The 7 Dumbest Mistakes You Can Make When Launching a New Blog

The 7 Dumbest Mistakes You Can Make When Launching a New Blog

So, let me guess.

When you started blogging, you probably plunked your butt down in a chair, rifled out some thoughts on your trusty keyboard, and punched “Publish,” right?

After all, that’s what blogging is about. It’s the place where you write, and the world gathers to listen.

It’s supposed to be simple. It’s supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be fun.

But is it?

For most of us, it’s weeks or even months later that we discover the deception:

Anyone can start a blog, but the real test is getting readers

As anyone who’s been blogging for more than a few months knows, getting readers is complicated. Getting readers is hard. And for the first few months at least, getting readers is certainly not fun.

Most people get fed up and quit. Others, like you, scour the web for answers.

Either way, it’s frustrating, because you can’t figure out what to do first.

So, for our very first post here at Smart Blogger, that’s what I decided to talk about. Let’s start by inoculating you against some of the most common mistakes.

Dumb mistake #1: Betting the bank on SEO

Makes sense, right?

If no one can find your blog, you need to focus on increasing your search engine rankings. After all, that’s where people go to look for information.

So, you buy some tools to tell you which keywords you need to target. You stuff those keywords into your headlines. You improve the keyword density of your posts. If you’re really sophisticated, you might even change your content architecture to give greater weight to certain pages.

And then you sit back, waiting for Google to send you a flood of traffic.

Only nothing happens. Sure, maybe you rank for a few uncompetitive terms, but for the terms that really matter, you’re still stuck on page 14 where no one can find you.


Because you misunderstand how SEO works.

Nobody knows for sure how the Google algorithm decides your rankings, but any bona fide SEO expert will tell you keywords are only a tiny part of it. The biggest, most important factor is the number of links from trusted sources.

You can optimize your site perfectly, but if you’re not getting any links from the authorities in your niche, nothing you can do will raise your ranking. Yes, you can follow black hat strategies to cheat the system, but for the most part, those strategies fail to work after a few months, causing your traffic to vanish, and in many cases, they can even get you banned from Google forever.


For beginning bloggers, SEO is largely a waste of time.

Dumb mistake #2: Thinking valuable content is enough

This is what Brian Clark refers to as Kevin Costner Syndrome (KCS).

The idea is simple:

Just focus on delivering value. Write articles with valuable information, genuinely try to help people, and be patient. Sooner or later, everyone will discover how awesome you are.

In other words, “Build it and they will come,” the phrase immortalized by the 1989 film Field of Dreams. It sounds great, but there’s only one problem:

It doesn’t work.

Yes, you should write great content. Yes, you should try to help people. Yes, you should be patient.

But if that’s all you do, you’ll have the greatest site no one has ever heard of.

The web is so active these days that valuable information goes unnoticed all the time. It’s like sitting in a stadium full of people and whispering the secret of life. You could be the first person on planet Earth to figure it out, but if no one can hear you, it doesn’t matter.

You also have to ask yourself:

If people could hear you, would they really care?

As any parent with a teenager knows, sometimes nobody cares how wise you are. What’s valuable to you looks like foolishness to them, and so really you’re just wasting your breath.

The bottom line:

Delivering value sounds nice, but it’s overly simplistic. Don’t get caught in the trap.

Dumb mistake #3: Telling stories about your life

You would think this one would work too.

People love stories. Just look at how popular movies and books and television are. The stories they tell captivate millions.

Surely, it should work on your blog too. No, you don’t have a movie or book or television show about your life, but you can start a blog and start talking about what’s happened to you and what you’ve learned.

Well, you can, but that doesn’t mean anyone will read it.

The harsh truth is that most of us overestimate how interesting our lives are. Yes, you have a story, but it doesn’t mean it’s a good story.

A good rule of thumb?

If it involves near-death experiences, explosions, naked people, or making millions of dollars, it’s got a shot at being a good story. If it doesn’t, probably not.

Also, storytelling is a skill, and it takes years to master. I’ve studied it for more than a decade, and I’m still just barely passable at it. When I first published my story, I had been working on the post for over two years. I spent more than 20 hours on that one draft.

The point?

