Mort supports dog blogging

Mort supports dog blogging

The following post is part of GoPetFriendly’s Third Annual Pet Blogger challenge. It is the first time I have entered this challenge, so I am answering the questions for “first timers”. Also: If you blog about dogs, check out this Google+ community for dog bloggers.

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.

Read what others have to say!

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.

  • This is my first time here, Jen – I was waiting for this day to check you out. I blog about niche topics – I call them micro niche topics – my niche is pet blogging, my micro niche is dog care for multiple dogs and I want to start focusing more on that in 2013.
    I do that already, but it’s not something that I’ve truly committed to until I had an opportunity to read so many great blog posts today.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

    • I love your terminology! Niche and micro-niche is perfect. I’m glad GoPetFriendly held this challenge, it is really inspiring to read the answers from all of these great pet bloggers.

  • dawn

    It’s always interesting to see how blogs evolve over time. The reasons we start aren’t always the reasons that keep as blogging. It’s one thing I like about this annual blog hop, seeing how the blogs have changed over the year.

    I was just wondering are you a member of BlogPaws?

    • Hopefully I will also be able to compare how things are going next year!

      Yes, I’m a BlogPaws member :) I think it’s how I keep hearing about these great blog hops and challenges (I’m not positive where I first heard of this, but I reckon it was through the BlogPaws network). Love it!

  • Christie

    Is there any particular reason you’ve moved away from talking about local stuff? I’m curious because I want to be a local resource, but getting local readers hasn’t been easy.

    Christie from

    • Hi Christie! I still blog about the local topics, I just blog about the other topics as well (essentially, now that I know more about training and behavior from the courses). Although I guess you could say that I have shifted from events to local advocacy topics (such as my recent posts about Healdsburg, CA, which even caught the attention of the local mayor and police… so I’ll keep doing that if it might end up in positive change!). I think the only reason for that shift is I tend to share event info on social media instead of blogging about it. I hadn’t really thought about that change until now, actually!

      You might find local readers through sharing posts on Facebook (personal feed and a page), and building a lot of connections to local animal lovers and advocates. Most of my traffic to posts about local issues has come from Facebook (if you’re connected to local rescues and advocates there, they will be interested in the topic and will share to their local friends and so on).

  • I enjoyed your comments! I think it’s great that you took the courses, that’s something I’m interested in too. And I like your perspective in writing. Nice to meet you on the blog hop!

  • Thank you so much for joining the Challenge, Jen! This is my first time here and I’m glad I found you. I think there are great blogs out there in both categories – general and niche. For example, I count on Bunny’s Blog to keep me informed of pet related issues on a more general level. I, on the other hand, write only about the pet travel micro-niche. I think it really depends on what interests you and what the goals for your blog are. General type blogs seem to get more traffic, but it may be people just stopping by once based on a Google search. Other, more specific blogs may have a smaller audience, but it tends to be very loyal and engaged.

    Good luck with your goals in 2013! I’ll look forward to seeing where the new year takes you.

  • wagthedoguk

    This is the first time at your blog, and I am glad that I found you and got to know you a little better. I think its good idea to have a niche in the pet blogging community, especially about local events, or specific care for a certain breed. Real nice layout of your web, it makes you want to click. All the best for 2013, looking forward to more.

  • Hi, nice to meet you. :) It was interesting to hear about your dog blog story and how you’ve got to where you are now. It sounds like a blog I’m going to enjoy. Best wishes for 2013.