We are very pleased to partake in the Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge! On to the questions:
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 have been blogging for just 2 years, having started blogging in December 2010. I partook in the Pet Blogger Challenge last year.
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
My goals were mostly to keep things the same, with a focus on research, and educating ‘the masses’.
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
Over the past year, I have spent a lot of time recounting my learning from Ian Dunbar’s early seminar and, later, focussing on raising puppies. In this way, my blog has somewhat deviated from its research focus. However, my reent posts on dogs and TV and the bones of an ancient canine are both really researchy, and both posts I loved writing. It has re-inspired me to pursue this focus on my blog.
4. How often do you post?
I try to post thrice a week, but I don’t hold myself to ransom about it. If I only manage one, or I just have to blog more, that’s fine by me. I try to avoid missing a week because I really lose my groove and just stop doing anything for weeks.
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’m still blogging on a somewhat middle ground schedule. I actually try to blog every second day, but it doesn’t always pan out, and I won’t put up substandard material if it’s just not ready. I have a huge list of blog ideas in a file that I can refer to if I need inspiration. I also have a lot of dog studies saved as .pdf, so it’s easy for me to bring one up, read, and then write a blog post on it.
I hope that ‘every second day’ is enough to engage an audience but not overwhelm them with content they can’t keep up with! I do like to sleep on a blog post and read it the next day, which normally helps for quality control.
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.I spend a lot, a lot of time reading blogs. I am subscribed, through Google Reader, to about 200 blogs, most dog related. I spend a lot of time, daily, reading these blog posts. Sometimes I get snowed under, and I just throw all my unread content into a blank document for me to cover at a later date, if I need to. As for writing my blog posts, I’d say it takes a couple of hours for most of my blog posts. Some of them take a lot of research, and these obviously take longer.
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?
All of the above! I get so excited to get a comment on my content, or to see it liked or tweeted. I have Google Analytics and, though I find it interesting, I don’t think I am fully appreciating its functions. So, though I am interested in traffic, I more measure it in terms of engagement. If my readers don’t engage with my site, I don’t actually know if they visited.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
As a flow on to the above – getting people to visit my blog and then engage with the content! I still have the feeling that I’m ‘talking to myself’ and, though I feel that my content is good, if a tree falls in an empty forest, no one knows if it made a sound at all.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
I want to re-commit to the research focus that I initially had when creating this blog. I have so many half-baked blog posts that I need to finish, and put up, including a bunch of book reviews. I also want to continue to encourage political action on dog topics, so I will continue to provide template letters when the need arises. However, my intention when creating this blog was dog research, and I want to go back to that.