Even if you do have a good story, chances are you will suck at telling it. Yes, you should work at getting better at storytelling, but don’t count on it lifting your blog out of obscurity. At least, not at first.

Dumb mistake #4: Wasting time redesigning your blog

When I used to do blog reviews at Copyblogger, the first question everyone used to ask me is, “So… how is my design?”

Here’s what’s probably going through your mind:

Someone stumbles across your blog. They take one look at your blog design, decide you’re a fool with no idea what you’re talking about, and decide to leave.

So, until you improve your design, publishing new content is a waste of time. You need to find a great designer to create a custom WordPress theme for you, and then you can get back to business.

Is that about right?

Well, here’s some good news:

For the most part, readers are oblivious to your design. If your content is impossible to read, then sure, that’s bad, but as long as they can find the navigation, and your content is legible, they’ll stick around and give you a chance.

Great design is really more important when it comes to converting visitors to subscribers, which we’ll talk about later, but if you’re waiting until you can get a custom WordPress theme to launch your blog, then you’re just procrastinating.

Get a premium WordPress theme (affiliate link), and get to work. You can think about a custom design later.

Dumb mistake #5: Writing every day

Can I be honest for a second?

This strategy irritates me more than all the rest combined. What’s worse, it’s evangelized by some of the biggest bloggers on the web who are unintentionally leading beginners astray.

In a popular blogger’s mind, it works like this:

They get more traffic by writing more often, so therefore you should get more traffic by writing more often. It’s the whole philosophy of modeling the masters.

The problem is, popular bloggers and beginning bloggers are in fundamentally different situations. Let’s do some simple math, and I’ll show you what I mean:

A popular blogger might have 50,000 subscribers. Out of those 50,000 subscribers, let’s say 10,000 read any given post. If you’re writing once per week, you get 10,000 visitors per week, not counting social sharing. If you write twice per week, you get 20,000 visitors per week.

It’s a big increase, and so for popular bloggers, writing more often makes sense. Beginning bloggers have totally different numbers though.

Let’s say you have 100 subscribers. Out of those 100 subscribers, 20 read any given post. If you’re writing once per week, you get 20 visitors, not counting social sharing. If you write twice per week, you get 40 visitors.

Yes, you’re doubling the traffic, but it’s only 20 freaking visitors! It’s nothing. At that rate, you’ll be like 840 years old before your blog is popular.

If you want your blog to grow fast, you need to expand your readership exponentially, and posting more often isn’t going to do it for you. The math doesn’t work.

Dumb mistake #6: Splitting your focus between your blog and Twitter or Facebook

Again, the logic is that Twitter and Facebook are huge sources of traffic for popular blogs. Why wouldn’t it work for you?

And again, the problem is math.

Many popular bloggers have tens of thousands of followers and fans, and so when they share a post, they have a huge audience waiting to help them spread the word. If you’re a beginner, on the other hand, chances are you have your mother, a few aunts and uncles, and maybe a small group of friends paying attention to you, and devoted as they may be, there simply aren’t enough of them to get your post much traffic.

So, doesn’t that mean you should invest time into growing your audience on Twitter and Facebook?

Not necessarily.

You see, the biggest problem beginning bloggers suffer from is a lack of time. You’re working full-time, taking care of your family, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, and blogging is just something you squeeze in when you can. If you try to add Facebook and Twitter into the mix, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

The best strategy for most people is to choose one platform and focus exclusively on that platform until you have at least a few thousand people following you. Any platform will work, but if you want to be a blogger, then just focus on your blog and let everything else build organically over time.

The worst thing you can do though is get distracted and try to do everything at once. That’s just insane.

Dumb mistake #7: Waiting for your traffic to snowball

And last but not least, we have the biggest misconception of them all:

The so-called “snowball effect.”

The idea is that it’s perfectly normal to get only a little bit of traffic when your blog is new. With every new post you write, your audience will grow a little bit larger, similar to the way a snowball grows when rolling down a hill.

So, you have to stay persistent. Sure, your traffic numbers may be pitiful now, but over a period of years, the compounding growth will result in a massive audience.

It’s an alluring philosophy because it justifies your lack of results. You don’t have to feel bad about how no one reads your blog. You just have to keep going, and eventually it will all pay off.

