2015 Pet Blogger Challenge

Nikitaland is thrilled to be taking part in the 2015 Pet Blogger Challenge! This is our first year participating, and we want to expand and grow our blog with new adventures!  If you would like to join in the challenge, click on the badge.

Pet Blogger Challenge Button

And now, without further ado, here are the questions for Pet Blogger Challenge 2015:

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

I have been blogging since September of 2010 after we rescued our first dog, Nikita.She came from a litter of seven pups and after they were born, their dog Mom was poisoned with anti-freeze. The puppies were in dire need of help immediately and the Cleveland APL was called in and they saved all the puppies. I started my blog to document our new life with a dog, and how she has changed our lives forever. We gave her a forever home, and she has given us more love than we could have ever imagined. Then, two years after we rescued Nikita, we rescued Bella who was found wandering the streets in Cleveland, OH.

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.  

One of the things that I am proud of is making more connections with fellow bloggers. Reaching out to others, learning from them, and making new friends has touched my heart in so many ways.

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

The biggest thing that I have learned is to reach out to fellow bloggers, listen to their stories, and connect with them! When you do this, you find out that we all have a lot in common and are all willing to help each other out. Making connections that turn into awesome friends is what blogging is all about!

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content? 

Since I do not participate in social media like Facebook or Twitter (just don’t feel the need for it), I reach out to others through blog hops, comment on a lot of blogs, and keep my blog presence in front of others. If you want traffic, you just can’t write on a blog, you need to participate and get involved. Pinterest has also brought a lot of traffic to my blog too from what I pin directly off of my posts.

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

I actually had a few popular posts that drew much traffic and both were about crafts. One was how to melt pony beads in a pizza pan to make a beautiful sun catcher which was viewed 3,777 times, and the other one was for my paper mache pumpkins I created and this post was viewed 6,819 times. Both of these brought tons of traffic because there was a lot of interest in the tutorials on how to make them.

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

Probably my favorite post was about my paper mache pumpkins because I love everything about Halloween, and how I turned an ordinary plastic bag into an awesome pumpkin. I even made a few paper mache stands that the pumpkins can sit on too!

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

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

If you don’t do reviews, is this something you’d like to do more of? What hurdle is getting in your way?

I would love to do product reviews, but do not know how to get involved with companies to review their products. I would definitely be interested in doing lots of reviews this year!

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?

Connect with others! Reach out to your fellow bloggers! Nothing makes blogging more fun than knowing who your audience is!

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015? 

One of my biggest goals and something that we are truly passionate about is our involvement in giving back to the community. We are truly grateful for what the Cleveland APL has done for saving both Nikita and Bella, getting them off the streets and into their forever home with us, that we have participated in their annual Pledge For Pets Fundraiser. 2015 will be our fifth year participating in this fundraiser and we hope that we can get more bloggers involved and help us raise the much needed funds to help the animals who need our assistance & pay it forward! This annual fundraiser is coming up soon, so help us raise all the donations we can to help the animals who need us! (watch for upcoming blog posts!)

And, speaking of Paying It Forward, I am working with another fellow blogger to help raise awareness for doing good deeds in the world today. Make someones day and help them out. If you can, help someone less fortunate than yourself, pay for a meal for them, give someone some of the clothes you don’t wear anymore, shovel a neighbors driveway, the list is endless. It is all about giving back, doing something good & making a difference.

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

I don’t think I have run into anything yet in the blogging world that I needed help with, but I would not be afraid to ask for assistance when needed. I am constantly learning all that I can to create a fabulous blog and a place where everyone who visits feels like it’s home.

If you have any questions or need a little help, don’t be afraid to ask – building camaraderie is what the Pet Blogger Challenge is all about! And, as always, your help in spreading the word is much appreciated. Please tell your friends and share the badge on your blog.

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13 thoughts on “2015 Pet Blogger Challenge

  1. Loved this post so muh, so amazing to get to know you better. We have admired your blog for a long time now and we just love your creative posts too… you certainly do make us feel at home. We wish you lots of luck with your goals this year, but we don’t think you will have any trouble reaching them!!
    Hugs, Carrie & Pups x

    • Aw, you are so sweet! Thank you for giving me someone to write my blog posts for! You are truly special and have an awesome blog as well! I want everyone who visits to feel like we have been friends forever and when we visit, just come on in, the door is always open. Hugs!

