Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Pet Blogger Challenge (I almost missed it!)

When I did my New Year's post, a few people mentioned to me that I ought to take the Pet Blogger Challenge. I replied in the spirit, thinking "oh, of course!" Well, I almost didn't get there...But I'm here now!

Pet Blogger Challenge


1. When did you begin your blog?

April 7, 2011
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

I was afraid that I was driving my friends and coworkers away with my incessant dog and dog training talk. I figure the Internet would be a fantastic outlet for such things. That, and what more fun is it than to share your obsessions with others? Ditto the Internet's usage for such things.
3. Is your current purpose the same?

More or less. I think I'm trying for an educational bent as well, especially the more I run into people at work and otherwise who I might steer away from Cesar Millan and pet store purchases.

If not, what’s different?
If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

Well, friends (and family) seem to be able to stand me. And nobody sighs and rolls their eyes when I bring up Elka. At work, people point the dog questions to me, as I'm getting rather versed at this point. I'm not a canine professional, yet, but I do a good job of playing one on the Internet apparently.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it?
If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?

A little bit of both, really. I do worry about losing traffic (such as I have) and momentum. I try to post daily, ish (and there are a lot of blog helps that can help, if the muse has fled). If inspiration strikes, I either post a second time that day, or date the entry so that it'll update automatically in the future.
5. Are you generating income from your blog?
If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?
If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

No income yet. I do have Google ads, and I do have a linked Amazon thinger going on. I wouldn't mind being a spokesperson for a product that I really dug, but haven't been approached in any way yet.  I've technically gained stuff, anyway, if not cold hard cash: the Awkward Family Pet Photos book, an EZ dog harness, and a bag of dog food from Mr. Chewy's coupon. I've gotten other stuff, but it's things I won in a drawing, or got from filling out a free sample form, so I'm not counting those are merit of my blogliness.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

I like the sense of community that I feel when people comment. I like the compliments that Elka gets (for both appearance and behavior!) as I'm obviously rather fond of her and would like other people to like Elka too, and like the Doberman breed for what it is as opposed to what movies have made it.
7. What do you like least?

The fact that I'm not generating income, and don't actually have a whole lot of followers. These things will come, or they won't, I understand, but it's hard to be patient! Also, I ran out of tennis ball brands that were readily accessible, so my Tennis Ball Challenge is sort of dead in the water.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
Really, I dig the format that I've got. I'm thinking about perhaps doing videos this year, so we'll see how this goes. As long as they're of Elka and not of me, I'm sure it'll be smooth sailing!


  1. I dig the format you have here too. :) Great responses to the questions - I always enjoy reading your posts, and look forward to more!

  2. Thanks very much! I look forward to posting more! Sometimes I discover the darndest things when coming up with an entry.

  3. I'm so glad you didn't miss the Challenge! I love reading your posts and I think videos starring Elka would be fantastic. I'll be looking forward to it.

  4. Jen - I struggle with the same issues over on my blog too with the low readership. At the same time, the ones who visit are very faithful about leaving comments (including you!). I am increasing readership, but it's a very slow process. I don't know how bloggers start up and in two months have several hundred readers.

    Did you see my dog bed series? I posted the two big dogs in a single bed. My Mom wanted to see the min pin all by himself in the other big bed. Then I showed the Vizsla stuffing himself into a small cat bed - the sides don't even bow out!

    Start here and then go forward two more days.



    P.S. For what it's worth, I love reading the Elka stories. I think the pizza one (where she runs and looks out the door) is one of my favorites - I have to work that into my blog at some point.

  5. Lol, you did better than me, I fell asleep with Frankie and Beryl on their mattress on the floor and woke up too late to do a post:)

    You will probably find you have more followers than you know about as a lot of people follow by RSS and email, not just Google. I prefer RSS or email as I always forget to look at Google Reader but can easily get to the others.

    As Nancy above said, I also don't know how people manage to get a huge readership in a short space of time, but I don't worry about it. Keep up the good work, the main thing (I think) is to enjoy your blog and what you're doing with Elka.

  6. Elka is rather gorgeous, that's what drew e here in the first place! I love coming by and hearing what you have to woof.

    Are you on Facebook with a blog page? For me, that was the catalyst that took us from like 60 followers on GFC to about 500 email, 1200 Facebook, and still only about 400 via GFC. Facebook is an easy way for people to follow your blog while doing something they are likely already doing. I make sure I post all my posts there (manually so I can try to start a discussion about it) and I try to update it with a few status updates. It's where I get by far the most of my traffic.

  7. @Amy Thanks so much! Glad you keep coming back ;)

    @Nancy I's funny how small they can curl themselves up, isn't it? Vizsla in the cat bed was definitely pretty awesome!

    @Greyhounds CAN Sit That's very true, I don't take things like RSS and email into account. I'm glad you enjoy! That's really my main goal, to have an enjoyable blog. I don't want to be a sellout! ;)

    @Kolchak thank you, thank you...Elka loves the compliments. I do not have a Facebook blog page yet. I've toyed about doing it and wasn't overall sure what-all I would post on Facebook that I wasn't already posting on Twitter, etc It has been something I've thought about and certainly not ruled out just yet. Perhaps another 2012 goal, because those are some great numbers!

  8. Oooooh, movies? I can't wait to see.

    I wish you good luck with everything you've planned and I can't wait to see what you have in store.

    And readers come in time. I also think the blogs with the best content are slower to gain a larger readership. It's easier to get lots of readers if you're posting silly cat videos than if you're writing thoughtful content.

    So be thankful for you faithful readers and wear them as a badge of honor.

  9. I totally agree with you on the videos. A couple years ago I wanted to start doing videos, but I was trying to leave myself out and mostly shoot Dublin. However, when it came time I included myself in the video and boy was it awkward. It gets easier over time, but I'm still not a fan of talking to the camera.

    I can't wait to see what you and Elka have in store. All the best to you in 2012!

  10. hi there! i'm a new follower of yours (i have you in my google reader for what it's worth) and i'm really enjoying the posts (and clearly you can see i am playing catch up!).

    do you have any interest in Triberr? it's a great tool for growing your readership.