Forget Your Blog Stats and Just Write!

Reality check: My blog readership has plateaued. The number of my monthly visitors has been relatively flat for the past few months. For someone whose primary strength is “achiever,” this is a bitter pill to swallow. I immediately think, What am I doing wrong?

Magnifying Glass on Top of Statistics - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #11435957

Photo courtesy of ©

The truth is that I like starting things. I like growing things. I do not like maintaining things. It’s just how I am wired. If the numbers aren’t moving in a positive direction, I get frustrated and can lose interest.

Frankly, this has forced me to re-evaluate why I am blogging. In the past, I have said, that I blog for five reasons:

  1. To raise my organization’s visibility
  2. To articulate my organization’s vision
  3. To network with people who can help me
  4. To be alert to what my constituents are saying
  5. To mentor the next generation of leaders

However, the more I have thought about this, I have concluded that these are really the benefits of blogging, not the reason.

I blog is in order to clarify my thinking and archive my best ideas. In short, I blog for me. (But you are welcome to read along!)

It shouldn’t make any difference whether I have ten readers or 100,000. “Thoughts disentangle themselves over the lips and through fingertips.” If I am writing, I am achieving greater clarity about my life, my work, and what matters most. That’s enough. And more than most people have.

Periodically, I am tempted to quit blogging altogether. But to do so would be to give in to what Steven Pressfield calls the Resistance. Reconnecting with my blogging purpose has re-energized me.

For now, I’m going to ignore my blog statistics and just write. If I do that consistently, I will accomplish my purpose, whether or not my audience is growing.

Questions: What is your purpose for blogging? If you have trouble being consistent, why do you think that is?
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  • @klaritidotcom

    Hi Mike,

    I'm in the exact same position re hitting a plateau. Maybe we should start a club, Blogger Anonymous. Ok, maybe not….
    Here’s another take. If you look harder at the stats, you'll see that folks are searching for specific information or maybe to do with their faith. Dunno…
    I'd suggest that if you wrote posts that addressed these issues, queries, concerns etc, the traffic would increase again.
    An editorial schedule has also kept me ‘on track’ and protect me against myself, so to speak.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input. I just checked in Google Analytics to see what the top 100 searches were. “Faith” wasn't there, other than a fair amount of people looking for my list of Christian Literary Agents.

      The type of posts people are looking for are typically the broad categories I use: leadership, productivity, and social media..

    • Ben Lichtenwalner

      Thanks for sharing Ivan – a literary schedule seems like a good addition to keep ourselves on track.

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  • SueB

    I follow your blog because I learn from – and appreciate – your thoughts. I hope you don't quit. I've passed two of your posts from last week to my daughter. She enjoyed reading them, too.

    I blog for different reasons. The main reason I began blogging was because I'm highly involved in the crafting world and I hope what I share may help other crafters in a variety of ways. My blog has now evolved to other things – home, travel, recipes, my faith – whatever I want to share. Nothing in what I share is earth shattering news. I'm just common folk. I have thought about quitting my blog at times but end up with reasons not to. It's one way my family and friends stay tuned to my life.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I used to be very eclectic in what I posted. I wrote about whatever I wanted Then I got “focused” on about four category areas. Maybe I need to go back to eclectic—especially if I am just writing for me!

  • Joe Tye

    I've been publishing an email newsletter for ten years. Sunday evening and Friday morning (when I write Monday Spark and Weekend Spark editions of Spark Plug) often find me with nothing written and feeling like I have nothing else to say. One way I often break through Resistance is, rather than asking myself what my readers would like to read, asking what I myself most need to hear.

    I have also found that every single time I seriously contemplate terminating the newsletter (after all, isn't ten years enough?), I get an email from a reader telling me how much they appreciate getting it. That's when I appreciate that I'm not writing for 8,000 people – I'm writing for that one person in 8,000 who needs to hear what I happen to be writing about that day.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You said, “One way I often break through Resistance is, rather than asking myself what my readers would like to read, asking what I myself most need to hear.”

      That is so true for me, too. I think it was John Wesley who originally said, “I preach to myself. Others can listen in if they want.”

    • @blfarris


      You are so right, it's the one person who really needs to hear what you have to write. But you don't know who that is until you send it to the 8,000!


  • Scott Couchenour

    Mike thanks for this post. It encourages me. I have been thinking similar things. I post to get my thoughts down and visible. I write about staying strong in ministry when the pressures to give in and burnout are tremendous. Stats are fun when they’re going up. But the real satisfaction to me is that clarity and consistency.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I didn’t mention this in the post, but, similar to journaling, blogging also provides a way for me to process what I am experiencing. I can see where this would be helpful for anyone in a high-stress job.

  • ArtieDavis

    Thanks for the "anchor" Michael. I was thinking the same thing this morning! I blog to encourage and build leaders, so it may not be thousands, but just one could change the world.

  • JenniferLKing


    This is a great personal breakthrough, deducting that creative expression can't always be judged worthy by its numbers.

    I happened to have Pressfield's book open to the last page (because I refer to it often), entitled "The Artist's Life." It always speaks to me. The whole page says it best, but here's a bit … "Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention [or numbers] on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got."

    Perhaps in the offering of creative gifts to others, we find the sustenence to journey the long haul and overcome the Resistance. I know I am grateful for what you and others offer to lead others along in the journey of life. Thanks for continuing the trek, regardless of the numbers.


    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jennifer. That is indeed a powerful excerpt. I appreciate you sharing it.

  • Robin

    Love this.
    I believe everyone is living their legacy every day, whether they acknowledge it or not. I started blogging to help me define the legacy I wanted to live and one day leave.

