Reflecting on One Year of The Jaguar and its Allies

Jaguar by Eduardo Merille. CC BY-SA 2.0
Jaguar by Eduardo Merille. CC BY-SA 2.0

Last week marked the one year anniversary of The Jaguar and its Allies. It has been a productive year for me. I have been able to connect with professionals in my field, have had my posts shared by the Oxford WildCRU and the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group, have been asked to write two guest posts, and have “met” many wonderful people.

But this has also been a year of learning. Therefore the rest of this anniversary post will focus on some of those lessons, and on what to expect for the coming year.

Lessons From one Year of Blogging

1. You get out of blogging what you put into it.

I have noticed a direct correlation between how much time I spend in the blogosphere and how many hits The Jaguar and its Allies receives. The more I read and comment on other people’s blogs, the more traffic my own site gets. The same is also true for post quality. I do not think it is coincidence that some of my most widely shared pieces have also been those that I worked the hardest on.

This is the featured image from The Extraordinary Potential of Wild Safari Live, which has been my most successful post by far. It is also one of the ones that I put the most thought into.
This is the featured image from The Enormous Potential of Wild Safari Live, which has been my most successful post by far. It is also one of the ones that I put the most thought into.

2. It is okay to set limits.

This lesson is the necessary counterbalance to the previous one. Blogging can quickly consume one’s life. For a while I was spending over 3 hours a day reading and commenting on others people’s blogs, and spending 2-3 weeks preparing each of my science-related posts. Literally all of my free time was spent on this blog.

While I enjoyed spending so much time researching topics that interest me, and this site’s stats boomed during that period, that is not a healthy way to live. If The Jaguar and its Allies was a professional blog, then it would be appropriate for me to invest so much time into it. But it is not, and as I transition into a new period of life I must not allow this site to interfere with more important tasks.

3. Do not make assumptions.

When I first started this site, I figured that most of my efforts should be directed towards those who wrote about nature and conservation. My reasoning was that authors of such blogs would be more interested in my content. But this turned out to not be entirely true.

While I have been successful in connecting with other nature-oriented bloggers, many of my readers are from outside that realm. I am honored to mutually follow owners of creative writing blogs, fitness blogs, photography blogsfashion blogs, blogs about love, travel blogs, and more. This has been an encouraging experience for me, and it suggests that big cats are loved by people from all walks of life. If this wide-ranging admiration can be turned into action, then there will be a better future for these incredible animals.

Big cats are some of the most charismatic animals on Earth. Perhaps this charisma can be used to unite people from all walks of life to safeguard their future. Tiger Leaping from the Shallows in Bandhavgarh by Ian Duffy. CC BY-NC 2.0
Big cats are some of the most charismatic animals on Earth. Perhaps this charisma can be used to unite people from all walks of life to safeguard their future. Tiger Leaping from the Shallows in Bandhavgarh by Ian Duffy. CC BY-NC 2.0
Looking Ahead

One reason for reflecting on the past is to anticipate the future. My life, and consequently this blog, are about to change a great deal. Most of these changes will result from my upcoming graduate studies.

Once I begin studying at Humboldt State University, I will need to set firmer boundaries on blogging. School and work will become my top priorities, and I will have to structure my time accordingly. I will also have to increase my Spanish-learning efforts, since I want to do my Master’s research in Latin America. This means that I am not sure how frequently I will update this site.

What I do know is that I will need to diversify my posts. Unless I am able to find a second (or third) author, it will be difficult for me to continue with my research-oriented posts. I will try to release some when I can, but I will also have to focus on less labor-intensive content. Thankfully I might be doing more exciting things that are worth writing about.

Things such as learning about community conservation along the Mattole River. Mattole River by Ellin Beltz. Public Domain.
Things such as learning about community-driven conservation along the Mattole River. Mattole River by Ellin Beltz. Public Domain.
Closing Remarks

This first year of The Jaguar and its Allies has been a fulfilling one. I have connected with many wonderful people and learned important lessons that will help me in the future. And while my life is about to change immensely, I will do my best to keep up with as many of you as I can.

Thank you all for your support: it is incredibly meaningful.

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69 thoughts on “Reflecting on One Year of The Jaguar and its Allies

    1. Thanks Bill! Your advice about how blogging’s more about the strength of your community than your stats has helped me feel less guilty about spending less time in the blogosphere as my schedule has changed. So thank you for that, and for following me from the beginning!

