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 began blogging in 2007 on my blog Pet Product Review. I started afFURmation a few months later and am now blogging on my new blog NEPA Pets. Here my post from the Pet Blogger Challenge from 2012- Second Annual Pet Blogger Challenge (and if you’re curious my post from 2011- Pet Blogger Challenge).
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
I think my main goals were getting better with social media, writing around a more consistent set of topics and finding my writing voice.
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
If you visited my post from last year and then came back here you might notice my goals changed over the last year because you’re on a different bog than last year.
Last summer, I began wondering how my blog was different from other blogs, why was I blogging and where I really wanted to take it. I was seeing my site traffic increase, but was feeling like a very small fish in a very big pond. One of the things I’ve wanted to do with my blogging is inform and educate other pet owners. I did feel like I was doing that, but there were times I felt like I was saying the same things as other bloggers to almost the same audience.
After some thinking, I decided to start a new blog, one that while has information for pet owners everywhere has a lot of focus on pet lovers in my area of PA. I could have done that on afFURmation, but thought it would be better to have a site address people would remember and find easier.
4. How often do you post?
I have been posting daily for the last month, but that has been due to the holidays. My goal is to publish at least 3 times a week on a regular basis. I would like to up that to 5 days, but will start with what I know I can do.
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?”
My opinion hasn’t changed. I’m not on a schedule, but want to get on a one. The main reason being that I work best with a deadline. I also want my readers to know when they can expect certain topics, plus my traffic is better when I post consistently.
I haven’t reached a point where I feel like I’ve covered every topic. I blog about all kinds of pets not just 1 species, plus I think even though I niched down to being hyperlocal which sounds like that would be restrictive it actually gives me more areas to blog about. I have a lot of ideas for features, but I’m trying to take it slow.
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.
Hmm, I don’t know how much time I spend writing. I tend to do it in drips and drabs, by working offline on breaks at work (like I’m doing this, loving Windows Live Writer for this), and doing some more at night and on the weekends. There’s also time for researching, preparing pictures, etc. I can’t even guess.
I read a lot of blogs in my feed reader offline and don’t comment as much as I would like or should. I try to spend more time on the weekends, but it’s also not as much as I would like. Something else I can’t measure.
I have no tips for staying on top of it all. In fact, usually I’m the one asking for advice on it! I’m trying to make weekly goals for accomplishing what I would like to do on my blog including social media.
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?
Success for a specific post I usually look at traffic and then comments.
Right now I have been so busy working on building up my blog and readership that I haven’t really thought about how I would measure success of NEPA Pets. I haven’t really thought about what I will consider success. I want to educate and promote adoption. I’d love to make a living on my blog. But right now I don’t have any measurable goals in mind that would tell me it’s a success. One area I think I will look to determine if I am heading in the right direction moving toward my goals is return visits and length of visit. My goal is to build this blog as a resource where pet owners especially those in my area will continue to return for information.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Well right now I can’t think of an issue I need help with, but I know when I have an issue or a question I can post it on the BlogPaws Community and there always seems to be someone willing to lend a hand or share an idea. It’s one of the best parts of belonging to a community of like minded people.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
As for goals for this coming year- I want to get myself on some sort of a schedule for posting and doing the social media stuff. I also want to get some features started to help the homeless pets in my area. Starting a new blog has really put my brain in overdrive thinking of everything I can do with so my main goal is taking it slow and building it gradually. I don’t want to burn out before I reach my goals and I don’t want to do it sloppy.
The Pet Blogger Challenge was started by Amy at Take Paws- Go Pet Friendly and Edie of Will My Dog Hate Me? as a way for pet bloggers to meet each other, learn about each other’s goals for our blogs and find support for our blogging. This is the 3rd year and the number of bloggers joining in grows each year. Thank you to Amy for continuing the Challenge!