1. When did you begin your blog?
I started blogging on technology around 2001, and I started blogging on dogs in early 2010 after adopting Mikey.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
My purpose was to blog about dogs (in general) and local events.
3. Is your current purpose the same?
I still blog about general dog topics and local events, but I mostly post about advocacy, behavior, and training these days.
If not, what’s different?
Many of my posts are now about these new topics after learning about the No Kill Equation, and what happens at local shelters. After starting the blog, I took several courses on dog behavior and training, and have more dog experience after volunteering at shelters. I hope to share that new knowledge on my blog, so the focus changed as a result.
If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
I hope to have exceeded my initial goals. When I started this dog blog, I did not realize I would become as involved with local advocacy and training as I have.
4. How often do you post?
I try to post a couple times per week.
5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
As the spirit moves me. I tried a schedule, but it didn’t feel right.
If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?
If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? How do you think your decision affects your audience? How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”
I have many topics lined up, and drafts written. I also write on timely topics and events, such as something that happened locally at a shelter. I feel that writing on something you are passionate about at the moment sometimes results in better writing and a more engaging blog post. While you still need to keep things rational and level-headed, your passion might be evident to your audience. This also helps you keep writing. Your topic is post-worthy if you are interested in and engaged with the topic, because it’s almost guaranteed that someone will feel the same as you do.
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your tips for staying on top of it all.
Probably 5-10 hours per week, depending on the week. I use Feedly/Google Reader for keeping on top of the other blogs out there (often I will use Feedly’s bookmarking features to tag posts to read later).
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
I measure success by how engaged the audience is (comments, and shares).
Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
When possible, I look at how the content was shared and the reactions it may have received after the content was shared (comments and reactions as the result of someone else sharing the content).
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Continued tips on growing your audience, specifically on the value of niche topics vs. general content.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
I would like to explore more generalized content on DOGthusiast, while continuing to post shelter advocacy topics. I also plan to hold a few giveaways.
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