Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10 


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.

40 thoughts on “Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

  1. I know what you mean about engaging your readers. It’s something I too am trying to figure out. Why one post gets lots of engagement (even when I think not) and ones that I think will see crickets. But I do get excited about comments. I too have just started to reading more blogs, and I am totally enjoying it, including yours! Thanks for sharing.

    • That’s true, too, Maggie. The interesting thing is blog posts that get lots of shares, but aren’t well commented on, despite this. It’s a bit of a weird game.

  2. Stopping by on the Pet Blogger Challenge – nice to meet you! I hear what you’re saying about posting something and not receiving any comments. It can make you wonder if anyone is reading your blog – and that’s where looking at your stats can help. You can see how many people are visiting your blog, how many are new visitors or repeat visitors, where they’re coming from, and how long they’re staying. Many people may read a post and just feeling that they don’t have anything to add to it – not that the information isn’t helpful or interesting. You may also want to consider adding a Google +1 button because it gives people a quick and easy way to share and give feedback.

  3. Ah yes, the dreaded no comment posts! I know how you feel. I try not to think about it if I were you, although it is only human to do so. Maybe instead, try to make an assumption why that happened and see if you can tweak the next posts a little, or develop some rules for it. That way you can turn it into something positive. Hope you can find some inspiration with some of the participants that always score high on the comments!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :) I think the main thing is close to no one reads my posts in the first place, and then there’s certainly no one to comment, haha.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Penelope. It was fun to look back on old posts associated with this entry. :) It’s a great challenge – and being on an annual schedule is something I can commit to!

  4. I feel guilty when i read an interesting post and don’t leave a comment (which is most of the time). I’ve found though that the number of comments don’t correlate necessarily with the number of people who visit. Some people elicit comments with every post. And some posts are so complete that there isn’t much left to comment on.

    • Hi Jan. Thanks for stopping by. A few of the pet blogger challenge participants have mentioned a lack of engagement of comments as disheartening, so I think I’ll make one of my new year resolutions to comment more. :)

  5. Hi there! I think some people are afraid or not comfortable with leaving comments for web tracking purposes or like I think Vicki said, how nothing to add. A quality comment is better than a “Nice post” one, right? I continue to watch my page views plus I have a visitor tracker to see where my traffic is coming from and if it was referred from another network or blog. Blogging is about spreading our voice. As long as someone is reading, we are doing our job. Intetaction comes from comments. Possibly visit more blogs, leave comments, and they will come? I’ve enjoyed your blog thus far and will be adding to my reader. Keep your chin up!

    • Hi Brenda. So lovely to hear that you’ve added my blog to your reader. I hope I can maintain your interest to stay here!

      You’re right, some comments can be a bit mundane… But I rarely even get the mundane ones, so it’s hard to say I don’t like those, either!

  6. I think most of us feel we are “talking to ourselves” a lot of the time. Trying to make a concerted effort to comment on and share more of the interesting blog posts I read, but, time contraints are always a factor too. Nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more.

    • Hi Debbie. Thank-you for stopping by. I share a lot of the posts I read, but I’m probably guilty of not commenting enough. Something I will try to do starting now. :)

  7. Greetings! Love the purpose behind your blog. We’ll be following from here on out! I to always hope that people are reading the blog. I at least know that my mother and Auntie Carol are always reading though they are two who almost never comment!

  8. Hi. It’s so nice to meet you and thank you for your comment on my blog. This is my first time here and I love the focus of your blog. I’m glad to hear you want to go back to posting more about what you really love.

    Gosh, comments are always such a hit topic. I think we all struggle with it. I do appreciate a comment that is conversational – I then feel like I have engaged that person and have made a connection. It sometimes surprises me which posts receive the most comments.

    I hope to stop by again. Good luck!!

    • I think you’re right, in that it’s sometimes surprising which posts receive the most comments. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  9. Hi there, and thanks for taking part in the Pet Blogger Challenge! Sometimes when a post is really well researched and well written it’s tough for people to say much about it. You could try adding a question at the end of your posts to prompt people to add their perspective. Also, I find that the more I comment on other people’s blogs, the more comments I get on mine. Be sure when you leave a comment to identify your blog so people can find your posts, too.

    • I tried the question thing for a while, but then I kept feeling very dumb when I got no comments! But it might be something for me to experiment with again. Thanks for your comment. :)

    • I’m glad you agree! I have actually considered doing a (science based) myth busting series. Just one of many things on my to-do list!

  10. I get the feeling of “talking to myself” sometimes at PupLove, too, and it’s a downer. But I know that I am definitely guilty of reading way more posts than I comment on – sometimes I just don’t feel like I have anything to add!

