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The new year is here and you know what that means! It is time for the Pet Blogger’s Challenge once again. Here, I will answer a series of questions about Playful Kitty and how I do my blogging. It is interesting to see how Playful Kitty has evolved over the years! At the end, I would love feedback from all of you about what I can do to make Playful Kitty an even more pawsome place to visit.

Questions about Playful Kitty

1. When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?

Playful Kitty was started back in September of 2013. We’re all about cats, tips, and catnip trips! There is a lot of great researched information on cats here as well as quite a bit of humor from Manna, Dexter, and our angel kitty Cinco.  I see this site as being more of a resource for the audience rather than a venue for telling my stories, but there is a little of each.

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?

My proudest blogging moment of 2016 came in October when my pageviews more than doubled. So far, it looks like the higher view count is here to stay for the new year. It feels amazing to see all of the work start to pay off in measurable ways.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

This is a really tough choice! There are two that really stick out to me. First, is the post where I introduced my new kitten Dexter to everyone back in June. I think the reason is pretty obvious – bringing a new kitty into your family is awesome! Dexter is a true blessing.

There is a new cat in our family! Keep reading to learn about how we found Dexter, his personality, and what Manna thinks of her little brother.

Dexter really was this little!

The other is the post I wrote about positive ways to handle pet grief. Having so recently lost my Cinco, the post was really about my way of fighting through the tears. I’m proud of myself for being both merciful and strong in this situation.

Dexter inspecting Cinco’s ashes.

4. Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?

Actually, there were 2 things that I did around the same time that seemed to really make a difference. First, I visited Google Search Console and realized that Google was still penalizing me from back when my website got hacked about a year and a half ago. I was able to take the steps they listed to clear it up and within a few weeks, I started seeing more views.

Just as I was starting to see those extra views, I added AMP to my website. This is a new way of viewing webpages that Google is testing out. It takes your pages down to just the images , text, and text links to make load times faster for mobile viewers. This has been great for my views so far!

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?

Believe it or not, my most viewed blog post of 2016 is the same one as it has been the last two years! People love my post about Apple Cider Vinegar remedies for cats. My top categories are Cat Health and Cats in History.

Manna sniffing some apple cider vinegar.

6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)

I take bits and pieces of inspiration from everywhere. Two bloggers that I really look up to are Janiss Garza (Sparklecat.com) and Kimberly Gauthier (Keep the Tail Wagging). When I am thinking about trying something new with my blog, I often look to one of these two to see how they did it.

7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?

I’m enjoying my twos. Here are 2 quick fun facts about me you may not know:

  1. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book when I was in 5th grade. It was a part of special school program for kids the teachers felt were talented writers. The book was called “The Pineapple Problem” and it was about a group of birds defending their forest from loggers.
  2. In high school, I was a part of an important player in a Bible quiz team that won 2nd place in an international competition – twice. We also won 3rd place once.

8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?

In 2016, I decided to put a bigger emphasis on quality over quantity. When you first start out in blogging, it is great to just post and post and post. That helps teach you about blogging, helps to learn about your readers and subject matter, and it helps you to get out in front of some eyes. However, at some point, it helps to slow down and focus on what you love the most. People will eagerly wait for your posts if they know that what is coming next will be A+ material.

9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?

Dexter and I stop for a selfie.

My first goal of 2017 is to get my website working properly. I’ve encountered one of those mixed blessings where my website has become so big that it has outgrown its hosting. If you’ve gotten an error trying to come to my website, that is why. It is also why Playful Kitty loads so slowly. Fixes are on the way! Watch for changes in the site in the next month or so.

There are lots of other fun things in the works for Playful Kitty too. I intend on building up our Youtube channel with great short videos of the cats and a few longer kitty-themed vlogs. There will be more video on Facebook as well (including live video). I’m hoping to come out of my shell a little bit and show more of my silly Robin personality (I’m a real goofball). It is a little scary for me, but I think it will be a good thing.

I want need to work on getting better at interacting with people too. That is probably my biggest issue as a blogger. I put a lot of time into content, but not enough into community building.

Questions You Can Answer to Help Me

Dexter showing off his kitty karate!

10. Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

Choose a question (or all of them):

  1. How do you optimize SEO on blog posts that are photo-driven? I’m looking to go through my Niptoons category and see if I can make them more searchable.
  2. I have a currently have a plugin that sends a commenter an email whenever their comment receives a reply. This is one of the reasons I’m cautious about responding to comments here. How annoying do you find it to receive an email about replies?
  3. If you have been to Playful Kitty’s homepage, do you ever look at the whole page? What parts do you find yourself using?

Any feedback on my blog/social media is important to me. Please feel free to let me know what you think about anything.

This is a Blog Hop!

Join the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 7th, 8th and 9th

Use the links below to join the hop!