This year we are again joining other pet bloggers
for the Pet Bloggers Challenge
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 started blogging in August, 2005. This was the height of the Pit Bull hysteria and it seemed like humans were becoming enemies with our oldest friends on earth. My purpose then and my purpose now is to celebrate the remarkable, the ordinary and the very funny dogs who live among us.
I eventually expanded my scope to include dogs in mythology, history, literature, and popular culture—dogs who continue to live among us.
As time went by I kept finding evidence that the world of dogs and the world of humans would be more pleasant if there were fewer bipeds who were stuck at the lizard and Neanderthal level.
We think Dogbert has it right.
My evil twin Skippy started an R-rated blog a few years ago where she posts material that is too offensive/racy/obscene to post on my more serious [cough] blog. We continue to be amazed at how many degenerate readers Skippy gets.
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
I don’t set out goals. Or at least I never write them down.
Writing goals reminds me of my unfortunate student teaching experience. I had to spend hours writing long term goals, short term goals, objectives and behavioral objectives. I never got the difference between a goal and an objective, and my supervising teacher (a bitch of the human type) kept making me rewrite them. I resented it. The real teachers didn’t have to do them.
On my final evaluation she wrote that unfortunately I was not a goal-oriented person, making me sound like a vacuous airhead.
However, I realized I did have one strong central goal. As an English teacher I wanted my students to love—or at least enjoy—reading and writing.
To reach that goal, I needed to find and present material in a way that was challenging and enjoyable. Any “goals” beyond that were just meaningless words on paper. If as a class we completed the goal of reading Macbeth and the students learned to hate Shakespeare, the whole class was a failure even if we reached a goal.
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
See answer #2.
4. How often do you post?
I probably average 5-7 posts a week as I find information that is interesting to me and that I think readers might like to read. I look for the positive, but I can't overlook how corrupt some organizations that raise money to protect dogs have become.
I love happy endings. One of the joys of having a blog is that we can write whatever we want whenever we want.
5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?
If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic? 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?”
I think most of us blog because we enjoy it. Schedules and deadlines would suck the joy out of it for me. But that’s just me.
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.
Because I was lucky enough to have good English teachers, I love to read and write. The internet and the world of dogs continue to fascinate me. I love to meet other dog people and read about other people’s dogs. Google Reader is my friend.
I have no idea how much time I spend. However I’m sure there are people who think my life is pathetic because of all the time I spend playing with dogs or on the computer.
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)? Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
I don’t worry about this too much any more.
I was once notified that I was #11 on a list of the 100 best pet blogs. Then I was contacted by a company and told if I would buy something from them, maybe I could move up on the list. When I didn’t bite, I kept getting passed up by blogs that had gone dark. I stopped going to the site.
And one day this year for no reason at all I was #1 on Technorati’s pet blogs. Then a couple of days later for no reason at all I was down in the 30’s. I heard from other bloggers with the same stories. I stopped going there.
As long as my stats show that I am continuing to grow readership I’m happy. I’m continuing to get 800-1200 pageviews and an average of over 800 unique visits a day (Google Analytics).
But sometimes if no one comments, my inner child feels neglected. The fun thing about a blog as opposed to writing for print is that we get immediate interaction with readers.
I guess if my traffic ever flat lined, I would want to find something else to do.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue
I’ve barely changed the blog appearance through the years. It is probably somewhat outdated and boring, so any suggestions would be welcome with the understanding that I resist change.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
See answer #2.