Why I Stopped Reading Your Blog

I am a very loyal person. I have been married to the same woman for 32 years. Most of my close, personal friends have been friends for a decade or more. I have gone to the same church for 27 years. Once I let you into my life, I almost never ask you to leave.

Someone Flushing a Toilet - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Devonyu, Image #12681094

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Devonyu

But I just unsubscribed to your blog.

This wasn’t an easy decision. Your RSS feed has been in my Google Reader for a long time. Months. Perhaps years. But I finally clicked on the Unsubscribe button. I’ve had enough.

Why? It’s likely for one of these six reasons:

  1. Your titles make me yawn. Look, I am scanning a couple hundred blog posts and news items a day. If your title doesn’t pull me into the content, what will? You need to spend as much time on the headline as you do the article. Don’t be cute; tempt me.
  2. Your posts are boring. I have tried to be interested. Really, I have. But you don’t use any stories, illustrations, or metaphors. Your prose is preachy and didactic. And dry as dust. You’re making my eyes glaze over.
  3. Your posts are too infrequent. You haven’t posted in weeks. Or months. Like so many would-be bloggers, you started well, but you quit too early. I’m sure you have legitimate reasons, but I am tired of waiting. Nobody cares. Post or perish.
  4. Your posts are too long. I know you want to do the topic justice. Prove your point. Consider every aspect. Answer the critics. And leave no stone unturned. But, honestly, you are wearing me out. If I want to read a book, I’ll buy one. You’re supposed to be writing a blog. A good rule of thumb? No more than 500 words.
  5. Your posts are too unfocused. One day you’re blogging on this. The next day you’re blogging on that. What is your blog about? Please remind me, because I am lost in the forest of your eclectic interests. You’re not a renaissance man (or woman). You are undisciplined.
  6. You don’t participate in the conversation. You either don’t allow comments or don’t participate in them. Your posts are hit-and-run. You come into the room, make your little speech, and leave the building. I’m sorry, but that is so last-century. You’re not that important.
Questions: Have you unsubscribed from someone’s blog recently? Why? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://twitter.com/epicparent epicparent.tv

    This is great stuff! I have to work on my titles for sure…thanks for what you do Michael, you have helped me a ton.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Titles are the most difficult. One of my favorite books on this is Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich The title sounds cheesy and the book is expensive, but it is hugely helpful.

      • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

        Ahhh… thanks for that book link. Just ordered.

      • Dana

        Michael, do you think this book would be equally helpful to someone who writes headlines for a website instead of a blog? I write a new headline each day for our website and only one of those days is the headline actually focused on a selling a product…. the other days are devoted to our ministry and mentoring. If this book can give me insight on attention grabbing headlines every day and not just on product promotion day, I would be a happy camper………. and I could use updated info about grammar, punctuation, and capitalization rules for website headlines. I don’t think what I learned in school for my term papers applies to today’s headlines! LOL

  • http://timothyfish.blogspot.com Timothy Fish

    I’m just the opposite with #3. Once a blog makes it into Google Reader it will stay there until I decide to do something with it. If the blogger says nothing for nine months and then posts something, well that’s one of the reasons I like RSS. But if the blogger frequently posts more than once a day and I keep seeing stuff I don’t care about, I’ll drop the blog. His frequent posts just remind me that I intent to drop it.

    • http://www.hillarydepiano.com Hillary

      I feel the same way. Posting too often is a greater sin to me than posting too infrequently.

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        I agree. There are very few blogs that I can keep up with when they are posting too frequently. I feel obligated to keep up with a blog if I subscribe to it; and, if the posts are too frequent (long, boring, or a combination thereof), it can begin to feel like a burden. Feel guilty…or, unsubscribe – usually it’s unsubscribe.

        • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

          Interesting perspective. How much is too much (for you)?

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            This is a tricky question. There are some things that I benefit from reading everyday. However, it is also easy to eat up a lot of the day in reading. For me, I think that I can do okay with one or two daily blogs and then others that are once or twice a week.

          • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

            Thanks, Steven. Good call.

          • http://www.joshuabfarrell.com/ JB Farrell

            I am with you, Quality over Quantity. I don’t care how often you post, so long as it is worth reading.

          • Melissa

            I agree with the above. Too often and I feel like it’s part of that black cloud hanging over me To Do. Twice a week and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

          • Melissa

            I sound like a pirate. Sorry. My to do :)

    • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

      True. The real dividing line, for me, is whether the feed resides in my “Read 1st” folder in google Reader.

      I like the Analytics tools in reader – it helps you winnow out dying blogs.

      • http://communicatrix.com communicatrix

        Okay—I had to drop in and thank you, AllanWhite. B/c it’s driven me nuts from the get-go, Google Reader, as I just *knew* there had to be stats buried in there somewhere. I mean, it’s GOOGLE, right?

        Your comment finally prodded me into poking around and finding the magic button. (It’s the “Show Details” link at the top right of each blog feed in the main reading panel, if you’ve never looked.)

        Thank you, AllanWhite! And thank you Michael, for the forum.

        • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

          You’re welcome! Glad you found it. There is just no way I could keep up with everything I need to without a good feed reader.

          Google Reader is a linchpin for me, both as a way to read content but also to share what I’m reading. I have Hootsuite’s RSS feature pick up my “starred items” from Google Reader, so I have a dead-easy way to share what I’m reading and think is valuable. It’s a whole value-added stream for twitter that I don’t have to think about, just tap! =)

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I love Google Reader’s ease of use as well. Without it, there is no way that I could keep up with the material that I want to read…

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      I do that sometimes as well to keep up with friends and to make sure that when they do post I see it.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I’m in the same boat. And to tag on a question, at least in my thinking, how often is too often? As I try to streamline my blog in 2011, and refine it to be more what I want it to be, how many posts per day or per week do I need to think about posting? And how do I adjust my schedule to fit that amount?

      If you have any input, I’d love to hear it, but my main point here is just casting out food for thought…

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I don’t have a simple answer for this. I think it depends on your audience. You should ask them.

        • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

          How’d you settle on your 3-4 posts per week, Michael? Did you ask your readers? Was it just intuition or the limitations of your schedule?

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Actually, a little of both. I also watch my traffic stats.

        • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

          How’d you settle on your 3-4 posts per week, Michael? Did you ask your readers? Was it just intuition or the limitations of your schedule?

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          That leads me to another question, then. How do you build up a consistent audience? I’m not really sure how big of an audience I really have, how many repeat visitors, etc. I’m still trying to figure this all out.

          I know that part of the answer are consistent, quality posts, and time. I’m working right now on figuring out how to read my analytics and knowing what to do with that info.

          Thanks for the input!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            That would be tough to answer in a comment. I have numerous posts about this. I would encourage to use the search feature and look for blogging and traffic. Also, I would subscribe to ProBlogger.com and TentBlogger.com.

      • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

        That’s my question, too, Jeff.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          If I ever figure it out, I’ll share… ;)

      • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

        That’s my question, too, Jeff.

      • http://profiles.google.com/maxandrewdubinsky Max Andrew Dubinsky

        I post once a week. Every Wednesday. It’s worked quite well for me. The readers know what they are getting and exactly when they are going to get it. 

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Do you find loyalty in your readers postiong on that schedule?  Most of the “experts” I’ve read say that’s not enough…  But what is (or isn’t)?

    • Jennifer Griffith

      I agree. Often times, less is soooo much more. Means you likely have something of value to say. Too many posts is a bit much. IMHO

  • http://twitter.com/joannamuses joanna

    I get frustrated with overdoing the product promotion. It is not a problem to occasionally link to where a worthwhile CD or book is on sale, but when the blog starts to feel like I have subscribed to the Amazon sales newsletter it quickly gets annoying. I’d go to the online store or a blog specifically about their sales if I wanted to know that info. It is particularly annoying when people do this with stores that don’t even sell to most of the countries their readers come from.

  • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

    @I do almost all of those. But I feel like I want to blog for smart people who are willing to read my 1000 wd posts :P… Am I doomed to a life of little-to-know visitors? ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      A very few people can get away with long posts. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, is one. But he is the exception. Why not ask your readers?

      • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

        Ferriss breaks so many rules it’s ridiculous! Works for him though.

        I hate the diversions at the ends of his posts. Bad form.

        Another long-form champ: Art of Manliness. I could read those all day.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, Tim does break most of the rules. However, his content is usually so compelling you don’t care!

          • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

            Probably best to not conform to rule-breakers. If you want to conform, why not conform to tried-and-true techniques? And if you want to break rules, why not make up your own? Conforming to a nonconformist kind of defeats the point. I’m not suggesting that someone was necessarily proposing copying Ferriss, but it was just a thought that I had.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Keep posts below 500 wds at a max. I, too, like to elaborate, but I discipline myself and it always comes out better. If I must extend past 500, I typically split the post into parts.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I agree with this advice. I used to write longer posts—and sometimes still do—but you can’t get away with it often. People today are scanners. If you must write longer posts then by all means make them more scannable—use subheads, lists, bullets, etc.

        • http://twitter.com/jchatraw Jason Chatraw

          Michael, if only you had combined points 2 & 4. You could have trimmed this post down to 100 words. :)

        • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

          I noticed a long post on Seth Godin’s blog, but also noticed how he introduced it. “This is a long post, but worth it” he started with. A perfect way to prepare the reader, and I read the entire post.

      • http://twitter.com/herbhalstead Herb Halstead

        my philosophy as well.

      • TNeal

        Sounds similar to what I’ve had to do as a preacher and what more preachers might consider.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Ha! I just had this converstion with our Senior Pastor. He was ready to post a 2700 word article to his blog. 2700 words!!!! I told him he was crazy and our conversation led into this direction. I think he’s at least considering making this a series of 4-5 posts.

        But, looking at my past posts, I’m guilty of breaking this rule as well. I’m striving to write in the 500-600 word range now. The added benefit is, it makes me a better writer, since I have to be more concise and intentional with my word use.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Now if I can just convince him to shorten his sermons….

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Good luck!

  • http://LiveIntentionally.org @PaulSteinbrueck

    Thanks for pointing out common blogging flaws. Most people who are extremely loyal not only rarely “ask you to leave” but also rarely let new people into their life. So, I’m curious… on average how often do you subscribe to a new blog and how often do you unsubscribe?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I subscribe to about 2 new blogs a week on average and unsubscribe to about the same number.

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise Wright

    Titles are, for me, the most difficult part of a post. Every now and again I’ll write a title that feels like it works, but most of the time I feel like they’re pretty dull. Must improve that!

    And I know that my current blog is really lacking focus, which is why I’ve bought a new domain name and will be starting a more focused blog soon. Though it’s still going to be a LITTLE all over the place. I’m not a niche writer and I’m okay with that.

    I’m also entertained to read #6 because Jon Acuff says pretty much the exact opposite — that you should NOT participate (much) in the comments. I definitely like to interact with my readers, so I’ve never followed his advice on that one, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Always good to hear another expert disagree! (Especially if they agree with me!)

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      I treat titles much like poetry, as “condensed thoughts.” Straight, to the point, easily understood, as few words as possible.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      See my recommendation after the first comment regarding titles. Thanks.

    • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

      I think replying to comments shows good form and respects the readers. I’m frankly always impressed when an author responds. Makes the ideas presented MUCH stickier.

      • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise Wright

        I understand Acuff’s thoughts. He sees it more as an intrusion on the conversation that the readers might be having and making it just more about the author. I think it’s a valid point. I just personally like conversation too much to sit by the sidelines.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I completely agree. Interaction is key. I try to not let a comment go by without a response. Of course, I don’t have the amount of commenters that Michael Hyatt has… ;)

    • http://missionsmisunderstood.com E. Goodman

      My post titles are MUCH better than my actual posts. To bad that doesn’t translate to Twitter…

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I unsubscribe from one’s blog when the blogger promotes himself and his business or his books or his projects (at the expense of the reader’s attention). Too much of marketing irritates me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. As a blogger, you have to be very careful to give more than you ask.

  • http://skingsly.blogspot.com/ Skingsly

    Thanks for the Post. I try to work on two blog post per week. Is that OK or should i improve the frequency of my posts? Please do provide your valuable suggestions.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it all depends on your audience and their expectations. If you are going to blog twice a week, then do it—no matter what. If that’s too much for you to handle, ten commit to once a week. The main thing is too be consistent. Thanks.

      • http://skingsly.blogspot.com/ Skingsly

        Thanks For Your Suggestions.

    • Anna

      I would also add that the quality of your posts is important. I wouldn’t try to add more posts per week if it was going to decrease the quality of what you post. I aren’t so worried about how often someone posts as I am concern with what they post.

      • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

        On the frequency issue I think this is where each blogger must also experiment with their readership a bit. Take a few weeks and post more frequently, watch your stats (traffic, interactions and sharing) and see what happens. I most cases, frequency does impact traffic (from the research I have conducted).