But you know what?

It’s hogwash.

I’ve coached over 500 individual bloggers, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the blogs that become popular grow fast. Usually, they are at a few hundred visitors per day within a month or two, and they are receiving a few thousand visitors per day before the end of the first year.

If you’re not getting that kind of traffic, it’s not because you need to be patient. It’s because you’re doing something wrong.

And if you ever want your blog to be popular, you desperately need to change your strategy.

So, what strategy works for launching a blog?

Well, I’ll tell you what’s worked for me and the bloggers I’ve coached.

It’s not jumping headfirst into your blog and hoping things turn out all right. It’s not exhausting yourself by pumping out pages after pages of content no one reads. It’s not wearing a necklace made from chicken bones, smearing yourself with Chinese herbs, and jumping up and down on one leg underneath a full moon.

In fact, it’s not about doing anything at all.

It’s about listening.

You see, the primary reason blogs fail isn’t because their content is bad or their keywords are poorly optimized or popular bloggers are ignoring them. It’s because they are publishing what they want to say and not thinking for a moment about what anyone wants to read.

If you’re writing about a topic lots of people want to know more about, you can do almost everything wrong, and your blog will grow anyway. The opposite is also true. If you’re the only person in the world who cares about your topic, then you can do everything right, and your blog will stagnate and die.

Yes, traffic tactics are important, but they in no way compare to understanding what’s going on in the minds of readers. The greater your understanding, the greater your traffic will be.

So listen to them, for God sakes.

Email readers who comment on your blog and ask them what they would like to hear more about. Call them on the phone. Schedule a Q&A call, and stay on the line with them for an hour, answering questions.

If you don’t have any readers yet, go outside your blog.

Read the comments on popular blogs in your niche. Listen to what people are saying on Twitter. Attend the Q&A calls and webinars and other authorities are holding, and write down the questions people ask.

And then look for patterns. Almost always, you’ll find one or two questions everyone is asking over and over again, and it never seems to stop.

That’s what you need to be writing about. You don’t have to guess. If you listen, your audience will tell you every single time.

If you’re smart, you’ll never stop listening. In fact, the larger your blog becomes, the easier it is to get distracted, and so the more intently you have to listen.

Which brings us to the point of this post…

Leave a comment, telling me where you’re struggling

For several weeks now, I’ve worried about this post.

This blog is launching with the most fanfare of maybe any blog in history. Before even writing the first post, it’s gotten over 13,000 email subscribers, and over the past few months, I’ve received literally thousands of emails from readers.

What could I possibly write that would be worthy of that kind of buzz?

I had lots of ideas, but none of them seemed quite right, and a few days ago, I realized why:

This blog isn’t about me. It’s about you.

It’s about your struggle to be heard.

It’s about your desire to become an authority in your niche.

It’s about your questions and me doing everything I can to answer them.

And if I want to be true to my own strategy, then the only appropriate way to begin is by listening.

So, I want you to do three things:

  1. If you’re not subscribed yet, click here to get free email updates, so we can stay in touch.
  2. Share this post using the buttons on the left. As one of this blog’s first readers, I’m not just hoping you’ll tell your friends about it. I’m counting on it.
  3. Leave a comment, telling me where you’re struggling and how I can help

I’ll read the comments. I’ll think about them. I’ll plan the entire future of this blog around them.

Here’s why:

Over the coming months and years, I don’t just want to give you a few juicy tidbits of information about how to grow a popular blog. I don’t just want to entertain you with stories from my life. I don’t just want to persuade you to persevere.

All of those things are fine and dandy, but they’re not enough. My real goal is simple:

I want to turn your life upside down.

I want to meet you exactly where you are, right now, and give you the exact information you need to get immediate results. The only metric I really and truly care about is your success, because if I can help you, and we work together to spread the word, then I believe traffic and revenue and all of those other things will take care of themselves.

So, tell me where you are.

Tell me where you’re struggling.

Tell me how I can help.

And then strap yourself in.

Because you and me, my friend?

We’re going places. Fast.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is the Founder of Smart Blogger and former Associate Editor of Copyblogger. For more of his story, go here and here.


  1. Shane
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:02:33

    Thanks Jon! Congrats on the unveiling.

