I missed out last year, but I took part two years ago… back when PupLove had just begun! Want to see what my thoughts were on the blog back then? Click here and check it out. I feel like PupLove has changed a lot since back then. Now we have four writers, a new look, and new features – and yet, it’s time to think about what changes should be implemented in 2013. So… on with the challenge!
1. How long have you been blogging and provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.
I’ve been blogging a little over three years now. As mentioned, I didn’t do last year’s challenge – but I did do one two years ago, just after I started. Again, it’s here!
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
Two years ago, I had no idea where PupLove was headed. I didn’t really have goals past writing an About page (which, hey – I did it!) and crafting a cartoon header, which I also did. I mentioned wanting to feature a lot of adoptable pets and I feel like, in a way, I haven’t accomplished that. There have been a good number of adoptable pets featured on PupLove, but it’s a feature that I started slacking on. That’s an effort to pick up again in 2013.
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
I think that the PupLove goals, in general, have changed over time. When I first started it, it was mostly for writing about life with Jack and what was/wasn’t working for us in the training department (Jack had a rough start to life and came to me with literally zero training or socialization). As Jack became less of a struggle, my topics sort of shifted. Instead of my goal being to talk about our training sessions, it became more about finding information that I thought would be useful to other dog owners. Product reviews became a bigger feature; opinion pieces more or less fell by the wayside. Truthfully, blogging has become almost a chore now – I’m always struggling to find a topic, and I think PupLove could stand to be a little less “general information”.
4. How often do you post?
Hah. See above answer. Sometimes I will blog 4 or 5 days in a row, maybe even more than one post in a day. Other times, I will go a week without posting anything. It’s a problem.
5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?
Much like two years ago, I still feel like I need to post more. I’ve toyed with the idea of blogging on a schedule, but until I’ve sort of “streamlined” the purpose of PupLove, I think it will be difficult for me to focus and post daily.
If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? How do you think your decision affects your audience? How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”
I’m a slacker. Seriously, though, I don’t publish on a schedule because I’m always struggling for topics to write about. I’m sure it’s not helping my traffic any, but I feel like when I force myself to post something, it’s obvious.
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your tips for staying on top of it all.
In an average week, I probably spend between 3 and 10 hours on the blog. It depends on how active I happen to be that week. I spend a lot of time reading other blogs – I don’t even have a rough estimate of it. I’m not great at staying on top of it all, so I have no tips… none that would be helpful, anyway. I used to use Google Reader, but I found it got overwhelming after some time away and ditched it!
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
I probably don’t spend nearly enough time actually checking stats and measuring successful posts. I feel like if a post gets a lot of commenting or draws a bunch of attention on Facebook, I consider it a success. I think part of my 2013 goals for PupLove will be to spend more time actually measuring traffic and shares, and finding out what does and doesn’t work for the blog.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I would ask how you guys always come up with things to write about! It’s definitely my biggest struggle. PupLove is so general that I feel like maybe I get overwhelmed… I could post about literally anything, there’s no jumping off point. Do you guys feel like it’s better to have a more streamlined ‘niche’ topic for your blogs? What are your favourite kinds of posts that you’ve seen on PupLove and want more of?
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
I’d like a redesign… yes, again! I’m just not thrilled with the look of PupLove. I’d also like to come up with features to keep me blogging. I created “Fetch Friday” a few weeks ago, and I love it! I need more ideas like that so I have less trouble focusing.
If I could start generating some income, that would also be fantastic! Jodi (who is basically my life coach, no joke) keeps
gently reminding me to showcase my art and web design services, but marketing is clearly not my strongest suit. So that’s another thing to work on over the coming year.