        On quality… I think every blogger or content producer needs to focus on quality but don’t let that desire of get it perfect block progress. There is a danger in chasing perfection because perfection does not exist. It can cause you to spend way too much time on a post and then you’ll end up killing your happiness as a blogger. Quality yes, perfection no. There is a balance.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I totally agree with both of your points. On my own blog, I have seen a direct correlation between more frequency and more traffic. This assumes a certain level of quality, but, as you not, that can’t be an excuse for not publishing regularly. “Something is better than nothing.” Usually.

        • http://skingsly.blogspot.com/ Skingsly

          I agree with the point “Quality yes, perfection no”

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Excellent point. I agree.

    • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

      Look closely at your writing style – do you have little “holes” for writing in your day? Or, do you have enormous brain dumps, where 10 posts spill out at once?

      If you’re like me (the latter), consider using your blog platforms’ scheduling (future posts) feature. Set up a queue at the start of every week with all your posts, then don’t worry about it until the mood strikes again.

      This can go a long way to “spread out” the content flow, and also adjusts to your particular writing style. My wife, for example, dislikes this approach – she likes to write and blog “in the moment”. Mine comes in spurts, and this helps smooth it out.

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  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Oh, boy. This is an excellent post! Not too snarky at all. Convicting…you SHOW us how important principles of blogging are. Thank you for the reminder!

    • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

      I agree. I liked the snark, but that’s just me. It was the best way to get the point across.

  • B_Schebs

    I have unsubscribed to several Blogs recently. One of the main reasons I have found that blogs are removed from my RSS feed is due to lack of original content. I have found that many bloggers tend to just regurgitate the same information as the well known bloggers. To Bloggers out there, I already susbscribe to Michael Hyatt’s, Seth Godin’s, and Dan Cathy’s (among others) blog. I don’t need you writing about the exact same thing, with nothing new added, and sometimes even bordering on plagiarism.

  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    I make most of these mistakes. Titles are just a mess for me. I end up too factual or straight up with it. And I noticed that I had gotten carried away with free books for book reviews, so I’m actually scaling that back.

    As to length, I’m finding that my blogging is like my preaching: when prepared and thought out, short and to the point. When not so prepared, long and drawn out…

    But put me back in your RSS and I’ll try to do better! :)

  • RAAckerman

    Hi, Michael. Just wanted you to know that I passed your blog today to the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You were right on the mark (as usual). Happy New Year.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Cool! Thanks for that.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    It’s time they knew, Michael. I’m also pretty patient, but I can’t get past a lot of misspellings. The first few are easy to forgive, but when it looks like you’re pushing it out without caring about the reader, I’m gone.

    • http://www.flurrycreations.com/theblog John Bergquist

      Justin, I am hoping I am relevant, brief and engaging as well as frequent (but not too frequent). As a reader of mine what is your honest opinion?

      • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

        I think your site is absolutely perfect, John. I like the consistency and know exactly when to expect it.

        • http://www.flurrycreations.com/theblog John Bergquist

          Justin, I appreciate that. We need honest people as Kevin Miller noted this week to walk with us. If you ever see something that would cause you to grab the flush handle, shoot one over the bow!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I would extend the same invitation to my readers. Write me at michael dot hyatt at gmail dot com.

        • http://www.flurrycreations.com/theblog John Bergquist

          Justin, I appreciate that. We need honest people as Kevin Miller noted this week to walk with us. If you ever see something that would cause you to grab the flush handle, shoot one over the bow!

  • http://twitter.com/JenniferLynKing Jennifer King

    Hi Michael, I’m a regular reader, and one who has recently been working on blog improvements on my blog. While I find all of your points valid and circulated on the internet as pointers for what not to do in a blog, I am taken back by your negative approach in this post. All good points here, but perhaps your usual positive approach to leading others might work, too?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might be right. It was a bit snarky. I was hoping to get people’s attention.

      • http://www.flurrycreations.com/theblog John Bergquist

        My wife is my snark filter. In this case I did not see your post as snarky. Many writers need to hear this. It is a balance. I usually write something much more critical than what I eventually publish. She always reads it and helps me redirect. She often asks me if the tactic would work on our kids and reminds me of how they respect and obey my gentle nature and not a stick.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          My wife, Gail, is the best filter for me, too. In fact, I read this one out loud to her, just to make sure I had not crossed the line. She is usually very adverse to snarky writing, too. However, she liked this one and gave me the green light. Gauging by the comments, a few readers did take offense, but that usually happens anyway.

          • http://twitter.com/thelemons Liz Gossom

            I didn’t feel like it was snarky at all, and I’m a first-time reader. Your concise title clarified the topic, so anyone reading past the title should know it’s not a ice cream and cupcake post about your fluffy fluffy kitty cat. Thanks for these tips, I’ve been blogging for 5 1/2 years now, and I’d really like to step it up another level.

      • http://twitter.com/JenniferLynKing Jennifer King

        Funny… glad you got the attention you wanted. I personally appreciate a positive tone. Thanks for your leadership and personal interaction on your comments. Wishes for a great 2011!

        • www.therextras.com

          Ditto, Jennifer. And while I requested no more toilet photos how can we expect Michael to not notice the great response to this post?

    • http://twitter.com/NewEnglandHiker Roy Wallen

      With respect, Jennifer, I disagree. While positive feedback is sometimes useful, criticism can be more effective when it is negative. People respond — or at least I do — more directly when criticized than when a sugar-coated commetn is provided. I applaud Michael’s approach as well as the content.

  • Jordan Monson

    haha, I loved the intro and the stark contrast it had to “But I just unsubscribed to your blog.” I laughed out loud. The toilet flushing picture is perfect too.

  • Connie

    Ouch! Truth to ponder.

  • http://www.validleadership.com James Castellano

    I have not unsubscribed to any blogs lately. Your post resonates loud and clear though. I am guilty of several factors you list above. Thanks for the wake up call

  • JP

    What great advice to anyone considering jumping into the blogosphere. We may not agree with the fast pace of life today, but we can’t deny its reality. If we have something to say, we must work to be compelling.

  • http://joeandancy.com Joe Abraham

    This blog is like a sharp knife – cuts through and cuts off! But thanks – it works! I like the way you handled the “how to write a good blog” topic – a smart shot from an uncommon angle!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. That is definitely what I was hoping for.

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  • SueB

    Every once in a while I “clean house” on my Reader. Usually it’s because the blog has become uninteresting to me. While I don’t enjoy long blog posts there are some I allow – depends on the writer and the content. I’m sure I don’t follow your guidelines all of the time on my blog but I try to write as though I’m speaking to friends with honesty and sincerity.

  • http://bit.ly/gwalter gwalter

    These points are well made – I’ve been trying to encourage some of the writers on a blog I moderate to understand these concepts. But you’ve said it so much better.

    I especially like this statement: “You come into the room, make your little speech, and leave the building. I’m sorry, but that is so last-century.” I’ve been trying to say this – not just to my writers, but to many pastors I know.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t know why some people don’t want to engage. It’s all about the conversation!

      • http://www.thegypsymama.com thegypsymama

        Yes, the community of blogging. Therein lies the beauty. And I am always drawn to a blog when the writer (especially if they’re a “big blogger”) actually continues the conversation in the comments.

      • Godave

        not always. it can be about the whisper of a thought sent out and left alone.

  • Anna

    In an effort to start to be wiser with how I use my time, I just deleted half the feeds on my RSS. Many, if not most, were for the reasons that you listed. A few suffered the cut solely becuase the blogger posted too often – a few times a day. Mostly I went through the list asking myself if this blog added value to my life or not. Your’s was kept – thanks for a great blog.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Posting too often could have been another point in my post. Thanks.

  • Mishana826

    I become frustrated and will eventually unsubscribe if blogs are no longer relevant to me and are continually long. Length does not equal better. I also want an opening paragraph or picture that is going to grab my attention . . . like a toilet.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Exactly! I have been putting pictures in mine lately…it really enhances everything!

  • Tony

    As a new Blogger, this is great insight for me. I tend to run around 700 words, so I will need to work on that!

  • http://twitter.com/_paulalexander Paul Alexander

    Tangible and actionable! Thanks Michael! In regards to comments…what criteria do you use to moderate comments, and how do you determine which comments/ideas to respond to and what to just allow to add to the conversation?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I get all my comments via email, so it makes it easy to respond. It’s just like processing email. If I think I can add something to the conversation, I comment. Regardless, I read them all.

    • www.therextras.com

      My platform filters the spam (well) and like Michael, I read every comment via email notification – on my smartphone from which I can also respond.

  • http://twitter.com/pons716 Yashanth Ponnanna

    A great blog for bloggers. This should make many of us think of writing creative blogs rather than share already known information. Would be grateful if you could read my blog http://www.plantingcreativity.blogspot.com

  • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

    Thanks for the tips.

    I usually only unsubscribe if I am not interested in the topics over time. I do a lot of skimming and most blogs I just read here and there, not every post. Except for your blog, of course.

  • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Amy

    Thanks for the tips.

    I usually only unsubscribe if I am not interested in the topics over time. I do a lot of skimming and most blogs I just read here and there, not every post. Except for your blog, of course.

  • http://www.thedailywalk.net Adam

    Good stuff!
    I read lots of RSS feeds too. Titles are a big thing. in order for me to get through the masses of feeds the title has to catch me or I will move right by it.
    I am also not a big fan of bloggers that do not send their complete post to the feed.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I hate that, too! I know they think it results in more visits to their blog, but it also annoys a lot of people—me included!

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    I have a lot of work to do on my content efforts. I’m like the plumber with leaky pipes sometimes. I know what content works and advise clients on development (that works) all the time. My personal blog isn’t focused enough on any one direction but I honestly haven’t tried to be as much as I should. I have some other blog properties being launched soon that are very content specific by their URL and name.

    I’ve found in a lot of cases that those who write on a blog under their personal name (myname.com) are less focused on a content direction than say someone who is operating under a brand (such as TentBlogger.com or CopyBlogger.com , etc).

    This is certainly not the case everywhere because people like you, Tim Ferris, Seth Godin, and Chris Brogan do great with engaging readers but for those of us who may not be as seasoned of writers… focus can be an issue.

    • http://sammahlstadt.com/ Sam Mahlstadt

      I noticed this in a big way when I moved my blog from sammahlstadt.com to creativetheology.com. Part of it was because I made the conscious effort to focus my writing, but having that URL really helps to filter content. I now ask, does this fit? before I post. I dont always do a great job, but I’ve come a long way.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I try to do that, too, but it is more difficult with your name as the blog. If I had to do it over again …

    • http://jameystegmaier.com Jamey Stegmaier

      Daniel–I think you make a great point here about people who write under their personal name as their domain versus the more focused blogs with specific urls (this is in reference to Michael’s point #5, the only point that applies to my daily blog).

      Here’s the compromise, in my opinion: If you write under your own name and you don’t have a globally consistent topic, you have the freedom to write whatever you’re excited about that day. Excitement is contagious. Readers like it because they can tell that you have fun writing almost every post, and the bloggers themselves enjoy it because they’re not constricted by false constraints–they’re free to share their daily passions.

      On the flip side, writers who force themselves to write about the same topic every day seem to have posts that feel like filler. I think that keeping content fresh, exciting, and relevant is really important. I remember subscribing to one well-known blog for a while that had resorted to publishing long interviews on the same topic every day. The interviewees were all saying the same thing, and every entry seemed like more of an excuse for the blogger to network than a medium for quality content.

      Michael, I’m not disagreeing with you about focus. But I think there’s a good middle ground, and I think you’ve found it. You have a handful of topics that you blog about (writing, publishing, leadership, Christianity, motivation) instead of a single topic that you beat to death. At the same time, the number topics you write about is manageable. When I think about your blog, I can encapsulate it. I think every blog needs that so that readers can summarize it to their friends. At a dinner party, if you laud a blog that’s about “everything,” no one is going to seek it out when they go home that night. But if you tell people there’s this blog you read that describes things that white people like from the perspective of an anthropologist, people are going to check it out later.

      Perhaps the magical formula is something you’ve stumbled upon: a handful of topics that are really important to you. I can abide by that rule.

      Thanks for the thought-provoking post, and Daniel, good luck with the focus.

  • Mark McKeen

    I recently unsubscribed from a blog because the writer ALWAYS overemphasizes one specific attribute of God and is a bit overbearing towards those who disagree.

  • http://www.danielgoepfrich.com Daniel Goepfrich

    Great post, Michael! I didn’t think it was too snarky at all. In fact, sometimes a little slap is better than a 2×4.

    However, I didn’t even know you read my blog! Sorry you felt like you had to leave. :D

  • Nora

    Straight to the point. Great post.

  • www.therextras.com

    No disagreement with you on any of these points, Michael. I do not even allow myself to think you are reading my blog as you are not part of my target audience (parents of children with disabilities). This post was rather sharp (the visual particularly unpleasant) but I, too, have tested the snark-waters for a particular topic or two. Mostly, I think people leave my blog when I say something like – I don’t support a certain therapy protocol with snark (sarcasm). Writing, publishing and social media are your business – and this post topic is rightfully yours. I come here to learn from you, and have. Much. Thank you.