    After 2 years I just pulled advertising and follower numbers off my site. I'm pretty single-focused, when I focus on the numbers my creativity starts to dry up.
    Thanks for this post …
    Robin Gay
    All Things Heart and Home

  • felipe

    Thanks for the perspective. I like the notion of "blogging for myself"… genuine ideas have to be recorded otherwise it evaporates and, that's a purpose in itself.

    BTW – one small typo in the 1st paragraph "get" between "can" and "frustrated".

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for calling my attention to that typo. Fixed!

  • Bernard Shuford

    A monster blogger like you, tempted to stop blogging? Holy cow, no way, dude. Dontcha dare :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Bernard. I’m hanging in there.

  • Geoff Webb

    "We read to know we are not alone." I believe C.S. Lewis was right. That's one of the main reasons I read – and I turn it around as a writer: "I write to let others know they are not alone." I've found this bigger purpose a solid anchor for me when the resistance gets strong.

    I'd also like to add my thanks and encouragement. I resonate so much with what you share – and how you share it. So go ahead, write free and wild, we'll gladly listen…and throw in our 2 cents!

  • Chrystie

    When I first started blogging I became obsessed with stats and growing readership. The harder I worked at it though networking with other bloggers and posting content frequently, the more my readership grew. However, lately I feel as though I have "returned to my first love" by writing for me and for God. When I write, I feel I grow in relationship with God. Writing, for me, is an act of worship. My readership has plummeted in the last few months because I am not posting as frequently, nor am I spending the time networking like I used to… mainly because I have been spending more time with family, on mission trips, and on other areas of life. In the past, the stats would have bothered me greatly…but no longer. I feel much freer! I love, love, love to write…but, I did not love feeling enslaved to stats.

  • Bruce Munnings

    Hello Michael

    I think I really enjoyed your blog because it was real and somehow resonated with me for some reason.

    I look forward to inspiring tweets and blogs from inspiring people who are involved with inspirational stuff. It is my daily icecream.

    Bruce Munnings

  • BrookeLMcG

    Thanks for this Michael. The reason I write is to understand how God moves me and works out change in my life. I share my writing in the hopes that it might benefit at least one other person. So you're right when you say it's a bit of a journal for all the world to read. I find that stinginess and pride creep in though when my vision starts whispering, "more! more! More than just one!"if God gives me more than one I will praise Him. But if He gives me none I can still praise Him for the work He's done in me.

  • Kenneth Hines


    When I was a pastor I wanted my church to continue to grow so much that I focused on the people who weren't there rather than those who were there. I have no doubt that your stats will go on to grow past your current plateau. In he meantime, there are so many of us who benefit everyday from your posts. Even if you didn't to get one more reader it would be worth continuing for the rest of us – and for yourself, as you say. Thanks for letting us listen in!


  • Simon Hay

    I blog because I have absolute faith that my experiences can enlighten people and ultimately change the world. I teach and reach people through story telling. To breakdown perception about my work I also share my life.

    I think fatigue and not being able, or willing to keep to a schedule limits consistency. The more I learn about myself, the easier blogging is. I think character growth is only the discovery of who we really are.

  • Lynn Rush

    Great post. It got me thinking.

    I love blogging because it's a different way to tap into my creativity/writing.

    My blog isn't writing focused, it's more about movies, music, and random stuff. What I love most is having my characters host my blog and throwing little contests–it's just a great time.

    I know my blog doesn't serve some greater purpose, and I'm okay with that. But I've met a lot of really fantastic people through interactions because of the blog, so I'm happy with it. :-)

    Thanks for this post. I've enjoyed reading the comments, too! Have a great day.

  • Peggy

    I just found your blog several months ago. I have able to pass it along to several of my business associates, pastors and friends. Thank you and don’t quit!

  • @timdetellis

    The challenge is our window view. You are dead on when you quoted: John Wesley who originally said, “I preach to myself. Others can listen in if they want.” We can only be an outpouring of what's inside us. We cannot give what we do not have. My road block to consistent writing is focus, which I have now addresses by creating new categories for write under. However, similar in nature, my interest can vary so I think my categories may need to change almost seasonally. I'm still learning the right pressure required to consistently blog. As of now, it has seemed to be more personal awareness driven then feedback from readers due to my blog reader audience being small. I think writing from the deepest of passion and conviction based upon real-life story is authentic blogging. Personally, I benefit greatly from your blog and the ability you have to filter information and share from your perspective. Continue on!

  • KellySinging

    My purpose for blogging is to share some excerpts from the devotional book I've been writing for years now. I want to help people. I just started recently, but I intend to keep up with it because I consider it a responsibility. I glean from the wisdom that comes from your blog. Thanks for writing!

  • Tracy Atcheson

    I really enjoy your blog. One observation is that the focus of the blog has shifted in the past month or so to mostly leadership and productivity. Which are excellent posts, however, I enjoy those on publishing, technology and social media too. I am cognizant that your reader poll demonstrated a concentration of leaders who read for your perspective in that area. So it may be a critical re-alignment beginning to take place in your readership, (just a thought for consideration.)

    I write but do not blog because of a concern that I do not have so much to offer to others to read.

    thank you very much for your transparency and your thought provoking writing.

  • cherylblemine

    Mr. Hyatt:

    Thank you to the 10th power!

    I began my professional writing blog last fall as I began teaching creative and expository writing to middle schoolers at a public magnet school for the arts. While I love my students and their energy, I realize how important the blog is for MY writing efforts and energy.

    I have lamented over my stats or lack thereof. HOwever, I keep telling myself that I am working toward "establishing an online presence." One day, I hope to know it was instrumental in the next step for my professional writing endeavors.