  2. Farhan Syed
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:07:02

    Hurray! Congratulations Mr. Morrow. I was waiting from so long for this blog to launch.

  3. Te-Erika (My Savvy Sisters)
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:10:12

    I publish an empowerment blog for women and after a year I have around 130 hits per day. I believe there is some awesome information on my blog but I am still struggling to attract more readers who comment and share. I think I will go ahead and ask my 55 subscribers what they want help with instead of giving what I think they would like.

    Do I do this in the form of a poll or a questionnaire or just ask for feedback through email?

    Thank you!!!

  4. Gregg "Tommy" Thompson
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:11:02

    Hoping I’m in the top ten!

  5. Diane Mclaughlin
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:16:17

    First, let me say congrats and bravo on this new site! I always love reading your stuff, and this was no exception.

    Traffic/audience is a constant struggle for me. As a fiction writer, and one who writes poems, songs, short stories, whatever comes to mind, I’m always looking for advice on how to reach and grow an audience. I’m not even looking for a huge audience (although, I’m not going to lie, Stephen King-esque fandom would be awesome), just a loyal one. But the advice that says, “Ask questions. Write to answer those questions.” doesn’t exactly apply to me. I could ask, “what kind of stuff do you like to read about?” But that’s not always going to work for me. I write what comes to my mind and heart.

    This may very well be out of your area of expertise, but do you have any ideas for someone like me? Thanks, and again, great site!


    P.S. It’s thanks to you that I started my fiction writing again. Last year, you helped me realize I was in the wrong niche with social media blogging. I’m finally working on finishing a book that’s 15 years in the making. So thank you!

  6. Damian Thompson
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:21:52


    I am so looking forward to this, I am using you as my inspiration to get off the sidelines and launch my blog correctly the first time.

  7. Haley
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:32:37

    Excellent post to start off with! I constantly hear or read some of the “big name” bloggers talk about posting daily, or at least writing posts daily. Holy cow! I get overwhelmed just thinking about that!

    I’m looking forward to learning from you here!

  8. Nikhil Goyal
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:33:16

    I have been waiting for this blog for super long time. I am big fan of you John. I just want you to keep coming with some pretty awesome and serious stuff as soon as you can.

  9. Mary Anne Shew
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:43:16

    Congrats on launching this, and thank you for your generous spirit and determination.

    My struggle is blog topic and audience. I love leadership, I teach leadership, I coach leadership. The topic is 10 miles wide and 100 miles deep. Everything about it interests me, and I see much interest across the internet in many of its subtopics. How the heck do I choose? What if I guessed wrong and a year’s worth of work is down the drain? Do I write for women? For men? For CEOs or for someone starting their career? For new entrepreneurs or for established business owners?

    PS I agree with a comment above–please use BLACK for your text and headline colors. The gray is hard to read.

  10. Mary
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:59:53

    Raising my hand for Kevin Costner!

    I write about personal finance. It’s my passion but I can tell from reading your first post Jon that I better make sure the particular PF topics I address need to be about my readers’ passions!

    I’m excited about your blog.

  11. Ruth Zive
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:01:54

    Haven’t read it yet…but wanted to be the first comment! 🙂

    • Caroline Miller
      Mar 07, 2013 @ 08:46:13

      The difference between a diary and a blog is that the blog writer hopes others will read the material. To do that, one chooses topics of mutual interest. Where I disagree with Jon Morrow is in the presumption that a writer should chases numbers, bagging people as if they were commodities. Chasing numbers is what marketers do who wish to sell a product. A writer looks for like minds with whom to share ideas. The number may prove to be small but if the exchange is satisfying, it is enough. If all that matters is numbers, then here’s my advice which is also for free: be outrageous, be insulting, and write about sex or politics. It’s a no brainer.

