For those of us who are addicted to blogging (who, me?) the symptoms of l’amour de blog are all too familiar. The lump in the throat and twinkle in the eye when we gaze at a newly-uploaded banner image; the sinking feeling when we realize that the day’s events will keep us from checking our stats for hours; the deep sense of pride when months of hard work and dedication translate into a modest jump in Technorati rank.
You unfortunate masses who’ve never experienced a deep, meaningful relationship with a blog have missed out on an achingly poignant truth: blogging is a lot like being in love. In fact, for thousands of dateless programming junkies across the globe (don’t look at me!), the blogosphere is the closest they’ve ever actually gotten to going steady.
So if you’re a blogger, check out the following list of the top three reasons why blogging is like being in love . . . and look closely for any familiar symptoms. If this post sounds all too familiar, your relationship with your blog may have already gone far beyond the platonic . . . and entered into the mysterious, intoxicating world of l’amour de blog.
1. In Your Eyes, Your Blog is Flawless
They say that love is blind, and nothing gives that old adage more weight than your infatuation with your blog. You’ve spent endless hours making sure everything on your blog is just so: the banner image, the buttons, the sidebar, the links. Heck, you even forced yourself to learn HTML just so you could figure out how to make the color of your anchor text match your blog’s overall scheme.
Yup, to you, your blog is beautiful . . . and that can be a good thing. But not always, buster. If you let the stars in your eyes make you blind to serious aesthetic problems on your site, you’re going to end up losing visitors. That’s why you shouldn’t always trust your own judgement when deciding what works best on your blog.
Just as you do when you start dating a new person, ask people whose opinion you respect what they think. Does your blog really look as good as you think, or are there changes you could enact to make it more friendly and functional?
2. Every Moment Away From Your Blog is Like an Eternity
The evenings and lunch breaks you spend with your blog seem to go by all too quickly, and when it’s time to leave the computer and tend to other things your stomach churns with a painful longing. You daydream about your blog when you can’t be in its comfortable embrace: about the next post you’re going to write, about rearranging the widgets on your sidebar, about getting that next big link.
Missing your blog when you can’t be near it is understandable, but remember one thing: time away from the one you love is necessary for your own sanity. Spend too much time with your blog, and your relationship will burn out and crash before the next Page Rank update.
So force yourself to spend time away from your blog and do things that normal people do. You know: go to work, play with the kids, get some exercise. Your blog—and the living, breathing human beings in your life—will thank you for it.
3. The More You Put Into Your Blog, the More You Get Back
Just like a romantic relationship, the more time and effort you expend improving your blog, the more recognition and approval you’ll get. Also like a romantic relationship, a large percentage of them end up failing because the participants just don’t want to commit to the amount of work it takes to really create something special.
The early months of your blogging relationship will sometimes feel like all work and no reward, but in reality you’re making a gradual investment that might not show returns until much further down the road. So don’t reach for the easy way out and “divorce” your blog when things start to get tough. Remind yourself of why you fell in love with it in the first place, force yourself to write a few more posts, and weather the storm.
Remember: It’s the bloggers who are truly committed to posting, and who don’t let the rough patches get to them, who eventually find great success and happiness in the blogosphere. In the not-too-distant future, when you and your blog are celebrating your first anniversary together, you’ll be thankful that you stuck it out.
By the way, if you liked this post, you’d probably like 10 Reasons Why Blogging is Like Dating even more!