Once again Sadie and I are participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge. It’s a great way to think about what worked and didn’t work in the world of pet blogging over the last year and come up with ideas and changes for the year to come. Each year these thought provoking questions are posed by the blog at GoPetFriendly.com and I thank them for bringing all of us pet bloggers together to share ideas.
1. When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?
I began my blog, The YourDesignerDog Blog, in February of 2014. I blog about the adventures of life with my little Yorkipoo named Sadie. I base about 75% of my blog posts around photographs of Sadie, because for me the most fun part of blogging is being able to share all of my Sadie photos. I try to make the other 25% of my blog posts informational, with tips and advice about caring for a dog / living with a dog / shopping for a dog.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
Like the majority of people seem to agree, 2016 wasn’t the best year. But I would have to say my proudest blogging moment was finally being chosen for a BlogPaws
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
My favorite blog post this year is actually a series of pages I added to the blog showing off Halloween
costume ideas. (Click here to see the Halloween costume ideas
). I had so much fun coming up with costume ideas and taking photos of Sadie in all the different outfits. Unfortunately it didn’t get much traffic this year, but honestly I spent way more time adding to it than publicizing it. When the time comes in 2017, I need to make sure I focus more on sharing my creation a lot more.
4. Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?
This year I signed up for an automated pinning service for Pinterest. It really helps to keep my boards fresh and my pins are scheduled throughout the day, giving them a better chance of being seen by more people. This has given me a definite increase in traffic from Pinterest.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?
6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
It’s always difficult to single out one specific blog when there are so many awesome bloggers out there. Honestly this year I’ve been exploring quite a few cat blogs. I mostly read other dog blogs my first couple years of blogging to help learn the ins and outs and get inspiration. But this year I decided to join some of the cat blogger hosted blog hops like Caturday
Art hosted by Athena Cat Goddess
Selfies hosted by The Cat on My Head
. I’ve been really inspired by the creativity, cuteness, and community of cat blogs.
7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
My readers may find it surprising that when at home Sadie is a very independent dog. When we’re out in public, she sticks to my like glue. But at home she will go sleep in a room by herself for an hour or two and will often refuse when I ask her to come up on the bed or the couch with me. Sometimes I’ll hear squeaking from another room and find out that Sadie has started playing with a ball all on her own and I have to ask her if I can play too, lol.
8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
Don’t delete your photos, even the bad ones. You never know when you’ll need a blooper
photo. Or maybe you deleted photos of your pet looking away from the camera and then came up with a blog post idea about how to get your pet’s attention. My point is that you can easily get a portable storage device big enough to hold all of your photos, so you might as well just save them all. Personally I save the photos I think I’ll use in one folder and the rest in another folder so that I won’t have to look through them all unless I want to.
9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
I would like to have my blog posts planned out more in advance. I often write a few blog posts at a time and then only schedule one or two. So I have a whole list of drafts that I wrote but I can’t seem to decide the right time to schedule them. But this week for instance, I had all my posts scheduled and ready to go and it was such a satisfying feeling to know I didn’t have to rush to finish what I wanted to post. I would love to have that feeling of accomplishment more often.
10. Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
I have a hard time with titles for posts. Sometimes I have cute photos and a story to go with them, but I never write the draft because the first thing you need to start with is a title. For instance, I’m doing the Pet Photography Challenge (check out the Facebook group here) and I like to post each challenge on my blog. This week is the rule of thirds. I feel like I’m taking the easy way out if I just call my blog post The Rule of Thirds. But if I let myself I’ll just agonize over the title all week and never end up getting the post done. So is it OK to take the easy route with blog post titles sometimes, as long as it’s not all the time?
This post is part of the 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by GoPetFriendly.com.