10 January 2016

The Pet Blogger Challenge 2016

Today I found out about The Pet Blogger Challenge and I thought I'd give it a go. Thanks to Collie222 for leaving a comment on my previous post that made me wonder what this "Pet Blogger Challenge" was, and thanks in turn to The Daily Pip for mentioning me in their Challenge post. Without further ado...

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

I have been blogging, dear help me, for almost six years. I began to form an interest in websites and photography, and after a few false starts, I made this blog in March 2010.

My blog is mainly photographs of the dogs and the sheep that live here on Greenhill Farm - that was, until Blue Belle the pony arrived in June last year. Between her and Suckie, they have begun a stealth takeover...

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

2015 was the year I got back into the groove of blogging. Like anything, sometimes your interest can flag a little. I never abandoned the blog, but I didn't post quite as much. In 2015 I seemed to go a bit mad.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

The Walk Isn't Over..., for one of the most stunning sunsets I have seen in a long time. It was a wonderful evening.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

One thing that was beneficial for my blog was to join Haynet, a blogging network for the "equine and country life world". I've found some great blogs through that, and I was even shortlisted for their Blogger of the Year 2015.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

A Sticky Post has a whopping 228 views to date. I think this is because the title (a pun on how the post was about the dogs helping with cutting sticks for winter) makes people think it's some sort of announcement? Or something. I don't know.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

I can't pick one! I suppose, since this about 2015, I should choose one I started reading this year. Dachshund Nola is just a wonderful blog. The photography is stunning, the dogs adorable, and there's an emotional depth to many posts. Well worth a look.

Other blogs I love are: The Daily Pip, My Shetland, and Punkin's Patch. I feel bad for not making a list, so just have a look under Brilliant Blogs in the sidebar for every brilliant blog that I follow.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

I rely on my camera! My photos are all stored on Flickr these days, as I found it more user-friendly than Photobucket. Writing, I've always enjoyed anyway, but I try to let my photos do the talking. As for social media, to me "Find us on Facebook" is one of the most irritating sentences. Maybe because it is everywhere and I see it all the time. I know a presence on social media would be good for extra traffic, I steadfastly refuse to join in.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Set yourself some rules. I have several rules for my blog that have built up over the years:

- No "text speak".
- No swearing.
- Maximum of one post per day.
- Every post must contain at least one photo.
- Keep the labelling system coherent.
- Text and photos are centered within the posts.

Following these rules keeps my blog neat and tidy, and in turn keeps me happy.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

My vision for my blog this year is to keep going, basically. I would also like to try a few new things photography-wise - no idea what they are yet, but the year is young. And if I pick up a few more fans in the process, I would welcome them wholeheartedly.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

I can't think of anything at the moment... oh dear - what a waste of an opportunity!

The Pet Blogger Challenge 2016 Blog Hop hosted by:
Go Pet Friendly Blog

Join the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 9th, 10th and 11th

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  1. Well, you have one new follower in us! I'm glad you joined the challenge!

  2. So excited to have discovered your blog through the challenge! I'm so excited to see more pictures of your border collies!

  3. you have a delightful blog and I can't believe since I have been blogging over six years (on my cat blog) and almost 5 years on my dog blog that I didn't discover you until this year. Maybe, even if we aren't "brilliant" blogs you will one day give us a try. Happy New Year! DakotasDen

  4. I found your blog late last year and I really enjoy the posts and wonderful images. Wishing you a wonderful and even more successful 2016!

  5. I wish I'd found you sooner! I love your photography!

  6. I am so glad you done this, otherwise I would have never found your blog. I love your work, keep it up :D

  7. I love your photography! I'm trying to improve mine by taking a class this semester. I like your list of rules. I think I might do something similar for my blog. Best of luck to you in 2016!