      • Ken White
        Dec 16, 2013 @ 15:56:45

        Caroline, I like what you said here. It fits well with my objectives for a blog… my goal is to have a place where I can capture and express my thoughts and feelings: a place where I can direct particular people to read what I have to say, respond, and hopefully dialog. It also provides a kind of archive where my grand-kids, say, can go to get glimpses of me that may go unexplored otherwise. So for me it’s not about numbers, its about meaning and sharing meaning with those who care… or, yes, who I want to care.
        I’m not a writer, not even an aspiring writer. I am a retired small-business dinosaur with a lot going on in heart and mind that I’d like to build into a legacy of sorts.
        So I’m not into volume. I guess it’s ‘connection’ I’m into, even one at a time. Lioke this one.
        You’ll note that I left my website blank. That is because I am changing the name. New name = kenologix, sort of a play on my nickname and pushing the boundaries of understanding. I hope it appears soon. Thanks for listening. Ken White

      • Catherine
        Feb 03, 2015 @ 20:22:43

        This is my goal exactly…to find like minded people, people who have experienced what I have. Also its just another way to keep my friends and family posted 😉 not looking for the numbers….

    • Eric | Venture2Adventure
      Sep 22, 2013 @ 22:40:20

      Writing a travel blog, I think I need to write everyday. Not post everyday, but at least get something down on paper that I can revisit and flush out. I do agree that trying to do too much at once will put you off blogging very quickly. Trying to write quality posts and grow your Facebook and twitter following can be exhausting.

  12. Stan Dubin
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:03:01

    well, Jon put down the gauntlet: who will be the first to leave a comment. I did one of Jon’s paid workshops and it was exceptional. I look forward to more blog posts like these!

    Being first to leave a comment should get me at least a Frappacino, yes?

  13. Rosemary Jayne
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:05:47

    I am currently making the dumb mistake of writing every day, but that’s more because I want to write every day, I’m sure in a month or 3 I’ll dial it down to 5 days a week (it’s currently on my monthly review list to evaluate which days get more blog traffic), but for the mean time because I’m loving writing every day I’m publishing every day.

    Please give me some confidence so I actually submit the guest post ideas, outlines, and drafts I’ve been working on. I know this is the next step for building my blog but I’m scared of rejection. This is what I’m struggling with right now!

  14. Suddenly Jamie
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:06:26

    I haven’t read it yet, either – but wanted to comment EARLY. Off to pick my daughter up from school and then back to enjoy what I already know will be an informative and entertaining post. HUGE congrats, Jon! 🙂

  15. Ileane
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:06:52

    Hi Jon, Looks like Ruth got here first so let me be the first to point out that there are no sharing buttons over on the left 🙂
    Best wishes on your blog and if I think of something I’m struggling with I’ll come back and say something more insightful.

  16. Susan
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:07:52

    I absolutely love your no nonsense approach!
    Thanks Jon you’re awesome.
    Congratulations and wishing you much success.
    Looking forward to future posts.

  17. Donna
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:09:03

    Jon, This was an excellent blog. What I got out of it is that we need to remember that a blog is a dialogue not a monologue. To succeed we need to keep our focus on our target market(s) and see how we can add value for them.

  18. Ruth Zive
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:09:25

    Okay…now that I’ve read the post…

    Jon, some of these ‘mistakes’ aren’t actually dumb.

    Really…you don’t think that it’s dumb to tell stories about your life or write everyday, do you? (Writing everyday, by the way, is different to BLOGGING every day…which I wouldn’t recommend. But as writers, we hone our skills through practice, and I don’t think that it’s necessarily dumb to practice a little bit each day).

    In any case, I think that any of these mistakes, if made in isolation of a larger and more comprehensive blogging strategy, can be dumb. But as part of a larger strategy, some of these ‘mistakes’ might actually have their place, no?

    In terms of my own struggles, I’ve plateaued. I’ve hit the 500 subscriber mark, and my offline business is booming, but I’m struggling with how to scale. It’s a big question, but perhaps you’ll serve up some answers in your new home here.

    Congrats, by the way.

  19. Mark
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:10:50

    Loved the copyblogger stuff you’ve done, enjoyed reading your e-book on headlines. Subscribed to this and looking forward to learning a lot from it. Congratulations on getting up and running with this.

  20. Nikki
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:10:56

    Question – if you’re writing about what others will find useful… and your blog traffic still doesn’t grow like you’d hoped – what then?

    I don’t think you’d have 13,000 subscribers right now if you’d just started blogging useful content without having the pre-site sign-up form in place or without promoting across social media/other websites in advance.

