Saturday, January 10, 2015

5th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge!

Hey, y'all! Today I'm participating in the 5th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge . It's an event open to all bloggers, from newbies to seasons veterans, and you can find all the info for it by clicking the link. Answer these 10 questions about your blog/blogging experience, and let's have fun! I love these types of challenges.

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of your blog.

I have been blogging since March 7th, 2011, so nearly four years now!

Dachshund Nola is about life with a crazy, fun loving Doxie. A pretty broad description, but I post about anything and everything! Dog training, controversy in the dog community, dog food, photography, Florida, travel, books, music...variety is the spice of life. ;)

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

Well, I hit nearly 400,000 views, over 22,000 comments and have more than 300 followers on GFC and nearly 600 email subscribers.
Honestly though, while I am proud of that, I'm more proud to just be a part of the pet blogging community. I generated some really inspiring comments last year, and there's no better feeling for a blogger than that kind of recognition. Someone took time out of their busy day to write a comment that provoked their thoughts. Something that I created did that. I'm sure you can empathize with my wonder on that.

3. What lessons have you learned this year, from other blogs or your own experience, that could help us all with our own blogs?

Cheesy as it is, the best thing I learned in 2014 is to be true to yourself. Post what you really think, stick to what you believe in, and fuck what people think. Don't be scared to post because you're afraid of backlash. This was something I really struggled with, especially in early 2014. I made some mistakes, and I paid for them. I don't regret sharing them, but I did get some major backlash (of course, it wasn't from anyone who had the balls to say it directly to me via blog, email or Facebook...) that made me question how much to share. I decided to do what I want, how I want it, and I couldn't be happier for that.
There will always be the asshole lowlifes of the world that get off on putting others down. No matter where you go, they're there, especially online, where people will act how they never dared in real life. You can't get rid of them, but why let them hold you down? Don't let them cow you. That is my best advice to anyone blogging, or thinking about embarking on it.

4. What have you found to be the best the most successful way to traffic your blog, aside from writing great content?

Being social. I haven't a clue how some of the bigger bloggers never seem to comment anywhere, but are still raking in the views, but I wouldn't want that. I love the friendships built on a more small-scale blog - y'all are amazing!
Aside from that, good pictures. I'll be honest and say I don't read blog without pictures, especially good ones. I don't really do anything else.

5. What was your most popular blog post in 2014? Did it surprise you that it was the most popular?

In terms of views, my most popular post in 2014 was on the Standard Poodle puppy I rehomed due to being a terrible match for me in the If You Have to Force It, It's Probably Shit post. In a way, I'm not surprised by it as it created the biggest flack I've ever received as a blogger. One very popular blog that I won't name wrote two posts about it, and the Facebook backlash was astronomical. It was very hurtful as well as infuriating, but I did learn to stick to my guns and keep sharing our life. It's real. It's not always perfect. And that's okay. We're real, were many other blogs are not (including the one badmouthing).

In terms of comments, Pike and Olivia's introductions, as well as Nola's birthday post, Rally-O titling and various training posts, have garnered a lot of attention. To my surprised delight, my Dachshund Nola Debates series has been a massive hit with both views and comments!

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

I absolutely love writing Dachshund Nola Debates. Those are, by far, my favorite to write as well as to watch the comments on. Aside from that, Nola's Rally-O post was fun!

7. Has your policy on reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

Not really? My deadlines have gotten a lot...looser. Reviews stress me out a bit, so I don't enjoy them too much.

If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn't work at all?
Good photos, honesty and cohesive links are all helpful. What doesn't work are bad photos! I can't stress that enough.

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

I touched on this a bit in question 3, and that is by far the most important thing. However, you should also:

  • Post for you first. Don't cater to your audience to the extent that you're posting just for them.
  • Work your blog on a schedule, no more than once a day and no less than 4 days a week. If you're consistent when you post, it's second nature to you and your viewers know when to expect posts. 
  • Don't clutter you blog. I'm working on streamlining mine at the moment. Post pages, but don't clutter your main page.
  • Good photos, good photos, good photos.
  • Be social! Commenting, blog hops, ect.
  • Be real. Don't make your life look perfect when you know it's not. It might be embarrassing or difficult, but post it anyway.
  • Challenge yourself.
  • If you feel burnt out, try something new. If that doesn't work, take a break.

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

Is it bad if I say I don't really set blog goals? I let the blog go where it wants to, haha. I do want to continue with the Debate posts and 52 weeks of Nola, Pt 2, but aside from that it just does its own thing.

