Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On 2012, Blogging and Elephants in the Room

(Cryptic) Note: For those who've seen the teaser I added to the Linky List, thanks for coming back; I hope it's worth the click. ;-)

A year ago January 10, I published Wherein I Reveal My Blogging Secrets, my first attempt at the Pet Blogger Challenge, a blog hop collaboration between Amy Burkert, owner/author of Go Pet Friendly (dot) com and its blog, Take Paws, and Edie Jarolim, author of the book Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew and its (now retired) blog Will My Dog Hate Me?. Today (5 days late, but with several excellent excuses), I make my second attempt (thanks, Amy).

I'll be sticking to the Q&A format, since the thought of writing a narrative makes me want to self-medicate with bloody Mary(s) Irish coffee peanut butter and chocolate.


1. How long have you been blogging?
Slightly over two years, but it feels more like 12. (Not that that's bad!)

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year's post?
I only had one (sort of) and that was to market some Jon Farleigh and Dewi t-shirts. I did that (by setting up a Cafe Press blog store). Wisely, I did not include t-shirt sales as a goal. ;-) (The stuff's just way too expensive. And also, I'm no t-shirt designer.)
3. Have your goals changed over the past year?
4. How often do you post?

(Hold on, I should probably first [formally] introduce you to my "elephant," Shirley. As in, Shirley you've noticed a change in my posting frequency!)
About once a week (down from every weekday in 2011)...and I have worked hard to get to this point!
The truth is, I've spent much of this last year trying to recover from a gruesome case of blog burnout (the pinnacle of which occurred when I wrote this post, which I should aptly re-title "A Newbie Blogger's Cautionary Tale"). Or maybe it was blog addiction. At any rate, I came inches away from walking away from this (virtual) space, but after some drastic changes in blogging habits (including posting less - for now), I have grown more attached to the blog, as a creative outlet, than ever before. 
5.  If you post "as the spirit moves you" (vs. on a schedule), why? How do you think this affects your audience? How do you know when something is "post-worthy"?
A. Because on a schedule, the "spirit" was moving me to beat my blog with a rubber hose.
B. I expect most of my audience isn't affected at all (some might even welcome fewer posts to read). One or two, though, might miss the daily posting. ;-( 
C. When I can't get it out of my head.  
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Can you share some tips for keeping on top of it all?

(Wait! Do you see the other..."ELEPHANT"? Yeah, that's Ima. As in, Ima SELFISH [recovering blog addict] TART for not commenting on your blogs [or replying to most of my own blog comments]. Please refer to #4 and accept my lowly apology.)
A. 2-5 hours (double if I'm forced to write it using my stupid mini notebook, like now)
B. 2-5 hours of lurking (I use a blog reader - Feedly - in Google Chrome.)
C. That's funny!
7.  How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
A published post is a "successful" post. :-) As for the blog, "success" is such a subjective term. I'd be lying if I said I'd keep writing even if no one bothered to read. I need an audience (for accountability and feedback). This blog has done huge things for my self-confidence (as a creative writer) and my writing/social media skills. It's the reason why I've gotten involved with fostering and volunteering at a local animal shelter. And then, there are all of you (reading this when you could be pinning or shopping on Etsy, for example). I suppose if that's not success, I'm exceptionally blessed as a blogging failure.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community to help with one issue you're having with your blog, what would it be?
I'd ask for patience, but not with the blog, with me. 
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
To have fun! To tell inappropriate and embarrassing tales! To upload way too many photos of my pets! But mostly, to simply keep posting (until the ideas run out...or a Cardigan Welsh Corgi jumps a wakeboard over a shark, whichever comes first)!
Thanks for reading and for being awesome!


Have you seen all these other insightful "Challenge" posts?


  1. Yep most important bit is to have fun and enjoy. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Mollly

  2. I enjoyed this post enough to go back and read the ones you've linked to and add you to my Google Reader...You have a writing style i admire...I've been trying to achieve this kind of informality and conversational tone and have not yet succeeded this well...

  3. Thank YOU for being awesome!

    I have missed you and wondered what's been going on. To be honest though, as much as I adore you and your blog, I'm one of those people that kind of appreciates the once or twice a week post. (I feel guilty that I can't get around to every blog post on every blog every day...)

    Your post had me laughing out loud and, quite honestly, getting a little choked up by your honesty and how readily I can relate to much of what you're saying.

    I hope you know, no matter how often or infrequently you post, we will be here looking forward to reading what you have to say. :hugs:

  4. I love your definition of success and could kick myself for not looking at it that way much sooner. You are so very right. This is why I love the Pet Blogger Challenge!

    I am glad you stuck with it despite feeling not so very happy and will be reading your posts no matter how often they appear. Your sense of humour is so similar to my own. Good to know you found your "zone" and won't be disappearing yet!

  5. I for one miss your posts. I liked the link from last years post too..interesting stuff on there.

  6. I always enjoy your posts. I'm happy to read them on whatever schedule you wanna post 'em. Just keep 'em coming.

    And, yes, it's all about enjoying. One of my NY's/blogging resolutions is simply to "enjoy more."

  7. Great answers. I like your definition of success - just getting a post up. I haven't even had the time to write my pet blogger challenge post. I still intend to and just be fashionably late to the party. Thanks for sharing with us...and your writing is so much wittier than mine :)

  8. Elizabeth, you are amazing, and I've missed your posts so much! You are one blogger who is guaranteed to make me laugh - loudly in inappropriate places. Don't ever stop. Take the time you need, slow down on the number of posts -- but don't ever go away. You're vital to the sanity of our society!!

    p.s. - wasn't there also the elephant about the BlogHer ads? LOL

  9. Hi Elizabeth, and thanks for taking the Pet Blogger Challenge again this year. I adore your answer for saying on top of it all - made me laugh out loud. I remember that feeling of being bullied by my blog and I admire you for knowing your limits and finding balance rather than walking away from it altogether. And getting involved in fostering and volunteering at the animal shelter - good for you! You're making a difference in real life and your readers will be here whenever you have time to post. Have a fantastic 2013 - you're an inspiration!

  10. This was so worth the wait! I think one of the last comments I made on a former blog of yours was that I might have to stop reading it or I am going to go out and adopt a Corgi. What I meant was, I love your blog and your dogs so so much! I hope I didn't add to your almost quitting. Your writing is great, funny, and in tune with your readers. I doubt any of us will just go away. We will wait. No pressure.

  11. I enjoy every single one of your posts, no matter how often you post them! Glad you participated . ..I can't wait to see way too many pictures of your fur kids!

  12. Nice to meet you on the pet blogger challenge. :) My favourite posts from the challenge have been those that link to their other posts, especially ones as thoughtful as your 'cautionary tale'. Thanks, and all the best for 2013.

  13. I love reading your posts and seeing adventure pix of Dewi and JF. But I don't love it more than I love knowing you're happy, feeling creative, and having fun.

    Your writing is clever and funny. Your pictures are wonderful. You have a gift that I'm glad you share with us--whenever you feel like sharing it.

    Keep it fun, for yourself. And I'm sure it will be fun for us.

  14. I don't think you have to worry about jumping the shark - although a photo of Dewi or JF doing that would prove entertaining. :)

    I absolutely adore your posts - you're absolutely hilarious and I smile every time I stop by. Whatever you do with this space, and however often you do it, I'm sure it will still be great! :)


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