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!
See all of Summer’s merch at her Designercat Shop, available on Zazzle.