Sunday, April 1, 2012

• "A" is for the A to Z Challenge

"A" is for the A to Z Challenge, one of the never ending ideas for promoting ourselves in social media. I make fun of online self-promotion, but that's part of why I signed up for this challenge. More importantly, I wanted to challenge myself.

As a pet sitter, I follow blogs about dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters, animal advocacy, pet health, pet training, pet products, pet books, pet photography . . . you get the point. Sometimes I join the Saturday Pet Blogger's Challenge, which always includes more than 100 participants. Bloggers hold contests, raise funds for animal organizations, and passionately speak to controversial issues.

I wrote about my hamster's second-place finish in the Petco hamster ball derby.

The GoPetFriendly blog, Take Paws, does it right. They post on the same three days every week. They ask other bloggers whose posts they like to write guest blogs—including me! They have sponsors and run ads. Every Friday they hold a photo challenge; winners get a GoPetFriendly calendar. In 2012 they're holding a March Madness-style contest for the most pet-friendly city, for which more than 64 readers suggested cities (mine, Prescott, Arizona, lost in the first round). Several hundred people vote, and winners will get GoPetFriendly T-shirts, dog bowls, and a gift certificate. The blog is just one component of the GoPetFriendly site, which is rich with resources for pet parents who travel.

Niche blogging is a very good thing, as is blogging regularly. Because I'm a pet sitter, you'd think most posts would be about pet sitting. Some are. But I've also written about a pet expo, pet photos with Santa, and recipes for rodents.

"Grownup" blogs are dependable, focused, well written, interactive, visually appealing, timely, and interesting. Many bloggers generate income. In terms of my age, I'm definitely a grownup. In terms of this blog, I want to turn it up a notch. Forcing myself to post every day is a start.

Thus, the A to Z Challenge. Tomorrow—yikes!!—is "B."


  1. Nothing like a good Challenge, eh? And A to Z is one of the best for bloggers.

    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  2. I'm doing the challenge, too. Look forward to reading more of your stuff.