Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?

Assuming you want to increase your blog traffic, there are certain mistakes you must avoid to be successful. If you commit these mistakes, your traffic will never gain momentum. Worse, it may plateau or begin to decrease.

Photo courtesy of ©, Image #1285627

Photo courtesy of ©

How do I know? After writing more than 1,000 posts and receiving more than 60,000 comments, I have made most of the mistakes you can make—numerous times. As a result, I have begun to see certain patterns emerge. These are my top ten traffic-killers.

  • Mistake #1: You don’t post enough. Hobby bloggers may go weeks between posts. But frequency is what separates the men from the boys. You cannot build solid traffic without frequent posts. I have seen time and time again (via Google Analytics) that there is a direct correlation between frequency and traffic. The more I post—within reason—the greater my traffic.
  • Mistake #2: You post too much. Yes, this is possible, too. I don’t need to hear from anyone more than once a day—unless it is a group blog or a news site. You would do better to focus on writing one really great post a day rather than several mediocre ones. The trick is to find your frequency sweet spot. For me, it is four to five posts a week.
  • Mistake #3: Your post is too long. Seth Godin is the master of the short, pithy post. His are usually in the 200–400 word range. I shoot for less than 500 words. But I often post 750 words and sometimes more. You can get away with this if your posts are “scannable”—that is, you make use of subheads, lists, and other devices that keep people moving through your content. If a post starts getting too long, consider breaking it up into several posts.
  • Mistake #4: You don’t invite engagement. When I talk about “engagement,” I am referring to a combination of page views, reader comments, and social media mentions. is a great tool for measuring this kind of engagement. The posts that generate the most engagement for me are those that are controversial, transparent (especially about failure), and open-ended. This is why I try to end every post with a question.
  • Mistake #5: You don’t participate in the conversation. When bloggers don’t participate in conversation by commenting on their own posts and responding to their readers, it is like hosting a party at your home, making a brief appearance, and then disappearing. In any other context, this behavior would be perceived as rude or odd. The same is true in blogging. People want to have a conversation—with YOU.
  • Mistake #6: You don’t make your content accessible. Since I am in the publishing business, I often get asked if I think people are reading less. The simple answer is “No.” In fact, I think they are reading more than ever. But they are reading differently. Readers have shorter attention spans. They are scanning content, looking for items that interest them. When you use subheads, lists of bullets or numbers, it draws readers in by making your content accessible. Shorter paragraphs also help.
  • Mistake #7: You don’t create catchy headlines. According to Brian Clark, who runs the must-read site, CopyBlogger, “on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” This means your headlines are the most important thing you write. Fortunately, Brian has an entire series of posts called “How to Write Magnetic Headlines.” I suggest you read every post.
  • Mistake #8: Your first paragraph is weak. This is critical. Assuming that you have written a great headline, people will next read your first paragraph. You must use this paragraph to pull them into the rest of your blog post. Start with a story, a promise, or a startling fact. The idea is to grab their attention and hang onto it. Many bloggers spend too much time trying to setup the post or provide context. Just get to the point.
  • Mistake #9: Your post is off-brand. I have often been guilty of this one. If you are a hobby blogger, you can get away with the occasional post that strays from your primary message or brand. But if you are trying to build traffic, you need to find an editorial focus and stick to it. A tighter focus leads to higher traffic. This is why I have tried to narrow my own focus to three areas: leadership, social media, and publishing. If I want to write on something else (e.g., fitness), I do so through one of these three lenses.
  • Mistake #10: Your post is about YOU. Unless you are a mega-celebrity, readers don’t care about you. Not really. They care about themselves. They want to know what’s in it for THEM. Your personal stories can be a doorway to that, but in the end, the best posts are about your readers’ needs, fears, problems, or concerns. Always ask, “What’s the take-away for my reader?”

There are other mistakes, too; I doubt this list is exhaustive. But I think I have covered the major ones. If you can avoid these, you will be well on your way to increasing your traffic and growing your audience.

Question: What other traffic-killers have you witnessed as a blogger? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Dawn

    Great post and information…Thanks so very much for sharing!!!

    • TC_LeatherPenguin

      show me his URL in 1994.

  • Bianca Juarez

    This was very insightful! Thanks so much :)

  • Kyle Reed

    These are great.
    I have heard stuff like this before but it is always good to hear it again, look at my motives and evaluate where I stand and how I am blogging.

    Number 1 is huge. I have seen this as well.
    I post once a day and notice a steady group. But if I miss a day it shows.

    Thanks for the help though and the advice.
    Look forward to another year of "consistent" blogging from you.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think #1 is the most important. It’s difficult to keep going, but so essential.

      • Alex Parr

        Excellent post and thanks for the great pointers. My problem is how do you find time to do 4/5 posts a week. I was thinking more like one post a week and I would find that difficult to continually find topics of interest. Would this be insufficient? I would welcome your advice.

        • Jorge Silvestrini

          It’s been a year – how’s your writing going – have you found the time to do 4/5 posts a week? I’m struggling with this as well – and next week I will start by adding 15 to 30 minutes daily to edit and posting!

          • Michael Hyatt

            I don’t know if you are responding to me or to Alex, but I have remained constant at 5—and even occasionally 6—posts a week.

          • Rookie Manager

            Great Tips!  Consistency was hard in 2011. I realized this was caused by what I’d call ‘emotional blogging’. I blogged when I felt like it.

             I hope the fact that I’ve allocated an afternoon every Sunday to write and schedule my 3-4 posts for the week helps. 

          • Justin Wise

            Rookie … Consistency is key. Sometimes the only way to learn this is the hard way! It sounds like you’ve got a good rhythm established for the year. Keep with it and watch your readership grow!

            Go get ‘em.

  • Katie Ganshert

    Well…I've taken two weeks off blogging. I wanted to dedicate the time I normally spend blogging to writing my rough draft. I knew going into the two weeks, that my traffic would pretty much fall off a cliff. But I had to weigh the pros and cons, and devoting that time to my rough draft won. I'm very excited to get back at it on Monday though.

    These are great tips. Sometimes I'm guilty of number ten, but even if I am writing about my own personal journey as a writer, I try to find a way to connect that to my reader. Usually by asking a question at the end.

    Hope you had a super blessed Thanksgiving!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think you sometimes have no choice but to take a break. I know that there are “seasons” when I get extremely busy and slow down. Having advertisers helps me, because I know they are counting on the traffic. As a result, I can't sit on the sidelines too long!

  • Joy

    Excellent info – thank you for sharing! Joy

  • Cindy_Graves

    Thanks for 10 great pointers and for being such a wonderful example to follow.

    #1 is the one I struggle with the most. Maybe 2010 will be the year I discover the "secret"!

    One thing I've noticed is that people don't necessarily care for automatic music or sounds on blogs. Not that it's an issue for my site. I'm doing good to get a picture under my title!

    • joanna

      I'm not a fan of automatic sound/music/video at all. If you are in an environment where you shouldn't be making noise but forgot to turn off your speakers it can a bit of a rude surprise. If you have a slow connection or limited download allowance it is also a totally unnecessary drain on your bandwidth.

    • Peter_P



      Seriously though, I find it a real intrusion for some reason (and sometimes the music is just flat-out annoying!)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree. I hate, hate, HATE automatic music. It is so intrusive.

      With regard to consistency, I would encourage you to set a goal you can manage and keep it religiously. It's a great discipline.

  • Cynthia (cswriter59)

    This is a great help to me. I have only been blogging for about a month and without direction. Maybe now, I can create some continuity in my blogging.
    Thank you so much,

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great! You might also subscribe to ProBlogger and CopyBlogger—two wonderful sites.

  • joanna

    Other traffic killers that frustrate me are….

    Not syndicating the whole post to RSS- Even if their site is really pretty i'd normally rather read more than the first 2 lines in my RSS reader and not have to click through. If you make me click through, some of the time i just won't bother.

    Excessive promotion of sales/advertising in posts. I get enough ads everywhere else. This is especially frustrating on blogs that have a very international audience yet they are constantly pimping deals only available in one country (eg amazon MP3).

    Alienating international users again by regularly posting and raving about video content from hosts that are only accessible from inside the US (eg. Hulu)

    Not paying attention to what adsense is displaying- It is surprising how many bloggers sign up for adsense and splash it all over their blog but pay no attention to what it is displaying. At best the ads tend to be totally irrelevant to the blogs content, at worse fly in contradiction to the focus of the blog and the blogger's beliefs.

    • Michael Hyatt

      These are all excellent tips. I really dislike the abbreviated RSS feeds, too. Bloggers who use them are, in my opinion, short-sighted.

      Another thing I would eliminate is comment registration or CAPTCHA commenting (where I have to enter a combination of letters to post). Both of these discourage comments. Yes, you will get a little more comment spam, but not much. It will greatly increase the level of engagement if you make it as easy as possible.

      • joanna

        I don't mind CAPTCHA so much as long as it is very easy to do. Many are not. Some sites have absurdly difficult ones. I have difficulty even with perfectly good eyesite on some of the harder ones- don't know how the vision impaired would manage.

      • Pavithra Kodmad

        Yes! I get very irritated when I cannot comment easily on some blog. I believe that if you want a successful blog, you must be willing to sift and adminstrate comments too! Adding CAPTCHA is a huge turn off!

        • Michael Hyatt

          I agree.

    • Peter_P

      I'm with you on all of these points! Particularly the RSS one.

      I simply don't read the blogs of people who don't give me all the text in the RSS feed!

      I'm with Mike on the comments systems too. No registration, no captcha and DEFINITELY don't moderate every single comment!

    • Andrew

      A huge, mega AMEN about the international content. Where I live we can't watch Hulu…very frustrating when that is a blog's main feature.

  • Shelley

    Great post, and very helpful to us bloggers. I am guilty as charged at making these mistakes…and probably more! I've got a lot of work to do with my blogs, but at least I'm more aware now of how I can change them to get the traffic up!

  • Tradina

    Great post! I guess I fall under a hobby blogger. At the moment I just don’t have that much to say to be blogging every day. I definitely have some things to work on, but I’m a work in progress. Thanks for the tips.