    The premise of your threat to unsubscribe, however, is that subscription is very important – perhaps the holy grail of blogging. I’m not sure I agree. Comments stating how the information I posted is helpful or entertaining drives me to continue as much or more than the stats on my blog. This perhaps emphasizes the differences in our two professional orientations. And that is okay – that we are different. I allow that there are many bloggers that commit all the blog-sins you list. Which may be fine if they do not subscribe to your premise. At the same time, I’m a bit irritated with the realization that many blog-sinners get have great stats for the mere reasons of using sophomoric humor and profane words in their titles. (Thus I respectfully request no more photos of toilets here.)

    I want to emphasize my agreement with number 4. Some bloggers are unnecessarily verbose and I leave their posts (when I rarely visit) without comment. Conversely, I value lengthy comments on my blog and aspire to the ‘conversation’ aspect in comments with every post. Recently at the request of my readers I opened comments on all my posts – from auto-closing after one year. Barbara Boucher, PhD

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      By subscription, I really meant “regular readers.” If you care about your message, don’t you want to reach as many people as possible? Thanks for your comments. I am duly noted your request for no more toilet images.

  • Nancy

    I left one blog because once the author found his voice, his blog was actually on another topic, and a topic that has no interest to me. The other reason I leave blogs is what you have stated in point 4. You’ve called it too long; I say that there are too many points in a single post. I would be better served by a single interesting point per blog, which could be accomplished by repurposing a long blog into several short blogs revised to engage. Seth Godin’s blog is a good example of short and interesting posts.

    Thanks, Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Seth is the best at focusing on a single idea. He told me that this is the reason he doesn’t allow comments. He found that he ended up writing for the critics and trying to overcome every possible objection. He has a point.

  • Jennifer

    I have unsubscribed from a blog recently because of wordiness! Way too long! I just don’t have time. But I am also guilty of not posting consistently! Something I am going to work on…

  • Tony

    Do you read longer posts if they are compelling ? (i.e. Adam Baker) Who, if I can remember has longer posts, but are fewer in number.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do. But few writers can pull this off. I wouldn’t bank on being the exception.

  • http://relevantbrokenness.com Marni

    Michael,

    Thank you for this. These are some very good things to put into practice to better a blog. I am fairly new to the blogging scene – and I know my hang-ups right now are coming up with good titles and keeping my content around 500 words. I knew that I was wordy recently, I just need to really start treating my postings as I do my college essays that I write for my classes – which are strict on the word content (anywhere between 300-800 words) – and I find my most challenging essays are the ones where they are 500 and under. It is all exercise and practice – so I will work on this more and more.

    I am finding deep value in your blog here as I pursue the goal of writing. Thank you for all you are offering.

  • Janelle

    A good reminder from the readers perspective. The reader wins every time…..the cutting reality of blogs. Thanks for the challenge.

  • http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/davidandlisafrisbie DrDavidFrisbie

    Since we personally know most of the blog authors we subscribe to, we’re not comfortable unsubscribing. But for the valid reasons you just listed, we simply don’t read many of them. Still subscribing….just not reading.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Long blogs are the ones that usually turn me off. I am sad to say that my pastor writes one of these. He writes some really good stuff; but, his posts are often like a chapter in a book. I want to read, I try to read; but, it’s a blog, it’s on a computer screen…it needs to be something that I can read without getting tired of staring at the screen.

    • http://twitter.com/rickhubbelltimc rick hubbell

      Hah, hopefully you’ve chatted with your Pastor about it! Pastors need help too!

  • Pingback: My Blog Thoughts 2011 « Scott Cheatham’s Weblog()

  • http://www.nikao.ws Vince

    Thanks for the digital spanking

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I was going to say, “It’s my pleasure,” but that didn’t sound quite right. ;-)

  • http://wwwtherelationshipgoddess.com. Susan Lewis

    I really enjoy reading what you have to say.

    In response to why I stop reading blogs I would have to say that the main reason is if they ramble on and I’m not sure what their point is. I don’t have a lot of time to be online and read, so it’s important that it either entertains me or I can grab some data quickly.

    I am learning how to blog and I have a friend who is an internet marketer and he sent me an email on my recent post and mentioned a few of the things you just did.

    It’s good to know that I’ve been making some of these mistakes also!

    Have a great day!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. The headline has to pull me in. Then the first paragraph has to be really compelling. Otherwise, I bail and move on. Being a writer in an A.D.D. world is not easy! (The good news is that it forces all of us to be better!)

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  • http://www.familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

    I try to give a new blog that I have started reading a month to impress me. If I have starred, RT, liked, or commented on the blog after the first month of reading then chances are I will never do any of these things.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s probably a good rule of thumb.

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Michael,

    Yep, these are a few of the major offenses that pop up repeatedly.

    Posting too frequently is as damaging as posting infrequently because it creates forced posts. Force negates. Pull back and write from a place of calm confidence. Convey a message that conveys your theme. Be persistent, be passionate, be professional. The 3 P’s.

    Inject energy into your posts. If you don’t post from a place of passion you can forget generating a substantial readership. And like the offline world, when you are done speaking, finish speaking. Get off of the cyber pulpit to allow your readers to digest what you just shared with the. We have access to 24 hours per day; be mindful of this before writing a short novel.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

    RB

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      These are excellent suggestions, Ryan. I totally agree on the issue of frequency. It’s really about finding the right balance between quality and quantity. I would venture to say, however, that the vast majority of would-be bloggers don’t blog enough. Thanks.

  • Ginpaynter

    That was great insite for a blogger wanting to expand. It’s good to have a checklist of better blogging. Thanks for your posts.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Wow… sharp and to the point, Michael. I have been guilty of a lot of these over the years. What works for me is to offer a download or tool that is useful to people. I may put up a series of posts about a subject, but the download is what ties everything together. Recently I tried blogging everyday like Chris Brogan recommended. I quickly noticed how hard it was to be consistent on a daily basis and I found it hard to put together a substantial post. So this year I’m trying to be consistent with good content three days a week. For those people looking for good titles, the copyblogger.com site has lots of good info to get you started.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think three times a week is a great goal. Interestingly, I am drawing a lot of inspiration from The Pioneer Woman blog these days. Her blog is hugely successful. She uses a lot of photography, and I hope to to some of that this year.

      Also, I really like the idea of downloadable resources. I don’t do many, but they are always popular.

      Thanks for your comments.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I took a look at the Pioneer Woman Blog. A very interesting niche. It’s always cool when you can combine retro graphics and photography. It’s amazing that her books are high on the bestseller list. However, I think we all can remember Grandma’s down home cook’n on the farm, so a recipe book like that will bring a lot of people to the table… literally!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yea, she gets more than a million visitors a month. She is a phenom!

  • http://twitter.com/rickhubbelltimc rick hubbell

    Mike,
    The general ‘rules’ you toss out here are proven winners. Thank you.

    I’d also like you to consider adding to your list not only unfocused postings but Overall Blog Disorganization. Even a well intentioned blog in an area I am interested in eventually gets flushed if coming back to it makes me cringe from organizational tension.

    Sometimes I overlook that stuff at first in my excitement about a ‘new find’, but after awhile, Overall Blog Disorganization, especially for visual people like me, catches up quickly. That includes layout and content silos.

    And yes, I fairly recently flushed a whole bunch – more than 15 – yet added yours and love it. I still like it as much as the day I signed up. More, really. But though you follow the rules as effectively as anyone I’ve seen, you break some too. For example, some of your posts are not short by any means.

    (I haven’t counted words :)! Yet even when you do it works because you:

    (1) offset it with a consistent, large picture we can always count on to be relevant, intriguing and high quality
    (2) develop exceptionally well written content
    (3) have created a highly relevant, interested audience and
    (3) provide variety without trying to rule the world on every subject.

    What I’m saying is writing for a REAL REASON other than self promotion (though that is obviously important to achieving certain goals), doing it well and attracting the right readers – REALLY GREAT CONTENT – trumps all of those things in my opinion, for the RIGHT READERS. I have seen the most horrendous looking sites do incredible things and ones that do many of the things you mention, struggle majorly. The difference was that truly motivated audiences will go through all kinds of stuff for the right content. Better to have both areas covered for sure, which you do.

    They are great guidelines which I need. Yet at the very end of the day, in a blog I subscribe to, I want virtually one-of-a-kind content, well organized, along with conversation that matters to help me better myself or others.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Rick. In a way, I was preaching to myself. I have a lot of room for improvement. One of my resolutions for this year is to write shorter, more frequent posts. I sometimes can get away with longer posts, but it is always a risk.

      • http://twitter.com/rickhubbelltimc rick hubbell

        Very interesting, Mike. I think your rhythm and variety is great in current form. You have your own style.

  • Kevin D. Johnson

    This is an interesting post given that I haven’t bought a Thomas Nelson book in over twenty years. Wonder why that is. Someone needs to write something like this for the Christian publishing industry.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good point. You might revisit some of our books. I think our quality has improved dramatically in recent years. But, of course, I am biased. ;-)

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    I have a confession, (With head down) I have had people recently leave my blog because I tried to be a full service blog. I tried to incorporate my entire life into my blog and needless to say the people I cherish and appreciate said that they had enough. I am now focused on the true intentions of my blog and I vow to never let my friends down again. This is a great thought provoking post, which I have share with others thanks for posting.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is so easy to do, especially at first. In fact, I think it is usually a necessary part of finding your voice. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

  • Anonymous

    I get frustrated with blogs who post too often. I clean out my reader every morning, so if I come home & I have 20 posts from one blog I nix it.

    Commenting doesn’t bother me either. Seth Godin doesn’t allow comments. If the content is good I don’t necessarily need to comment.

    Blogs that are always pushing a product/book turn me off too. It’s easy to spot people who aren’t sincere in helping people.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Seth is the one exception I allow to the no comment, no participation rule. His posts are always so good.

  • http://kimscribbles.com/ Kim Howard

    Excellent points Michael. I just started a blog as part of my new year’s commitment to writing again and your points will definitely impact how I continue. I would add one more point about why I would stop reading someone’s blog: the posts are riddled with typos or grammatical errors. Make sure you ask someone else to proofread before you post

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am guilty of this sometimes. If there are too many, I get annoyed. But if its just a few I can handle it. I don’t want to slow myself down to get it perfect. I think perfectionism can be a real impediment to productivity—especially in writing.

  • Karyn

    Nice, hard-hitting post. Of course, with my persecution complex at the ready, I was convinced you were talking about me… and perhaps you were. Some good points, though, and ones I need to consider.

  • http://twitter.com/lovinglyyoursG Georgiana

    Wonderful guidelines to follow in order to snatch and preserve a reader’s loyalty ~ I agree short, attention-grabbing titles spark one’s interest and the quality of the message maintain’s one’s consistency. Thank you Michael ~ I am going to incorporate some of these principles as I continue to write my poetic prose with the foundational message of Embracing Positive Passion in every moment of life. :-)

  • http://bladeronner.com Ron Dawson

    Talk about engaging titles. I was so excited to think Michael Hyatt was at some point actually reading my blog. LOL. Great way to pull me in Michael.

    Excellent article. As a blogger, I’m currently guilty of #4. My recent posts have been way over 500 words. I’ll try to keep ‘em down.

    I’m torn on the title thing. I don’t know if it’s better to create an engaging, provocative title, but one that has no key words related to the topic. Or write a practical title that says what the post is actually about. Any thoughts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you have to do both. I highly recommend ScribeSEO. It is a program that I have found very helpful.

  • http://www.michaeledits.com MichaelEdits.com

    I stopped subscribing to my own blog. Flush…

  • TNeal

    Amazing how today’s entry pushed me into a sense of rejection and it’s your blog, not mine. I entered the blogger’s world and my heart compressed for a moment. I had to remind myself that you were giving an example of a letter you might write. I don’t even have a blog and still wanted to improve so I could get you back as a reader. Powerful emotions. Excellent and informative writing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I really though twice about posting this. (Maybe I should have thought three times!) It’s a little snarky, but I thought it might get some bloggers attention. Thanks.

  • Amrita

    Dear Michael, I unsubscribe from blogs which are too preachy, long, infrequent and thos e who never talk back – pretty much what you are saying

  • amrita

    I want to link this post on my blog, if I have your permission? I want my blog friends to read it too.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      By all means. (You don’t need permission to link; only if you want to quote a substantial portion.) Thanks.

  • Ashley Musick

    Interesting thoughts. I work for a missions organization that has all it’s participants blog about their journey. While it’s not my job to read and comment on all of them, it’s important. There are hundreds of blogs and I’m picky about the ones I read. Usually, I read the ones that have the following characteristics:

    1) Great title… I won’t read “Made it to Africa!” over “The Ukrainian National Smoking Team.”
    2) Pictures… Odds are that if you are missing pictures you’ve also lost the ability to be concise. People who scan have nothing to draw them into the long story.
    3) Relationship… I’m obviously more drawn to people who I either have a relationship with already, or who have created one through their storytelling. Some participants I subscribe to are people I’ve never had a personal interaction with, but I feel like I know them because of their stories.

    Great post, I know there are some people with whom I will be sharing this blog… Ha.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      These are all good points. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • http://shine4himphoto.wordpress.com Nicole

      Your agency actually requires that? I would hope they work in Europe or something, right? I had to close my old missions blog due to security – it could put a lot of people in danger to know all those details! Now I’m starting a photography blog about travel in general.

