I can tell because it's time again for Go Pet Friendly's Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.
Have I really been blogging long enough to get to answer the "Repeat Offenders" questions? To be honest, I never thought I'd stick with it this long.
If you haven't heard about The Challenge before, it's a chance for pet-bloggers to reflect on the "State of the Blog" over the last year, assess how well (or not) things are going and set some goals for the coming year.
It's also permission to publicly navel-gaze a bit while connecting with, and learning from, others who face the same challenges, fears and hopes. If you've never participated before, there's still time and I encourage you to give it a look.
Questions for Repeat Offenders
- 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.
- What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post.
I didn't really set out any specific goals last year but I was 1) considering accepting review offers and 2) wanted to get back to telling Bella's story more.
- Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
How did I do? Well, I did a couple of reviews this year but I don't think it's ever going to be my forte. I'm a story-teller, not an authority figure. I think other people do a better job at fact-finding/information-sharing than I do. I'll probably still continue to do reviews for products that strike my fancy (I have a book review coming up) but don't think I'll be getting rich off the blog any time soon.
I do think I got back to telling Bella's story better last year. It hasn't been an easy one to tell but people seem to respond to it. I've got to get back to that now that holiday madness has passed. We're getting to the point where she really begins to succeed in over-coming her fears and issues and I'm looking forward to telling that part of her story.
- How often do you post?
I try to post at least 3 times/week but that's kind of misleading since two of those posts are just picture posts. I'm trying to improve my photography skills (as well as Bella's modeling skills) so hopefully those picture posts are still interesting but admittedly, they're not as much effort to put up.
- Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed? 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?
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 post on a schedule, or try to anyway. I do it for myself mostly, in part because I respond well to deadlines and in part to keep focused. Since I'm telling a story, mostly chronologically, I worry if I go too long between updates, readers will have forgotten where we were.
As long as I have Bella, I will never 'cover every topic'. I haven't even gotten us all caught up on her story yet and she's making new ones every day. I'm not running out of things to blog about any time soon.
And as for knowing what is "post-worthy", it's all just a guess for me anyway - I never expected so many people to be interested in Bella's story to begin with so as long as they are, I'll keep telling it.
- 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.
I'd love to hear other people's tip about "staying on top of it all" because I'm failing miserably. I spend too much time writing my own posts (it's an OCD thing), probably 8 - 10+ hours/week, and not enough visiting other blogs.
I try to carve out a few hours a week to do nothing but go visiting but I still don't feel I can keep up with everything that's going on with everyone or let people know how much I appreciate them and their stories.
- How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)? Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
I'm not honestly sure. I like to look at the numbers and recently my page views have gone through the roof which is fun but my comments aren't reflecting that. Comments mean a lot more to me than page views and, to me at least, are more indicative of the success of a post.
But it's the content of a comment that tells me whether or not I've made the point I wanted to, if what I've said resonated with someone or if I totally blew what I was trying to say. The fact that anyone stops by to read what I have to say still kind of blows my mind so taking an extra moment to say hi as well is pretty much all I need to write another day.
- If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
See # 6. "Share your tips for staying on top of it all." I don't know how people do it. My blog isn't a business. It's never going to be so maybe I'm measuring it by standards that don't apply.
But I don't know how others manage to post every day, comment on a hundred other blogs, participate in every campaign and event, utilize all the various social media outlets, run contests, blog hops and give-aways and still have time for the dog in their life that they're blogging about. It's a pretty impressive feat.
- What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
I think my goals going forward are going to be the same as I've always had: just tell Bella's story. Try to make it connect with people. Make it funny. Make it sting sometimes. Hope it helps.
My first post was published August 7, 2011 and here's a link to last year's Challenge post.
|My only real goal is this:|
As I said last year, it's been fun playing in this sandbox. Thanks for letting me and for joining me. The community here in Blogville is truly awe-inspiring and I am honored to be a part of it.
Enjoy the rest of the blogs participating in today's event by clicking on the links below.