In the mornings, I like to grab a cup of coffee and my laptop, and check what’s new in my Google reader. Like clockwork, just as I’ve got everything perfectly situated, our cat appears from nowhere and jumps into my lap. I’m convinced that he just wants to read my blog subscriptions because he won’t sit in my lap at any other time, but maybe he’s trying to tell me something.
Archeologists say they have found evidence of cat domestication around Cyprus that dates back to almost 9,500 years ago. It’s not clear though whether we sought out cats or if they sought us out. Even today, it’s often hard to determine who domesticated whom. Whatever the case, the temperament and behavior of cats have endeared them to humans for millinnea.
As my cat sat there in my lap looking up at me, I wondered what lessons I could take from this relationship that might endear my blog to my readers.
Lesson 1: Cats Have Patience and Persistence
Have you ever witnessed a cat hunting a mouse or a bug? They will sit there all day if they have to – waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. No matter how many times a bug flies away to safety, or a mouse escapes into a hole, cats persist until they get their prey. Successful bloggers understand that it takes time to build links, readership, and blog authority. Above all, it takes this same persistence.
Lesson 2: Cats Live in the Moment
Whether they’re eating, playing, or napping, cats make the most of whatever comes there way. They live in the now. They’re not concerned with what happened yesterday or worried about the future. There will be ups and downs in the life of your blog. Successful bloggers don’t dwell on the past, they live in the present. Develop a short term memory when it comes to failures, and don’t let successes go to your head.
Lesson3: Cats Know How to Relax
There are times when I think that all our cat does is sleep. It’s easy to see where the term catnap was derived. We can get caught up in subscriber counts, page rank, and traffic stats if we’re not careful. Such obsessions rarely lead to a better blog. Blogging can take it’s toll on our energy and creativity. Successful bloggers make sure they unplug from the blogosphere on a regular basis to recharge their batteries.
Lesson 4: Cats are Curious
It’s been said that curiosity killed the cat. If our cat is any measure, there’s a lot of truth in that statement. There’s not a bag, box, or room he hasn’t explored. He doesn’t seem to be able to help himself. This is the same attitude that successful bloggers possess. If you don’t have a thirst for learning new things or meeting new people blogging is not for you.
Lesson 5: Cats Seek Out Sunshine & Warm Places
If there’s a ray of sunshine in the house, our cat will find it. He loves to bask in it’s light and warmth. There are many reasons that one takes up blogging. Sometimes, it’s to take a position against something. Successful bloggers know that even when opposing something it’s important to bring light and warmth to the topic. Be positive. Don’t bring up problems without proposed solutions.
Lesson 6: Cats Like to Play
Cats can make a toy out of just about anything. No matter how old they get, they still find time to play. Too much seriousness in a blog will eventually lead to a decline in readership. Successful bloggers find a way to bring humor into their blog. Be creative in how you do it. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself – it’ll endear you to your readers.
Lesson 7: Cats are Well Groomed
Cats are meticulous groomers. For my tastes, they spend way too much time doing it. Technology is constantly changing, and that means you have to stay on top of your blog’s grooming. Platforms, plugins, and tools require numerous updates that require your attention. Be wary of spending too much time grooming your site. Hairballs aren’t fun – even when they’re virtual.
Lesson 8: Cats Keep Their Claws Sharp
When my wife and son bought our cat from the SPCA, they agreed not to have the cat’s claws removed – our furniture has taken much abuse as a result. Cats sharpen their claws on a daily basis. Successful bloggers keep their skills sharpened too by writing every day and reading other blogs and books in their niche.
Lesson 9: Cats Show Their Affection
If I rub our cat’s belly, he starts purring. I love that. When I give him my attention, he shows me his affection. Successful bloggers don’t ignore their readership. When people take time to give us their attention via comments, social media, or social bookmarking, we need to show our affection for them. As your blog grows, this will be more difficult to do; however, it’s still possible to do on a group basis.
What other lessons can bloggers learn from cats? Have you learned a lesson from watching your children or pets which you applied to blogging?