...but our first year participating!
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Let me see if I can do the questions justice...
1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.
We have two starts for the blog. It originally started July 2008 but we didn't quite have a handle on what we wanted the blog to be. Our official start day is April 2009. Our blog was devoted to our beloved Sam and his adventures. It started as a bit of fun, but I'd say it has progressed well into a passion. We have two wonderful rescued goldens - Monty and Harlow. This past year we lost Sam, but are continuing the blog in his name. After all, this blog wouldn't be possible if it hadn't been for "How Sam Sees It".
2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
We had a couple of goals planned, but Sam's illness and passing changed a lot of that. I've made those same resolutions this year and am making every effort to keep them. Please see Question 12 for our 2014 goals.
3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?
I think we've stayed true to our original idea. We wanted the blog to be lighthearted and fun. We've helped our favorite rescue, AZGRC, with our blog too, something I'm extremely proud of.
4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?
The dog blogging community is wonderful. Don't be afraid to ask for help - either with your blog or with a dog question. We have all been there.
5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?
Visiting other blogs and introducing yourself is a great way to bring in more readers. Facebook has also helped the blog grow. I've made business cards to hand out to potential readers. I've found that some folks will laugh when you mention you have a dog blog, but a lot of folks will stop by.
6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?
I don't think I've ever thought about how I advertise the blog. I share each post on Facebook, but currently I don't do anything else.
7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?
I love to hear that reading a post made someone laugh. Since that is the goal of the blog, I consider that 100% success! :) Here and there I'll talk to someone who remembers a particular post. I love that our posts are memorable. I also love when folks share on Facebook.
8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?
I can usually find something to comment on, although a few times I will admit I just didn't know what to say. Sometimes posts will trigger memories - either helpful advice or a similar situation from my own pups. I tend to write longer comments when that happens.
9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?
We had just started to do product reviews when Sam got ill. It was too much for me to handle so I declined several offers. Just recently we were contacted to do another review and I accepted. I never wanted the blog to be commercial, so I will only accept reviews if I feel I can do a review with the same lightheartedness our blog is known for.
10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?
Spending time with the pups is very important for me. I feel happiest and most content when I'm with them.
11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?
We've never taken a scheduled break, although there have been short periods of time where we had nothing to post. Summers in Arizona are very hot and you can only do so many posts of the dogs lounging on the couch.
12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?
I have several goals. One is to guarantee 2 posts per week - a Wordless Wednesday and a weekend post of some kind. I'd like to do a few more product reviews. I've been toying with the idea of having a booth at this years Holiday Pet Festival - kind of a meet and greet for our princess. I really want to work towards that. I also had a few ideas for some fun blog posts - I won't tell what they are but this is the year I want to put them together. All I will say is that one of them is so epic it will actually have credits...