Saturday, January 9, 2016

Pet Blogger Challenge 2016

Last year 71 bloggers participated in the Pet Blogger Challenge. I learned so much reading the goals and setbacks of fellow pet bloggers. Now it's time for us all to gather our thoughts again. So here we are, the 6th annual Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Take Paws!

2016 Pet Blogger Challenge:
1. How long have you been blogging? This is my 10 year anniversary! Or is that blogaversary?

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud? I ran a Blog Book Tour with 12 other blogs sharing highlights about my new book, Faithfully Yours. I'm very proud that as a result, you all have helped make Faithfully Yours successful, and the book has gone into its second printing!

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
My favorite was probably my tribute to a therapy dog, Gabriel, who passed away. I liked it because he made a big impact on my life and influenced Ike and I to get into therapy dog work this year. The post was my way of thanking him and paying respect.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
Contests and giveaways always bring a lot of traffic to my blog.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)
My most popular post was We Did It! Ike's a Therapy Dog!  I think it was popular because readers enjoy a success story.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)
I wish I had time to read more blogs regularly, there are so many wonderful and worthy posts. One blog that i always read is Something Wagging this Way Comes. Pamela is honest, funny, real and deep. Her adventures sailing with her husband and her dog Honey share both the positives and negatives about their brave decision.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
I learn from the best resource, communicating with other bloggers!

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
This isn't very original, but write about something you love, and don't be afraid to change when it's no longer working.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
My content felt like it was getting stale, so I've decided to focus on more personal and uplifting, inspirational stories like I write for Guideposts magazine and in my books. Sort of like short, mini devotionals and observations, and lessons learned from my dogs.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
How do you find time to do it all? Write interesting posts, visit other blogs, make relevant comments, evaluate your stats, engage on FB, twitter, Instagram and who knows what else? All in addition to a paying job, family, caring for pets, and well,! If you can't do it ALL, how do you prioritize?


  1. I would love to start doing the occasional contest or giveaway. How do you get involved in hosting these? Do you purchase the items yourself or get companies to donate items? How do we begin?

  2. It sounds like you're recovered your roots. I know the blog looks really great. And you've been doing a knockout job promoting your book. I'm so impressed with your little snippets of the stories that turn up on FB.

    And thanks so much for the shoutout to the blog. I sometimes wonder if I've lost my way. I love writing. But I don't feel any clarity about what I'm doing. Glad to know you're still with me. :)

    BTW, I saw at least one other person on the hop (I think it was Jen of Puppy Leaks) talking about writing a book. I think there are probably lots of people who would appreciate a mentor on the subject. Isn't that something you're going to be doing more of in the future?

  3. I really like the posts I have read on your blog. I need to dive in there and read some more of them. I like your goals for this year. :-)

  4. Your new direction sounds wonderful and I look forward to reading your inspirational posts. I do understand about needing to shake things up a bit and try new things.

    Thanks for being a loyal reader of our blog! Always enjoy your comments and visits.

  5. I would read animal related postings as devotionals ...
    I already thing you are an awesome writer ...
    Keep up the good work ...
    I am subscribed to the Writers Dog so I won't miss anymore postings from you ..
    Blessings to you, hubby, & of course those sweet furbabies ...
    {{{HUUGGLEZ}}} all round :)

  6. Wow, 10 years! That's awesome!! I'm really looking forward to your new posts this year, I particularly like inspirational stories. Good luck with the new direction and I hope your 2016 is amazing! :)

  7. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! I need to know the answer to your question. I don't find the time to do everything. It seems I'm always missing something whether it be writing a blog post, updating social media accounts, or commenting on other blogs. My plan for this year is to try and stick to a schedule. All the best to you in 2016!

  8. We agree, finding time for everything is a very big challenge! I'm lucky to be retired, yet still find it difficult. I'm also sticking to a schedule this year.

    Looking forward to enjoying your inspirational posts in the future!

  9. I second your question at the end! I'm often having to ask myself "do I write a post on this or do I hang out with my dog?" (and I don't know why I ask because the answer is always the same--Barley) and then I see all of these other people who manage to feed themselves and their pets, somehow make money to go on adventures with pets, keep their houses (or at least the parts features in pictures) pristine, have social lives, and still post regularly. It's mind boggling. I love your 2016 vision for the blog and look forward to reading those posts!

  10. It was great reading your post. I had no idea that your blog was 10 years old. That's amazing. I'm able to find time by creating "work hours" during the day and during the week, I have days when I focus on one thing - blog reading, writing, social media sharing, etc.

    Have a wonderful 2016 and congratulations on the success of your book.

  11. It's that time of year again

  12. Great post, Peggy! You've had a lot of successes this year - the book is doing so well and you and Ike becoming a therapy team will no doubt be a wonderful experience for you both, and may lead to some great blog posts. I can't wait to see where this shift in focus takes you this year. It feels a bit like you're coming back to yourself, and that makes me excited for you.

    As for finding time for everything - there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything we'd like. My priorities are to make sure I'm publishing high-quality posts on my own blog, sharing those posts and other great content on social media, and then trying to keep up with everyone else. I feel that my obligation is to my readers first, and then I can be an audience for other bloggers. I don't know if that's the best way to look at it, but it's working for me.

    Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge again this year, and all the best to you in 2016!

  13. OMG... blogging 10 years? That's amazing! I hope to still be going strong in 10 years. I, too, don't have a whole lot of time to read blogs but Pamela's is also one of my favorites.

  14. 10 years is an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations Peggy.

    You've accomplished quite a lot this year!

    I'm struggling myself to find the balance between work/home/blogging etc. Sometimes I have all I can do to get a post ready. I do use Triberr for sharing posts on Twitter and I've heard Hootsuite shares on a bunch of different social media sites. It's on my list to learn this year.

    My only thoughts are to just do the best you can, because in the end, that's all any of us can do.

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  17. Happy 10 year blogiversary! What an accomplishment!

    I can definitely relate to your request for feedback about managing it all. I use a Passion Planner to physically write down my tasks and goals for the day, week, month, and year, but I still find myself buried and overwhelmed most of the time. I feel like I'm a pretty organized person, but there is WAY too much to do! I'm working on this, myself, so, though I can't offer great insight, I can offer support.

    Keep up the good work!


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