    To be honest, though, I always feel better when I blog – whether anyone reads it or not.

    By the way, I failed to mention that your pattern of writing and posing a question afterward is what I use on my blog.

  • Cassandra Frear

    I'm so enthusiastic about what you've written here that I am positing about it on my blog today with a link back to you. My post is here:

    I'm also tweeting it. I want everyone to read this and think about it!

    I love to read your posts. I think you have a gift for mentoring and leadership. That's also where you have great passion. Those posts really shine.

  • Timothy Fish

    Every blog will plateau somewhere. Your position in your career puts you in a position that pushes that plateau higher than what most of us experience, but there's only so many people who will want to read what a given writer has to say about a given subject.

    I blog because it gives me an outlet to say what I want to say and it forces me to structure my thoughts on a subject. Most of the time, I write about writing. Because I know that other people will be reading what I have written (however many that is) I am more careful about what I say, causing me to rely more on what I know to be true rather than my emotions concerning the subject. I'm amazed sometimes because after people will leave comments about how something I said helped them I go back to read it and see the truth of what I said.

  • Women Living Well

    I did not care about the numbers when I began. I have led women's Bible studies for many years with about 25 in attendance. I felt if I could reach more than 25 it was worth my time…so when I hit 26 readers on the first day (lol!) – I was good to go.

    But now, the stats have gained some power that I never expected when I started. To keep my writing motives pure is a struggle. I do love the outlet of writing (so that part is for myself) but I also look at it as ministry and am reminded of Jeremiah 45:5 "Seek great things for thyself, seek them not."

    I pray regularly that God would keep my heart from seeking great things for myself and that I would only seek great things for his glory. I truly do struggle with this and thank you for sharing your heart with us!

  • Teri Dawn Smith

    Please don't stop blogging. I read your blog when it's delivered to my e-mail so I don't even know if I count in your stats, but it's inspiring to read your ideas on leadership and life. They apply on many levels. I know of people who read your blog who have nothing to do with publishing but are in positions of leadership. Blog for yourself if you like, but many of us are reading!

  • John D

    Don’t forget to count your RSS feed subscribers too. Nothing against your website, but I never visit your actual site unless I am leaving a comment. I read your blog and about a dozen others everyday from my iPhone RSS Reader (NetNewsWire) or Google Reader.

  • guy m williams

    "Thoughts disentangle themselves over the lips and through the fingertips." Love this. A prominent pastor in my region said it like this: "How do I know what I think about something until I've heard what I have to say about it?"

    By the way, thanks for continuing to write.

  • Clare

    It's such a good idea not just to be thoughtful about WHAT to write but WHY I write… I had to chuckle to myself as I've just started writing a series for my blog on "How to Pray for Others" and I realised that while my intentions were originally quite altruistic, thinking this was something that people wrestle with and it would be good to address, when I started writing it I realised that I was the people!

  • scalosub

    Excellent post. I started blogging recently and ask myself many times why am I doing this. I'm still not sure and as I said, I'm a newcomer. In the future I'll be sure to remember this post when things turn ugly.

    (BTW, your posts help. just thought I should let you know)

  • David


    Your influence from your blog is much greater than you can imagine from your number of readers alone. I can not tell you how many of your ideas I have used with individuals in private and with groups in meetings. Please don’t stop. Your blog is invaluable to me. I wish all CEOs and others in leadership positions had your world view.

    Thanks for all of your thoughts.


  • RachelleGardner

    Mike, I think I could have written this blog post word for word! Even your perceived "reasons" for blogging – which, you're right, are more like the benefits. I've been blogging since 2006 and every few months I get the overwhelming urge to quit. Again and again, I come back to the truth: I really like blogging, and I do it mostly for myself. That's what keeps me going. Thanks for putting this into words.

  • heidibylsma

    Clarity, practicing writing, fielding ideas, getting feedback…these are all benefits, but I think I began blogging in 2006 to process. Just me and God and anyone who happened to want to read along. It surprised me to find that, sometimes, people were encouraged to discover they aren't alone–they aren't *crazy*. Now, it has become something that I do because I feel compelled–compelled to share the message that God cares, God knows, God speaks, God heals. Even when I am "not in the mood," now I blog *something* or repost *something* in case someone new has stumbled by and God can use the blog to whisper his delight straight to her heart.

  • David A Knapp

    I have trouble being consistent because I let obstacles get in the way. This is the same reason I won't workout.

    I blog because I like to write. I like to see if I can stir thoughts in other people and get a reaction (hopefully positive) out of them.

    I would love to have the readership of popular Christian bloggers but I got the feeling unless I write a book or come out with my own album this probably isn't going to happen. I would love to make blogging my side job but from what I have observed one has to have a "regular" job where they are well-known.

    So while I may never make any money from blogging I will continue to do it because I like to do it.

    And yes, I will probably obsess over my stats :-)

  • Ben Lichtenwalner

    Michael, please don't ever stop blogging. Take a break if you need it, but please don't stop altogether.

    I began blogging as a means of spreading the awareness, adoption and support of Servant Leadership. However, over time, I discovered exactly as you reflect here – it was as much for me as anything. Still, most of us bloggers have also come to the realization we are called to share a message:

    "no one can say it like you do
    God is love and love speaks through
    You got it, you got it
    You’ve got something to say"
    – Matthew West

    Thanks for sharing, Michael. Did I mention I don't want you to stop blogging?

  • Deb Owen

    (Side note: Geoff just posted one of my favorite quotes ever. “We read to know we’re not alone.” Thanks for that! ;-) )

    I get caught in the stats-mentality-trap quite a bit these days. I wrote a corporate blog about leadership, productivity, corporate training, etc. and had a large, solid following. I changed course, changed direction, started writing about faith — and lost a ton of people.