  • David

    Excellent article. I am going to bookmark this post so I can refer back to the 10 tips here.

    Just this last week I decided that I need to post Mon-Fri and for me I am going to have a different topic for each day but they will be the same week in and week out. This goes back to our brand I suppose and that readers desire some consistency with our blogs.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Monday through Friday is a great schedule. I occasionally post on Saturday (like this post!), but I find the best traffic is Monday through Thursday. I am still experimenting.

      • Daisy

        Would it be helpful to have a theme or specific genre for each day of the week? (e.g., Sunday’s post is full of Grace…) 
        or Sunday = poetry, Tuesday = essays,

  • Renee

    As a long-time blogger I would have to say that I have made all of these mistakes, sometimes even all at once! But, now that I am fortunate enough to be mentored by other bloggers who care to show me the ropes I don't make the same mistakes–even to the point of being discovered on Twitter and my first book hits bookstores in March. God is good! So good!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is awesome. Good for you!

      • @faithbookjesus

        Thanks Michael. Just from this one comment alone I'm connected with 10+ more 20-somethings. It's amazing what social networking can do in ministry. Keep up the good work and God bless you and your ministry.

      • @faithbookjesus

        Oh and my second proposal is currently at Thomas Nelson as we speak. *Holding my breath*

    • Jimmy Jazz

      I'm intrigued to hear that you can make mistake 1 and mistake 2 simultaneously. Do share.

      • Jeffrey Holton

        "Could it be You make Your presence known so often by Your absence/Could it be that questions tell us more than answers ever do?"
        –Michael Card

      • @faithbookjesus

        Well maybe not #1 and #2 at the same time. It was meant more to be funny :-)

  • Peter_P

    Great advice, Mike.

    Part way down, I had to go back and read your first paragraph again, just to check it against your own advice :-)


    I particularly struggle with the focus of my blog. My blog has three totally different focuses and, where your three tend to overlap or apply to much the same audiences, mine don't so much… and I'm not sure what to do with it!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I went back and totally revised my first paragraph after writing that section, figuring that people would do just as you have done!

      It is hard to narrow your focus, because your blog has to be first interesting to you. If it's not, you won't blog often enough. This is a delicate balance. I would work on consistency first, even if you have to color outside of the lines a bit. Then, once you have good momentum, you can begin to narrow the focus.

      Just a thought.

      • Peter_P

        Thank you for the advice, Michael.

        I've considered switching things up and starting another blog but I have neither the time nor the ideas to consistently blog in two places.

        I'm on a fairly consistent pattern on my one blog now and am trying to stick to it… I guess I just need to stay focussed on the vision for the blog!

        Thanks again!


  • Design Informer

    Excellent article!

    All your points are valid and right on the money. I just have something against

    Mistake #3: Your post is too long.

    I don't think it's a mistake to have a long post. I guess if you are just ranting and raving and keep repeating yourself, then it is a mistake. But other than that, if your writing is inspiring, teaching, and thought provoking, then I think it's great to have a long post. I think this is the problem today with many blog readers. If it's not in lists or if it isn't a short post, they wouldn't even read the article.

    You are right though, it does help to break the post up into paragraphs, bulletpoints, blockquotes, etc.

    Thanks again for this post. Oh, and I just tweeted it. Great job!

    • Michael Hyatt

      There are definitely exceptions to the rule. But all things being equal, I do think people like shorter posts.

      The main thing is to test, test, test. Pay attention to your analytics. They will tell you whether or not people are reading all the way through, just scanning, or bailing ot before they finish.

      For example, if you write a post that takes five minutes to read and your average “session time” (a web metric of how long the average reader stays on your site) is 90 seconds, most people are not reading your posts all the way to the end.

    • Peter_P

      I have over 200 blogs in my rss reader. Posts that are long have to be EXCEPTIONALLY good to keep my attention or I will simply stop reading them and move on to the next blog in the list.

      • Michael Hyatt

        Me, too. As a writer, you have about 10 seconds to live—if that! If you don’t hook them with the headline and grab them with the first paragraph, the fish gets off the hook!

  • Daniel Tardy

    Great advice. Thanks Mike for laying this out so well! I struggle a lot with #5 because usually comments people make on my blog are not dynamic enough to respond to with more than a simple "Thanks for commenting" type reply. I guess I need to figure out how to improve #4 to remedy this?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think you have discovered the solution. Leave your posts more open-ended. Think of it this way: your job is just to get the conversation rolling. Look to your readers to make valuable contributions as well. If you do that, people will feel more free to enter into the discussion.

      • Daniel Tardy

        I tried to work on the engagement aspect a little bit more in my latest post:

        I'd love to hear anyone's ideas on how I might could have done this even better.

  • On_

    Thanks for the tips, I assume that most of us knew it from before, but we never really bothered considering how important those factors are!

    Printed out—to hang on the wall!

    On Elpeleg

    PS…got error "you name is either too long or too short" …calling my mother!

  • anne jackson

    #1….I find that consistency is more important than frequency…Look at PostSecret – very niche, but once a week. I look forward to every Sunday knowing there will be an update.

    I have gone to blogging every day, or five times a week I guess, to once or twice a week, usually on a Monday or a Wednesday.

    If I can get a higher quality post out once or twice a week instead of five decent posts, I prefer that…and it seems my readers engage more that way too. I haven't noticed a big change in traffic in switching…but my blog is weird. :)

    • Cindy_Graves

      Great point, Anne. Sometimes I get an idea in my head and the post almost seems to write itself and I wonder what just happened! Other times I struggle with a post (usually a topic I'd rather not explore, if you know what I mean) and it takes days and days to get it to the point I can click the publish button. I'd much rather have 2 or 3 great posts than 5 or 6 weak, meaningless ones. We don't need more online polution do we?

      And for the record, your blog is not weird! :)

      • Michael Hyatt

        I have that experience. I didn't intend to blog today, for example, but this post just sort of wrote itself after I jotted down the headline. Yet, at other times, I feel I can't string two sentences together. What is that?!

    • Michael Hyatt

      You have a great blog, Anne. I have noticed that your frequency has fallen off, but it is consistent. I think this is important, too. Tim Ferriss is another one who only posts about once a week, and I love his posts (usually). He puts a lot of research and energy into each one.

    • patriciazell

      Your blog may be weird, but I like visiting with you anyway!

  • Derek

    Hmmm … my blog makes about 4 mistakes out of the 10! I'm glad that posting a link when you comment here is optional LOL.

  • Jody Hedlund

    I’m finding it more difficult to do #5 Participate in the Conversation. I try to answer specific questions that might arise in the comments, but otherwise, I can’t keep up with responding individually, even though I DO read each comment and appreciate them.

    Another common blog mistake, especially for new bloggers, is sitting back and expecting others to visit their blogs without visiting around. It’s similar to #5, if we want people to interact on our blogs, then we need to get out and visit theirs. Leave comments, sign up to follow, join the community.

    This is a great post! Thanks!

    • Cindy_Graves

      I've found that the majority of my traffic comes from links through comments I leave on other blogs. Not that I do it intentionally. I just like conversation. I do the same. If someone leaves a comment that strikes a cord in me, I'm likely to check their site (if they have one).

    • Michael Hyatt

      I don't respond to every comment. I really don't want to just talk to be talking. (Someone once told me that everything that applies to being a good cocktail party host applies to being a good blog host.)

      I also agree about visiting around, reading other blogs, and participating. This is very important, too.

  • patriciazell

    My blog's biggest strengths are faithfulness to my brand and my focus on my brand in my posts. I'm making progress–I just goggled my brand, "God's absolute love," and my blog was listed first out of about 6,620,000 entries. I personally think that's pretty good considering that all I do is to announce my postings on Facebook and Twitter. (I also try to work my brand into Twitter's trending topics–I have had some good responses from that.)

    Since I am basically "writing" my book on my blog, my posts are a little longer that what you recommend. Also, since I am committed to my teaching responsiblities at my high school, I mainly post during my breaks.
    My goal is to have my "book" written by mid to late summer while I will increase my promoting activites in the early spring. Who knows what doors God will open for me–I just know I'm ready to go.

    • Michael Hyatt

      This is impressive. The nice thing is that you know your brand and are focused on delivering content related to it. I also think this is a GREAT way to write a book, garnering feedback as you go. All the while, you are building a platform. Good for you!

  • @mcblake

    I think mistake #10 could also be called "You Don't Add Value."

    Anyone (including / especially me) can mindlessly regurgitate what has happened the past day, week, or month, but it takes a higher level of engagement to take what has happened and apply it to a concept that can make people think, make people change, and add value to the reader's life.

    • @mcblake

      You do a great job of adding value, by the way.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree. And thanks for the encouragement!

  • terryrward

    Great post and valuable comments as well. I think I have made almost every mistake on this list. Thanks for sharing.

  • David G Shrock

    Long post is relative to the content and audience, but true for any post: be concise. The only one I would add is over-promotion. Don't push too hard. Let the participating readers help promote.
    Great tips.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree. It is relative. I have read 2,000-word posts and hung on every word. I have read 200-word posts and felt I had wasted my time.

      To borrow from an old piece of advce about speeches: “A good blog post should be like a woman’s skirt—long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting.”

  • @katdish

    Hmmm….Not sure how I'm doing according to these rules. I post every day, but I have 2 guest bloggers a week. I think part of the draw to my blog is that you never know what you're going to get (except for Mondays when you know you're going to get an excellent story written by Billy Coffey). I post silly stuff and serious stuff.

    My biggest pet peeve in blogging (and forgive me if I'm offending anyone), are these "blog awards" that really aren't awards at all but sort of the blogging version of a mass forwarded email where you're guilted into participating. No thanks.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I must have totally missed these blog awards. I don't recall ever being asked to participate. Maybe I should count myself blessed!

