Catch that run away blog!! — 84 Comments

  1. This is an excellent post! While my blog has never gotten asked to review a product (how does that even happen?), I do notice all the time I invest in trying to have photos and little short stories about my boys. First I just posted when I felt like it, then a schedule sort of evolved, and with the schedule came a feeling of pressure. Right now, I haven’t felt much inspiration. My life has a definite routine to it, and I feel like I have pretty much run out of fresh ideas to keep up regular posts. My blog is a bit past 4 years old. I never, ever gave any thought to how long I would do this. I do love the sense of community. I would miss that terribly if I quit. But I do think about all the time that could be spent doing something else. I guess it needs to be a balancing act, finding the right amount of blogging without letting it rule your life.

    • I suppose the balancing act is the tricky part that we all need to figure out. I love the photos and little stories you post, and maybe that’s enough for you right now. I can’t believe you have never been asked to do a review. I love your blog!

  2. FIRST: DO NOT STOP BLOGGING!!!!!!!! You would be DREADFULLY MISSED by me and yes by a TON of others!
    You took MANY words right out of MY mouth in reference to BOTH of my blogs. About product reviews, I try to be super selective and basically (yes there are a few cases where that wasn’t or isn’t true) only blog about what we would actually purchase on our own. You said this and this is how I feel about BOTH of my blogs: “I will never be an educational blog, there are plenty of those out there, and they do it so well. I’m not an expert in anything, but I know how to have fun, and I know how to pass that on. ”
    BUT…you ARE an expert in art and travel and dogs and don’t forget that! You are also an expert at photography.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you wrote this: “Don’t focus on the numbers, just let it happen the way it should.” that is what i used to think to and what I need to get back to. When I start focusing on numbers I also lose the FUN as you mentioned. THANK YOU for reminding me of this and you had BETTER NOT GO ANYWHERE!
    I shoot for blogging 3 days per week on both blogs. If I do more, great, if not, so be it. I am a firm believer in “less is more” For the bloggers that blog 7 days religiously, more power to them, that will NEVER be me. Also, I rarely read every one of their 7 posts. There just isn’t time!

    • Caren, I love you! You are the cheerleader for the blogging community, at least you are for me. Why do we allow ourselves to fall out of the fun part, and into the numbers trap? It’s going to be a mind shift for me, but I’m determined to just blog for the fun and friendship. And ya….I think we’re here for a bit longer.

  3. It has to be about fun and enjoying what you do. If not it just becomes a chore and what is the point of that? Have fun and enjoy it and don’t worry about numbers they will come. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. I love to blog too, but like everything it has its highs and lows. I’m in a low period right now because some things in my life are changing. Like you, I can’t imagine not blogging. The key for me (I think) is always being willing to try new things and just doing it. Blogging has been a creative discipline for me. Since I post every day, even when I’m feeling low, I have to come up with something. I try not to worry what that “something” is, just do it. It’s created a wonderful online diary for me and shown me that some of my best work comes out of just slogging along and doing something even when I don’t feel like it. It’s really help me find a voice of my own and has made me very “honest” about who I am. It’s also opened me up to following the journey and taking opportunities that present themselves. Please don’t stop blogging. We love you guys.

    • Lori I have loved what you are doing this month. A beautiful image, a wonderful quote. And I know it’s giving you space to do your writing. It is an online diary, I love to go back and look at past posts and see all the fun places again. The creativity is what it’s important to me too.

  5. You said what many of us feel. We all want to make a living off the blog but honestly, I don’t think it is going to happen for most. The reason most of us started was for fun and that has to still be a main goal. You need to learn to say “no”, politely decline offers that don’t really fit what you want to do on your blog. It takes a lot of time but we enjoy it. The day we don’t enjoy it is the day we need to re evaluate what we are doing. Your blog is awesome, hope you find your way and stick with it. The numbers are frustrating, but numbers aren’t the world.

  6. Well, you certainly said some things that are exactly what is going on with us! I guess I am saying that I totally understand. I too started out for fun but once I discovered I could make money my whole focus changed, but have yet to figure out how to be an expert on anything. But, when I realize I have something fun to write about or Dolly did something strange or cute, I have an outlet to write about it, and document it. I truly enjoy all of your experiences and admit I am one that lives vicariously through your blog. I look forward to reading it! Sandra & Dolly

  7. I completely and totally understand. I’ve thought about not blogging anymore more than once and I’ve taken a few breaks from it which always seems to help because I find that I really do miss and love it. It can get overwhelming especially when you stop having fun and are worried about followers and such. I try not to worry about that as much anymore and just focus on the having fun part:) I’m glad you decided to keep at it!

