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2013 in review

January 1, 2014 11 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 340,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 15 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge (2013)

January 9, 2013 38 comments

Today is the 3rd annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by the wonderful, inspiring, and adventurous Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com and GoPetFriendlyBlog.com

Last year, Amy and Edie Jarolim (from Will My Dog Hate Me? and Freud’s Butcher) kicked off the 2nd annual Pet Blogger Challenge with a whole host of questions for new and old bloggers alike.  The result was a series of fun, insightful and interesting blog posts written by a wide variety of pet bloggers, all with differing perspectives and insights. I learned so much about my fellow bloggers, and in the process, learned even more about blogging!

I have come to love this annual event. I hope you will find it fun and interesting and enlightening. I know I do.

Not writing a pet blog yet? Maybe you should!

Click on the Pet Blogger Challenge link below to join the challenge. To read some of the other responses from other pet bloggers click here.

Here are this year’s blog challenge questions (and my answers):

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 have been blogging for 4 years now. I started blogging about my puppy mill rescue dog Daisy at Daisy the Wonder Dog back in October of 2008, but created this blog, No Dog About It, in 2009 for my pet sitting business. Here is a link to last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge.

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?

To be more focused in my blogging and to be blogging less.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

Yes, but I would have to say that it didn’t really happen until the end of the year. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in a bit of a fog last year and I just now am coming out of it and realizing that I enjoy blogging but for reasons that have nothing to do with money or notoriety. I just enjoy writing. Will my blog be more focused in 2013? I don’t know, but I hope it will be more personal.

4. How often do you post?

6 days a week

5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?

No. I still write when the spirit moves me, I just have less time to do it now than before. On some days I find the words aren’t working for me yet or they are still weaving together in my mind, on those days, I let my pictures do the talking and go back to the writing later.

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?”

Yikes. That’s a tough one. I don’t publish on a schedule because often my best writing comes when I am most “feeling” a story and not when it is most convenient to write. To be honest, it drives me crazy sometimes, but that seems to be how my mind works. I think there are times when a post I am writing is still formulating in my brain and when I go to write it and find that it’s not quite ready for me to post yet. Those are the times when I choose a less controversial topic or less emotional issue that I have saved as a draft for just such an occasion. For me, knowing whether a post is worthy of posting comes down to two things – most of the typos and run-in sentences have been eliminated and my gut says “Go.”

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.

Ir depends. Some days I spend an hour working on a blog post and on others I spend several hours. How long it takes me to write one post determines how much time I have to go visit other blogger’s blogs. One thing I failed at this year was visiting some of my favorite bloggers. It’s something I am hoping to rectify this year. Jen, Kristine, Kelly, Alex and Miss Little Pea – I owe you an apology!
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

I think I measure by comments to some degree, and traffic is definitely great to watch, but what makes me feel like it was a good post is if people share it or ask to share it and it makes a difference. The post I wrote earlier this year about why your lost dog may not run back to you hit a chord with people and was shared widely. But, to me, it’s a great success if it helps someone to get their lost dog back.

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions? I don’t really look at the numbers much. I like to know when there is a spike in my numbers (most often it’s one particular post on a good pitbull story), but other than that I don’t look at them much anymore. I like the interaction more.

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 love to know how other bloggers write on a schedule. I think this is perhaps the thing I have had the most difficulty with as I have gone back to a 9 to 5 job again. Balancing work, my dogs, my blog and managing a life for me can be hard at times. I would love to know how others manage this issue.

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

To be more personal, more real and more connected. After living the last year and a half in a fog, I am ready to get back into writing in a way that connects with my readers. I am hoping I will also be less reactionary on certain issues (puppy mills, animal abuse, etc.), but no guarantees. There are simply some hot button issues that will always get my ire up.

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

No Dog About It – 2012 in review

January 9, 2013 17 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Pet Blogger Challenge 2012

January 9, 2012 31 comments

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10
Today is the 2nd Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by the wonderful, inspiring, and adventurous Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com and Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me?.