      • joanna

        Yes you should probably count yourself blessed. Maybe sometimes the people doing the awarding genuinely wanted to encourage blogs they were really good. More often it seems like thinly disguised self promotion. What usually happens is blogger with very few readers will give out "awards" to more popular bloggers for various things. They then expect the awardees to display their award badge on their blog. These badges often promote and/or link back to the blogger giving the award. The badges are often rather ugly too

  • Helen Kidd

    THANK YOU! Basics every writer and editor knows but sometimes forgets and needs reminded every once in awhile with a good swift kick because, as you said, it is "a new way of reading."

  • Linda

    A couple I've seen:

    * Talking about the weather (and this was from people who were writers!)

    * Talking about the medicatin you're taking (and it wasn't allergy or cold medicine)

    * Ranting against the publishing industry–there's been a couple of these in the last few months. They got rejected, did a very public rant, and drew lots of attention to themselves. But not good attention.

    • Michael Hyatt

      In a similar vein, writers apologizing for not posting more frequently! In my opinion, you should never do this. No one really cares. Just start writing again and write something worth reading.

      • Linda

        And certainly not advertise that you're not posting regularly!

  • Jeff

    Good stuff. #1 one is the biggest challenge for most, I think. Guest-writing for other sites is a good way to tap into new "markets".

  • JasonWert

    Great stuff here. I had a blog where I used to live that covered city politics and local events that was generating as much traffic as the local TV and radio stations and it all came down to timely, accurate, quality information that people wanted to read. (It was actually included as a news outlet by the city and county governments.) #9 on your list is dead-on…I would get angry messages from people who read that blog if I had a post about my kids instead of hard news. (That was part of the reason I ended it.)

    I'm trying to get the sweet spot for my new blog here in Nashville. My new blog is more personal about a journey through life and faith rather than hard news. I don't edit my word count down to the levels you recommend…perhaps it's the writer in me rebelling against the previous blog where everything was edited with a media mindset..

    Of course, my new blog could just be boring too. ;)

    Thanks for the tips, Michael. Oh…and my daughter is still on Cloud 9 about being able to pet Nelson.

  • Financial Samurai

    #10 is spot on. Nobody cares about us bloggers more than ourselves. We need to provide info for our readers!

  • Andy Rowell

    I agree with all your advice. I think #10 "Your post is about YOU" is a good reminder about how Facebook (at least for me) is different from most blogs. In my mind, it is fine to post stuff about YOU on Facebook. That is the appropriate place for it. You have "friends" there who hopefully you know know in real life (at least I limit it to that). They thus care about you whereas the blog is more for those who care about the content you have to offer. At least for me that is how I have distinguished my audiences: I have Twitter and a blog about my area of expertise whereas Facebook is just for my "real" friends who care about me and I post more casually and personally there.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think your distinction between Facebook and a blog is pretty right-on.

      • racheld

        Sorry to disagree, but I love the stories about "you" especially if there are several pics with a few words….we read your words everyday….it is nice to see read about the real you. Maybe it is a more female to want it this way?

  • Rachel H. Evans

    I struggle the most with mistake #3. My posts are too long.

    It's tricky because, as a writer with a memoir coming out next summer, I want to write in a style that is similar to my book. But this isn't necessarily the best style for a blog. Making the content easy to scan and including questions at the end of each post are my favorite solutions.

    Mike – Have you run into any specific mistakes that are common to authors who blog? (I'm with Zondervan, but I'm sure you could spare some tips anyway!) :-)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think you have hit on it: you have to modify the content to accommodate the form. I don’t think it is bad to leave readers hanging and break the posts up.

      With regard to mistakes authors typically make? I don’t think I can generalize. Just trying to get them to blog and interact with social media is a big challenge.


      • Jfwlts

        I don’t like it when bloggers leave me hanging. Feels manipulative. I’d rather have a long post and decide if I need to come back later to finish reading it than to be left hanging.

  • Anthony Bynoe

    Other mistakes I’ve discovered are (Not in any particular order):
    Too many ads on the page
    Unattended negative comments (prejudiced in nature)
    Comment spam
    Poor grammar & spelling
    Too many bells & whistles

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yep, I would agree with all of those. Thanks.

  • Robin

    I love the list. I've been guilty of almost all of them.
    As a visitor to other blogs, I get turned off when someone seems to be talking down to their readers or being preachy…maybe that's just me :)
    Good post ~ thanks

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree with that. It turns me off, too, though I have probably been guilty of it myself.

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  • Ed Snyder

    I am just getting started with blogging and really enjoyed your post. Thank you for the good stuff. I also follow you on Twitter.

  • Michael Holmes

    To be honest Mike I’vemade mistakes 1…3…4…5…6…7…8…and…9 and 10!

    Good news is I have made it a practice to post everyday now. And I have made them a LOT shorter than when I started, and I’ve worked on the headlines, and etc. But to be honest, I’m nowhere near where you are. However, I try to remind myself, you didn’t start where you are. And so I press toward the goal… one post at a time:)

    Thanks again!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That's all you can do. There's do substitute for just doing it. Like my daughter often says, “things take longer than they do.” ;-)

  • JulieCJ

    There is one major traffic-killer that wasn't mentioned. This has nothing to do with what is written; good, bad or otherwise. It has everything to do with the blog design/theme choice.

    The extremely popular (based on my personal observations) black background with white or even gray or pastel print is difficult to read. Zombie (especially) and some YA authors (and some non-authors, too) seem to like the light-on-black designs/themes.

    I have visited a number of these light-on-black sites while following an author, or a topic of interest – but when I find a black blob, I leave. That equals lost traffic to that blogger as it's unlikely I'll return! On very rare occasion, I've taken a page into Photoshop and reversed the colors so I could read it, but this can take time – a very valuable commodity.

    Bloggers, please, if you absolutely must have a light-on-black blog theme, at least make the print BRIGHT white (not gray or pastel), and big enough to read – 12 point body copy at minimum (like your manuscript)!

    Other designs out there don't have enough contrast between the background and the print, making it hard to read – and/or – the print is too small. Examples: tan-on-beige/brown, pastel print on similar-colored backgrounds, very 'busy' backgrounds, etc. Of the hundreds of beautiful blog themes, many are not really reader-friendly!

    Black print on a white background is the best. It's how you submit your manuscripts, isn't it? Do you think an agent would look twice at a manuscript submitted in a white print on black paper format?

    I'm sorry for the rant, but this a problem for those of us older readers! You can break every one of the 10 Rules listed above but no one will ever know if they can't/don't read the blog!


    • Michael Hyatt

      I hate test that is “reversed out” of a dark background. Study after study has shown that it is more difficult to read.

  • Fran

    Combining this with your post on getting published and developing a platform…I expect to have to unlearn bad habits and work to eliminate these common mistakes. Thank you for sharing your insight.

  • Justin

    You know, 50% of this I knew! I still do a lot of it. Worth reading over and over.

    You are the master!

  • Daniel Decker

    I shut down my blog several months ago for many of these reasons. I was hobby blogging and not focusing my voice in a consistent direction. Had decent traffic but felt like I was not giving as much directional value as I'd like. My post topics were all over the place. Instead of blogging just to blog, I decided to yank it and regroup with a new focus and direction (actually having a focus and direction this time). :) A good blogger, I’ve found, is one who is intentional and somewhat disciplined with how they approach not only the content but the entire medium.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I hope you will start it back up, Daniel.

  • Jason H

    I agree with the list but have to disagree with some of the comments that were mentioned.

    Abbreviated RSS feeds:
    RSS feed excerpts can be just as enticing as the first paragraph that you mention to get readers to click-through to the site. If you read the whole article in your feed reader and it interested you, you’re still not very inclined to click through to the site.

    I’ve also had a number of blog-scraping incidents pulling from my feed when it was the whole article. These were a pain to fight and did a lot more damage to my reputation and site than RSS excerpts.

    Having a post be too long:
    Like you said, if it’s scanable a longer length can be fine. I think it really depends on the topic of your blog though. When I read tech blogs, I don’t want them to leave out details for the sake of brevity. I want them to be complete. It’s a fine balance.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Indeed, it is a fine balance. I have had people scrape my feed but never from the RSS feed.

      Like all things related to the Internet, it is easy to test and see which moves you closer to the goal you desire.

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  • Steve


    You said:
    "Unless you are a mega-celebrity, readers don’t care about you. Not really. They care about themselves. "

    I must disagree, at least in part. I don't deny that the self-centered "me, me, me" Internet users are out there, especially in what some are calling a generation of narcissism. But I also think there are many out there who arte genuinely seeking to create relationships of mutual benefit with those they encounter – whether in "real life" or online.

    Certainly a blog should provide value for the reader – but it is a rare individual whose personhood is so desolate that putting their personality "out there" would not provide a reader with added value.

    "Reach out in the darkness, and you may find a friend".
    (Sixties rock lyrics – attribution unavailable at this moment)


    • Michael Hyatt

      Personally, I think that Facebook and Twitter are better for that. I think you can tell stories, too. But they should have a point that adds value to the reader. But again, your purposes for blogging may vary.

      Can you point to a high traffic site that is about the writer and the writer isn't a celebrity? They may be out there, but I am not aware of any.

      You may argue that high traffic is not the only goal. True. But that was the point of my original post and what we are consideriing here.

  • Donald Hunter

    As a new blogger, these tips will help me stay on track by focusing on radio station "WII-FM." Thank you.

  • Question of

    All good tips. I've just started blogging so I'm also reading a lot more of what others are doing on their blogs. The real killer for me as a reader remains the too long posts. When I see a post that goes on "forever" I don't even start on reading it – and that's a shame, because I'm sure many of them are interesting.
    In journalism school you learn to only write what's necessary and discard all the rest, and I think the same applys to blogging and well, writing in general. I just finished reading Stephen King's "On writing" – I do that regulary – and it has a lot of good stuff for bloggers too…

    • Michael Hyatt

      I love Stephen King's work and especially that book. I found it bvery helpful as well. I need to go back and read it from the point of view of a blogger. Interesting.

