Saturday, January 10, 2015

Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

Today is the 5th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by the people over at Go Pet Friendly blog. Eighty-two bloggers participated last year. We weren't one of them, so we made sure we penciled it on our calendar for 2015!

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Here are the questions all participants have been asked to respond to this year:

1. How long have you been blogging?

We began blogging in 2010, when Ryker was still around. He's the original Tonk that A Tonk's Tail was named after.

You can read his rescue story in a new anthology book to be released just two weeks from now. The book is called Rescued, and a portion of the book's proceeds go to 12 different rescues across the globe!

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.

We shared with you on New Year's Day a look back at the adoptable cats we featured in 2014, and we hope that the 78 cats that found their homes might have been helped a tiny bit by social media spreading the word! We're also grateful for the sponsorship opportunities that came our way last year, because it enabled us to donate a lot more financially to some very needy shelters.

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?

Be genuine. Be real. Be sincere. Share your heart and the things you are passionate about.
(Oh, and people really like it when a post isn't overly long  ;-)

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

Consistency, a presence on other social channels, and - most important - interaction with our friends and readers, both here and on other blogs.

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

 The post with the most views was a feature on an adoptable cat at Allie's Alma Mater: Bobbi Jo.

Although we're gratified that she received such attention, we suspect it may have more to do with a google search on her name than interest in adopting her (even though she is a stunning marmalade girl!).

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

I think I'd have to choose our new PeeMail series. The cats email me every time I travel. I'm getting such a kick out of this!

There's just something about that one photo of Faraday getting his mad on that makes me giggle every time I see it!

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year? If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all? If you don’t do reviews, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?

Our Allie is one of the
reasons we blog.
No, back in 2013, I decided if I was going to expend the time and effort to stage and style photography, and then write reviews that actually researched beyond what the company provided...I would be paid to do it.

I do worry, though, that our niche is so small and specific that companies don't value our worth. If they are looking for CPM, they simply won't find it.

Our readership is too small compared to those of lifestyle, fashion and food bloggers. If they're looking for a quality, targeted audience however? BINGO. They're found the way to reach them: pet bloggers!

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?

This is the film director speaking: be as organized and consistent as you can.
This is the personal side speaking: do it only as much or as often as you wish - and only so long as it brings you pleasure.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?

Our sweet Maxwell is a heartthrob, don't you think?
To try to maintain the quality of the content yet find a way to better manage the work/life balance.

I've been working on the blog nonstop over the holidays and that much concentrated work isn't tons of fun.

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

I'm still shying away from the elephant in the middle of the room: WORDPRESS. To migrate or not? EEK!

Be sure to check out the other blog writers participating in today's challenge at Go Pet Friendly's page here. Thanks for reading our responses to the Challenge!


  1. Wow, these are great, thoughtful answers... and they gave me some things to ponder, even though I'm not participating this year.

  2. I keep thinking about going to WordPress too, but I'm not sure if it's worth it

  3. We really enjoyed your Q & A :)
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  4. We enjoyed reading your answers. Yes, Maxwell is a total heartthrob!

  5. I really enjoyed reading this because you are one of our all-time favorite blogs. Adore your PeeMail series, and you were the ones to inspire us to profile our local shelter's adoptable cats :) As for brain hurts just thinking about it LOL

  6. It's not to meet you. Your answers are great, and I am so in agreement with them. Especially the write what you want to.

  7. Beautiful cats and nice blog too. Glad I got to visit on the blog hop.

  8. Darn, we forgot about this challenge. We'll make sure to calendar it for next year.

    Good advice, too. :)

  9. We didn’t find out about the challenge until last night. Darn! You don’t want to go to WordPress. I know some who have migrated there and come back to Blogger. Yes, shorter blogs are more popular. I’ve tried to be briefer. Sometimes it works; sometimes no.

  10. Nice to meet you. You blog looks great. I migrated to Wordpress... I find the dashboard better than blogger but commenting is harder. :/
    You peemail series looks really fun!

  11. Wow, 78 cats shared on your blog? That's awesome!

    I'm a crazy dog lover (and I foster them too). But I know the greatest need is finding homes for cats.

    I've been on WordPress since the beginning so I don't know anything about Blogger. But why don't you start a group on BlogPaws asking others about it? I've seen several people raising the same question. You might be able to help each other figure out if it's worth your trouble.

    BTW, I love the idea of your PeeMail feature. That looks adorable.

  12. Great post! I think that PeeMail photo is pretty funny too. Something about kitties making funny faces gets me every time. It is amazing that so many kitties from your list were adopted! That is very pawsome.

    I'm on Wordpress and I have been since the very beginning. It seems like the biggest difference between Wordpress and Blogger is just that some people are used to one and other people are used to the other. In the end they both can produce outstanding blogs. If you ever decide to switch to Wordpress and need help with Wordpress, feel free to drop me a line.

  13. As for the WordPress question? DON'T DO IT! I have a WordPress blog (my dog's blog) and a blogger blog (Cody's), I MUCH prefer Blogger!

    1. How funny, I had a harder time with Blogger at the start and that is why I ended up on WP :)

  14. Thanks so much for sharing. I have loved reading what everyone has written. It has given me insight since I just finished our first year of blogging. I adore your blog :)
    Marty's Mom

  15. I definitely say YES, migrate your blog to WordPress. I was on Blogger for a long time and I was comfortable and happy there. But I've never regretted moving to WordPress, and I'm also very happy there but with so many more options for my blog.

    Btw, it's so very nice to "meet" you! :)

  16. It's great that you have been able to kelp so many kitties. While my blog niche does not include rescue (unless it directly applies to Gretel's history) I do try to help by volunteering and donating. I love all of your kitty pictures. It's been a long time since I have owned one.

  17. We didn't know about this challenge. We would have participated. We notice only a few bloggers on the list that we follow, and we see most are dog blogs. Does it happen on the same date every year? We enjoyed your answers. Thanks for taking part. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

    1. Hi there! Yes, the Pet Blogger Challenge is always on January 10th each year, and I usually post the questions we'll be answering about two weeks before that so people have time to work on their posts. Mark you calendar to head over to GoPetFriendlyBlog dot com right around the end of the yearto get all the details for next year's Challenge. There do tend to be more dog bloggers - but pet bloggers of all varieties are welcome. I hope to see you there!

  18. So far I've heard too words that I always preach to people who bring home a puppy for the first time. One blogger mentioned patience when blogging and now your blog has brought up consistency. The third word I always tell new puppy raisers is persistence. I guess I can apply good habits in puppy raising to blogging :)

    By the way, consistency is an important part of blogging and something I need to get back to this year. As for your question of whether to migrate to WordPress all I can say is I really like WordPress, but I know very little about Blogger. I did evaluate both platforms when I first started blogging in 2007, but besides that I haven't done much with Blogger.

    Best of luck to you in 2015!

  19. Congratulations on the release of your book, Lisa! What a fantastic accomplishment. I've had an idea ofr a book for years, and just can't seem to find the time to get it done, so I applaud your determination. And, that peemail from Faraday is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. "Allie hissed at me 5 million times" ... too funny!

    I don't have any experience with Blogger, so I can't compare, but I love WordPress. I find it easy to use and love all the cool widgets and plugins that it offers. It's a big decision, and if you decide to jump, I wish you the best. Thanks so much for joining the Challenge this year!


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