Last year, Amy and Edie kicked off the 1st Annual Pet Blogger Challenge after Amy posted a piece called Bullied By The Blog. Figuring that they couldn’t be the only ones bullied by their blogs, they created the Pet Blogger Challenge and asked other pet bloggers to join in. Each blogger was asked to answer eight questions designed to introspectively think about their blog – from the reason they started it to where they saw it going.

The result was a series of fun, insightful and interesting blog posts written by all kinds of pet bloggers with all sorts of pet perspectives. I learned so much about my fellow bloggers, and in the process, learned a lot about blogging too. So when Leo of Kenzo the Hovawart and Viva suggested that Amy and Edie make this an annual thing, the response was a resounding chorus of “Yes!”

So without further ado, here are the answers to this year’s 8 questions (I should mention that pet bloggers new to this challenge have a different set of questions – which are the same ones from last year.):

1. Provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.
Here is last year’s entry into the Pet Blogger Challenge.

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?

My goal last year was to blog more about those things I thought might interest my clients (including doing more product reviews). Although I had initially started my blog to share pertinent information with my clients, I found myself blogging more about topics that interested me. My goal was to get back to a more client-focused blog and be a resource for my clients.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

Yes and No. After a lot of thinking and self-reflection, I decided to close down my business in April of 2011 and go back to work in the corporate world. It was a really tough decision and one I’m not really sure I am able to accept, even now.

As a result, my goals for my blog changed quite a bit. Instead of being client-focused, my blog became a sort of hodge-podge of the serious and the fun – pet ponderings, videos, pictures and deeper examination of some important animal welfare issues, etc. To be honest, I feel like my blog has a bit of an identity crisis, but then again, so am I. I’m still trying to decide what I want I to be when I grow up and I think my blog has been a reflection of that this past year.

4. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed? Yes.

Which are you doing now? I am blogging on more of a schedule now whereas before I used to blog whenever the spirit moved me. It’s been quite a change for me and I’m not sure I like it. I’ve actually been giving this issue a lot of thought lately because I’m not sure I am happy blogging 7 days a week. In fact, blogging on such a regimented schedule leaves me feeling less satisfied and feeling more like I am being bullied by my blog than I ever did before.

Do you still worry about lost traffic, momentum, etc? I never really worried about traffic and momentum last year since the purpose of my blog was not to gain a huge list of followers but to be a resource for clients. I didn’t become concerned with traffic until I joined Triberr. Suddenly, I was seeing stats I had never seen before and I felt the need to keep maintaining those numbers. I cannot tell you why.

However, I am starting to rethink this whole Triberr thing and the need to increase my stats. I find that I am interacting less with the people I used to love talking to on Twitter and instead, I find that I am using it more to just spread my blog posts around. I’m not sure that is where I saw myself going last year. Now, I am rethinking everything. What is it that I want to get out of blogging? Is it numbers? Or interaction? Can it be both?

5. Are you generating income from your blog? No

Has this changed since last year? No. But, I also haven’t really tried.

If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how? Maybe. This is something I am still exploring. How much time do I want to dedicate to this? It’s a question that goes round and round in my head. I still haven’t decided on an answer yet.

6. Have your likes and dislikes about blogging changed since last year?

Not much. I still like the fact that blogging allows me to express myself creatively. It also feeds my need for doing research – something I love doing. It also gives me a voice and a way to interact and learn from others. I have been so lucky to have so many wonderful followers who have left comments that made me think or made me reconsider my view/approach or who have inspired me to want to do more. I still dislike blogging on a schedule and trying to meet a deadline.

7. Overall, are you pleased with the progress you made in 2011?

Yes and No. I think I wrote some powerful posts that stayed with me for days and I think I’ve written some crap too. I feel very much that my blog has lost it’s way and I need to redefine it before I can look back and know if last year was a year of progress.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?

I hope to have a more focused approach and be blogging less. We shall see!

