3 Blogging Mistakes That Are Killing Your Traffic [Video]

It’s easy to make mistakes when you start blogging. I’ve made plenty myself. Thankfully, none of them were fatal. But they kept my blog’s traffic from growing as quickly as it should have.

You don’t have to make these same mistakes. In this video, I share the three biggest mistakes I see other bloggers making. These will kill your traffic if you don’t eliminate them.

Fortunately, all three are easy to remedy. But you have to know what they are in order to fix them.

Question: Which of these mistakes are you making? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

    Michael, the video seems to have been removed by the user. Thanks.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Hmmm….I see the video – seems to be working fine now.

      • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

        Yes, thanks. It wasn’t working earlier.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Sorry, Wayne. I’m not sure what happened. I have now fixed it. Thanks.

  • http://cbcpm.net/ Michael Andrzejewski

    Yep. The video is no longer there. Just wondering…is one mistake grammatical errors?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Sorry about that. It is now fixed. Thanks.

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Great point about traffic. I blogged daily for years and then made the switch to thrice weekly and it’s been much more successful. One of my weekly posts is a podcast and that’s the one that gets the most interest because it sticks on my site for a few days before rolling down. So I get interest in the blog and the podcast. And that’s good for my business.

    • http://www.thewritingwhisperer.com/ M. Shannon Hernandez

      Hi Jon. What day do you post the podcast. (You mention it sticks on your site – is it later in the week?) Thanks!

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    I’ve also scaled it back from daily to 5 days per week. I do 3 days per week on one of my blogs, and 2 days per week on my other. I still wonder if that is too much, though.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It might be worth asking your audience. THat was super-helpful to me.

      • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

        Yes, sir. I remember taking your poll. (I voted for fewer long posts.) Thanks for the advice.

  • Janice LaVore-Fletcher

    Thank you, Michael. I am making the mistake of not posting regularly. Great reminder!

  • http://paulbrodie.wordpress.com/ Paul Brodie

    First I made the error of infrequent posting, then I did three posts a week for a while, and then I got crazy and started posting twice in one day on occasion. I also started letting my posts go too long. I successfully made all three of these errors from January to April. I need to settle down and refocus.

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Paul, I have had similar problems to you. I think discipline comes with time. I have to remind myself that If I have a bunch of posts ready to go I can always schedule them out so that during the times when I don’t want to post a lot I still have something ready to go.

      • http://paulbrodie.wordpress.com/ Paul Brodie

        That’s a good method, to schedule future posts. I agree about discipline. I’m trying to run before I learn to walk in blogging. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/debbiering Debbie Ring

    I’m just getting started and am using your template and advice! Scared but stepping out! Thank you, God is so using your blogs in my life.

    • http://www.thewritingwhisperer.com/ M. Shannon Hernandez

      Debbie – I am a blogging coach for women business owners. I’m proud of you for going against your personal fear. You are going to see a great response – I know it!

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    My biggest mistake would be not staying consistent with my posts. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with 3 posts a week. Then when I do get rolling I’m tempted to over do it with 5 posts a week. Thanks for the video!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Consistency is currently the greatest challenge for me as well Caleb. These past few months have had tremendous time pressures with my day job, family and business travel which have disrupted my consistency. Regardless, I am getting back on track – thanks to this type of gentle prodding from Michael :-)

      • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

        Tor, do you ever wright posts ahead of time and schedule them to be published at a time when you know you will be busy? This has helped me but recently I’ve not been doing a good job at it.

        • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

          When I was writing daily – that was exactly what I did. I had posts scheduled up to two weeks out. Some bloggers I know – Jon Acuff in particular – has his posts written and time-loaded to post a month in advance.

          • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

            Wow, a month in advance is pretty far. I’m lucky if I can get a few posts ahead of myself!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      My rule of thumb is to drop back to what you can consistently maintain, in season and out. If that’s two a week, that’s fine. Again, I’ve found consistency is the key to building trust. Thanks.

  • AlMacartney

    Great tips Michael. I learnt pretty early on about regular posting. I was just posting at random times. I get a much better response by my weekly posts. My problem now is how to make time to write posts more often- any tips?

