Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

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We have joined up again with Amy Burkert of  for the Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.  We are ‘repeat offenders,’ so read on to see if things have changed for us in the past twelve months.

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. 

My Life in Blog Years transitioned (in 2012) from Dog Blogging with Luna – which started back in 2008.  Here is my post from last year:

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?

Answer: First of all, last year I indicated that I planned a complete redesign and overhaul of my blog.  Next, I expressed a desire to expand the content of the blog, moving beyond just my dogs.  Finally, I wanted to develop more of a knack for blogging on a schedule.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

Answer: I do feel like I have made progress on the goals I set last year, though I know that I didn’t fully realize all of them.  I did go through a domain name change, and in the process, I did lose a few followers.  I knew this was going to happen, but I don’t plan on changing the name of my blog again (or do I???). I have also spent a lot of time making sure my site is designed and laid out exactly how I would like it - I am such a visual person that I needed my site to be attractive and inspiring for me to spend time on.  However, I am still trying to find ways to open myself up to (read:”get interested in”) different subjects or topics (outside my areas of expertise) to blog about in order to truly broaden/expand my site’s content – and my own mind.  I have realized that that I am a gal of few words (at least in regard to writing); I think I do a much better job of expressing myself through photography than I do through writing - so being able to narrate a story that complements a photo is something I would like to improve on.

4. How often do you post? 

Answer: Last year I went from posting twice a week to now posting almost every other day.

5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?

Answer: Yes, definitely!  I try to spend time planning what my next month’s content is going to be, which posts will take the most time to prepare, and which ones will be my best (funniest, most popular).  I put everything down on a calendar to make sure I am spreading out my content well.

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.

Answer:  My husband would say that I spend way too much time on my blog per week; whether it’s writing, photo shopping, re-designing…  I’m currently not committed to a 9 to 5 job, so blogging has transitioned into a bigger hobby/passion than it had been last year. I do spend a lot of time reading other people’s blogs and commenting on them per week and I do enjoy finding inspiration and creativity from other bloggers.  Any tips that I have are probably coming from the opposite end; don’t neglect important stuff like cooking dinner, cleaning up the house, or spending quality time with your family over making sure you blog post is perfect.

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 think it’s obvious (in the blogging community) that the more traffic/hits/reads/subscriptions your blog gets, the more ‘successful’ it may or can become. Of course I want people to come to my blog and be interested in the things I am putting out there, and traffic loss and gain is something I think every blogger (secretly or publicly) gauges the success of their blog on. I do however; realize that the type of success may be different from one person to another. Maybe being a successful blogger means learning different photography techniques, improving your knowledge of HTML and CSS, making new friends, or making a difference in your community.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be? 

Answer:  I don’t currently have any ‘issues’ with my blog, but I would love to ask the pet blogging community what makes you come back to my blog? What do you enjoy the most or least about the content that I am blogging about? What do you wish to see more or less of from me?

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

Answer:  I would love to generate an income from my blog; however I would need to bump up my daily views before starting any kind of advertising program. I have signed up with Amazon Associates and I am currently learning the features they offer with that program. I have a stronger connection with Amazon than with Google’s Adsense, so starting there made the most sense for me. I would also like to grow my online voice. Communicating online is completely different than communicating in person, so defining my genuine personality by way of my writing style and photography is something I am still working on.  Advertising and marketing are areas that are interesting to me, but I need to figure out what’s right for my blog.