Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pet Blogger Challenge

OMG, it's that time of year again! For the fifth year in a row, Go Pet Friendly (one of my favorite blogs) is hosting the Pet Blogger Challenge. This hop is a fun way for pet bloggers worldwide to share their thoughts on blogging -- What works? What doesn't? What would you like to do better? This is my favorite hop of the year! With the answers to just a few questions I learn so much about blogging, other bloggers and sometimes I even learn something about myself. *gasp* I'll comb through all the posts over the next month. (Yes, it'll probably take that long -- last year there were 82 participants!) I'll share anything exciting I find and will hopefully incorporate some cool, new stuff into my blog. Without any further ado, here are the questions and my answers. Enjoy!

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

I started blogging in 2012 after I lost my heart dog, Logan. It was pretty morose, so read at your own risk! Then I got a new puppy, Jedi. I've wanted to show dogs since the 1970's (I know!) and since this pup was probably my only chance to do so, I thought the blog would be a great way to chronicle our adventures. Unfortunately, I am disorganized and somehow the blog became Kelley's weird dog-related blog. Honestly, I never expected anybody to read it other than my mother. Surprise! Apparently people find my sarcastic, slightly neurotic, and sometimes homicidal thoughts amusing. And my tales-of-a-pissed-off-animal-control-officer make others feel normal.
2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.

I made a bunch of resolutions on New Year's Eve 2013. Most of them went unresolved. However, I did say that I wanted to post at least 15 times a month for the year. I fell short a couple times, but still posted 196 times in 2014.
3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?

Don't forget to step away from the computer. I'm ashamed to say that there were times I was too busy blogging about Jedi to actually spend time with Jedi. That's not going to happen again. I love my readers -- my blogging buddies! -- but I love my dog more. He deserves my undivided attention on a regular basis.
4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

I get a lot of traffic through Google+. Sometimes I'll link a blog post to my Facebook, but I usually keep my blog and FB accounts separate. I found blog hops to be a great way to expose my blog to new people as well as to find blogs that I hadn't known about before. There are a lot of great blogs out there and it's easy to get lost in them.

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

According to Blogger my most popular post was Jedi Plays Spin the Bottle. I saw a video on Facebook and asked a friend of mine if he could make a similar toys for Jedi. He did and the dogs had fun with it. However, I don't have much faith in Blogger's statistics. My most popular post of all time is about Roxy taking a dump in Petsmart. Surely there's got to be a spam factor involved.
6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

I had fun with my crazy work stories this year. Instead of getting frustrated with the idiots I deal with on a regular basis, I decided to look at them humorously. And I think everybody enjoyed it. I giggled the entire time I was writing Freaks on the Beach. The most meaningful post -- and the most difficult to write -- was 25 Years, 47 Dead, and 1 Personal Miracle. It's also the only non-animal post on my blog.
7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

Short answer: no. Long answer: I wouldn't be opposed to giveaways. Seriously, who doesn't like free stuff? Unfortunately, rafflecopter looks confusing and I haven't found anything I just HAD to share. Any reviews I do are my own personal opinion. Typical me, I say what I want, filter not included. I am beholden to no one; if I tell you I like something, I really mean it. And if I tell you it's crap, then it's crap. I don't have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings.
8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?
  • Keep clutter to a minimum. Not only does it make the page load a lot slower, it's distracting, making the blog harder to read.
  • Proofread! I make typos too, trust me, but they do stand out and distract from what you're trying to say. Stepping away from the post and proofing the next day catches a lot.
  • Make it easy to comment. I WANT to interact, but I don't want to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out how to leave a reply. And my 40+ year old eyes have a hard time reading those "type the numbers above to prove you're human" codes.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?

I want to be less scatterbrained. I'd like to focus more on dog showing and dog sports. I'm contemplating doing the A to Z Challenge on dog shows. (Come back in April and see if it all pans out!) I'd also like to take better pictures. My photography skills suck.
10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Social media. What the heck is Twitter? I tried to look into it and found it very confusing. Is it really something that is worth learning? Same goes for Pinterest. I would not be offended if someone sent me a "No-Brainer Tutorial for People over 40" link.
So there you go! Comments, questions and constructive criticisms are welcome. And I look forward to spending time with you in 2015. But for now I'm off to see what others have written. Later, -- K

P.S. This is a blog hop. Take a look at the blogs below and discover some pretty cool things!

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