Hard to believe, but this is the sixth year I’m participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly. I’ve devoted more than a few lines in those posts to discussion of Phil Collins and my disgust for navels. These things happen.
As always, there is a list of questions to answer in your post. Sometimes I abandon the preferred format in favor of a rambling narrative. Although last year I decided to play by the rules, I’m going to return to my roots this time around. (You can see all of the questions here.) Onward to the introspection…
Want More Puppies 101
I’ve been blogging since April 2010, so… almost six years now. For those visiting for the first time, I’m just going to steal from my bio page (and from last year’s post): “I Still Want More Puppies is a blog about pup culture, pop culture, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I strive for humor with a healthy dose of heart – stop by for a smile, a laugh, or a big virtual hug. There’s no law against having fun while trying to help animals, and this blog is a place to do both.” Or, to simplify – I make a lot of weird connections between seemingly unrelated things. (Thanks, Pamela.)
Measuring a Year
So, 2015. Unfortunately, 2015 was – much like 2014 – a bit of a lost year here on the blog, although for different reasons. I launched a new webcomic last year, which is the thing that I accomplished during 2015 that made me the most proud. (That idea had a long gestation period – it could give black alpine salamanders and frilled sharks a run for their money.) Anyway, I ended up devoting most of my time to Biological Clockie (which you should totally go check out, by the way). As a result, my first blog-child was pretty neglected in 2015 (and even when I did stop by here, there was often some cross-promotion happening). Sorry, firstborn – I’ll try to treat you better in 2016. I know you’ve heard it before, but this time I mean it, blog.
Thus, I had a relatively small sample from which to choose my favorite post of 2015. I’d probably give the title to this post about the discrimination I face on a daily basis at the
hands paws of my furry overlord. It’s important to shine a light on this sort of injustice, don’t you think? (Sometimes, I think that kid’s out to get me.)
Obviously, I’d like to reach more people. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I get a substantial amount of traffic on some of my older posts – it appears that punny pet names are evergreen. I don’t think my newer posts attract as much attention, but I find I’m much less focused on that these days. You may find it unsurprising that I spend a lot more bandwidth worrying about traffic over at Biological Clockie – nurturing a baby blog is tough! (I need to start it off right so that it can get into a good college someday, after all. I’d kind of forgotten what that was like.) In contrast, Want More Puppies has moved past that for me – I’m always happy to have readers, but that’s not my main concern (or even one of my top concerns) here. I did get a boost in traffic here after a mention on Buzzfeed, which was pretty cool. However, since I had exactly zero strategy or plan for increasing traffic (and it doubled since 2014 without any assistance from me), I don’t have much to offer you here.
The blog posts that got the most traffic in 2015 were – without exception and by a substantial margin – older posts about punny pet names. In an amusing twist, the cat names were the most popular, trouncing the punny dog names by leaps and bounds. (Those cat names were roughly four times more popular than the canine ones, in fact.) None of my new posts got a lot of eyeballs – a mild bummer, I suppose. I mostly blog because I enjoy it these days, however, so this space does exactly what it needs to do for me at this point.
Gazing Out of the Belly Button
Ew. Belly buttons. I wish I knew why they disgust me so.
Anyway, let’s turn our focus outward for this next portion. I read quite a few blogs religiously (even though my commenting frequency has decreased – I’ve become quite the lurker). I could devote a whole post to this list (note to self: future post?), but for now, I’ll just direct you to Something Wagging This Way Comes, one of the most thoughtful, introspective, and fascinating places on the great Interwebz.
I’ll admit that I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to answer the question about which resources I rely on to enhance skills that improve my blog. I spent some time last year finding resources to help me navigate the brave new world of webcomics, but I don’t really have much that I do for this blog. I do read articles on photography sites to help improve my shots, but that’s about it these days.
Words of Dubious Wisdom
That illuminating look at my blog brings us to my advice for other bloggers. All I can really say is… just do you.
Whatever you want your blog to be and whatever you want to get out of it is exactly the perfect goal for your blog. Don’t measure yourself against other people’s goals – set your own based on what excites you and the need that your blog fills for you. I remember when getting traffic and “being professional” used to stress me out – and then I realized that wasn’t what I wanted. I was letting what I thought I should want overshadow what I really did need – a creative outlet.
Gazing Into the Middle Distance
… or, gazing into the future. Whatevs.
I didn’t really meet last year’s goals of giving the blog a facelift, incorporating more of my drawings, and sharing more Tavish stories. Le sigh. I’d still like to accomplish all three of those things, but I think I’m going to simplify my goal for 2016. My goal for 2016 is to get back to basics. I just want to post more often and recapture some of the creativity that used to find its outlet here. I fully recognize that the webcomic will probably still take up more of my time, but I miss this blog and want to spend more time here too.
Tell Me More
Hmm… what shall I ask of you, dear reader? As I’m accepting my own limits here (and letting myself off the hook for being scarce), I’m curious to get your thoughts on one issue in particular. What type of posts, features, etc., would you like to see more of? Sometimes it’s tough for me to figure out the best use of my time – and I’d like to spend the time I do have giving you more of what you enjoy.
(On a related note, if anyone has suggestions on how to get some more exposure for the webcomic, I won’t turn those down either. Just sayin’.)
So, that’s it… I’ve answered all the questions, even if I stubbornly refused to number them. If you’re in the reading mood, I highly suggest checking out the other blogs participating in today’s challenge. (If you’re a glutton for punishment, here are my past Pet Blogger Challenge posts too.)