    • http://www.thewritingwhisperer.com/ M. Shannon Hernandez

      I am a writing coach who teaches on this very topic! Just like everything else in life, you have to schedule your writing time and when it’s time to write, write. That means you are not checking email, doing laundry, or anything. Be disciplined and focused. You will be amazed at what you will accomplish!

      • AlMacartney

        Thanks for the tip. I’ve tried to do this but not successfully! I guess I need to be more disciplined!

        • http://www.thewritingwhisperer.com/ M. Shannon Hernandez

          Yup, I totally get it. I find that writing from 4:30-6:30AM, before the day gets crazy, really, really works for me. Good luck!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, the biggest key is to set a goal for how frequent you want to me, then schedule an appointment to do it. For example, If my goal is three posts a week, and it takes me an average of one hour to write a post, I need to schedule one three-hour blog (for example, Saturday morning) or three one-hour blocks. The main thing is to make this a commitment to yourself and schedule time to get it done. If someone asks for that time, you can legitimately say, “I’m sorry, but I already have another commitment at that time, will [alternate time] work?”

      • AlMacartney

        Thanks Michael. I think you posted about this before? I’ll start organizing myself better and scheduling it in.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    I’m making #1 and #3.

  • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

    I decided on three blog posts a week a year or two and it has worked well. Occasionally if there is something major I want to communicate I will post a 4th time, but that happens rarely. I try to keep my posts to 750 words or less, so I do need to dial back the word count on my posts. Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Hyatt!!

  • http://forthisisthetime.blogspot.com/ Esther Aspling

    I am currently in the process of increasing my posting. My goal will be 3 times a week, and I hope to vary them with not only writing, but audio and video as well.

    Thank you for mentioning the size of posts, I honestly skip reading posts that are too long! lol


  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Great tips, all things I learned early on. I’ve also decreased my posts from daily to about three times per week. My traffic has not changed since lessening the frequency of posting.

    I’m currently reading a book called “Bloggers Bootcamp,” and they say you should post many times per day. They say a blog without a post for a few days is a “sick” blog. But they write for popular technology blogs, too.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Dan, I’ve had the EXACT same experience. I post no more than three times a week now and have seen traffic actually increase. I think readers simply want better content, that’s delivered less frequently.

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        I agree. My traffic hasn’t increased much, but it’s more consistent than it was when I posted more often.

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Dan I think you’re right the book you’re reading must be targeting a specific type of blogging, like a news blog. Personally, I’m overwhelmed if someone I follow posts more than 4x a week. 3 is good. I’d rather read quality less often then “so so” posts every day.

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        I do two or three a week now, but will occasionally post an extra in the form of a poem or an update or promo for my books or music. It’s working good.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Posting multiple times a day cane work for a technology or news blog. This is where you have to know your audience. Thanks.

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        You really have to know your technology, too. I like to visit those blogs once in awhile, but could never write for one of them without some serious education.

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  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    I began posting three times a week and kept it there. It is a manageable number without consuming all my productive writing time.

    I am consistent with the day I post but would like to become better at publishing at the same time on those days.

    Finally, in my personal reading, I often click out of a post that is too unwieldy and long. I may like the bloggers heart and believe in there point and vision, but long posts lose my interest quickly. My posts are generally 600 to 700 words although occasionally I find them approaching 750 to 800 word posts. My goal is to cut them down to 500 to 600 words.

    Thanks for the practical, easily implemented advice Michael.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      I agree Julie – as an avid blog reader myself, I’ll click off a post that just continues to keep scrolling beyond the “inner timer” that seems to run in the background while I read. Unless the content is EXTREMELY engaging, it’s difficult to keep investing the time to read a 2,000-3,000 word post.

      When I write my posts, I try to keep them in the 600-800 word range. If my ideas run over that – I’ll break the concepts up into a more digestible “series” which helps drive repeat visits to my site. I think shorter is better just because it shows a kind consideration to the reader.

