Hi Everyone! Today I’m participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge – conceived by the talented Edie Jarolim, author of Am I Boring My Dog and the fantastic Kim Clune, author of This One Wild Life. I learned about this through Go Pet Friendly and thought I would share my answers here.
And so, without further ado...
1. When did you begin your blog?
I began this blog in late March of 2009. I can't believe it's been almost two years.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
It started out as part of a blogging and podcasting class I was taking at the community college. We had to write five blog posts a week. Dogs seemed like the most natural topic to me. I was never at a loss of ideas of what to write. I basically kept it about being a dog fan.
3. Is your current purpose the same?
I think it's basically stayed the same. I can write really in-depth articles, report on worthwhile news stories or just share a cute video or picture collection. My goal is to inform, entertain and discuss dogs with fellow dog fans.
If not, what’s different?
The main changes have been adding the photo gallery and new themes. I've also become more comfortable with podcasting and am getting the hang of making videos.
If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
My main goal has been to create a blog that celebrates the wonders of dogs,and keeps things in a positive light. It also has been important to me to write stories of substance even if it's not always a happy ending. Life isn't always wine and roses, and keeping it real has been important to me. I think I'm getting closer to accomplishing this goal but I believe that there's always room for improvement. Yet, at the same time, I think my writing and focus has strengthened since the blog's beginning. Another goal is to become more consistent with the posting frequency.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
I would say it's a little of both. Sometimes, I put out posts like clockwork and other times because of hectic times going on, I will post less frequently. I aim for
a certain number of posts per month. If I surpass it, great! If it falls lower, I don't sweat it. It's more important to for me to put up posts with strong content.
If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?
I do worry about losing returning readers the most because my rate of posting does fluctuate quite a bit. It can affect the momentum.
5. Are you generating income from your blog?
I've generated some income from my blog. I can't live off of it, but it's nice to know it's there. Any income is really a bonus for me since I did this for enjoyment first and foremost.
If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?
Most of my income comes through Google Adsense and Amazon Associates. I try to keep a balance because I am not fond of seeing blogs where all you see are ads.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular?
I like that blogging has made my writing better and that you don't have to follow strict rules to be an effective blogger. I like the freedom of having my own blog because I get to write what matters to me and not just what is popular.
I like the friendships I've made with other bloggers. I've built some great relationships with some of the dog product companies too. Most of these friendships are with bloggers who write about other topics which has helped me to become a more well-rounded person. Lastly, blogging has helped me become less shy and express myself better.
7. What do you like least?
Promoting my blog is the least favorite part of the blogging process. I'm always fearful of overdoing it so I try to limit how often I tweet my posts to one or two times per post.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011?
I will be trying to blog more consistently and am hoping to make this more of an active participation blog. I am going to not be as safe in what I write and stay true to my beliefs. I'm not going to shy away from controversy when it comes up. Most importantly, I just want my blog to stay true to its origins and become stronger and more focused for my readers. I also want to work on improving my design.
Are you a blogger? What valuable lessons have you learned this past year?
What I've Learned So Far