Today, I’m joining many of my favourite pet bloggers, and participating in the 6th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge. The aim is to celebrate our successes from 2015, share what we’ve learnt and set our vision for the coming year. So, grab yourself a cuppa tea or coffee, sit back and read on as I share my reflections from 2015 and plans for the coming year.
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 started the Pawesome Cats blog in October 2013, just over 2 years ago. My goal is to promote responsible cat ownership and provide cat owners with information and advice to help them care for, understand and enjoy life with their cats. Most articles are about helping cats live happy, healthy lives.
2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?
In August, I mastered how to make homemade raw-food from scratch. This may not seem like a ‘big deal’ to some of you, but initially, I was overwhelmed by the raw recipe choices for cats, confused by the imperial to metric conversions and fearful of getting the balance wrong. As someone who rarely eats red meat, I wasn’t overjoyed at the thought of having to handle raw meat, muscle (heart) and organs (liver and kidney) either – but the health of my cats comes first. I knew that there were a lot of other cat owners, nervous about dipping their toes into the world of raw feeding, so I wrote a series of articles, and shared the balanced raw recipe I use on the blog. You can read it here: Balanced Raw Recipe for Cats + Supplements.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why?
There are a few blog posts in my list of favourites from 2015. I am proud of the Declawing Cats: It’s Not Just a Manicure! article because it’s an important topic and writing about the issue of declawing is one of the best ways to raise awareness amongst cat owners and help bring about change. On a less serious note, 8 Things that Cats and Teenagers Have in Common is also one of my favourites from 2015, and is guaranteed to make you smile.
4. What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
I’ve increased my focus on social media. I have figured out what works for me and what doesn’t, including the best times and days to post content to maximise reader interaction. My new social media promotion strategy has resulted in an increase in traffic and referrals particularly from Facebook and Pinterest.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular?
Why Does my Cat Have a Flabby Tummy? received the most traffic this year, with almost 30,000 page views in 2015. I guess there must be a lot of cats out there with saggy, hanging bellies just like Charlie who inspired this article back in November 2013.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader?
There isn’t a single blog that I read religiously, rather there are a lot of blogs that I follow and read selectively. Like many bloggers who juggle full-time work, blogging and family, it’s hard to find time to read as much as I’d like. Ultimately though, a blog article has to grab my attention in the first paragraph and be written in a way that maintains my interest to encourage me to read to the end. Two blogs that do this well and I enjoy reading are Sometimes Cats Herd You and My Kid Has Paws, so when I visit, I tend to read multiple posts to catch up.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
I am always researching topics of interest to improve aspects of my blog, so Google is my best friend. I also subscribe to ProBlogger and am involved in a few blogging Facebook groups which are great forums to ask questions and share ideas.
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
Be authentic. As pet bloggers, I believe that we have a responsibility to our readers to be honest and to only promote, support and endorse products and services that we believe in, and would use ourselves or for our pets. I understand the lure of sponsorship, or free products and pet food in return for promotion, but if you’re promoting something you don’t wholeheartedly believe in, your integrity as a blogger goes out the window and you can’t get this back.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I have plans to branch out into a few new areas in 2016, to provide additional resources for pet parents who want to give their cats the best possible life. I am currently writing my first e-book, and am looking at other collaboration opportunities.
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?
If you read a Pawesome Cats blog post, and you love it – please SHARE. At the same time, if you’ve written a blog post that you think is relevant to Pawesome Cats readers and they’d enjoy, post it on the Pawesome Cats Facebook page, so I can introduce my readers to your blog.
Thanks for stopping by today. If you haven’t visited Pawesome Cats before, please say hello and introduce yourself or share a comment below.