Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Pet Blogger Challenge

It's that time of year again, time for the Pet Blogger Challenge. Pet bloggers worldwide answer 10 not-so-simple questions and share what they know with each other. This is the fourth time I've participated in the challenge. Each time I find new blogs to follow and learn a few things in the process. Thanks Amy over at Go Pet Friendly for putting this together. Without any further ado, here are this year's questions.

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

The puppy I waited 35 years for
I've been blogging for three and a half years. Kelley's Dog Blog is my story: A sarcastic, slightly neurotic woman decided to get an AKC German Shepherd puppy at the age of 44 and tries to enter the world of dog showing and dog sports. Truth is, I suck big time -- but I'm having fun. Along the way I share some of my adventures as an animal control officer in a small beach town. I have a bad attitude and a potty mouth. I drink too much wine, eat too many brownies and may or may not have homicidal fantasies. I blog because it's cheaper than therapy. I don't know why people read my blog. Seriously.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I completed the Blogging A to Z Challenge in April. That was more difficult than I had imagined! I chose the subject of dog shows. I learned a lot about the subject myself in the process. It helped me recommit to showing and we entered 18 dog shows in 2015. You can see the entire A to Z posts here. Surprisingly, the most visited post in that series was P -- Pedigrees and Registrations. Who would have guessed that?!

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

The meme
I really put a lot of thought into If You're on the Fence, Get a Lab. Anyone who has seen my blog knows that I am a German shepherd girl. However, GSDs are not for everyone and this post was written for a woman on Google+ in hopes of dissuading her from getting a German shepherd puppy. A similar, but more tongue-in-cheek post was So You Want a GSD. That one was inspired by a silly meme a friend posted on my Facebook page.

4. What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

Again, that would have to be the Blogging A to Z Challenge. What I really liked about the challenge was that I met so many people outside my genre of pet blogging. In fact, I sought out interesting sounding blogs that had nothing to do with dogs. (I know, gasp.) I really enjoyed it and wish I had had more time to read other blogs. Unfortunately, putting out 26 posts in 30 days was grueling and time consuming. I'm glad I completed the challenge, but I'm not going to do it again this year.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

The shirt says "My dog makes me happy.
You, not so much."
My most popular post this year was 8 Photos of Happiness. It was a fun and happy challenge that went around the internet. The post was probably so popular because everybody relates to fun and happy.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

There are four or five blogs that I read religiously. The one that I seek out first, though, is Let's Go Dog. The author, Leah, had two big, beautiful dogs and a wanderlust. Like me, Leah can over think things -- but she's much better at finding solutions. The blog is fun and informative. It's also beautifully done. The pictures are gorgeous, the layout is clean, and typos are nonexistent. (I have no idea how she does it.) I loved her Postcards from the Perimeter series. Leah and her dogs got a motor home and traveled the perimeter of the United States for three months, blogging about it the whole time. My favorite, favorite part was when she stopped right here in Jacksonville. I got to meet her in real life!

NOT Jedi. He's just as computer
illiterate as I am!
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

Yeah, well, this is where I really suck. My old computer bit the dust and I'm still trying to figure out Windows 10 which came with the new one. So until then, I do most of my blogging and picture editing on my not-so-smart phone. I play around with Google+, but it's not as user friendly as I would like. I'm on Facebook all the time but I don't link my blog to Facebook very often. (I try to keep those two worlds separate.) So, skills? I don't got no skills.

Jedi ate my glasses, so I need
something easy to read
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Make it easy for the reader. Too much "clutter" slows the download (especially for those of us trying to read on a cell phone). Lots of bright colors and multiple fancy fonts are distracting. Also, make it easy to comment so readers like me can join the conversation.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

I would like to post more regularly. I tend to write in spurts. Sometimes I can come up with five posts in three days. Other times I can go five days without a single idea. I notice I get more hits when I post regularly. However, I don't like to post unless I have something worth saying.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

Can somebody please explain Twitter!

So that's it for the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge. Now I'm off to read what everybody else has to share! See you tomorrow. -- K

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