Friday, January 10, 2014

Fourth Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

It’s time for the Fourth Annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by our friends Amy Burkett from Go Pet Friendly and  Edie Jarolim from Will My Dog Hate Me.  All pet bloggers are invited to join in and take a few minutes to encourage, motivate, and support each other. Let’s celebrate the successes of 2013, share what we’ve learned this year, and outline our visions for our blogs in 2014! Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
I started my blog in May 2012.  So we are still a relatively new blog.  I write about my collies and do a lot of picture posts about our adventures living with our five beautiful collies. Occasionally, I will post a recipe, or write about canine health related topics.  And you will even find posts about the history of the collie breed in general, and my own collies in particular.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
We had a rather difficult year, because of a variety of circumstances, and we had to take a break from blogging for a couple months.  But I am very happy that I have returned and started blogging again, as I was afraid I might not return as other bloggers have disappeared in the past...

3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
I think the one thing that has changed is that I have met and friended a lot of other bloggers this past year.    When I first started the collie blog it was just something I did for myself, for fun.  And now I come to blogville to keep in touch with all the wonderful bloggers we have met online.

4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?
I’m not sure I have any advice to help others with their sites, as I am still learning through trial and error.  But I have learned that pet bloggers are some of the most compassionate people around, and will be there to support you through any difficulties.

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I need ideas for more topics to write about! Help!

5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
Participating in blog hops, commenting on other blogs, and visiting and new blogs.  The more blogs you follow, and the more you interact with other bloggers, the more likely they will be to stop by your blog from time to time!

6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I don’t publicize my blog, in fact very few people in my "real" life even know about my blog.  This is something I share with other bloggers, as many of the people in my life would not get it!

7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
I guess I judge that by how many comments I receive.  But it isn’t something I focus on, as I’m mainly writing the posts for fun.
How do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?
This hasn’t come up yet.

8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
If the blog has touched my emotions, or made me smile, then I will stop and comment. 

9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
Yes, I have one product review to do, and I hope to eventually be asked to do more and begin doing giveaways.
If not, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?
Well, because of our need to take a break the review was delayed.  The only hurdle is getting more followers, because we won’t be asked to do reviews until we are reaching a larger audience.

10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
When I am not sure what to write about I will usually just do a picture post, or I will check out what other bloggers are writing about.  However, if nothing inspires me, I just won’t post. 

11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
I took a break this year after my 17 year old niece was killed.  I just didn’t have it in me to blog for a while after that.
Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?
No, even when I don’t post, I enjoy reading other bloggers post too much to quit!

12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
My goals are to do at least one new product review, hold at least one give-away, make 10 new blogging friends, boost my followers from 60 to 75 and to participate in more blog hops!

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and if I haven’t discovered your blog yet, stop by and introduce yourself!  The collies and I love meeting new friends!


  1. GORGEOUS dogs! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!

  2. Great photos!
    Like I mentioned in my post, if I'm looking for material, I usually take the dogs out and something will materialize. We rarely go to the dog park, but just a couple of visits there can provide a month's worth of posts! (Maybe less, but I don't post frequently.) And reading others - other bloggers inspire me for content and keep me going. I know if I didn't blog, I'd miss it.

    1. I'm not a fan of dog parks in general, but the one we visit is usually empty, so it's safe enough. But you hear so many stories about people having bad experiences at them, I can understand why people avoid them.

  3. So glad to "meet" you and just became a follower. My deepest sympathy in the loss of your niece.

  4. This is my first time here and it's nice to "meet" you. I don't spend a lot of time on blog hops, because I have limited time, so there are a few that I HAVE to do and whenever I do, I remember how amazing it is to discover new blogs.

    I love love love Collies. Am I write that you have 5 dogs? We have 4, but we're a herding family - Blue Heeler, Aussies, and a Border Collie - all a mixed bag here.

    Happy New Year!!!

    1. Yes, we have a houseful! But collies are so easygoing, and get along so well together, they make it easy. Herding breeds in general seem to do well in multiple pet homes. :)

  5. Great answers to some tough questions!
    I'm so sorry to read about your niece, and can't even imagine the emotions of dealing with such a loss.

    Your pictures are gorgeous and as far as topics to write about I say do whatever inspires you!

  6. Thank you, it is always difficult when a child is taken from us.

  7. As an aunt with 17 nieces and nephews, I only imagine the grief and trauma you have endured. My heart goes out to you and the parents of your niece. May you find comfort and healing with time. I think the fact that you have returned to blogging is a sign that you're on that road.

    Collies are very beautiful. There is one at our dog park, and he's just stunning to look at, and very sweet-natured. Continue to enjoy to them for many years to come.

  8. I think your goals are fantastic and absolutely attainable. With a cute brood like that? Making 10 new friends should be no problem at all!

  9. I'm so sorry about your niece. That's devastating. My thoughts and love to you and the rest of her family.

    So glad to see you got to do your first review. I hope your audience continues to grow because you have a great blog and beautiful collies. Good luck with your goals! I'm sure you will tackle them and accomplish them no problem! :)

  10. Nice to meet you.

    When I started out I had a very narrow focus (hiking with my dogs) but, at the same time, didn't have direction. I wanted to increase the number of times I posted but could only get out for one hike a week. I thought, "crap. I better find something else to write about". The biggest thing that helped me was looking at the message I was trying to send with my stories and blog. Once I had the overall mission I was able to find other topics that tied in with the mission/theme (still dogs though) that I could write about.

  11. Your photos are always so lovely, and this post is no exception!

    Your goals for 2014 sound great - I look forward to seeing where this year takes you!

  12. I had no idea about your niece, I'm so sorry. That must have been incredibly difficult for all of you.

    I love coming here to find out what you and collies are up to, they are really so beautiful. I'm looking forward to your review and if I can help in any way with your blogging goals, please let me know!