  • Timothy Fish

    I agree with most of these. #10: I disagree in part. Yes, people are looking for what they can get out of it, but often what people are hoping to get out of it is information about the blogger. While reader probably don't want to hear about the grandkids or see all of the vacation pictures, they do want to get a view into what it is like to be whatever it is the blogger is–butcher, baker, candlestick maker. To make avoid talking about YOU, could be just as bad.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree with you. This is very subtle. My only argument is that in the end it is still about the reader. There is something they are hoping to get my peering into your life. As a blogger you have to understand exactly what it is and make sure that your stories about you deliver that benefit.

      Just my two cents.

  • Hamza

    Excellent tips.. But I think I'll disagree with the frequency post point, which says that if you post too often, then its not good for traffic.
    Though they have mentioned later that this doesn't include a blog run by a group, but still its true for individuals too. Just depends on how good you can write!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that's true. It also probably depends on what kind of blog it is. Again, to me the analytics and your own goals will help guide you. I once surveyed my readers about frequency. It was very helpful. Your readers will tell you, if you ask. In fact, they will tell you even if you *don’t* ask—by either increasing or decreasing. Thanks.

  • Bill at Mindfield

    This is good, basic strategy for any blogger, and for developing an active online presence in any channel. Content is king, and building a solid reputation takes dedicated tact and willingness to continually survey and modify your content and methods of distribution. I think you'll find both good and bad content has been successfully published by bloggers using these basics, it's not rocket science.

  • Bil Browning

    One thing I've seen played out over and over (and is going to happen here with your site and me) is folks don't get the logical carryover with #10. In this example, I think "Good blog post. What else is on his site?"

    And then I see your Twitter feed which is all "I’m praying for those who will be preaching God’s Word today" followed by 3 Twitter names. And it's all ten of your Twitter updates.

    So what this tells me is you're not original, you're a religious fanatic, and you don't follow your own advice – all three negatives. One of the two fastest ways to lose Twitter followers is to talk about politics or religion if your usual focus is elsewhere. You've carried this over onto your blog now with your Twitter update feed.

    Combine that with the religious ads in the upper right and you've got some REALLY bit problems with being off-topic. If I want religion, I'll go to a religious site. The Bible doesn't mention blogging.

    You've left four major bad impressions. So instead of adding you to my RSS feed or following you on Twitter, I'll leave and think, "Wow, if he wasn't a religious nut, I'd read him regularly. But I don't want his religious views to seep into his blog, so I'll skip it. Besides, this post was good but it's probably all the same thing with a few things changed."

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input. I can see how I left that impression. I started the pray4pastors hashtag and went a little crazy!

      My stuff is all written from a Christian perspective, though it's rarely explicit. Regardless, I’m definitely not for everyone.

    • patriciazell

      Mr. Browning, while you are not at a religious site, you are at the site of the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers which is a Christian publishing house. Of course, someone reading this blog would expect the Christian world view to be intertwined in the posts. And, since Thomas Nelson is a prosperous business, a reader would also expect some sort of advertising pointing to the success of the company. And, a writer can be on fire for God's kingdom without being a fanatic.

      By the way, the pray4pastors hashtag just shows the enthusiasm of a real person with real concern for the message of Christ being proclaimed throughout the world.

  • Janet Kennedy

    I have been reading blogs for months and writing for 1 day so I am not any kind of authority but I find repetitive posting to be boring (that's the #1 sin, correct?). If you have said it once, it does not bear endless repeating unless you have something new to add.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I don't think I would make that #1. Frankly, I don't see it much. But then again, maybe it's because I don't subscribe to those kinds of blogs.

  • Karl

    An excellent round-up of practical tips that, when applied, will have a big impact.



  • @SteffanAntonas


    #10 is almost surely the most pervasive mistake on the web. Of course, you figure out whether they've violated the rule in the first paragraph (see #8 ;-)).

    The insight that longer posts need to be scannable is key. I would even say that the stats you've sited (2/10 read the full article) is high. If you can take Brian Clark's advice, write a good headline and then use that same advice to craft good subheadings that break the post up and allow people to scan…THAT'S the winning formula for getting people to share long posts.

    Good article. You can thank @clayhebert for sending me here.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Clay is awesome! Thanks for visiting.

  • Bethe Andrus

    Great post. Tip #1 is especially important. Nothing's sadder than a stale site.

    • Michael Hyatt

      There are certainly a lot of those on the Web. People start with good intentions but it takes discipline to keep it going.

  • Christopher Parsons

    I think that much of the length concerns come from whether or not your blog is traditionally dominated by long posts. In my own case, I don't deal with small ideas – 95% of posts are meant to be longer, academically driven, thought and data pieces. If you're trying to establish 'deep content', then over time (i.e. several years) having 'long content' can be incredibly helpful.

  • Leslie Moon

    learning so thanks for the 10 faut pas of blogging

  • Kristie Jackson

    What a fantastic checklist! Thank you so much!

  • szabcsee

    Hello Michael,

    You have a nice blog here. Great post, I think my biggest challenge is point 9: sometimes going off-track with post topics. What is your opinion, how many topics a blog can cover?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think the fewer the better. Think of the classic “elevator pitch.” If you were trying to explain what your blog is about on an elevator to a complete stranger, how would you do it?

  • cfguy

    Thanks for the list. It’s helpful for we newer bloggers.

  • Norman Rogers

    That's one of the best lists that I have ever come across, in terms of identifying some really good things to remember about blogging.

    I have always worried about the frequency of posting–I feel guilty when I only put up four or five posts in a day. Perhaps I'm posting too often–I don't know. I try to stay topical and be interesting, and I have definitely noticed that Google is really beginning to click for me. For a while there, it was touch and go. Now that I've built a pretty big archive, I think I can slow down a bit and reap the rewards of keeping a solid pace.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Your blog looks great. If your audience has an appetite for that much, keep writing. There are definitely exceptions to the rules I have listed.

  • Mushroom Digiyal

    I think its important yo participate but at the same time the participation of the responses maybe off topic so it is sometimes best to stick to showing your appreciation :)

  • Christina B

    Nice! Thankz!

  • forthesakeofJOY

    One thing that turns me off almost immediately is horrible grammar, spelling or sentence structure. Not that I always get it right – but give I give the effort. ;)

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  • Kate

    After After 12,388 Posts And 433,091 Comments:

    Never say with an essay what can be said in a paragraph.
    Never say with a paragraph what can be said in a sentence.
    Never say with a sentence what can be said in a word.
    And never say with a word what can be said with an *.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Amen to this!

  • Arabella

    It's a very good tips! Thank you so much! May GOD bless you more great tips and inspiring and encouraging message!

    For me,What other traffic-killers have i witnessed as a blogger?
    Shalow or too shalow information!
    And i think blogger can be a great blogger,
    when they write a meaningful message!

  • Steve Fogg

    If the aim is drive traffic then I think that we've lost the plot.

    Unless you are in it for the fame or the money traffic isn't the aim – good quality content that makes a difference and adds value to the reader is isn't it?

    • Michael Hyatt

      But if you write good quality content that adds value, don't you want to share that with as many people as possible? If not, why not just write a personal journal or send an email to a few friends. Blogging without an interest in traffic is like buying a sound system and saying your not interested in speaking to crowds. ;-)

    • Kate

      Traffic = readers.
      If readers don't matter, then keep a diary.

  • Young

    From now on, you are the most important person of my blog and I serves you. That's my understanding of the last one mistake.

  • gabybali

    Woww…thanks to @problogger from twitter I stumbled upon this great tips , thank you thank you thank you for writing this.
    I’ll make sure I’ll noted these down.My biggest problem is often : Mistake #1 : I don’t post enough, for my mood to write comes occasionaly, depends on my mood…haha…

  • Darrell

    > I don’t need to hear from anyone more than once a day—unless it is a group blog or a news site. You would do better to focus on writing one really great post a day rather than several mediocre ones. The trick is to find your frequency sweet spot. For me, it is four to five posts a week.

    Ah. That would explain Glenn Reynolds’ lack of success, or Charles Johnson’s, or Andrew Bolt’s. If only they’d have come to you first, they’d have really busy blogs now.

    • Michael Hyatt

      There are definitely exceptions!

  • James I Harris

    Great post. As an artist just getting started this will help me out. I can already see that a couple of things I was going to post need to be broken down into 3-4 blogs instead of one.

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  • jskogerboe

    Excellent post, Michael. Thanks for laying out all 10 of my mistakes with such clarity. :-) Good advice. Appreciate you.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m glad to be of service. ;-)

  • Gman

    One mistake I see if some bloggers don't give their sources or HT to others for the content they "steal".

  • @CarrieSarver

    Glad to see you followed your own #5

  • Michael Hyatt

    This is one of my favorite aspects of blogging: the interaction with readers!

  • Kevin Shorter

    Another killer mistake is that your website is not user-friendly. I hate trying to read a blog and newsletter sign-ups pop up or there is too much going on around the content that it is hard to read.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Pop-ups are a sure way to keep me from coming back. I hate them. They are so intrusive. Interruption marketing at its worst!

      • Wayne Sallee

        I so agree. When I get a popup, I X out the entire site.

        Wayne Sallee

  • Lars V

    Thanks for sharing your blogging wizdom, it's highly appreciated! I don't disagree directly with any of your 10 mistakes but I also think every niche have it's own rules. As a blogger you need to be aware of the trends and act upon them. To do this one needs to know other bloggers in the same niche and be aware is someone hits a hot hot topic (loads of comments, popular on digg, stumbleupon, delicious etc.). I think one of the most critical rules I believe spans across most blogging niches is the ability to inspire, lead and add new angles to hot topics. This is where blooging stops being 10 minutes of random typing and turns into a serious effort potentially requiring hours of work on each post.

  • John

    Not creating RSS feeds. All blogging platforms have RSS support built-in, but it boggles my mind when I visit a blog that has chosen to disable RSS. Your use of FeedBurner makes subscribing to feeds incredible easy, and I always appreciate that about your blog.

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is amazing, isn’t it. I can’t fathom why someone would disable this feature.

