1. How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for one year and a couple of months. I started blogging because I was bored and needed an inexpensive hobby. So, I gave blogging a try and now I am hooked!
If you've never been here before, Pawsitively Pets is a blog "dedicated to all things animal". I'm not just a cat or dog person, I'm an animal person.
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud?
There are really so many things that I am proud of with my blog. Since I can only name one, I will say the friends and followers I have gained through this blog and my social media networks.
3. When you look back at last year's Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
I think what's changed the most for me is the way I think about product reviews. At the beginning, I became so excited when someone contacted me to review their product. I still get excited today, but I now realize just how much work a product review can be!
|Shiner enjoys her product review compensation at least :)|
I really believe that bloggers should be compensated for their time for product reviews more often. I believe compensation doesn't always have to be money, but you should get something you feel is worth your time and work.
4a What lessons have you learned this year - from other blogs, or through your own experience - that could help us all with our own sites?
Well, I've learned so much and like to help out when I can. I think one big piece of advice I have is to make sure people can follow your blog easily! People follow blogs all different types of ways. Email, RSS feed, bloglovin, and social media. Make these following options easy for people to find and use on your blog!
4b. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help on one challenge you're having with your blog, what would it be?
Right now, I am struggling with the business aspect of my blog. I need to learn to say no more often and not be scared to ask for more if I feel I'm worth it.
5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic, other than by writing great content?
Social media. I love social media and have tried just about everything now. I am still learning how to use it effectively, but it's a great way to bring traffic to my blog. I also like Triberr. I think great photos and images are another great way to draw people into a blog post.
6. How much time do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I spend a lot of time on social media. Too much, probably. The thing is, I feel like I can't sit down and write a nice post when my human baby is up and running around. I usually try to do my writing late at night or during her naptime. But I don't mind getting on social media when she's awake. I can easily check Facebook or Twitter here and there throughout the day when she's up, so I spend more time there than I do actually working on my blog. I need to spend less time this year on social media.
7a. How do you gauge whether or not what you're writing is appealing to you're audience?
Comments. If the comments are plentiful and from people I've never seen at my blog before, I feel like the post must have been good. Also, if I see that the post was shared on Twitter by a lot of different people.
7b. How do you know when it's time to let go of a feature or theme that you've been writing about for awhile?
I used to write "Social Pet Saturday", which was a collection of blog posts I found interesting throughout the week. While I thought this was fun, it became too overwhelming for me to keep up with effectively. I had to write the posts last minute and I just became tired or bored with it I guess. If you're not enjoying doing something anymore, why do it?
8. When you're visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
I try to leave a comment on most of the blogs that I visit each day. There are sometimes when I don't comment, and maybe that reason is that I feel "distant" from the author of the post. It's hard to explain.
9a. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
Yes, I do.
9b. If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn't work at all?
This year, I am working on paid product reviews. I don't feel like working for free that often anymore. I'm sure there will be exceptions to this, however. I don't like doing giveaways unless the company ships out the prize to the winner. That's money out of my pocket, plus a free review and hours, days, or weeks of my free time.
|This product review is fun!|
I also like doing a giveaway with a product review. I think it's more fun when I can talk about a product and give my readers the opportunity to win one for themselves.
10. When writer's block strikes and you're feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
I try to write posts in advance, so I stay ahead of the game. Although, lately this just hasn't been happening! If I can't think of something to post for the day, then I won't force it.
11a. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
Kind of. When I switched to WordPress, I wasn't really posting anything for about 3 weeks. It was nice to not worry about posting for a little while I suppose. And then I switched back to Blogger...
11b. Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?
No, not really. I stay because I love it. :) I love the community and because I don't have a "normal" job, it gives me a purpose I guess you could say. It is my job, and it's fun!
12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
Continue to grow and make new blogging and pet-loving friends. Learn how to write better and more engaging posts. Learn how to be more engaging on social media. Learn how to monetize better and more often. Include better images with my blog posts.
If you have any tips for my blog, feel free to leave them in the comments!
And of course, thank you to GoPetFriendly and Will My Dog Hate Me for hosting the 2014 Pet Blogger Challenge!