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While catching up with my blogging job, I came across a post about an annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by Go Pet Friendly.  I love challenges and I love opportunities to talk about my blog even more.  Narcissistic?  Of course not – hee hee.  As part of the challenge, I was given a list of questions to answer, which I'll do below.  And to add even more fun, I'll share a little more “dirt” about me, The Fur Mom.

When did you begin your blog?

Turns out that I launched it on Christmas Eve, 2011 – I thought it was January 1, 2012.  I thin that was the plan, but I bet I just jumped the gun when I get everything set up with my host, theme, and the rest.  Plus what else is there to do on Christmas Eve besides blog?

What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

I wanted to share what it's like to raise littermate puppies, create a space where dog lovers could learn about dog care without seeing images of abused animals, and I wanted to build a business through my blog with Life's Abundance.

Mostly I wanted a venue to to blab about my dogs, because my coworkers were getting sick of my daily camera phone pictures and funny stories.  I'm THAT person.  I show strangers pictures of our dogs.  It's nuts, but I love it.

Is your current purpose the same?

Nope, not at all.  But that's not a surprise.  I've always wanted a dog blog and I really had no idea where my blog would take me so I tried to stay open to where my blogging would take me.

If not, what’s different?

Instead of focusing on littermate puppies, I started writing about dog care (health, nutrition, training, behavior, and safety) for all dogs.  And I resigned from my representative position with Life's Abundance. 

Now, I just want to have fun with my blog.  I want it to be a full time business.  I want to speak at blogging conferences.  And I want to meet Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah.  I want to move my families to a home on 100+ acres.  And I want to adopt a senior dog and a deaf dog.  Too much?  You haven't heard about my financial goals yet – LOL.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

I think I've done a bang up job.  A year later and I'm having a blast with my site and I have endless inspiration (3 dogs) for articles.  

The bonus about blogging is that I've been introduced to so many amazing people and I've learned so much.  Today, I communicate with my dogs; I can't read their minds, but I know their facial expressions, barks, and body language.

How often do you post?

I post 5 days a week, more if  something cool comes up (The Pet Blogger Challenge).  

My blog is scheduled out by 30-45 days  and I'm happy to announce that I'm accepting regular monthly bloggers (dog parents of course).  Currently, Joan (a dog trainer) and I'll be introducing Amanda (mom to two Mastiffs) soon.

Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

I do blog on a schedule; this works for me – I'm pretty OCD about being organized. 

Monday – Anything Goes

Tuesday – Dog Training

Wednesday – Health & Wellness

Thursday – Anything Goes

Friday – Nutrition & Dog Food Recipes

If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?

The reason I have “days of the week” for publishing is to stay organized and I think it's cool to give readers something to expect.   If you're looking for dog food recipes, tune in on Fridays!  

Having this structure allows me to have more fun being creative.  Crazy, right?  But it works!

I never run out of inspiration.  Every day is filled with great ideas!  What helps me is having my calender scheduled out so far in advance, because then I don't have to deal with the stress of coming up with a topic for tomorrow.

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.

WRITING: I write every day; whenever an idea hits, I write a title and save a draft in WordPress.  Then I do the research and call for sources (HARO).  I probably publish at least 3 articles a week.

BLOG READING: I read at least 5 blogs a day.  I follow loads and found that this schedule allows me to keep on top of everything.

SOCIAL NETWORKING: Social networking is done first thing in the morning everyday and then off and on during the day as time allows.  Thank heavens for my smart phone.

How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

I measure the success of a post based on the discussions it inspires.  When I hit a nerve (in a good way) with people and they share, it just inspires me to work harder.  Gosh, it's such a high.

My favorite post of 2012

My favorite post (so far) of 2013 – a guest contribution

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?

I pay attention to my numbers to keep my PR page updated and it lets me know which posts are attracting clicks.  I check my numbers regularly, but once a month I look for pages getting a lot of clicks and I beef up the monetization of those pages, because this bad boy needs to start paying the bills!

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Finding quality guest bloggers.  I turn down so many people who want to write for my site, because they, to be frank, they suck at blogging (they're too dry).  And many people find it difficult to commit to submitting a guest article once a month, which I can understand.  I'm sort of a nut (I'm a featured writer for Girl Power Hour and TV Goodness).

I'm excited that I've connected with a few people who are interested connecting with bloggers and I hope that by 2014, I'll have a group of dog parents who write for Keep the Tail Wagging monthly about various topics (small dogs, older dogs, specific breeds, etc).  

I think partnering with other bloggers will help make my site more well rounded, because multiple voices and stories will benefit my followers.

What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

I want to…

  • triple my traffic, 
  • start earning enough revenue to match 1/2 my monthly net pay,
  • build stronger relationships with pet brands (big and small),
  • interact more with my followers, because they are a BLAST
  • build readership for my Blogging in My Pajamas newsletter and write ebooks sharing blogging and social media tips.  UPDATE: You can purchase my first ebook on Today!
If you participated in the Pet Blogger Challenge, please share the link in the comments below, because I'd love to check out your answers.  If you have a blogging question for me, share those too!

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