  2. Great post! Now I want to check out those two posts that did so well! DIY crafts are always popular, but it sounds like these some really cool ones. I also love the connection with other bloggers (something I am ashamed to say I have let slip lately). I hope to improve on that this year.

    P.S. Reading how Nikita’s mom died just broke my heart. Ugh! What is wrong with people?

    • I know. It truly broke our hearts too when we heard the story of Nikita when we rescued her. One of the ladies at the APL took all seven puppies into her home to foster them. She fed them every half hour with a bottle, all seven pups! And when they got big enough to be adopted, we rescued Nikita. What made this whole Nikita story so special is that we got to meet this wonderful lady named Brea when Nikita got a little older. We setup a meeting at the APL where she met us and got to see how well Nikita was doing. She cried, hugged Nikita, we cried and hugged her. Then she did the nicest thing in the whole world…she presented us with a little photo album of pictures of Nikita as a little pup at her house. Words cannot express the gratitude we had that day. What a wonderful woman!

      I still can’t believe that the owners of Nikita’s Mom purposely poisoned their dog with anti-freeze and killed her. That is why we are so thankful for the APL because they rescued all seven of these pups and gave them the assistance they needed to survive, and that is why we give back to them each and every year through their annual fundraiser.

  3. Nikita and Belle…you both have an awesome mom. I have been on for about 7 months in earnest…the rest of my time…I looked, ponder and thought how smart these bloggers must be…I was lost. When I started in earnest…I was surprised at the bloggers that were available when I needed help. I’m still a babe in the woods but feel way more comfortable so don’t tend to make real stupid mistakes…well, not as oftem.

    Jean

    • Hey Jean! Trust me, you are not alone. When I started blogging, I knew nothing, knew no one to ask questions, so I just kept reading everything I could find in the help section. Now, being a seasoned blogger, I will be more than happy to help you or anyone if you get stuck. Did you notice those little round pics on my sidebar? I made all of them myself! Yep! Please ask for help if you need it, and I do have a “contact us” page if you wanted to ever reach me offline for help too!

      Nikita and Bella do have a great Mom & Dad. We gave them a forever home, and they give us so much happiness in return. A win win in my book!

  4. Great post, enjoyed reading your answers. Love your goals for 2015, my sister in law told me yesterday that someone at mc donalds had paid for her meal so she paid for the next persons, she never had that happen before or don’t think heard of it happening. I told her about your blog hop you are doing in Jan. As for reviews I will give your name to my contact at Chewy.com and see if we can’t get your any reviews to do. I so far am only hooked up with chewy and sometimes ramdom people will contact me but not usually. I know you can sign up for reviews with blogpaws if you are a member there.

    • The Pay It Forward Campaign is not just for January, but throughout the entire 2015 year! We want everyone to start doing good, and change the world we live in! It is contagious to do good deeds!

      That is so neat that someone paid for your sister-n-laws meal, and that she in turn paid for the next. That is how Pay It Forward works!

      Like I also mentioned in my post, this will be our 5th year participating in the Pledge For Pets Fundraiser for the APL and every year we collect more and more donations that help the animals that the APL rescues. We even take both Nikita and Bella down to the APL when they are holding the live radio show for the fundraiser to drop off our cash & check donations we collect. Everyone at the APL knows us and our dogs and appreciate all we do to help! The fundraiser is in May, but we start collecting around March, so I hope you can help out a little bit too when it starts!

  5. Ha! A thousand of those papier-mâché pumpkin visits were probably me! I showed it to SO many people. I couldn’t stop being amazed. Ditto your garden posts…. 🙂

    • Aw shucks, now I am blushing! That was so sweet of you to show that post to others! Creating with paper mache is truly an art form in itself and I am so glad that I experimented with it these past years!

      Oh boy, don’t get me started thinking about gardening, I am already dying to plant something.

  6. Hey Valerie, Nice to get to know you a little bit more and learn about your view on blogging.
    I am still in doubt too what to do with all social media forms…facebook, twitter etc. I have to give it more consideration, I guess.
    Bella and Nikita where so lucky to have ended with you! Have a lovely Sunday, Johanna

    • Hi Johanna! I have really enjoyed blogging all of these years, as I feel that it keeps my mind fresh and active. It all started back when we got Nikita and my blog just kept growing! You should look back on some of the first posts I did to see Nikita when she was a puppy.

      I agree with you, that Nikita and Bella were lucky to find their forever home with us, and we’re lucky to have them by our side every day!

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