      I agree with you on your points, though. I follow my friend’s blogs, and when I stumble across one that is truly creative, I have no problem sharing it with others.

  • Anonymous

    I have this sinking feeling you were looking at my blog when you wrote this… :)

    I’ve been wanting to do a re-boot and this advice is perfect before I commit. Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The great thing is that now you have a spiffy new theme. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/RevJohnFletcher John Fletcher

    I’ve recently cleaned out my Google Reader list. My reasons include those you mentioned. Also, those blogs that didn’t turn out to be everything they said they would be got the ax. Don’t promise insight, funny stuff or great conversation when 9 out of your 10 posts are trying to sell me something.

    Thanks. Stay blessed…john

  • Kevin

    I haven’t unsubscribed lately, but thanks for a great post. You smacked me around a little, and I needed it.

  • Wadeolinger

    Why not apply the same to twitter?

    I think these lessons apply to all social media platforms

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent point.

  • Wadeolinger

    Why not apply the same to twitter?

    I think these lessons apply to all social media platforms

  • DavidSchildkraut

    I unsubscribed from John Lofton’s blog recently. Even though I know John for many years, and he can be quite funny at times, for the most part I think he is a pompous ass and it is either his way or the highway. A man who never admits that there is even a possibility that he is wrong, is not worth reading.

  • Steve

    Great post, Mike. There must be a level of both self and social awareness to understand that your blogs (or titles) may be boring. “boring” and “unfocused” seems to be somewhat subjective. Perhaps we can go deeper on discerning attributes like boring. You may get requests all the time, but I would ask you to consider and pray about a blog that invites people to diciper such things. Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Will do, Steve. You might want to check out CopyBlogger.com for some terrific guidance on writing better headlines.

  • Mimi

    RE: #5 – The theme of my blog is meant to lend itself to spiritual discovery, growth, and loking at how Jesus impacts my daily life. Therefore, my posts topics are varied, as are the seasons, days, and moments of my life. Any suggestions or comments?

    • Mimi

      That would be looking, not loking.

  • http://twitter.com/thedailyrob Rob Brock

    I think I’m going to tape this up above my computer monitor: “You’re not a renaissance man. You are undisciplined.” Thanks for not holding back. It’s just what I needed.

  • http://twitter.com/NewEnglandHiker Roy Wallen

    As I get l close to initiating my own blog (yes, this is the guy who still reads books on paper), these are great points. While Twitter is good to capture events in a succinct way, a blog (like a book, I submit), needs to be compelling.

    Thanks for the usual quality and thought-provoking nature of your blog.

  • Nathan Anderson

    Focused content will help me to blog more frequently. Sometimes it’s like standing in line at MacDonald’s … so many choices you don’t know where to start. But if have a specific area to focus on, it’s easier to get going.

  • http://lauradroege.wordpress.com/ Laura Droege

    Recently, I unsubscribed to a blog where the blogger was offensive, both in his posts and in his comments on my blog. I only subscribed to his blog because he had first subscribed to mine, and when he attacked another commenter, I decided to cut off all contact with him.

    Right now, I’m guilty of violating rule number 3. I attempted to post twice a week and became very stressed out by this. I’m a novelist at heart and I was having to jump from writing a blog post one day to writing my second novel the next, and my fiction writing was suffering. So I decided to take a three month break from blogging. In my last post, I explained my reasons and told my readers that I would return around the end of February, depending on how my novel was shaping up. Blog commenters and commenters on my Facebook page/profile were supportive. I have no idea how an agent or publisher would view this decision, but it was a tremendous relief not to have the post frequently pressure on me! (I’m happy to report that my second novel is going very well, too.)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think taking periodic breaks is a good idea. I do it myself at least twice a year.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Titles are my toughest problem. And for me, it’s very easy to not focus on this and take the easy way out, not even thinking about it.

    And focus is something that I am working on this year. I’m seriously considering seperating out my blog into two or even three for different subjects. I love to write about leadership and youth ministry, but most of my posts are book reviews. I’m thinking about starting a seperate blog exclusively for the reviews.

    It’s still in process in my mind at this point, but early 2011 will be a turning point for my writing and blogging. I can tell.

  • Anonymous

    Like some of the other readers, I was drawn in by the headline–paralyzed with the idea that Michael Hyatt had weighed my blog and found it wanting. Of course that’s silly. Michael Hyatt isn’t one of my subscribers.

    I’m definitely guilty of posting irregularly, and I’m sure that Michael (and everyone else who knows this stuff) is absolutely correct: The unpredictability of my blogging is keeping me from growing a large (and regular) readership.

    Similarly, I rarely have pictures, though I sometimes include my own illustrations or graphic treatments.

    I’m sure this is slowing me down.

    But here’s the deal…

    I actually have to make a living. Blogging is extra, after I’ve worked two part-time jobs and finished my freelance work. And spent time with my family. And invested in serious job-hunting. And led a ministry team at church. And run errands. I usually don’t have the luxury of planning ahead, pondering, writing and re-writing. Or minutely studying the art and science of blog-making.

    I write when I’m inspired to write. Sometimes short. Sometimes long. Sometimes with functional titles. Sometimes with titles designed more to remember than to draw in.

    I write as I can. I have to leave the rest to God. My purpose in blogging is to offer encouragement to people when they need it. And a body of resources they can call on to encourage themselves. So I leave bread crumbs to my posts in various places where people will visit later. Like YouVersion. I have a particular post, one that’s at the core of my life message. As of this writing, it’s been viewed 74 times. 28 times in November (when I wrote it), 43 times in December, and three times this month (all today). People have continued to read it because it encourages them. They first discover it because it’s linked to eight different verses in YouVersion.

    My most popular post–by far–is a riff I wrote on one of Michael Hyatt’s posts, on Incarnational Leadership. It’s drawn 267 looks, split roughly between November and December. What drew these readers and continues to draw them? I’m really not sure. Sometimes I’m irritated that a riff on a post by Michael Hyatt continues to outdraw totally original stuff.

    Bottom line for me is that I feel compelled to write. It’s my ministry. But at this point in my life I can’t be servant to writing. I have other responsibilities. I have to write within my limitations and leave the results to God.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay. There’s a season for everything. I could not have done what I am doing ten years ago. But my kids are all grown. And, I spend a lot of time on airplanes. It gives me the time to write. Be encouraged. Do what you can.

  • http://twitter.com/alangolson Alan Olson

    Ouch. All six points are great (guilty as charged on all of them) and are very helpful to someone who is getting into blogging.

  • http://creativefuelstudios.com/the-talent/jim-gray/ Jim Gray

    oh my…this is why i had to develop a better blogging strategy for this year. i actually blog for work now and i subscribe to find great insight. i unsubscribe when the posting is erratic or they have not posted in a LONG time. i started cleaning out my reader last week and i couldn’t believe how many blogs were inactive.

    • http://allanwhite.net/ allanwhite

      Capital “I”s, brother! Sentence case… >flushhhhh< =)

  • http://NonModernBlog.com Jason

    Thanks for the helpful posts over the past several weeks aimed at us bloggers. I was taken aback by this one at first, until I realized you would have had to follow my blog in the first place to drop it! Whew! It is easy with today’s technology to follow a blogger and forget about it, but these thoughts are all good. Too many of the ones I have followed in the past quit posting frequently enough. The other side of that coin can be true as well. There is such a thing as too many posts to keep up with!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mike – great post, even though it was very difficult to read! I’m setting some goals and revisiting my approach to blogging based on this post. The titles are the toughest part for me.

    I have unsubscribed from a few bloggers because of the high frequency of their posting (10-15 times a day). If I miss a day or two it takes me forever to catch up and I feel like I never will.

    Thanks again for the great post, even though it was tough to read. – Dan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome, Dan. I recommend that you read CopyBlogger.com. He will give you some great guidance regarding titles.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    A lot of people have mentioned the importance of titles in grabbing the attention of readers. I am curious, though, what is the impact of pictures??? I am a visual person and the pictures on this blog help me to connect quickly.

    What do you think? Are pictures a big deal?

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Definitely! Since posting pictures within the post, I have had a significant amount of traffic and comments!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I personally think so. I think they draw readers in.

  • http://cherrytart.wordpress.com/ Jan O’Hara

    Helpful post, but I have two newbie questions, if I may:

    1. WRT the post’s publication, do you recommend putting the entire post out first, then cropping back to a reasonable transition point when you display it on the blog itself?

    2. Can you speak more to focus as it might pertain to fiction writers? If you’d rather tackle that as an entire blog post, I’d be thrilled.

  • http://cherrytart.wordpress.com/ Jan O’Hara

    Helpful post, but I have two newbie questions, if I may:

    1. WRT the post’s publication, do you recommend putting the entire post out first, then cropping back to a reasonable transition point when you display it on the blog itself?

    2. Can you speak more to focus as it might pertain to fiction writers? If you’d rather tackle that as an entire blog post, I’d be thrilled.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am not sure I understand your first question. I publish the first two paragraphs (plus the graphic) on my home page, so that people can scan a sampling of my most recent posts. This is fairly common practice.

      With regard to fiction, I’m afraid I can’t be of much help. So sorry.

  • jrh

    Most blogs that I have stopped reading are related to #5 and #6. Also I stop when the writer posts too frequently and thus has less insight – could be an expansion on point #5. Reading someone’s passing thoughts is not where I need to spend my time.

    • http://twitter.com/MacKinnonChris Chris MacKinnon

      I think that’s more of an application for Twitter, quick and off the hip. The trick then is balancing the two.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S27NUGJ3ZSUYIRMLSUJB6E6YAY emuelle1

    A few of my own:

    1) Your posts are all basically the same. You reiterate the same topics in every post.

    2) Your blog has become so big it’s all guest posts. I started reading your blog because I’m interested in your perspective, not what all your blogger buddies think.

    3) Your blog has become an echo chamber for a circle of bloggers. I follow 6 blogs that do little more than link each others posts. I can stop reading 5 of them and not miss a thing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent points. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/MacKinnonChris Chris MacKinnon

    Ouch. I’ve been looking at my traffic, trying to set goals for myself in 2011, and this gets me right where I am. My solution to #5 was to start a second blog. Instead of trying to reach church attenders and pastors/leaders in the same setting, I broke them into two. Hopefully that helps with that one.

  • http://www.brotherpreacher.com John Richards

    My blog is faith-based. Last year, my posts would have fallen under #4. This year I’m dedicated to keeping my posts under 200 words. I’ll save the sermons for the pulpit and just give out nuggets. Love this post. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Just one note: Google actually penalizes you if the posts are under 300 words.

  • Stacy

    When I find a great blog, I really like the e-mail subscription service. This way I check my e-mail and I can decide whether to read it or delete that specific post.

  • http://kevinmartineau.blogspot.com Kevin M.

    I have unsubscribed from a pile of blogs lately. I found that I was always skipping over them so I thought, why bother keeping them in my reader? The biggest reasons I unsubscribed were: their posts were too long and their topics didn’t engage me.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Exactly… It gets boring when the posts are so long- it takes 5 minutes to scroll through it! Slow loading blogs are annoying to me…

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Man…right on! I personally don’t follow any blogs where I see that they havent posted in a few months… it just tells me that it isn’t very important. That is why I have been posting a few times a week now. (Now that school has started back up…maybe once a week).

    By the way- my blog does not have an RSS like yours. The way people subscribe is to become a member… how do you get an RSS for free? Also, how do you get it onto the site?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      RSS should be build into your blogging platform. WordPress (which I recommend) TypePad, and Blogger all have it.

  • shameless nitpicker

    Quick note…….I can’t help myself…..I always notice when “you’re” gets used wrong……
    5. One day you’re are blogging on this.
    6. You’re posts are hit-and-run.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Both excellent catches. Thanks. I have fixed in the post. Nothing like crowd-sourcing your editing!

  • http://davidsantistevan.com/ David Santistevan

    Great stuff here. One way I’ve improved my blogging is to follow other great blogs like this one, Problogger, Tentblogger, Lifehacker, etc. I observe what you and others do and try it out with my own content. Very helpful. Thanks Mike!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do the same thing with the bloggers I follow. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/SWMackey Steve Mackey

    Okay… you nailed me on #3 for sure. You’re right. Who cares about why I haven’t posted, I haven’t and you nailed me.
    I’m also thinking more about titles too.
    As always thanks for the insightful feedback.

  • http://www.nikao.ws Vince

    apparently i used a word that gets moderated in my last comment

    I would add to the list: It’s too hard to comment (login, captcha, etc)

    interaction is gold for blogs and it needs to be easy

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. That’s one of the things I love about the Disqus commenting system.

  • http://www.nikao.ws Vince

    apparently i used a word that gets moderated in my last comment

    I would add to the list: It’s too hard to comment (login, captcha, etc)

    interaction is gold for blogs and it needs to be easy

  • http://movethemountains.blogspot.com Chad Jones

    Good advice, Mr. Hyatt! I would love it even more, however, if you actually did, you know, read my blog. ;-) All kidding aside, post titles are any area I really struggle with. For instance, today’s post is “Faith Like… A Bread Machine?” (For the interested, it can be found here: http://movethemountains.blogspot.com/2011/01/faith-like-bread-machine.html).