  8. I love the blog. Its time well spent. Keeps you out of trouble. Never give up no matter what, I will find you.

  9. This certainly happens to all of us, and every so often I think of throwing in the towel too, but for the same reasons you gave, I find it hard to stop. I think the key is to get back to doing things YOUR way and on YOUR terms. At least, that has helped for me. Instead of worrying about growing traffic, etc, I worry about just having fun and doing the parts I like.

    Take a wee break if you need to, but I hope that you won’t leave all together.

  10. I can SO relate to what you’ve said here. I started out blogging as a way to journalize Daisy’s life, to have a place to store all the memories and photos, but it turned into so much more. I, too, got caught up in numbers and awards and all that extraneous fluff, but suddenly I realized exactly what you said – it wasn’t fun anymore. Now I can happily say I haven’t looked at my stats in months, and I don’t miss it at all. At the same time, I also don’t want to lose this wonderful blog “family” of dog lovers – the community here is much stronger and more sincere than the actual town of overachieving “go-getters” I live in. I got more support from all my blogging buddies when the tree fell into our house after Hurricane Sandy last year than we got from ANY of our neighbors. All they cared about was taking pictures to post online, no one even stopped by to see if we were okay. I love this blogging community, and if I could turn it into a real-life town, I certainly would. Every time I’ve had to stop blogging because of “life getting in the way”, I’ve missed it and everyone in it; I always wonder how you’re all doing. It bothers me when I’m too busy to keep up with my blogging buddies’ posts because I never want anyone to think we just don’t care anymore. We do, always. And we’d miss you very much if you quit blogging. Everyone brings a different element to this community, and we enjoy yours very much. I admire the life you lead and the adventures it takes you on – yes, I’m one of those vicarious people! Great post!

    • Wouldn’t we all make the greatest city to live in? What a fun idea. People in the blog world “get it” more than some in our communities. I do meet people on our travels though, who think the blog is awesome and love to follow along. That is always gratifying.

  11. Pet bloggers are super stars. And you are definitely one. :)

    I feel a real loss when a favorite blogger goes on vacation or stops writing permanently. I’m glad you’ve resolved to find a way to blog that feels authentic to you. Personally, while winning free stuff for Honey is fun, I’d much rather see Roxy, Torrey, and the human Hones enjoying beautiful places that I’ve never visited.

    As for product reviews, there’s another issue that bloggers skirt but never quite say. In many cases, it can make us feel like we’re being used by the companies.

    Spending 3 hours writing and formatting a post reviewing a simple pet product is not a very even exchange. Especially since you’re putting a company’s product in front of hundreds or possibly thousands of eyes.

    I stopped writing my home buyer blog for a long time after a major real estate blog asked me to write for them (for free). They sent me a lengthy contract which specified, among other things, that I could never say anything negative about their company. It made me feel very used. And even though I never considered signing the contract, it made me feel like crap.

    Especially since the core of my blog is to create independent, helpful information instead of just repeating the propaganda of the real estate/mortgage industries.

    All of us have probably been distracted from following our heart’s path. I’m glad you’ve regained your path and I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the future.

    • Thanks so much Pamela. It’s funny on the whole review thing. My hubby has said to me, you are giving them free publicity, how about at least charging. I have been going back and forth with a PR company on review stuff. They didn’t have any products I was interested in though. But I asked the woman I was emailing what she thought of bloggers charging for their time to do a review. Basically she told me that companies feel the product is enough payment, and there are tons of bloggers who will do it for free. I think it’s small payment for a lot of work, on some things. I would rather blog for me, and have fun doing it.

  12. Oh, I think we’ve all been there. I could write a novella of a reply, so I’ll try to not be toooo wordy. I’ve thought about quitting too – it’s such a huge time commitment, especially visiting everyone else’s blogs. (I realized the other day I hardly read books anymore because I’m always reading blogs instead!) But I would miss everyone so much if I quit! I didn’t post today – skipping Monday Mischief for the first time in ages, because I just didn’t have anything to say, and I’m practically having heart palpitations over it!