2011 in review

January 1, 2012 9 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My 7 Links

August 5, 2011 16 comments

Last week Amy from Go Pet Friendly invited me and 5 other bloggers to participate in the My 7 Links challenge (you can read Amy’s post here). The challenge was started by Tripbase Blog, and then passed on to Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me? who then passed it on to Amy. The objective of the challenge is to choose your best posts in seven categories and then pass the invitation along to five more bloggers.

To be honest, I was a bit daunted a task. After all, who am I to judge what my best blog posts are? Yikes! Kind of scary to judge my own writing and then put it out there for others to judge! But, since I completely respect Amy (and Edie for that matter!), I didn’t want to turn down such an honor. So here goes!

1. My Most Beautiful Post

I’m not sure if this is cheating or not, but I really feel that my most beautiful (or maybe most poingnant – is that cheating too?) post was The Dog That Was Not There. I wrote it on Daisy’s blog a year ago, but I still receive comments about it. The wonderful news is that Daisy has come even further than where she was at last year, so perhaps this is just a reminder to me of how far we (she) has come.

2. My Most Popular Post

This was perhaps the easiest one to choose. By far my most popular post was A Letter From a Shelter Manager. I know that it made a big impact on me, but I never expected it to make as much of a splash as it did. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Alyssa Milano tweet it out to the universe either. At 2,755 hits in one day and 5247 in that one month, it is still one of the most shared of my posts. Thanks Alyssa!

3. My Most Controversial Post

Although I never expected it to be the case, Investigative Report Into A Doggy Daycare Shows Why You Need To Do Your Research, was perhaps my most controversial post. The news story created a LOT of controversy here in the Twin Cities too. My post was focused on getting people to really do their research before selecting a doggie daycare, pet sitter or dog trainer, but as the daycare’s supporters and staff worked to salvage their business and their reputation, my post became a quite the forum for people to share their opinions. Even though I posted it back in November of last year, I still get a few hits on this every week.

4. My Most Helpful Post

Although I can’t be sure, I believe “Why You Should Save Your Dog/Cat Food Bag” was my most helpful post. It’s such a simple suggestion, and one you wouldn’t think would be all that helpful, but it can be so important to do if your dog’s food were to make him sick or if there was ever a recall of your dog’s food.

5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

When I wrote Dogs: The Word I Hate Most, I wrote it mostly for me. It was my way of venting over a fellow dog park patron who constantly used the word I hated most. I never expected it to be as popular, or strike such a chord with people. but, it certainly left me feeling like I wasn’t alone.

6. A Post I Don’t Feel Got The Attention It Deserved

I’m not sure why this post never really took off. Perhaps because the subject matter was just too gruesome or the title was just too “in your face”(DOG + HOT CAR = DEAD… Get It?), but my purpose was to get people to visualize what happens to their dog when it is left in a hot car. I worked with a couple of great veterinarians to provide an accurate picture for folks. I still think it’s an important one.

7. The Post I’m Proudest Of

This one was a lot harder to select than all of the others. Maybe because it feels like bragging? I know that I was proud that I took a chance and went out and actually did something for Blog The Change. I was proud that I took a stand for Daisy too. The post was aptly named, Blog The Change – Why Bother Indeed!

And now for the list of the next challengers!

Kristine from Rescued Insanity

Carrie from Tales and Tails

Shauna from Fido and Wino

Leo from Kenzo the Hovawart

Miss Georgia Little Pea from Little Dogs on Long Leashes


It’s the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop! I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. You won’t be disappointed! Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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The Pet Blogger Challenge!

January 10, 2011 31 comments

Pet Blogger Challenge

Recently Amy Burkert from Go Pet Friendly and Edie Jarolim from Will My Dog Hate Me shared how sometimes they feel bullied by their blogs (you can read them here and here). Truthfully, the need to constantly “feed the beast” can be a challenge at times. I think many of us feel the pressure to offer new and interesting content to our readers on a consistent basis to keep them interested and engaged. I know I’ve certainly felt that way at times.