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  • Greg England

    Not related to this post, but I received my copy of "Derailed" and could hardly put it down. Thank you for the book!! My daughter is half way through her MBA and is very interested in reading it.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great! I’m glad you like it.

  • Bradley J. Moore

    Michael, these are concise and practical tips. Thanks – I have been bloggin for over a year and am just now starting to "get" what a good blog is.

    Curious – have you ever posted on how the heck you make the time to keep up a kick-ass blog, run a powerful publishing house, and maintain all of the life-balance activities? I also work as a full-time executive and am attempting to run a blog, but find that it's takes a good 20-30 hours/week to actually make a go at it. You know, to write really good posts, reply to comments thoughtfully, get around to other blogs, learn all the technical stuff to keep your blog relevant. It's is a lot of work, on top of my real, paid job, and my family. I somehow get the feeling you have a staff of people doing this for you. Am I wrong? What about us little people?

  • Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Yes, I have written on priorities and life balance. You can search for that topic in my search bar. I have the benefit of being able to write fast. I spend about an hour a day on my blog, early in the morning or late in the evening. All my kids are grown, so that makes it easier, too.

    You have to consider the season of life you are in and how blogging fits into your overall goals.

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  • Christianne

    This is excellent. Thank you.

    I recently switched to a new website after hosting a personal blog for about three years. The personal blog was successful in many ways, but I found myself branching into new areas of thought and wanting to write more intentionally about those subjects.

    I've found it difficult to find my sweet spot yet, especially concerning length. I am a writer by nature and profession, and when it comes to personal writing (not paid freelance), I specialize in the personal essay.

    I hear you saying blogging isn't meant for the personal essay, so I'm like the memoirist earlier in the comment thread trying to strike a balance between who I am as a writer and who I am in this particular medium.

    Last night I wrote a post with your checklist in mind. I kept the paragraphs and post on the short side, I broke things up with a quote box, and I engaged with a question focused on the reader at the end. I'm going to try more of this in the coming weeks and see what the results will be.

  • Kathryn Lang

    Consistency – that's the one that I struggle with the most and it shows in my numbers. The more consistent I am with my writing then the more consistent the rise in visitors.

  • alece

    hmmm… you had me until mistake #10. but i guess that's a mistake i'm willing to make. i do share about myself quite a bit on my blog — my own journey, my own mistakes, my own brokenness. and while i always write through a filter of how it applies or relates to my readers, my posts will always have that element of personal in it.

    i think i'm okay with that.

    • Shae Baxter

      I am a little guilty of this too but I don't write to brag or gloat about myself. My life isn't that interesting let me tell you. For me it's about sharing personal experiences that people can hopefully relate to.

  • Michael Hyatt

    I am not opposed to personal stories. I use them all the time. I am just suggesting that they need to relate back to the reader to have value.

    Thanks for taking time to comment.

  • Shae Baxter

    Great article. I am new to the blogging world and there is much to learn. For me, it is a really good way for me to hone my writing skills. But these are really useful tips and I can see where I could be starting to make some of the mistakes. I am guilty of not posting enough at this stage but hopefuly now I will get on track and build traffic to my site. Thanks for a practical article.

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  • William Black

    Thanks, Michael,
    I just started a blog and I think I’ve already made all of your mistakes! I am (and my future readers will be) grateful for the advice. And by the way, as an outsider on the way,I have benefited greatly from your podcast.

  • deepthi

    thank you michael…that was very informative. now i know where to improve and how to make my blog better.
    I will make sure to avoid such mistakes.

  • David

    yep i agree, consistency and quality trumps frequency and speed.

    on i do a 900-1300 word post every other day. consistently.

    Google loves long post by the way, and steve pavlina seems to be doing quite well writing massive 5000 word i disagree that posts can be too long. good stuff regardlss, and good link bait :)

  • Andrew

    Put me down as one who has, at different times, made all ten of those errors. I'm so ashamed.

    At least now I have an opportunity to blog about personal failure!

  • Lynn B.

    Mistake #11: You write blog posts telling other people how to blog.

    You have a blog? Then it's YOUR blog. Blog however you please. There's freedom in this medium, people!

    In 2010, I resolve not to read a single blog post wherein somebody presumes to tell other people how to blog.

  • Michael Hyatt

    So you're posting a comment on my blog telling me what I shouldn't be blogging on? Love it!

  • Matt Dabbs

    You even ended with a question!

    #11 Comment on high-profile sites like this one and link back to yourself.


  • Lynn B.

    Mr. Hyatt, please pardon my abruptness. I came upon your post already weary over a sense that people increasingly feel resigned to conform to slick, prefabricated corporate molds rather than truly exercising their unique personalities and gifts. It has seemed trendy this year for professional bloggers to attempt to make other bloggers conform to their tight parameters. I am on your turf, as you pointed out, but if I may amiably offer a contrary viewpoint, your rules strike me as legalistic and unnecessarily restrictive for a free, creative medium. And I wonder about the fruitfulness of this sort of post when I observe readers referring to their "failures" and to feeling ashamed for not following your rules heretofore. I do not wish to tell you what to blog about. To the contrary, as I said before, it's your blog; go about it however you please. I will continue to check my feed reader for those amazing bloggers who pause only occasionally to write lengthy posts that are deep and worthwhile, and I will hope they never start following everyone else's rules. Godspeed.

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  • rwscold

    Wow I struggle with frequent posts! I just seem to get on kicks where I post multiple times a week and then let it sit for a week or even a month. Time is my enemy I suppose. I've enjoyed reading the site. Keep up the good work!
    My recent post Before you get into business……

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  • Jordan

    I'm a big fan of this blog. I just started writing a blog myself not too long ago and so far things have gone relatively well. I do have a question though. Do you know of any good third party websites that have nice themes?


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  • Manon

    Great post…being new to the Blogging world I found these to be very insightful. I would have to say keeping the focus to 3 areas is what I am taking away. I would love to hear more in it, if you where to expand on this topic down the road. Thanks
    My recent post Something Every Blogger Should Know…

  • @PassiveIncQueen

    Great post…being new to the Blogging world I found these to be very insightful. I would have to say keeping the focus to 3 areas is what I am taking away. I would love to hear more in it, if you where to expand on this topic down the road. Thanks

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  • Robin Ong

    Your advice is great and I guess all bloggers actually know about this. Most part time bloggers like us usually have to juggle between a full time job and a part time passion on blogs. To add to the hectic schedule, many resorted to manage more than one blog, like me :S. Thanks for the advice though.
    My recent post Blog Reviews of Top Ten Blogs 2009 – Part 2

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  • Maria

    Less is more…. unless more brings you lots of good… great post…

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  • Cassandra Jade

    Fantastic post. It is daunting starting a blog and the more information people share about how to make a good blog the better for everybody. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    My recent post Writing Is – 3/3

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  • Bill

    Great post! As a recent upstart blogger, this information is priceless.

    Thanks so Much!

  • Stephanie

    I make most of these mistakes regularily! When I blogged daily there was a lot more traffice than there is now. Thanks for the insight!

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  • Jason Barmer

    For those of us who are hobby bloggers, #1 is a biggie. With the birth of our first child, I'm trying to figure out how to find more time for writing without abandoning what must come first in the writing process… reading!
    My recent post Divine Parenting

  • Ken Shepard

    Very helpful Michael. Thank you!
    My recent post Inspirational Lightning Rods


    Invaluable list!, Michael I think you hit all the hot buttons. I especially liked your comment, "What's the take-away for my reader?" I think too many beginning bloggers are self-indulgent and don't focus enough on the reader.


    Just thought of a traffic-killer for me — when I have to sign-in to read a blog! I want to access the info without having to go through a registration process.

  • Jonathan

    Good list here. I've definitely been guilty of #10. And #9. And #8. Well, let's just say I failed the test! lol.

    This is helpful, and thanks for extra links!
    My recent post T.H.I.N.C—Christ-centered Bible Study, Part 3

  • Tim Sanchez

    This post resonates with me as someone who is just starting my first blog. I think #1, #7, and #8 are the biggies here. I suppose I'll find out in 2010! Also, I love the redesign of this blog; it's looking really clean and professional.

  • Kitchen Stewardship

    I have been running into more sites with pop-up ads or ads that appear when my mouse hovers over a certain word. It's definitely enough to make me NEVER go back to that site!

    I'm sure I'm guilty of too-long posts, too often. But I try to make them very scannable!
    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship
    My recent post Monday Mission: Clean Up Without Throwing Out

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  • Simran

    Visited your site for first time today on this article and I'm totally impressed with this article. :) Subscribed for more such articles
    My recent post Image Uploading Feature Is Not Working For Contributors In WordPress Blogs

  • Simran

    Visited your site for first time today on this article and I'm totally impressed with this article. :) Subscribed for more such articles
    My recent post Image Uploading Feature Is Not Working For Contributors In WordPress Blogs

  • h3sean

    Good post! I will keep these things in mind!
    My recent post Undercover Jesus. Sometimes we are kept from recognizing Him

  • MikeKey

    That was a great post, I am new to blogging and need to find my frequency. I love your blog btw. Good to get the perspective of a christian leader.

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  • my own business

    thank you for sharing experience, many learning from mistake….I can learn, to be better

  • Aaron

    Since I clicked over to this blog as a result of a shameless plug on Stuff Christians Like, I thought I'd put in my own shameless plug. I have a new blog called The Novel Blogger ( where I am working on an interactive novel based on the readers' feedback. Click over to it and let me know what you think. I am only a few days into this one, but I'd like to think I have avoided most of the pitfalls mentioned above. Thanks for the tips!
    My recent post Colt Crawford – Chapter 1

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  • Greg Burkett

    Fantastic post — So many people ignore the basics when writing blogs, instead focusing (as you say) on writing about themselves and how things effect them. Following these tips would make the web an overall better and more informative place.
    My recent post Web Design in Warsaw, Indiana

  • Rebekah

    One of the things that stands out to me and maybe it's just because I'm a woman and I like things to LOOK nice but … if the blog is just a plain Blogger or WordPress template then I get bored immediately. On the flip-side having a "busy" background is annoying also. Another thing that gets on my nerves somewhat (or a lot depending on the day) is when bloggers center their text. One in particular. She double spaces EVERY SENTENCE and CENTERS all the text! It hurts my eyes! I like what she writes but it bothers me and so I only go to her blog occasionally.

