Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Pet Blogger Challenge

As I mentioned in a previous post, I participated in last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge and found it helpful for reviewing where I've been and where I want to go in the coming year. So when Amy and Edie issued another challenge for 2012, I knew I wanted to participate!

This time two sets of questions were posed - one for new bloggers, and one for bloggers who participated last year. Here are my answers to this year’s questions:

1. Provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?

My goals from last year were to continue writing about animal-related causes, write more about rabbits, and monetize my blog.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

I have continued writing about animal-related causes. It is the subject that interests me the most.

I have not written as much about rabbits. Although they interest me personally, I do not want my blog to be viewed as a rabbit blog. I am interested in writing about all kinds of animals.

The most difficult goal to achieve has been monetizing my blog – mostly because I’m on the fence about it. As a result, I haven’t actively pursued sponsors or advertising.

4. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed? Which are you doing now? Do you still worry about lost traffic, momentum, etc?

I continue to blog every other day, and it seems to work well for me. I occasionally take a day off or post two days in a row.  I set a goal of 15 posts per month to keep myself on track. Sometimes I hit it and sometimes I don’t, but it gives me the ability to gauge were I’m at. My annual goal was 180 posts, which I hit on December 20.

This year, it was harder for me to stay on track because BJC passed away in early June.  I was tempted to take some time off, but I was afraid I would lose momentum so I continued to write through the grieving process. I’m sure they were not my best posts, but I managed to work my way through it.

5. Are you generating income from your blog? Has this changed since last year?

As I mentioned above, I’ve wrestled with whether I want to monetize my blog. Right now I am not actively pursuing sponsorships or advertising.

If you are generating income, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?

 I’ve had a few people approach me, but I’m also particular about who I’m willing to work with. One person wanted to purchase a text link for selling puppies on eBay Classified. That was a definite no!

If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

I’m not sure I want to monetize my blog. I’m more interested in fundraising and increasing awareness of animal-related causes. Coming from a nonprofit background, I would love to work with some of the major brands in relation to the charitable work they do.

6. Have your likes and dislikes about blogging changed since last year?

My favorite thing is still the people l have met both online and in person. Pet bloggers are wonderful, caring people. I especially enjoy working with other bloggers and being a part of the BtC4Animals team has really helped me grow.  I do occasionally get frustrated, and sometimes that comes through in my posts.  But in general, I have to say that I really enjoy blogging. 

7. Overall, are you pleased with the progress you made in 2011?

Yes. My blog is nothing like it was when I first started, but it is continually growing, changing and evolving.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?

I can see myself moving more toward issues of animal welfare and animal rights.  I’ve met some really interesting people who are working to make a change both locally and nationally.

I would also like to get clear about whether I want to monetize my blog or keep it as my own personal playground. Something tells me I already know the answer. 


  1. LOL - something tells me you already know the answer to the monetization question too. I thought your ability to post through your grief after Bunny's passing was remarkable. It's something I don't think I'd be capable of.

    And, I really appreciate the way you post on animal welfare issues. It's matter of fact, with clear action items. I hate reading posts that make me sad or angry and then leaves me hanging with those feelings. Stirring up emotions is fine, as long as you point me in the right direction to take action on them. Thanks Vicki - here's to a fantastic 2012!

  2. I agree with Amy - I do really like the way you approach and present animal welfare issues. There's always a clear focus, resources, and ways to take action. It's extremely well-done.

    I enjoyed reading your answers, and it's been a pleasure getting to know you better this past year! :)

  3. hello :) i thought you might be related to Bunny the greyhound but obviously not.

    I'm sorry [very belatedly] to hear of Bunny's passing. I think it's great that you're passionate about animal issues and want to blog about them!

    Hooroo for now.

    p.s. Can I just say you have the most fantastic name? Love it!

