Today we’re pleased to be joining the Pet Blogger Challenge for 2017, hosted by GoPetFriendly.com. This is the 7th annual challenge, but it’s our first time participating. We found it to be a great way to think about what we accomplished last year and what we want to do in the year ahead.
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?
We started blogging a little bit back in 2013 but didn’t get more serious about it until 2015–2016. The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles is all about cats in history, mystery, and culture. It is written by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Miss C gets keyboarding help from author Roby Sweet, since paws are rather inefficient for typing. Together, we review books, movies, and apps, we interview cats and their people, and we write short features on cats in history or in the news. The Real Cats, Paisley and Webster, also make regular appearances.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
I redesigned the layout of the blog—changed the colors a little bit, made the page wider (allows for larger pictures), and created a new, custom header. The header especially was something I had been wanting to do for a long time. It’s so much better than just having the blog title up there, plus I can change it up for different holidays, which keeps it fresh.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
“Back to School Vocabulary Word: Pre-Furred.” This post was just a lot of fun to write and came from a sudden, unexpected burst of inspiration (where all the best ideas come from). I was just folding some laundry, noticing how all my clean clothes were already covered in pet fur…
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?
I started participating regularly in blog hops, specifically Caturday Art, Friendly Fill-Ins, Pet Blogger Bloopers Round-up, and Sunday Selfies. Besides just being fun to get involved in, hops are a great way to meet other bloggers, and they give you something to blog about on certain days of the week or month, which is really helpful when you’re trying to find topics for 5, 6, or 7 days every week.
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?
“Our 6 Favorite Cat Cozy Mysteries of 2016.” Our book reviews usually do pretty well, and so do our Cat of the Week posts, where we highlight a senior cat in need of adoption.
6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)
Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries & Meows. This was the very first pet blog I ever read, and it gave me the idea to start blogging. If I only have time to look at one blog on any given day, Melissa’s is the one I read. That sweet little tortie named Mudpie always makes me happy!
7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?
Miss C (who is a totally fictional cat, though sometimes I forget that) was not always a calico. She started out as a gray and white tuxedo cat when I began writing her first mystery. But every time a new idea for the book came into my mind, the cat that showed up was a calico. So I did some rewriting, and Miss C was born.
8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?
If you keep putting up quality content, keep promoting on social media, keep engaging with readers and other bloggers, you will grow your readership.
9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?
So many things… Obviously I’d like to attract new readers. I’d like to use social media more effectively, especially Facebook, which usually just frustrates me because I don’t use it enough to know how to work with it. And I want to do more to promote senior cat adoption and let people know how great it is to have a mature cat. I’m starting to think about doing things with video, but that is just a “baby idea” right now; it needs a lot more thought/work before it will amount to anything.
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?
I’d love recommendations for working with Google Analytics. I have an account and look at it regularly, but I’m always left thinking, “Okay…So?”
Visit the other blogs listed below for their thoughts on 2016/2017: