As promised — the Pet Blogger Challenge! If you’re here and you’ve already written a post answering the questions that Amy of GoPetFriendly.com and I posted last week, simply add the url to the Linky tool, below. If you haven’t written it yet but are inspired to do so, get cracking. You have until 11:59 PM Mountain Time tomorrow (1/11) to add your link.
***

1. When did you begin your blog?

My first post was on April 12, 2009.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

I wanted to build an audience for my first book about dogs, Am I Boring My Dog, published September 2009.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

Yes and no. The blog took on a life of its own, but I still hope it’ll be a vehicle to make people aware of past and future books.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

I’ve committed myself to blogging three times a week because, from everything I read (mostly on ProBlogger), that’s the minimum required to maintain reader interest and because it seems manageable to me. I have been aiming for posts on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the optimum days for traffic according to those same reliable sources, “aiming” being the operative word. Sometimes I post an extra, a funny picture or silly topic, on Sunday. Just to mix things up.

As for the techniques I use to stick to the schedule, they’re the ones that motivate me for pretty much everything: Guilt and self-flagellation. You probably think I’m kidding.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?

Not really. I sold a few unobtrusive back links to advertisers for a modest one-time fee, I have long been an Amazon Affiliate (though I keep forgetting to affiliate, i.e., post links), and I recently became aΒ  Flush Doggy poop bag affiliate (I like to keep things classy on my site). I wouldn’t promote a product I didn’t believe in for the sake of money, unless we’re talking six figures, in which case all bets are off.

Because they both involve writing and editing, I had a misguided notion that my blog would draw people to my writing and editorial business (www.ediejarolim.com) — possibly by osmosis. The fact that I couldn’t figure out how to make this happen was a source of frustration until very recently, when Tom Collins posted Five Blogging Lessons from Edie on the BlogPaws site. Among the lessons that I wasn’t aware I was teaching: You never know what relationships you are creating behind the scenes, including ones that can lead to money.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular

  • Interacting with others. I love the dialogue that many posts create. I never know who’s going to turn up and join the conversation and am always thrilled to discover I’m not just a voice in the wilderness (or the desert). The community isn’t only virtual, however, and for that I credit the visionaries who created the BlogPaws conference, where I have met and become friends with many like-minded bloggers.
  • Being able to write about whatever is on my mind. When you write for others, you have to worry about whether what you have to say fits the publication’s format or audience, whether it’s trendy or… well, there are a hundred different hoops you have to jump through. I have no restrictions here except the ones that I impose on myself.
  • Not worrying about being edited. As an editor — and compulsive person —Β  I subject my work to a lot of revision so I can say precisely what I want to say in the way I want to say it.Β  Like many other writers, I’m often amazed when my work appears in print with additions of odd spellings and grammatical constructions — and misinformation. Any errors that appear in my posts are mine.
  • Learning. Like other forms of writing, blogging involves exploration, looking at different topics and being challenged to figure out what you think about them. It’s rare that I know precisely where I’m going when I start a blog post.

7. What do you like least?

  • Putting yourself out there. It’s scary. And I worry about getting responses that will tell me I’m completely off base — or, worse, no responses at all.
  • Feeling pressured. Along with the self-imposed pressure to write, and write well, there’s the need to find an effective — and consistent — format for my work. With freedom comes responsibility.
  • Dealing with the technical stuff. SEO, keywords, Google analytics, plug-ins, hosts, coordinating Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn… all a necessary evil if I want to communicate with more people. It just doesn’t come naturally to me and I don’t enjoy it.
  • Not getting paid. It’s confusing to write for a living and also do it for free. I like consistency and aim for independent wealth so I can blog at leisure.

8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?

Maybe it’s cheating a little, but I’m going to tell you tomorrow when I introduce a new regular feature to the blog.

Update: Several people have asked about the code so they could add the Linky tool (though even more seem to have figured it out by themselves). Here it is: <script src=”http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=67813″ type=”text/javascript”></script>

As I noted in #7, tech stuff is not my forte. I managed to be late to my own blog challenge, not managing to get my post into the Linky tool until much later.