    I’m having to remind myself that I’m rebuilding, and what my purposes for writing are a few times a week. I write for myself and I write to help others strengthen and deepen their faith. If I help one person do that, I’m good. I get enough feedback to know that that is true, so I try not to worry too much about the rest.

    And honestly, I try not to get pulled back into the ‘growing the blog/social media’ mentality too much. Because my ultimate goal is not to build a blog. (I’ve seen too many people say they want to build a business or build a community, but they essentially end up just building a blog.) For me, it’s about the community, it’s about sharing faith, it’s about hopefully inspiring others to walk in deeper faith Monday-Saturday. It may not be at the top of any Google Analytics searches, but I’m not looking to reach “a lot of people”, I’m looking to reach “the right people.” (And if that’s fewer people? So be it.)

    That’s just my two cents though. ;-)
    All the best!

  • Teresa Watts

    I have a couple different blogs to fit my different personalities. My personal blog where I rant about traffic or rave about my incredible life. My Writing blog where I post tips and inspirational ideas for writers. Then my WordPress/site blog where I write about the hurdles of writing a novel.

    Someone told me I should have one blog that rolls into my website. No, my voices don’t like to be in one place. Sometimes I blog daily, then I’ll go a month and post nothing. It’s the old saying; If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it. When I feel I want to be public and visible to the world, I post.

    I am a recluse by nature and I often hide out in my little cove of an office and write until my head hurts. Once it’s out then I can peek out and say “HI” to the world outside again. I blog because I can, and my posts may not fit everyone, but someone will find something in them that inspires or helps them in a way.

  • Karla Reisch Akins

    I blog for the same reasons. And also because if I don't I will explode. :-) Really, though, I'm a writer, and I just never get enough of expressing myself with words. I don't have a wide readership (yet), but I do enjoy sharing the stuff that makes me tick.

  • Anthony

    Michael While you seem to be eyeing the back door, I'm standing just outside the front. In a strange contrarian sort of way, I find this blog encouraging. Slightly off topic, is a self-hosted WordPress arrangement still the recommended first step. If nothing else, it should make the WestBow Press people a little happier with me.

    • Anthony

      Forget that … is just too big a deal. Blogger or

      • Derek

        I use Blogger. It's easy enough. Also they've added more themes since I started.

  • Melanie

    Honestly, I blog for me…it's a great way to capture my thoughts at that moment in time. It's therapy at a keyboard really.

  • Forrest Long

    Thanks for sharing these insights. I'm a small-time blogger and I just recently put a counter on my blog, and although I would like to have thousands of followers, I know that I never will. But I just enjoy blogging and as you say, should be satisfied with that. In the past I had thought about ending my blog because of few readers, but I figured that if even a few get something from it then it's worthwhile. Everything seems to be a numbers game these days and I'm sure that influences what we do and how we do it.

  • dtamaraclewis

    This post just when I needed it. Thanks for the insight. :D

  • Eliza Huie

    Like you I blog for myself. Having an avenue to express and share is vital to my mental health. But I also blog for my children. It is an easy way to chronicle what is important to me and in the end reflects a realistic snapshot of what has influenced and shaped me personally. I want to give them that.

    You and Seth Godin have been my mentors that helped me to finally launch a blog. I it could be said that you helped me give that gift to my children. So keep it up. I may not read everyday but I depend on your example often.

    PS- I think there is one typo in the most important sentence of your post: I blog "IS" in order to clarify my thinking and archive my best ideas. Should 'is" be omitted?

    • Eliza Huie

      And a typo in my comment…"I it could be said…" omit the "I" :)

  • Chase Manning

    I recently started blogging because I want to be a writer, and I thought it would be good for me to begin exercising my writing skills – to explore ways to creatively put what’s in my mind into words. So in that sense, blogging is for me. But one of the main reasons I want to be a writer is to inspire people with my words. I feel like I have a lot of stuff going on inside of me that is also going on with many people, and so maybe I can write something that will inspire and encourage both myself and others.

    My only problem with blogging, however, is I haven’t made it my priority. I want so badly to write, but I get caught up with everything else that I have to do. I put it further down my priority list because it takes me forever to actually write something. And I think this is so because I pour over every single word I write – everything has to be perfect for me – so it ends up taking a lot of time. This makes it hard to fit time in to blog when I have several other actual deadlines that I have to meet.

    But thanks for this. This was my first post I have read by you, and look forward to reading more.

  • Cyberquill

    I'm not a biologist, but as far as I understand it, there are two types of evolution: (1) phyletic gradualism ("evolution by creeps"), which hypothesizes that most evolution occurs steadily, and (2) punctuated equilibrium ("evolution by jumps"), which states that things may plateau for long periods of time, but once changes occur, they occur by leaps and bounds, e.g., the Cambrian explosion.

    As per the principle of punctuated equilibrium, your readership may plateau for a long spell and then suddenly double overnight.

    That said, it's the quality of readership that matters, not necessarily the quantity. Although statistically speaking, it stands to reason that the more readers one has, the more quality readers may be among them.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I had another friend remind me of the same point today: it is quality of readers not quantity. Thanks!

  • jenibowen

    Dear Michael,

    I have begun to blog (initially) as a creative outlet, & as a means of healing & overcoming the thing that stopped up my creativity many years ago. I write for the joy of writing, and to clarify my thoughts & feelings as well.

    However, I've found that I do slip into "performance" mode, and very much want the stamp of approval from readers, which I know can lead me down a dangerous road. (along with run-on sentences)

    I try to keep my motives correct and remember that ultimately my audience is an audience of One.

