Pet Blogger Challenge Title

Manna and I enjoying a snuggle.

 

It is time for the Pet Blogger Challenge again! The Pet Blogger Challenge is a yearly blog hop that allows pet bloggers to discuss their trials and triumphs in the blogging world. Please enjoy your behind the scenes look at Playful Kitty for 2015!

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

I have had Playful Kitty for about 16 months now. I had one blog for a year or so before Playful Kitty, but I rarely did anything with it. Playful Kitty is all about cats!  I like to write about feline health, nutrition, and behavior issues as well how cats affect/have affected human culture.

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.

I am very proud that I was able to successfully move Playful Kitty from being a wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog. I had never had to move a blog like that, so I was expecting a lot of kinks, but it went pretty seamlessly.

3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?

  • Pet Blogger Challenge Cinco

    Cinco inspecting a toy I won for him at BlogPaws.

    Ask questions.
    There isn’t anything wrong with asking other bloggers how they do a particular task. Sure, some people are more willing to help than others, but it’s always worth a shot. Many pet bloggers are very happy to teach you what they know.

  • There has to be a balance between content and promotion.
    This is a lesson that I’m currently working on. I spend so much time writing my posts (more than 8 hours per day) that I often don’t have time to do anything else. I’ve decided to stop posting on Fridays so that I have time to do some socializing and promoting.
  • Be bold and try new things.
    It takes a lot of tinkering around to find out what works well for you and for the people who visit your blog. You and your blog are unique and there isn’t really any one formula that will be effective for everyone. Personally, I decided to step out and try out all different types of social media over the year. My thought is that people want to follow my blog using whatever they already use and so it is beneficial for me to be in as many places as possible. So far that has worked out well because my social media channels are the largest referrers to blog other than Google.

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

The biggest things that bring traffic to my blog are search engines, social media links, and giveaways. I tend to put a lot of emphasis on SEO with my posts. Visiting other blogs really brings a lot of views too (it also happens to be one of my weak spots).

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

My most popular blog post is Holistic Healing for Cats: Apple Cider Vinegar. I plan to work on revamping this post very soon to make it even better. It is really surprising to me that this happens to be my most popular post. I remember that the night that I wrote it I had been really struggling for a topic to write about. I’m not sure what made me decide to write about apple cider vinegar, but I’m glad I did!

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

I have had A LOT of favorites. Pretty much every time I write a post, it becomes my new favorite MOL The research is always really interesting to me. I really love learning about feline nutrition, holistic medicine for cats, and cats in history and mythology. Of course, I love putting together my Niptoons too because it is just so much fun to play with my cats and give them all of that attention.

Pet Blogger Challenge Cinco and Manna

Cinco (left) and Manna helping with one of their favorite review/givewaways.

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

My policy really hasn’t changed much this year. I got a lot of advice about doing reviews/giveaways before I ever started doing them and it has helped tremendously.

If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

I like to go as in-depth and be as descriptive as possible when I do a review. I give the kinds of details that are important to me when I look at a review – information about the company, the product itself, and personal opinions. If at all possible I like to do a giveaway with the review. Giveaways not only bring me more views, but they generate more interest in the product for the brand sponsoring them.

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?

I know this is cliche, but – give yourself permission to be yourself. There are billions of websites out there and what really makes yours different is you. Write what you are passionate about writing and do it your way. People are attracted to honesty.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?

This year I really want to increase my own engagement and encourage engagement with my blog. When I decided on the to use the word “engage” in my tagline, the idea was to write engaging articles. I’ve done that and now I need to move to actually engaging with people without loosing the interesting content.

I want to continue to develop my social media channels. Currently, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ all receive the same content, but I think I should begin to differentiate them. I need to start using Pinterest more too.

10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Since it is my biggest issues, what do you do to promote your posts? How do you make time to get it all done?

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10