    Is that a good title? I don’t know. Does it draw folks in? Again, I don’t know.

    Anyone care to chime in?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Writing titles is a kind of science. I highly recommend CopyBlogger.com as a resource. (I’m sorry, but I am on the road, so I don’t have time to visit your blog and comment.) Best.

  • Anonymous

    I do all my subscribing through email. Everything I subscribe to automatically goes into a hot folder upon receipt. One folder is for stuff I will read today, if possible. The other folder is labeled “Later.” I don’t throw anything away until I’ve read it and I don’t throw it away unless it’s offensive or completely useless. I’ve discovered that what isn’t compelling to me today may be a few months from now and if I don’t throw it away, I can text search my email folders on a hot topic.

    To me, length doesn’t matter. In fact, I’m more likely to be offended by shallowness than length (and, yes, this shows up in verbosity in my own writing).

    Pictures don’t compel me to read (which is odd, considering I’m a graphic designer by trade and extremely visual). To me, pictures shouldn’t be there unless they help tell the story. Otherwise they’re distracting or manipulative. (I’m speaking of me as a reader, not what normal people prefer.)

    It’s amazing to me how many extremely popular bloggers there are who seem to manufacture one vapid thought after another in machine gun bursts.

  • Anonymous

    I think the picture says it all…

  • http://justpurelovely.com Lori @ Just Pure Lovely

    Negativity. The older I get, the more I realize how mean this old world is and how tough to think positively. I subscribe to blogs who inspire me to think, create, or smile.

  • http://twitter.com/M1ssDiagnosis Deanna Johns Nichols

    Interestingly enough, I have stopped following people’s blogs because they post too OFTEN. It’s information overload, and it starts to feel like it’s just crowding my inbox.

  • Anonymous

    Love this posts. Thanks! Will certainly keep in mind focusing on titles just as much as the posts.

  • http://twitter.com/shonbradford Shon Bradford

    Great post that I will take into immediate consideration and practice! Please stop by my blog sometime this week and let me know what you think if you have the time!

    Be Blessed!

  • http://matthewm.org Matt Medeiros

    I don’t do any of this.

    Will you subscribe to me? :)

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Procter

    #6 has turned me off to more blogs than I care to mention.

    Thank you for sharing the sound advice. I’ve been trying to work on #4 & 5 lately based on a previous post you wrote and the encouragement from @TentBlogger

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Me, too. However, I will give Seth Godin and The Pioneer Woman a pass. Seth writes great content, and I understand his reasons for not participating. Ree (Pioneer Woman) gets hundreds of comments.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

    I am constantly refining my goo reader.
    These are all great suggestions. As I first read this I started to think, “Wait a minute, Michael Hyatt reads my blog?” then I realized what was happening.

    I definitely need to put more time into being precise. But writing the title I think is one of the biggest things any blogger can do, at least writing a catchy title.

  • Bonnie

    Thank you Michael. I’m in the process of setting up a blog and this information is helpful. I struggle with being a word hemophiliac so I will work at not bleeding words all over my blog. I also plan to order the Advertising Headlines book. Lastly, I don’t think this post is overly snarky and I love the picture of the toilet.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Now THAT is a phrase: “word hemophiliac.” I’ll have to remember that one.

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Btw- I just signed up for GoogleReader! It’s incredible… thanks for the recommendation. Sadly, I’m not putting your blog on there…Just kidding! :) I have your blog and all of my favs! I can go through it so much faster now!

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Btw- I just signed up for GoogleReader! It’s incredible… thanks for the recommendation. Sadly, I’m not putting your blog on there…Just kidding! :) I have your blog and all of my favs! I can go through it so much faster now!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Google Reader is awesome. Love it. It is one of the few pieces of software I have KEPT using for more than a year.

  • http://twitter.com/GaylaGrace Gayla Grace

    Your reasons for unsubscribing on right on target. I unsubscribed to a blog recenly because the writing was preachy. At 50 years old, I don’t take preachy writing very well.

    Good things to think about for my own blog.

  • http://theperkinsblog.net MichaelDPerkins

    I unsubscribe for the posts being too long often.

    I think that it’s an art to be able to say something without saying it all.

  • http://twitter.com/GaylaGrace Gayla Grace

    Great post. I think you’re right on target. I unsubscribed to a blog recently because the writing was preachy.

    Great thoughts for my own blog.

  • Ken

    Great Picture at the front of this blog. Great blog. I have taken all of it to heart and will make all the changes. Now start reading my blog. (-;

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have not stopped subscribing to your blog, Ken!

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  • Angie

    I’m more likely to unsubscribe if the posts are too frequent, not too infrequent. I recently unsubscribed from a blog that I really enjoyed because there were several posts every day. Too much! As for commenter interaction, it depends. If the blogger is a big name with many followers and commenters, I don’t really expect a lot of interaction. One other big reason I unsubscribe: partial feeds. I’m just NOT going to click over and keep reading unless it really, really grabs me.

  • Anonymous

    I found that there were many blogs in my reader that I was no longer reading. I would look at the titles (when I actually had time to sit and read), and found a lack of connection. I’ve recently cleaned out a number of the blogs in my reader, unsubscribing from them, since I wasn’t ever a dedicated reader to begin. Now, my reader is much more manageable and I actually enjoy perusing it. There are still a few blogs to unsubscribe from, and some to add… but then, that’s all part of the ebb and flow of the blogosphere.

  • http://twitter.com/williemacster William McPherson

    You make some telling points Michael; I read a lot of blogs too and I can tell you that I don’t the patience for just any old blog. I can’t justify large amounts of time reading something that does not make more like Christ or does not equip me to become a more efficient individual. I don’t have time for endless editorials about nothing…you have every right to flush. Thanks for the suggestions too. I think I am going to copy them and use them as a guideline with my own blog.

  • http://www.leliachealey.blogspot.com Lelia Chealey

    Oh very good! I wish I could hire you to do a blog critique on me! I would say I could be too lengthy. I think my titles are good, but anything good can be better. Thank you for challenging me today!
    Blessings,
    Lelia

  • Sally M. Chetwynd

    Another reason to unsubscribe to a blog is because it has too many daily postings. One which floods our email box every day has at least four per day, and sometimes as many as eight. In popular abbreviated parlance: TMI!

  • http://lauramcampbell.blogspot.com Laura Campbell

    The timing of your blog was perfect. The past couple of months I’ve tried to attract more attention to my blog. My traffic has picked up, but only one person (we’re acquainted) is commenting. The feedback is important. I used your list to evaluate my blog and noticed a few changes I need to make. I wrote it up, mentioning your blog, in a post. I hope I receive some responses from my readers. Do you have any suggestions to increase comments?

  • Mmodesti

    Thanks Michael,

    I’ve been trying to figure out who that was that visited my blog last month!

  • Simon S

    I’m intrigued by your last point. I sometimes attract some very odd, and sometimes aggressive, comments. My question, I guess, is this – is your blog your space or public space? Is it ever appropriate to not engage or to remove someone from your ‘living room’ or are we debating in the Market place and, therefore, have no right to remove the comment nor a responsibility to respond?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I firmly believe it is your space. You have to moderate. If you don’t, the trolls will take over. The neighborhood goes bad.

  • http://guidetowomen.wordpress.com/ sharideth smith

    this is actually encouraging. by these standards, i’m super awesome. and humble.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    You say that if you want a book, you’ll buy a book. In between book and 500-word blog post, however, resides the form of expression I would call “essay” or “article.” If you want essays and articles, I supposed you’ll buy a magazine. Yet a blog could be considered an electronic magazine, and that’s sort of how I view mine. Perhaps I should call it “blogazine” instead.

    What is my blogazine about? I don’t know.

    I just checked The Economist’s home page, and a cursory glance turns up “Gay Marriage”, “Blackbirds Down”, “How Big is the Computing Cloud?”, and “Putin’s Victory.” Based on this, I have no clue what The Economist is “about,” either. And I don’t really care, as long as the individual articles are interesting to read.

    For better or worse, as private and self-appointed journalists, we’re stuck with the term “blog” for anything we publish online that features an appended comment section.

  • Ed

    Great post!

    I write a blog that extends a village magazine in Cambridgeshire, England. It’s a church magazine, and one of the blogs on my list published a post with a swearword in the title. It wasn’t a bad post, just not the sort of title readers of the blog want to see.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SPNMPPBS3UMZM7YODKDH2M4RYU George M

    Was too depressing and make me feel worse after I read it than before.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Sorry about that.

  • Adam Harlow

    I am brand new to this blogging and twitter stuff. I have jumped into it fairly hard for the last week and half. I have added twenty-seven different blogs and I am already considering unsubscribe to some of them. Your post has also made me think about my own blog. I blog on management and leadership as a collage student. I do not think my blog is great by any means but I hope it will get better with more experience. Right now I am using my blog to learn. I am organizing my thoughts and putting them online hoping someday that my comments will help others and I can learn from others comments. Thanks for your post.

  • lookingfromside

    I unsubscribed because the whole focus of her blog changed. She was writing a blog about being a working mom (which I am). Then she quit her job. And got mad because a lot of us stopped following her. I don’t want to read about her ‘transition’ to being a non-working mom. Grr…

  • http://brandonwjones.wordpress.com/ Brandon Jones

    Great post! I am currently in a class on social media and this is very relevant for our class.

  • http://twitter.com/john_gallagher john_gallagher

    Mike, I have unsubscribed. Mostly because they fell into 2 categories: 1) too long, and 2) Not relevant to where I am in my personal development. Skimminig several/many good blogs is likely not as good as absorbing a few great ones.

    I need to look at my own blog from your perspective here and ask myself your questions here… Thanks

  • Anonymous

    I probably have the worst titles, so okay, guilty! But (and I know many people will think this is a bogus statement) I don’t have many readers and I honestly don’t really mind. I heard a quote recently that totally attributes to my situation. “If I didn’t write to empty my mind, I would go mad.” I write to shake all of the thoughts out of my head so I can focus on new ones, and my last post was even about how I finally reached the point where I’m okay if my ideas and opinions are total crap. I might not be an authority on anything and I might never be a leader, but it’s not even a big deal any more. I write, and if it’s not interesting or someone quits reading because of any of these reasons…I guess it shouldn’t really matter.

    However, these reasons WOULD matter if you’re trying to market your goods or services, and I understand that. I think it’s different for authors though. I read the blog of one of YOUR authors daily because she is absolutely hysterical in her randomness. She rambles on about some of the oddest things, but what I love is her voice and I don’t care if she’s talking about how they just found the largest cave in the world or her opinion on The Bachelor (two of her recent posts) – I’m going to read it. She’s arresting, engaging, challenging, and I love her even though she regularly breaks many of the rules of publishing. Actually, I love her because of that.

  • http://forsakenforlent.blogspot.com deb

    With respect to the importance of title… I read several blogs as soon as they publish, I don’t even look at the title most of the time. I am loyal to them and their content, to the soul of the person that comes through, or to some connection I’ve made.
    I think there are intangibles in art, and writing and photography and layout etc is art in a way.

    I think the commenting thing is very complicated. A few big blogs I read only get one or two comments. Depending on the post, perhaps there isn’t anything to add. Or the reader is left moved and doesn’t know how to express it.

    I like to offer my blog loves grace , just as I hope they give it to me and my little corner of the net, but absolutely have my preferences. A recent peeve is when a blogger decides to share long long fiction pieces because they are aspiring writers. I like short posts , and don’t like fiction for the most part, so drift away quietly.

    I respect Ann Voskamp in her decision to close comments. Her space is unique and it works . It feels sacred .

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      There are definitely exceptions to every rule. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://twitter.com/MattBeard Matt Beard

    I’d say all the shots from your blogging six shooter got me but #3 was a bulls-eye. I’m off to reevaluate. All joking aside, thanks for the shot in the arm. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. :)

  • Plnuchris

    I must admit that I am new to blogs, and your blog is really only the second one I am starting to read on a consistent basis! I think it would be great to be a blogger!

  • Chris

    I am assuming this would be after you provided some feedback? People don’t know if you do not provide feedback. Just like an employee wouldn’t know they were performing poorly if you didn’t tell them.

  • http://twitter.com/NewEnglandHiker Roy Wallen

    This is another Michael Hyatt post that will get added to my Twitter feed so I can find it quickly. Great content (again).

  • http://twitter.com/reznuk Steve

    Really nice concise, professional advice. Recommended reading for all blog writers.

    There are exceptions however (re: #5) …

    My blog is about things that interest me. I have eclectic interests. I’m not expecting readers (if there are any) to share all my interests, but hopefully they will find my writing interesting.

    I’m also not writing my blog in order to monetize it, boost my business, my ego, or to win over the (self-absorbed) world of blogging with my sheer wonderfulness. I’m writing to get out what’s inside me – to share whether there’s anybody to listen or not. It’s cathartic, healing, and by writing and critically self-reviewing, makes me a better writer (to be applied to other areas of my writing).

