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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!

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