Not one to back down from a challenge, I heard the call from fellow pet bloggers Edie of Will My Dog Hate Me? and Amy of Go Pet Friendly to step from behind the computer screen and share a little of myself today.
Essentially this post and challenge is to get us to stop and consider our navels for a moment. Why are we blogging? What do we want from this? I find the challenge here to be more the stopping part than the thoughtful introspection.
You might consider me a doer. Ask me for help, give me a task or outline a problem and I'm perfect for grabbing and running towards the finish line.
But enough about me, let's look at Grouchy Puppy together. Since I love to make lists myself, it was easiest to take the questions that Edie sent out and share my answers in this form below.
If after reading this post, you have any questions at all, please ask. I'm really an open book, sort of like Cleo's pleasing mug up there...
1. When did you begin your blog? I first started Cleo’s Day in January 2009 and then this blog, Dog Days in March 2010.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog? Grouchy Puppy began as the persona of Cleo. She is a large German Shepherd-Husky dog who is a great ambassador for pet adoption, especially adult dogs. Living in San Francisco meant we had a beautiful backdrop to her daily exploits. Her endearing yet bossy personality and urban exploits prompted the name and the blog. We wanted to educate people about the joys of pet adoption and about looking past the surface when it came to a big dog like Cleo, to stop focusing on stereotypes.
3. Is your current purpose the same? On Cleo’s Day, yes her blog is all about her life and hopefully since she only paws at the keyboard, what I type is truly in her voice and from her perspective. She really does win people over to senior dog adoptions when she meets strangers on her walks. After the first Blog Paws pet conference in April, I created the blog Dog Days so that I too could have a voice and share a human perspective with readers.
If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals? Every day that someone comments on Cleo’s blog or her Facebook page out of joy in sharing Cleo’s life with us, or if we hear of successful pet adoption stories or senior dog stories because they know Cleo is both – we feel great. With the Dog Days blog, our new goals are within reach. June 1, 2010 we launched our weekly Influence Positively Interview Series. Its popularity and success has only encouraged me to dream bigger and find more creative ways to extend the reach of the Grouchy Puppy keystones - Give Fearlessly and Influence Positively.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? I try to blog on schedule and a few months ago, I created a new editorial calendar using Google Docs to keep both blogs on schedule.
Using an editorial calendar not only allows me to plan weeks or months ahead, but I am better at creating themes around posts. For example, with the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Country Strong came out, I used a week for a Country Western theme to Cleo’s posts to follow the popularity of the movie and Cleo’s country background.
5. Are you generating income from your blog? Only through the retail value of the products we keep because Cleo chewed them or ate them during the product review process. At this time, we are more concerned with creative control and the quality of who and what is associated with Grouchy Puppy.
If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how? Advertising, spokesperson, brand ambassador opportunities and traditional publishing outlets are ideas we will consider at some future date.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)? I love writing. I love creating this Grouchy Puppy community of folks who want to educate themselves and others about pet adoption, senior dogs and other basic dog-related issues. I love meeting all the various people in the industry, finding out what makes them tick and highlighting a little of their individuality in a blog post. I love photography. I love dogs. It is such a joy and affirmation of my life when my dog inspires me to be better.
7. What do you like least? When Cleo does something unique or amazing and I either miss the photo or video opportunity due to user/human error. I don’t like seeing any sad story about an animal - ever. Being reminded of the cruel side to humans isn’t something I need to see or read to know it exists. My response to these images or stories is to think violent thoughts about the perpetrator and that doesn’t help anyone.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011? I would love to include more guest bloggers, use both blogs to help fundraise for more pet-related causes and highlight an even wider variety of folks in the Influence Positively interviews – and of course I hope our readership grows even greater in 2011.