Home > Miscellaneous, Pet Ponderings > Why blog? The Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Why blog? The Annual Pet Blogger Challenge


IMG_3405For the past five years, I have participated in the Annual Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Amy of Go Pet Friendly.

The Challenge has always been a great opportunity to look back at all the work done in the past year and to look forward and think about what I hope to accomplish in the coming year.

In last year’s Challenge, I announced that I was taking a break from my blog. I was tired, and burned out, and completely bored with myself AND my writing. Oh, I kept the blog going (just barely) by posting pictures a couple of times a week, but that’s it. No words. Just pictures.

Eventually, I made my way back (as you can see), but under new self-imposed conditions: to only blog when the urge hit me, and not under meet some imaginary obligation to follow a schedule.

And, I’ve stuck to that too, choosing only to blog when I feel like it and nothing more. Some weeks there was only one blog post to share  and other weeks, three or four. There was no schedule.

No pressure = no stress = HAPPY.

As a result of the changes made this year, my answers to the Challenge questions  are very different. Some just don’t even apply anymore. Amazing how much can change in a year.

So here we go…

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about. 

I am going on year 7 in blogging years. 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.

My blog is a hodgepodge of a lot of things – animal welfare, animal health, dog behavior, training, dog videos and photography (i.e., lots of pictures of dogs).

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud. 

I walked away and gave myself a break? I’m not sure I have an answer to this one.

3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?

  • Blogging less does not necessarily mean a less successful blog. Writing when there is something valuable to share or something new to say is much more satisfying than trying to write a post every day.
  • Choosing not to host my own site is less stressful and less time-consuming. (After seeing all the time and energy other bloggers put into their blogs, choosing not to do so seems so much easier – for me anyways.)
  • It’s okay to blog and NOT do sponsored posts or push a product.

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

Writing about issues people care about – how to keep dogs safe, have fun with your dog,  and dog behavior issues.

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

Loose Dog? Don’t chase! Stop, Drop and Lie Down

Totally surprised me. I thought it was an innocuous little post and then it just took off.

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

No idea. Probably one that allowed me to share fun pictures of my dogs. It’s hard for me to remember last week. 🙂

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

Nope. Still don’t do them.

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?

Do what works for you. Don’t live to some blogger ideal if that is not who you are or what you want to do with your blog. You don’t have to do product reviews or manage your blog on your own hosted site or share blogger awards or whatever the latest craze is today. Blogging should be fun, not an obligation.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?

More of the same. No schedule.

10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Nothing.

To read what some of the other pet bloggers wrote this year, head on over to Take Paws from Go Pet Friendly!

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  1. January 10, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    Awesome answers! I’m glad you are blogging again, I missed you and the doggies. But you’re right, it has to be what you want, when you want it.

    • Mel
      January 10, 2015 at 10:17 PM

      Thanks Mary. I am glad to be back without all the pressure and guilt. It’s a lot more fun this way, don’t you think?

  2. January 10, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    “I’m here to have fun. Not to set goals, reach objectives, or fit the definition of what a blogger is supposed to be. And here’s a picture of my dog.”

    I love you.

    • Mel
      January 10, 2015 at 11:02 PM

      And I love YOU Lori! 😊

  3. kenzohw
    January 11, 2015 at 2:45 AM

    I was just relieved you never “really” went away after you announced it, “No dog about it” is one of my favorite blogs, for me, your puppy mill posts always stand out as very well researched, and your posts about how to rehabilitate former puppy mill dogs are very informative. I also think it will make people that don’t have a puppy mill dog, look at their dog another time, and see there is a more complex being inside, than they maybe first thought.

    But just posting a picture is fun to “read”, as well. Keep the coming, Mel. I am glad to hear too, you found a new balance in blogging, and it also shows in your writing during the year.

  4. January 11, 2015 at 3:26 AM

    I’m a new reader, although, now you mention it i’m sure i remember Daisy’s blog. But keeping a similar attitude of not stressing and really enjoying blogging again.

  5. cafall
    January 11, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Great answers! I’m always sad when a blogger goes away. I think blogging should be fun, and when that gets lost it is best to take a break of some kind.

    Monty and Harlow

  6. January 11, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    Perfect, you blog because you want to and you only blog when the urge hits you. We still have so much fun we don’t mind posting a lot, but who knows, some day we may lose some of the fun, we hope not, but if we do, then it is time to stop. Kudos for you for doing it and surviving!

  7. January 11, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    Can I just say you rock! You have taken control by letting go. So awesome!!! 🙂

    • Mel
      January 11, 2015 at 5:02 PM

      Thank you! I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I guess I did take control. It’s a great feeling.

  8. January 11, 2015 at 3:48 PM

    Sounds like you are in a good place with your blog. I so agree that blogging should be fun and not an obligation. I love when you share fun pics of your pups! Your photos are always great!

    • Mel
      January 11, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      Thanks Jackie! I love photography. Sharing is just part of the fun. 🙂

  9. January 11, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    Great post! I just recently found your blog and I really like your photos! 😀

    • Mel
      January 11, 2015 at 4:59 PM

      Thank you! I am so glad you enjoy them. 🙂

  10. January 11, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    It looks like you’ve inspired lots of people here just by taking a break and coming out the other side with a new appreciation for what you love about blogging.

    Who’d have thought that the message so many bloggers most need to hear is to just quit (at least for a while). 🙂

    • Mel
      January 11, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      No kidding Pamela! Ive always thought of myself as kind of the outlier because I chose not to do the usual things other bloggers are doing, and not even because I wanted to be one, but because I just don’t want to commit so much time that I lose myself in the process. I definitely feel less stressed doing it this way.

  11. January 11, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Loved this post… ‘blogging should be fun, not an obligation’… I hear you, lovely. I am a relatively new blogger but even I struggle with keeping up with things and then feel guilty when I don’t manage it, your answers really made me sit back and think ‘why’ i feel that way!
    Looking forward to reading your posts, as and when they come, in 2015 😉
    Hugs, Carrie & Pups x

  12. January 11, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    Great answers…especially the last one 😉 I’m so glad you didn’t disappear on us. I feel such a connection with Jack & Daisy and our two Maggie’s – we would have really missed you. Glad you’ve found a balance that = Happy.

  13. January 11, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Bravo Mel! I admire the break that you took and that you are sticking with blogging under only your terms! I’ve always loved to read your posts and see pictures! I’m not surprised about your top post of the year…..it was awesome and valuable not only to pet owners but to lost dogs!

  14. January 12, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    Here’s to knowing what you need and having the courage to give it to yourself. I raise my coffee cup to you. 🙂

  15. ckmorita
    January 13, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    I was pretty much on break this past year, but it was more of life getting in the way then just taking a voluntary break. One thing I did learn as a self-hosted blog is that ignoring WordPress and plugin updates leaves your blog vulnerable to attack which is something you didn’t have to worry about on hiatus.

    Best of luck in 2015!

  16. January 18, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    Seven years… that’s so impressive! I can totally relate to needing a break (obviously) and I love seeing that you came out the other side and are as awesome as ever. 🙂

  17. Amy
    January 30, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    I love this: “to only blog when the urge hit me, and not under meet some imaginary obligation to follow a schedule.” Amen, sister! People appreciate quality over quantity, and the quality of your posts is what keeps your audience coming back. Knowing that you’re having fun again makes it even sweeter. I’m so proud of you for having the courage to put yourself first, take a break from the blog, and come back better than ever. I hope 2015 is a fantastic year for you. Thanks so much for participating in yet another Pet Blogger Challenge.

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