    As for the reviews, I’ve been asked to do some, but I turn them down if they don’t interest me, or I don’t see a way to make them fun for my blog. That’s just not my thing. Like you, I want my blog to be all about the fun! As for the stats, I hardly ever look at those anymore. I did look the other day (just because I wanted to see how the new cancer hop did compared to my usual posts) but other than that I hadn’t looked in months. I don’t really care about SEO and I’ve never thought of trying to monetize my blog. I *do* hope that it helps me with my novel writing, but that’s – and the FUN of it – are really my only purposes for the blog. (In fact, I wonder if it’s worth it for me to go to BlogPaws, since it seems like a lot of it is about monetizing and SEO and that sorta thing – and I’m not into all that. I would go just for the fun of it – but it’s a lot of money just for the fun. We’ll see…)

    Anyway, this is turning into a novella. I think we’ve all been there. Everyone needs a break now and then! I love seeing your photos of the fabulous places you’ve gone, so please don’t quit! Take a break, get your mojo back, and we’ll be here waiting! :)

    • Jackie, you crack me up. Heart palpitations, LOL. I bought my ticket for Blogpaws and I’m excited to go. SEO and monetizing or not, There was other fun stuff when I went two years ago. Novella or not, I love it when you stop by.

        • Hey Jackie

          You just gave me heart palpitations thinking there was no mischief going on in your house, I was already packing a bag and coming down to give some re-training! Haha

          Can’t wait to read it, will be along shortly :)

          Your pal Snoopy :)

  13. Mary, I could have written this post. I’ve been so discouraged with my blog lately. And I don’t know how to define the line between making money and staying true to myself. Thankfully I’m not approached by a lot of companies to do product reviews, so that is one less thing to think about.

    The one thing I am sure of is the community. I love this community. They never fail to lift my spirits when I’m down, or rally around a blogger (or pet) in need, so I know I would miss them terribly if I stopped blogging, but it can be so overwhelming. I literally cannot keep up with all the blogs I follow, which is why I go AWOL for a bit then you see me commenting on five posts!

    Personally I would miss you if you stopped, but I do understand the frustration and temptation. I love the photos you post and all the cool places you go with your dogs that I never will.

    I mean, you’re Roxy the Traveling Dog, (as a side note: the first time you ever tweeted at me I almost peed myself I was so excited. Roxy the Traveling Dog tweeted me. ME!)

    What would blogville be without Roxy the Traveling Dog?

    • Jodi, really?? You could not have been that excited when I tweeted you. LOL. Too funny. The community is the best. I think Daisy said it best here, if we could all live in the same town, that would be awesome!!

  14. As you know, I can absolutely relate to what you are feeling. Blogging is such an expansive learning experience, so maybe us bloggers can unite to help each other stop our blogs from running away. I am working on creating a rough list of criteria for product reviews and blog posts to keep them on the right track. Although it won’t be written in stone, I am hoping that it makes the decision process easier when time comes. I would love to hear what you use to do the same thing.

    I also love reading about your travels and artsy fartsy finds. I have equally loved the how to posts. (I learned so much about my phone from your Samsung Galaxy camera post and excitedly ran off to try out all the features.) Any focus you pick, just know your followers will continue to follow you. I am excited for your journey and to see what makes you happy.

    • I guess I just have a mental list of criteria in my head, Would it be fun to review? Would the dogs or me REALLY benefit from it. Does it fit? I agree, we need to all help each other out, whether it’s staying on track, or whatever we all need. I’m glad you liked my Galaxy overview, and that you learned some new stuff.

  15. Please do NOT stop blogging! I love coming here every day to see what is going on with you and your family!

    Here is something interesting I read recently, and that I took to heart, as I worried over how some bloggers have WAY more followers than I do: You can either go wide with your blog (writing about everything and anything and accruing followers by the 100s) or you can go deep with your blog (write about what is important to you AND your followers so you can develop relationships). I wish I remembered on what site I read this so I could share the URL (I will have to look for itand share it with you later).

    After I read that one sentence, I knew I would prefer going deep rather than going wide…and I am betting you would too. And why not? I know I come here to read about your travels, your art and the art of others you find all through your travels. Sure, you could do a product review once in a while…I do them too, but I only take reviews of products that I KNOW I would USE and that I would BUY myself!

    Anyway, think about that one sentence (and I will look for the article)…I sure did and it has helped.
    Oz (and his Ma)

  16. This is such an important topic IMHO.

    We have been having conversations with some fellow bloggers about the value exchange (or lack thereof) associated with product reviews and other Brand mentions in our writing.

    There seems to be this mentality that bloggers are supposed to write reviews and/or mention Brands for free, or perhaps a token product sample. It seems to me that we all need to make a decision that we will say NO unless we are compensated with cash. Every time we agree to publish a review sans monetary compensation, we are reinforcing the precedent that our time and audience is worth nothing! This is an untruth that needs to be eliminated.