      Like

  1. Hi
    Here is to a happy anniversary ^_^
    Hey you know what, it’s what you put in….. an d the choir says *amen*

    oooh you tagged me on under MORE great to connect hey
    ~B
    PS My next post will be about a Jag but you can drive it….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Man, I never would have guessed that your blog is only a year old! Congratulations, for one, and you have done an amazing job bringing wonderful content and amazing quality to a relatively young blog. I completely agree with your points. I have noticed the same things, myself: especially that the more I am involved in the blogosphere, the more traffic I see. Thank you for sharing your passion with the rest of us. I think this is one huge reason why those of us who are not nature bloggers still LOVE reading what you post! Passion is truly contagious, and you seem to have it in spades.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oops, I hit send too early!

      Also, I’ve noticed that blogging is a lot like other relationships: you have to give in order to receive. I just wish I had more time to be active on more blogs, but just like real life we can never have as many strong relationships as we’d like.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting to read these reflections. I didn’t realise that your blog was only a tiny bit older than mine. Good luck with your studies, and thank you for being linked with me through our love of big cats.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Feliz aniversario Josh :D y vamos por más!
    No me olvido que te debo mi mail, tuve una semana complicada en la facultad :(
    Espero que te esté yendo bien en el curso!
    Un besoo :D

    Liked by 1 person

        1. ¡¡Oh, sí!! Me olvidé de que Argentina está sur del ecuador! Así que tiene sentido que las estaciones sería diferente allá, y que estás tomando finales ahora.

          ¡Hay muchas cosas pensar en cuando uno está hablando con gente desde alrededor del mundo!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. ¡Oh no, nieve es el más mejor parte de invierno! Normalmente hay mucha nieve aquí, aunque este invierno pasado hubo solo un poquito :( Aún muchas de las personas viejas que con quien yo hablaba dicho que estuvieron sorprendidos, y ellos han vivido a través de muchos inviernos.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Josh, I understand the journey you will soon be embarking. There are times to prioritize and re-arrange things in the order needed. As bloggers, we are a community, and we understand. Recently, I spent time away from here longer than norm and my stats have dropped. I also re-posted blogs I considered poignant and timely for times such as this in efforts to stay visual, however, those who have connected to you already and under your vision of providing social and psychological awareness to the animal world and how we both co-exist will understand. Thanks for even having the heart and mind to explain your concerns and what you desire. When time allows you to post, we will check alerts, or we will check feeds for posts from you. As I’ve said in the past, because of your blog, I have an enlighten and increased interest in the animal world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for having been a regular visitor to Gypsy Café, Josh. I fully understand where you are coming from. Blogging – especially quality blogging is hard work and very time consuming. My solution is to limit my posts to about one a month. I have a busy job and also other project so find it hard to spend a lot of time following other blogs and commenting. I do, but not very much, but it’s a fine balance between letting blogging interfere with other important parts of our lives of having it compliment it. Wishing you all the best with your studies and new ventures and project and will keep an eye out for your occasional posts. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy anniversary, Josh! Thanks for sharing your great posts!
    Y sigo en español, como hacemos desde hace un tiempo ;-)
    Está tan claro tu propósito, que sin dudas mereces tu tiempo, y te deseo lo mejor en tu nueva etapa. Coincido contigo en el aprendizaje y el compartir a través de los blogs en internet. Aprendemos y conocemos, y eso es lo más gratificante.
    Un abrazo desde aquí, a ver si con ese Master´s research llegas al culo del mundo :-P
    Besossss

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! ¡Lo siento mucho por no contestarte hasta que ahora! He sido muy ocupado con la preparaciones con mi mudanza.

      Sí, aprendiendo y conociendo desde otras personas de alrededor del mundo es lo más mejor parte de blogging. ¡Sino América Latina no puede ser el culo del mundo…porque eso es Detroit! :D

      ¡Besos a tí también! Voy a responder a tu otro mensaje hoy.

      If anyone from Detroit is reading this comment and cannot read Spanish, I just said your city is a wonderful place full of roses and sunshine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aaaajajaja, no les mientas, pobre gente! jajaja.
        No hay apuro, Josh, yo también estuve de mudanzas y poco tiempo, por eso tardé tanto en responderte.
        Gracias por el feedback, seguimos on line! Y muchísima good luck ;-)

        Liked by 1 person

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