.

    Interesting idea to turn your blog into a book. I used to do a regular feature called the Puppiness Project (inspired by the Happiness Project) about what we can learn from our dogs about being happy. Several folks have suggested I publish it as a book but I can’t figure out how to take my bloggy meanderings and perfect them. Sounds like too much work.

    Good luck. You’re a more ambitious woman than I am.

    1. Hi Pamela; Thanks for visiting and for the good wishes. Your Project sounds like it would make a great book! Ebooks are the thing now and could be an option. (Let me know if you need an editor 😉 ) I’ve wanted to write books since I was a child, but, that never happened. The great thing about writing is, as long as the mind stays intact, you’re never too old.
      Cheers!

  4. Hey Debbie,

    Wonderful indeed dear 🙂 I’ve been through Brenda’s post and now it’s yours. I really love this one ’cause I’ve get to know more about you and I just met you few weeks ago. Now there we get to know well 🙂

    I’m really glad you engaged with this challenge and hope you will find more like-minded pet bloggers too 🙂 Cheer up and gear up Debbie.

    I love the quote you mentioned ~ “Do what you love and the money will follow”. I really believe that 🙂

    Have a lovely day filled with woof woof there 😀 lol…

    Cheers…

    1. Hello Mayura; Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts with me! 🙂 Glad we have a similar philosophy and it’s been grand getting to know you, as well. My blog isn’t strictly about pets, but, rather, encompassing ALL of my passions, such as music, travel, life in general. Have yourself a great weekend.
      Cheers to you!

  5. Debbie, I love that you’d like to use your blog as a tool to compile a book. I have a former professor who did just that. Her readership grew with each installment in post format, making her more appealing to a publishing company by the end. When her story was finished, she printed it off as a manuscript, submitted it, and had it accepted for print. It’s certainly a very real possibility to consider. Best of luck!

    1. Hello Kim; Thank you for visiting and for your good wishes! 🙂
      Yes, my plan is similar to your professor’s. Trying to establish a “fan base”, so to speak, that way, when the book gets written and published, there will be an interested audience to get it rolling.
      Cheers!

  6. Greetings! I have enjoyed reading your responses to the challenge questions. I too had used HootSuite for a while but it didn’t work for me. Though I did link Facebook to Twitter so now whenever I post to twitter, it automatically shows up on our page.

    1. Hi! Thanks for visiting. Interesting the HootSuite didn’t work for you, but, we all have different needs. I added Twitter to my Facebook page, (the other way around from what you did). Am still just learning the ins and outs of Twitter, but am more adept with Facebook. The automatic posting is great, in any case. Cheers! 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge – it’s great to meet you! You’ve got some great goals for 2013. Moving to a self-hosted site is a great step to make – I’ve never know anyone that regretted doing it. And, I wish you success writing your books. I would love to write a book, too, but I can’t seem to find the time.

    1. It was my pleasure to participate, Amy and thank you so much for providing the platform. The self-hosting prospect is a little daunting, and I did have one false start already, but, I will summon up the courage, for sure! Yes, the time factor will come into play, regarding the books, but, I’ve wanted to do that practically my whole life. Appreciate the visit and the comment.
      Cheers!

  8. Hi there! Thanks for your mention of HootSuite… It sounds really interesting, and I’m going to check it out now. Anything that helps me stay on top of social media sounds like a good thing!

  9. Hi Debbie!! Oh you just told on yourself! Bad Debbie!! haha Come on, you know we’ve all be bad online at least once or twice! Glad to see you jump onboard the PB Challenge! Have you joined Triberr yet? I’ve been getting a lot of shares via it and it’s a pretty low maintenance network to have under your belt. BTW, I envy your job of working with dogs all the time. So jealous! I look forward to reading more gf! Heck, I think I have connected with you on all networks! Happy blogging!

    1. HI Bren; Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Yes, I have in fact joined Triberr and am seeing the shares on Twitter, (and of course always thanking those who shared), but, I just haven’t been able to figure that site out! I try and invite people to be connected and it never works. Definitely need to read a tutorial, :-p
      Thanks for adding me to all of your connections. I have done the same. Just love your writing style and you really have the knack for engaging people. This is something for me to work on.
      Cheers 🙂

      1. I pretty much just follow a tribe and share what I like in my stream. I’ve been connecting with those folks via twitter shares. It works good enough for me. I’d rather connect and chat on twitter anyway 😉

        1. Thanks. I did follow a few tribes myself, but, will delve into it a little more, one of these days. Haven’t totally got the hang of Twitter either. It’s only been a couple of months. I’ll get there, eventually.

  10. Hi Debbie! Good job on your first PBC. I 100% get what you’re saying about finding balance. When I decided to go to school to become a pro dog trainer, a lot of that decision had to do with the fact that I hated my full-time day job at the time. I wanted to run away from the corporate world and do my own thing. I think it’s GREAT that you actually did it!! Congrats to you!

    1. Hi Lauren; Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I didn’t actually choose to run away from the corporate world, (although I severely WANTED to). That decision was made FOR me when I got downsized and couldn’t find a comparable job. Yes, it is great to be doing my own thing, even though the financial rewards are less, but, sometimes, other things ARE more important. Cheers! 🙂

  11. HI Debbie, it is nice to meet you! This is our first time to your blog. We look forward to reading all about your adventures.

  12. Great post. I too ask a question at the end of my post to try and engage my readers. Another thing I do is try and respond to comments. I feel that helps build a relationship with my readers.

    Good luck with your blog goals this year!

    1. Hi Jodi; Thanks for dropping by. 🙂
      I always respond to comments, although, as they become more frequent, it might take a little longer, sometimes.
      I like the question idea, but, many of my posts are either memoirs or creative writing. Will have to think about what questions to ask, there. Appreciate your thoughts. Cheers!

  13. One thing I do to solicit more comments and shares is ask for them. I include a question at the bottom of most of my posts and I make sharing easy with the floating sharing buttons on the side of my post.

    Thanks for putting a face to the Bad Blogger! I’ll cut them more slack in the future if I know they’ll moprh into a cool Chick like you!

    1. Hi Kimberly; Thanks for visiting! 🙂
      Asking a question at the bottom of the post is a great idea and I have done this, once in awhile, but, it didn’t seem to help all that much. Floating sharing buttons would be awesome, but, I don’t think this site supports those. Will look into it, though. Thank you. I may have been a Bad Blogger once, cuz I didn’t have a clue, but those days are long gone. You’re pretty cool yourself. Cheers! 🙂

  14. Nice to meet you in the challenge, and good luck with the books. More comments and shares, hmmm… let me think 🙂 Best to visited some of the other participating blogs with a lot of comments, and see what they have to say 🙂

    1. Thanks for the return visit. This commenting stuff is tough to crack! So many people just look and then leave. Oh well, at least they did look. Wishing you all the best for 2013. Cheers!

  15. I too live by …do something you love and you never have to work again. I have been lucky with my career choices and have enjoyed all.
    I too am thinking about making parts of my blog a book…however not to sure how or if I have the time. I have been to your blog many times before and I do enjoy it.

  16. I remember using Windows Live Spaces – that didn’t last long did it? Nice to meet you, it sounds like you have a good set of goals laid out for you! 🙂

    1. Hi Elizabeth; Thanks for visiting! 🙂 Yes – lots of goals. They scare me, sometimes. LOL “Spaces” was around for a few years, at least.

  17. First welcome to the world of pet bloggers.
    I hope you meet your goals in 2013 and if you find the secret to getting more feedback/comments please let me in on it.