Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wherein I Reveal My Blogging Secrets

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Today, I am participating in the second annual Pet Blogger Challenge, an exercise (in answering a list of questions) designed to build camaraderie within the pet blogging community, as well as - as I see it - to provide honest (and if necessary, blunt) insight to others, who might just be starting out or for whom sharing similar success and/or frustration with maintaining a pet-related blog would be therapeutic beneficial. (In lay terms: You might feel better about yourself after reading this.) Thank you to Edie at Will My Dog Hate Me and Amy at GoPetFriendly.com for arranging this special event.

The Chronicles of Cardigan was only two weeks old during the 2011 challenge, so this is my first time participating.

Here goes.

When did you begin your blog?
December 29, 2010

What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
To share my pets - especially the dogs, Jon Farleigh and Dewi - with the world. I'd also hoped to slide in a few humorous no-pet-content (kids, life, etc.) posts as well. That is why I didn't name the blog something blatantly pet-related, and why my tag line includes the words "a smattering of everything."

Is your current purpose the same?
I haven't written a post without pet content since last Mother's Day and can count on one hand the number of cat-only posts since then. Other than that, yes.

The reason why I don't write about life and cats more often? Hardly anyone reads those posts, and I feel like I'm talking to myself. Well, that and the dogs' lives are more interesting to write about.

One of my early captions:
[In the vet's parking lot.]
Dewi to Jon: "Hey, dude, how's my drivin?"
Jon to Dewi: "I think we're parked, man."

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

If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it?
Unless otherwise announced in advance, I post every weekday. I posted seven-days-a-week until last March.

I gave up weekends because my family time was suffering. I continue to post each weekday for a few reasons:

  • I can. I'm a stay-at-home parent of school-aged kids.
  • It's fun (unless I've suddenly got a busy day, like today, in which case, I might stress out and want to drop kick the blog out the window, because I can't bring myself to miss a day unannounced). For the record, however, I have NO problem scheduling time off, when needed.
  • No one has complained.
  • I get consistent blog traffic each day. Read: Somebody must think it's worth a click and glance.
  • I have a few dear, dear readers who've shared that they visit every day (and miss me when I'm on a break). 
  • It has done wonders for my confidence and writing skills, in that order.
Other than the tinge of guilt I might feel for missing a day or two, I think treating the blog as less of a personal memoir, and more like an entertainment venue (or vocation - I'm totally serious), helps me to stick to a schedule.

Are you generating income from your blog?
Yes, I'm a member of the BlogHer|BlogPaws Publishing Network. (I've written about this before, here.) I earn a small (emphasis on small) commission for each page load (when there is a paid ad available). When there is no paid ad available, a pet-related public service ad appears in its place. 

And here's the part where I'm going to be brutally honest: I don't earn nearly enough. The fact is, when/if I need to re-enter the workforce, I will have to cut (way) back the blogging, and that makes me sad.

We would like a new, LARGER chair included in our 2012 contract.

What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?
Yes, it's cliche, but it's the instant connection with other, like-minded people. I don't know too many other pet-crazed, poop joke-loving people in real life. [big smile] Well, that and I like to create things with words. And I'm a wise-cracking ham. Who's quiet as a church mouse in person. 

Why do I like my blog? Because I can be a pet-crazed, poop joke-telling, wise-cracking ham, while hiding behind my computer screen. Have I mentioned how much I love my blog friends/readers?

What do you like least?
The fact that I gained 10 pounds from sitting too much, followed closely by feeling chained to the computer at times - especially during summer. 

How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
I blog by the seat of my pants some days, so I'm having a hard time with this question. Although, I have been toying around with making some Jon Farleigh and Dewi t-shirts - for the die hard fans (all five of us). 



  1. HAHAHA! I'm first in line. I've been waiting for you Mother of JF and Dooo-weee and c.a.t.

    No one reads cat posts? I'm in deep poop then because my very next post will be about c.a.t.s Though I might save myself because the one after that will be about pee and poop.

