1. When did you begin your blog?
|Our Tripawd Warrior Princess|
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
I started the blog because our 15-month-old pup Abby was diagnosed with bone cancer. It was just easier to start a blog than to keep all my friends and family up-to-date on how she was doing over email.
3. Is your current purpose the same?
No. And this question is kinda depressing... Even though this started as a blog about Abby's journey with cancer, I always tried to keep it fun and light and entertaining. Not always possible when we'd get bad news, but I tried. The purpose is now no longer the same because Abby passed away at only 2 1/2 years old - one year ago today in fact. (More on this at the end of the post.) Now the blog includes "Stuff 'bout me and my pups. But mostly my pups." As an author, I now use the blog as a way to connect with other dog-lovers and folks who might enjoy my book(s). The main purpose of the blog now is to just make people smile/laugh.
4. How often do you post?
I try to post at least 3 times a week, but sometimes manage 4 posts.
5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? If on a schedule, why? Are you strict about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you've covered every topics?
When Abby was still around, I posted whenever. Now, I try to stick to a schedule, mainly because I have other writing to get to (working on other novels) and I don't want the blogging to take toooo much time away from that. I try to always join the Monday Mischief and Wordless (well, slightly less wordy in my case) Wednesday blog hops, and I've recently started doing a Mirth Watch Thursday post (skipping Mirth Watch today because I'm joining this challenge and also just don't feel mirthful on this one-year anniversary). If I have another thing to post about during the week, it usually goes up on Fridays. I almost never post on the weekends.
I'm not strict about my deadlines. It's just a goofy blog, so why beat myself up for missing a post here or there. I can't imagine anyone even would notice. As for inspiration, something always comes to me... Sometimes at the very last minute, but it always comes.
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.
(a) Tough to say. It varies depending on what I include. Sometimes I'll include a goofy drawing, and even though it's goofy, it takes time. I'd say at least an hour on each post, probably more because I obsessively read and re-read what I've written because I hate typos! I is 'sposed to be a writer, so I gots to sound like one!
(b) Too much, yet never enough. I'd love to read all the fabulous blogs out there, but I can't keep up!
(c) I'm not on top of it all. I'm in a mushed pile underneath it all. I hope others will have tips to share! Actually - for catching up on some of the best of the blogs, I rely on I Still Want More Puppies monthly link round up. It's a little "best of the pet blogs" post where I can go back and read the great things AJ found that I missed out on. It's awesome. You should follow her.
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 generally just look at traffic. I don't tend to get tons of comments but I know some of my friends read the blog and never comment, so I don't go by that. I link to almost all my of my posts from my Facebook page, so I also consider if there are comments/"likes" there to determine if something was "successful." For me, the best success is when someone says "that was funny." I like to make people smile/laugh. I wish Blogger just had a little happy face icon that folks would hit if they enjoyed what they read. Some little happy faces would make my blogging-day!
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
For folks who get tons of comments/have a lot of followers, how did you do that? I'm assuming it's mostly just a case of commenting on other peoples' blogs and building some rapport, yes?
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
I don't have any super specific goals, but I'd like to reach more people and get more followers. I'd just like to feel like folks enjoy reading the posts. I'd love it if my new "Mirth Watch Thursdays" would catch on - it would be fun if other bloggers wanted to join in and I could turn it into a "hop."
And A Word (or Two) About Abby....
Damn, we still miss that girl a lot. I still sometimes get mad (she got royally screwed on the "quantity" of life thing if not the quality). I still get blue. But mostly I remember her with smiles. Here's to our beautiful girl!
By way of tribute, I'll just post links to three of my favorite Abby posts (hard to pick faves - I have a lot of them...):
1. Partying and Persimmons: some very cute pics of our girl in this one plus good action shots
2. Abby's Workout & Beauty Tips: I just posted the link to this the other day, but it's one of my faves and so her, since she was such a skinny super-model girl!
3. Fourteen Months: her 14 month ampuversary and our last Christmas with her. She was still so happy and such a lot of fun. Hard to believe she would be gone so soon after this.
Thanks for indulging me in a little walk down memory lane in honor of Abby, as an aside from the Pet Blogger Challenge.
Perfect! See, that's all I need! :)Delete
we miss her too!ReplyDelete
the ET syndicate
It helps knowing others remember her and miss her too.Delete
We miss her too! (The Midwest syndicate. )I always liked the workout post too :-)ReplyDelete
Yes, one of my all-time faves. :)Delete
First... hugs. Lots of hugs.ReplyDelete
Second, I love your goofy drawings. Keep 'em coming.
Third, I'm glad you like the monthly roundups. I've toyed with the idea of not doing them this year (as they are time-consuming), but it seems that people like them. :) So I guess I'll stick with it for now.
Fourth, I'm loving the Mirth Watch Thursday feature so far. I can usually use some mirth by that point in my week.
Finally, I'll stop now. (What is with my need to number everything?)