Frankie is not well again today. I am heartsick about what happened in my home, Tucson. I walked into a glass door Saturday night and smashed my nose. All this to say, I am not as engaged as I would hope, but what I’ve read so far confirms my sense that I’m part of a wonderful community.

70 thoughts on “Will My Dog Hate Me: The State of the Blog 1/10/11”

  1. That generating income thing is a major challenge, but when you figure it out please share!

    Can I admit to being hooked on the social media aspect of blogging? I must be crazy. πŸ™‚

    Loved your answers…

  2. I have a feeling we’re going to see a bunch of the same themes over and over. Ambivalence about making money from the blog will probably be one. I predict “guilt” will be the most frequent world.

    I suspect we’ll see results here that are far different than those we’d see over at Problogger. Does it have anything to do with the fact that the pet blogging community is dominated by women and the “I intend to making living from my blog” community is dominated by men?

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to reading more. Thank you again for setting this up.

    One little tech question (yes, I’m sorry). I didn’t see a place to pick up the code so that the list of linked blogs would appear on my post. If you can point me in the right direction, I’ll update my blog to include it.

    Thanks again!

  3. I really enjoyed reading your answers… I definitely agree on the technical stuff and the pressure to post. Those are my big challenges too. I do love the social aspect of blogging though… makes it fun! Thanks again for putting this together with Amy. Such a great idea.

  4. Have to say I agree with almost everything your wrote Edie. The things “you like most about blogging” really resonated with me. And, the putting yourself out there can be hard too. I used to be really worried about what others would think about what I wrote, but having a blog has forced me to accept that not everyone is going to agree with me… and that’s okay. (DancingDogBlog has helped me with this too!)

    Thanks for you and Amy coming up with such a great idea! This was a good exercise.

  5. Shoot! I’ve been looking for a 1/2 hour now, and I also do not see the code so that I can add the list of participants to my blog. Wouldn’t you know … that I put these technical frustrations in my like-least list too.

  6. It is scary. But your bravery has helped me be a bit more courageous as well. I am probably one of the shyest people in the world, I am not even kidding. But somehow, online, it is a lot easier to be more honest, more confident about my opinions than I ever could be in person.

    But I digress. Thank you for putting all of this together. It was such a great idea!

  7. Thanks for organising this challenge……it’s great!

    Snoopy and I are having lots of fun reading all the posts, I think it will be a busy day πŸ™‚

    We also agree with your point, feeling free to write whatever is on your mind, is such a wonderful feeling….

    πŸ™‚

  8. I’m having great fun with this challenge, and – as I mentioned on Boulder Dog’s post – our next initiative may be to start a pet blogger support group!

    I agree that putting ourselves out there is scary. We make ourselves vulnerable – but those are the posts that really seem to resonate. Vulnerable is good, and with practice we’ll all get better at it.

    I’m sorry to hear Frankie isn’t well again today. I’m sending good thoughts to him and you.

  9. Edie, it was so much fun to read your answers and learn more about you. As an author myself, I have many of the same goals as you, and share in some of the same frustrations. I’m excited to learn about your new regular feature! And look forward to visiting you more on your blog!

      1. I did. Thanks. I’ve added it to my post. BUT, your addendum here says that others figured out how find the code to post the list of links on their blogs on their own, and I’d like to learn how to do that for future reference.

        1. What I did was:
          1. go to petfriendly or willmydoghateme where you could see the list (but not copy the code at least in the start)
          2. right-click the page in your browser and choose “View source”
          3. search for the text “linky list”
          4. copy all the HTML that have to do with the linky list, in this case one line starting and ending with “<script>”
          5. paste it in your blog (article)

          1. Thanks, Kenzo. I tried that same tactic using FireBug, but I couldn’t seem to find the code amid all the usual formatting PHP and CSS. Then, again, it was early … on a Monday, etc. :o)

            I think there’s a way for the list to include something that says “Get the code” or some such, but I couldn’t find it either.

            Ah, well … maybe next time I won’t be such a dolt.