    By-the-way, I've got this post bookmarked and try to refer back to it often for the great advice! And I've referred this post to several people I know.

    Sorry if this is the 2nd time I've commented but I can't remember if I have before.
    My recent post Ode to a Goat

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  • NickShoe

    I really enjoyed this post. As I've discovered my joy in writing recently, I know this post will be a reference in times to come. Thanks for sharing Mr. Hyatt!
    My recent post 30×30 Video Weight-loss Journal

  • Mark Conner

    Hi Michael

    Heard you on a Catalyst podcast yesterday. Interesting to hear about your role with Thomas Nelson. Great blog! I live in Australia. Hope to connect some time.

    Mark Conner

  • Jesse Wisnewski

    Thanks for the post. These 10 Mistakes – which I've made or am still making – serve as a good benchmark in measuring my own blogging activity so that I can adjust accordingly. Cheers.
    My recent post Reviews of Brian McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith”

  • Columba

    It is interesting to find these basic ten mistakes which people make when they blog especially when they are trying to increase their topc. Surprisingly, l could see some of my self in the article. There are some aspects of the don'ts that l do anyway and l didn' see it as bad until now that l read this article. Wow!!!

  • @kate_miranda

    Not all blogs are designed to promote engagement. Some are more out there to house temporary time- sensitive announcements of events, product releases.

  • lynn cherry

    Ha! I got caught red-handed! Scanning #6. I've only been blogging for a little over a year. I love it and will go back and read this word for word even though I'm a busy mom working part time who needs to leave the house in 30 min if I want to get to church on time!
    My recent post Why I Sing – Toastmasters Project #2

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  • Bridget Willard

    Great points. I'm going to take them to heart.

  • Ruth

    I heard about your blog on Dan Miller’s podcast (48hours). Just like Dan Miller you are uplifting and informative.

    Thank you and God Bless You.

  • Amanda June Hagarty

    Fantastic post. I am guilty of a bunch of that LOL. Blogging is not my focus. I blog at least once a week but I just can't blog much more than that. If I want to make a really superb blog post it takes me all day. Maybe I am a slow poke or too much of a perfectionist but I don't want blogging to be my full time job. I am too busy keeping my virtual islands full of renters, creating commercial content websites and writing my novel.
    But even if I only blog once a week I need to keep this stuff in mind more. Some of what you said I already know, some of it is new, most of it I am slack on. So thanks for the new info and the kick in the pants to be a better blogger :)

  • moraw

    definitely, something that i have to start applying in my blog

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  • danielgsnyder

    Thanks for the advice! It's always a good reminder… people don't necessarily want to hear about me! Ha. I like the idea of having your 3 primary focuses, and putting other topics through that 'lens'. Thanks

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  • Mike Collins

    I do ALL those!!! Thanks. I have one to add. It actually fits in the category of "off brand" but a specific example is straying from my youth ministry, theology posts and putting up dozens of pics of my daughter when she was born. I couldn't help it though!

  • Andy

    Just found your site and some excellent content here to read over the next week. I fall into the semi-professional blogger in that I have a day job (which I enjoy) but dream of being a full time blogger. The other mistake I find when blogging is not spending enough time promoting articles. You can write the best article, but unless you spread the word, no on will read it. Especially in the crowded blogosphere.

  • PJtheEMT

    Thank your for posting those useful tips.

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  • Kevin

    Great point about narrowing down the focus to three main topics. I started my blog about a month ago, and already I find myself wanting to write on three main topics: Followership, Leadership and Family.

    I might post some in my resources section that supports those three as well. It looks like my other topic might start dying of starvation here soon….

  • Xamuel

    Yeah, some of these are things I'm definitely guilty of. I disagree about post length though: 300-400 words is like nothing. A post should be at least 500 words, 1000 is better. If it's 300-400, try and shorten it just a little more and post it on Twitter…

  • Cool designer

    Build traffic is really not that tough, and top of all, you can build traffic or attract more traffic for free.

    Build traffic is a extremely individual skill and is different with each client.

    It is more about revealing your business to new probable clients and generating new sales.

  • gargim

    Thanks for all the tips. Your entire series on blogging advice is extremely helpful.

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  • John Hileman

    I'm going to post this on my wall.

    John Hileman
    Managing Editor

  • barryb64

    500 words or less, for a post? This item caught my attention when reading about the 1st two mistakes. I have been seeking to post one good quality post, a week. Sadly, I would sometime take longer than planned. :( I will ask this question of you, as I'm asking it, of myself.

    My blogs features stories of encouragement and inspiration, from hopefully a biblical perspective. There are a couple of short opinions pieces. I'm finding it, very hard to limit myself to 500 words, due to the nature of the materials. . Being nearsighted does not always help, as I type at 7x magnification. What is the right balance for me? I typically work on one post, at a time.

    This brings up another mistake that I make. It is one of correctly organizing my time. And, letting myself be distracted by things like Twitter; rather than using Twitter to help. Then again, I'm in the learning process when it comes to things like Twitter.

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  • Brian Hinkley

    I may or may not have made one or more of these mistakes in the past. As hard as I try I will probably do it again.

    One I thought I had the other day is to not make your whole blog just one big advertisement. Whether selling something internally or a bunch of links that lead elsewhere; I get turned off as soon ai figure out what the site is really about. Sure as a blogger we all want to make money from our efforts. We just need to be deliberate and mindful of our readership while doing it.

  • Johan

    Great Post Michael. In your case which have been your top 3 to take care of? Any additional tip to consider? Regards

    • Michael Hyatt

      I would say #1, #3, and #9.

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  • Jane Taylor

    I got all the way through your post nodding my head in agreement until Mistake 10 on your list.
    That one poses a huge problem for me. As a new blogger (one week) my blog is about me. As an aspiring author with my first novel completed, I was advised by my editor to set up an online presence prior to approaching agents/publishers. My blog is a (hopefully) humorous account of my journey towards publication (or not) as the case may be. I post short blogs every day, in which I also try to help readers on the same journey as myself – any traps or pitfalls I've encountered on the way. I comment on other blogs and this has resulted in getting a fair amount of followers and comments in return. These readers don't seem to mind that my blog is all about me. Some of them are returning every day and not all of them are writers.

  • mammagoddess

    Great post. Very helpful info for a newbie blogger like myself….and I know I am making every single mistake you listed! Time to clean house I figure!

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  • Exchange

    Numbers 1 and 2 really hit home with me. I think too far into the future and try to get the best situation for LATER rather than now. I think it’s really important to have long term goals, but they shouldn’t dictate your massive decisions.

    For example, I’m in a great relationship and yet I over-think so many of the little things that I end up frustrating myself and my girlfriend. Fortunately, with a few poignant talks from her, I’ve been letting things go and focusing more on the here and now rather than 3, 5, 10 years down the line.

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  • Tommy DiPietro | MLM Sales

    Hi Michael,

    I found your blog through the blog.

    This is a great list and makes complete sense especially if you are not getting the traffic you were looking for.

    Another traffic killer is if you have other sites linked to your blog. If you are advertising something in your column of your blog, it can ‘steal’ your traffic.

    When a search engine crawls your site for new content and if there is another link on your site, it will leave your site for that link.

    You will lose traffic because of this.

    Have a great day,
    Tommy D.

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  • Sanjay Raj

    Hi Michael,

    Your list definitely hits the high points. In sharing your knowledge about the what mistakes to avoid, it’s clearly visible from the post itself…you have used a catchy title, provided the summary, listed the mistakes. As a newbie blogger and your new follower you have definitely grabbed my attention.

    I hope to learn a lot more from your blog. I am very much interested in Management & Self-development.

  • Jeff Goins

    Rereading this a year later, methinks I am guilty of #3, too.

  • Jeff Randleman

    I find myself coimng back to this post frequently, as I try to get my blogging habits established. Thanks for the info!

  • Joshua Hood

    As much as I hate it, I have to agree with the extreme importance of number 7. Purists would like to think that content and content alone is king; unfortunately, it sometimes takes eye-catching headlines to get people INTO that content…

    Joshua Hood

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  • John

     As a new blogger, I am grateful for the advice!  Great post.

  • tgoins


    Where do you go to get fodder for writing that much each week? How do you stay motivated and focused?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great question. I read a lot of blogs and books. I also attend a lot of conferences. However, the main thing that works is simply the intention to write every day. When you make the commitment, stuff shows up. I have written about this phenomenon in this post: “Leap and the Net Will Appear.”

  • ainsley

    Funny how I had just been thinking I should ‘digress’ a little incase my readers get bored. Thanks for the great reminder to stick to my focus. After all, that’s why my readers visit my blog! Thanks Michael!  Ainsley 

  • Jorge Silvestrini

    Just read your post and well – I have to copy this and stick it on Evernote so I can re-read it all the time and make sure I’m in line!


  • Eileen Thai

    I love your blog because it is so well written, and I learn so much from you.  Thank you! 
    My problem is staying focused and trying to post more often. #10 is news to me. Most blogs are so personal. I try to stick to my theme, which is traveling by boat.

  • wyclif

    Regarding technical no-no’s, I think not providing full RSS feeds is one of them. Power users don’t have time to click through, and want easy access to the content in their application of choice.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with this. Some bloggers only provide the excerpt, hoping they get a click-through to view the page. But I think this is selfish and short-sighted. Social media reward generosity.

  • JB

    Length is a big thing for me. As I post more, I seem to be more aware of it and am shortening things. I would like to engage more, and invite conversations. So far my longest comment stream was completely off subject of the post. It was however useful as it shows me a point I’ll need as I develop the idea for a potential work.

  • Rob T

    Good ideas… What is the minimum frequency of publishing in your opinion?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think it depends on your audience, but I don’t consider any blog as “active” unless there is a new post a week.

