Flying home from Thailand today took 29 hours... 32 if you include travel back and forth to airports. Needless to say I'm a tad bit jet-lagged, but excited to see that I can still get in on the Pet Blog Challenge. My answers to the questions posed by our hosts, Will My Dog Hate Me and Go Pet Friendly, may be a bit slanted, given my latest excitement--an injury on vacation that will affect my ability to walk my dogs for a while. That said, here goes:
1. When did you begin your blog? February, 2009
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog? All Things Dog Blog was started as a lighter, 'comic relief blog', in response to my heavier blogging topics--green and organic. With the growing readership and general interest in All Things Dog Blog, I have given little attention to my first two blogs since late last Summer. When I first made the decision to move my efforts largely to All Things Dog Blog, I felt a little guilty, but my dogs and dog lifestyle are such fun topics, and an important part of my life, that it has felt better and better as I go along. Because of my green and organic lifestyle, my dogs live largely green and organic, as well. This slants the blog's topics in a direction that gives me some satisfaction for giving such minimal attention to my first two blogs: Organic-Journey-Online and New Kid on the Green Block.
3. Is your current purpose the same? No. Having started All Things Dog Blog to give my days a little fun factor, I have clearly moved away from this blog being a sideline. It is now my daily bread.
I'd have to say that my blog's primary niche has not changed, though, although it has widened a bit to allow for more reader involvement. Also, with the addition of my Ask the Vet column and my Ask the Dog Trainer column, I am able to offer a broader version of my purpose: helping owners make dog ownership work well for their family and their dog.
If so, how do you feel you've met your goals? My plans for All Things Dog Blog have included only minimal efforts at bringing an income, initially, in favor of growing a loyal blog following first. I'm lucky enough to be able to put off bringing in an income, which has allowed me to put all my efforts toward good content.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? Cool question! I typically have a pool of posts written ahead, and schedule out my Vet and Trainer posts at a 2-3 times a month spacing. My readers have responded well to these columns written by professionals. I don't seem a problem with writer's block, so I guess I don't have to wait for the 'spirit to move me'. I have been running 4-5 posts each week since early Fall, 2010. My plan is to increase my postings this year, after I recover from a holiday injury, starting with getting involved in the Saturday Pet Blog Hop.
5. Are you generating income from your blog? Yes, minimal at this time. The income from these are growing, with the growth in my subscribers.
If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)? I have sold a few sponsorship ads and use Amazon and Google Adsense to help cover my expenses. I have been asked to consult for a number of newer bloggers, and this provides some income as well, although I do not plan to make a regular diet of this. I am a pet blogger first and foremost, and want to keep my eyes on my goals.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general, and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)? This blog has become a part of me largely because I love to write AND I love to help people be successful and happy dog owners. It makes me so sad to learn that a family gave up a dog because it was misbehaving or shedding too much, etc. So many of these dog/owner problems can be minimized with a bit of help. That's where I try to come in with examples, professional advice and tips to help dog owners make "LIFE WITH DOG" work well for them and their families.
7. What do you like least? There will come a point when I'll need to work toward developing an income stream in order to accomplish my goal of working to protect dog parks from closing, and seeing more open more where they are needed. Socializing and exercising a dog is so critical to a successful family life that I would like to see more owners place these two items at a higher priority.
As a part of my All Things Dog Blog efforts, I started another blog in my dogs' voices, 5 Minutes for Fido. The comments and emails on my dogs' opinions, commentary and feelings abouts what is going on at All Things Dog Blog have been quite positive, although the traffic remains low.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011? After I get through recovering from a holiday injury, I hope to bring on a little help to assist with the technical side of things. This tech assistance should help me better determine where I can expect to go, but
more importantly can help me get there.
I added a good many new columns during 2010 that I will continue to develop. I'd like to add to my resource pages that offer general information in many categories through sidebar links.
The biggest change will be that this year needs to be more of a networking year for me, where I get the word out about my blog. I see this as my greatest challenge, or conversely, my weakest link. It will take some conscious effort on my part to work harder at networking, but I do look forward to this challenge. One way I will work at this is through another appearance at Blogpaws in 2011.
Tanner, Oliver, my writing and photography, reviews, tips, professional columns, and continued giveaways....all these components will continue to be the mainstay of my blog.
Got a dog question? I'll get you an answer!