    Yes, we have written a few reviews in the past without compensation. That needs to stop.

    Recently, a “Brand” asked us to write a piece on their great product and they told us how much they valued our POV. When we told them that there was a price for such work, they said that “we don’t pay for these articles because we have traction with other bloggers”. Slimdoggy Jack wanted to bite their head off.

    Having come from the Digital Ad space, we understand how it works and that “reach” (audience size) can be a limiting factor with establishing a marketing relationship with a Brand, especially the larger ones. I have been thinking that we should all join together and pool our audiences and establish a “rate card” price structure and stick to it. After all, what do we have to lose? A few samples? Whoopdy damn doo! (as Derrick Coleman, ex NBA star once said).

    Anyone interested in pushing this idea forward, please let us know. We can be reached via the contact form on our site or on our Facebook page.

    In any case, to Roxy’s mom and all of the other amazing pet bloggers (and there are so many of you!)—you should know that your time, passion, knowledge, and audience IS worth something and you deserve a fair trade when providing it to a Brand.

    • I would be very interested in that. I have thought the exact same thing. The problem would be getting everyone on board. Blogging for free for myself is one thing, to promote a huge company, is another entirely. I asked a PR person just the other day what the opinion was from her stand point. Basically she told me that companies feel the product is payment enough, and that lots of bloggers will do reviews for free. I think the value of the product plays a part in this gray area too. I don’t know the exact answer. Thanks so much for jumping in the conversation, maybe if we all put our heads together, we can come up with a great solution.

      • The PR person normally works for a Brand, so that opinion reflects that.

        “Basically she told me that companies feel the product is payment enough, and that lots of bloggers will do reviews for free.”

        This underlies the problem. 1) they ‘feel’ that product is payment enough.
        I have an idea,next time we go to the pet store, when they ring up our purchases, let’s tell the cashier that we will pay with a Blog Post or a Facebook post.

        2) lots of bloggers will do reviews for free.
        My point exactly. The more that say yes to free or sample based promotion, the harder it will be to change the behavior.

        By the way, do you think Dogster or PetMd, or Dog Fancy et. al. write free product reviews? No they don’t. They are paid for their work like any other business.

  17. Where do I begin? First, I am so glad you are going to BlogPaws and we’ll get to meet!!! Second, having been just a lurking pet blog reader for a very long time, I have mixed feelings about my decision to start my own blog and also feel it has gotten away from me a bit. Jodi reminded me of the joy of having my own blog- like the first time she tweeted me (me?!?) when you told me you like my blog (squee!!) when the ever hilarious Pamela left a comment that my post made her laugh (OMG!!!)- but as these community relationships and my blog grow, I have less time to just read and simply enjoy the wonderful blogs I lurked around for years. Finally, brilliant insights on product reviews here, in the post and the comments. I do think some companies deserve product exchange reviews (like most of the lovely people Dachshund Nola reviews) but there is definitely a fine line between crafts people deserving support and corporations taking advantage of “free” publicity. Probably a thicker line, actually… Anyways, so glad your sticking with it. If you keep having fun, so will the rest of us! :)

  18. Yes, you are right, a lot of bloggers feel this way. I am not so sure it has to do with *now* but more with how long you have been blogging. We’ve been blogging for almost 3 years too. I found the same thing you did – too much writing reviews and less about fun stuff. I still will write about featured products, but most of those will be because we REALLY like the product and/or I am being compensated for my time. I know that most brands are not willing to pay but that is fine with me. If they move on to someone who will do it for free, that means that I can write one more post about exactly what I want. I have also moved to long-term sponsorships/Ambassadorships. I want to spend time writing about products that we use a lot and really love.

    I also found that my blog kind of ran away from me. I think it was after the first year that I declared I wanted to become a resource for people hiking with dogs, and small dogs in particular. I “woke up” the other day and realized I was really writing pet lifestyle posts most of the time. I will still continue to do that but I am going to be writing more posts about our adventures and about hiking tips. I know that won’t appeal to some of the people that follow us for our pet lifestyle stuff but I hope to strike an agreeable balance.

    Good luck with everything. I would be sad if you stopped writing this blog all together. Perhaps you can write only 2 or 3 times a week like I am doing? I just don’t have more time to write with school but it has also allowed me to feel like I am taking a little bit of my life back.