  • http://www.sunganani.com/ Sunganani L. Manjolo

    Okay, Michael, you’ve just made a video about me!…still working on the life plan

  • Annett Bone

    #1 was my mistake so I am now fixing that. I am working on consistency in that area as well as others so I can move forward. Thank you for these tips!

  • http://twitter.com/dohertyjf John Doherty

    Michael – Love the video. I’m glad to see more bloggers doing video on their sites as it adds such a personal touch.

    I might disagree with you on the blog post length part here. In my work, I’ve found that the longer the post is, the higher engagement it gets and the more links it gets (disclosure: I’m a professional online marketing/SEO consultant). I wrote about it here – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/what-kind-of-content-gets-links-in-2012

    Great stuff. Keep it coming.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      I agree that video blogging is a great way to spur engagement with visitors to your site. Personally, I’ve found that varying the length of my blog posts helps spur engagement; however, I’ve never written a single post that was longer than 1,500 words – I’ll typically break those longer topics up into a series which helps spur repeat site visits.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. Yes, I think long blog posts can work. Tim Ferriss does this. So does Leo Widdich at Buffer. But I think they are the exception to the rule. As always, the important thing is give your audience what they want. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlatham14 Ryan Latham

    Just this week I mapped out a plan for consistently posting two times a week and having a few different types of posts.

    Every Friday:
    Blog about my niche

    Every Monday I will post one of these:
    1) Podcast (30 mins)
    2) Guest post
    3) Segment for an ebook to be published.
    4) Video podcast (5 mins)

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      That’s a great plan Ryan – I especially like the variety of different types of consumable content you’re offering to those whose visit your site. Everything from a podcast, guest posts and v-blogs – that’s awesome!

      • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

        I agree, I really like the variety too. I haven’t done audio podcasts yet but I’ll do video updates about twice a month. It really helps to break things up.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rlatham14 Ryan Latham

          Thank you guys so much for the input. This seems to be a pretty manageable schedule. My plan for the guest posts is to get my friends with big followings to write for my blog.

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman.com

    It would be better if I posted more. But I post once a week very consistently now. And I think that’s good. If I have more that I can post, I just schedule them to go up in the future instead of changing my posting schedule. That way if something comes up big in my life, I have posts scheduled ahead of time so my readers see no change!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great idea TB, the idea of scheduling posts in advance is a great way to manage blog content. I have a monthly calendar where I draft out the tentative editorial schedule. It helps!

  • http://www.janiscox.com/ Janis Cox

    Is there a chance that your posting 5 times a week brought in the traffic and when you changed to 3 times – they were happy with that? You have built a strong reputation as a reliable, great content blogger.
    My posts are not long – so I have that one covered. I do post 5 times a week – but have actually seen my stats go up. And I am consistent.
    Thanks for the heads up – I will be on the look out for anyone saying I post too much.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Janis, I’ve had the same experience that Michael did. I wrote five days a week for the past two years. At the start of this year, I’ve dialed it back to no more than three days a week – with no drop in traffic.

      I’ve heard Michael say in the past the newbie bloggers should consider a more frequent posting schedule to help build traffic; however, that obviously depends on the blogger’s subject matter, time and objectives for the blog.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that’s possible. Although I know people who have built great traffic on three times a week.

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    Michael, great point about writing posts that are too long. For the past decade I’ve been writing for senior executives who consume their information using a model of “skip, scan, retrieve.”

    Busy execs typically skip past irrelevant info. Once they find information that might be of interest, they scan it to determine if they want to keep it for a later date. After, they determine its relevance, this busy individuals store it to be retrieved and used later.

    I think many readers take the same approach reading blog posts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/meyerchristina Christina Meyer

    Is it possible to post too little words per post? I’ve started a blog featuring a few videos every week and usually only type a few sentences about the video.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      The short answer is – it depends. Speaking from my personal experience there are bloggers that I enjoy that do the exact same practice you do; while others avoid visual content relying solely on the written word.

      I would say that video content is continuing to climb; visual content is surging (e.g. Pinterest, Instagram, infographics…etc); YouTube rivals Google in search engine usage; and video content helps elevate sites in search engine rankings.

