» Why The Varsity Report Matters — The 2011 Pet Blogger Challenge - The Optimal Dog

Why The Varsity Report Matters — The 2011 Pet Blogger Challenge

Why The Varsity Report Matters — The 2011 Pet Blogger Challenge

Pet Blogger Challenge 2011
2011 Pet Blogger Challenge

As part of its on-going effort to raise awareness about the importance of pet fitness, health, and wellness topics, Varsity Pets is proud to announce that we have joined the Second Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.  The Pet Blogger Challenge is an initiative through which pet industry bloggers candidly expose their goals, hopes, and aspirations for their blog and communicate those goals to other like-minded bloggers in an effort to raise awareness for their causes.  It’s a terrific idea and we are stoked to be participating.

Our Pet Blogger Challenge survey responses are below.  If you’re interested in learning more about exactly why we publish the Varsity Report, we encourage you to read on.  And if you’re a pet industry blogger who would like to participate in the Pet Blogger Challenge please click on the link above or the badge at the bottom of this post. As always, we thank you for reading and we encourage you to leave your honest comments about our blog using the form below!

2012 Second Annual Pet Blogger Challenge survey responses:

1. When did you begin your blog?

We launched the Varsity Report in the early part of the summer of 2011.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

The original purpose of the Varsity Report was to raise generalized awareness about the importance of pet fitness, health, and wellness topics such as exercise, mental health and psychology, behavior and obedience training, social interaction, and nutrition.  We wanted to provide pet owners with useful content about how to enrich the lives of their pets, focusing on no-nonsense, scientifically-valid information rather than unproven opinions and popular culture jargon.  In order to help pet owners solve the real health and wellness problems that their pets may face, we wanted to help them understand the proven truth about how their pets experience the world .  We abhor silly narratives, speculation, and overt anthropomorphism because we think they distract pet owners from very real and important issues.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

Absolutely.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

We do not blog on a strict schedule but we attempt to produce at least one short-form piece and one long-form piece every week.  We have adopted this strategy for two reasons: (1) we believe that the quality of our articles is far more important than the frequency with which we publish in terms of achieving our goals and (2) the small group of people that is responsible for publishing the Varsity Report is the same small group that manages and operates Varsity Pets, LLC (very much a full-time commitment in itself).

We are not interested in increasing our traffic through any means possible — we are interested in connecting with and providing quality content to the right readers.  And if that means growing slowly, we usually are OK with that.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?

We do not generate any income directly from the Varsity Report.  We occasionally link our readers to the Varsity Pets online pet fitness emporium, but generating income is not one of the goals of the blog.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

The best thing about blogging in general is the efficiency with which you can communicate new ideas to a broad group of people. Blogging reminds us that we live in a truly amazing time — the dissemination of new ideas and information has never been easier.

The best thing about publishing the Varsity Report is getting to see our unconventional ideas resonate with new readers.  It is hugely rewarding to see our ideas spawn fresh perspectives, new and contrary ideas, changed outlooks, and new behaviors.

7. What do you like least?

For the moment, the toughest thing is the daily reminder that we are a very small fish in a very big industry pond.  We are excited by the prospect of growth and we are invigorated by the task of building our readership, but sometimes it is challenging to suppress the knee-jerk desire to grow quickly.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?

We expect to continue to publish content that is consistent with our core values and principles.  We are hopeful that this focus, combined with our modest promotional efforts, will result in steady but modest readership growth.  We hope to see our ideas spread more widely within the pet health industry and we hope to improve the lives of some individual pets too.

 

Pet Blogger Challenge 2011

14 Comments

  1. Amy@GoPetFriendly says:

    It’s fantastic to have a well-research source of information on health and wellness. I agree that the Internet is great for sharing information, but distilling the truth from the fluff is getting harder and harder. I really appreciate it when someone is willing to do it for me. Thanks!

    • Coach Dan says:

      Thanks for the kind words Amy. We aim to please! Are there any pet fitness, psychology, or general wellness topics that you’d like to us cover in the future? Any myths you’d like our help in dispelling?

  2. Pup Fan says:

    Great looking blog! It’s nice to meet you through the Challenge.

  3. Edie says:

    Thanks for not only taking part in the challenge but extolling its virtues in such a positive way! It’s very nice to e-meet you.

    • Coach Dan says:

      Nice to meet you too, Edie! Thanks for your work in organizing and promoting the Challenge — we look forward to getting to know you better.

  4. Pamela says:

    I guess I’d have to say I’m not really a member of the “pet industry” per se. That sounds so industrial.

    Good luck meeting your 2012 goals.

  5. Team Southern Charm says:

    I love seeing all the Pet friendly fitness information that is posted n your blog. I constantly repost and retweet the great information to my friends in the Dock Dog community. Keep up the good work!

  6. Tegan says:

    I’m belatedly stopping by from the challenge. 🙂 Your blog sounds really focussed – and on stuff I’d like to learn about! So I’ll be sure to pop by and see how you’re going over the coming weeks/year.

    • Coach Dan says:

      Sounds good Tegan. Thank you for checking us out. We are working on a long-form article about the virtues of dog sports — look for it soon…

  7. Colby says:

    Love your design and color choices…very similar to our alma mater UofA. We do our best to keep our dogs active through training whether it be K9 Nosework, Obedience, Therapy, or Guide work we do our best to keep our pups active. This is the first time we’ve come across your blog thanks to the pet blogger challenge and we’re interested to read about different ways to keep our pups active in 2012.

    • Coach Dan says:

      Thanks for the kind words Colby! Active minds and bodies are more often than not happy minds and bodies. Be sure to check back next week for our long-form discussion on the costs and benefits of participating in canine sporting competitions.

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