I’ve been reading all about other pet bloggers and I wanted to join in the fun. I’m participating in the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge today!
2016 Pet Blogger Challenge Questions:
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.
I began blogging in 2011 and started this blog in 2013. It began as place for my cats’ silly antics and mischief, which is never lacking. They were taking over my personal blog and needed more room to stretch out. The goal was simply to bring smiles and laughter, but it has grown to include education about important causes, pet health, and more. The cat’s have also had to make room for the addition of Max, our dog and even Dragon, our lizard.
2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?
Rascal’s story was published in a book! It became a best seller and award winner. The book is: Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats Through Their Eyes. Right now proceeds go to my local animal shelter, you can purchase it here.
If it hadn’t been for pet blogging, I would never have been in the right online communities to hear about the opportunity and submit the story. Now I’m a published author, my life long dream, with more books in the works.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
4 Tips to Sleep Better was a fun one! These cats are very wise and you should definitely take their advice as far as comfort. How often do you see a cat looking uncomfortable?
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?
Engaged more on social media. With so much to do and learn, it can be easy to just dump your posts and hope people will click on them, but social media is supposed to be “social”. Engaging with people is not only much more fun, but connecting with others made care to know more and come visit this blog more often.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)
For the cats the most viewed post was Healthy Lifestyle Tips of a Yogi cat
For dogs it was What Made the Dog Smile?
Both enjoyable posts with photos of my fur babies, sure to make you smile. You can never have to much humor or adorable cat and dog photos in your day!
You Can Help End Dog Fighting had the absolute highest traffic at 75,361 views in my Monday Matters series, where I share about animal causes. Even if I can’t help a cause, I can help by sharing. Helping animals is my favorite reason for blogging.
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.)
There are so many, it’s hard to choose and I have been terrible at making time to comment this past year, but I do most often get to my Pet Parade co-hosts, but it’s also because we support each other and have much in common. I know this is more than one, but..
M.K. Clinton’s Barking from the Bayou and Bionic Basil I love because not only are their posts enjoyable, informative and the animals adorable, they are both authors like me.
Love is Being Owned by a Husky because her dogs are gorgeous and fun and she is an artist as well as a mom of little ones, like me. I love when she shares pics of her human babies!
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
The Blogpaws community has so much great information. I learn a lot about social media, growing, branding, and connecting with bloggers there. I have learned a lot of technical aspects from Blogelina as well. I took an affordable beginning blogging class when I first started and once I was ready, they did a full makeover and transferred my blog to WordPress for me. They have lots of free articles on blogging, too.
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
There is never a perfect time. Just go for it and don’t be a complete perfectionist. I still have old posts to clean up from when I first started blogging, but I can’t let it stop me from moving forward. Also, don’t try to be on all social media channels and overwhelm yourself. Pick a few you can be great on.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I wrote out my goals in a recent post, but specifically for this blog, I hope to post regularly and clean up old posts and images. I want this blog to look clean and professional and be filled with great content you want to read more of. I also want to monetize, but need to find the right advertising platform.
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?
I need help with time management. Up till now I’ve been writing one post at a time and polishing it, then publishing. Do you write a batch of posts at a time and worry about formatting and images later? What is your system for churning out content and not getting sucked into social media and other blogging tasks for hours?
Katherine A. Moore says
Congrats on the book! My dream is to put a book out of my cat photography this year or so. As for time management, what system do you use now? There are many systems to use, but so many distractions….
Glad to find you. Hop on over and check out my kitty photos 🙂 Hope to see more of you!
L. E. Mastilock says
I created a schedule for posts and where and when to share on social media. I use a paper planner because I miss too many things on a digital planner. I use Hootsuite and Onlywire to schedule some things to share in advance. It’s still hard to stick to the schedule with my other jobs and all the stress going on. If only this could be my main focus. It will be at some point. I can’t wait to hear that your book is published! Go for it!
Ellen Pilch says
Nice to learn more about you. I am impressed you do so much while caring for little ones . I can barely manage blogging and a little Facebook and I have no kids. Thanks for the kind word you left on my blog about Stinky.
L. E. Mastilock says
Well thanks! That makes me feel awesome! Sad to say goodbye to Stinky and praying for peace for you
It is great that Rescued has been such a success! I bet that Rascal’s story has been inspiring for a lot of people. I agree with you that putting more time into social media really helps. I wish I could offer some suggestions about time management, but I’m struggling with that myself. I do one post a time too. I would love to be one of those people who does several at a time!
It was great reading about you! Oh, time management…I’ve been a writer and photographer my whole life and that one is still a mystery! I apparently live for deadlines and burning the midnight oil! 🙂
L. E. Mastilock says
Yep! And I work best when I’m right up against a deadline. Guess we thrive on chaos.
Congratulations on becoming a best selling author! That is too cool! As far as your question goes my most successful method of posting is the same as yours write one post, polish, publish (or schedule). When I’ve written in batches I’ve noticed I end up putting several ideas and half written posts on the shelf. This year one of my goals is to get my blogging done first before hitting social media, blog commenting, and other stuff. All the best to you in 2016!
L. E. Mastilock says
Thank you! And great goal! I just read it’s good to work 60% on content 40% on promotion. I’ve been doing things backward and leaving no time to write. Working on writing first now, too.
Deziz World says
Yep, time management is a big purroblem wiff us too. Gweat posty. and Concats.
Dezi and Lexi
L. E. Mastilock says
Pawesome Cats says
It was great to read your answers, congratulations on getting your story published in Rescued! Time management is never easy when you lead a busy life – I try to plan 1 month in advance and often have multiple posts drafted and work on them simultaneously, I also track everything in an excel spreadsheet. Thats what works in keeping me on track!
Jeanne Melanson says
Oh dear, I’m not a good one to ask about time management. I’m one of those people who get lost on Facebook and the like. However, when I am time efficient as far as blogging goes, it’s when I write my blog post first thing, before I check emails and Facebook, etc. I also write one post at a time, but have a LOT of drafts in the works. All the best to you in the coming year! Peace
I loved reading your answers and my human says thank you for mentioning Rescued! She also says she needs help with time management too!
Traveling Cats says
I loved learning more about you and your blog. And don’t we all need better time management, lol?
Fur Everywhere says
I often envy my cats because they can just fall asleep anywhere! It takes me so long to get comfortable in bed – my pain is such that it seems no matter how I lay, I’m in pain.
I think I am the wrong person to ask about time management, LOL!! Between the housework and my funky (and long) sleep hours, I am just doing one post at a time – often the same day I publish it. I would love to get ahead a bit, but I can’t seem to manage to get there.