Monday, January 11, 2016

Go Pet Friendly's 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge



1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.
I started Tails from the Foster Kittens in 2002. I was actually blogging before that, but back then blogging was very much like facebook is now, it was just people posting random things about their day. A blog was just a weblog, an online journal. 
My blog Tails from the Foster kittens is an online journal of the kittens I foster. I started including my own resident cats affectionately called "The Crew" since they were all originally fosters. Over time I started adding "What I Know" posts sharing what I have learned about caring for cats in the years I have been fostering kittens. 
2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?
While it has happened in the past in 2015 I had a great number of foster kittens adopted out before they went back to the shelter because of the blog and social networking.
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)
My favorite post of the year was probably my saddest. It shows the reality of what happens in animal rescue. All too often they do not make it, even when the shelters are well staffed and well funded. People still do not get it. They don't understand that in rescue is a lot of death. I was hoping to share just a little bit of that with the world in the hopes that maybe, just maybe we could prevent one from entering the shelter system. 
I held you and you died.
4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?
I have focused on Facebook this year, probably a little too much as there were times that I posted things there that should have gone up on the blog. I worked on keeping a good balance to keep people, who were following me on both platforms, from reading the same content more than once. I was also more active on Instagram, and I am hoping to incorporate a few more platforms in 2016
5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)
I honestly have no idea. I try not to look at my stats as I find that my posts about my resident cats aren't as popular as those are about the fosters, which breaks my heart because I love those seven cats and kept them over the 400+ kittens I fostered.  I share what I have learned in hopes that maybe something I have gone through helps someone else going through the same thing. There are thousands of out there who foster, and I hope that maybe a fight I lost helps someone else win their battle. 
Although the post where Robyn from Love and Hisses came to visit me is one of my most popular posts of all time, and since that was this year, I guess that was my most popular.
6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)
The blogs of my friends, although that is kind of a cheat because these people are my friends because they blog. Robyn, Rene, Amy, Lisa, Debbie, Jeanne, Laurie, Julie among many others. I am beyond thankful for *all* cat bloggers. As someone who volunteers in rescue I way too often see the bad side of people, it is nice to be reminded there are people out there who go above and beyond for their cats.
7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?
I'm working on social media at this point. I'm also working on my photography skills. I still think my photos stink, but I also think my own cooking stinks as well when other people praise it, so I'm guessing my standards are pretty high. 
8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?
Blog about what you love, and find others who love it too. Get out, visit other blogs, comment, read what they are doing, learn from them. Everyone has something they can teach you, everyone.
9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?
I REALLY want to redesign my blog this year, get a new logo/header, but I've been saying that for about five years now. Other than that my goal is to network well enough that all of my foster kittens find homes before they are ready to be adopted.  I'd also like to find sponsors who want to pay me to do this.
10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?
Most of my challenges are technical that I just need to find some time to sit down and tackle. Since I have the attention of the pet blogging community can I ask you to join the "Adopt, don't shop" movement - which also includes not shopping for pet supplies at stores that sell pets. I respect that some of you like specific breeds and will always have that breed, but please make sure you get those from a reputable breeder - and a reputable breeder is one that you can see the pet parents, you will have vet records for the pet you are purchasing, and you can learn the linage of the animals back several generations. It will never be online where they send you the animal and it will never ever be at a pet store. Blog about what a reputable breeder means to you.. Talk about why this is important. Learn what a puppy / kitten mill is. Learn that most are USDA inspected and licensed. You can make a world of difference if you can help people understand that the puppy in the window came from a mill... *sigh* apparently I have a blog post to write.. 


9 comments:

  1. Wow! Congratulations on having such a long standing blog! That is awesome! Thank you for saving so many kittens. I'm considering a redesign this year too. Best of luck to you with yours. Have a great 2016!

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  2. I knew you would have really well-thought-out answers to these questions. And yes, there needs to be way more education on what makes a reputable breeder and what doesn't. It's bad when small, reputable breeders get painted with the same brush as the mills - there is actually a need for good, small breeders, as they understand feline genetics and often are able to pinpoint disease pathways - and with the help of vets and researchers find solutions that help all cats.

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  3. You really do have a blog post brewing in that last answer! We are big believers of shopping for pet supplies in stores that support adoption, not selling mill animals. We are fortunate that there are fewer and fewer of those type of stores in our area. While the big box stores taking over for small retailers is in many ways a bad thing, it seems to have squeezed that aspect of pet mill sales out somewhat, which isn't a bad thing.

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  4. We LOVE your pictures....you inspire us. :) Can't wait to see that blog post now that you have something in mind (mom has worked with mill dogs and it gets her fired up)

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  5. I loved reading your answers. I have been mulling over a post on what adopt, don't shop means to me for some time.

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  6. Awww! I love your posts about the Crew. I've learned a lot from your trials and tribulations with Jack. And I just like to say Fleurp's name because it makes me smile. I always favorite your "this is how I wake up" pictures on Instagram. But please don't give me a quiz on the whole Crew. I still get some of them mixed up - the lesser photographed ones. Keep up the great work!

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  7. Yep, we see a blog post coming...and it will be a good one. :)

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  8. Wow, that's a long time blogging. AND you have a very thoughtful way of doing it.Of course I love reading about all the kittens, but I also love reading about the Crew. I must admit to having fallen for a few of your fosters - Lena and Gandalf for starters - but they are all wonderful.

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  9. We enjoyed reading your answers. We're looking forward to reading your next blog post ! Purrs

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