I stumbled across this cute tweet by @GoPetFriendly:
Who doesn't love a campfire?! pic.twitter.com/8eQIhNu84v
— GoPetFriendly.com (@GoPetFriendly) January 10, 2016
The clever post made me chuckle. My pets and I love the outdoors. I continued looking at their posts. Several of them later, the 6th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge came up. I clicked on the link discovering a terrific, must bookmark website running this fun blogger challenge.
The 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge invites pet bloggers to answer a series of questions. This post is not about pets or how to be better pet parents it’s about blogging, connecting with the pet blogging community to help each other become better bloggers. A blogging support network if you will. With only hours left before the challenge ends, I figured I best get writing to join this Blog Hop before it’s too late. So here goes…
Here are the questions for the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge:
1. How long have you been blogging?
I can’t say that I’ve personally blogged before 2015, I’ve worked with business owners and have advised on blogging as a content strategy but content production has never really been my ting.
Before I created KirinGie.Me, there wasn’t any specific topic I was passionate about. When I learned about animal shelters and the millions of wonderful animals that are surrendered and euthanized each year, I decided I was going to do something about it. In 2015, I launched this blog not just to raise awareness but to form a community, a pet owner support network with the common goal to keep pets safe.
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 have mastered WordPress! lol
I am really pleased with the social response and support the KirinGie.Me concept is getting. Our subscriber base has grown at an International level which is more than I expected.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
The month of June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. Raising awareness in hopes to inspire folks to adopt cats that month was a driving factor for collecting facts and producing the post. I learned that there are 70 million abandoned cats in the US and another 3 to 4 million that end up in animal shelters. It just doesn’t seem right.
The post got some exposure, and several people pre-registered. I was inspired to take it a step further and virtually adopt a shelter cat to find it a home. I found Luna who I promoted across social media until she was adopted.
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?
So far, I have only used social media to gain exposure and traffic. I am a big Twitter fan which has made it super easy and fun for me to gain an audience through that channel. My goal is to expand the focus of my efforts across other social networks as time permits. Now all I need is a few more hours in my days and more days in my weeks to get it done.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular?
Have a Heart for Chained Dogs was another awareness post. It was Joseph’s story, a story of severe neglect of an innocent, sweet German Shepard that was rescued by PAWS. His story made a huge global impact changing the course of Ohio’s dog chaining laws.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader?
I recently discovered You Did What With Your Weiner! With a title like that it’s hard to resist not taking a peek. I enjoy reading the outdoor adventures and have started mapping my own local trails to venture out from our routine path.
I know I’ll take time to go through Go Pet Friendly. I’d love to get out more and would love to know what places are receptive and welcoming to a traveler with a Rottie.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
- Technical: WordPress + plugins UpdraftPlus, Link Checker, Monarch
- Writing: Grammar Checker
- Photography: BigStock.com
- Social Media: Buffer, Hashtagify, BuzzSumo
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
As a noob blogger, I have much to experience and a lot to learn.
The one piece of advice I can give is to get out there and connect with the people you are trying to reach. I just started doing that and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Plus you get more out of conversations than strictly online research.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I want to change my style so that it is less formal. Awareness topics aren’t sexy. My goal is to figure out a way to strike a comfortable balance that is fun but gets the point across. I really want site visitors to engage on the blog by posting comments or providing feedback.
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?
Yes, I’d like the help of pet bloggers to help spread the word about KirinGie.Me. Pet bloggers have an opportunity to create change in the lives of pets by helping bring the community of pet owners together. The purpose of this platform is to record pet’s adventures, facilitate local resources and bring pet owners together to build relationships and to help each other out when help is needed. The main goal is to reduce the number of pets that enter shelters and are euthanized. Pet bloggers can help make this happen. I’d love to connect and collaborate with any interested blogger.
It’s a Wrap!
This concludes this Pet Blogger Challenge. I’m excited to learn more about and from fellow pet bloggers and make new connections.
Thankful to Amy and Rod Burkert for creating the amazing website, GoPetFriendly.com, and adventures they’ve experienced for the sake of documenting all things pet friendly in the US and Canada. Great idea! And for running this Pet Blogger Challenge. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in it.