My 10th Blog Anniversary and Pet Blogger Challenge!

Can you tell I am wearing my thinking cap? Happily, it is invisible!

I’ve never done the Pet Blogger Challenge before and thought it would be fun to answer these questions… although I did have to think hard about some of them! This is a good time because although I do not know the exact day, this month marks my 10 year blogging anniversary!

1. When did you begin your blog?
Official or non-official? My first post is dated October 2002, but I did not really go live until January 2003!

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
It was mainly meant to be a diary of my activities and only updated once a month. There were just a handful of kitties doing this at the time, and I didn’t even know about them!

3. Is your current purpose the same?
Not at all!

If not, what’s different?
My Diary is only one section of my blog. I also give cat-to-cat advice, review books, promote cat rescue and write about cool kitty events and products. Plus I am an author and a model with my own calendar line.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
I am not anywhere near the goal I wanted to reach, which was to be one of the most famous kitties on the internet! With cats like Sockington and Sparta the Mean Kitty from a few years back, and now Tard the Grumpy Cat, Henri and Oskar the Blind Kitten, I have to say the competition has always been tough! I also am nowhere near where I want to be with my book sales. I am perpetually dissatisfied and always trying to figure out how to be better, and do better.

4. How often do you post?
I post every day. Sometimes more than once if there is something good going on, or if I have a new item in my Zazzle store that I want to write about.

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
Like most cats, I thrive on routine, so I stick to a schedule. Also, my human is an old-school journalist and editor (magazine and newspaper), and she is used to working on a deadline. So we are both very comfortable with having a schedule.

If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?
I believe if you want to be successful at any form of writing, including blogging (and I do!), it is important to have a schedule and a plan. I am very strict about deadlines — I do not let my human go to bed before my daily blog post is finished and uploaded! There is always a new topic, but if I am really stuck, there is usually a good photo or two of me or Binga or Boodie around somewhere.

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your tips for staying on top of it all.
I am not really sure how much time I spend. I am actually trying to get better organized and do my non-time-driven or spontaneous posts one day a week. I do spend a lot of time visiting other blogs, as many kitties know… I seem to be famous for leaving comments everywhere! I try to schedule my visiting times too, and if I feel I am taking too long, my human sets a timer so I know when to stop!

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
I use all three criteria to gauge the success of my blog posts! And if a post does not hit two out of three of these (comments and traffic), I start thinking about what I can do that will bring more comments, traffic and sharing. Not every post can become viral, but I have a base number that I consider the minimum and it really bugs me to fall below that.

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
Sharing is a good criteria of a blog post’s success — it’s important to have a post that is good enough to share. And if the comments are thought-out and passionate, that is also a good gauge of a blog post’s success. Usually if those two are there, the numbers follow.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I am always trying to figure out how to reach a bigger audience — it has been difficult for me to come up with a way to reach the next level!

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
I do want to break through my traffic plateau to reach more readers! And this is not wholly blog-oriented, but I am working on a new book: Cat Rules (for Humans to Live By). It is going to look a lot like my 2013 wall calendar, only with lots more rules! I also have something big planned, but it is in the early stages so I can’t really talk about it right now. Stay tuned!

* * *
Having problems with your human or the other cats in your house? As the internet’s “Dear Abby With Claws,” Sparkle had answers to many annoying problems in her two award-winning books! Visit her author’s page on Amazon to buy one or both of her awesome Dear Sparkle books!

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  1. says

    Fabulous Sparkle!
    First concats on 10 years wow that is superb on the length of time you’ve been blogging. We started in 2005, so we are 3 years behind you! We always come right over and read your posts every single time we are online! Here’s to your next 10 and beyond!

  2. Fuzzy Tales says

    Congratulations on ten blogging years, Sparkle. That’s absolutely amazing. You and your human work *very* hard — it’s actually rather mind-boggling to us. Kudos to you both!

    We wish you all the success you desire in 2013, and wish you many, many more years of blogging.

  3. says

    Concats on 10 blogging years!!!!!!
    That is pretty amazing 😮
    You are certainly motivated and not at all lazy like our Mom :/
    We wish you big success and wish we had great ideas to help you get there.
    Purrs 2013 will be a successful year!!!!!!
    Purrs Tillie and Georgia,
    Treasure,Tiger, JJ and Julie

  4. says

    Concats on 10 wonderful years of blogging Sparkle. We always make a point of visiting every day although the past month we haven’t been able to comment as much as usual. We are hoping to get mum back on track again.

  5. says

    Concatulations on 10 years of blogging Sparkle! We think you’re very famous and are proud of all you have accomplished! We also love your comments since you’re always up with the early birds (or the late owls, however you want to look at it) and are one of the first to comment every day. We can’t wait to see what you are planning for this year!

  6. says

    Congratulations on 10 years, Sparkle! You’re one of the pioneers and that’s something to be very proud of. We always marvel at how dedicated and thoughtful you are in visiting and commenting on so many other blogs…including ours.

