2015 Pet Blogger Challenge

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

We are thrilled to be taking part in the 2015 Pet Blogger Challenge!  We are heading into a brand new year, wide open with possibilities and adventures to be had!  If you would like to join in the challenge, click on the badge above or the links in the first sentence of this post as well as at the bottom of this post.

And now for the challenge questions:

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about.  I have been blogging since 2007.  This particular blog will be a year old this March.   This blog was born out of a very difficult time on my life, when I learned the exquisite and unmistakable value of a walk outdoors with a dog.  A separation, a reconciliation, a string of surgeries after an abnormal mammogram in 2012, the healing power of the dogs we love and the outdoors we often forget to appreciate and enjoy, this blog was begun as a companion to the book I am currently writing.  

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.  I achieved a more professional look with the help of a professional artist as well as added more social media accounts such as Vine and YouTube.

3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?  Connect with others.  Reach out and become part of discussions.  

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?  Blog hops and social media.  

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?  Our most popular blog post last year was the Modern Dog Magazine Photo Contest.  I was not surprised as MD is very popular.

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?  I think probably a toss-up between the post about Rama becoming a Champion and our review of the GoPro Fetch dog harness.

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?  No.

If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?  I only do reviews on products in which I am personally interested or is relevant to topics I write a lot about.

If you don’t do reviews, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?  Network and read other blogs.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?  To increase our readership, take on new adventures and hopefully complete the book to which it was meant to be the companion.

10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?  Coming up with fresh, relevant content can be challenging.  I would be very interested to hear what our readers might like to see from us this year.

Bring on the new adventures!

 

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29 Comments

  1. Lauren Miller January 10, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    I love your blog! I love seeing the pictures of your gorgeous dogs and reading their stories. I wish I could help you out with ideas for content but I am also struggling with that, too!

  2. MyDogLikes January 10, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Awesome! As far as content goes, check out Blogpaws, they regularly post ideas about content that can be a great stepping stone…Just be sure to personalize it so that its not the same as everyone elses. We can’t wait to see how you grow this year!!

  3. Mary January 10, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I have seen you blog around the blog world, but have never stopped. (what’s wrong with me?) I think blogs that helped a person in a bad time of their life, have more heart at the core. Loved your answers.

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Thank you so much Mary.

  4. Genevieve Petrillo January 10, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I also have a GoPro Fetch Harness. So far I am practicing wearing it around the house.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  5. Val Silver January 11, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Hi Rama’s Mama, Sounds like we have some things in common. My blog was written to go with my book (Rescue Me) and the topic is rescuing dogs who rescued us. And walks outdoors, oh yeah, but not today as the snow comes down in feet and the wind blows…Best of luck with your blog and book to come.

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 1:57 am

      Oh wow, so cool! Thanks so much! Nice to meet you!

  6. Charlie January 11, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Crikey Shannon …… it’s me Charlie from downunder in Australia. You stopped by my blog today. That was so nice of you. Thankyou!! It’s nice to meet you. I’m a bit pushed for time right now but I can’t wait to read more about you and your beautiful dogs. My Mum’s best friend in the whole world has two Cane Corso’s. I’ve never met them because they live in Holland but Mum’s met them and loved them. She reckons they are gentle giants. I sure hope we can be friends. I’m new to blogging and know nothing about it but I’m having fun and that’s all that matters to Mum and me.

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you! Nice to meet you!

  7. Jen Jelly January 11, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Love seeing your outlook on the posts you loved writing the most – I had missed the GoPro review. I don’t think I’ve seen you on triberr – it’s a syndication/sharing social network connected with twitter. I found myself getting more traffic after I joined a few of the dog “tribes” there. Best of luck in 2015, and I also wish I knew some secret to coming up with great content ideas. I just tend to write something everyday (without publishing) and then let them stew for awhile until I feel inspired to flesh them out.

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks for letting me know about triberr. I just signed up! Oh and I do that a lot–have several drafts and then pull them out and publish them every so often. Coming up with new content can be difficult.

  8. Sand Spring Chesapeakes January 11, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Great post, enjoyed getting to know you better! Keep up the great work and good luck on your book.

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks so much!