  21. The Calcutta Kid
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:12:41

    Jon – Great blog and an awesome article. Just the title and the sub-titles are a bit challenge to read.

  22. Jeremy Myers
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:13:48

    I feel I’ve plateaued at about 1500 pageviews per day, and want to take the blog to the next level. That is where I need help.

  23. Karen Cameron
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:13:55

    Congrats2u. Love your material. One constructive criticism, if you will, the light grey text color — esp. in the subheads — is difficult for old-ish eyes to read.

    my best to you,

  24. Thomas LaRock
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:13:57

    Wonderful tips! With regards to writing a post every day, is it a bad thing to do if you simply enjoy writing and have the time?

  25. Sherie
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:14:17

    Jon, thank you for this eye opening post! I am looking forward to learning more from you.

  26. Joseph Shaw
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:15:52

    Great tips Jon. My favorite was the so called “snowball effect”.

    Here’s what I’d like to hear more of from you. Scan out and give us the 50,000 foot view on a strategy for launching a blog, getting traffic, and getting your list building started.

    Best wishes!
    Joe Shaw

    PS: Your note about “who would get the first comment?” in your email was brilliant! Great way to create curiosity and make people want to click.

  27. Patty Gardner
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:16:01

    Well, that kind of made me want to quit. I write every day (homemakersdaily – “daily” is the general idea). I have 50 subscribers. I average between 80 and 100 hits per day. My highest has been 237 last week. I’ve been blogging since last May 2010. I am writing daily, commenting on other blogs, promoting on twitter and facebook and trying to learn. I listen to my readers and friends and try really hard to produce practical, quality, relevant content. When my readers ask about something, I provide. One of my readers mentioned being afraid of using yeast so I wrote a series on Overcoming Yeastaphobia. But it sounds like I’m doing everything wrong. And even after reading the article, I’m still not really sure what I’m doing wrong and what I need to be doing.

    I did think that if I wrote quality content “they would come”. I have been waiting for the snowball effect. The only thing it sounds like I’ve done right is not focus too much on SEO. But my blog did not explode in the first few months so does that mean I should quit? Does that mean I’m on the wrong track? I really want this to work. I LOVE writing the blog and I know I am helping homemakers. They tell me I am. But that being said, it’s too much work for just 100 homemakers. Plus I was hoping to eventually make a little bit of money. I’m not greedy – I’m not expecting to support myself – I just want to make a little. I’m a full-time homemaker and could use a little extra income.

    So I’m not sure what to do next. I probably needed to hear what you had to say because I’ve been working my tail off these past 10 months and not seeing much of a payoff. I guess I need to either switch gears or get out of the car.

  28. Hashim Warren
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:16:25

    I see some people attract and keep traffic using a very social strategy, and participating in all sorts of networking sites.

    Then I see others use a more direct marketing strategy, using landing pages tied to keywords and such.

    I’m struggling with choosing my own strategy and sticking with it. I seem to move through a different tactic a week.

    How do you choose when their are 100 ways to grow your blog?

    Thanks for your help.

  29. Adam Costa
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:16:48

    To answer your question:


    Published 500+ pages of content.
    Hired writers for more content.
    Started contacting bloggers for guest posts (got one on ProBlogger, woo-hoo!)

    The struggle? Like you said: having enough time in a day.

    As I write this I’m literally running out the door to Spanish class here in Guatemala.

    What I think your fellow readers may be interested in hearing more about is how to scale your blog. Either by hiring writers, using software to streamline social media or any other “hacks” you’ve found successful.

    Congrats on your launch, Jon. It was a brilliant marketing strategy.

  30. Ben Berkompas
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:17:07

    Thanks Jon, this was super helpful.

    I’ve made a few of those mistakes, most notably, thinking that valuable content is enough and, that a redesign will improve my chances of geting noticed.

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what constitutes a “minimum viable product,” if you will, when it comes to blogging? Or would that be too formulaic?

    Nice work here, I look forward to reading more!

  31. Kelly
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:17:19

    Love all your advice in this first post!

    I am planning to launch a blog soon — not my first rodeo, but I want to make it uber successful this time.

    So my question is this: What’s the best way to find other blogs in your niche and start listening to your prospective readers? Google search results are a bit overwhelming sometimes, as is scouring a specific category on Technorati! Is there a better way?

