Seven ways having a blog is like having a kid.

The parallels may surprise you.

I’ve been blogging since 2009. Parenting a Rowan since 2010. I’ve been asked for advice in both arenas over the years and, as it turns out, there are parallels between the two. Seven of them, to be precise.

Just because everyone else has one doesn’t mean you should.

Yup. You really do have a choice. Consider the commitment. Consider how well you did taking care of that puppy back in 1998. If it’s going to grow and thrive, you have to tend to it regularly. Will you enjoy that? If not, consider using social platforms instead. They’re less like kids and more like goldfish.

Overdressing it will work against you.

If you’re going to have one, you’ll soon discover that simplicity is your friend. Fancy stuff has a way of looking good until you actually have to use it yourself. Your blog (and your kid) will function better without bells, whistles, frills, flash and bling weighing it down.

People at large will comment on your behavior.

Are you ready to be on the receiving end of free speech and even freer facial expressions? You’d best practice your replies now. There’s nothing like the unsolicited opinions of complete strangers to brighten your day.

It’s absolutely perfect — surely everyone can see that?

You may think it’s the best thing on earth. But your opinion alone isn’t going to cause people to take notice. So, what amazing talent, skill, offering is available to them? To leave the metaphor for a minute: What do you have to say and what are you giving away?

Taking 25 pictures a day will be the new normal.

Snap, snap, snap. Good images are key. You have to take a lot of them to get ones that are good enough. I’ve seen plenty of people (myself included) who don’t always adhere to this rule. If you don’t have quality photography, you’re losing out. But be sure to keep the awful photos of your child for blackmailing purposes down the road.

Buy the .com — it’s worth it.

True story: I know parents of toddlers who’ve already claimed Google accounts in their children’s names. And I have to say, I’m on board. So grab the domain for the blog and grab an account for your kid while you’re at it.

Cross-post everywhere!

Mom is all over Facebook, but she thinks Instagram is what the kids call overnight shipping. Grandma has email. The end. So if you’re going to the trouble of creating something great, cross-post what you’re doing in as many places as possible. Email. Social. Even snail mail. Tools like Hootsuite are a huge help — with your blog, not your kid. Side note: If someone launches Cutesuite, I will be all over it.