  19. It looks like you are not alone, judging by all the comments! And I am not alone either. In some ways, as much as I regret the setback in my writing, I think the 8 month break I took was a good thing. It gave me time to reflect on what it important to me and what I want my space to be. It helped me find my joy again.

    Not that I am suggesting you do the same! 8 months may have been a bit too long. But I think as pet bloggers especially, we have difficulty communicating our value to ourselves and the wider market. We don’t take ourselves as seriously as maybe we should and feel grateful for every freebie tossed our way. It’s a huge disservice and it also leads to burn-out.

    Anyway, know that you are not alone in your struggles. I hope you are able to find a formula that is fun and keeps you blogging!

    • It’s very nice to know we all have struggles and stuff we need to work out in our heads. And it’s especially nice to know that everyone has great input and ideas, and just general support. Like I said, this community is the best!!

  20. First of all, I will chime in on saying I’m glad you’re not stopping! I think you’ve made the right decision in just trying to just make it more fun. I love your travel photos, and your two beautiful girls. I’ve only been at it for just more than a year, and still have had many times where I’ve questioned what I’m doing. It’s so time consuming and can be overwhelming at times. I seriously thought about stopping a few times, but not for long. It didn’t take me long to realize how much I would miss it if I did. Almost like it has become an addiction (but a good one). I don’t get a lot of offers for reviews, but I’ve signed up for a couple paid ones through BlogPaws. I just wanted to make a little extra money, plus I enjoy trying new things, or reading a good book. But I have tried to be careful to not overdo it….another one came up recently that was interesting and I realized it coincided with one I had already signed up for, so I decided to pass on it. I want to be careful to not take the fun out of it, and have it be too much like work.
    I could say so much more (maybe I need to write my own post….lol), but I think everyone has pretty much covered the important things. One more quick thing….when I first started I thought blogging might be competitive, but what a pleasant surprise to find out it’s just the opposite….a caring and supportive community. That’s the best part.

    • The community, and the non competitive is one of the things that are so awesome. You are on the right track with everything you are doing, just don’t get side tracked. LOL A little extra money for all the work we do is I think what most of us would like. That’s kinda the tricky part I think.

  21. Blogging first and fore most has to be fun, what ever you write about.You have to sit there with two dogs on your lap with a huge smile on your face, because you are loving what you are writing. We very seldom do reviews, we hated being committed for a few chews..LOL.. If I don’t feel like posting, I don’t. I use to worry like hell, that everyday I had to visit all these other blogs ( which I love doing ) but I don’t always have the time.You know how long it takes, so I pop a note on my blog and I do double bubble reading the next day. We love your blog and love you and whatever you want to write about, we will always be there to read it :)So never STOP blogging.. We love following you round on your super adventures, the new places you visit, the super art you show us. And we love Blogvilles cutest pups :) Big Hugs xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Remember… You do in life what makes you happy :)

    Mollie and Alfie

    • Perfectly stated. Blogging is fun if we let it be that way. Running the race is exhausting, and no fun what so ever. So no more running. LOL Thanks for enjoying the dogs and the adventures. That makes it all worth it.

  22. My two cents: I love the photos of your dogs. LOVE. They’re gorgeous and you’re a great photographer. I love feeling like I’m following you on an adventure, meeting new people, seeing new places. And I love your voice. If you never do another product review, that would be fine. Except a Jones review. Or maybe I just have to send you chews. Something like that.

    On my personal blog, I learned the hard way that people just wanted to hear me. My audience grew as my personality bloomed online. I love hearing Roxy’s voice. You just be you. But don’t go away.

  23. I look at my blog as my hobby. I don’t look at numbers and I don’t care if I monetize. (I work for my money and blog for my fun.) Since my dogs are breeding animals, I guess I am promoting them through my blog. But that is not my motivation. Hubby and I spend so much time on the dogs so I found a way to make it fun for me…taking pictures and posting about our adventures. I have even finagled hubby into taking pictures when he is out hunting and he thinks in terms of what the post will say…lol.

    Sometimes I do get very busy and overwhelmed, but then I just cut back a bit and post some pictures and not type too much. I enjoy reading everyone’s blogs but I give myself one day off a week from reading. It keeps me from getting overloaded. I also limit my posting to M-F and one post a day. As for product reviews, I do them. But it is similar to the way I treat the free samples at the market. I limit to things I am interested in possibly buying. In fact I think I have done 4 product reviews and now regularly buy three of the four. But if no product interests me then I don’t do them just to get stuff.