  10. Hi! We took the Pet Blogger Challenge too! We want our Mama to order your book because we think she is boring to us sometimes! But she doesn’t have any money to get it now. Soon as she gets a job, we will order it for her while she’s not looking!

  11. Although I’m not a pet blogger, I’m intruding here to say that Archie and I are thinking of you and Frankie every minute right now, knowing that your hometown of Tucson is in deep pain, and that the love of your life is ill. As for the smashing your face on a plate glass door, well, that’s just standard Edie…. GET WELL, FRANKIE!

    1. Thank you, Clare. While it’s true about the general klutziness, I don’t often go full frontal face into things, i.e., so usually my injuries are not visible. This time I’ve got a black eye that extends below the line where my sunglasses go…

      As for Frankie, he’s doing much better. I’m going to have to blog about how much better dogs are at illness than humans. They feel sick, they feel better, they demand food as though nothing had happened.

  12. What an awesome title “State of the Blog”, how do you do that? Fun you mention the technical stuff as a turn-off, a lot of people have mentioned that so far. Only nigelbugger and me thought it was one of the things that makes it more fun. There must be something wrong with us I guess.

    Glad to read that nothing in your “dont like” list is related to guilt! Thanks for organizing this challenge, today was a lot of fun. But I can see you and Frankie having a couple of really bad days. Hope the mishape stops soon and you can enjoy what you have started!

    1. Thanks, Kenzo — for your good wishes, etc.

      I don’t want to sound sexist — especially since Kim Clune, who created the badge is such a tech whiz — but what do you and Nigelbugger have in common? You’re guys. I’m not saying that women are incapable or that there aren’t lots of female geeks. But there’s still a huge gap in science/tech education and, even more, in popular depictions of tech whizzes. Anyone who’s seen The Social Network knows what I mean.

      1. First, thanks to you and Amy for putting the Pet Blogger Challenge together! And I hope Frankie is feeling better soon.

        Although I didn’t list technical matters as either a plus or minus in my post, I do enjoy doing it and it provides a nice diversion from writer’s block at times. I was a little surprised to read how many bloggers doing the Challenge dislike, or even hate, dealing with the tech stuff. I am female, 50something, and while comfortable with technology, am terrified of electricity and plumbing πŸ™‚

  13. Thank you for organizing this challenge! It was nice to have a push in the self-analysis direction. I can’t wait to hear your next big idea! πŸ™‚ In the meantime, I sincerely hope Frankie gets well very, very soon!

  14. Thanks so much for this contest. Just the thing I need to revive my blog. Unfortunately, I use wordpress and can’t add the linky tool to it because they don’t accept javascript. Is there a way around this? How do I get the links to all the participants? I have added some manually. Looking forward to a great year.

  15. Interesting challenge, Edie – I may find time to join somewhere around the 100th mark! So sorry to hear about Frankie again, and your nose, and of course the weekend event. Impossible to reconcile such crazy behavior.

    It’s got to be a struggle and feel really odd to write for free when you get paid to do it – you get one more blog monkey (wonder if there’s an illustration around on that one!) on your back than many of the rest of us! Thanks to you and Amy for putting this together. together…seems like most are agreeing with each other.

  16. In case anybody else is having trouble getting the Linky Links javascript to work, I found that the quotations in the script above are ASCII text… convert them to boring old quotes and your list should show up. I’ll try and put the correct code here, but not sure if it will show correctly in the comments. – Janet

      1. The src= and text= sections of the code both have double quotations around them that are not plain quotes… just delete them and retype them in and hopefully it will work. Make sure you are in html view if you can. I’ll try and put the right code in here:

        1. The comment section doesn’t like me trying to paste quotes… here’s just the text of that part:

          script src=”http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=67813″ type=”text/javascript”

  17. Edie, thanks so much for the insightful answers and for organizing this event. I’m loving it much more than I thought I might. My goal is to visit every single blogger on here to soak up all I can. Hope we have more of these in the future!

  18. First, a global thank you all for taking part in this. Frankie is feeling better — his little ploy to keep my mind off talk radio and the Tucson tragedy having succeeded beyond his wildest dreams — and I am finally catching up and reading some awesome posts.

