Monday, January 11, 2016

Pet Blogger Challenge 2016

Join the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 9th, 10th and 11th

This year I'm joining the
Pet Blogger Challenge from GoPetFriendly.com. The challenge is intended  

"to build relationships, share ideas, and support each other".

I hope it will also help me set a focus for where I'm going with Terra Toby in 2016. There are ten questions to answer. Here goes:

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 blogging March 22, 2012. The blog was then called Training Toby and its focus was training Toby to be a therapy dog. Sadly there came a day when the right thing to do for Toby was end his therapy dog service. You can read about that here. Later I changed the blog to Terra Toby, a blog about pets, wildlife, nature, and conservation. 




2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud.
I set a goal in 2015 to increase Terra Toby's social media presence, and I did. In fact by the numbers, Terra Toby is a lot more popular on Facebook and Instagram than the actual blog. I set out to finish the 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge, and though not perfect, I did post for all 52 words. 

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite, and why?
I like all of my {This Moment}See Beautiful posts, but my favorite was "Springtime Everyday Miracles".  It celebrates the return of my favorite season of the year and has a perfect Einstein quote.


4. What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog? 
Facebook has helped a lot. I try to visit every post in the blog hops I join, and most will visit back. That's one way I've found some great new blogs to follow this year.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)
It was "You Are My "Favorites" Giveaway!", part of the 52 Snaps challenge. It had by far the most Google+ shares, comments, and page views. That's probably because one of the entries for the giveaway was to share about it. That's great, but I was even more pleased by the response to my posts about raising a monarch caterpillar, here and here.

6.  What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)
I love all the blogs I follow, but there is one I look forward to every day. KB Bear of Romping and Rolling in the Rockies is an extraordinary photographer living in one of the loveliest places on Earth. She shares about the wildlife she captures on her trail cams and camera and about her dogs, Shyla and R. Positive training, keeping a healthy attitude, eloquent reflections on the beauty all around her - her blog is a daily dose of happiness.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
When I need help with social media I ask  Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever. Rosalyn knows it all and is so kind and generous about helping (hers was the first pet blog I ever read!). Currently I'm learning to use my first DSLR camera using Fundamentals of Photography from The Great Courses. For technical assistance I turn to Google and my daughter Lauren.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
Pay attention to font, grammar, spelling, and image size (large is better). I personally like blogs that make it easy for me to read and enjoy them.

9.What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I'd like to get back a bit of my wildlife focus. Also, having a weekly "must-do" post was motivating and fostered creativity. Now that 52 Snaps is over, I'm thinking of setting my own weekly posts with other posts as the spirit moves. The Second Friday of each month is already See Beautiful. I'm considering a Meat-Free Monday, Wildlife Wednesday, and Thankful Thursday each month. 

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?
Any constructive suggestions would be welcome.

Whew! I need a nap!

23 comments:

  1. Toby is a very beautiful dog! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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  2. Congrats on a great year. I think you have set some great goals. My only suggestion to you would be to make sure that whatever link you put in when you post a comment is correct. There are times when I try to visit bloggers who have left a comment but the link does not work. It makes it hard to track them down.

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    1. Thanks, I'll try harder to avoid that. Maybe the training toby link is coming up (happens with wordpress and gravatar sometimes.)

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  3. Sugar's Mom... Miss Rosalyn knows EVERYTHINGY worth Knowing about stuffs... and she is ALWAYS so KIND to SHARE what she knows with EVERYBUDDY... SHE is the GO TO GAL. FUR SURE.

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    1. Absolutely right, she's a gem. I would never have figured out how to tag on Instagram or how to join a blog hop without her.

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  4. Sadly a lot of people who use to blog started using facebook and such and we never see them blog anymore. We hope the coming year turns out to be everything you want

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    1. Facebook just is the black hole for time spent. It's crazy. Yet I love it for connecting with people…Love/hate relationship. But no replacement for blogging.

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  5. Oh, Sugar's mom has helped us with stuff too! She is super sweet. I sure hope you can find your weekly must-do post...it would be great if you could do a nature theme. It would be perfect! We always enjoy reading your blog so we look forward to 2016 with you. Oh, and if you ever need tech help with crazy blogger, we are always happy to lend a helping paw.
    Oz

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    1. Hmmm, you have my wheels turning…instead of Wildlife Wednesday, maybe WOW - Wilderness Outside Wednesday?

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  6. It was so nice to learn more about you and the blog. That's what I love about the Pet Blogger's Challenge and other blog hops. I'm anxious to come back and nose around a little and I hope you have an amazing 2016!

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    1. Same to you! It is fun to find new blogs.

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  7. Love your blog! The answer to #8 is great; I so agree.

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing all about Nola in 2016 - but please post occasionally about the pack too :) You have my everlasting respect for what you did for Roxie.

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  8. What wonderful goals! I also enjoy your blog and wish you the best for 2016!

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    1. Thank you so much and wishing you the same!

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  9. Congratulations on increasing your social media presence! I like the idea of having a 52 week challenge to maintain consistency on your blog. That's something I might try this year. That is some great advice on font, color, etc. I had a reader this past year tell me she was having trouble with the color of the font on my blog which was a dark grey (part of the template). I updated the font color to black which is much easier to read. All the best to you in 2016!

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    1. Good for you to listen to a reader and be willing to make a change! Thank you for visiting and leaving some encouragement. Best wishes with your blog this year too!

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  10. I absolutely loved your Monarch butterfly posts. They were incredible. I think we are kindred spirits with a combined love of wildlife and our dogs! Thanks for the kind words!

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    1. Thank you, KB! I hope I'll have a chance to interact with more wildlife this year. In the meantime I'll enjoy vicariously byseeing your wildlife encounters :)

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  11. I hope 2016 will be a super year for you... I enjoy the see beautiful posts too... it#s about the little things of life we can see vis this bloghop together :o)

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    1. Yes I try not to miss a month of See Beautiful! Raises my spirits and makes blogging feel like a community of positive thinkers.

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  12. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Toby... and Mom this was a great post....we learned a lot too.
    Hugs madi and mom

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