    At the root of it is me not caring about having a large readership that I have to work really hard to keep entertained. I write for myself first and foremost. If you like it – great. If not – that’s fine too, there are several billion other blogs out there that you may like instead, thanks for dropping by.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Steve, I have no problem with your perspective. If that’s your goal, great.

  • http://www.therscproject.com Jason Ulsrud

    I subscribe and unsubscribe from blogs all the time, but more importantly are the people subscribing and unsubscribing to my blog. These are great points and a couple I really need to work on myself. Titles are so hard sometimes, but I need to commit to upping my game there.

    Upping my Game and Starting to Rock!!!

  • http://edwincrozier.com Edwin Crozier

    Wow. A friend recommended this blog to me some time ago. I’ve finally made my way over here and the first thing I get is a needed slug in the gut.

    Thanks for this pointed reminder to pay better attention to my writing and blogging.

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  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    Ouch.

  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    Ouch.

  • Shannon

    Hmmm. Good food for thought. However, my favorite blog regularly has posts longer than 500 words. And she doesn’t allow comments. She has thousands of followers and subscribers. So, maybe it’s not a formula. Maybe it’s whether or not you have the heart, content, and writing ability to draw people in.

    • Sandee

      Me too! Ann Voskamps blog is a perfect example of this!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Yep, there’s always exceptions to every rule. But I would still argue that these are exceptions.

  • http://ineeddiscipline.com Dean Saliba

    Titles are something I have to work on, I think a lot of people stop reading my blog because of this and because of he ads. Should be sorted when I launch my new design though. :)

  • http://alexpenduck.com/ Alex Penduck

    Great post Michael. Long posts cause me to switch off, as do long chapters in a book. As a blogger I totally understand how easy it is to become infrequent, but thanks for the reminder to keep up with regular posts! How often would you recommend a blog post?

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Over 300 comments! All I can say is……….WOW!

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  • http://wordwranglernc.wordpress.com/ Donna Earnhardt

    Wow. I saw myself in all those reasons at least 10 times in the last year.

    YOWCH.

    Thanks for the swift kick in the blog. I needed it.

  • Curtis Marshall

    Great post today! I haven’t commented in awhile but I think this post speaks to the tendency in all of us to do things half way. Whether it’s blogging, preaching, teaching, or producing, we tend not to make it to the finish line.

    There must be an intentional decision for us not to be one-hit-wonders. We must learn to go the distance and still be excellent!

  • Krindle Karnes

    It was ironic to read this post of yours since it’s a topic beaten to death and the points you shared have practically become general knowledge.

    But don’t worry…I wont unsubscribe from your blog. ;)

  • http://annestormont.wordpress.com Anne Stormont (@writeanne)

    Good advice, thanks. I’m a learner, guilty of a couple of the faults (at least) listed here. Will try harder. However, I do invite comments and always respond.

  • Lvglvk

    Wow. that just read so rude. Seriously. Just came across as icky. Never read your blog before, probably won’t again. You probably won’t read mine, either. Which is a good thing.

    Because there are people with hearts and souls and stories behind those posts…and this feels like they were trampled all over. Glad I was not on your list in the first place.

    • http://www.defineddesign.com Lisa

      Hey Lvglvk – Let me encourage you to give Micheal more than one shot. He is great, and in no way shape or form rude. He cares deeply – just read his past blogs. He is a leader’s leader. You will learn and grow by reading his writing. Peace.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks, Lisa. You are kind to say so.

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  • http://twitter.com/katrinalantznov Katrina Lantz

    These are great tips for bloggers. Honestly, the only reason I have ever unsubscribed from somebody’s blog is they made me feel like scum for my religion or politics. I don’t subscribe to political blogs. I subscribe to blogs about writing. I expect to be edified by the blogs I follow, not torn down by bigotry. So yeah. I guess that falls into your #5. unfocused posts.

  • http://www.switchtorealfood.com Switchtorealfood

    This is the second blog post I’ve ever read. Seems like a good place to start! Not even sure how I got here but I think I’ll subscribe so I learn how to not bore anyone to death with my own blog about my lunch. Yeah, my lunch every day for a year. Yawn-fest? I don’t think so. You are going to find that you can’t go through your day until you see what my lunch was. Ha ha ha. Seriously. And I’ve already lost poundage since I’ve started (3 days ago) by making my lunches prettier than normal and looking at my upload for the day while I eat them. I think I’ve stumbled on a new diet! Anyway, thanks for your blog. I will read and learn!

  • http://www.defineddesign.com Lisa

    I love the picture – is that a dual flush commode? I started my blog in November, and I am struggling with posting frequently – seems like life demands my time elsewhere – laundry, dishes, cooking, ahem cleaning toilets. This post put me in my time-out corner and made me think about what I’m not doing! Thanks for being honest! Tomorrow is a new day and I will blog with all of your points in mind.

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  • Terrace Crawford

    Michael,

    Great post! I appreciated the book recommend on titles too. I’ll have to pick that up!

    –Terrace Crawford
    http://www.terracecrawford.com
    http://www.twitter.com/terracecrawford

  • http://charlesjaymeyer.blogspot.com Charles Meyer

    This might be why my blog doesn’t have to many followers! I need to improve on a lot of it! Which I am planning on doing

  • http://lovedoesntletgo.blogspot.com Israel Sanchez

    Well, those are all valid points. But maybe now you can follow my blog! I have learned a thing or two reading your suggestions and tips!

  • http://twitter.com/joshmcfadden Josh McFadden

    Wow… talk about a kick in the butt!…. As a new blogger, I really appreciate getting this kind of advice early on. Thanks Michael!

  • http://www.kellycroy.wordpress.com kelly croy

    Ouch! Michael, this is awesome. This ‘in-my-face’ post is really going to help me with my blog this year. Powerful. Punchy. I like it. I think I broke every one of those rules at some point in 2010. Here’s to hoping I get you back as a subscriber. Happy New Year.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    I will add these 2 reasons:
    1. your posts are too frequent
    2. you never interacted with me on social network when I tried to reach you

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    I will add these two:
    1. your posts are too frequent
    2. you never interacted with me when I tried to reach you on social network

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  • http://www.bestlegalresource.com Lori T. Williams

    What many think and aren’t bold enough to say! Thanks for the transparency.

  • http://www.lauraleighparker.com Laura@Life Overseas

    I loved reading this post.

    I did like especially your highlight of commenting. I do think the conversation is one of the most important aspects of blogging, oftentimes. I love watching conversations and community be built in that growing comment thread at the end of blog posts– especially when a blogger hits on a topic that brings people out in droves to weigh in on.

    I love it when people begin to really engage with one another in that way.

  • http://www.techwork.dk x-tra

    I think it is 6 good advice to have in mind when posting on a blog.
    Thanks for sharing

  • http://imaginativewords.wordpress.com/ craig benno

    I agree with most of your points. I do question point 5 though. Why does a blog have to be about one subject? Certainly your own blog posts seem to be a selection / collection of unrelated posts.

  • http://twitter.com/petrasam Sam Koenen

    After reading this, I pruned the number of blogs I follow and rewrote several of my old posts. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    And to weigh in on your tone, I thought it was perfect given the purpose of the post–sometimes a negative tone is more effective at motivating positive action.

  • http://dougtoft.posterous.com Doug Toft

    Michael, I enjoy your blog, and your points in this post are well-taken. However, the tone is aggressive and condescending. You preach against preachiness—in a preachy way.

  • Anonymous

    I’m feeling very convicted by this post. In fact, when I received the e-mail (via my subscription) and started reading, I had to scroll back up to check for a “Dear Fran” at the beginning. So my question to you is…do you give second chances?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Absolutely!

  • http://jhwist.tumblr.com/ Henrik Wist

    I usually clean my RSS reader once every month. I don’t mind #5 (I read a lot of “diary” like blogs), but #3 and #4 are oftentimes a reason to unsubscribe. Other reasons would be #7 “The topic of your blog changed into a direction that I’m not interested in anymore” or #8 “Your blog sounded interesting on first glance, but it isn’t in the long run”. The last one often holds true if I try to learn something new. I hit a blog while googling stuff, I read a few articles, subscribe to it because it might be a good reference for the future and then either #3 or #8 kicks in.

    Cleaning my RSS reader on a regular basis is sort of necessary for getting my sanity back (think Inbox Zero). That way, I don’t have to feel bad to subscribe to blogs out of an impulse.

  • http://www.pauljkiernan.wordpress.com Paul

    I can change!

  • Jeff Jones

    I am the schizophrenic poster. Last week was all about some deep thoughts (deep for me anyway) and this week is fluff because I’m wrestling with some issues I’m not ready to discuss. The people who come to my blog know me and so they have an appreciation for what I am offering. I don’t have a book and I don’t have a platform to market anything other than to share some stuff with friends. When I do write my book, I’ll likely start another, more directed blog. Until then, it’s the freaky wanderings of an unchained mind.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    Great post, Michael. I agree — titles are essential, but just behind good titles are great content. In fact, once I read your content, I care less about the titles. It’s the meat of your writing that I care most about. And if someone is a consistently good blogger, I just read whatever they write, no matter what (until they’ve lost my trust by publishing not very good content over a long period of time). One blog I’m considering unsubscribing to right now is trying too hard — focusing too much on Google trends, SEO, and what’s popular in the mainstream. I’ll probably give this person another month before unsubscribing. How long do you put up with the above before unsubscribing, Michael?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am pretty patient. I usually give someone a month or two.

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  • http://www.speckleofdirt.com Speckle of Dirt

    Wow! I read your blog as if it was directed to me specifically to see how I would handle it, and to see if I could agree with you. And, the verdict is, yes…I can do better to serve my readers! Thank you for the reminder!
    http://www.speckleofdirt.com

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody urquhart

    I agree their are alot of unfocused blogs. People write whatever they are thinking at the time. I know i do it too. As far as titles my hubspot SEO provider recommends putting my keywords in the title and this can make them sound “salesy”to me

  • David Edmisten

    Michael,

    Thanks for the succinct summary. The advice on blog titles is great – sometimes one can get lost in the story and forget to grab the readers attention.

    Thankfully for me, a group of readers called me out on the frequency issue before they left altogether, saving me some serious heartache. I’m glad I was able to build their loyalty first.

    Your advice, as always, is insightful and very much appreciated.

  • http://www.meeklabs.com John Paul Mains

    Wow. 5 out of 6. Guess I need to improve! If I was doing better on the first 5, I’d be able to do number 6. :-)

  • Jessi Witkins

    Very observational blog. I’m new to blogging and I’ve been reading lots of posts from writer’s on how to gain followers as well as what not to do. You have summed up the big no-no’s very concisely. Thank you. I’m writing consistently 3 times a week. I may need to tweak my content to be focused, but more or less it’s on writing practices, reading, and writing prompts. The best advice I’ve finally taken to heart, as of today, is to blog ahead, so you’re not scrambling to post something just to post on time. Thanks for the tips, keep em coming!

  • http://ashleylorelle.com Ashley Lorelle

    Great advice. I attended a seminar last year about blogging as a conversation, so what you said as your last point is so true. Well, all of it is great advice, and it is advice I need to follow more closely.

  • http://twitter.com/DustinWStout Dustin W. Stout

    Love it! So very true. Your timing with this post is impeccable. I have begun my newest blog, and will SURELY be taking all of these points into great account. Thank you Mr. Hyatt!

  • http://www.brianhinkley.com Brian Hinkley

    I have neglected my blog for quite some time. Having a baby takes up quite a bit of time. You are always welcome to re-subscribe once I get back in the swing of things.

  • Anonymous

    The ‘Why I Don’t Retweet’ post sent me back here. I’ve been running an experimental blog before I really invest money into it. The problem really is focus. I’m not sure the best way to find out what my 3s of readers want to read. I’m guessing finding a couple friends who are a bit ahead, but not in the ‘consultant’ category to give some honest feedback would be the best option?

  • Afstoor

    I have unsubscribed to blogs because :
    1. All they do is attempt to sell me products.
    2. Their information is not what I expected or wanted or is no longer relevant to my interests.
    3. I always have to click on a link in an email to get to the latest post.

  • Brucedenakiri

    The reasons you stop following a blog are exactly the same reasons I stop, too. The worst blogs are the ones where the author seems to have a sense of entitlement: “If I write it, they will read it.” Not necessarily so.

