For the second time I’m doing GoPetFriendly’s Pet Blogger Challenge! The first time I did it S’moredogs was barely out of the box and still had that new blog smell! This year I might actually have something to talk about!
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 started Smoredogs.com a little over a year ago. It went live on January 4th, 2016. It’s mostly stories about my pets (well…MOSTLY about the dogs) either in written or picture form. There are some training ideas I’ve had and shared, but mostly it’s about my critters and myself.
2) What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
Can I name two? (Of course I can! This is my blog and my responses!) The first was when I took newest dog Marsha to the Blog Paws Conference in Arizona. She had hardly been out of the neighborhood, never mind out of the state before, and it was a complete unknown as to how she would react to a long drive, days away from home, and so many new people and animals. She was awesome! She was a rock star! After spending many of her formative months virtually abandoned in the neighbor’s backyard she seems quite happy to go new places and meet everyone she can!
The second is when a regular reader left a comment telling me how well The Mighty Bell (my idea for not being harried by dogs about their supper) had worked for her when giving her own dogs medication. Sharing that idea was a driver to start blogging in the first place, so I was very pleased to find it had hit home for someone.
3) Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
I’d say the most fun to do was “The Cattery Pt. 2.” It was a playful mix of photos, information, and snark.
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?
My traffic definitely spikes when I participate in BlogPaws “Wordless Wednesdays.” That might have had something to do with the fact that there were months when Wordless Wednesdays were ALL I did, but even when I have new content during the week WW is responsible for driving the largest number of eyeballs my way. (ew.)
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?
Ironically, having just said Wordless Wednesday brought me the most traffic, the single most viewed entry was “Dear Flick,” a ‘gotcha day’ letter to my cat who died earlier in the year. I think much of that traffic came from the blog’s Facebook page, where it “reached” (whatever that means) nearly 400 people. The common theme across the most viewed posts, the Wordless Wednesdays, is the fact they are on a Blog Hop, so it’s easy for people find.
6) What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
I hadn’t really paid attention to pet blogs until one day on a whim I googled “Oh My Dog,” (puns, the source of my only weakness) and discovered Maggie Marton’s blog of the same name. I read, I commented, Maggie responded to my comments, and over time we became friends. She gently prodded me in the direction of doing my own blog, which is why I am now answering these questions.
7) What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
Marsha and I are the only two mammals in the house who like bananas (but I’m the only one who likes strawberries). Everyone else seems to think we’re insane.
8) What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
Keep the momentum going! I was doing pretty well at posting regularly, then it fell off and so did the number of people reading it. Planning ahead is probably an important part of that (see below).
9) What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
I would like to write at least one new piece a week, and hopefully no less than one a month, as well as keeping the Wordless Wednesdays going and throwing in some Throwback Thursdays as well. Thinking ahead, planning stories out, and not waiting until the last minute to try to do something is probably key to this goal, so that’s in there too.
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?
On backing up: I’m on WordPress which has a handy feature to let me back up the entire blog (I’ve done it twice in the last year!), and save it on my laptop. In addition to the file on my computer I have an Apple Time Capsule which regularly backs the whole of the computer up. Anything else I need to be doing to protect what I’ve been doing for the last year?
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