    Thank you for your work; I enjoyed hearing you speak at Catalyst West this year, and enjoy following your posts.

    Love, jeni

  • Vernon

    Michael, I really appreciate your posts. They have taught me a ton personally and also been the topic of discussions in our organization.

    I appreciate you.

    This post is a great reminder on motives. The idea of “just write” is devastatingly simple and probing.

    Writing has always been a clarifying outlet for me. Many times I will type something out AND THEN verbally articulate it. If I can’t type it clearly, I will normally wait to say something. This isn’t always the case, but I try to do it as much as possible (I guess it would look pretty weird if I told every person that I couldn’t talk with them until I typed it first).

    Therefore, when I blog it is normally trying to articulate something I will be preaching or teaching on so that I can be clear, but also get feedback. This also has helped for me to get clarity on my motives, especially when someone disagrees.

    Love Truth

  • Laurinda

    The reason I started the blog, is not the reason I maintain it. I noticed immediately, writing requires a different type of focus or thinking. I feel like my pondering power is more effective. I don't know if that makes sense. I do want to grow my readership and create a platform.

    I have a full time job as a senior project manager for an airline. Sometimes work wears me out and makes it hard to be consistent. But this first year of blogging has a been a learning year. When I started July of 2009, I knew nothing about social media, blogging and building a platform. I'm actually mulling over what I've learned and creating a plan for the next year.

    I appreciated this post. It's good to know that even professionals struggle with the temptation to quit.

  • Cheryl Barker

    I started blogging to help build a platform and an audience, but my purposes expanded almost immediately as I saw how it helps me develop my writing skills and also minister refreshment and encouragement to my readers — not to mention the seeds of truth that are planted in the hearts of those who drop in while surfing.

  • Keith Jennings

    I have confused success with significance. I would be proud of a post, until no one would comment or email or, gulp, read it (well 13 did). Tweeting it didn't change anything. Pointing to it on Facebook didn't help.

    I recently turned off comments. The absence of comments was a distraction. I quit thinking in terms of tribe building, keywords and trending topics. And I just started writing about what I feel called to write about. And I'm discovering that others are doing the word-spreading for me. Not many. But some.

    Now I approach blogging as part of my writing ministry. If we have the privilege to minister to one person, it's worth the effort. Don't you think?

    • MichaelSGray

      I can definitely relate — the comments section can easily become a scoreboard of significance for your ideas. Like you said, I'll write a post that I think will blow the doors off the blogging world, and I get little to no reaction. It can be frustrating, but I like how you have chosen to deal with the distraction by removing it completely.

    • Laurinda

      I appreciate this comment. There is a huge difference between success and significance. Thanks Keith

    • Michael Hyatt

      You are in good company, Keith. Seth Godin doesn’t have comments for similar reasons. And, it doesn’t seem to have hurt him!

  • katdish

    Blogging is a discipline for me. I used to post only when I felt like it, but now I post daily. It challenges me to write regularly and write well. I do write for myself, but I very much appreciate the audience. I rarely check my analytics, but when I do, I’m always amused at the keyword searches that land folks on my blog including “Jesus beach buckets”, “Francis Chan throws chicken”, “revoke my mancard” and “gods and cats used for sharkbait”. Apparently, my blog attracts a diverse audience…

    • Michael Hyatt

      Those are hilarious search terms!

  • ThatGuyKC

    I'm so glad you haven't given in and are continuing to write. I blog for much the same reason as you, but confess to getting a mild "writer's high" when I see a spike in readership or getting a bit down when it is low. I do write for myself and enjoy the physical process of writing or typing all on it's own.

    Thank you for inspiring and setting an example for aspiring leaders and writers.

  • Jane Smolen

    Hi Mike,
    I am new to your readership and enjoy your blogs, so keep it up! (I apply the leadership ideas in my parenting)
    I have a blog and write occasionally. I determined when I started that it would be my journal, my space to write things that may or may not matter to anyone else. Sometimes people read the blog, but mostly not. However, it is not the means of my best self expression. That is why I am not consistent. I am a musician who is able to express myself more fully through music, and when I can't, I blog.
    I, like you, tend to work things out while I type, sort of a thinking aloud without talking. I like the ability to have conversations with myself, and yet allow someone to banter in if they'd like.
    It's all a matter of parameters, and what the expectation and need is.
    Keep up your good work!
    Jane S

  • BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    A good message for me right about now, too. I recently posted on 'why I blog' – after some inspiration from you on twitter. Wanting to have loftier reasons, I must acknowledge my own benefit from blogging – but am also believing blogging in my life is not by coincidence. God uses blogging to teach me as well as others. I often have not known the reason for my work – and in hindsight sometimes it becomes clear. Blogging gives me a clear look behind me.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good point. It’s a great way to process the past, so you can get on with the present and the future.

  • Gabriel Anton

    Truly insightful post Michael . . . I couldn’t agree more.

  • Gary R. Collins

    Michael, thanks for your honesty. For 390 weeks, so far, I have been writing a weekly newsletter. This week we are linking it to a new blog ( When we were making these changes a few weeks ago one of my friends asked why I kept writing this letter. I was surprised at the speed of my response: I said, "I'm writing it for me. I hope other people will read it but primarily I write as a way for me to summarize and synthesize my diverse reading. It's a way to record what I learn from travel or speaking, an opportunity to pull together what I keep learning from my frequent meetings and hanging out with people who are not like me." Maybe the best blogs are written by people who write to pull together their thinking. If blog readers can benefit from this and make responses that's an added plus. If nobody responds the writing is still worthwhile. So please keep writing for Michael – for you, ignoring the stats, and letting the rest of us look over your shoulder.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Talk about synchronicity. I am encouraged to hear that I am not alone in my perspective.

