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Pet Blogger Challenge 2012

I'm a first time offender, so my questions/answers will be a little different than others. Thanks to Amy and Edie for spearheading this!


1. When did you begin your blog?


The Big Dog Blog launched in April 2010.


2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?


Education. Caring for a large dog is very different than caring for a smaller dog, and I wanted to share my experience and knowledge as a lifelong large dog owner. My career started when I worked for a vet; today people turn to me for answers and I get to share that with a worldwide audience.


3. Is your current purpose the same? If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?


Yes. I got an incredible compliment last week. A colleague was on Facebook and saw a post from a friend of hers, who shared one of my blog posts with the comment that she learns something every time she reads a post. I have to confess – it made me want to do a little dance in my desk chair. Writing online it’s hard to know what’s happening at the other end of the line, and comments like that tell me I’m doing a good job of accomplishing my purpose of education dog owners value.


4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it?


I blog on a strict Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. I originally blogged only as the spirit moved me, which turned out to be less often than I intended. Then I switched to a schedule. The frequency has changed, but three times a week is a good fit for me. It's frequent enough that I blog on a regular basis but not so often that I don't get to give each post my all.


It’s funny, once I made a commitment to writing a certain number of times a week, suddenly I became much more aware of potential topics all around me. I find myself writing posts in my head as I walk the dog, or jotting down ideas in my phone when a trip to pick up dog food inspires an idea. They don’t all pan out, but I’d rather have ideas to spare than struggle for posts every week.


5. Are you generating income from your blog? If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?


Yes, I am generating some income from my blog. The main source of income for is our retail store, and the blog helps people discover us and that we have products available.


6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?


Writing has always been a passion of mine (my first attempt at a novel was in fourth grade) so it’s wonderful to have a venue for my favorite exercise. More specific to my blog, I love the shared passion about big dogs. My readers and I may never meet in person, but we share photos of our dogs, training tips, and why our big dogs are so special to us. It makes me feel like I’m having a positive impact on people’s lives when they say they learn from my blog, or when someone says they really needed a laugh and they got it from one of my Funny Friday posts. It’s a beautiful community and I’m honored to be part of it. I can't tell you how amazed and appreciative I was of the outpouring of support when I had to say goodbye to my dog. There have been times it was a struggle, like when I sprained both hands from all the writing, but it's all been worth it.


7. What do you like least?


Editing. I tend to run a little long-winded, and telling myself that some of my words are useless is tough sometimes. Ok, all the time.


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


We're on a good pace for growth - we started 2010 with just over 2,000 unique visitors a month and hit over 20,000 by December - so I'd like to keep that up. To vary the content, I’m looking to have more guest bloggers featured on the Big Dog Blog to get different viewpoints and areas of expertise. If you're interested, please email me. I also plan on tackling a few controversial topics I’ve been thinking about but haven't faced head-on yet. It should be a fun year!


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