Today is the 6th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by the folks at Go Pet Friendly.com. This is my first year participating in the challenge and I am thrilled to join in the fun.
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a description of the subject of your blog?
I have been blogging on and off since 2011. I originally started the blog with my dog Pip as a way to raise money for his rescue shelter. When he passed away in 2013, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue blogging without him. I returned to blogging in 2015 with our new dog Ruby, but kept the original name in Pip's honor.
The Daily Pip provides resources, support, and humor for rescue families. I am a huge advocate for rescue and adoption especially for animals with special needs: senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like pit bulls and black cats. Special needs adoption is one of my greatest passions and raising awareness and compassion for these animals is at the heart of this blog.
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 am most proud that I found a way to reinvent the blog and return with new focus, energy, and purpose.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why?
By far, my favorite post was Giving Thanks: Happy Ruby Day, which celebrated Ruby's anniversary with our family as well as Thanksgiving. This post encourages adoption of senior and special needs animals and is the first in a weekly series called The Specials, which features successful special needs adoption stories.
4. What is the one thing you've done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
I have always been fortunate to have a small but engaged audience who tune in regularly and leave nice comments. However, this year I expanded the blog to Facebook and Instagram, which has made a huge difference in traffic. I also attended BlogPaws for the first time where I met tons of new people and learned the insider tricks of the trade.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular?
In addition to Giving Thanks: Happy Ruby Day, my Wordless Wednesday posts usually do well because of Ruby's cuteness factor. Two of the most popular were Pink Meets Black and Self Reflection.
I am a visual person and am attracted to blogs that are heavy on high-quality, beautiful images. I also appreciate balance between humor and cuteness with more serious, message oriented posts. A few of my favorites include: Romping and Rolling In the Rockies, A Tonk's Tail, The Dogs of Greenhill Farm, and Two Pitties in the City.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills to improve your blog?
Attending BlogPaws was huge for me - I learned so much and made so many contacts. I continue to read all BlogPaws posts and participate in their monthly blog challenges and online learning opportunities. Because images are such a huge part of my blog, I also took a photography class this fall and recently upgraded my lens and camera equipment.
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
Read other blogs and pay attention to what works and what doesn't work. Comment on other blogs and cultivate friendships and partnerships with other like-minded bloggers. Be kind and respectful to your readers - respond to their comments, thank them for their support, visit and comment on their blog if they have one.
Pay close attention to how your images and text interact and find the right balance for your readers as well as your own mission and purpose.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
In 2016, I will continue to focus on promoting special needs adoptions through my series, The Specials and hopefully, help change public perception of animals labeled as "unadoptable". If even a few animals are adopted as a result of this series, I will feel incredibly grateful and successful.
Other 2016 goals include: continuing to expand my reach on Facebook and Instagram, writing for other online sites and sources, and improving my cat photography skills.
10. Is there one blogging challenge you'd like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you'd like input on?
I'm not that tech savvy and still struggle with understanding and utilizing SEO as well as Google Analytics. Any guidance or recommendations would be appreciated.