Seven Ways Starting a Blog is a Lot Like Becoming a Parent
What does blogging have in common with parenting?
It’s not a riddle: if you’re a parent and a blogger, you might have noticed a few parallels … and I’d love to hear about yours in the comments, whether they’re good, bad, or somewhere in between.
Earlier this year, I became a “mum” (as we say in the UK) – and having my daughter, Kitty, was a life-changing experience that (surprisingly) has taught me a lot about blogging.
#1: You’ll Learn a Lot More by Doing than by Reading
While I was pregnant, I read a ton of books about pregnancy and childcare. I promptly forgot 90% of what I read, and found that – in practice – I didn’t really need all the advice.
Of course it’s a good plan to learn about blogging before you launch your blog, or before you take a major step like creating your first product – but don’t let reading take the place of doing.
#2: It’s Easy to Focus on the Launch, not the Long-Term
My one big obsession during pregnancy was labour. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly have a high pain threshold, and I hate not feeling in control. In the end, it all went fine, and I suddenly had a baby and wished I’d focused on getting ready for the first few days of taking care of her!
Bloggers often pour loads of time and energy into launching their blog, obsessing over every detail, only to feel a bit daunted by the idea of actually blogging – day after day, week after week. It’s a good idea to plan out at least 5 posts, preferably 10, before you launch, rather than obsessing over every detail of your site’s layout.
#3: You’ll Want to Record the Early Milestones
I vividly remember the first time Kitty smiled at me. She was five weeks old and I’d got up with her at 6am, exhausted after being woken several times in the night. That smile made it all worthwhile. Now she’s 9 months, she smiles all the time, and I don’t think twice about it.
As a blogger, your first comment, first email from a reader, first guest post on another blog … all are worth recording and remembering. Months from now, comments and emails and guest posts might all be second-nature – but those early milestones are still very special.
#4: You Need to Separate Yourself from Your Creation
Something which my husband and I have tried to remember right from the start is that Kitty is her own person with her own personality. However much we stick with gender neutral colours, she may end up loving pink and glitter – and that’s OK.
Your blog reflects who you are, but it isn’t you. Perhaps you’ll adopt a slightly different voice because it suits your readers better, or you’ll go with a design that’s not quite “you” but gets a great response from your audience.
#5: There’s Often No One Right Way (But Everyone Has an Opinion)
If you’re a parent (or if you’ve even thought about becoming a parent), you’ll know that there’s a lot of conflicting advice. Co-sleeping vs controlled crying, purees vs baby-led weaning, cloth nappies (diapers) vs disposables…
In the blogging world, there are also plenty of people with different opinions. Different bloggers and different blogs find that different techniques work. By all means consider each piece of advice you come across, but don’t feel you need to follow it.
#6: It’ll be Hard (and Boring) Work at Times …
Being a mum is wonderful, and I can’t imagine a lovelier daughter than Kitty … but that doesn’t mean that every single moment is perfect. I definitely don’t relish the task of emptying the nappy bucket into the washing machine, for instance!
With blogging, there’ll almost certainly be times when you’re bored or fed up. Maintenance tasks like moderating comments and updating plugins aren’t exactly exciting. Even writing posts, answering comments and interacting on Twitter can be draining at times.
#7: … But Every Single Day Will Bring New Adventures
Becoming a parent has brought me so much more happiness than I could’ve imagined before, and every day there’s something new to enjoy (today, Kitty learned to clap her hands for the first time).
Blogging will bring you lots of exciting new adventures too. Perhaps you’ll land a guest post on a blog you really admire, or get an email from a reader telling you how much they love your blog, or book your ticket for a major industry conference, or earn your first $1,000, or even make a new friend.
I feel hugely privileged to be both a parent and a blogger – both are hugely fun and rewarding (even if they do sometimes keep me up at night). 😉
If you’ve spotted a similarity between parenting and blogging that I’ve missed, I’d love to hear it. Pop a comment below.
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11 Responses to “Seven Ways Starting a Blog is a Lot Like Becoming a Parent”
I like the metaphor. It’s a good reminder for me to never leave a blog unattended! And as with kids, you can’t really compare your own blog to other blogs: each one is unique, and for good reason. 🙂
Definitely a different way of looking at blogging! I have neglected my blogs lately which i guess makes me a bad parent!
Definitely some food for thought here. Although I’ve been considering the responsibilities I must admit I’ve not exactly regarded my writing as ‘offspring’ to nurture and enjoy. The craft, any craft, is indeed like a baby that can scream or smile at you, and so needs bringing up from day one until you feel your knowledge and talents are out of their infancy.
Might be far fetched but you could say that after a period of time reading and practicing styles and structures you can hit some sort of ‘writing puberty’ down the line. You may have to wrestle with growth at regular intervals, so as people, as parents, and as writers we’re never quite finished developing what we treasure most.
Great post! I love the comparison to parenting. I also wonder how everyone’s blogs will grow and change over the years. It’s not like they’ll go to college one day. I wonder what will change when the kids move out and we all still have our blogs.
Haha, I love articles like this one where you compare something to something else. It was a great read, too. On my message forum tips blog, I compared managing a forum to gardening – it all makes sense too just like this one. Good write up!
I love this article! Everything in it is so very true, and you’ve made some very good analogies. My favorite is that you’ll learn so much more from doing than by just reading. This is definitely true for me, in blogging and life 🙂
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BTW, you have a beautiful daughter! She’s so cute.
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I agree. I’m a father of two, and all the advice in the world couldn’t prepare you to be a parent. Parenting, to me, is something that you learn as you go. Each baby is unique and different, so when other people tell you how you should do certain things, it sometimes doesn’t make sense.
Wonderful article and just what I was looking for. I love articles that compare one thing to another, and provides valuable insight. You’ve done great and I’d like to share a few things:
“While I was pregnant, I read a ton of books about pregnancy and childcare. I promptly forgot 90% of what I read, and found that – in practice – I didn’t really need all the advice.”
You couldn’t be more right. When I became a stepfather roughly 6 months ago, I was lost. I read, researched and tried whatever I could to prepare myself, and in the end all I had to do was jump in. My life’s better this way 🙂
“It’s Easy to Focus on the Launch, not the Long-Term”
Too true. I have ben focusing more and more as I get closer to the official launch of my website, and you know what? I’ve started to go a little batty. I am sure it’s the same for pregnancy!
“If you’re a parent (or if you’ve even thought about becoming a parent), you’ll know that there’s a lot of conflicting advice. Co-sleeping vs controlled crying, purees vs baby-led weaning, cloth nappies (diapers) vs disposables…”
Choices. Too many of them and we loose our wits, and it’s the same with advice. You have to choose very carefully who’s advice to heed, but you must also feel what’s right for you, and your family. Open your heart and let it speak!
Well, Blogging and parenting are same in many aspects. But, I am not married yet, but I have learned many things from my parents about How to take care of a child.
Our children and blog were both like a new- born baby(if you are newbie). We have to give our blog a proper diet in terms of quality backlinks, good seo, daily post updates etc..
Some time our blog got affected by Google algorithm like our children affected by some germs which we known as fever, cold etc..
To recover our blog from algorithm penalties we need to remove those links which affect our blog. In the same case, we need to give anti – biotic tablets to our children to cure them from diseases..
Finally, the article written by you is really awesome and unique.. happy Blogging.
Nice one. I love the way you guys also make each post come from a different angle. Keep it up
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