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

Not directly related to the blog, but I applaud those who can keep your blog Facebook/Twitter/Instragram/Whatever up to date!

Join in!

Dachshund Mommy


  1. Dear DM,
    We commend you for ALWAYS being HONEST and for speaking YOUR mind! That's what makes you such a loving, beautiful person.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  2. Lady appreciates your candor and great photos. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Awesome post! I agree with you that it's best to be "real"! Fake and forced doesn't do anyone any good. I also agree about the pictures! They're so important!

  4. We that you stay true to yourself!!

  5. I can't believe you got so much flak over that post. (well maybe I can, people can be assholes) You have to be true to yourself, this is your blog, about your life. If people don't like it, they can read something else.

  6. Your honesty and gorgeous photos are what initially made your blog stand out to me, and it's what keeps me always coming back to look see. Love reading and checking out this blog each day. Keep it up, always.

  7. You have a gift of honesty that is a breath of fresh air. I read your Faked and Forced post. Not that I'm your judge, but it seems to me you did right by the dog. She deserved someone who was bonded to her and you found that person for her, your mother and now they both have someone to adore. I can kind of relate to your story. I lost my Louis and very quickly after we fostered Teddy. My husband fell in love instantly but I didn't. I wasn't ready. I have grown to love Ted and am infinitely grateful he came into our lives when he did, but it is not the same bond I had with Lou.

  8. What a great post and so honest! I'm sorry to hear that you had some backlash but I'm glad you stuck with it and said fuck 'um. Life's too short for us to let that stuff weigh us down.

  9. I really agree with your answer to #4. I've always wondered how they rack up those comments. I think, however, that I'd rather have a smaller number of comments from folks that I can respond to if necessary and reach out and be friendly with.

    Monty and Harlow

  10. Be true to yourself. Great words of advice.
    --Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats.

  11. i really love what you said, Blog for yourself, it has taken me a long time to learn that.

  12. Great numbers. And 600 email subscribers is awesome.

    But I'm really thankful for your passionate plea to be yourself. If I try to think too much about what other people want to read, I get paralyzed. But when I relax and do my own kookie thing, I have a great time and so do my readers.

    Sorry you got some flack about your post. I once wrote a post in which I suggested that the "forever home" dogma had a dark side because sometimes it's a good thing for people to rehome pets that aren't a good fit. And I sometimes wonder if I should have rehomed on of the two littermates I adopted 25 years ago so they could have had a better life.

    I did not get any harsh or horrible replies. I think that's one of the blessings of having a pretty small following. No trolls allowed. :)

  13. Great advice on #3. I think I am still learning that one. I know it's my views, opinions and spin on the world that makes my blog unique but I am very cautious about what kind of thoughts I reveal. I had an incident on Facebook this year where I made a statement, attempting to be impartial, but my partial-ness showed through in my wording. It was a very touchy subject in the Dachshund community and I got blasted. I lost some followers and another friend over it. I was so upset that I appeared bias but then I was like "well, I AM a bit bias". Maybe it's ok to take a stand for my views even though I know it might upset some people. I still care but that incident has helped me to let go further of what people think. I am trying to impart more of my emotion and philosophy on my blog this year.

  14. Great post! Good luck this upcoming year!

    ~DZ Dogs

  15. Congratulations on the great numbers!

    I'm hoping to do a better job with my photography. I have a new camera so there are no more excuses. I just have to learn to use the darn thing.

    I'm really looking forward to getting back to blogging and being involved with the community again.

    Best of luck to you in 2015!

  16. We really love it, you are doing a great work here. Lost and found

  17. Thank you so much for joining the Challenge, and congratulations on your fantastic numbers! I'm sorry to hear about the firestorm you endured - that had to be an extremely difficult time, and I'm glad you've come through it with your f*ck 'em attitude. What amazes me (and makes me incredibly sad) is that we've become so intolerant of each other. Some people believe that their way is the only way, and they have no problem bashing someone else because they think or do things differently. That you ended up in the crosshairs is really unfortunate. And I imagine it galvanized your true fans, who appreciate you for your honesty and see that you're a human being, just trying to do the best you can. That's an endearing quality, because we're all in that boat, and it breeds fierce loyalty.

    As for keeping up Facebook/Twitter/Instagram - those three accounts can be tied together in Instagram so that posts post simultaneously on all three. It helps significantly with keeping up! ;-) Have a great 2015!


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