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  • Ben Emerson

    huge paragraphs. Paragraphs that go all the way across the screen. I have trouble wanting to continue reading if I look at a post and see giant paragraphs. I don’t mind them in books. But I can’t stand them on blogs.

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  • Kristi Wallace Knight

    I beg to differ with #10.  Maybe it’s because I started my blogging life on Livejournal back in the dark ages, but the blogs that I keep coming back to are the ones in which the bloggers write about themselves and do it well.  I’ll read advice blogs from time to time, but I’ll make time in my day for personal blogs.  

    Other than that, though, I think you’re right on.  Keep it short, interesting, organized, clear, and keep interacting with your readers.  Great advice!

  • Jonathan

    The day after my most views only I didn’t post and had minimal viewers. Then I posted again with a few viewers, but someone connected to my blog via this post. Not sure how that happened but maybe it means something.

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  • Ray White Blackheath

    This was a great article on blogging and setting up a blog. Thanks

  • @Shaenacrespo

    I’m so glad I found this blog! Great stuff, thx!

    Question: I blog in first person about lessons from life. I always thought it was more personal to say I than you when teaching lessons. I’ve not really found many bloggers who do this. Is it a death trap?

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t think so. I think this is part of what makes up your unique voice. It will be different for every blogger.

  • anon

    One of the things I like about your blog is that you will include a photo or image in each blog. I guess I am very visual because I find pure text blogs to be kinda dull even if the topic and writing are good. It may explain why I rarely read books but love the internet. Images!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I will take that as a compliment. ;-)

  • W. Mark Thompson

    Man! I love this post. Rich in content and helpful. I have been slowly building my blog with the intention of posting regularly. This [MH] blog is inspiring. And this post, in particular, is motivating to “get on it” and finish building the blog and start building an audience. Thanks!

  • LaniWendtYoung

    I hate when a blog takes forever to load. Thats a surefire way for me to stop trying to go there. Thank you for this useful list. I write tooooooo much and after reading yr list, am convinced even more of the need to aim for shorter, sweeter posts. 

  • Daniel Vogler

    I’ve definitely been guilty of number 1… it’s just that it takes me a couple of hours to finish up a great post and as hobby bogger I barely can do that more than once a week.
    Do you have any tips on how to blog fast without loosing quality? Guess it just comes with the practice .

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think it comes with practice. It also helps me to have a blogging template. I have written about that here.

  • Patcrawford

    This was useful information, thanks.

  • Julie Belschner

    thank Mike  :)  I’ll send you a link to our new blog using your suggestions, once it’s up and running (should be Sept. 1)!

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  • VirtualAgents

    Great to hear and an inspiration. Great post! I love it! It can really help to boost and improve your business. Thanks for the info.

  • Anonymous

    I think you pretty much summed it up!  I know I am guilty of writing too long of posts.  I am trying to get more concise.  I will try using your advise of bullets points.  Thanks!  

  • Wife

    Thanks R for your input!   k & K  R now both in college.  Where has the time gone?  Enjoy your teenagers!    It gets 2 become over sooner than U thought!  P

  • Grania

    Really bad grammar or spelling ( I’m not talking about the odd typo) totally loses me – please guys, if you can’t spell, use a spell-checker.

  • Lisa Tognola

    What about bloggers who overlink?  I’ve seen many a post dominated by words in color because of link-happy bloggers.  I find this distracting and annoying.  (Maybe it’s my own negative association from reading so many of my professor’s red editing marks on my college papers!) I think bloggers need to find the right balance of links useful to the reader and helpful to the blogger’s traffic. Thanks for the helpful post!

  • Abhijit Kar

    Simple but absolutely to the point revelation of a set of common mistakes by most of the bloggers – despite, some of them being much better than the bests – that fail to create a sense of engagement with readers.

  • Melindatoad

    The one thing that makes me flee faster than anything on a blog, is music! Music on a blog to me is too pushy and in your face. If I am reading from the library or coffee shop, the last thing I want is someone’s music blaring across the place! In my opinion, the music is about YOU and not your reader. And the second is if the website is too busy. Flashing banners etc bother my eyes and distract. Great advice. It’s so easy to lose focus.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  • Naomi

    Great advice! Straight to the point and easy to read. Refreshing!

  • Bronwen Scott-Branagan

    Five a week sounds good. I’m doing a course and in the next two weeks I’m to do thirty. It takes ages!

  • Craig

    Thanks for the list. We (my wife and I) started our blog and got side-tracked with life in general. Good to see these mistakes. I especially need to be reminded of #10.

  • Yourbadneighbor

    I find it is better if you make a mistake in a post concerning your factual information you should admit it, thank the comment writer and move on, do not try to bully your way through. Now if there are two valid views acknowledge this and tactfully explain that while there are two views, the one you posted is correct for the information posted

  • Stuart Palmer

    Very helpful ideas if you are thinking of starting to blog more seriously.  Hard to be consistent I find.  There must be a tool that lets you write posts in advance and then select future publishing dates?

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  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    I love the list and the links to other resources.  My challenge has been consistency … every day for 10 days – then nothing for few days.  But this post challenges me to up my game and build that discipline into my week.   Once again, thanks for great content, Michael.

  • IC Design

    Comprehensive writing and conceived method should be the most important aspect of your writing in blog. If you have images for your description it is very healthy to use them. If you are writing about   some technology post then try to make your own image representations. This will make your post completely fresh and healthy for readers.

  • Hockey Drills

    Another great article. In particular, I have made a note of number 4. It seems like a  simple concept, but easy to overlook.

  • Peggy Lea Baker

    Not only was this blog excellent to begin with, reading the majority of comments from  others was also very valuable.  Thanks so much Michael, and everyone else!

  • Kathynettles

    Excellent advice for a brand new ‘blogger’  in your post and thru the comments. It’s amazing the timing of the Lord. I see you wrote this 2 years ago… when the Lord planted a seed , leading me to encourage others, especially women, using humor, to tackle doubts, fears and demands to be ‘perfect’ personally and professionally.  I’m excited to say, I will ringing in 2012 with the  launch of ~ stay tune. (Oh and Kens’ will be welcome ; )

  • Nisha

    In the short span that I have been blogging, I have noticed soooooo many off-the-topic stuff some bloggers write about in their post.  Totally unrelated stuff, like about their child’s school admission & then coming back to the recipe at hand; or how someone’s husband returns home & says ‘oh you’re cooking this AGAIN?’ story then mention the recipe, etc etc.
    Sometimes I fall off the chair laughing, sorry, really not trying to be rude, but sometimes it’s just plain funny, you know what I mean? :D
    These bloggers actually have huge fan following in thousands & they all probably love reading & connecting to the author’s life, but like you said, I as a reader definitely ask “so what’s in it for me?!”  :)
    Great post – I’ll keep these (and your other advices & tips!) in mind too when I blog – who knows someone else may be laughing at mine too!  :D

  • Brandon

    I love reading this blog!

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  • asenath

    Where have you been hiding? I just came across your blog and I cannot get enough! This is good stuff! I started my blogging about three months ago, and I wish I had this when I started! My favorite part is the part about the first paragraph… I will work on it!

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  • Chad @ RoadDogTravel

    Thanks for the information. I’ve been reading alot about how to bring traffic to a blog. All of the advice seems to very consistant except for one thing. There seems to be a split as to whether your blog should be personal or not. Some say it’s a mistake while others say it’s essential to gaining traffic. Maybe it depends on the type of blog. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  • Sonya Lee Thompson

    I took a sabbatical one year for about a month. My numbers, and groupies, never returned. Biggest mistake by far for me. 

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  • Anonymous

    I’m GUILTY!!!

    • Joe Lalonde

      Since you are admitting to being guilty are you doing anything to change?

  • antiquerain

    Just reread your post–so many good and practical reminders. Sweet and simple.

    I find that it is so easy to share your content–it sticks in my head.  So, when I’m sharing something I’ve learned of late, often a post principle is what’s there to draw from.

    Thanks for editing, trimming and giving such quality content so consistently. Cheers!

  • antiquerain

    Just reread your post–so many good and practical reminders. Sweet and simple.

    I find that it is so easy to share your content–it sticks in my head.  So, when I’m sharing something I’ve learned of late, often a post principle is what’s there to draw from.

    Thanks for editing, trimming and giving such quality content so consistently. Cheers!

  • Helen Chadwick

    This is a fantastic. Add this blog to the growing list of advice I have been following for the past three or four years, since completing my first novel. I will be back for more because your writing is effective in helping me focus on slaying that dragon. I think the dragon I battle each day has more than three heads, however.

    After starting a blog with full-steam-ahead enthusiasm, I got discouraged with all the hoops to get published and returned to spending all possible time (aside from day job, part-time job, and family) writing another novel, and another, and another…

    Thank you for this wonderful blog…I will be haunting the place more in the future.


  • Raymond G. James

    Thanks for the info. No matter how long  a person has been posting articles/blogging I think there is something to learn.

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  • Njut Tabi Godlove

    great post. leran some thing new.

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  • Cheryl A. Thompson

    I took Thomas Umstattd, Jr.’s class at Mount Hermon on social media. it was in his class that I learned that those who follow your blog really don’t care about you. It made me laugh to think about all the Facebook users who incessantly post their every move as a status update!
    Thanks for a great article!

  • Sensitiveandcentsible

    Thank you so much for all your help. I just listened to your podcast about blogging and got some great tips for a newbie starting out. (3 months) I can’t wait to read more on your site!

  • Danielle

    Like your article.  Am going to have to process it a lot; I can tell I tend to do most of the things naturally. Yikes.

  • Plbecker999

    I am both a blog reader and a blog writer. Here’s my absolute pet peeve: people who use poor grammar, incorrect punctuation, no capital letters, and a dozen or so other grammar goofs that I won’t bore you with. OK, I also teach writing, and maybe I’m a little OCD about this, but seriously.

  • samra aziz

    Thanks, I was looking for information and your blog really helped me.