    I think your blog is wonderful and I always love the photos!

  24. I’m delighted to hear that you’re not going to stop blogging … you would definitely be missed! One thing I’ve found that helps is to be more lenient with the timing of my posts. I used to go into vapor lock if the next day’s post wasn’t scheduled before I went to bed. NOT ANYMORE! It will get posted when I’m finished with it – that may be 4 o’clock in the afternoon – so what? I also used to be strict about Mon/Wed/Fri posts – honestly, what is the point of handcuffing myself? I still try to post 3 times a week, but not on any specific day. And, if I only get two posts up that week … oh well. I don’t sweat it. What I’ve found is that my traffic continues to grow.

    You and I have the unique opportunity to take people along for a fun, pet friendly ride. But, if we’re not having fun … our blogs aren’t any fun. I think we’re both better off spending the 6 bucks on a bag of treats and getting those three hours back to do with as we please.

    • Amy, You’re awesome. My problem is my personality is, and always has been kinda scheduled. I am way more relaxed now that the kids are grown, and we are on the road, but old habits die hard I suppose. I completely agree with the last paragraph you wrote. I am committed on a few more review things, but then I am going to stick to informative, or useful type products. Stuff people really want to know. Hey…It’s all about the fun!!

  25. This is very interesting for me to read as I am a very new blogger. My artist’s blog is 7 months old and my pet blog is a baby at 1 month. I’m still wobbling around finding my voice/style with both of them. I suppose in the back of my head I’m hoping any exposure I get through the blogs will help me sell some of my artwork, but mostly I just hope to have fun like you all have said over and over in the comments. I just recently discovered the pet blogging community. You guys rock! I meet someone new whenever I hop. I hope you stick around Roxy (on Instagram too). We will be a traveling animal family in another year and a half when we retire so you are our inspiration!

    • Well, welcome to the pet blogging world. Since I started the Roxy blog with the idea of it helping us sell art, I know where you’re coming from. It has got more eyes on what we do, that’s for sure. But juggling more than one blog can be tough, so be careful. Keep it fun, keep it what you want it to be.

  26. Great post! And OF COURSE we’d miss you! I started feeling like reviews were taking over my blog, so I’m wrapping up all the ones I’ve got laying around and am only going to be down one, maybe two, a month from now on. It’s good to reevaluate every now and then!
    Nola’s Mom

  27. I’m so glad you’re not actually going to stop the blog, just get it back to how you want it – cos we really really would miss you!

    Like you we love this awesome community, especially when we get to meet some of our buddies, we loved meeting you all and hanging out in SLC – Looking forward to seeing you all again in Vegas….

    We got super good at politely saying no thanks to reviews, my blog is driven by random photos and videos of things I just happen to get up to, that makes it super hard to fit a review into, so we just don’t do them cos we’re all about having fun like you guys :)

    We love seeing where you are and your photos are awesome!

    I hope you’re having a fun day, and not checking stats :)

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  28. Been there this past week when going though my loss of Norman, got way behind on my blog reading and commenting. Thank you for stopping by my blog and sending your sympathies. Hang in there and do what you feel is right in your heart.

  29. I think that you’ve brought up something that’s on lots of peoples’ minds. I think you need to follow your heart in what you post about… post what you’re passionate about and have fun with it. I sure hope you don’t stop blogging!

    I’ve faced the monetization thing, and I’ve mostly said no. I have to be honest that I really don’t find most “reviews” on other blogs to be fun to read. So, I decided not to do reviews on my blog. I have one “sponsor”, and for me, it’s a biggy. It’s my supplier of trail cameras for my wildlife photos. I honestly believe that they are the best company out there, which is why I decided to have them as a sponsor.

    Please take my words with a grain of salt… but I hope that you do follow your heart and also keep on blogging!

    • First, did you get your giveaway loot? And second,thanks for the insight and opinion. Reviews, like I said are love hate. I don’t mind doing them, nor reading them if they are useful. So I am going to stick with the occasional useful stuff. Once I get through the ones I am committed too. That being said, I LOVE that your blog is beautiful photos, and just fun everyday cool stuff. I want to keep this blog going that way too.

  30. I think most of us can relate to every single word you said!! It really aggravates me that so many companies think that we SHOULD blog for them for free. It just doesn’t make sense…would we go to the grocery store without cash? Don’t even get me started!! SO many companies will just ask me to put a link on the sidebar…no compensation…not even a product. I don’t think so!! It does take up a lot of time, but like you…I would truly miss the feeling of community that comes along with blogging. I think I’ve been at it for about seven years now, but I go through up periods and down periods…I think we all do. Just comes with the territory! Personally, I would rather be out on the road somewhere and taking pics of the girlz!! I just love looking at your photos…you do an awesome job with photography!! Hope it all works out for you and that you continue to blog. But, it is really important to go with your heart.

