I saw this questionnaire posted on Champion of My Heart and thought it'd be fun to play along. It's a part of the Pet Blogger Challenge, in which we're to think critically about what we want to get out of blogging.
1. When did you begin your blog?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009. The day has no particular meaning; I toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a long time and after securing the URL name and everything, finally wrote my first post. I didn't have consistent readership for a few months after that.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
It was solely a place for me to log my training progress with Marge. I was just finishing Beginner Obedience at my dog club and aspired to do so much more (and ultimately was able to do so much more.. in a shorter period of time than I originally anticipated).
3. Is your current purpose the same?
In many ways, yes. I try to have posts about all of the "big" things Marge and I do. That varies from agility class, to Rally trials, to trips to new places, and lots of things in between.
But, at the same time, it's definitely changed somewhat... because I do enjoy when my comment box becomes an online auditorium for debate and discussion with fellow dog enthusiasts. I also greatly value the many relationships I've made with people through my blog and enjoy reading their stories and seeing what they think about mine. So, the "social" element of my blog is something that's evolved and is still evolving.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
Mostly whenever I want to. I admit, I do get a little antsy when it's been a couple of days and I have no new material to put up, but I'd much prefer not blogging than putting up a post about something I haven't given a lot of thought to.
I average around 15 posts a month, but they usually come in bursts (and then I go silent for around a week or so). I'm trying to increase the number of posts I put up and be more regular in my posting this year.
5. Are you generating income from your blog?
Absolutely not. I would be interested in advertising if a company whose products I like approached me, but I don't think I'm "big" enough yet for that.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?
The things I like the most about my blog is the richness and variety of the content. I never post "just to post." And, I like to vary things to keep a diverse readership; I post pictures some days, and others my posts are more wordy and technical. Sometimes I talk about fear issues, other times about dog sports, and now I've begun incorporating the story lines of some other animals who influence me - Layla and Taco.
This may help or hurt readership - I'm not sure which. Sometimes I think that some behavior/training and dog sport folks overlook my blog because I post about many topics and not JUST those things. Other times, I think that my decision to have a lot of dog and animal related topics brings more people from all different walks of life to read my blog. Marge's life is part pet, part recovering fearful dog and part athlete. I want that to show through my blog.
What I like most about blogging in general is the community that develops; there are lots and lots of people whose input and comments I greatly value, and they've helped me to grow as a dog trainer. It's also heartwarming during times of need when all blogging animal lovers seem to come together and give each other support.
7. What do you like least?
I don't like when blogging becomes a popularity contest. If I comment on your blog, that means there is something there that I truly enjoy. Be it a picture, a common interest, a thought-provoking post, or even just an interesting activity that I've never been able to do myself. I want my readers to feel the same about my blog; I want them to be reading because they enjoy learning about Marge. Sometimes, I see comments on blogs that seem to scream, "I didn't really read this post, I'm just commenting your blog so that you reciprocate and comment mine." And I don't think that's cool at all.
In terms of my blog, the thing I like least is the fluctuations in the amount of time I can devote to my blog. There are some days where I am able to visit other blogs every few hours, and other days where my reader piles up with new posts that I won't get the chance to look at. Such is the nature of the life of a college student!
8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?
In 2011, I hope to continue to diversify my content and get on a more regular posting schedule. I hope to continue to meet like-minded dog owners, follow their adventures and learn from them (and maybe them from me). I want to do more series of posts (multi-week posts about specific topics) and continue things like Tuesday Training more frequently. I'm toying with the idea of giveaways and/or contests as well.
That's about it. I'm very happy with how my blog has grown. If you have any suggestions about what you'd like to see on MargeBlog in the future, please do not hesitate to let me know!