  11. I will only leave a comment if I think I have something interesting to say. And I’m not always smart enough to do that. So don’t lose heart.

    Personally, I’ve found that I get comments when I end a post with a specific question. It gives everyone something to respond to. I don’t always get lots of comments or as many as some bloggers, but people generally answer the question.

    BTW, I’m reading What’s a Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man’s Best Friend by John Homans. I’m really enjoying it.

    Have you read it yet? And if so, I’d love to read your review.

    • Hi Pamela, thank-you for the book suggestion. Sadly, I haven’t read it, but I’ll hop on Amazon now and add it to my wishlist. Thanks!

  12. Hello at last! Sorry I took so long to get here but I got distracted by a movie. That’s me, the serious dogblogger ;)

    I imagine your posts would be very informational and I must remember to GR you too. These days, I tend to skip the well researched stuff and head directly for the giggles. It used to be the other way around when Georgia was young and had issues and I needed info, help and advice. Like Pamela and a couple of other people mentioned, sometimes it’s hard to comment, especially when it’s a serious subject. I coud be afraid to be controversial (ahem), or show you how stoopid I really am (ahem again). Like others, I’ve also found a question at the end or somewhere in the post very handy for the 2 or 3 serious posts that I do in a year. It’s a starting point for a chat.

    I hope you get more comments and readers for all your hard work, but if it continues to be a hard slog, just remember to have FUN! OR put up a couple of posts a week where we can just go “NICE PICS!” :D

    • Thanks for stopping by. :) I am in the process of completing a series on “Puppies 2012″, of the litter we’ve just raised. It’s been fun to do (puppies! my puppies!), but it’s also had a serious focus of describing the socialisation we do with puppies before they go to new homes. … Our fun posts are a bit different to some blogs. ;)

  13. Looks like you’ve got some great comments here!

    I have to agree with Pamela, I find leaving a question at the end of the post is a way to engage readers and encourages to them to leave comments.

    I also don’t like to add a comment for the sake of adding a comment, for me I want real engagement with readers. :-)

    You’ve got the jump on me on G+, I’m still struggling with all the social media and their technical aspects.

    Good luck in meeting your goals this year.

    • Oh, I’m not really sure if I’m that savvy with G+. I have an account, and now I have a share button on my blog… That’s about as far as it goes! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

  14. I’m with you on the commenting thing. When I have those posts that get no comments, I always wonder if I’m just talking to the void. But I know that sometimes I read a lot of posts and don’t leave a comment, just because I can’t think of something to say. But I’m there! So I just try to remember that when my posts don’t garner comments as well. :)

  15. I really like you blog and your purpose. You are doing quite a service to dog owners. Not everyone is such a good researcher. I am always excited when I get a comment – and thank you for yours!

  16. Like everybody else has said, I struggle with comments right along with you. Sometimes I’m surprised what does generate comments and what doesn’t.

    I try to comment on posts I read but I read a lot and I’d rather leave a comment that has some meaning or insight than just a “hey I was here” but that takes time which is the other over-arching theme I’m seeing in these Challenge posts: none of us has enough time to do everything we want to do.

    That said, I think sometimes an “I was here” comment could go a long way with folks. It’s especially encouraging to new bloggers and I always try to leave a comment on a blog post I stumble upon that has none. It’s a lot of work and risk to put yourself out here like this and a simple ‘thanks for the info’ may be all the encouragement someone needs to keep going on any given day.

    I’m looking forward to reading your puppy posts for 2013. :)

    PS – I just subscribed to your blog so you won’t get lost in my shuffle any more. :)

    • Thanks so much for letting me know you’ve subscribed to my blog, Leslie. So glad to hear that you liked my material enough to follow us. :)

  17. Hi, and great to connect with you through the Pet Bloggers Challenge this year! I struggle with the issue of getting comments on my posts, but the more I look at it, the more I notice that other bloggers tend to leave comments while “regular readers” don’t so much. I guess some people like to “like” stuff instead, and some just like to visit. I’m having fun watching what gets pinned and repinned on Pinterest and it lifts my spirits when I get down about the lack of comments on my blog, or feel silly when no one answers a question I posed. Try it! :)

    • Oh, Pinterest. I’ve got an account, and I dabble, but I’m having trouble getting into the dog side of things on there. If you ever want to make a post on using Pinterest with your blog, I’d love to read it.

  18. I am working my way through the Pet Blogger Challenge list. :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a suggestion on my question about how to use my FB and twitter accounts for more than just repeating posts. I am definitely going to try your suggestions…once I get organized. :) Working it, really. :)

    It sounds like you have a clear vision of what you want to do with your blog this year, so best of luck to you!

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