The 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge
Thanks to the Chasing Dog Tales blog I learned about the annual Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by the GoPetFriendly website. This is my first time participating in the challenge. This was not the easiest of years for a variety of reasons, but we’re still here blogging!
Here are the questions for the 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge:
- 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
In 2009, I was given a puppy and I began blogging about her. However, that effort was short-lived. My father died in 2010 and there was so much going on that I didn’t have brain space for blogging. I revived Little Dog in a Big World in 2013 and have been blogging inconsistently ever since.
I consider this a place to share stories and experiences with my readers. Misha has gone through several behavioral issues and the blog has become a way to show how I’ve dealt with these issues and to encourage others who might be experiencing the same thing with their dog.
- What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
I had a three months spread this summer where I had a blogging schedule and stuck to it.
- Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
In July, a wrote a post called “5 Silly Things That I Love About My Dog“. This one was fun to write as I shared the quirkier side of life with a Jack Russell Terrier.
- 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?
The action I took was to network more with pet bloggers. Blogging is a lonely pursuit, so it’s good to meet others working in the same genre, share ideas, and read their blogs.The Blog Paws community is a great way to meet other pet bloggers. While I’ve been familiar with the website for over a year, in autumn I began participating in their Twitter chats.
- 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?
The post that got the most traffic was “Incurin Can Cause Vulva Swelling in Dogs: A Known Side Effect“. In this post I wrote about the temporary but disconcerting side effect of vulva swelling with Incurin (aka Estriol). There is an interesting break down on traffic with my posts. The most commented on posts are the ones that my friends enjoy. These are usually photos and stories about my dog looking adorable in her blanket.The ones that get the most traffic are the post I’ve written on my experiences dealing with my dog’s various behavioral issues. These probably resonate with readers trying to resolve the same issues with their dog.
- What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
A Day in the Life of Piranha Banana has inspired me in many ways. I like the unique writing style. I’m not so clever to write posts as if they are written from my dog’s perspective. The beautiful photos are engaging and really bring out the dog’s personality. This is something I want to do more of on my blog.
- What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
Readers might be surprised to know that Misha can sing. She is self taught but only likes one song, “Happy Birthday to You”. If you are a member of this family, you get a birthday phone call from Misha.
- What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
I learned the value of reading other blogs. Not only do you get ideas for material, you get to see how other bloggers approach their blogs. I’ve learned so much about writing and blog layout from reading other blogs.
- What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
I’d like to blog more consistently. There are always going to be life’s daily complications. I want to be able to consistently blog despite them.I also want to take advantage of the new things that the Blog Paws community now offers. One of my goals is to explore the website and take advantage of the learning opportunities.
- 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?
Here is my question: How do you encourage reader interaction and commenting?
9 thoughts on “The 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge”
Your dog is so cute! She has the same coloring/markings as my boys, Charlie and Cooper. I’m envious that you stuck to a blogging schedule for 3 months… very impressive! I also try to participate in the BlogPaws Twitter chat every Tuesday, it’s so much fun. As for your question at the end, I wish I knew. I try giving readers a “call to action” but it very rarely works. I don’t think I’m very good at coming up with calls to action that people actually WANT. I guess that was not really a good answer to your question, though. 🙁
How adorable that Misha can sing! In terms of encouraging engagement on your posts, I think one of the best ways is to engage on other like blogs, leave comments, share posts, etc. You might also want to join the BlogPaws Boost Group on Facebook. They have a different boost each day and everyone who participates commits to sharing or commenting. Hope this helps!
Thanks for stopping by, The Daily Pip! I’m going to work on my engagement. I hadn’t heard of the BlogPaws Boost Group. Thanks for letting me know about it. I’m going to check it out.
Welcome to the Challenge, and thank you for joining us! Misha is adorable, and I completely understand why she’s so popular with your readers. There are some tricks to eliciting comments and interaction – one is to ask a question of your readers at the end of each post about their experience with whatever topic your blogging about. Another is to blog about things you haven’t figured out yet – we tend to want to share information, but when you write a post with all the answers, there’s little for people to contribute. I hope those ideas help, and that you have a fantastic 2017!
Thanks for setting up the challenge! I enjoyed participating. I hadn’t thought of reader engagement in this way. It does make sense that if you come off as answering all the question, then there isn’t much for the reader to add to the discussion. I’ll have to work on adding questions or creating posts that involve questions. Thanks for the advice!
Putting together a blogging schedule and sticking to it is a great accomplishment. I think I had about a 2 month stretch last year where I was able to do the same. Your question is my goal for 2017. Unfortunately, my answer is I don’t really know. I try to interact with all commenters and ask questions at the end of blog posts. One thing that has always helped attracted more engaged readers is visiting and commenting on other blogs. Hopefully by this time next year I have a better answer for you. All the best in 2017!
Thank you stopping by, Colby! It helps to know that others have similar blogging problems. I guess a lot of it is just to keep working at it and follow the lead of what others have done.
I was hoping to get a better start on 2017, but the cold virus that was going around the family finally hit me. I’m persistent though. I’ll just have to restart my new year.
Thanks for sharing your story; this is my first time visiting your blog and it was nice getting to know what it’s about.
When it comes to engagement, I sometimes ask questions, which helps, but I mostly just allow the engagement to grow organically. When I first started, there were crickets; today, people are chatting with each other. It’s really nice.
Another key step is to respond to all comments, especially ones by non bloggers. I’ve found some great friends and built a loyal following by responding to comments and emails. A few of my readers have my phone number (but that came later).
Have a wonderful 2017!
Nice to meet you, Kimberly! It sounds like you’ve mastered the art of blog engagement. From the answers I’ve gotten, it appears asking questions is the key. I’ve got something to work on this new year. Happy 2017 to you too!