Tuesday, January 10, 2012

• 2012 Pet Blogger Challenge

I’m participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge, an annual event hosted by Will My Dog Hate Me and GoPetFriendly. Edie Jarolim (Will My Dog) and Amy Burkhert (GoPet) compiled a list of questions to help pet bloggers examine their practices and goals, then invited the entire pet blogging community to participate. It’s a way for us to gauge our progress, vow to do better, and thank our readers.

Q) What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
A) I started this blog in May 2011. I was getting serious about my business, Emmy the Pet Sitter, and I saw a blog as a subtle way to advertise. In the guise of informing or amusing people, I planned to mention my business. I also saw the blog as a way for current and potential customers to get to know me. Over the past nine months I’ve blogged on a wide variety of subjects. Because I don’t pet sit as often as I’d like to, I didn’t post many blogs about pet sitting.

Q) Is your current purpose the same? If not, what’s different? If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
A) It is said that to be a successful blogger, one must become an expert in one subject. I ought to address topics of interest to pet sitters or to people who need pet sitters. I think that my blog could start dialogs with sitters and owners. I’d like to learn from them and pass along tips. Ultimately, it’s all about everyone improving our services to pets.

Q) Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
A) As the spirit moves me, and spirit is capricious. By using this method, I worry I won’t get new traffic.

Q) Are you generating income from your blog?
A) No. I like a clean web page with just my text and photos.

Q) What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular?
A) I can write about what I want to! I worked for a publisher for more than 30 years and wrote copy, but always something that someone else wanted. Now I can blog about my hamster, Maggie, racing in the Petco annual hamster races. My favorite blogs were those I wrote for BlogPaws participants coming to the 2011 BlogPaws social media conference in Tysons Corner, Virginia. I knew that what I was covering was useful. My post on dog-friendly dining has 146 page views, the highest number of my 33 posts.

Q) What do you like least?
A) The pressure to write. Brainstorming topics for seems like a lot of work—and I didn’t want my blog to be work! (Obviously, it’s work. And I need to work at it.) And . . . Hello! Who are you, reader? Do you read me? Am I helpful? Blog stats don't give me a feel for readers.

Q) How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
A) Online, I see the “big picture” addressed: What should a pet owner look for in a pet sitter? Should a pet sitter be insured? But I haven’t seen basic, practical tips for making the pet sitting experience a success. For example, pet owners should prepare a packet for sitters in case their pet escapes when they're not home. Pet sitters should prepare for the jarring emotional reality if a pet under their care is injured.

The Bottom Line
I love combining my writing and photography into updates for pet owners: daily blogs, journals, or videos. My primary focus is there. And I'll try to focus my blog on the topic of pet sitting. Four paws up to Edie Jarolim and Amy Burkhert for the inspiration!!


  1. I had no idea you posted a friendly-dining post! I'm definitely going to link to that! Thank you!

  2. I'm so glad you decided to join the challenge, Emmy! I think your idea for a blog that hosts the conversation between pet owners and pet sitters is a good one. I'm sure there are a lot of things people could do to make the pet sitting experience more successful for everyone, but they have no idea what those things are! If you're ever interested in writing a guest post for Take Paws, let me know - we'd love to have you.

  3. Great post... I think that focusing on issues related to pet sitters would be fantastic! I have never used a pet sitter, but it has crossed my mind from time to time and having a resource like your blog would be a big help! :)

  4. You are the first pet-sitter blog I have come across! Unfortunately I'm on the other side of the world so can't take advantage of your service, but am sure I will learn universal lessons from you. :)

  5. Nice posts and I think focusing on pet sitters and what they should know from us the pet parent is a great idea.

    Having a unique pet makes me leary of leaving them with just anyone. Did it once and the result was not good for either one of us. Even with specific directions written up and verbally given.

  6. I've had great experiences with pet sitters and I think your idea to blog about it is wonderful. My first choice is to have my dogs with me. But if that's not possible, I figure it's good for them to have the familiar environment even if I'm not there.

    When I've left my dogs with pet sitters, I spend a lot of time writing up instructions and phone numbers. Maybe you could develop some kind of electronic form for your readers to download that reminds them of all the info it's good for a pet sitter to have.

    Good luck growing you blog and your business in 2012.

  7. I think focusing on pet sitters is great. In fact we follow another pet sitting blog called petsitusa. We've thought about pet sitting and now that we work from home it may be more of a reality.

    All the best to you in 2012!

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