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Navel Gazing with the Pet Blogger Challenge: Even Lintier than Last Year

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It’s time again for the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly. Once a year, they encourage us to sit down and indulge in some navel gazing, all in the name of making our blogs better. We are particularly excited for this year’s challenge.
Seriously, a whole lot of lint can build up in your belly button over the course of the year. Maybe you should grab a drink and something to munch on. We could be here a while.

Since this is the second year we’ve joined in, we’re answering the questions for repeat offenders. Y’all ready for this? Let’s do it.
1. How long have you been blogging?
Two years ago, in a far away land called Canada, a blogger sat on a couch, fighting a puggle for space and use of the blankie. I can still remember that night and feeling like I had no idea what I was doing.
 
I do all the work while he sleeps and still, Koly is the “blog star”. Dogs have all the luck!
 
Let’s be honest, not much has changed. A lot of the time, I still feel like I am making this up as I go. Canada is still really far away and Kolchak still hasn’t learned how to share a blanket. We have made progress though. A look back at last year’s post shows me just how far we’ve come.
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
Like a bunch of crazy kids, we had some big goals for 2012. Most importantly, I wanted to focus on sharing more nutritional information. It is my passion and one of the driving reasons I started Kol’s Notes.
Gratuitous dog picture. Things felt “texty”.
3. Have you made progress towards these goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
I don’t think I’ve done a great job. It’s weird: nutrition is a huge interest of mine and in a one on one setting, I can yak your ear off about grains and novels proteins and how diet is the foundation for pretty much any health issue, but when I try to put those thoughts to a post they get all jumbled up. Yaaaaay for boring, rambley blog posts! (not). While we have shared some of our nutritional thoughts this year (Check out Defining “Treat”: What does it really mean?), I don’t think you could say it was our main focus. I think our goals for what Kol’s Notes is and where we want to go with it have definitely changed.
4. How often do you post?
I hear less is more, unless you’re writing in a crazy puggle voice and then more is more. I am still writing six or seven days a week. I do enjoy the occasional day off and sometimes I really need a day off, but I’m kind of like Juggernaut. I can only move forward once I’m on a roll. If I come to a complete stop, it’s almost impossible to get me moving again. The more I write in Koly’s voice, the better the posts are (or at least, they seem better to me.)
 
MAma, if you don’t have anything interesting to say…COME TO BED!
5. Has your opinion on blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed? If you publish on a schedule, why? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?
We still kind of “fly by the seat of our pants”. I know I want to write everyday, but I never know whatI am going to write about. If that means there’s no post on a random Sunday because I had nothing interesting to say, then so be it. I’ve never been a fan of prescheduling posts. I like to write them and share them while the story is fresh in my mind. That being said, this will change somewhat this year. We’re going in a new direction and that means being a bit better prepared.
I’m lucky that I don’t often face writer’s block. Since Kol’s Notes is a mix of personal posts, recipes and more, there is always something to share. Living with two crazy pups means I have constant inspiration. In fact, I could probably post more.
Well, I could, if someone could just get me one of those Time Turners. That way, when I run out of time, I can just flip my necklace, go back a couple hours and keep working. Jackpot!
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.
You guys think she’s on top of things?! Hilarious!
There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything I want done. How do some of you do it?! You write and you read other people’s blogs and you manage multiple social media accounts and here I am, making lists and trying to keep my head above water. There is so much I would love to do with Kol’s Notes, if only I had the time. I rely heavily on tools to make my life easier: Evernote on my phone to keep track of ideas and things I want to write about, Google Reader on my iPad, so I can read posts whenever I have a minute or two and an intricate system of Post It notes and calendar reminders to keep me from forgetting events and follow ups etc. If I ever lost my iPhone/iPad/Computer, I would be so screwed. Right now I spend a couple hours a day on blog stuff, much more on weekends, infinitely more when I decide to throw an event like the Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers and I definitely don’t feel like I’m keeping up! I need an assistant and I feel like my assistant probably needs and assistant too.
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general?
If I post a blog in the forest and there’s no one around to see it, is it still a good blog post? While I do check my stats, to me, they’re not the be-all, end-all of measuring tools. I would rather have a small audience who joins in the discussion and barks back at us, than a large audience of lurkers, so I tend to judge the success of a post on the discussion it creates or whether people found it worth sharing. That being said, a review of the site stats opened my eyes a bit this year and I’m acting on some of what I learned from the numbers. I’m not surprised that some of our least popular posts (traffic wise and comment wise) were also ones I struggled to write: nutritional posts.
 
Please be our friend.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
The folks who visit us here and who take the time to comment are fantastic (and I love each and every one of ya!), but I struggle with knowing how to convert Kol’s Notes visitors into Kol’s Notes friends. The stats show we get a lot of folks who drop by and lurk in the shadows. Obviously, I need to be doing something better, I just don’t know what. (Any ideas, folks? I’d love your thoughts!)
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
Holy woof! Hold on to your tails, pups. We have some big plans for 2013. It turns out the posts that get the most traffic and the posts that get the most comments are actually the same posts: our recipe posts and our few DIY dog posts where we’ve made our own leashes or treat jars.

Crafting is a BIG TIME love of mine, as are other DIY projects like home decor, health & beauty remedies and that kind of thing. So, we’re excited to take a whole new directions this year:

With some MAJOR help from AJ at PupLove/Syrenity Media, we’re in the process of moving ourselves over to WordPress and when we get there, we’ll be a whole new blog. We can’t wait to share Kol’s Notes on everything from how to make your own fleece dog jacket to which homemade, dog-friendly cleaning products work. 
Don’t worry! Koly will still be here, providing his favourite recipes, his own brand of canine humour and (I’m sure) ruling this roost with an iron paw. I doubt he’ll be able to control his ranting and raving for long, so look for more of his classic posts where he takes me to task. We’re excited that Felix will feature heavily this year as well. (That boy has a cult following. His fan club rivals Bieber’s.)
I hope you’ll come with us, as we embark on this new journey. Along the way, I hope you’ll take the time to let us know what you like, what you don’t like and how we can make our blog and the time you spend here better.
To a 2013 filled with new, exciting projects and good friends, new and old.
What are you up to this year?

 

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