  • Carre

    I hate posts that begin with the word, “Well.” As in, “Well, I ran out of milk this morning…” It sounds ameteur and unconvinced. I don’t want to ramble through your thoughts with you. Collect them and make them concise before you post them, then wow me with their momentum!

  • Jennifer Zamora

    I see what what you did there……at the end…with a question… ;)

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  • Jay Scott

    Very helpful information. Thank you

  • Aiane Karla

    Thank you for your very practical tips! I have learned so much from reading your blog posts. Blessings!

  • Andrea

    This is very helpful. Thanks!

  • c_beard21

    My biggest pet peeves to comments on blogs is the negative tone, reviling others with “…you didn’t do it right” or worse.

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  • Sly

    I personally prefer blogs that are short and to the point.  A good  500 words or under  posts. There is just too much out there to read!  

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  • Richard Santos

    Thanks Michael for this post. I’m a new blogger in the online marketing space and I’m finding that my biggest mistake is Mistake #4: You don’t invite engagement. It’s a mistake that I’m still learning how to fix. It will really helpful if you can write a post on this topic to help out new bloggers like myself. Thanks in advance. 

  • Megan

    I find it disturbing when there are ads in the middle of what I am trying to read.

  • Vanessa Augutus

    Hi Michael I’ve just read 3 of your posts about twitter and how to blog.  Thank you for sharing the information.  Your guidance has been very useful.  I will come back to your page in again in the future!

  • Vanessa Augutus

    Another informative post Michael!  Thanks.  

  • charles peters

    this is was a great post mr hyatt. hopefully as i come back to blogging i don’t commit these cardinal sins.

    ps. will always remember when you came to speak at liberty university and 

  • Brandon

    Great tips! Definitely going to apply these to my new blog. Thanks!

  • Uvefullon

    Well im new to this and im soking it all up

  • MichelleBooth

    Yeah, nearly all of them! Will print this out for when I’m writing them in future!

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  • Rathk

    Very helpfu

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    Hi, my name is Tricia Lugo. I’m a new blogger and I am working on my first book. I have been following your blog for years. It is exciting that I have the best resource through your blog and other recources you offer. Love this one. Thank you Michael Hyatt. My blog is called: ( )

  • Joel Boggess

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for the tips and reminders. However, for me, it’s (also) your delivery style that speaks volumes to us. :-)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Joel.

  • Jo-Ann Richards

    I found this very helpful Michael. I have a question and I don’t know if this is the right forum for it. I have three widely varied topics that I want/need to write about. Is it ok to space them out in one blog and post on one topic on Mondays, another topic on Wednesdays and the other topic on Fridays (for example) or do I start 3 separate blogs? Hope I can get an answer so that I will know what step to take next! Thanks

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I believe so. It is much easier than setting up three blogs.

      • Jo-Ann Richards

        Wow! Thank you for your very speedy response!!

  • jean

    thanks for sharing the best ways to overcome from silly mistake and turn thr blog into useful helpful resource

  • shayjordan

    Great post, I find I do a few of things. Definitely gave me something to think about.

  • Disaster Preparation

    Great tips!!!

  • Veronik

    Thank you, very good! You’ve inspired me to write my post today, greetings!

  • Elliott Scott

    One day, I hope to have this many comments on a post. So far you’ve been a great teacher at helping me develop my blog! Thanks for writing this.

  • rebecca jaynes

    Why does number 1 have to start off with separating the men from the boys? You might have had a woman reader, but you lost this one from the beginning.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Sorry. I didn’t mean any disrespect. It’s simply a cultural idiom. Thanks.

  • Sam Adeyinka

    This are really insightful post Mr. Michael and I really resonated with everyone of them, especially point 1# I think.

    Some few months back while I yet used, I realized that posting very frequently always drive traffics to my blog although I never got comment and sometimes I get but very few.

    But 2months ago when I started my new blog, Promotivator, I had everything set out in a white paper and that literally was the beginner of success my blog is now enjoying.

    I post 3 times every week, and very consistent with my time of posting and I’m so happy with how everything is turning out. I learned also that posting to frequently, like everyday is also a very bad idea.

    Sir, you have shared an all-important post that every bloggers should read and work towards in other not to make these dreadful mistake.

    Thanks for sharing it with us sir.


  • Sarah @ Bombshell Bling

    I think this is a great list, and all very true. Except #10. Maybe it is just because my creative blog falls into the mommy blog realm, but that is simply not the experience that myself or my blogging colleagues have had. My highest TRAFFIC posts are usually recipes, sewing patterns, or holiday ideas. However, my highest ENGAGEMENT posts are the ones where I get down and dirty and REAL. I have written a couple of posts that really put myself out there and laid my struggles with postpartum depression and other things on the line in an attempt to be more authentic with my readers, and the support and response that I got was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. My Elf on the Shelf ideas get loads of PVs, but they look and then bounce back to Pinterest. My open and honest posts about my life have gotten me FOLLOWERS. It’s probably a niche thing, but I wanted to share my thoughts/experience.

  • barry brown

    This list if very much notable. I have been blogging for quite some time and there I am still confused about certain things – like writing too long or too short, or the relation of frequency of posting with traffic. The other ones in this list are pretty much useful as well. Thank you for freely giving the ideas out.



  • Phillip Moorcraft

    thanks for this, much appreciated

  • William

    Awesome stuff Michael, I have just started a Blog, and know have a lot to learn yet. thanks for all you do

  • Sonia Harris

    Thanks for this information. I have just started a new blog because I want to get it right this time. I’ve definitely made these mistakes and I want to learn from them. I have definitely started to take on board your advice, in particular thinking about my blog headlines and inviting engagement. As I learn I hope to share too.

  • David Δ Morse

    As far as not making it about you, do you not think this is tied to your niche? For instance, I blog about adoption and the story is our story. It seems in categories like this it is more helpful to get people to become “part of your story.” I loved a recent post from Pat Flynn when he talked to a crowdfunding guru who kind of stressed this point. I know this is a really old post, but thank you, it was uber helpful!

    • Michael Hyatt

      You make a good point, David. But even in blogging about your own story, you have to connect the dots, and help the reader see how it applies to them. Make sense?

      • David Δ Morse

        Thank you Mr. Hyatt. I am consistently amazed at how you are able to keep up with the comments of this massive site. You have really been a key factor in my leadership growth through college and now at the beginning of my career. Your point makes perfect sense and thank you for the nuance to my thinking.

      • David Δ Morse

        Definitely does. Thank you. (I replied to this several days ago but apparently it didn’t submit correctly). I am thankful that you still take time to interact with your readers even when you have such a huge readership.

  • Akash Agarwal

    Yes, I almost do these mistakes. It’s a great article. Thanks for guiding us in this way.

  • NFEjr

    I know this is about 4 years “past due” but I’ve combed through and read your many posts on Evernote…thanks! I’ve gone paperless in my personal life, and as a college instructor. I’ve burned through a shredder, after scanning many documents into my Evernote.

    • Jay Scott


  • Diane Yates

    What’s so bad about hobby bloggers?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Nothing, unless you are trying to get traction with an audience. Going weeks without posts will kill any momentum you build.

  • Akash Agarwal

    These are really great information. Thanks for remembering us about our mistakes which we often done in our blog.

  • Alain Marine

    how come this post is way more than 400 words.based on mistake 3
    just wanted to know the reason behind it.thanks

    • Michael Hyatt

      You can get away with it if your posts are scannable. That’s the key.

  • Bitsy Kemper

    Was this really written five years ago? It could have been written today; every point is still valid (and spot-on accurate!). Hard believe so much has changed yet the basics remain the same. Good stuff here.

  • Anastasia Howell

    One of the pieces of advice that has really helped me throughout the past year of blogging has been to make content accessible. As you mentioned in Mistake #6, people often run on with long paragraphs and the reader is easily drawn away. I like to also keep most information in point form and in short paragraphs. I like to start of with an intro paragraph, then a point form list, and finally ending with another short paragraph to rap things up. Since my blog ( is a blog all about books… this sort of routine works out perfectly.
    I also often worry about losing readers because of my consistency.

  • Sarajane

    This post is great! Thank you! One question, how can I get more followers? My blog doesn’t come up on Google when the title is put into the search bar. I know this May have to do with SEO but how can I drive traffic to my blog? Thank you!!
    Sarajane from Ireland

  • Angela Ford

    Guilty but working on increasing my post frequency! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jim Thompson

    As an editor, I deeply care about language and structure. Many readers who don’t feel compelled to edit content are nevertheless sensitive to language improperly used.

    Whenever someone calls upon me for writing advice, I tell them, “First, study the language. Read something other than twitter, Facebook, or text messages. Even comic books use better English than that. Know what looks like a well-structured sentence. Use capitol letters where needed; they were invented for a purpose. And use the spell-checker, but don’t depend entirely upon it. Functional illiterates can’t expect smart people to read their material. You do want smart people to read your blog, don’t you?

    “Second, the English language uses an obscene number of words, from many different base languages. In view of that complexity, strive to use the correct words to most efficiently convey the intended meaning. For example, homonyms are the writer’s enemy (and the spell-checker’s friend). Also, a thesaurus is a double-edged sword; never use a six-bit word simply to impress. Chances are you’ll use the wrong one anyway. Part of spelling is correctly using apostrophe’s (not like I just did). Wrong word use’s (did it again) advertize the writer’s ignorance.

    “Then, there is the passive voice; Where possible, have it purged from your writer’s voice. I am offended by such weak-kneed sentences. The passive voice often must be used by Technical and legal documents, but most blogs don’t qualify. (By the way, I wrote those last three sentences in the dreaded, passive voice. Here they are in the active voice: “Where possible, purge it from your writer’s voice. Such weak-kneed sentences offend me. Technical and legal documents must often use the passive voice, but most blogs don’t qualify.”) Compare both versions to catch the differences.

    “You don’t have to sound stuffy to write well. Sure, you want to get creative, but learn how to use English correctly before trying to wow your audience with your creative writer’s voice. They’ll love you for it.”

  • Maria Karamitsos

    Great information. A handy list for bloggers! Thanks for sharing.