Friday, 10 January 2014

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014

Hiya guys! Today I am taking part in the Pet Blogger Challenge hop!
This is my first year as a blogger and my first Pet challenge, so i'm excited to get started!

This hop is to help us bloggers figure out what goals we would like to achieve through blogging, and how far we have come, among other things. It is hosted by: Go Pet Friendly and Will My Dog Hate Me?

There is a list of questions set up for us to answer, so here goes...

1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

I am a brand new blogger. My first post was November 18th 2013. Oh my god, it seems so much longer then that!! Time flies when your having fun!
   I started blogging because I was inspired by some that I had been reading, for example five sibes mom...., Rumpy dog..., Gone to the Snow Dogs and a few others I became quite the regular, always commenting and never missing a beat. My huskies have always inspired me and  I never really knew how to let that out until I found the wonderful work of blogging!
And for the third part of this question, my blog is mostly about a day in the life of my husky girls. I also really like doing rescue stories once a week and raising awareness to the growing world of dog fighting.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud

Ok so theres 2 things. One being, just yesterday I hit 5000 page views! Which is huge for me! And I'm so happy how fast this is growing! The other thing I'm most proud of is my local and animal shelter LAWS was in a community funding challenge and needed votes to push through, and I was able to reach out to the wonderful people who read my posts and they helped so much by putting their votes in every day and my shelter made it to the semi finals, and its great knowing I had something to do with it! 

3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?

Well this question is kind of tough because I haven't had the pleasure of doing this challenge before, and as I said it has only been a couple months since my first post. 
But if anything has changed since my first, it would be that I take my writing more serious now. When I started blogging I don't know if I really thought it would go anywhere, but now I am always anxious to write my next post!

4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?                                                 If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?                                                                                                                                                                                             
I have learned that people love funny, and quirky. And include your readers in what your writing about. Ex: posting something and asking their opinion on it, or if they have had similar experiences. And writing stuff that people can relate to.
And if I could ask for help from the blogging community, I would ask for design tips. I am not that great at the technical side of things and I would love to learn how to make my own custom headers etc... Jan from Jan's Funny Farm made me a header when I started, which I will be using again soon, but I like to change things up every so often. She did an amazing job!

5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

Oh this one is easy! I make it a point to visit as many other blogs as I can. And the people in the blogging community are so wonderful, when you visit theirs, they always return the favor. And from there, if they like your blog, they will stick around! I have a few regular blogs I visit daily. And am always anxious to read their posts in the morning. Other then that, good ol' FB and twitter serves wonderfully! :))

6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?

I usually write on facebook and twitter with every new post that I have. So that's pretty much on a daily basis. I would like to spend more time publicizing though, and try to expand my readers to a wider range outside of the blogging community and in.

7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
How do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?

Umm...usually by the comments. People are generous and usually leave a comment regardless which is great! But you know when their comments are detailed, that they have enjoyed reading that post.
I haven't had to let go of a feature or theme yet, but I assume when I do, it will be because I am not feeling what I am writing about that particular thing or people just aren't taking to it.

8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?

Well I can relate to a lot of things people write about, but also the posts about things I am just learning about sparks me to comment as well. I love the adventurous posts and basically being invited into the life of other peoples pets. 

9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?
If not, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?

I haven't had the pleasure of doing these things yet, although I would love to, because...well, lets face it, everyone loves a giveaway.
And as for product review, I have done one. It was my post about finding a long lasting, no mess dog chew, which believe me, is hard to do! So I posted about Deer Antlers. And everyone seemed to love that post! I had found out a lot of people had never heard of buying (all naturally shed) deer antlers for your dog to chew, and all the health benefits that go with it. So yes, I would like to do more reviews, no hurdles stopping me, just haven't found another "right" product to do a review on yet.

10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?

I haven't had a whole lot of writers block yet. But when I know what my post will be  about, and the words of how I want to write it just aren't coming properly, I have simply waited until later in the day to finish writing it, to give my brain a break!

11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?