It was out of this discussion that The Pet Blogger Challenge! was born.

What is The Pet Blogger Challenge? It’s a challenge for pet bloggers across the blogsphere to share what they’ve done with their blogs (take a look back) and share where they want to go with them moving forward.
They even came up with a list of questions!

So without further ado, here are my responses. Let me know what you think.

1. When did you begin your blog?
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

I began my first blog (Daisy the Wonder Dog and How She Found Her Inner Lab) in October 2008 after attending a seminar given by Mr. Social Media himself, David Meerman Scott. What I heard him say inspired me to use social media as a way to build my business, but it also made me want to start a blog as a way to catalog my puppy mill dog, Daisy, and her progress from a cowering and fearful dog to a Lab that enjoyed life. (I had no idea what I was doing when I started!)

Over time, I realized that Daisy’s blog was fun, if not a little emotionally challenging at times, but it did not allow me to address those issues or topics that might be of interest to my pet sitting and dog walking clients. So, in February 2009 I started No Dog About It Blog as a way to encompass those topics as well as a few topics that I have an interest in like animal welfare, puppy mills, etc.

3. Is your current purpose the same? If not, what’s different?

Unfortunately, I haven’t written as much in Daisy’s blog as I would like, but the purpose is still the same.
For No Dog About It Blog, I’d have to say No. Somewhere along the way, I started to focus on more of the issues that interested me and less on those things that might interest my clients. I had actually begun revisting what I wanted my blog to be about when this challenge came up. This year, I plan to blog more about those things that might be of help or interest to my clients and less on those issues that just interest me. I will still blog about some of the issues I care about, but I also want to be a resource for my clients. I believe my blog can fill both purposes.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it? If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?

I do have a schedule for some items, like Wordless Wednesday or Wednesday Winners and Favorite Video Friday, but often I just blog when the spirit moves me or when a topic gets stuck in my brain. Sometimes, I just stumble upon something of interest, and like a dog with a bone, I just can’t let it go until I blog about it. To be honest though, I do feel like I have to blog about something at least 3 times a week even though I don’t have it scheduled in my calendar, I do have it scheduled in my brain.

5. Are you generating income from your blog? If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)? If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

I do not currently generate income from my blog (hard to do when hosted on WordPress’ site), but I would like to in the future.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

Being a creative person, I enjoy blogging because it allows me to express myself. It gives me a voice. It also means I get to learn from others and learn about their own experiences. I love that!

Now for the bragging part – What I have tried to do with my blog is make it both fun and informative (being serious all of the time can be pretty boring dontcha think?), and I think I have done that. I also like it when I am able to write something that resonates with people. It’s really rewarding when someone takes the time to add their own experiences or thoughts and then shares it with others.

7. What do you like least?

Two things: 1) Trying to meet the deadlines I have imposed on myself for the Wednesday and Friday items and 2) feeling like I need to post at least 3 times a week to keep people interested.

8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?

In 2011, I intent to focus a little more on topics and issues that I think would interest my clients. I’ll do a few more product reviews, interviews and share information on pet healthcare and health issues for both dogs and cats. I also hope to migrate my blog to my website and host it myself.

2010 in review

January 3, 2011 4 comments

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 120 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 205 posts. There were 201 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 170mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was July 17th with 2,166 views. The most popular post that day was A Letter from a Shelter Manager.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, Google Reader, and humanewatch.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for american humane association controversy, dog hiking, letter from a shelter manager, renaming cats, and fox 9 news dogue spot.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

A Letter from a Shelter Manager July 2010
74 comments

2

When an Animal Shelter Closes December 2010
38 comments

3

Investigative Report Into A Doggy Daycare Shows Why You Need To Do Your Research November 2010
46 comments

4

Adopted Cats and Dogs: To rename or not? January 2010
6 comments

5

Dogs, Dog Trainers and American Humane: There’s a storm abrewin’… March 2010
2 comments

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