      By the way, I appreciate all you have done in your field. I am a fan!

  • Amy

    Thank you. I almost gave up blogging this past weekend. I, too, must reconnect with my purpose. Your words have been an encouragement to me today.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good, I’m glad they were encouraging. Don’t quit!

  • Elaina Avalos

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It's encouraging to hear your perspective. There are times when I struggle with being consistent and when I consider giving it up. I tend to get bogged down when I see how well others, who've had blogs for significantly less time than I have, have created thriving communities online and have large readerships. That's when I remind myself why I started doing this in 2004 in the first place. To write. To express myself. For the pure enjoyment of doing so whether anyone saw it or not. When I remember that, my joy in doing it returns.

  • MichaelSGray

    You hit the nail on the head. For me, blogging is the best way to bring a greater clarity to my thoughts, especially when I get pushback from readers and have to refine or reinforce my views on an issue.

    I came across a William Faulkner quote recently (it might have been one of the quotes in your sidebar, actually) that really illustrates how I am when it comes to writing:

    "I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it."

  • Reena Jacobs

    I have to admit, I'm a lot like you. I love starting projects, but have to push myself to finish them. I started blogging at the beginning of the year. Why? Because I registered a domain to build my web present and realized I could add a blog also. I'm not going to lie, my head swells a little when I see more followers or activity on my blog/website. But what I like most about having my own blog/website is that it's my own little plot of land. I get to talk about the things I like/dislike and what I'm doing. It's all about ME ME ME! I can totally relate to this:

  • Larissa

    E. M. Forster said "I dont know what I think until I see what I say."
    Writing is a personal experience that forces me to put words to feelings, and structure/design to thoughts. It allows me to build bridges and make connections that I can not do internally without a keyboard and word document. Writing shows me what I am thinking and then proppels me to take the next steps forward based on these thoughts. There is something genuine about reading writing that is written for ones' self, as opposed to writing in a desperate attempt to attract the masses, and make the numbers. It is pushing through these various forms of Resistance to find the pearls hodding in a various oysters strewn across the ocean's floor.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I love that Forster quote. Excellent!

  • @SteveBorgman

    I don't know. I think there needs to be a both/and approach. My right brain agrees with you about the overarching purposes of blogging, and I am a definite right brainer. But my left-brained friends have taught me the value of testing and search engine marketing, so that what we are saying can be heard by the maximum number of interested prospects. So I think both are important.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I am sure I will check my stats from time to time. I just don’t want to be driven by them. Thanks.

  • Mark Robinson

    I’ve read your blog for awhile now and would consider myself one of those people that you are mentoring. Thank you for taking the time to share your insights and inspire me to be a better leader.

  • davidburkus

    Ha. I'm at the same plateau. Well, not the same. My stats are far lower. But still, I write because I love to do it.

  • Tiffany Cox

    Don't you dare quit blogging…I look forward to them daily! I am a life who's been changed through your thoughts disentangle themselves through your fingertips. (love that quote!) Keep up the great work and know you are impacting others because I impact others as a direct result from your blog.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tiffany. I really appreciate the encouragement.

  • Tamara Mapp

    Since I'm in the beginning stages of my ministry and my blog roll is very small; it's easy to be discouraged about the lack of comments being posted to my columns. That in turn makes it difficult to be consistent posting regularly. Why post when it seems no one is reading anyway.

    Then when I start stressing over my Google Analytics report, God reminds me… It's not about the numbers. If I reach just one women, I'm doing my job.

    That helps me to remember — why I started blogging in the first place — my main purpose for blogging is to share how God brought healing in my life. Even if it is only one woman at a time!

    Thanks Mike for all your blogs! I've learned so much from you in the last few months.

    Please don't quit!

    Blessings! …

  • Martin

    The funny thing about the statistics is I just recently changed my template and forgot to add the tracking to it so I went through a couple weeks where I felt like nobody was reading my site, although I was posting new stuff everyday. I blog mostly for me to get stuff out of my head, it helps me sleep and there are some cool people you'll run into on the interwebz. Thanks for the post!

  • michaelhsmith

    Let me say…I am glad you continue to blog. I love reading your work and learn much from your thoughts. Here are the reasons I blog:
    * It is a creative outlet.
    * It challenges me to look for topics to write about.
    * It encourages me to read on a variety of topics.
    * It helps me organize my thoughts.
    * It hopefully helps the people I lead know me better.
    * I am enjoying the challenge.

    • Michael Hyatt

      These are excellent reasons, Michael. (Also, I plan to get back to the 20 questions. I just thought I'd give it a break.)

  • Shane Sanchez

    Thanks for writing this post. I needed to read something like this, from someone like you.
    It can be frustrating when you take a look at stats and don’t see consistent growth. I literally just journaled about this topic and what the purpose is behind my blog. When I put it in perspective it makes sense that it is a place for me. I am growing and archiving my thought on a regular basis and if people read I can simply be thankful they are coming along with me. It is incredible to be able to have a place where my thoughts and ideas can be stored, but also shared with those who take the time to read.

    I appreciate this post!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Shane. I’m glad you found it helpful.

  • @gerrytrue

    Great advice! I also find it helpful to write to bring clarity…

    The primary I have chosen to write is to create a resource for my children and grandchildren.

    I am grateful your blog does not depend solely on numbers to determine the whether it has been beneficial. I have been reading for several years and have found your blog a mentoring resource. Don't know you personally but you have impacted my life and the lives of those I lead in a profound way.


    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Gerry. And also, thanks for your guest post last week!