    • Thanks!! I love photography, who wouldn’t with such beautiful dogs and great places. Time is the one thing we all struggle with, and we all need to get under control. And the companies and reviews, just need to slow down and go with what works the best.

  31. I’m late to the party, darn it! Which actually ties in to your post. Sometimes I have to actually live my life, which means less time to make the blog rounds (and is also why my blog comments are usually very short.) You’ve surely struck a nerve with many of us and definitely with me.
    More about me, but first I have to say: I would very much miss your blog if you decided to stop blogging. I love your photography; love your posts about your travels. I adore you artist profiles (and shame on me for never participating!)
    Time is a four letter word at my house and there is never enough of it. I began my blog years ago because “everybody” said I needed one because of my business. These days, as I contemplate drastically reducing or closing my business, I’ve been considering the blog… There have been so many things I haven’t blogged about because I have a business! Maybe I finally would feel like I could? Or do I want to reclaim all that time? It’s a dilemma and one I’m struggling with.

    • Sounds like you are at a crossroads. I am trying to spend more time marketing the hubbies art, so I kinda quit blogging on my art site. This blog just needs to be reigned a little and all will be good. Why are you thinking of closing your business? I love what you do, and shame on me for never buying. My only excuse is we are starving artists. You have to do what is best for your life though. Are you running the business, or is it running you?

      • Oh no, never feel badly for not buying my jewelry! Thankfully, my business is a success, which is why it’s so hard to think about it ending (well, that and I love it). Sorry to have been as clear as mud ;-) My crossroads is a long story involving my husband’s health and wanting to spend as much time as possible with him while I can. As you very well know, there’s much more to an art business than simply creating the art, darn it!

  32. I love this post. Read it yesterday but didn’t comment right away because I wanted to think about things. I love most that you generated such a great conversation here. Fantastic. That shows how you connected you are!!! :) :) :)

    I love that you are refocusing on what the blog means to you. I really enjoy the diversity of your blog. I love your art and your photos and your travels. It’s very neat.

    I had noticed your increase in product reviews, and I really wondered how that felt for you — and for your blog. I wondered if you felt beholden to others with the blog. I see it’s something you articulate here.

    I think product reviews are great, but I think it is your blog and as soon as product reviews feel overwhelming, forget it (sure free stuff — but you provide content and it is work!).

    Your heart is first. And I love reading your heart.

    I hope that perspective helps. Thanks for sharing with us all.

    Renee & Tootsie

    • Thanks Renee. Ya this post really generated a great conversation. I have some more product reviews in the works, then I will be cutting back on all that stuff. I personally love the photo taking the most, and sharing our fun adventures.

  33. We felt the same way but have to keep in mind the main reason WHY? we started blogging. We did it for sharing and FUN. Few months ago (sad to say) someone made a comment to us via email “why do it for FUN, what’s the use if you are not gaining any monetary compensation.” Blogging has become competitive … not sure why as every blogger is unique. We mentioned on our recent post, that there’s no need to be like others.
    We do miss the old days of blogging. Wish you will decide to continue to blog … Lots of Golden Love n Woofs, Sugar n mom

    • Oh we’re sticking around, just getting back to the fun of it all. We will probably always do reviews, just not an overwhelming amount. I sometimes think yes there is competition, then I think, no not really. We all do what we love, and everyone is different, so it’s all good.

  34. I think that you have taken the words right out of my mouth :) Sometimes, I feel like I have no time to post stuff besides reviews or sponsored posts. I am hoping to get out of this “circle” by the end of December. For now, I am swamped with obligated posts for about the next 2 weeks or so. And I feel like I have been for a little while now. I posted about it before I think, but it will take me some time to start fresh!

    • For you and me it will be like a fresh start. I don’t mind doing reviews, I just don’t want to do them every week. And they need to be for a product that means something, a great company or product. Obviously as bloggers we have lots to say, that’s why we started blogging in the first place.