  • http://www.muralsandmoldings.com Adrienne

    thanks for the practical advice. good to know. Our re-designed website is going online this month. I’m so excited about my product and I want to talk about it. I certainly don’t want to turn anyone off!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genevieve-Ching/1009340332 Genevieve Ching

    I dislike posts that are too long or posts that are too frequent. Some people, authors especially, think they need to post every day. It’s too frequent. Even if Stephen King posted every day I wouldn’t read it that frequently. And I also get frustrated with poor blog content. If you have nothing entertaining or informative to say, don’t post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genevieve-Ching/1009340332 Genevieve Ching

    I dislike posts that are too long or posts that are too frequent. Some people, authors especially, think they need to post every day. It’s too frequent. Even if Stephen King posted every day I wouldn’t read it that frequently. And I also get frustrated with poor blog content. If you have nothing entertaining or informative to say, don’t post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genevieve-Ching/1009340332 Genevieve Ching

    I dislike posts that are too long or posts that are too frequent. Some people, authors especially, think they need to post every day. It’s too frequent. Even if Stephen King posted every day I wouldn’t read it that frequently. And I also get frustrated with poor blog content. If you have nothing entertaining or informative to say, don’t post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genevieve-Ching/1009340332 Genevieve Ching

    I dislike posts that are too long or posts that are too frequent. Some people, authors especially, think they need to post every day. It’s too frequent. Even if Stephen King posted every day I wouldn’t read it that frequently. And I also get frustrated with poor blog content. If you have nothing entertaining or informative to say, don’t post.

  • http://RealtorShanna.blogspot.com Shanna

    Better Titles and less preaching. So hard in the real estate blogging world. I will try to do better. Great post!

  • Katie

    I often unsubscribe when posts are too frequent. If my reader is overflowing with posts from one person which bury all the others, sorry, I’ve unsubscribed. I think a happy medium would be between one post a day and one a week.


    Katie
    Christian, Actor, Writer, Artist, Nerd.
    Website: http://www.katie-young.com
    Blog: http://weeklyshorts.tumblr.com

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  • Nancy Ferrin

    I love this!! Just started to blog a few months ago and this provided such great information about what not to do — thank you!!

  • http://desertdarlene.blogspot.com Desertdarlene

    Great stuff. I stopped subscribing to a blog because of #3. I also stopped subscribing because I couldn’t get a feed going and had to visit the site in order to see if anything new was written rather than getting a title off of a news feed.

  • Anonymous

    I unsubscribed because even though this person has a REALLY BIG personal brand and their name is globally known, their blog is too full of light fluffy cliches and doesn’t provoke thought. The blog, more than anything else, makes me wonder why anyone follows them or reads their books.
    I love this blog as not only does Michael challenges the mind, but the readers do to :)

  • Guest

    You got awfully close to it being 500+ words there.

  • Jan

    I quit blogging more than a year ago because my blog started to resemble this description. I still thought I was a Renaissance woman though! ; )

  • http://twitter.com/SelenaBlake SelenaBlake

    I don’t keep up with my blog feeds as much as I should. But I do trim the list of people I follow on Twitter and Tumblr for many of the reasons you list.
    1) They post too infrequently and therefore I feel like the account is dead.
    2) They post too often. Some users only show up on twitter once a week, but when they do, they post 50 messages in an hour, flooding my list. This is like the guy at the party who won’t stop talking and you can’t get away from him.
    3) They talk about themselves and nothing but themselves. Never interacting with others. Never asking questions.
    4) They never respond when I talk to them. My wall is just as interesting, I’d rather talk to that if no one is going to answer.
    5) It’s one sales pitch after another.
    6) You talk about one thing all the time. Like your kids. Or your book. Or your car. Whatever. I appreciate well rounded tweeple.
    7) You come across with an attitude. This may, or may not be your fault or intentional, but I don’t need someone with an attitude in my life.
    8) You don’t talk to anyone but your best buds. This isn’t high school. You can expand your circle of friends.
    9) You follow 9451 people. Only 6 follow you. 5, if you don’t count me.
    10) You tweet while drunk. Or your tweets just don’t make any sense. I understand the 140 character limitation, but aim for complete sentences. If your tweets read like one big inside joke, I’m outta there.
    11) You overshare. I don’t need to know about your nose hair. Thanks.

  • http://www.meltemiart.com Meltemi, Phil Kendall

    I agree they are too long and too slow in getting to the point…Think of the old days and it needed to be said in just one side of A4 paper…Translate that into one reasonable screen-full of words perhaps?

  • http://twitter.com/davidspencer David Spencer

    You are invited to subscribe to my blog. Let me know if my titles and topics keep you awake at night.
    http://www.davidspencer.ca

  • http://twitter.com/davidspencer David Spencer

    You are invited to subscribe to my blog. Let me know if my titles and topics keep you awake at night.
    http://www.davidspencer.ca

  • http://sarahwalstonsblog.wordpress.com/ Sarah Walston

    OUCH!! :) Just kidding…kinda…but that was a little harsh! I know from this blog post that you will not like my personal blog; however, I still love yours and it has helped me in many other areas of leadership/growth/professional writing, etc.

    My personal blog is just my personal blog and I don’t actually care who reads it. But my Mommy Brain appreciates going back and reading about what life was like with 4 kids under the age of 6…sometimes via long posts where stream of consciousness takes over rational blog posting. Sometimes I post my college essays or articles I write for my own sanity. I make zero dollars with my blog and I’m OK with that. So, I’m also OK if people out in internet-space do not read the blog. And that’s the beauty of the net: we don’t have to have cookie cutter blogs pushing our image into the marketing world….if we don’t want to.

    On the other hand, there’s another dude out there blogging his heart out on the Single Dad Laughing blog and he writes EPIC length articles… and the mommy bloggers LOVE reading his stuff! He doesn’t actually write about anything original – but the fact that it all comes from a single dad’s point of view is interesting to a lot of people. And he’s making money with that disorganized, discombobulated and dynamically confusing blog. :)

    I think it all depends on what your focus is with the blog. Do you want to make money with it? Then you need a certain “Blog Type A.” Do you want a Mommy Blog to just chit chat with others who are in the same war zone as you? Then you want “Blog Type B.” Do you want to move out of being a mommy and become the CEO of Thomas Nelson? Then you better get on MH’s blog and start doing what the dude says and do it better than him. :) And you’ll know you’ve arrived as a professional grade blogger when MH subscribes to your RSS feed… :)

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  • http://nantuckettiechic.com Nantuckettiechic

    Yes! It was my own laziness. Instead of checking out a few entries I just read one. said, I like it, then subscribed. Bad plan. The next few were weird. Unsubscribing without comment felt like sneaking out on a dull uncle but what else can one do?

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    Great points. Thanks for sharing. I unsubscribe regularly from blogs. You listed a couple reasons above {boring titles, or way too long}. Sometimes the titles are “catchy” but the content is not as alluring as the title suggests.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WCGLKEPVXUIJU4ZCMQG3C3FU44 αησησмуѕ

    Hey you guys.. I just wanted to ask if you would follow my blog..I’m 16 years old..I love writing and would like to read feedback from those that read or have read my blog.. Please.. I would really appreciate it..and will give 10 points to the first person who comments on one of my posts on my blog…ѕσ gℓα∂ ι’νє gσттєη ιηтσ вℓσggιηg ησω :) ι ℓσνє ωяιтιηg… αηуωαу.. ι’м ησт нєяє тσ נυѕт ωяιтє αℓѕσ вυт тσ яєα∂ ωнαт уσυ gυуѕ нανє тσ ѕαу.. ι ωαηт тσ яєα∂ уσυя ƒєє∂вα¢к..вυт ρℓєαѕє кєєρ ιт ρσℓιтє αη∂ яєѕρє¢тƒυℓ…αℓℓ яυ∂є ¢σммєηтѕ ωιℓℓ вє ∂єℓєтє∂.. נυѕт ѕσ уσυ кησω.. ι ωιℓℓ тяєαт єνєяуσηє нєяє ωιтн яєѕρє¢т, ѕσ ι ωαηт тнαт яєѕρє¢т ιη яєтυяη.. :) тяуιηg тσ ѕαу тнιѕ ιη тнє ηι¢єѕт ωαу.. ѕσ нσρє уσυ υη∂єяѕтαη∂ ωнαт ι мєαη.. :) * υηтιℓ ℓαтєя..нανє α gяєαт ∂αу.. gσ∂ вℓєѕѕ* :) xoxo
    here is the link: http://jdoiiov.blogspot.com

  • Kile Baker

    Michael,

       Daring post! I started reading your blog on the recommendation of my boss (joepuentesblog.com) about  5 months ago, and I must say this is by far my favorite post by you.  I think the edginess is what is so drawing about it.  I’ve read several of your posts about how to write a successful post, blogging etc., and I think maybe you need a section about edginess.  Not for it’s own sake but because edginess that is truthful is quite powerful.  Nice job!

    Since you end posts with a question I will end my comment with a Q:

    I noticed that a vast majority of successful blogs are pretty simple, and more often than not… white.  Thoughts on this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words. I think this one worked because of its edginess, too. However, the reason this stood out is because most of my posts aren’t this edgy. That’s what made it work.

      With regard to design, I think the simpler the better. It shouldn’t get in the way of the message.

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  • http://wattsinasia.tumblr.com/ Matthew B Watts

    Michael – I’m a new subscriber so thanks for cycling through some past posts.  I clicked over to this one since it came through as I was queueing up a few posts for Christmas. I wanted to see if you would  drop me or not.  Points 1, 2 and 4 I’m ok, but 3 and 5 are especially difficult for me.  I post more out of inspiration rather than discipline and purpose. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Welcome. Thanks for subscribing!

  • http://twitter.com/HariRaoPawar Hari Rao

    Dear Michael,

    Loved reading this post. I’m new to your site I have been exploring its content I have been mightily blessed. 

    Thank you

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Hari. Welcome!

  • http://www.tiffanymalloy.com/ Tiffany

    Hi Michael!
    I had a question about your reason number 5. Does this reason pertain to blogs of people that you don’t actually know? I see that if you’re trying to learn something or get something specific out of a blog, unfocused writing would be a good reason to unsubscribe. But if you’re reading one’s personal blog because you love them and want to know the inside of their heads’  better, perhaps this reason would be irrelevant?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think that is a good observation. It just depends on what you are after, I suppose. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/willscookson Will Cookson

    So now you tell me and so publicly too. You just couldn’t tell me to my face?….. [exits right, weeping]

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ha! Thanks for a good laugh.

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  • http://twitter.com/blacknewfie Peter Walters

    Michael, 

    You have a hit with this post.  I don’t know if I have ever scene such comments and discussion.  I am taking all your points to heart as I get my blog ready to begin in the New Year.

    Thanks,
    @peterwalters64:twitter 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it’s pretty crazy. I’m grateful!

  • http://www.flowers2world.com/send_flowers_online/ flowers delivery to ukraine

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  • http://twitter.com/MaryKatherineM8 Mary Katherine May

    And perhaps you are too opinionated.

  • Joseph P. Bayer

    I go to no church, and I’m married for 50 years

  • http://twitter.com/jenkinsphoto Shannon Jenkins

    I will have to say, all of this blogging, tweeting, etc is very difficult for me. i love reading others input, but seem to have trouble with it myself. I enjoy being personable, but by the old school methods still, voice and face-to-face. I am learning and trying to be better and appreciate finding info that will help me succeed. Thanks!

  • Peter and Brenda Nuland

    I agree with everything except responding to comments on my own blog.  I don’t know any of my friends who go back and check for responses to comments and Blogger has no way of responding back in an e-mail.

    I do keep track of questions asked in comments and write a Q&A post quite often, I also will respond to comments within another blog post.

    I’m one of the writers for a new ministry blog by author Sally Clarkson.  It just started but we are encouraged to respond to comments on that blog as its’ purpose is ministry to young mothers.

    Titles… hmmm… you made me think there!

  • Eric5670

    Actually I have unsubscribe because the posts were too frequent… Cluttering up my email.

  • http://twitter.com/thefocusedheart Focused Heart

    Thank you for sharing, your blog posts are a big help.

  • Yoderbl

    Usually because they haven’t posted recently. I want to receive something when I visit. These things are important.

  • http://twitter.com/flowerpatchfg Shannan Martin

    I agree with everything but #5. Random is my bread and butter.

  • http://www.thetop10blog.com/ Tony Hastings

    Guilty as charged on all of these at some time Michael but still going after nearly 3 years so I at least have the opportunity to do something about it :-)

    Many thanks for sharing this reminder again to help this blogger to retain his focus.

  • Fbsnyder

    I haven’t so much un subscribed as stopped reading.

  • Jen Schwab

     Thanks! You just saved a blog title. Turned “Take a Break from the Kids” into “How I Sold my Child on Facebook”

  • http://organistheidi.blogspot.com/ Heidi Bender

    I haven’t unsubscribed from any blogs, yet. I don’t follow that many, yet. I have thought about unsubscribing from one as I can’t figure out exactly what it is about or who the characters are that are often referred to and no explanation on the blog site. But I don’t want to hurt their feelings. They probably would not even notice if I did unsubscribe. I am not that important!

    • Ella Rucker

      They’ll notice, BUT maybe you would be better off offering them the critique in an email. “I really want to follow you, but for us newbies can you explain x, y, and z?”

      • http://organistheidi.com/ Heidi Bender

        Great suggestion!

  • http://www.EmpowerNetwork.com/mikewilliamspro Mike Williams

    I better get to work LOL…

    Great post . (Your post are too long) I love that one. If there is one thing I don’t enjoy is a long blog post that doesn’t get to the point. If your post are going to be ridiculously long make a video. Even thou I got a few long post :) that isn’t the point thou lol

    Have a solid day!

