Every year, thanks to our friends at Go Pet Friendly, and co-host Will My Dog Hate Me, we’re invited to take a deep look inside, jiggle our brains until they hurt, and ask WHY AM I DOING THIS?!!

So here we go, The Pet Blogger Challenge 2014:

1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about. 

I never remember the exact answer to this question, but the general answer is about 7 or 8 years. Peggy’s Pet Place hopes to be a place where pet lovers meet and support each other. I share my experiences with rescue dogs, interesting news and helpful tips for pet parents, and of course cute photos of Kelly and Ike, and all other animals I happen upon.

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.
My goal was to step it up and dig deeper, and I think I made progress toward that with many more posts about pet adoption and pet fitness, and a new blog hop about canine cancer (be sure to check out the next one, on Feb. 6th!)  

3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?

I changed the weekly pet roundup to monthly, because I had so much other content I wanted to get in each week. Otherwise, I don’t think anything changed too much this past year. I see it as climbing a mountain and sometimes slipping, but forever climbing up and up, slowly. There is always so much to learn, that will never stop. 

4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?

Be personal– The blogs I like best go beyond basic pet news and also share what they’re thinking, how they react to things, and what they’re doing to help others.

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

If you leave a comment on my blog, do you prefer I reply to your comment on my blog, or go visit and comment on your blog? I’d love to do both, but can’t seem to find the time to do everything I’d like to do! Also, short of switching to WordPress (which will happen some day!) how can I get blogger commenting to make it easier for people to leave their website link? I’ve tried Disqus and other services, but nothing seems to work.

5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

Everyone seems to love a giveaway. Also joining together with others for a common cause is a great way to bring more traffic to the blogs, and support each other. I co-host FitDog Friday, K9 Kamp, and Give Cancer the Paw.

6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?

I spend a couple hours each morning reading blog comments, visiting and commenting on other blogs, approving posts in Triberr, visiting FB pages, etc. I used to spend at least 4 hours a day and this was better for results, but I just can’t do it any more. I have to meet my work deadlines!

7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?

The only way I know to judge is by the comments. I’m not much for checking my stats, but when I do and I’m happy that they continue to grow. If something took a dip down, I think I’d stop and try to evaluate what happened.

How do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?

Maybe if no one seems engaged. Also, if your heart just isn’t into it anymore, then it is time.

8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?

If the blog post touches upon something I’m experiencing, or have experienced recently, I”m more likely to comment. If it makes me smile or laugh, I’m also more likely to comment.

9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?  Yes

Look at all our loot to review!!

If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

I’ve found it depends upon the product. If it’s a valuable product or one that people are interested in, somehow word gets out. If it’s kind of  inexpensive, less people bother. (Although people seem very interested in poo bags!)

One of my goals for 2014 is to be much more selective about what I review this year. I only review products I truly like, but I receive so many requests to review, and I don’t want the blog to become one big advertisement for stuff. In addition, I think my time is better spent blogging about other topics.

10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?

I usually have the opposite problem, too many ideas and not enough days in the week!

11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go? Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?

The only thing that gets me down is about how time consuming it is to do it well. I wish there were more hours in the day. Most–if not all–of us still need to work to make a living!

12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?

Just one big goal- to connect with people better. It’s wonderful to be a part of this blogging community. I’ve seen how we all support each other, and this challenge is one example. I wish I had time to comment on the multitude of blogs in my Feedly every day. But I’m going to engage more with others, get to know what is on their minds and help when I can. And, I plan to visit a new blog at least once a week.

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