Pet Blogger Challenge 2012
The Pet Blogger Challenge is the brainchild of Amy Burkert (www.GoPetFriendly.com) and Edie Jarolim (www.WillMyDogHateMe.com). Its an opportunity for those of us who blog about pets to get to know each other and to learn more about each other’s blogs. This is my first year participating, so we’ll see how it goes.
The questions below are standardized, all first time participants answer the same questions.
1. When did you begin your blog?
I began this blog on June 27, 2011.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
The original purpose for starting this blog was the same purpose for starting every aspect of The Preventive Vet. That purpose is to disseminate the knowledge and experience that I have gained both from my formal veterinary education and training and from my years of experience in both general and emergency/critical care veterinary practice.
I’ve seen far too many preventable pet illnesses and emergencies, and far too many pets suffer and be euthanized, due to a general lack of awareness of vital pet health and safety information within the general pet owning community. I don’t fault pet owners and guardians for not knowing this information - I fault the veterinary and pet care community on the whole for not making it more common knowledge.
As is the case in human medicine, for far too long in the small animal veterinary world the primary focus of animal health has been to diagnose and fix problems once they arise, rather than take a proactive approach and truly encouraging and promoting prevention. Fortunately, in both the human and the small animal veterinary fields, that dynamic and focus is starting to shift.
The Preventive Vet is my contribution to that shift. Its my attempt to empower pet owners, through the provision of knowledge and advice, to keep their pets healthy and safe.
3. Is your current purpose the same? If not, what’s different? If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
My purpose is indeed the same, and will remain so.
As for meeting my goals… I don’t know that I feel as though I will ever truly meet my goal. This will not be from lack of trying, but rather because I recognize that my true goal is likely too lofty. My TRUE goal for The Preventive Vet is to make it that no pet suffers a preventable illness or emergency due to a lack of their owner being aware of the potential for the condition and the steps they can take to prevent it. Too lofty, right?
To be honest though, I’m happy and comfortable in the knowledge that I am indeed ‘chipping away’ at that goal. I know from people’s feedback, and the reactions that many of them have when they hear this information for the first time, that the information and advice I’m providing and helping to spread is at least decreasing the number of pets that will suffer due to a lack of awareness.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it? If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?
I try to blog on a schedule, but that’s proven too difficult with all that is currently going on in my life (two daughters under 2 years old) and in my overall business development. I typically still do a post at least every other week. In the interim, I keep my Facebook page and Twitter feed current with information, stories, and tips that pet owners should be aware of to improve their pet’s health and safety.
My blogging slowed down a little bit after the holidays this year. I did a 12 day series (14 days if you count the intro and summary posts) on the pet hazards of Christmas. It was called 'The 12 Pet Hazards of Christmas’, and writing that series was exhausting for me. You can see the summary post here.
5. Are you generating income from your blog? If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)? If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?
I am not currently generating income from my blog, its all just free advice. I have no plans to monetize the blog in the future, save an occasional affiliate link here or there (only for companies and products that I strongly believe in and support - and even then, they will be labeled as such).
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?
What I like most about blogging is the opportunity it provides for people to share useful knowledge and experience with an audience that can extend far beyond the previously imposed geographical boundaries. The reach of a blog can be almost limitless - a blog’s reach is influenced more by its content and followers than any advertising or other marketing budget that its author may have.
What I like most about my blog is knowing that the information and advice I provide to pet owners helps them keep their pets healthy and safe, and that it helps them save money, time, and heartbreak as well. I also love that my blog helps me realize my dream of making the biggest possible contribution to the health, safety, and comfort of the greatest number of pets - it enables me to widely disseminate the information and advice necessary for pet owners to protect their pets and safeguard the human-animal bond.
7. What do you like least?
Editing! Those of you who’ve read my blog posts will probably already have realized this about me, given my… shall we say… verbose writing style and aversion to correct grammar. I was always better at math and science than I was at English!
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
In this coming year I will be attempting to make my message more succinct and focused, while not sacrificing any of the important information and advice that people need to keep their pets healthy and safe. I’ll give it my best shot, so please bear with me… I can assure you that you, your pets, and your pocketbook will benefit if you do.
Other than that, I hope to see more people following the blog and more bloggers sharing my posts. After all, the information and advice I post can only help people who actually see it. So I hope you will all help me spread the word, and I hope to make it to BlogPaws in Salt Lake this year to get to meet some of my fellow pet bloggers.
Here’s to a wonderful (and safe) 2012!
Be aware, be prepared… be Preventive!™
Jason Nicholas, BVetMed(Hons)
The Preventive Vet™