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Blogging Fear and the Kitty Door

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I have this incredible fat cat named Godiva. She’s my best friend in the the whole world – one of those animals who knows when something is wrong and firmly plants herself by your side when you’re upset. Today, I’d like to tell you the story of how I came about to own Godiva, and what it has to do with blogging fear.

After I graduated college, I moved to be near my then-boyfriend. We weren’t ready to move in together yet, so I got a small apartment of my own. As a full-time freelancer, I didn’t really have the chance to meet people at work, and when I moved to the area, I didn’t know anyone except my boyfriend.

In other words, I was lonely.

So I decided that getting a pet was the right way to go. My one aunt is well-known for connecting pets with new owners, so told her I was on the lookout for a kitten in case she heard of any animals in need. A few days later, she called me back.

“What about Kyba?”

That was Godiva’s name at the time. It was something to so with Pokemon or Yu-gi-oh or some other cartoon my little cousin was really into at that time. But I digress. She was my aunt’s cat, and Kyba/Godiva was about three years old. I wanted a kitten, so I wasn’t sure. After all, if she was such a great pet, why would my aunt be getting rid of her?

“Fattie, fattie, two by four, can’t fit through the kitty door.”

My aunt is an animal person. My uncle…not so much. He likes animals, but certainly not sleeping on his bed at night. He allowed my aunt to keep cats and dogs (at one point she had five cats and a dog! She’s now down to one each, I think), but on one condition – they ate, slept, and pooped in the basement. No kitty litter boxes upstairs, in other words. It was a way to keep the mess contained.

They installed a kitty door in the door that led to their basement so that the cats could use the litter box throughout the day, but still be upstairs among people, too. At night, the kitty door would be latched, and they’d sleep in the basement. It worked fine…until Godiva started to gain weight. With so many cats, my aunt just let a plate of food out at all times, and Godiva would sit there and eat much more than her fair share. She’s what you call hefty.

And one day, she got stuck in the kitty door.

She didn’t really get stuck. She just got hung up for a few seconds and had that panic moment of, “Oh, sh*t” that we’ve all had at some time or another. But that was all it took for Godiva to never use the kitty door again, for fear of getting stuck. It wasn’t an option for my uncle to move the litter box, nor was it an option for Godiva to continue doing her business on the floor in front of the basement door. So, I took her, since I didn’t have a kitty door leading to her litter box, and she’s been my best friend ever since.

Why did I just spend 500 words telling you about my fat cat? Because I think many new bloggers have kitty doors, and we need to get past them.

I know a lot of bloggers who run their blogs part-time while also working a typical 9-to-5 job. That’s fine if your blog is a hobby or you just enjoy a passive income. But of those bloggers, many are unhappy at their jobs and wish they could blog full time, making money that way. Some even start to put a little more effort into their blogs, but they the get stuck in the kitty door, so to speak, and panic.

I’m working on my blog 20 hours per week. I haven’t seen an increase in traffic. I’m not making more money. I don’t have a sponsor. My blog has plateaued.

They tried and, in their minds, failed…so they’re never going to try again. Being a full time blogger is their kitty door. And that’s a shame, because we all know that pooping on the floor doesn’t make anyone happy.

But if you tried to spend more time on you blog and didn’t see any kind of growth in traffic or income, isn’t that a clear sign that you can’t make money blogging? Not necessarily. Start by doing two things:

  • First, read Seven Things To Do Before You Quit Your Job. I wrote it for freelancers in general, but it definitely applies to bloggers. Instead of “secure one long-term client,” think of your blog as a client and have at least one affiliate program that is doing ok for you.
  • Next, I highly recommend taking a class about blogging. There are tons out there, but if you’re fairly new to blogging for money, the one I recommend is Blog Master’s Club with David Risley. Right now, the class is closed, but I’m pretty sure it is opening again soon, so sign up for the mailing list and jump on board when it does. I want to reiterate that this is not a course to take if you already make money blogging (you’ll find it too beginner-y), but if you’re trying to create a blog that will start making you money, it’s definitely the way to go. And that’s not an affiliate link of mine…I legitimately liked the course and want you to consider taking it.

And then, it’s time to go through the kitty door. You can make it to the other side. There will be moments of panic, but if you’re letting your fear hold you back, you’re never going to see a viable income from your blog. You need to devote your time to your blog and associated products, not working at a 9-to-5.

You are smart enough to make money blogging.

Your ideas are good enough if you take the time to research and refine them.

You are interesting as a writer.

That kitty door of fear says, “No you aren’t. No you aren’t. No you aren’t,” but at the end of the day, the door isn’t nailed shut or even latched. Take a deep breath, suck in you gut, and get through it.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. Godiva’s official statement is that she’s not fat, just big-boned.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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