  • James McGuire

    My rule is simple: if I don’t want to listen to you in person, then I don’t want to read your blog. 

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  • http://shazidamain.in/ Shazida Khatun

    I normally stop reading such blog which carries pop up and more advertisements

  • http://twitter.com/JamiesThots Jamie

    My general blog is very varied but I have very distinct categories. I too struggle with headlines. I tend to write news article style headlines and the ones that try to tempt me with curiosity actually make me a little mad. At least if they don’t deliver. I’m definitely sharing this article with both business clients and personal blog followers!

  • J Harnet

    I wish you wrote more on creativity, innovation and productivity like you used too. The focus has shifted to writing and blogging; the posts used to be more universally applicable.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input. This post was actually written back in January 2011.

  • http://twitter.com/Harry_Bryan Harry Bryan Jr.

    My biggest challenge is to post fresh content consistently. I’m tempted too often to repost old articles…but then that’s what my archive is for.

    • Ella Rucker

      Yes, they can find them in the archives, but have you tried using them WITHIN your post? Link back to yourself or use a “Read More” format at the end of your posts.

      I can be reached at http://www.facebook.com/bestblogcontent for a little coaching, etc.

  • Ajmaaa

    Hi Michael. Ive just finished your book ‘Platform’ and put it into practice

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. Thanks!

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/ Paul Jolicoeur

    I hope your not talking about my blog!!! Love the tone and feel of this post. You set a great example with a standard of excellence.

  • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

    “You’re not a renaissance man (or woman). You are undisciplined.” well, dang. consider me challenged.

  • marc zazeela

    Seems that the various comments leave one in a quandary. Posting too often makes some folks unsubscribe. Posting too infrequently, makes others leave.

    No matter how hard you try, someone’s not going to like it.

    • Ella Rucker

      True, but you have to mix up the content. They can’t all be the same post with the same format. Use videos, podcasts, guest bloggers.

      I wrote a book about 365 days of GOOD content… http://www.facebook.com/bestblogcontent and coach people on the process.

      • marc zazeela

        Indeed, it is important to mix it up. Posting the same things, or the same sorts of things, is boring and your audience will quickly find other things that interests them more.

  • http://www.joshhunt.com/ Josh Hunt

    What? surely you don’t mean my blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ellen Gee

    Yay!! I edit blogs for an online company and get so much push back when I cut, cut, cut. I aim for 350 words but don’t shed a tear if I finish up at 400 – 450. Thanks for giving me the affirmation I need to share with my writers.

  • Holly

    This was extremely helpful! Thank you for posting this. I appreciate it.

  • Michael

    You write many helpful posts but this one is almost as arrogant and condescending as your post from a couple of years ago “Why I won’t retweet you.” You are not the standard by which others measure themselves but it sure sounds like you think you should be. I hope that’s not really how you see yourself.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It was tongue and cheek, Michael.

  • Honoree Corder

    I didn’t even know you were reading my blog! :) Great info — will definitely make sure I’m taking your suggestions into account.

  • Tony Lynch

    Very helpful comments Michael. I have just in the last week unsubscribed to a number of blogs and emails. My inbox was getting too full everyday which was causing me to get distracted from my ‘main focus’ They are good posts, but good can be the enemy of the best. I think to be focused on a hand full to receive and post to is a good number. I would like to post 3 times a week, but at the moment I am up to once a week.
    How often would you do a mini series with a blog?

  • Debi Pasricha

    Yes, I recently cleaned out my RSS subscriptions by ditching the ones that started to become too much like someone’s personal diary–I don’t really care to read what someone ate for breakfast.

  • http://www.coffeehousepilgrim.com/ Cody Alley

    Man, as I’m starting to take blogging more seriously, I’m going to take these things to heart. Thank you!

  • http://yuselajiminmuhip.com/ Ristlin

    I’ve noticed that you repeat yourself. As a reader this is actually quite helpful and something I need to remember: I don’t have to write “groundbreaking” posts each time I sit down to write. I’ve failed quite a few times sticking to my blog posting regimen, but I am putting together an outline of topics to cover and hopefully with this list plastered next to my desk I can develop the discipline. Awesome post as always, Michael.

  • Hugh O’Donnell

    Michael, your post above is useful because it a prescription for all of the things we must do to be read regularly, but — and I could be full of beans here — the format of your post might lead some folks to zero in on one or two remedies for a failing blog and ignore the others. Rather than the novel negative approach, how about a good old, “Hey, here’s what will really help..”

    With all the emphasis on titles, I’m seeing (also in my scans of hundreds of….) titles that follow the same “rules,” draw me in, then let me down because the content didn’t deliver what the title promised. So it seems that a good title had best be paired with engaging content, wouldn’t you agree?

    In fact, I would venture that developing a good reputation for consistently interesting content is more important than any verbal cosmetic. I don’t worry much about titles of blog posts if the author is reliably engaging and informative.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Like most important things in life, I don’t think it is either/or. It’s both and. If you don’t have engaging titles, people won’t ever get to your content. If your content is quality, people won’t stay or come back. I think you really have to do both.

      • Hugh O’Donnell

        Thanks for the reply, Michael. I agree. What I’m most concerned about is bloggers becoming formulaic about titles, e.g., putting numbers into headlines because another blog guru said it’s the way to go.

        What do you think about the guidelines for headlines in traditional journalism? Here’s an example from a University of North Carolina web page:

        http://www.uncp.edu/home/acurtis/Courses/ResourcesForCourses/WritingHeadlines.html

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Thanks. I think that list is helpful.

          Personally, I have learned the most from advertising headlines.

          Thanks for your input.

  • Haelie

    Ouch! But so true…

  • Angela Nesbit Holland

    I love all your comments. I have spent my life communicating and serving large groups of people all my life, and your points ate very strong. Thanks!!!

  • http://myharpblog.com/ Elliott Scott

    There are two things that I personally love about this post (aside from the content because the content wasn’t really “new” for me). One, your title. I couldn’t have scrolled away from it on Facebook even if I wanted to. And two, the fact that you started it out by declaring how credible you are in regards to long-term relationships. I love it! Thanks for writing this!

  • http://wisdomseekingmommy.com/ Crystal @ WisdomSeekingMommy.c

    I have a weekly series that I do called Sunday Rewind – I always highlight one Word that I pulled out from I heard on Sunday mornings – but I’m never sure how to make this catchy – and I feel kind of “stuck” in my headlines with it. However, my desire is to encourage others to do their own Sunday Rewind – and be intentional in meditating on what they are hearing, so I want it to stay at the forefront – any ideas or suggestions here for accomplishing this?

  • Corinne Riave Loskot

    Who can blame you for wanting clever headlines followed by top notch content. Show us a makeovers.

  • http://anitadavissullivan.com/ Anita Davis Sullivan

    I’m fine on all but the consistency- posting just once a week leaves them wanting more but not forgetting… maybe? Eh, I know I need to up it.

    I unsubscribe from those that are more like a diary of their life. I don’t need to know what you ate and what your kids played and oh my gosh please don’t tell me what you or they wore. I need substance.

  • http://www.aterriblehusband.com/about/ ATerribleHusband

    Awesome! My site title generally “concerns” people… I suspect I need to work on post titles a bit. I also post only twice per week while writing the book, but the days of the week aren’t always the same. Need to at least be consistent, which for me will require me to be a few posts ahead so I can schedule them properly.

  • Dale Lavely

    Most people don’t have the time to follow too many blogs and read it faithfully. You would have to add to my day in a significant way to justify my time. Even dear friends with good content still take time to read.

  • Webly

    Great stuff and you practice what you preach. The title got me curious and it was not boring at all. I also discovered a few things I need to change blogging myself.
    Yes I unsubscribed from blogs for
    1) not being able to comment on the blogs but having my inbox bombarded with pimp marketing. What I had to say didn’t matter but my wallet was valuable. lol
    2) blog too long and I couldn’t relate at all to subject. Plus it was too long to read while I am waiting in line to buy something at the grocery store or at least get the gist of it to read later.
    3) No interaction when I comment.

  • Steve Walker

    Ouch! Ouch!! Ouch!!! While wincing, I’m grinning. I get it. And I’ll intentionally work on each one of these points to be a better blogger. But as one who is new to the blogosphere, I realize your criticisms also explain why I DON’T subscribe to certain blogs after scanning a few. Thanks Michael. Your blog embodies what you want us to emulate.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Steve. I appreciate that.

  • DOUG PARRAN

    Not everyone is perfect; no one can always deliver the best commentaries, videos, photos, etc. I often pass over less interesting posts on Facebook and You tube. that don’t interest me. I am glad to have the choice to choose from. I can look at something and tell right away whether or not I’m interested in viewing it. As a You Tube contributor, I’m always amazed when someone gives one of my videos a thumbs down, leaves a negative comment, or a profanity filled comment. Granted, most of my videos are not the best on You Tube, but the admission price to view them is free and no one is forcing anyone to view anything. I’m always amazed that when I check out someone that leaves a nasty remark on one of my videos that they always have no videos of their own posted. They may post some made by others, but hardly ever one of their own. They are anonymous and non-productive, while they spend time criticizing others who are actually doing something. I have asked a few of them if they could do better then why haven’t they posted anything? I get silence.

  • http://www.DannyLSmith.com/ Danny L. Smith

    Love this!

  • http://www.byronseyeview.com/ @akaTGIF on Twitter

    From now on your Coach Michael Hyatt. I value this type of fluff free insight.

  • apreachaskid

    I think all of the ones you’ve listed are among the reasons I’ve unsubscribed from some. One thing that is not listed is when the person uses their blog to advertise more than contribute genuine content.

  • DeborahPenner

    I am pulling inward and limiting my distractions. So periodically I clean out my inbox.

  • Dan Erickson

    I don’t suspect you ever started reading my blog, but I could be wrong. I have been before.

  • Dorci

    Michael, I sure wish you’d stop beating around the bush and get to the point. ;O)

  • Nick

    Yep, I’ve unsubscribed to a blog once when the content wasn’t very good and the thoughts were disjunct and did not flow from one to the next.

  • Justin Hayslett

    Michael, You just kicked my butt! Thank you. I needed that. I definitely don’t post frequently enough.

  • http://leadbychoice.wordpress.com/ Kimunya Mugo

    What a timely post this is. I have unsubscribed from a number of blogs. Some are too “frequent” and I don’t feel I have the opportunity to keep up. Others are just too sales driven. The last category are those that are just all over the place. I can’t seem connect with the writer.

    But in saying all these, I am looking into myself and my blog and auditing those moments where I have fallen victim to the six points you raise here. Thank you Michael for the gems you send our way, helpful, enriching and thought-provoking.

  • Mary Lou Caskey

    I would love to hear from people who have tips, articles, etc on how to write the title. Thank you.

  • Bob LaForce

    Why I choose not to Blog
    I’m one of those people who loves to write. What bothers me is the dailyness of it. To write a successful blog is not to write one or two, or maybe even three (!) entries, but to write everyday. To wake up each morning with this dinosaur looming over me.

    I guess if I had trained and disciplined myself to write 500 words a day, things would be different. But even then, writing 500 words a day does not imply that they are interesting to anyone – maybe not even you!

    My personal preference is to write a book. Okay, call me old fashioned and out of the loop, but I’m still more inclined to read a book than a blog

  • http://MelissaCaulk.com/ Missy Caulk

    I have one reason why I unsubscribe too many emails, a post a day is too much IMHO. Regardless, of how much I like the posts, I’m not interested in hearing everyday.

  • Berta

    Great points! I give folks a chance too. But poor writing and formatting turn me off. Jumbled or too “busy” sites drive me crazy. Post too often and I can’t keep up. And constant re-blogs of their own poor posts–Big Unsubscribe! I’ve experienced all these in 2013.

    I try to learn from their mistakes. I proof, edit and run my posts past writing friends before I publish them.

  • Karin

    So, a frustration of mine is when blog posts are not completely visible in Feedly. I will rarely bump thru to the website
    Reasons I want to read your blog post on Feedly
    1. Font size. I can set it to what is comfortable for me to read
    2. Easier way to read your blog. Feedly keeps the words within the screen. Because 99.9% of my blog reading is on my iPhone, this is huge. I don’t have to swipe side to side to read your post
    3. I like reading in reverse (dark background/white print). Most of my reading is done while lying in bed and I don’t have to be blasted with bright light.

  • Darlene Pawlik

    So true! Usually, it is just too long.

  • Deborah H. Bateman

    Thanks for sharing, Michael. You always get us to think about things in a unique way. One of the things I need to watch is the length of my posts.
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman

  • goldenkparsons

    We have been working the past couple of months on a new website and blog using many of the tips and guidelines from your webinar. I’m hoping the blog you unsubscribed from was my old one, not the new revised edition! I’m a fiction author, my first four novels published by Thomas Nelson. Thanks for your valuable input.

  • http://launchingcreative.com/ Nik Parks

    This is fantastic, Michael. I love number 6—whenever I see a post in which the author hasn’t responded to any of the posts, I’m shocked. I just can’t wrap my around that!