  35. Oh hon, I can totally relate but don’t give up! Take some time off and reorganize your thoughts and your mission for blogging. When I started blogging, it was so fun. No worries about SEO and plugins or trying to keep up the the “Jones” of the bloggy world. Then reviews came and although I was honored to try things for free, there was a pressure for the review. Whatever happened to just blogging your heart. Not fancy themes nor headers, no pressure to comment on others blogs (although you read them), just plain ole blogging! I’m in a similar rut with my own and not having time to blog because of other shelter priorities, but I am in the midst of trying to reorganize and regroup my thoughts. Simple is better for me and that’s exactly what I need to get back to.

    Thank you for putting this out there. You truly rock and don’t leave the bloggy world. Take time and it will come back to you. We’re here for you!

    • Thanks Bren. The one thing about this post, everyone has said they can relate, feel the same, and completely understand. I guess someone just needed to write it. Simple is better, funner for sure. LOL. I think we all just need to take a collective deep breath, and relax.

  36. So proud of you for going back to what you started the blog for in the first place. We haven’t gotten into product reviews yet but I can relate to the pressure of coming up with fresh, entertaining and engaging content day after day. We’ve been going for about a year and a half now. Know that your blog is appreciated. Sorry we don’t always have time to comment to let you know we are here and reading. We will get better about that! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  37. Oh, boy, do I feel where you’re coming from! I try to limit reviews on the blog to once a week, because I don’t think that’s what people come to my blog for. And I feel there are people who do reviews much better than I do. I broke my rule this week, though, because I just want to get a few things off my back. With Christmas coming up, the offers are more frequent and more tempting. On top of that, I have some serious vet bills I need to pay off from Blueberry’s care this spring, and it stings because she’s no longer with us. That just feels like salt in the wound that I would like to let heal into a beautiful scar. So, accepting blog campaigns is helping me to resolve that a little, and I’ve told myself that it won’t always be this kind of situation where I am needing the money so much.

    Frankly, I’ve worked on a few campaigns lately that have really frustrated me, because once I was accepted, the demands kept getting higher and higher, and some of the things felt really nitpicky to me. But I agreed to do them, and I want to be a professional, so I’ve tried to play by the rules and just get it done. But, honestly, unless a dog food company wants to send our dogs food for a year, I don’t want to be in that business. Treats, toys and other products are a different story. I guess for me, the trade off will always come down to how bad I want what they’re offering. Our dogs have gotten some pretty nice stuff that I wouldn’t have been able to buy thanks to reviews, so I can’t view it as all bad. I just have to keep it in balance.

    • It is so hard for us all to walk that line. The future of reviews for me, will be stuff we really need, or a fabulous company that needs talking about. We have enough treats around here to last a year. LOL. Like you said, people come to our blogs to hear about the dogs and what they are doing.

  38. It seems like you took the words out of a lot of bloggers’ mouths. I personally don’t feel pressured or turned off from blogging simply because I do it whenever I want. I don’t post daily because I would get stressed out trying to figure out what to write about every single day. I was having a hard time dealing with personal issues for the past two months, so posts were down to almost nothing. Things have gotten better, so my posts have been more frequent. I think blogging is a great way to exercise creativity. Without blogging, I wouldn’t have a creative outlet. I started blogging as a way to express myself. Making friends along the way was an unexpected, but extremely welcomed outcome.

    Take your time to figure out what you want to do. You don’t have to quit because it’s evident that you’d be clearly missed. Maybe post less, or you’re right, don’t do as many reviews if you feel like they don’t truly reflect your blog or what you want to express.

    All the best :)

  39. Great post, great points…about stuff that plagues many of us. I used to feel guilty about missing posts or what I wrote sometimes, but in the end, it’s still MY blog…. We all have those days when we want to toss our hands up in the air…

  40. LOL! I find it funny that in my original comment I posted about how I’ve never been asked to do a review, and wondered why not? Then I’ve just read over most of the comments and everyone laments being obligated to reviews. So maybe it’s a good thing I’ve never been “discovered”. I was recently sent a dog book (Chaser) and I have no idea how the publisher got my email to ask if I wanted a copy. It came with no strings but I’ll probably review so I can pass it along to someone else.

  41. AMEN! Going through my current backlog of reviews to do I’m feeling overwhelmed and I have already promised myself to be more selective and get back to writing more fun stuff…I wish us both well in getting back to basics

  42. You’re definitely not alone… it’s hard not to feel bullied by the blog sometimes! I always feel so far behind.

    I think the key is to figure out what you want out of it, and follow that. I’ve pulled back from reviews and that sort of things, as it just doesn’t really tie in to what I want to do with my blog. It’s been freeing, although I’m still trying to find the right balance for sure.

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