I try to keep up with pet blogs, but was challenged at a whole new level this past weekend, when I joined the Saturday Pet Blog Hop for the first time. (Yes, I have visited every single one of the 134 140 sites! Woo! You guys have some cute pets!) THAT is where I heard about The Pet Blogger Challenge.
I am always up for a great group project, especially when it involves pets or blogging or both, and don’t tell Edie and Amy, but I think they are awesome, and I will most likely do anything they tell me to do.
Here are their questions…
1. When did you begin your blog?
September 1, 2006
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
My original purpose was to get pet preventative care information to pet lovers in a broader way than just one-on-one in the exam room, veterinarian to client (which I still think is super important!)
My brother Dave suggested that I publish a newsletter for our family and mutual friends. I loved the idea! I tried to talk him into helping me print, staple and deliver newsletters to our friends, and he talked me into putting all of the newsletters onto a website that he offered to design for me. (Dave, you were right, this is much more fun!)
He and his wife Sara had a gorgeous Great Dane at the time, so we named the site after her, The Official Riley Fan Club. He even made buttons and fan club cards – so cute! They still have Riley and later adopted James, the wonderful English Mastiff, and the website became Riley and James. I went from publishing kind of long, formal entries every other month, to my current practice of publishing about twice a week.
Riley and James and…Riley and James!
3. Is your current purpose the same?
Yes! The methods have changed over the years, but the purpose of Riley and James is the same, to provide pet preventative care information to pet lovers. I also want it to be a fun site, and to be able to share some of my own pets’ stories. I recently came up with a Purpose Statement, at the recommendation of Problogger, and buried it in a long, rambling post. I will repost it here, and then at the Website Update, maybe somewhere more prominent!
The Purpose of the Riley and James Website:
To Promote Preventative Care of Pets in Order to Enrich the Lives of Pets and Their People
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the Spirit moves you?
At first, posts were every other month. In 2010, I posted about twice a week. Now I am trying to do that (way more fun, and I can post shorter, more random stuff) and I am trying to post on Mondays and Fridays, to give myself a schedule to follow.
5. Are you generating income from your blog?
No, but I hope I am making pet lovers think about important things, and providing good medical information, and that I am playing a part in pets living longer, healthier lives.
I do work for Carefresh, and have written for Veterinary Economics and Firstline. I do not think I would have met any of the wonderful people involved with those groups if I had not been writing online.
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular?
I know those of you who do not know me in person do not believe me (because you have told me so!) but I am an extreme introvert. Unless I am completely comfortable in a group, I will always choose listening over talking.
With the blog, I am able to formulate my thoughts and get them out there, without worrying I will not be heard because my voice is too soft or I am not articulate enough. I think I have valid things to say, especially when it comes to veterinary medicine and related topics, but I will not necessarily say them outloud in Real Life. It is great to have this outlet.
7. What do you like least?
I really, really love everything about doing the Riley and James website and all of the writing and online interaction opportunities that have come from it.
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011?
I hope to become a better writer, take cuter pictures (That will be hard to do without Fuzzy and Wuzzy), make a dent in the puppy mill and cat overpopulation problems, connect in more ways with the pet community at large…I just think it is going to be a really great year, and I am excited to see it unfold.
Oh! Also, Dave is updating the website this year! If you know Dave Nelson, or his company, Secret Penguin, you know he does incredible work! Check back soon for the great updates! I will keep you posted.
Coming Soon to Riley and James:
My daughter Abby will review the kids’ book, Marvin, The Golf Caddy Dog, by Harold R. Mann, an Omaha author. Our friends at Nebraska Humane Society know I like reviewing books and that Abby just read this one, and suggested I have her do a guest post – book review. Her first blog post, woo! Great idea, guys! Thanks!
Bunny Trails: My latest article is up at Omaha.net…
I wish it did NOT feature my own Max the Cat and Ebony Dog, but aren’t they gorgeous??