Amy Burkert of Go Pet Friendly and Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me are once again hosting the awesome Pet Blogger Challenge, and I’ve chosen to take the challenge again this year. Thank you, Amy and Edie, for this great opportunity to reflect and reassess!
CHALLENGE QUESTIONS #2: FOR THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED LAST YEAR:
1. Provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.
Oh, good – an easy question. Last Year’s Post
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
Spreading awareness – of the needs of animals (especially pets without a home), the good work of those who make life better for them, and ways that people can do something themselves to get involved.
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
I’ve covered quite a few issues involving pets on the blog, as well as highlighting people and organizations that are making a difference for them. So, in one word, yes – but there is so much more yet!
4. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed? Which are you doing now? Do you still worry about lost traffic, momentum, etc?
Last year I’d barely begun to blog, I was still absorbing all that it involves. Being fairly new, traffic and momentum weren’t much of an issue, there just wasn’t much of it. Now, though, I’m more conscious of traffic and the need to retain it. And my head hurts from all the different stats we’re supposed to keep on top of!
A year ago I was blogging every day. I look back at that blogger and am impressed! These days I’ve been woefully haphazard in frequency. I began the year following the 365 plan, but did not continue throughout with it. I’ve found that once you lose your momentum, it’s very challenging to get it back.
One of my goals this year is to determine a workable schedule, and get back to blogging at least five days a week. For that, I need to learn how to balance various priorities, organize and utilize my time better, and probably learn not to sweat so much over whether I’ve made a mistake or not worded something in the best way possible.
5. Are you generating income from your blog? Has this changed since last year? If you are generating income, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities?)
Ha! Oh, the woes of bloggers when it comes to generating income. I’ve earned enough from Google Adsense to buy a few Bully Sticks for the dogs, and dabbled in a couple of other affiliate programs with no success to date. Compared to last year, I have a better understanding of what is involved with monetization, and that is on the list of goals for this year. The dogs have spoken. They want more.
6. Have your likes and dislikes about blogging changed since last year?
I was quite surprised to look back at last year’s post – I feel the same still. The best about blogging is fellow bloggers, pet loving readers, and of course taking action on my interests through writing. And the least favorite still stands; I drive myself crazy with editing (is there a Writers Anonymous helpline for this?) and hate that I don’t visit all my favorite blogs more often.
7. Overall, are you pleased with the progress you made in 2011?
Yes, I am. I could list a million things that I wish I had done/not done, pursued, covered, read…but in reality, I accomplished more this past year than I could have imagined. It was because of blogging that I became involved in some very important, worthy animal welfare and pet projects. That alone made 2011 stand out as a great year for me. The blog itself continues to grow and evolve, in spite of my spells of neglecting it.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
I already have a list of to-do’s, to improve the blog and what it offers. I don’t doubt that list will grow exponentially as time goes on. It is going to become more professional, by website standards, and will offer more to the reader. That means getting a domain and site host, learning WordPress, uncrossing my eyes over coding issues…
I’d like to see it become a resource for both information and inspiration in the pet world. I love working with other bloggers, it would be great to include more collaborative efforts, as well. And by golly, I’m going to figure out this camera of mine once and for all or get a new one. CindyLu wants in more on the image action!
Here’s to a fabulous year ahead!