Is Your Blog a Cute Kitten – or a Tiger That Threatens to Devour You?

By Mary Jaksch

Imagine going to an animal shelter. A kitten gazes at you with the eyes of a waif. You take it out of the cage [mistake!] and it purrs all over you. It’s going to be put down if you don’t take it.

What would you do?

I don’t know what you would do, but I’m a sucker for stray kittens. I would take it home. And I’m not only a sucker for stray animals, I also fall for homeless blogs. That’s why I adopted Write to Done, and took on Virgin Blogger Notes a short while ago.

But blogs, whether bred or adopted, can be demanding.

They’re like your stray kitten. You take it home – and it immediately starts to mew because it’s hungry. That’s what blogs are like too. They always want to be fed.

Your blog demands fresh content

There’s a constant pressure on you to write, write, write. And then write some more. It’s never enough. And just when you’ve just got comfortable with blogging, someone is sure to come along and suggest that you write an Ebook. More writing. I mean, I love it, but …

Solution: set up a sustainable feeding routine.
It’s great to write regularly, but make sure you fit your writing around your life, and not the other way around. Stay in charge and feed your blog when you want to.

Your *#^%ing blog malfunctions

Remember the cute kitten? Well, you’ve fed it. A while later you notice a yukky smell. Turns out the kitten has pooped all over your carpet because you forgot to open the door to the yard.

It’s the same with blogs: they poop and malfunction.

The first time my main blog Goodlife ZEN crashed, I went berserk. I ran around in tight circles, using language that would make a saint drink gin straight out of the cat dish.

Solution: get your own pet techie.

You need the kind of person who understands that you haven’t got a clue – but you’re not a moron either.

It’s better to find a good techie before you’re in need him of one, instead of wearing out the Google search function at 4am in the morning, desperately trying to find a techie who’s willing to fix your blog – like – NOW.

Most of all – don’t fret! The long-term view is: problems blow over,  blogs recover, and readers return.

Your kitten morphs into a tiger

Your blog grows. Strangers tell you they read your blog. Great!

But the problem is that your blog has grown from a cute little thing into something that can devour you. Suddenly your workload soars: comments wait for your answers, you get regular guest post proposals,  write tactful refusal letters,  fiddle with Social Media, liaise with colleagues, give interviews. Your blog needs an upgrade, you try to figure out an online income. You start joint ventures, create Ebooks, courses, and forums … oh, my!

You get 200 emails a day.

Er … wasn’t there an offline life somewhere?

Solution: set limits and take control
Wrestle the tiger back into the cage! Remember that you are in charge of your blog, and not the other way around.

Most importantly: focus on your essential task. And there is only one:

Write. Useful. Content

As a blogger there is an important word you need to learn. Practice saying this daily in front of your mirror:  “N-O!” (Especially when you next encounter a lost kitten or abandoned blog).

Enjoy more stuff by Mary Jaksch on her tiger blogsGoodlife ZEN or Write to Done.

12 Responses to Is Your Blog a Cute Kitten – or a Tiger That Threatens to Devour You?

  1. J.D. Meier December 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    I tend to think of it like a dragon, but that’s the fantasy in me.

    I like your metaphor and points and I think it’s a powerful way to frame how you think about your blog.

  2. Patti Foy December 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Oh, Mary, this makes me laugh!
    I’m pretty new at this, and I’ve been telling myself it just seems overwhelming because I’m still getting set up, not in a rhythm yet, needing to work extra hard to get me, my blog, & my readers (all 2 of them) up to speed, etc.
    You can’t know how much I love hearing it gets worse, not better.
    I mean kittens and puppies are a lot of work. Middle aged pets? Not so much. But sounds like it goes from needy babe to wild animal.
    I guess I’d rather laugh than cry.
    (What’s really scary is you are not discouraging me.)

    Thank you, as always!
    Patti Foy recently posted..How Warm &amp Fuzzy Can Be Potent Medicine

  3. Marci December 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Creatively useful post Mary. I wasn’t sure where you were heading, but you hit it right on the mark. Blogs bring opportunity, but they also bring more work. Show your blog who’s the boss :)
    Marci recently posted..A Liberating Recipe for Joy in Family Traditions

  4. Galen Pearl December 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    This is a great site! I am still a blogging novice, so I can see there is lots of great advice here.

    Found this through Life Lessons Series. I look forward to checking out your zen blog right now!

    Galen Pearl recently posted..It Starts Young

  5. Jen Gresham December 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Wow, Mary! I hadn’t heard you’d taken over Virgin Blogger Notes. Congrats and condolences on your, err, kitten. :)

  6. David Smith December 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Useful content is definitely the prime directive of blogging. Comment responses, emails, social networking, article marketing can all be huge time suckers. We can ignore all of those things and our blogs will be fine if we produce good content.
    David Smith recently posted..Great Start – Better Start Over

  7. Erik Emanuelli @ FreeMakeMoneyAdvice December 15, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for the post.

    I think there is always a sustainable balance with the lives online or offline.
    Erik Emanuelli @ FreeMakeMoneyAdvice recently posted..FREE MONEY ADVICE n 59 – How to make money with Taxi Services

  8. Cole Stan December 20, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Reaching the stage where many people already follow your blog can be very overwhelming because it means more responsibility on your part. Just what you said, you need to control over the situation. Proper scheduling of tasks can be very useful in order to make everything more organized.
    Cole Stan recently posted..Great Gifts For 50th Wedding Anniversary

  9. technosuman December 30, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Well nice kitten. Choosing between a kitten or a tiger. I will choose a kitten. Because you can not ride a tiger.

  10. shannen January 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    hahaha! :)
    i love your post.
    i am a super newbie and the simple act of getting wordpress installed is already driving me nuts!
    Just signed up last month and been reading up on how to kickstart my blog on alistbloggingbootcamp so croosing my fingers and hoping to launch my little kitten tomorrow!
    I am so looking forward to caring for my kitten and seeing it turn into a domesticated tiger :)
    thanks for sharing the knowledge and fueling the fire to inspire.

  11. holly January 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Are you looking for someone to help write a post?

    holly recently posted..Coffee Dates and Meet &amp Greets

  12. Ali Mujtaba January 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Indeed, you need to write a lot and after that, write again some more. Great and very true article Mary!
    The kitten analogy was cool!
    Ali Mujtaba recently posted..How To Treat And Manage Tinnitus

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