Hello pet lovers! Today is the 4th annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by GoPetFriendlyBlog.com and Will My Dog Hate Me?, and although I haven’t participated in the past, I’m joining in today. The Challenge consists of 12 questions so without further adieu, here we go!
1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
The Lazy Pit Bull was founded in January 2012, but I’ve actually been blogging for about 11-12 years and I also write a lifestyle blog called Chrissy, Inspired. I created TLPB as a way of educating and enlightening others about the amazing Pit Bull, and it has since grown into an online pet lifestyle magazine where we write about pet health and wellness, nutrition, safety, and training. We also focus on shelter and rescue adoption, the importance of spaying and neutering, and responsible pet ownership.
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
In 2013, I moved my blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress (did I mention that’s what I do for a living?) and created a web design I love. I also grew The Lazy Pit Bull Facebook page from 4,000 followers on Janary 1 to almost 11,000 on December 31st.
3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
The thing about blogging that has changed the most for me is that I am now doing it full-time, and my passion is no longer a hobby but an actual career.
4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?
This year I learned how really awesome pet bloggers are, and how supportive they are of one another. I think it’s very important to be open to collaborating with other bloggers, and to be ready, willing, and able to support fellow bloggers when they need assistance.
5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
Blogging is about connecting with other people. One of the best ways to drive traffic to your own site is to be active on other sites. I have found that if I have something pertinent and useful to add to the conversations taking place on other blogs, it tends to bring more visitors to my own. But never leave a comment simply for the sake of leaving a comment – always make sure you have something worthwhile to contribute.
6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I spend several hours every day working on my blogs and social media, and I plan to continue to do the same in 2014.
7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
Comments are definitely one way of gauging how well a post is received by readers, but they’re not the only way. I get a lot of emails and Facebook messages from people who have been moved by one of my blog posts, and I am always happy see my posts being shared by others via social media.
How do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?
On my other blog, I’ve actually started features that never seemed to take off, and I’d get discouraged and probably let go too soon. I think you have to give something a fair amount of time before you decide it isn’t working, but I haven’t quite figured out what the right amount of time is. One way to know for sure that it’s time to let go is if a once popular feature is now getting little engagement from readers.
8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
Even if I really enjoy the post, I won’t leave a comment unless I really feel that I have something worthwhile to contribute. Rarely will I leave a “Wow, great post” comment and move on. I want to leave meaningful comments that let people know how much I appreciate the effort they put into their posts.
9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways? If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all? If not, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?
Yes, I love doing product reviews and giveaways. Reviews are great because they give me the chance to try new products and services, to find out whether or not they’re right for my dogs. Giveaways are kind of the same way. I love being able to offer my readers the chance to try a really great product for free. Reviews and giveaways are also a great way to support awesome brands that I love.
10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
This doesn’t usually happen to me, because there are so many topics I want to write about – I can always come up with a topic for a post. But I do believe that
and go live in the “real world”. I think doing that brings a new perspective and helps re-ignite the passion of writing.
11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
During the summer of 2012, our son was involved in an accident that resulted in my being away from the blog for a few weeks. It was an unplanned break, obviously, and I was eager to get back to work and re-connect with my readers and blogging friends. I think everyone needs a little time off now and then – maybe a week while I go dig my feet into white sand on Dog Beach in Key West – but for me, that’s more than enough time away.
Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. Blogging is my way of doing that, and it’s a dream come true that I will never willingly give up.
12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
This year I plan to continue to write about the importance of spaying and neutering, responsible pet ownership, and topics like pet nutrition, health, and wellness. I also want to use every possible opportunity to educate and enlighten the world about what great pets Pit Bull-type dogs can be, and continue to debunk the myths surrounding these wonderful dogs.
Whew! That was a lot! If this is your first visit to my website, please leave a comment below to let me know you stopped by! I’d love to come by your blog, if you have one!