Eileenanddogs: 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge

Thank you to GoPetFriendly for the Pet Blogger Challenge. This is my third time doing the challenge. I always enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to being introduced to some new blogs from other participants.

1. When did you start your blog? And, for anyone who is just seeing it for the 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?

I started my blog in July 2012. I am a hobbyist dog trainer who is hooked on the science of learning and dedicated to spreading the word about humane, positive reinforcement-based training. I’m not a professional trainer, and I often post real-life training complete with embarrassing mistakes.  People seem to enjoy seeing training where the dogs don’t already know the behaviors and where I deal with common training problems instead of everything going perfectly.

I tell some stories, but my blog is mostly a resource. Just for fun, here is a pie chart I made for my writing mentorship course. In the pie chart, I show what proportion of my writing falls into each of the four traditional categories of prose: expository, persuasive, descriptive, and narrative writing. I spend most of my time explaining things and persuading people (about positive reinforcement based training).

2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?

I suppose I should say that it was about being able to blog that my book was out in paperback. But that’s about the book and not the blog. The best blog moment was the learning experience of studying and writing about the opposition reflex and realizing that I had really discovered a misunderstanding in that expression. The blog comments were illuminating and helped me on my own understanding of the subject.

Opposition Reflex: What Is It Really?

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

My post about the punishment callus was very interesting to write and I learned a lot. I also think it added to the helpful literature about training. It’s about the effects of attempting to use low-level punishment, and how difficult it is in general to suppress behavior to an effective degree.

Don’t Be Callous: How Punishment Can Go Wrong 

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?

My readership has begun to level off. My traffic only increased by about 8% this year, which is less of an increase than previous years. I have not posted as much this year because of other projects, such as getting my book published. So I didn’t use a particular tool, I guess. However, I have a lot of evergreen content. Most of my articles are not time sensitive. So I do spend some time promoting my popular older posts and doing some optimization to make them easy to find.

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?

I mentioned that I have a lot of evergreen content and, as it happens, the post that got the most traffic this year was one from 2014: Ringing the Bell to Go Out: Avoid These 4 Common Errors! I actually don’t know why this post is so popular but it remains one of my top performers. The new post that got the most traffic this year was: Opposition Reflex: What Is It Really?

6. What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)

Debbie Jacobs’ writing on Fearfuldogs.com inspires me. She is a genius with metaphor, has a great message, and stays on point. I have learned a lot from her.

7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?

I mention in my biographies that I have a master’s degree in music. It’s in harpsichord performance. I don’t think I have ever mentioned that my father and I built a harpsichord together. It was a fairly common way to get a nice instrument in the 1980s; mine is a French double from a Zuckermann kit. One of these days I’ll take some good photos. It has a beautiful soundboard painting by a now well-known decorator (thank you, Janine!).

8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?

I’ve gotten more efficient at going after plagiarists. I file DMCA takedown complaints with sites and also search engines and keep a spreadsheet to track responses.

Here is a link for anyone who wants to ask Google to take down plagiarized content. It’s a little hard to find if you don’t know it’s there. On the second page of the form, choose “I have a legal issue that is not listed above.” Then on the next page, there will be an option for “I have found content that may violate my copyright.” If you can prove it with links to your original content and links to the plagiarism, Google will remove the results fast.

9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?

I would simply like to write more. I don’t have any benchmarks or marketing goals. My blog is my writing home. I enjoy all sorts of writing, but even when I am getting paid, I am usually hankering to get back to my blog. I do it for fun, for dessert, after I do writing for others. I have some exciting articles in the queue and would love to finish and publish them.

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?

In this section, I would like to thank GoPetFriendly, the sponsor of this blog challenge, and bring their bravery to readers’ attention. GoPetFriendly needs our support. A bunch of Amy Burkert’s blog posts on GoPetFriendly were apparently copied. Then when she claimed her copyright, the company turned around and filed a $5 million suit against her! This is a bullying tactic and Amy is fighting back. She has a funding page set up so that she can respond to this harassing lawsuit. I have contributed and I urge others to do so. Amy is very brave and standing up for all of us “little guys.” Please support her.

Donate to GoPetFriendly Fighting Infringement

Thank you to GoPetFriendly for the 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge!

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Copyright Eileen Anderson 2016

21 thoughts on “Eileenanddogs: 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge

  1. Wow on your master’s degree in music! I’m not a music person but I’m fascinated by people who are, if that makes any sense!

    Thank for taking a stand and going after plagiarists. I’ve been doing it for years and it’s a pain but we all need to stand up for ourselves and go after the ones who do this! Love seeing more bloggers taking the time to respect their work!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I have really enjoyed your blog but haven’t been there lately; I was glad to see you in the blogaround. Keep up the good fight about plagiarists!

  2. Thank you so much for participating in the Challenge Eileen, and for your continued support of my battle against infringement. It means more to me than you know.

    I totally agree with you on Debbie’s wonderful blog, and congratulations on getting your book published – that’s fantastic! I’m sure it will help so many people who love their pets and are dealing with this heartbreaking condition. Keep fighting the good fight against the plagiarizers – it feels like we’re swimming upstream, but together we will change the tide.

    1. I am with you all the way on your battle; I think those kinds of bullying moves are just disgusting. They did it to the wrong person this time! Thanks for your kind words, and thanks so much for hosting the Pet Blogger Challenge. I don’t do many of these types of things–but I love yours.

    2. Oh, and thanks for the tip on the plagiarism plugin. I think I’m going to get it!

  3. Congratulations on getting your book published, that is quite an accomplishment! Good for you for taking on the plagiarists! I don’t understand how people can steal other people’s work, and think it’s okay!

  4. Congratulations on your book this year! I’ve always loved reading your articles and consider you a wonderful source for positive reinforcement training information.

    I so look forward to reading more great posts in 2017 and thanks so much for the Google tip about going after plagiarists!

  5. Fairly new to blogging and so glad I joined this year’s blog hop to read everyone’s triumphs and challenges. Fabulous news about your book!

  6. Thanks for sharing information about the plagiarism. What’s sad is that I’m no longer surprised by this and I’m glad that there is something we can do. What happened to Amy freaks me out. I like your idea of tracking the take down notices; do you use a plugin to track down people who are scraping your content?

    1. I haven’t started tracking people in an organized way but that’s a great idea. It is very sad that we have to do this, though. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I’m looking at that plagiarism plugin that Amy mentioned.

  7. Glad I found you! I’ve met so many great bloggers through this challenge! How super cool that you built a harpsichord!!! Thank you for the heads up on plagiarism. It’s sad that we have to guard against this stuff.

    1. Yep, I do. That was my “other life.” Glad you found the info helpful. I haven’t made it around to everybody’s blogs yet!

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