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The Pet Blogger Challenge!

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.

  1. January 10, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I was so glad to see that you joined the challenge – you did a great job with it and I know you much better. 🙂

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:42 AM

      Thanks Neil! I was looking forward to this one. A good time to do a little self-reflection. As you know, I LOVE your blog!

  2. January 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Thanks for your post. I really enjoyed reading about your blogging experiences!

  3. January 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Enjoyed reading your answers and learning more about your blog!

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:41 AM

      Thanks! I hope you participated as well. I would love to read about how you got started and where you see yours going. It is so much fun to read!

  4. Kristine
    January 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Your blog IS a lot of fun. And super-informative. I love reading different takes on important issues. I also use a number of pet blogs to keep me up to date on a lot of the latest animal welfare actitivity. If not for blogs like yours, I’d be fairly in the dark.

    Glad you joined the challenge!

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:40 AM

      Wow! Thank you Kristine! You just paid me the highest of all compliments. Thank you!

  5. January 10, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    I’m new to your blog and enjoyed reading more about you!

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:39 AM

      Thanks Gus! I’ll have to check out your blog too!

  6. January 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    I had a thought as I was reading your blog – perhaps it does generate revenue, but indirectly. It gives you a way to build a relationship with your clients, and that builds loyalty. Just wanted of offer this alternative way of looking at things.

    Thanks so much for participating!

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:39 AM

      You know what Amy? You’re probably right! I know Daisy’s blog has in the past. I need to write a few new posts on my girl.

  7. January 10, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    I’ve popped in on your blog from time to time and plan to check it out more and more in the future! I really like your topics. Have a great day!

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:38 AM

      Thanks Peggy! How nice of you to say that! I hope you do stop by again. 🙂

  8. dogsrulecatsdrool
    January 11, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    I took the pet blogger challenge also. Enjoyed reading your blog. Cute ideas.

    • Mel
      January 11, 2011 at 5:38 AM

      Thanks! I look forward to checking yours out too!

  9. January 11, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I’ve always liked the Favorite Video Friday and the Wordless Wednesday. I thought that your best post was the letter from a shelter manager. Keep it up, I’m always interested in what you post 🙂

    • Mel
      January 12, 2011 at 5:10 AM

      You made my day V.V.! Thank you! I think the shelter manager post was one of my most powerful ones for sure. I actually googled it once and found it had spread around the world! I was amazed. Who knew? I am glad you like the Favorite Video Friday features and Wordless Wednesdays. I love photography as much as you do. 🙂

  10. January 11, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    I’m really glad the challenge has introduced me to so many interesting jobs. I liked hearing about how your blog is really an extension of a life filled with dogs (your own and your clients).

    Looks like you’re doing a great job getting some serious issues out in people’s thoughts.

    • Mel
      January 12, 2011 at 5:08 AM

      Thank you so much for your comments Pamela. Pet sitting and dog walking is a hard job sometimes, but the love I have of animals makes it so much fun!
      I love being able to express myself on those topics I am most passionate about. If what I write impacts one person then I feel like I have made a difference. I am looking forward to reading your blogger challenge responses as I move down the list of blogs (I see it’s up to 90 now! Holy cow!).

  11. January 11, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Glad you joined the challenge. It is so strange because judging from the outside you have no problem at all to maintain a schedule. But now I understand it has been a struggle sometimes. You are doing such a great job combining the serious stuff with the lighter, fun subjects. That’s so special about this blog and you are good at it !

    • Mel
      January 12, 2011 at 5:04 AM

      Wow. Thanks Leo! I wish I could meet a schedule, but sometimes I just need to do what I can. During some of my busier weeks I will try and get some stuff done ahead of time and just schedule it to publish on certain dates and at certain times, but mostly I am a free spirit like you when it comes to writing. 🙂

  12. January 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Great job, Mel! I’m glad that you aren’t making a drastic shift from writing about what interests you toward only that which might interest your client. A healthy mix is important. Sometimes we don’t necessarily discover a passion for something until another person brings it to our attention. There is HUGE value in that… as well as the friendly training topics your clients will most certainly find useful. I look forward to your new and improved mixed bag!

    • Mel
      January 12, 2011 at 5:02 AM

      Thanks Kim! I really value your advice. I won’t stray too far from some of my interests. My passion for saving puppy mill dogs and shutting down puppy mills as well as promoting animal adoption will continue for sure. I hope the mix will add a little variety to my blog over time.

  13. January 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    I almost couldn’t read your post because the sheltie pic stopped me cold. I once had one and they keep a corner of my heart to this day. But once I managed to tear my eyes away, I loved reading your answers. Look forward to reading more in the future!

    • Mel
      January 12, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      Thanks Vicky! I know what you mean about Shelties. My first dog was a Sheltie and I had her 15 years. I always wanted another one, but along the way some other wonderful dogs stole my heart and I adopted them instead. Then, out of the blue, Jasper and his sister came into the shelter I volunteered at and my heart was stolen. Jasper has been with me for almost 2 years now. He’s a charmer too! Thanks for stopping by!

  14. January 12, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    What a great read! It sounds like you have plenty to write about – and I’m looking forward to reading it! Amy is right, in a way it does help you generate income!

    • Mel
      January 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM

      Thanks CindyLu!

  15. January 13, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    Weighing in here belatedly: I figured I’d welcome new friends before thanking old friends for participating. Yours is a blog I’ve long enjoyed; I always welcome your posts, whenever they turn up.

    • Mel
      January 13, 2011 at 6:07 PM

      That was a good idea Edie. I started with the ones I knew first, but I still have a ton to visit. I just never imagined there would be so many! Kind of cool don’t you think? Thanks for the nice compliment!

  1. January 10, 2011 at 10:59 AM
  2. January 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

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