Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Pet Blogger Challenge 2012

For the second year, Edie Jarolim from Will My Dog Hate Me and Amy Burkert from GoPetFriendly.com are hosting the Pet Blogger Challenge. It's hard to believe a year has passed since the first challenge, where we all took a look at our blogger challenges and goals.
So here we go again! On with the Pet Blogger Challenge, Year Two!

The Challenge Questions:

1. Provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.
I had to refresh my own memory... I only hoped I had done half the things I had posted in the Pet Blogger Challenge last year!

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
Last year was our first full calendar year of blogging and one goal was to focuse on the basics -- completing an About Us section and securing our own url at www.ToDogWithLove.com
We also had recently returned from Italy and promised a series of posts from out trip. We wanted to share experiences that readers would find valuable and use in their own travels. There must be lots of folks considering international travel and long plane flights with their dogs, because these posts continue to get lots of interest. 
Cosmo Havanese soaks in the historic sites of Rome
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
Yes, we've made lots of progress and our goals haven't really changed. I'd like to continue to inform, educate and entertain while building on the relationships we've built with other bloggers and companies in the pet industry. We've also had more amazing experiences including another year of BlogPaws, speaking at BarkWorld Expo, trips to Pedigree and Hills headquarters and "VIP Blogger" status at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships!
At the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show with
Best In Show bloggers, sponsors and London the Standard Poodle
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?
While I think quality posts are more important than quantity, I do think an average of about three posts a week are helpful for maintaing traffic. That said, I don't stress over a few lighter weeks... as long as the quality is there, the traffic still comes. We also like to offer a variety of posts with information you can use, fun giveaways and photos to make you smile! 
5. Are you generating income from your blog? Has this changed since last year?
Creating value from a blog can take many forms, from building relationships to getting the opportunities for unique experiences to promoting a business. Do I feel the value, yes! Am I generating some income, yes!
The number of opportunities have certainly grown since last year, and I'd like to continue to look at more ways to incorporate advertising and to help companies grow their brand through spokesperson opportunities and events. 
If you are generating income, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?
Currently we're generating income from sponsored posts and affiliate relationships. And by working with sponsors and doing things like hosting Twitter parties, we've also raised donations for some of our favorite rescue organizations like Havanese Rescue and by our involvement with Santa Paws Drive
6. Have your likes and dislikes about blogging changed since last year?
No, they are pretty much the same. I'm grateful for all the wonderful experiences we've had this year, time we've been able to spend with other bloggers, and some fun interviews like this one with Edie and Animal Cafe
Cosmo's also had the chance to learn from the best! Here, he poses with YouTube rockstars Paige the Border Collie, center,  and Jasmine the Havanese, right, at BarkWorld Expo
7. Overall, are you pleased with the progress you made in 2011?
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
Perhaps some creative (graphic) enhancements, improved photography (thanks to a new camera!), and more of the same... like activities you can enjoy with your pet and more ways to keep you and your pet healthy, happy ... and stylish! 
Cosmo hangs out with some of  The Clock Lady's
 cool custom clocks 
I'd also like to continue to evaluate advertising and spokesperson opportunities, work with some of our favorite brands and continue to bring readers some cool and unique products like some of these we discovered at local events in the Atlanta area.
I think it's super important to spend time DOING rather than all our time WRITING... so we'll continue to do agility and try more new activities -- like the lure coursing and sheep herding Cosmo experienced last year. And you'll be able to learn about the activities and how you can get involved right here!
Enough about us. Now let's read about what everyone else has been up to this year!


  1. I love that glam picture of you and the other VIP bloggers at the AKC/Eukaneuba championships -- and am especially tickled by the glam poodle in front.

    Loved having you as my guest for Animal Cafe! Thanks for mentioning it.

  2. Great interview! Love the pics. Good luck in 2012 with your goals!

  3. Hi there. You have one lucky dog. I'd love to take mine on a flight to somewhere but she's a little bigger and far more belligerent than Cosmo :) I must remember to come back and pick up tips though, if ever we decide to be brave.

    Happy blogging this year!

  4. I completely agree with your philosophy to get out and DO stuff. I've found that it makes it so much easier to write good, interesting posts when I'm busy taking things in. 2011 looks like it was a great year for you. I hope 2012 is even better.

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  6. I love the idea of the linky but I think I misunderstood what the purpose was...haha! I thought it was just to share the link to our blog, but after visiting everyone else, I see they were participating in the challenge as well. I only started my blog a few months ago so I can't really reflect on the past year but I certainly have goals for the future. My blog is about my pups and their battle with cancer. I orginally started it hoping that our story might provide some help with those dealing with this horrible disease with their pets but it's since become almost therapeutic for me! :)

  7. I am with on the need to go out and do stuff! (I think we talked about this in Florida:)and this is still my plan!
    Best of luck to you and Cosmo this year! I hope that we will be able to meet up again in the future, of course it won't be the same unless Air Supply is there:)

  8. It's great to read about all the stuff you do! I live in Switzerland (and also in Idaho), and we travel a lot in Europe. I love how dog-friendly it can be to stay at places and eat in restaurants!

    It's great to meet you.

    Keep on wagging,

  9. Great post... I love your blog, and am always drooling over all your fun photos from your travels near and far! I had a particularly acute case of travel envy when you posted all of those Italy ones. :)

    It was a pleasure to meet you at BlogPaws this year, and I can't wait to read about more of your adventures in 2012.

  10. It's the bane of every writer's existence, I think, finding a balance between living and writing about the living. I'd say that you've figured this one out pretty well with your trip to Italy and all kinds of fun events! Congrats on that and best of luck reaching your 2010 goals!

  11. I agree that we don't want to write at the expense of living. It looks like you've found some amazing ways to bring your interests together.

    You've made so much progress in a year. I can't wait to see what you have planned for 2012.

  12. Nice to virtually 'meet' you. :) I really enjoyed the pictures in this post alone (!) so now I'm going to go check out the rest of your blog - I haven't been here before!

    All the best for your travels and blogging for 2012.

  13. New activities sound like fun! One that we got involved with over the past couple years is K9 Nosework Training. Our black Labrador Retriever, Stetson absolutely loves going to class and sniffing for different odors. Our next goal is to find an activity that our Aussie mix, Linus enjoys doing. I can't wait to hear about lure coursing and sheep herding. Maybe will try one of those activities with Linus Here's to "doing" in 2012!

  14. The picture you and your dog looks amazing. Is your dog toy poodle?

  15. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.

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