Blogging about something you love is fun and rewarding! Today I’m participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge blog hop hosted by Go Pet Friendly. The questions to each blogger are the same. This is a great way to get to know other bloggers and get some advice for your own blog at the same time!
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 have been blogging “officially” for almost 2½ years now. Before I started Playful Kitty, there was a short attempt at blogging on my own and I was paid to do some blogging for a company that sold biometric employee time clocks.
Playful Kitty is an educational (and fun) blog about cats! It is based on my life with my own two beautiful kitties (Cinco and Manna) as well as a lot of research. You can any subject from cat health and behavior to cat humor here.
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 am extremely proud of myself for getting sponsored by Mars Petcare to go to the BlogPaws conference back in May 2015. It was a real honor to know that a company believed in me and my blog enough to give me the money I needed for the trip.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why?
The post that sticks out most to me from 2015 is A Cat’s Immune System Explained with Cookies. This one sticks out because aside from the scientific information itself, it is a completely unique-to-me explanation of how a cat’s immune system works. I even drew the illustrations in Photoshop myself.
4. What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
There have been 2 things that have given me higher, more consistent numbers over the past year. One of them has been participating in Boost Groups on Facebook. BlogPaws hosts one group that I participate in and Cats With Blogs hosts the other.
The other thing that helped was a surprise – joining FlipBoard. I don’t post on FlipBoard all of the time, but a few of my Funny Cat Pictures got a ton of views after joining.
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular?
Playful Kitty’s #1 viewed post of 2015 was Holistic Healing for Cats: Apple Cider Vinegar. The community of cat lovers seems very interested in holistic treatments and food. My guess as to why these are popular is because holistic treatments for humans are pretty popular and people want to apply them to their pets as well as themselves.
Even though these are so popular for me, I don’t do them too often because I worry that people will abuse these treatments. I believe that my blog is not a substitute for treatment by a licensed veterinarian and that it is crucial to get a proper diagnosis before you treat an illness in your cat.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader?
Confession – I am the world’s unofficial slowest reader. It takes me forever to read blogs (or anything else for that matter), so I don’t get around to as many as I would like. I’m working hard to clear up more time because I love reading and socializing with everyone! As for now, I rotate who I get around to every day through my BlogLovin’ list and Wordless Wednesday. If I had to guess, the blog I frequent the most (even if I don’t comment) is SparkleCat featuring Summer.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
I use a number of resources to help me get my blogging done. Many of them are free! Here are the most helpful ones (the only one listed that is NOT free is my camera):
- Grammarly – This is like spell check, but much more powerful.
- EverNote – Allows you to save and organize websites and posts.
- HootSuite – Lets you share to and view all of your social media accounts from one place. You can schedule social media posts too!
- OneNote – This is a competitor to Evernote, but it is better for when you just want to jot down quick ideas or do some brainstorming.
- Windows Movie Maker – Simple movie creation software. Great for videos you are sharing on Youtube or other social media.
- GnuCash – An open source accounting software.
- Nikon 3200 DSLR camera
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
By yourself and be yourself boldly. Write about what interests you the most. Don’t apologize for doing things that you feel like doing. Unless you have actually hurt someone, there is no reason to be sorry. Find ways to be bolder yet (without losing your moral compass). Fear might mean that you are moving in the right direction. I am actively working to stop being shy about requiring payment for work that I do (my work is valuable and so is yours) and taking words like “just” out of my emails. There is nothing wrong with being assertive. Also, be flexible and keep learning. Criticism can be a good friend if you learn not to get emotional about it.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
For 2016, I am changing web hosts and redesigning Playful Kitty’s website. I am thinking of getting a professionally made logo and site header. I want to take steps to continue improving the quality of my writing and photography. My husband really wants me to release a book of (new) Niptoons. I’m tempted, but we will see how things go.
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?
I am going to be doing a redesign of this website within a month or so. Use the comment section or the survey below to help me out! Easy checkbox style answers for this one. Even if this is your first visit to Playful Kitty, your input is helpful.