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).