      There are some extremely popular video bloggers or v-bloggers on YouTube that have massive traffic. For all of those reasons video can be a great traffic-building strategy.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it is. Google likes to see 200+

  • http://www.mythinkingbox.com/ Terry Hadaway

    I don’t think I’m making the mistakes mentioned. I post every weekday and my posts are in the 300 word range. I include something to think about and a call to action. Sometimes it’s something fun like The Perception Test (today – http://wp.me/p36il6-4N). The greatest challenge is building traffic. That process takes time and persistence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.vanallen.3 Heather Van Allen

    Thank you for these tips, Michael. I’m actually a new blogger–just started last week. I appreciate having these tips before having gotten too deep into it, so I can be mindful about avoiding such mistakes. I appreciate your posts, videos, etc., and find them helpful. Thanks again!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      I completely agree Heather – Michael’s resources are invaluable for those of us building our information platform.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clintpagan Clint Pagan

    These are very valid tips, as always. I also think drafting your post before you blog, then only blogging your highlights make for a more desirable/informative blog.

    Thanks again Michael!

  • http://SourcesOfInsight.com/ J.D. Meier

    Beautiful insights.

    I think the other key is to know the type of traffic you want. It comes down to the question, “Who do you want to serve?” At the end of the day, success can be a measure of how well do you serve your tribe of raving fans?

    Ultimately, your values are a lightening rod. When you know and assert your values, you attract more people that share those values. You get what you give.

    My toughest lesson that I continue to learn is writing headlines that match what people are looking for. I tend to be aspirational and optimistic, and I focus on possibility. The trick is, that’s not what everybody is always searching for (at least not directly.) They might want a better life, but today, they are searching for how to get a job. Demand generation is tough, especially when the Web is a sea of unmet needs. When I started to shift my titles to what people are already looking for, it exponentially increased my traffic.

    Of course, then I had to go back to what I wanted to accomplish, and what my site is about, so I had to refocus and get clear that my site is for people with a passion for more from life.

    Clarity helps us rise and shine.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Really like that ending sentence “Clarity helps us rise and shine” – great quote JD! I agree that audience can help be a decision driver as far as tonality, content and posting frequency. All of that points back to what are the overarching objectives for your blog and social media strategy. Once that is clearly outlined, the rest is a bit easier.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    One other mistake I’ve seen on a few blogs is too many guest posts. I don’t mind the occasional guest post but generally when I go to a blog I expect to see something from the blog owner more often than not. Sometimes guest posts aren’t up to par or there’s just too many of them. I’m not sure what the best frequency is but I’d limit it to 2-3x’s per month.

    • Jim Martin

      Good observation. I thought something similar about a month ago when I went to a blog and realized that it had been a long time since the blogger had actually published something he wrote himself.

    • Shan Shan

      Amen Caleb!!! My thoughts exactly. I follow a couple bloggers in particular that do that a good bit. The guest posts are always pretty good but I still am disappointed to not be hearing from the blog author.
      The How to Guru

    • tawnyak

      I agree Caleb. I also was recently disappointed when I visited a blog I had read for years and realized it was now all guest posting. I suppose the owner has moved on to other interests.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Good thoughts Caleb. I think it can be dangers if the majority of the content is from guest posts. For over a year, every week I feature a guest post on my blog and the primary reason why I keep doing that is due to the positive feedback from my readers. I also make sure to have at least 2 posts each week of my own content.

  • http://twitter.com/FountFreeman Fount Freeman

    Thanks for another fine post Michael. And CONGRATULATIONS on being named as one the top 50 social media power influencers for 2013 by Forbes magazine. That is quite an honor and one no doubt you deserve. Glad to be following you!

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    Do you think it’s okay to mix genre’s in your blog, such as text, video, and audio? I’ve noticed that you are occasionally doing a video instead of a text post. Is this on an intentional frequency?

    I’ve also really enjoyed simple audio posts by Dave Hubbard http://davehubbardfittips.wordpress.com/. He posts one paragraph and then a link to listen to the audio of the whole post.

    I haven’t seen others do this much but am thinking about trying it. Thanks!

