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!