  32. Steven Devonport
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:17:24

    Wow talk about a bullet coming straight for you!

    I guess I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been thinking about mistake #1, I’m in the middle of doing #2 and #4; I don’t have the time for #5 and was about to launch into #7.

    Phew, I nearly got a full house there!

    Must dash now…got to finish my About & Contact page… 😉


    P.S. website coming soon…once I finish everything else, lol.

  33. Kevin
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:18:14


    Here in Canada we have a lot of wide open expanses of unblemished Boreal forest, which means we Canadians like to beat around the bush.

    This post definitely does not beat around the bush… which is refreshing.

    Thanks for the bluntness born of experience. You’ve already ruined my evening by priming my hyperactive brain with all these thoughts to consider.

    I’m almost a year into serious blogging and while I’m amazed that anyone other than my direct relations wants to read what I’ve written, you’ve certainly made it clear there’s so much more potential.

    Thanks for giving back to the startup blogging community.

    Looking forward to further dialog/posts.

    Time to start tweaking / changing some things.

  34. Sarah Arrow
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:18:25

    Kevin Costner Syndrome should have a vaccine, too many people (and not just bloggers) are infected with it. It’s not a mistake, it’s a virus 😉

  35. Alexander Wilkas
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:19:38

    Bravo, your first was great. Looking forward to many more

  36. Robert Chen
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:19:55

    Great post. I’ve done most of the “don’t do’s” listed. I struggle with keeping the faith that it is going to work out. Look forward to your future articles.

  37. Merl Miller
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:20:30

    Jon. Thanks for starting this blog.
    My blog is 3 weeks old and I am beginning newbie. How do I find other blogs in my chosen field and how do I determine how popular they are?

  38. Ken Benjamin @ WisdomWebsite
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:20:49

    Jon, who gave you access to my analytics account 🙂

    Spot on post and yeah, I’m making about half of those mistakes.

    On the plus side, I do have the answer to the secret of life.

    Fortunately, I’m also learning your secrets over in your program. A month in now and loving it.


  39. Scott Lesovic
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:21:03

    I look at blogging as something to dread. For over a year now, I’ve been reading and hearing that blogging and content marketing is the way to go. I have my doubts though. Do I really need to blog/vlog/tweet? Personally, I’d rather not.
    I’m an entertainer. All I want to do is perform shows. Word of mouth bringing me 3 shows a year just doesn’t cut it to where I want to be.
    I’m sure for some people blogging and content marketing is one of the best solutions. Who are those people though? Am I one of them?

  40. Laura Christianson
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:21:07


    Love what you said about writing every day. During the blogging workshops I teach, “How often should I post?” is the number one question people ask.

    So many of the “big name” bloggers advocate posting 7 days a week. Most of us (even those of us who blog fulltime for a living) have a life outside of blogging, and posting fresh content every day is an unattainable and unrealistic goal. Besides, we need a break! I find that giving myself a day off every week helps me return to blogging refreshed and ready to write.

    I disagree with Dumb Mistake #4, where you state, “For the most part, readers are oblivious to your design.”

    I see an incredible amount of horrendously ugly blogs with hot pink type on a black background and 37 widgets in the sidebar. Those bloggers wonder why they don’t have any visitors.

    Blog designs don’t have to be costly, but I do believe they are one of the best investments you can make, particularly if you are blogging to build your brand or business. People do judge a book by its cover, and a clean, functional design works wonders at boosting traffic and credibility.

    Am enjoying your first post — will share it with my peeps.

  41. Pauline Gaines
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:21:11

    It’s great to get your perspective, but I think my takeaway was more on mistakes than how to do things right. Also, I’m not sure how you’d explain the success of many mommy blogs that feature very slice-of-life personal stories and cool, individual designs, two elements that you feel are mistakes.

  42. Joy
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:21:56

    Hi Jon,
    Turn my life upside down..I’m ready!

    My dumb mistake isn’t in your list. I have invitations to guest post, and I hadn’t written them yet. Why? Perhaps I was afraid to be successful through my site. Everyone I “know” is clambering; as I observe this, I know there is another way (as you have presented here), and I know I have what it takes. I had to want to soar before I could. (I want to.) Thank you!