    And I have even figured out how to moderate — as in delete posts from — the Linky.

    Which is my not-so-subtle way of saying this is a Pet Blogger Challenge. You actually have to take it in order to be included on this list. Putting the badge up isn’t enough.

    If I’ve taken you off the list in error — say, you just haven’t gotten around to putting the post up yet — try putting up your link again when you’re done. And if the Linky doesn’t let you, contact me and let me know. I have connections.

    Speaking of contacts, I was trying to get hold of Buzz the Diabetic Dog to say, hey, I have a diabetic dog too, let’s talk. But Buzz has one of those comment systems that don’t work for me — sorry, I refuse to sign up to another service — and no “Contact me” info on the blog. So if you’re reading this Buzz… Frankie feels your pain!

  19. Thanks for helping organize this. We had fun taking part in it! It’s neat to get to know some other bloggers that aren’t usually in our “normal circle.”

    Elyse and Riley

  20. Thanks for starting this challenge and sharing your thoughts. I really need to get back on track with my blog and it helps to take a look at it every once in a while. Looking forward to anything else that can help in my journey, maybe a Pet Blogger 31 days to a Better Blog Challenge using Darren Rowse’s (Problogger) workbook!

  21. Edie, I just commented at GoPetFriendly in response to you and Amy, but I wanted to say here that “putting yourself out there” is scary for me too. I used to worry about this most with my academic blog, spouting what I assumed were truisms for class, only to learn I had interpreted something incorrectly in front of far bigger brains than mine – on literary theory of all things.

    I find the opposite to hold true within the animal community. I’ve been lucky, knock on wood, not to stir any angst – disagreement coming only in the form of healthy debate. I attribute that to the general friendliness of this amazing animal loving community.

    Congratulations on the wonderful response to your project here. I am so thrilled to be taking part and reading the thoughtful responses.

  22. New to your blog, but I just wanted to say I am excited to read it. I am a busy pet owner that worries about my dog’s feelings sometimes more than most people would consider appropriate. I am excited to follow!

    1. Ha — you’re far from the only person who put in the wrong link and now I know how to fix it so this challenge has been educational to me in more than one way.

      Done!

      Now all we have to do is get that guest post thing going. Crazy times.

  23. Like yourself, the tech stuff does not come easily to me, either. I don’t care *how* things work but that they work when I need them. I learned a lot when setting up the retail side of my site, since I pretty much did it all by myself. It wasn’t fun, but the job got done.

    Thanks to you and Amy for setting up the hop. I have been meeting new bloggers all day and frankly, I’m getting a little cross eyed from all the reading. So you are the last stop for the night.

  24. I came over here to put in my link and voila, it’s magically here already! Thank you blog fairy! Great idea Edie and Amy, thank you for the inspiration!

    And I am sorry Frankie is having a hard time. That is so very stressful.

    1. Pamela, my apologies. For some reason, all three of your comments got caught in my spam filter. I only found them this morning. Don’t take it personally. My spam filter seems to trap comments by my pal Mary of Dancing Dog Blog, a frequent commenter, all the time.

      Go figure.

      Anyway, trackbacks simply indicate that someone else has mentioned you and linked to you in a post. Frankly, I’m not sure how they work, and they seem arbitrary. Many people mentioned me and Amy in their posts, but not nearly as many trackbacks showed up.

      Any of you who claimed to embrace tech stuff have an answer to that?

  25. Pingback: Pet Blogger Challenge! » PupLove
    1. Thank you, Shauna. I enjoyed your answers too (yes, I’ve been reading my way through them, just not commenting all the time). I will still read your blog when it’s not about pets!

  26. Pingback: Tweets that mention Will My Dog Hate Me: The State of the Blog 1/10/11 -- Topsy.com
  27. I just wanted to add my 2 cents in and thank you for the challenge. It was fun and informative. And now I have tons of new blogs to follow and explore. I am incredible grateful to all the bloggers that stopped by and commented. A little thrill every time I saw a new comment! Yay!

  28. Thanks for hosting this challenge. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who is frustrated by the technology stuff that doesn’t work the way I think it should! This was a great idea!

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