It’s time for the annual Pet Blogger Challenge! If you aren’t a blogger you probably won’t find this post very interesting. But, it’s a great time for us bloggers to review the last year and set goals for the new year. Our thanks to Amy from GoPetFriendly.com for hosting our annual challenge.
But, right now I feel like Dolly looks, unenthused about the new year and blogging in general. After reading some of my closer blogging friends’ challenge I got motivated enough to do mine, hoping to motivate me for the new year! Let’s get started!
1.When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?
I’m pretty sure I first started Dolly the Doxie in September 2012, three years ago last September. It began mostly as an opportunity to tell stories about Dolly and I. I now consider it more of a lifestyle blog about living in an urban area with pets, than a resource for other pet owners.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016? I’m not sure if it’s my proudest moment but I did a controversial two-part blog post on a failing local humane society based on sources close to the story. The story went viral along with me receiving hostile comments and threats for writing what I did. I’m still not sure if I’m proud of it because people accused me of writing it for attention and making it up. But the story did get picked up by the Chicago Tribune as a result of it, backing up what I wrote. A few other online sources picked up the story after that. If anything, it informed people of a situation they needed to be aware of before donating them money, and that other animal shelters in the area had to pick up their slack. I have an opportunity to do a followup piece and I’m still debating on whether or not to do it.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
It would have to be one of my Global Pet Expo posts. Attending Global was by far the highlight of my year and I can’t wait to attend this year. It gave me unlimited ideas for posts to write. I think the last one I did, Global Pet Expo: It’s a Wrap, showed how much fun it is to attend and the sights you’ll see there.
4. Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?
I did make attempts at utilizing SEO more, especially with establishing keywords. Even with my analytics I can’t tell if it’s improved my traffic or not, but that could be because I post so erratically. There are some posts that get hits everyday and I attribute it either to SEO or the subject matter.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
By far my post on Tree House Humane Society. It still gets several hits a day after getting over 2,000 the first day. Other posts that get recurring hits are the ones I wrote on the new allergy drug for dogs, APOQUEL or other popular pet health topics do well.
6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
The Daily Pip is really coming into it’s own as a top blog to read on animal rescues and special needs pets. I’m not sure if it’s inspirational reading about animals getting a second chance at life, but it is worthwhile.
7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
My readers should know everything about my pets. I pretty much write about every thing they do, the good and the bad, not to mention that I’m not the world’s best pet parent. I make tons of mistakes and take the blame for anything that goes wrong. But there’s not much about me that would surprise them other than something too personal to say here.
8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
If you can, attend pet industry trade shows like Global Pet Expo or SuperZoo. I feel that by being able to attend them I have access to something few other bloggers do, which makes me a valuable resource for what’s happening in the pet industry. Living in a market like Chicago provides me with other good shows to attend like the new P3 Pet Products Show. In general, look at what’s happening around you and take advantage of it.
9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
Unfortunately a lot of what I wanted to accomplish on my blog last year didn’t happen due to lack of funds. Maintaining a blog takes money but unfortunately a lot of brands don’t want to pay you to promote them to your readers. This year I definitely want to get a shop to sell branded items for some income and apply for trademarks.
10. Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
I would like to know what is your favorite thing about Dolly the Doxie. Do you like to read about her funny adventures or do you prefer more useful information on subjects like pet health?