  4. Aw awesome! I love your blog. I like that it is named after your beautiful Bunny.

  5. I've seen you post on BlogPaws, and it's nice to stop by and hear about your blog. I wish you all the best in advocating for animal welfare and rescue in the coming year.

  6. I tried to comment yesterday, but I'm not sure if it was eaten by the Internet! In any event, I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog, and I, like Amy, really appreciate the way you approach and write about animal welfare issues.

    1. AJ - sorry your comment was flagged as spam. I have to remember to check it on a regular basis!

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone! I am slowly making my way through the list - reading each and every post. It takes me a while to do this since I can only read about 10 post before my brain turns to mush!

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I am glad I decided to join the challenge it has given me a very brief outline of where I want to take it. I am glad to see I am not the only one on the fence about monetizing the blog.

  9. Wow. That monetization wrestling match was happening right here on the post! I too think you know the answer, just like Amy said. But it was fun to watch each side duke it out.

    There is something so debilitating about the loss of a pet. But there is something therapeutic about writing. I can see why you kept at it but I also know it isn't easy. That you accomplished this is a true feat.

    Thanks for all your help at BTC so far and cheers to a wonderful 2012 for all our blogging goals and spaces!

  10. Thanks so much for visiting yesterday and for being my friend on twitter. :) Nice to finally meet you on your home turf.

    It's interesting how so many of us wrestle with the monetization thing. It would be so much easier if money grew on trees, no?

    Also, I'm a closet crazy cat lady. Except that I just told you.

    1. Elizabeth - Actually, I tease my dog blogger friends about being the lone crazy cat lady in our group, but I'm a closet dog lover (shhh - don't tell anyone);-)

  11. Thanks for taking part in the Challenge, Vicki! You can see how slow I am at getting to all the participants -- I decided to be good and not jump ahead to the ones I wanted to read because I knew I'd be interested in the answers.

    All this to say, I admire how you got past Bunny's passing. I often thought how tough it would be for me to go on after post-Frankie, what with his picture being so prominent. It's one of the few consolations I have for giving up my blog -- I'll not have to deal with that!

    1. Edie - I have to eat my words about finishing the posts today. I had technical issues with my blog, which have yet to be resolved - so I did NOT finish the last 15 posts.

      Having such a wonderful group of pet-loving friends actually helped get me through the grieving process. I don't know what I would have done without all of you since no one in my immediate circle of friends and family understood the true impact it had on me.

  12. It may be strange, but I think blogville can be the best place to grieve the loss of an animal friend. It's the one place where nearly everyone you meet will have been through the same feelings and know what you're going through. That won't be the case in real life.

    I appreciate your ambivalence about monetizing--even if it's to raise money for good causes. I've been seeing similar comments throughout many of the blogs. And a lot of discussion of values and integrity.

    It's probably why I feel more comfortable in the dog blog community I share in with Something Wagging than I do in the real estate/personal finance "community" (doesn't feel quite accurate) of Hands on Home Buyer.

    But somewhere deep inside I believe there are ways to support ourselves financially by doing things with passion and integrity. The question now is how.

  13. Monetizing is a tricky thing, isn't it? I was also approached by the e-bay puppy people and immediately turned them down as soon as I found out who they were. I have recieved a few more puppy ad offers, but if I'm going to make money off the blog, I want to feel good about it.

  14. @Vicki, thanks for visiting my blog a few days ago. I'm finally getting a chance to read through all the wonderful pet blogger challenge blog posts. I'm getting there slowly, but surely.

    That's wonderful that you write about animal related causes. Some of our favorite activities are helping our local shelters and rescues as well as working with guide dogs and the blind community.

    All the best to you in 2012!

  15. Pamela & Karen - if someone wants to hand me money to advertise a product/service that I truly believe in I certainly won't turn them down. I just don't want to spend time chasing down sponsors/advertisers.

    Colby - thanks for visiting. I think one of the best thing about PBC (and other pet blog hops) is meeting new people and finding new blogs!