    Enough about me though. Yes, I can see you nodding.

    HERE are my observations and questions -
    Why are the poor wee doggie's ears taped up? We appear to have similar "carefree" lives. It's well documented that I've put on weight too. I didn't know you made money off your blog. Cheeky. And I know you might not believe this - but I am in real life a rather unsociable person and quite shy too.

    Stop laughing please.

    Okay, I'd better let other keen beans get a look in. I'm so glad to know you Ms E :) x

    1. GLP's Typist - People certainly will read the c.a.t. stuff when GLP is all through it. Try posting something with only the c.a.t.s. :)

      Answers: The tape was to help his ears prick up. Have you seen how big those ears are? Also, "carefree"? :) Only Brazilians know the true meaning of that.

      I've seen you make a comment or two about being an introvert (at Pamela's blog), so I guess I knew, but I certainly wouldn't have known it otherwise!

  2. Those poop posts do spur interest don't they? :)

  3. see..we newbies can learn from this...i like that i can feel free to hide behind a computer, possibly even fly by the seat of mom's pants and even post about poop and still have followers...that is all really good news! Whew! I started blogging for fun, and it's hard sometimes to find the time to blog because mom is always hogging the computer for work. I guess if I were really good at it, she could quit her day job, but then I would just want longer walks and playtime. I love your blog. You inspire me and we all need that!

    1. Scrappy - Yes, stupid, impulsive poop stories might keep you in the blog business for a long time to come. Glad I could help! ;)

  4. "quiet as a church mouse" really? You're much too entertaining to be quiet in person :) I'd like to verify this in some time over a cup of coffee!

    Oh, I wanted to know why his ears are taped too! (silly pet people!)

    1. Julie - Well maybe not THAT quiet, but definitely soft-spoken. Not too soft-spoken to go for coffee though. My favorite! It's just kind of a long drive to Oregon from here. :(

  5. Great answers! I love your blog!

  6. Replies
    1. BeBe - I have the t-shirt ideas in my head but am NOT a t-shirt designer, so I'm avoiding going online to get it done. :( Thanks though! Your $5 for pretending like you want one is in the mail. hehe

  7. OH, I feel so clever because I know why Dewi's ears are taped up;) I used to have the opposite problem of trying to get prick ears down when I had Shelties:)

    I too am unsociable and shy in the real world, and my blogging is a bit the same. I admire people like you who can make writing about poop interesting and funny:) I don't think anybody would be interested in reading a post about how I pulled a 12" long piece of poopy grass out of Beryl's bum yesterday! I hasten to add I did hunt around and found a decent sized leaf to aid me in the operation:)

    Great post:)

    1. Sue - You ARE clever. My dad has a Sheltie, but they didn't tape his ears, so they're not folded at the tips.

      Blogs are a great outlet for the less outspoken of the world, right? As observers, there's a lot going in our brains that needs to come out. :) Even if it's about poop.

      I disagree about the 12" poopy grass (WRETCH..GAG), by the way. I would've laughed myself silly. Poor Beryl.

  8. We also are not posting on weekends. It interferes with our weekend adventures. No adventures = nothing to blog ab out during the week, Ha, ha. We didn't know you when you used to post about cats :)

    1. Jessica - All blogging should be contingent upon fun weekend adventures!

  9. First, a confession. Do you remember the SNL video for Lazy Sunday? Every time I see the name of your blog, I sing "the Chronic(what?)cles of Cardigan..."

    Loved your post for the challenge - your blog is consistently entertaining and one of my favorite places to visit. I'm pretty sure that our senses of humor were separated at birth or something. :)

    Looking forward to more in 2012!

    1. Bwahahahahahaha! The Chronic WHAT? cles of Cardigan! Now I'm gonna be doing it, too - with the head bops and all! (Thanks a lot.)

