Here are the questions for the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge:
1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.
I have been blogging since 2008. Our blog is about traveling with your dog(s) to pet friendly destinations, primarily in California (and also Nevada, Arizona and Oregon. And we have also covered other places). My dog Cici and I traveled for three years and reviewed 85+ pet friendly hotels, B&B’s, motels, lodges, inns in various locations and told the tales of pet friendly and pet tolerant cities and towns. We share our experience at pet friendly restaurants, wineries, stores, beaches and more.
2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?
as sick as I was in 2015 (breast cancer, concussion, blood clots on my lungs, lost the most important person in my life for 40 years the day after Christmas, etc etc) and with all of the other difficulties that I have had to deal, (not having a home of our own) that I wrote any blog posts in 2015 is a miracle.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
I thought it was fun to point out things we can learn about our dogs and how they would blog. There were other blog posts about how we were the best dog bloggers in the universe (only kidding) but we were picked as being in the top 10 or so and those were nice, too. But we did not pick ourselves. And if we did, Cici and I will never tell. Anyway, I am rambling. Dogs can teach us a lot about our world. And they can certainly train us how to blog, too.
4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
I am not sure that it has brought more traffic to my blog, but I have expanded the groups that I have been connecting with and made new online friends including some outside the USA (Australia, Denmark, etc). Some of the groups have been alternative housing aka tiny home folks, homeless advocates, and seniors.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)
23 Pet Friendly Places in NorCal got the most traffic I think because people want to travel to Northern California and/or are traveling with their pets to NorCal and want to know the best places to take their pooches. And we offer them a pooch side seat in the passenger seat to travel along with us exploring the pet friendliest places with dogitude (as opposed to the pet tolerant places that are not really pet friendly. You know the ones that charge pet fees (large or small), restrict dogs according to breed, size, or weight, do not have any or enough green areas, do not allow dogs to go anywhere, and/or do not provide any doggie amenities such as massage, toys, bowls, ID tags, pillows, beds, towels and/or TREATS / menu. Pet tolerant places like Las Vegas, Nevada, oops, hotel casinos. Do not really want you to bring your dog BUT if you must, we will charge you, make you pay. Did you know that Harrah’s in Laughlin is $20 for you and $80 for your pooch? I kid you not.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)
I like to read BADRAP’s blog. Amazing dog trainers and especially great info for and about pit bulls and their owners.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
I am a research-a-holic, am on Google all the time, learning, reading, finding out what others are doing and what find interest. I also use google-alerts to keep me up to date. I find a lot of the dog travel alerts to focus on the same old same old and some of the emails that I get, people want to write blog posts that I’ve written about many times. Enhancing reader’s interest, I try to use images, humor, as well as short blog posts (300-500 words) along with catchy headlines. It is also good to capture reader’s attention by tapping into controversial topics and providing tips, resources and practical assistance.
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
Keep on blogging, writing and reading other blogs. Persistence pays off and so does keeping it fresh as you change, as your needs / focus / interests transform.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I want it to be more and more real, authentic and include other people and their stories, especially seniors with senior dogs. I have always tried to tell my truths, be honest, and I’ve interviewed others. I would really like more people to feel compelled to contribute their truths, too. I also want to include alternative housing (mobile tiny homes) since I am obsessed with finding, building, creating one for me and cici.
10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
I would like to expand the scope of my blog to include various topics such as seniors with dogs, difficulties of seniors in coping with life changes including alternative housing options and resources. I still will write about my dog and include living with my senior dog, issues that arise with a senior dog, and a senior person. Do I change the name of my blog since I am changing the focus or just keep on keeping on ?
Challenge badge on your blog, did not work… I tried and tried and tried oh well 🙂