  9. Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady January 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    This challenge has been so interesting to hear how others go about their blogs and their goals and things as well. I love your blog, and think it’s wonderful that this whole thing started out a difficult time in your life. Dogs can really help with these things. Just amazing.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      It has been a lot of fun. I’m still finding new blogs to read! Thanks so much for coming by!

  10. somethingwagging January 11, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I love hearing that walking your dog brought you some peace when you needed it most. That’s what it’s all about.

    I’m afraid I can’t suggest content. I love reading all kinds of things as long as it’s well written, from the heart, or really informative.

    Heck, I loved the DIY tutorial at Cindy Lu’s Muse on making a tiny dog sweater out of a sweatshirt sleeve and I don’t have a tiny dog or a sweatshirt. 🙂

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks so much for coming by! I used to make shirts for my Chinese Cresteds out of socks! LOL

  11. pawedblog January 11, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    We only joined you this year, but we have had so much fun reading your posts here and on Facebook!! Can’t wait to see what this year brings.
    Hugs, Carrie & Pups x

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 11:52 pm

      Aw, thank you so much. I appreciate it! I plan to have exciting stuff to say/do this year! Lots of stuff planned!

  12. Robin January 11, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Great post! I love it that your blog is about the human-animal bond. I don’t think that everyone realizes just how much humans can be helped by animals! When it comes to new, fresh content, here is my advice: brainstorm. Write down all of your thoughts no matter how dumb they are. Do some free-associating and see what ideas come from each thought. Surf the web and look at sites like Catster/Dogster which have forums where users are asking each other questions. Go to news sites and search for “dogs” or whatever topic and see what comes up. You might be surprised. Talk to other people about topic ideas and just bounce them around until something sounds interesting to you.

    1. Rama's Mama January 11, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      Thank you SO much, Robin. Those are some great ideas! I am going to do just that! Thank you for coming by and commenting! I appreciate it so much!

      1. Robin January 12, 2015 at 1:09 am

        No problem 🙂 I’m glad my advice was helpful.

  13. Christina Berry January 12, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Can’t believe this is my first visit to your blog, but it definitely won’t be my last! Great post and great answers – keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. Rama's Mama January 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Thank you so much!

  14. wagsahoy January 13, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Just getting to review your responses here now! Very good stuff! I’ll say Best of Luck on getting the book manuscript complete! Just push and you will get there; focus on getting it all out there and don’t worry about mistakes; that’s what the editing phase is for! You asked for content suggestions; I’m interested to see more video and information about your dog show appearances and all that goes into those. *wags* – Gilligan

  15. ckmorita January 14, 2015 at 2:32 am

    One thing I’ve done for fresh content ideas is I’ve emailed my readers asking them what problems they might be having and what they’d like me to write about on the blog. You might try the same if you have an email list or just putting together a post asking on your blog.

    Good luck completing your book this year. Here’s to 2015!

  16. Amy January 30, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge and for connecting on Twitter, Shannon! I cannot agree with you enough about the healing power of dogs and nature. I’m incredibly lucky in that I get to spend a lot of time outside with my dogs, experiencing some of the most spectacular places this country has to offer … and I still sometimes forget to stop, breathe, and take it all in. I’m intrigued to hear more about your book – the little hint you have us sounds fantastic.

    Coming up with new content for me is a little easier than most, because it flows from the places we’ve been and the experiences we’ve had along the way. Sometimes though, when I’m struggling for a topi I just sit, try not to think, and trust that the wiser part of me knows what I need to write about that day. If I just pay closer attention, I usually get the message. Most of the time, after a few minutes, I’m off an running. I hope that helps, and all the best to you in 2015!

  17. gopetfriendly January 30, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge and for connecting on Twitter, Shannon! I cannot agree with you enough about the healing power of dogs and nature. I’m incredibly lucky in that I get to spend a lot of time outside with my dogs, experiencing some of the most spectacular places this country has to offer … and I still sometimes forget to stop, breathe, and take it all in. I’m intrigued to hear more about your book – the little hint you have us sounds fantastic.

    Coming up with new content for me is a little easier than most, because it flows from the places we’ve been and the experiences we’ve had along the way. Sometimes though, when I’m struggling for a topi I just sit, try not to think, and trust that the wiser part of me knows what I need to write about that day. If I just pay closer attention, I usually get the message. Most of the time, after a few minutes, I’m off an running. I hope that helps, and all the best to you in 2015!