      Thanks for being so kind (truth). I've dropped your $5 in the mail. :)

  10. Oh, and sign me up for a shirt too! :)

  11. First, just to make the other commenters jealous, I've had the good fortune to meet Elizabeth in person on a couple of occasions, and can attest to her quietness in person :-)

    And Elizabeth, you are not allowed to go back to a paying job, we would all miss your blog too much!

    1. Taryn - I've printed your comment for use at tax time. I think the other half might actually go for it. :)
      Thanks, as always, for being so nice - and egging me on.

  12. Yes to t-shirts! Yes to poop-jokes! Yes to more cat posts!

    I love visiting your blog and try to as much as is humanly possible. Your posts are always to light-hearted and funny and you cheer me up when I am feeling headdesk-banging stressed. I love your perspective on things and have no idea how you have children and cats and two silly dogs when I can barely manage with one.

    Introverts of the world unite! (Except not, because we'd probably be too scared to actually show up to meetings. :-P)

    1. Kristine - Okay, I'll send you $10 for all that nice stuff you typed, but that's where I draw the line. ;)

      Also, I live in controlled chaos. I delegate A LOT. And my kids might need therapy later in life. So there.

  13. Poop posts are always the best! BOL!

  14. It's nice to meet you Elizabeth! I really enjoyed your post. I think that's one of the best things about this blog hop is meeting other bloggers who are pet-crazed, poop joke-telling, wise-cracking hams hiding behind computer screens!

    1. Vicki - Nice to meet you, too. You're a wise-cracking ham who likes poop jokes, too? Yay! ;)

  15. good questions and answers...we like reading your stuff
    Benny & Lily

  16. Are there really people out there who don't like poop jokes? Well, who needs 'em??

    I do think the dogs have a point on needing a larger chair. Perhaps even a love seat. =)

    Thanks for joining the Challenge and I hope 2012 is fantastic for you.

    1. Amy - Thank you for co-hosting this event and for stopping by! They dogs would LOVE a loveseat; unfortunately, however, they'd want the same corner.:)

  17. i love that you said you blog five days a week because you can. that is exactly why i do not blog five days a week--because i can't. if i could, i would. i tried it, and it was just too time consuming. when i hit the lotto and quit my job, i will start blogging every day. :-)

  18. Lauren - You would blog everyday if you hit the Lotto? :) Now THAT'S what I call dedication. (kidding - I know what you meant) :)

  19. Thanks for taking part in the Pet Blogger's Challenge! It's been so much fun for me to be reminded of all the cool pet blogs out there, including yours.

    (I agree that dogs are more interesting. Shhhh.)

    1. Edie - Thank you for co-hosting the Challenge and for making it over to my borrowed Internet space. :) Will My Dog Hate Me? was the first other-than-Corgi dog blog I added to my blogroll and I have enjoyed following you and Frankie's goings-on (among other things). You will be missed, but we wish you all the best in your exciting new adventure.

  20. It's taking me so long to read everyone's posts. I'm so sorry that I'm late.

    That's why I'd like to make it up to you by offering to send you some poop. Since you find it so inspiring and it's just wasted on me, i want to make sure it goes to good use.

    I'll get Honey working on it right away. And maybe I an include a foster puppy poo bonus. :)

    I've loved meeting and getting to know more about your, poop and all. :)

    Any chance your family would let you go to BlogPaws in Salt Lake City?

    1. Pamela - I read all the posts over several days, but left nearly no comments. So please, no worries - although the poo offer is so darn tempting. With 10 living, pooping beings in the house, extra would just go to waste. ;)

      As for BlogPaws, I threw it out to the Other Half in a casual conversation, and he said when monkeys fly. I'd have to get a paying job and quit the blog to swing it. Such a bummer.

  21. We came across your blog from the pet blogger challenge. I love pet-crazed, poop joke-telling, wise-cracking hams. I'll have to stop by your blog more often. A seven day a week schedule is tough, but I think I'm going to give it a try starting in February. We'll see how long I last. All the best to you in 2012!


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