A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pet Blogger Challenge 2017

Join the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 7th, 8th and 9th

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:


  1. We loved getting to know you better! I really like your design ... and of course, Miss C is divine :)

  2. Thank you! It's been fun getting to know you as well. Bear is quite the character :)

  3. Excellent post, it is great getting to know you better. Your new header is fantastic and I am glad you participate in the Fill-Ins and other hops too. Keep up the good work.

  4. Aw, you guys are so sweet! We love visiting you guys...our taste is books is so much alike we've reviewed the same book on the same day, and we super enjoy your movie reviews and history lessons. Your header caught our attention from day one...it is *so* adorbs!

    1. Thank you! I love those days when it turns out we've reviewed the same book :)

  5. I think your blog looks amazing. Congrats on the redesign. I think there's info on google analytics on Blogpaws Social Learning Site. I am not an expert on Google Analytics and usually just figure things out as I go.

  6. Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge Miss C and Roby! It's lovely to meet you, and your design work looks great. My suggestion for figuring out Facebook is to pick a couple of pages that you admire and study their posting schedule, the types of things they posts, and how they interact with their followers and use that as a model for your own page. As for Google Analytics, you can set up personal dashboard to track the things that matter to you - which posts are most popular, where your traffic is coming from, how long people are staying on your site, for example. I keep a spreadsheet that tracks certain metrics each month, which allows me to measure my progress, take note when something's not working, and get insights into which of my posts are especially popular. It can be useful when you're trying to understand what your audience likes best about your blog. I hope that 2017 is a great year for you - good luck!

    1. Thanks for that information--I can put that to use right away!

  7. I loved learning more about you and your blog. Kudos on doing your own designing - it looks great! I had to get help! :)
    I think it was last year that I asked the same question about Google Analytics, and I still haven't figured it out!

  8. Thanks for sharing your blog with us! I love your advice to bloggers, it's simple and so very true. With regard to Google Analytics, it began making sense to me around the time affiliate marketing started to make sense.

    I went to the posts that were my most popular and then visited each one to clean them up and it made them even better. That's what I used analytics for initially (I did this monthly, but I didn't have to do any clean up each month). The more time I spent clicking around, the more it began to make sense.

    I now used a premium system called Clicky which I think is better; GA crapped out on me last year when I cleaned up old content on my blog. But it's the same principle/information.