Friday, January 10, 2014

Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Oops, it's the FOURTH annual Pet Blogger Challenge. Can' change the title since I already entered it into the blog links. First time for me.

Take Paws, the Go Pet Friendly Blog
1. When did you begin your blog?
May 26, 2011, which is the day my hubby retired. I was already retired for 1.5 yrs.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
Originally, was to give helpful info to other potential full time RV'rs. But there's only so much info I can think of.

3. Is your current purpose the same?
So now, my blog has evolved into my own journal, diary, memory keeper mainly for me, but also for friends and family that want to know where we are and how we are doing.
SAVED blog posts are a great way to save all the little things you did during this time. If not for the blog, I would not remember the great meal hubby made, or the sweet dog we met, etc. I take so many photos now to document our life, all because of the blog.

How do you feel you’ve met your goals?
My main goal is to be informative of our life to family and friends. Done!, IF they are reading the blog.
My secondary goal is for my own benefit, to have a social life (passively) and to document our travels. Done!
Lastly, to be entertaining and informative to others with like interests. Disappointing. With only 45 followers, I guess I'm not that informative, entertaining, or interesting.

4. How often do you post?
One to two times per week. There are some bloggers who post every day. Come on, your life can't be that busy and full that you can post every day. Many, many bloggers seem to put pressure on themselves to HAVE to post. Unless you have a sponsor that is expecting regular posts and ad hits, there should be no pressure. I post when the "spirit moves" me.

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
Ha, ha. I didn't read the questions ahead. I used the same term "spirit moves" in the previous answer. Definitely no schedule, but try to once a week so people don't forget about me.

If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? 
My blog is not a chore. It just flows. If I have nothing going on and nothing to blog about, I don't. Sometimes I'll have 3 or 4 posts in a row, but it's usually 2x's a week and that is usually 2 consecutive days. My blog is a personal blog, not a business blog, therefore there should be no pressure to post and worry about content.

How do you think your decision affects your audience? 
Maybe that's why I only have 45 followers? I'm not consistent enough?

How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”
Almost anything is "post-worthy" unless you don't want to remember it or it's a secret or too private. Like I said before, I hope to be informative and entertaining, even when I'm venting.
I try to separate each post by subject in BOLD, and CAPITALS, so if you are only reading my posts for pet info, you can skip my craft section, or food section.

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? 
A blog post can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

How much time visiting other blogs? 
Thank goodness I'm retired, otherwise there is no way I could read all the blogs I do. I feel bad for not following some blogs, but there is only so much time in the day. I must spend 2-3 hours per day reading blogs, which then leads me to other sites via their links, etc.
I first follow full time RV blogs, but have really cut them down to just a choice few. I scan many RV blogs just for reviews on places to visit for future reference.
Then I follow knit and crochet blogs.
Then some pet blogs.
Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.
A blog "reader" is a must! I used to use Google Reader until they decided to stop that program. I am now using Bloglines, which I'm happy with, but still open to suggestions. Bloglines make it very easy to organize blogs. I have them separated into RV, crafts, knitting, dogs, food, MUST READ.
I also have made an excel spreadsheet for all the blogs and podcasts I have discovered. I then add columns to help describe the blog and whether I've met them, like the blog, or UNfollowed them because I don't like the blog. I also add a column with their name, rig, pets, who they may know, etc. That way, when I'm led to a link to a blog, I can check to see if I already know about it.

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
I try not to look at page views because it is discouraging. I have to constantly remind myself, this blog is mainly for me, my family, and friends.
So a successful post is when I get comments. That means someone really read the blog (not scanned), and something caught enough interest to comment on.

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
Numbers I try to ignore. The content of the comments is what matters. (Size doesn't matter, it's what you do with what you have.)

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
How to add a sound clip. I don't know code at all.
How to decide on a title/subject for the post to grab attention, yet let people know content.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
Nothing different.

10. Additional comments:
I like posts that make me laugh. I HATE posts that talk through the pets. I used to follow a blog until she switched to having her dogs post. "Mommy, said this or that". What a turn off.


  1. For some bloggers, blogging is part of their business or is something they hope to make money from (IS there business). Traffic is key for those bloggers and, typically, the more times a blogger posts a week, the more traffic they get. Many bloggers enjoy building an online community around their cause, whether they are getting paid, sponsored or not. Some people just love it so much that they are inspired to write every day. Not every blogger who posts frequently "feels pressured".While I currently don't post 7 days a week, I have just for the sheer joy of it.

    Just remember that different bloggers have different goals and and styles. Just because their style is not yours doesn't mean they are not of value to some. To be honest, blogs where people talk in the voice of their pets are VERY popular. They're not for me either (especially ones that talk in a baby pet voice) but I "agree to disagree" and simply spend my time elsewhere.

  2. Hadn't heard of Bloglines, but I think it's like Bloglovin', which I use to follow blogs. That and Netvibes, which is an aggregator; I can get post all my RSS feeds.

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

  3. I like your map up the top of your blog. :) It gives me a good idea on what the rest of your blog is going to be about. It's interesting to hear how you find your saved blog posts seem to be a diary of sorts for you to review, which I'm sure is a good way for you to reflect on your travels. I wish you all the best for your blogging in 2014.


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