1. When did you begin your blog?
I started blogging in 2002, when I was living in Prague and working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
This was before Twitter and Facebook. I didn’t even know what a blog was until my friend Chelsea told me she started one. At the time, I posted whatever random musings I had during the day, much the way we all use Facebook and Twitter now. I also posted links to funny things on the Internet, and commented on the international news events I covered at my job.
3. Is your current purpose the same?
Not at all. You’ll notice that the above description has nothing to do with pets. My fella and I got our first dog, Isis, in 2006. For a few years, I blogged fairly infrequently, but when I did, it was usually about Isis. I posted lots of pictures of her with soccer balls.
Isis died in 2011. I have written a memoir about Isis’s life, and am starting the process of getting that published.
Now my blog focuses on the antics of my delightful muses Leo and Mia.
4. How often do you post?
A goal I feel I can meet is to post at least once a week. I would like to post more often.
5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
As the spirit moves me. I find it hard to stick to “dog blog” topics only, so I also write about pop culture a lot, books and authors, food and fitness.
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your tips for staying on top of it all.
I find myself thinking of topics and mentally writing blog entries throughout the week, and spend less than an hour actually typing up each post. But then, I write pretty fast. I could never charge by the hour for my services!
I visit other blogs all the time, as part of my regular social media diet. Every time I scroll through Facebook and Twitter, I find lots that I want to read. When I’m on a desktop computer, I’ll click all of them and read at my leisure, but it can be tough on a mobile device. Especially when the wifi is temperamental.
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
All of the above. Mostly I look at my stats in WordPress. I’m learning to use hashtags in Twitter to stimulate sharing. Last fall, I got more “likes” on my posts about a trip to Russia (which did not include the dogs) than I did on my most heartfelt dog posts. I started to wonder if I should be writing a travel blog instead of a dog blog.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I would like to attract more readers. Can I do that by writing about other topics besides my dogs, or will I lose my cred as a dog blogger?
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9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
More readers! Post 2-3 times a week. Lose 25 pounds. Sell my memoir! (OK, those last two are more personal goals than blog goals.)
The Pet Blogger Challenge was started by Amy at Take Paws– Go Pet Friendly and Edie of Will My Dog Hate Me? as a way for pet bloggers to meet each other, learn about each other’s goals for our blogs and find support for our blogging. This is the 3rd year and the number of bloggers joining in grows each year.