    • Jim Martin

      Travis, I just went to Dave Hubbard’s website and listened to part of his audio post. Very interesting. I like the paragraph preview.

  • Pamela

    Would, then, the exception be a group blog where authors are assigned days and readership might know to expect a Monday post from one blogger, a Tuesday from another and so forth????

  • Leah Heffner

    I couldn’t even buffer this. Probably part my connection, but in reality, you aren’t reaching an audience who wants to see this by ONLY doing it via video. :)

  • http://www.qualitylivingmadesimple.com/ Joshua Rivers

    I’m working on becoming more regular on my blog. Consistently, I post my podcast on Tuesdays with the blog post/show notes to go along with it. I’m going to try to do two other days, possibly Monday and Thursday. If I have some special content to share or a special concentration for the week, I may add some short posts on Wednesday or Friday.

  • Dawn Wilson

    Mine are way too long … The teacher in me thinks I need to give a 5-point lesson each time. You have convinced me. Shorter snippets of truth will likely be more memorable and applicable. Thanks, Michael!

  • Lynn Hare

    Michael, thanks for the tips on blogging. I post weekly (Wednesdays) and find that’s a pace I can keep consistently. I heard somewhere that most blog followers will read for about 90 seconds. I think that’s about 300-350 words. Interesting that you use 500 words as a guideline. My husband often encourages me to expand explanations in my posts. Maybe I’ll start making them a bit longer now.

  • Steve Prosser

    The issue about length of blogging is an important one that I need to adopt. Strangely enough, I am well aware of the importance of small amounts of information when it comes to writing newsletters but have not processed that fully when it comes to blogging. Thanks for the revelation.

  • http://www.transitionministriesgroup.com/ Bud Brown

    Lately I have been somewhat erratic in my postings, due in part to having taken on too many responsibilities to help a church in great need. But I’ve stumbled on a partial solution – I have a guest blogger who helps me keep it regular.

  • Terri Reed

    Glad I saw this. I will taking your advice to heart!

  • Terri Reed

    Forgive the typo, I haven’t had coffee yet.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great tips Michael! I’ve learned these lessons in my first year of blogging (which was in 2009).

  • http://twitter.com/DanielCTownsend Daniel Townsend

    Thanks Michael! The 500 word tip has been one of the best ones I’ve taken away from your blog advice. It’s really helped be figure out how to present the information. Love the blog and podcast!

  • Wonder Woman’s Guide

    Loved this, thanks for the advice. I was posting 5 times a week because I thought that’s what I needed to do to generate traffic. Glad to know I can trim it back. I set up a calendar so I can track my posts and if I have any future dated posts – helps me keep my posts regular.

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  • http://twitter.com/AndreaReindl Andrea Reindl

    Thanks for the tips, I enjoy reading 1 or 2 well thought out posts per week with a good point. Thanks a ton for the videos!

  • http://ganadinerocontuscompras.com/ Eric | Negocios en Internet

    Well I’ve opened my eyes, in many places mentioned to do a post every day which I think is very tired but do three does not seem so difficult. I would like to know what are the days you recommend to post new content in my blog http://bit.ly/n3eIPU ?.

    Thanks and keeping reading.

  • http://chancesmith.org/ Chance Smith

    This is one area I can really work on! I post for a whole month at least twice a week and then I lose it. I get caught up in something else. Sometimes I get distracted by a new idea in a different project. Diligence. I need to work on my diligence Thanks for the video and the inspiration!

  • danieltroutman

    Very good tips! I’m in the middle of those. I just started my blog and I’m trying to find the right schedule. Thanks for the video Michael! http://www.danieltroutman.com

  • Pete Sherwood

    Building up a rhythm breaking down complicated articles into “series” posts has helped immensely in my companies blog traffic. We wrote an entire article about “How to Kill Your Blog Traffic” here (which ironically happens to be too long): http://www.gravitatedesign.com/blog/how-to-kill-your-blog-traffic/

  • harinder

    Nice information, There is obviously a lot. Your points are very valuable and knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this great blog with us.