- 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?
Answer: This version of my blog was launched in 2011, but I started originally in 2006, on a different site. I focus on nutrition and herbal medicine for dogs, with a view to providing balanced and comprehensive information – grounded in science, but open to trends and innovative ideas. As an herbalist, I have a deep commitment to sharing the depth of the Western Herbal Tradition, in particular. It’s much more a resource than a story-sharing place, but I might incorporate more personal stories in the year ahead.
2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?
Answer: I’d probably say that all my Plant Healer Magazine articles are entries I’m proud of, as they are quite indepth and have brought herbalism to a broader audience, and opened eyes to just how rich the Western tradition really is. I was a little slack in 2016, with a lot going on elsewhere, but my readers have been patient. I appreciate that immensely. 🙂
3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.) Answer: I’d say, this one,which introduces my online herbal course. The course is a real labour of love and brings together over two decades of herbal study and work with dogs in particular, and I love teaching it. https://www.thepossiblecanine.com/practical-herbalism-for-common-canine-conditions
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?
Answer: Oh – probably Facebook! I have a Page where I share herbal tidbits and great posts from other animal professionals (and cute puppy pictures too) as well as a Group, Canine Nutrition and Natural Health, which is lively, friendly and balanced. So probably Facebook! Fun, and a little addictive, but reaches a lot of people. I’m not very computer-savvy, but working on Pinterest as well. 🙂
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? Answer: This year, and all time, my most popular entry was on feeding the inappetant dog: https://www.thepossiblecanine.com/inappetance
at about 23,000 views for 2016. When I checked other popular entries, they’re all nutrition focused – the debate about feeding vegetables, all about types of liver and diet for dogs with cancer. Suggests more people come to TPC for nutrition advice than for herbal, but I knew that. 🙂
6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.) Answer: Honestly I don’t follow many dog blogs, I do very much enjoy Linda Case’s The Science Dog https://thesciencedog.wordpress.com/ which led me to this Challenge. I follow many herbal blogs – too many to list – but I’ve been inspired by Rosalee de la Foret’s super well organized site http://www.herbalremediesadvice.org
7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them? Answer: A toughie, because I’m pretty open about who I am, on my Timeline for example, it’s an open book. Maybe …. if you only read my blog and don’t know me from FB, that I am as passionate about other species as I am dogs – and future blogs will reflect that. I’m advancing studies in feline, equine and avian nutrition, and my herbal practise is open to humans as well. I have snakes, an African Grey Parrot, and a blind Paint horse, as well as multiple cats and dogs. I’m basically desperate to acquire goats. I also plan to complete my degree in Comparative Religion, one of these days.
8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers? Answer: While there is definitely a preference for shorter, sound-bite-ish entries, there is also a real need for depth. If you can make it engaging, and well organized, you can hold attention. But don’t feel you have to sensationalize everything. I’m focusing on a series of shorter articles this year, on many of the popular/trendy supplements, for example, but also have some longer entries already planned. If it’s 10,000 words, though – that’s an E-booklet.
And now, to follow my own advice…:)
9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017? Answer: Just to reach more readers, and post more frequently. I have multiple projects on the go this year, including publishing several E-booklets, completing my Master Herbalist thesis (on canine cancer) and moving my three online courses to a more sophisticated platform…there *may* be videos. I aim to keep the standards high but the entries accessible. And, remember to always have fun with it. Sometimes I get too serious. 🙂
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? Answer: If I could ask anything, it would be, what do readers want to see more of? And, do I just possibly have too many Ridgebacks on the site? Thank you for this opportunity and Happy New Year, all!
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