  • mandythompson

    Count me! I'm a faithful email reader. I may not make a difference in your blog stats, but you definitely make a difference in my leadership development. Thank you for continuing to pour into us.

  • Michael Hyatt

    That Faulkner quote is great!

  • Joseph

    I have recently started blogging and of course obsessed with stats. But when I read this post, I realized why I started blogging:
    ‘I blog is in order to clarify my thinking and archive my best ideas’

    Thanks for the gentle smack :-)


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  • Darren Poke

    Thanks Michael for sharing your thoughts on this topic, they really resonated with me.

    I've only been blogging for about three months, so I'm still a rookie at this and have found that one of the great benefits for me has been the archiving of ideas. I wasn't expecting this to be the case, but now it's a key driver for me as well.

    I do look at my blog stats often (and suspect that I always will), but try not to get too anxious about them.

    Don't give up Michael, you haven't peaked yet!

  • Connie

    Great post. It speaks right into my season. I have come to believe, like you, my blog is more for me than anything else. I often wonder "how can I get more readers or comments?" Really, I shouldn't be concerned, but my internal wiring shouts a different message. I am just going to write because it's what I love to do! Plain and simple. Thanks for helping me realign my perspective.

  • @tommcmahonnet

    The Tom McMahon Lord Haw Haw Theory Of Blogging

    Lord Haw Haw, as you remember, was the popular name of William Joyce, a German radio propaganda broadcaster during World War II. And then, right after the war:

    …On May 28, 1945 Joyce was captured in a German forest by two British officers gathering a truckload of firewood. Near Flensburg on the Danish border, Capt. Alexander Adrian Lickorish of the Reconnaissance Regiment, and Lt. Perry came upon an odd, tramplike figure with a walking stick. The tramp pointed to some logs with his walking stick, and addressed the men in French. Then he said in English, "oh, there are three or four more here." The duo immediately recognized the voice of Lord Haw-Haw.

    Some people couldn't keep their mouths shut to save their necks. (Literally, in Lord Haw Haw's case.) Those are the bloggers.

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  • Jasmina

    I enjoy reading your thoughts on leadership and productivity. I learn something every time.

    I started blogging because I read a variety of blogs[news, politics, finance, travel, food] and admire the writers’ tenacity. I wanted to see if I have anything to say. It’s all seemed about “me” and I’ve wondered if blogging = digital narcissism. But, I also find it is a way to communicate with friends [share photos, recipes, travel tips about where I’ve been and what I’m doing] without writing lots of emails. And, I find that talking about something or writing about it invariably clarifies my thinking. I think I’ll keep writing but still need to figure out how to address more of my interests, may be a second blog?

    PS — I found your blog after I started listening to your podcasts from Ancient Faith Radio.

  • Maria Keckler

    "I blog is in order to clarify my thinking and archive my best ideas. In short, I blog for me" — this is the biggest take away for me. Thank you for reminding us that writing has value beyond the size of the readership. I had forgotten that and your words have reenergized my zeal for the process.

  • rikerjoe

    I'm in agreement with you on the primary reason why I blog – it's for myself. It clarifies my thoughts, allows me to use it as a vehicle for transparency, and to engage others in conversations. If I didn't blog, I would revert to private journaling.

  • Linda

    I appreciate your post, but I LOVE your blog posts – I read them every single day and save them all to a folder. I do not write a blog, but I am a committed journal writer and I write for myself – to sort out my thinking and process what God is doing in my life. So please don’t stop writing, I have learned so much from you!!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Linda. Wow. That is encouraging!

  • John Richardson

    I can really relate to this post, Mike. My WordPress blog was hit with a hack a few weeks back that brought my Google stats literally to zero. After researching the cause, I did a huge cleanup and upgraded everything. (Thanks to Chris Pearson at for finding a solution). While my blog was never down, my Google results were all messed up. While I'd like to say that stats aren't important, they truly do give you a window to your readership.
    This episode has left me in sort of a funk. It really made me focus on why I blog and who my audience is. Many times during this whole episode I was tempted to just close it down and say goodbye to five years of heartfelt work. I felt like giving in to the resistance. But something kept me going.

    A reader left a simple thank-you comment that inspired me to post again.

    Over the five years I've been blogging, I've been tempted to quit a few times. In the first year my original domain was hijacked and I ended up having to go with a My original web host had trouble with blogs and I had to move to a different company. Each time I asked myself if it was worth the trouble to continue. Each time I learned something new and how to make my site better.

    One book that has helped me through times like this is Failing Forward by John Maxwell. It always gives me perspective during the storm.

    Thanks for all you do, Mike, with your blog. Your insights have helped many people become better leaders and better people as a result. Keep up the great work!

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  • Brad Harmon


    I'm right there with you about liking to start new projects, seeing them grow, and then disappear somewhere during the maintenance cycle. I agree with you about it being something that seems hard-wired into our personalities.

    I guess that I blog for many different reasons. I like to help others and hope that my blog is accomplishing that goal, but there are times when I would write even if I knew nobody else was reading. When my blog traffic and interaction starts to stagnate, it is then that I remember the cathartic nature of blogging.

    God tells us that His word never returns void. I think this is true for us, His Creation, as well. It is why Isaac could not take back his blessing stolen by Jacob. In that way, I know that once my blog posts are published those words will accomplish something.

    If nothing else, they are at work in my own life. They are witnessed by God. It is when I forget this (which I am prone to do) that my postings become erratic.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking questions.


  • Derek

    Yes. My blog is just a list of books I've read, but writing down my thoughts has made me much more aware of the world of books.

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  • Laura Droege

    How timely. I’ve been blogging consistently for almost a year in an attempt to increase my “platform”; I’ve written a novel and given the way publishing works, I’ll increase my chances of getting the book published if I have a platform.