Thanks for the hugs! I'm glad you love the MWT feature. I feel like you are a prime target for it. :)Delete
I just adore YOU and your blog...and sending huge (((((hugs)))) about AbbyReplyDelete
Thank you for the hugs and the nice comment! I adore you and your blog too! You're so sweet!Delete
I love your answers and straightforward attitude. I totally understand everything you said in Q6. We are operating after the loss (or absence) of our beloved Fisher and it does change things. I wish you the very best, and am very sure you are going to get it!ReplyDelete
Hard to believe it's been a year already. Sure miss that crazy pooch!ReplyDelete
Loved your responses! So glad you made it on the Challenge Train before it left the station. And congrats on all your accomplishments - I'll be back!ReplyDelete
Ack! Feel so stupid! Arguing with teenager, stepping on innocent dog and trying to make supper... and posted the wrong comment (one reason i should never have more than one tab open at a time!) Ahem...ReplyDelete
What I meant to say was this is my first time here... and I'm so sorry about Abby. I looked at some of your posts and I'm so glad you're still blogging!
All the best, and my apologies over the previous comment :(
No worries about the stray comment. I do stuff like that when multitasking myself! Thanks for stopping by the blog!Delete
Yay, welcome to the Pet Blogger Challenge!ReplyDelete
I am one of the visitors who's guilty of not leaving comment-love. I read way more posts than I ever comment on... I just never know what to write!
Best of luck in 2013!
I do the same sometimes! I wish there was a "like" button or something like that, so you could at least show you'd stopped by someone's blog. Best to you in 2013 as well. Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Woof! Woof! We missed this challenge but having fun reading the posts. We are kind a new follower of your blog (not sure how it happened). We are a bit lost of how many blogs is on our reader. YES time and it can be overwhelming. I can say that we are a bit surprise on how many read and comment on our posts. We lost some followers when we moved our blog from blogger to WP. Many subscribed on our feed but we are unsure how many follows us directly from their reader. We try our very best to comment back but its hard to keep up. Lately our biggest # of comments is on Wednesday, I think participating on the WW hop helped out. Us too would like to know what makes a reader comment as we are guilty (due to time) on reading posts only. Lots of Golden Woofs, SugarReplyDelete
Yes, it is definitely hard to keep up. I always appreciate it when people take the time to stop by. I know how busy everyone is! Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Jackie, I am so sorry about your Abby. She is simply beautiful. I breaks my heart knowing she was taken at such a young age. Totally not fair. I hope you are still healing from her loss and know she is running around playing at Rainbow Bridge with the others who have passed. God bless her lil heart. I hope you continue to keep up the blog and I guess I better have a look see at your books! I love me some doggy books! Great to meet you!ReplyDelete
Bren @ Pibbles & Me
Thanks for stopping by Brenda. She was indeed an extremely beautiful dog. Of course, I'm terribly biased, but I don't think I'll ever see another dog as beautiful as her. She is now a stunningly beautiful angel.Delete
I only have one book available at the moment, but am working on one that includes a fictionalized version of Abby. Hope to have that available this year. :)
Great to meet you too!
I'm glad that I've come to know you and your blog, I think you have a great creativity and positive spirit. Keep connecting, that is the best way to grow. Some days I spend 4 hours reading and commenting, and it's still only a handful. There's never enough time, and you'll never get enough done, and some days you'll neglect your real job, then other days you'll be busy with your "real work" you'll feel bad you're neglecting commenting on blogs. I don't know a way around it!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad to have gotten to know you too! Yes, some days I also spend hours reading/commenting. There is definitely never enough time. I guess I will try to just do what I can and remember to enjoy the process. Trying to remember to be more present this year - enjoy what I'm doing and not try to rush through things!Delete
I'm sorry to read about Abby; it's funny how they stay in your heart. Our puppy passed away 6 months ago. We have a huge picture of her in the living room that makes me smile every day.ReplyDelete
I get comments, shares, traffic through content, social networking, commenting on other blogs, and great titles. OMG - I started focusing on my titles a few months ago with the goal of making them more clickable and what a difference it made to my blog.
Happy New Year!
Hmm. I wondered if I worked on my titles more... Will have to try that this year.Delete
Thank you for stopping by. Sorry about the loss of your pup as well.
Thank you so much for joining the Challenge, and lots and lots of hugs on the loss of Abby. We lost a dog just before his 4th birthday to kidney failure more than 8 years ago. I still cry every now and then missing him - and the anniversaries of his death are the hardest.ReplyDelete
To answer your question, I've had the best luck getting followers and visitors by building a good Facebook page. Behind the search engines, most of my traffic comes from FB. Also, participating in blog hops is a great way to meet other bloggers and make some new friends. Finally, I would say Twitter allows you to reach a wide variety of people and hopefully some become loyal readers.
Best wishes for a happy and successful 2013. I'm looking forward to following along!
Thanks for stopping by, Amy.Delete
It's so hard to lose a pup at a young age. :(
Thanks for the advice!
So sorry to hear that you lost your inspiration for your blog, and so early, too. I hope that continuing to blog helps you to come to peace with her loss and appreciate the good moments with her. All the best for blogging in 2013.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the nice comment. We did have a lot of amazing moments with that girl. She was very special. Thanks for stopping by my blog.Delete
I'm so sorry about Abby. We have friends who are currently dealing with their dogs getting cancer.ReplyDelete
Participating in the blog hops and commenting on other blogs really gets the discussion going. However, search traffic is by far my #1 source of traffic. If you want to increase your search traffic read up a little on SEO. One of my favorite sites for SEO updates is SEOmoz.
Good luck with your goals in 2013!
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that about your friends. I hope it's a fightable-type of cancer. Bone cancer is so darn aggressive. Cancer sucks.Delete
Thanks for the tip on SEO. I'll check out that site.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.