    I hope your human will be doing something extra special for you in celebration of your accomplishments!
    xo, Katie

  7. says

    Congrats on 10 years Miss Sparkle !
    OMC ! I didn’t know you are blogging for this long and I couldn’t believe you not reach your goal ! For Me, you are Famous, Miss Sparkle ! and I always amazed what you have done like Glogirly & Katie just said. You are a Legend !

  8. says

    Concats, Sparkle! What an accomplishment! We never thought about how hard working you and your mom are, we’ve just enjoyed your posts, Here’s to continued success, and more audience/ traffic! Best wishes!

    We wonder how many “real” writers are bloggers, instead of crazy people who just can’t stop talking like our mom. (You can tell she doesn’t know anything about writing by her lack of style and boring delivery.)

  9. says

    Many, many congratulations to you on your blogging anniversary. And maybe we better tip our tails to your Human too. We must confess to being very proud that we regularly receive comments from you, as yours is one of the blogs we use as a ‘role model’ – as well,of course, as just admiring the photos. I don’t quite believe I said that to a girlcat. Ahem, but anyway, we will make sure we reread this post as there is so much interesting info in it.
    But above all, at the centre of it, is one very handsome feline and we hope you have a great blogoversary with lots of tasty treats to celebrate you!

  10. says

    Dear Sparkle,
    Mommy remembers reading Cat blogs way back when. She had to writes a blog for the software company she was working for then and she gots a lot out of reading the pet blogs! (Yours was one) She learned lots – Like how to get peoples to reads what yous is writing! Rock on Sparkle and Mommy!
    Thanks yous for being the blogger yous is!
    Nellie and Mommy!

  11. says

    Happy Blogaversary! What a milestone! We loved your pet blogger challenge. You have very lofty goals. :) Our human is much more lazy and just blogs for relaxation and if she can help some friend out, even better. We can’t wait to read more of your books. Keep them coming!

  12. says

    Sparkle, You are kitteh Goddess. You are so high energy and driven and goal-oriented. Shoot. I’m lucky if my Human has a picture that’s (mostly) in focus and I have a sentence or three of musings to share. I bow at the paws of Your Blogging Awesomeness.

  13. says

    Congratulations Sparkle. We love having you visit us on our blog, although we are not famous. We think you are wonderfully talented as a cat model and author and your advice is spot on for humans and cats.
    Continue the good work!!!
    Princess Aurora (Shubunkin)

  14. says

    That is terrific, ten years. Wow, that is one long time. We do enjoy your blog a lot and you do such a good job going around commenting on everyone’s blog. I would have to say that we think you are very very famous. Who doesn’t know who Sparkle is.
    Have a great day.

  15. says

    Sparkle. Whatever makes you think you are not famous?! You were in on starting this whole huge movement of pet bloggers! You are the real deal. Happy 10th – how awesome is that?

  16. says

    yoW! Sparkle, we didn’t realize you’ve been blogging for 10 years! Concats! We really enjoy the mix of your blog and we’re glad to know you through the blogosphere :)

    Pip, Smidgen, Minnie, Hollie

  17. says

    Oh wow! 10 years of blogging! Concats, Sparkle. There is soooo much that SS can learn from you, lazy person that she is. Just look at our sadly neglected blog…….

    Don’t suppose your mom wants to adopt Charlotte. Just mieowing.

  18. says

    Wow, 10 years is fantastic and something to be very proud of! You have a fantastic blog and we view you as one of the most famous, professional, successful and creative cats and cat blogs out there. (I hopes you get some KFC for theese special anniversary/blogoversary! You sure deserve it!) And we also love that you are so successful and still take the time to visit and comment on other kitties’ blogs and that is really special as are you and your Human. Rock on Sparkle!

  19. says

    Concats on 10 years of blogging! Wow…I wasn’t even a twinkle in my daddy cat’s eyes then…heck, even my daddycat may not have been around way back then.

    We love you Sparkle!

  20. says

    Those of us starting out have THE best role model – no ennui for our Sparkle 😉 Good luck for the next 10 years AND thanks you for your tremendous support of us aspiring bloggers!

  21. says

    Congratulations on your blogiversary and thanks so much for taking part in the Challenge, Sparkle! Your plans for 2013 are very intriguing and I’m looking forward to following along to see what your plans are.

    Moving to the next level is an interesting topic. I think it would probably require that you start writing for Google, meaning following the SEO rules and working hard to get search engine traffic. The downside is that the search engine traffic is transitory and it’s likely those people will read one post and never come back. Your level of engagement might suffer in exchange for more hits and I don’t think that would be an improvement to your blog. It’s a difficult tightrope to walk and I wish you lots of success in 2013.

  22. says

    Hi! I’m just belatedly stopping by from the challenge. It’s great to hear how your blog has developed over time. I hope I get to achieve elusive traffic goals in 2013, too. Happy blogging. :)

  23. says

    That’s awesome Sparkle! 10 years! Congratulations!

    I’m not too sure how to move to the next level. When you find the answer can you let me know :) I think for me reaching the next level would be putting some kind of product or service on my blog. I’m really not sure yet.

    Good luck reaching your goals in 2013!

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