Yes, over the Christmas holidays I didn't post for a bit. I had tons of family here, plus I have 2 little girls as well, so it was an extremely busy time for me! It was weird because I had gotten so used to blogging every day, I missed it!
I did think about quitting a short while after I started. I was having a hard time with some of the more technical stuff, and all the ins and outs of the layout and the buttons, and this and that....but luckily, the blogging community did anything to help me when I asked them, and I pulled through. And what makes me stay is my readers! And of course my dogs! They live quite the life and have so many great moments I love to share with the world!

12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?

To expand my readers to people outside the blogging community.I love having my fellow bloggers come by every day, it is wonderful and I am always happy to see that they have came for a visit, but I would like to learn how to get a wider variety of people coming by.

Signing off with a couple pics of the girls!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I tried to comment, but I don't think it went through. If this is a duplicate, please ignore! :)

    Your dogs are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    I'd love to talk with you about blog design, and other ways I can work with you on your site. If you click over to my Pet Blogger Challenge post, you'll find a link to my business website. It would be fun to work together!


    1. Oh wow thanks so much! I'll head over there now!!
      (And no, no duplicate) says your previous comment was removed so no worries!
      Thanks so much for coming!

  3. Glad you participated and glad you've joined the community. Your girls are always entertaining!

    1. Aww thanks so much!!
      BTW I saw that you are a featured member for January at Blog Paws!!!! Congrats!!

  4. Hey! You know that I love your blog and as a fellow newbie, I am so proud you have already won a Liebster award!! I have been wanting to write about the dog fighting epidemic also. Contact me and perhaps we can work something up together to draw awareness to the problem. I have learned how to make social media buttons and blog buttons so if I can help, just holler!

    1. Wow! that would be great if we could work together with raising awareness to that! It is so important to me to be a voice for these poor dogs! I will be in contact with you about that for sure!!!!
      And yea, the buttons.....oh the buttons! LOL I will be in touch soon! LOL

  5. Nice to read about your blogging habits! May 2014 be a great year for the blog!

    1. Aww thanks so much guys! I really appreciate it!

  6. Welcome to the blogging world!! I'm a huge fan of Huskies; this is the breed that I wanted (or a Malamute) when we were first researching breeds. Someone told me that I couldn't handle these breeds so I gave up. Living with Rodrigo (Border Collie mix) for nearly 4 years makes me wonder what people meant - I never really asked. Rigo isn't a bad dog, but he has a mind of his own so he and I are constantly going back and forth - this week, he's learning to stop stealing toys from the puppies. LOL

    Best of luck in 2014!!!!

    1. Haha! Well thanks so much for coming by!
      I actually just posted today on facts that people should know about owning a husky and their temperament and what not so feel free to check it out!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog - I really enjoyed reading your post, about your experience so far, and about where you hope to go from here. Very cool that you just started a few months ago - I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you!

    1. Thanks so much! I truly appreciate you coming by!!

  8. Great to find out more about your blogging life. We all would have been missing something big if you had have quitted!


    1. Awe wow! What a compliment! Thanks so much!!!

  9. You guys are not quitters xx

  10. Good luck! Huskies are awesome dogs; two of my pups came through a Husky rescue organization--even though they're not Huskies.

    I've had my technical struggles, too, and sometimes I just want to pound my head into my desk. But usually if I walk away, let it sit, do a little research, maybe ask a tech friend or two, I can work it out. But if that doesn't work, I tell myself that whatever it is I'm trying to do is not going to make or break my blog in the end. And usually it works out.

    Nice to meet you...

    --Woofs (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats.

    1. Very nice to meet you also! Thanks for coming, and yep I feel the same way sometimes when it comes to technical stuff!

  11. I am so behind on things...lol. Just catching up now. The technical things take a bit to get used to and get easier over time so don't get discouraged there. As far as custom headers if you have an photo editing program and know the size header your blog layout will accommodate, you can make one using that. The key is to not make it too large KB's not MB's because large graphics will make you site load more slowly. Best of luck this year. :)

  12. Congrats on getting 5000 page views in just a couple of months. :) Well done.

    I'm glad you've asked for design tips, because I was going to say anyway: PLEASE remove the 'snowflakes' moving on the page. If I hadn't made a commitment to read and comment on each Pet Blogger Challenge post, I would've left this page already - the snowflakes are very distracting when I'm trying to read, and add nothing to your page. I hope others can give you some further design pointers. :) Good luck for 2014.

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