    Honestly, I don’t enjoy blogging, and it’s hard to keep going when my readership remains small even after spending hours commenting on other blogs, networking on Facebook, etc.

    People always tell me that they enjoy and are encouraged by my blogs; that’s good because it fits into my purpose for my fiction writing.

    Still, it’s easy for me to be discouraged when I look at my stats: five or six hits a day for a post I spent 2 hours writing?! Ugh.

    Thanks for the reminder to re-visit my original purpose for writing fiction and blogging, and the reminder to not be fixated on stats.

  • mdperry1

    Thanks Michael, I was at your CEO Day at the Christian Leadership Alliance in April and was inspired to begin blogging ( ). Being a competive guy that I am I have loved watching the stats and testing how I can influence them. So even 6 weeks into this little experiement I need your reminder to why I blog seperate from the benefits of my blog.
    So even if your numbers have been flat, know that I am a new reader, one that you influenced.

  • Jill

    I've had the misfortune of taking my blog temperature based on comments and hits. The best thing for me was to get rid of the stats counter and turn off the comments. I feel much more freedom in my writing without the numbers.

    Here is a post I wrote about it, if you're interested in reading…

    &lt ;>

    Best to you,

  • Steve Stroh


    The stats only matter if you're blogging for direct revenue. If you're blogging for any other reason, then the stats are relegated to being somewhat interesting, but mostly incidental.

    I tried to follow / manage / gauge my blog's stats for a while, but I eventually concluded that monitoring and tracking stats was a tail-chasing exercise and that my limited "blog time" was better spent writing.

    I appreciate you sharing your insights on your blog.

  • Jen@SurprisingJoy

    Well said.

    For me, blogging is like gardening. Instead of tending flowers, I tend my thoughts there. Both hobbies are for pleasure. Then again, when you have 24 readers, the pressure's pretty much off.

    Keep the posts coming, Mike. They're helpful.

  • @abjani

    Great post, great thinking and so true, Michael!

    If one does what one loves to do, success will follow.

    You are changing lives… So, keep up the great work!

    God bless you.

  • Shaun Hoon

    Dear Michael,

    I am a 3 weeks old blogger. With 5 followers to date all of whom I recruited through begging and more beggings.

    I have no idea how to check the statistic so, I have the bliss of not knowing how many people visited…

    What is my purpose for blogging?

    Short story:
    I genuinely believe that there need to be a place for positive people in Asia to give their view for a better Asia, hence I started the forum.

    Long Story:
    Read "What If'" on

    True story:
    I get to put some of my thoughts to rest through tricking my brain into thinking that someone will discover my great ideas one day.

    My learning:
    I find that having a blog Title enables me to focus with a direction on the themes to write about. My blog's name is Vision for a better Asia (although when I google just that, my name never appears. Why?).

    If you have trouble being consistent, why do you think that is?
    As a new blogger, I'm still going through the excitement phase, hence no report on this. But will certainly return to rant about this when I encounter this problem.


  • Ryan Jenkins

    I believe consistency is king! If you can remain consistent that translates into stability and conviction – and when people see and experience that, they will want to follow.

    I think we aren't consistent at times because we are either not in our strength zone (as you mentioned with your achiever comment) or we were not truly interested in the task to begin with.

    I waver at times too but mostly because I am overly anxious to move on and impact/reach more people.

    Great post Michael!

  • Nikole Hahn

    I don't have trouble maintaining the blog. If I need inspiration, I just go out and live, write about interesting conversations I overhear, or create stories. Most writers write about writing and I have found that boring because everyone is writing about writing. I think what makes blogging interesting is how real the author is and if their purpose is shining through. Every day a story is just waiting to be observed. The material is endless for blogging. And when that runs dry, then I read other well written blogs to gain inspiration.

  • Ann (SG)

    Mike,does your tracking get hits from RSS/syndication readers? Because I read you on Google Reader. If not, your readership may be growing on that platform sneakily without you knowing it…

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, but I do track that another way (i.e., FeedBlitz). I consider it all. Thanks.

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  • Chuck Salser

    Michael, I could'nt agree more with you. I finally jumped on the band wagon and started a new blog myself. I spent the past 2 or 3 days up late hours figuring out WORDPRESS, which is incredible by the way. I've posted and twittered and facebooked and flickred, I received 10-12 comments the first few days and then nothing today. I honestly began to think about the very thing you just wrote about and you are right, I did this for me…but! There's always that but, I think it's normal for us who are achievers to want approval or recognition that what we are doing is right or purposeful. However, at the end of the day, it really comes to down to having a place where we can see that God is working in us, that there is a journey going on in us. I'm reminded of Jesus' simple words….I would leave the 99 for the one. Cont…

  • Chuck Salser

    …For me, if one person thinks about something I wrote or even a comment impacts someone out there, the 1 was worth it. I helped to make this world a better place. Thank you for doing that for me. I have longed to be an author for years, I'm making the forward commitment to jump on th social media wagon and make that longing a reality. I have you listed on my blogroll, I'd love for you to check it out sometime, just maybe your comments might make a difference!

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  • Brian Ives

    Thanks Mike,
    I  just wrote my first blog tonight, currently I have O (zero) readers, but I am getting started on building my PLATFORM. My blog was actually about the difficulties we face about getting started, as I was facing  many questions and difficulties on getting started, I just wrote about “Getting Started.” I am not where I want to go, but I have backed out of the drive way and the car is in drive.

  • Hugmomma

    I find if I write with the ambition that my audience will be a future generation, I can relax about my stats. Todays readers are bonus :)