  43. Melissa Breau
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:22:18

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the post. You asked what we as readers are struggling with and need to know. I’m not sure I speak for the masses but the biggest problem I tend to have is that what you’re recommending—listening—is harder than it sounds (pun intended).

    Over the last few years I’ve written both a business blog and founded Moxy Magazine ( and each struggles with different things. For Moxy, our audience grew quickly initially. We spread by word of mouth. But we’ve hit a wall with a few thousand visitors a month and seem to be having trouble growing beyond that. So my question would be how do we dig deeper and figure out if a) that’s just as big as we’re going to get or b) diagnose what’s holding us back?

    For my business blog (which is newer) I’ve still working on some of the things you’ve mentioned above—really figuring out who my readership is, what the differences are between that person and my target customer (how do you balance sharing the important things to position yourself as an expert without giving the milk away for free?) and what they want to know. Since I only became self employed full time about 6 months ago, my business is growing quickly but it’s evolving quickly too, and I need to have a flexible but strong plan in place. Tips on how to do that would be great. I think there’s a lot out there for how established businesses can get into blogging and how bloggers can create a business from their blog, but not much about growing the two simultaneously (without your blog being your business).

    Hope that’s helpful — I look forward to reading your posts in the future.

  44. Emma Lawrence
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:23:05

    Hi Jon,

    Great opening post – those mistakes sound all too familiar! In addition to growing my audience, I would love to know how I can get my readers more involved by posting comments, asking questions, sharing their experiences etc.


  45. Joe Polivick
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:23:38

    “The worst thing you can do though is get distracted and try to do everything at once. That’s just insane.”

    True enough. Thank you.

  46. Leanne Regalla
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:24:19

    Jon, you rock!

    Right now I mostly struggle with time. Full-time job, a business, and songwriting on top of it. But I am pulling out my toughest ninja swiss-cheese time management strategies to get this stuff done. You know what they say, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. 😉

    The things that are helping me right now – and I’m just getting started on this long time goal – are 1) your infomation on where to focus efforts to get the most bang for our buck, 2) mobile organization strategies (to capture ideas wherever I am), and 3) priorities and goal setting.

    Thanks SO MUCH for listening!

  47. Don Sterling
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:24:26

    Fantastic post Jon. Looking forward to reading much, much more, over time. Cheers!

  48. Lori Zanteson
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:25:01

    So excited for this! Love your voice and your advice is always so on. I have the fear factor going on which has meant that my blog is empty. I write my articles and post them on my website, but I don’t feed the damn blog. My issue is though I love what I write about, I really want to blog about something totally different and that doesn’t make much sense as a marketing strategy. I have this dreamy idea, but feel like I can’t launch it unless I get active with what I “should” be blogging about.


  49. Chris Corbett
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:26:47

    Nice fundamentals here. And we all need to refocus on fundamentals like listening.

  50. Suzannah Burke
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:26:57

    Congratulations, Jon. The post was worth the wait.
    My blog is stagnant at the moment and I am knocking myself out with assisting other authors to promote their work, which I love to do. However the new additions of followers of my blog is just not happening.

    I am preparing for the release of another book, the first two being moderately successful, and I am starting a new blog for the launch. Would I be better off doing the promo on my existing site? Do people really want to know about yet another book launch?

  51. Se7en
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:27:05

    Oh I am so excited about this project of yours!!! Really I know I am going to learn so much over here!!! Thank you so much for the brilliant work you do to encourage bloggers to grow and improve!!! Since you ask for questions, I have one: I’ve been blogging a couple of years and love it… Love blogging about our life and times… and I have to say I am happy to work hard just to watch our blog grow!!! I would like it to continue to grow without adding in bazillions of hours of extra work… 24 hours in a day and all that. My question is this: How do I find new platforms to grow our blog – initially it grew by commenting and engaging in other blogs that I loved and traffic just came… but in order to maintain the growth I am finding I have to spend more time “off my blog” – which is ironic isn’t it! How does one actively seek new “pools” of readers, where does one find them?

  52. Household Budgeting Guy
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:27:19

    “If you’re not getting that kind of traffic, it’s not because you need to be patient. It’s because you’re doing something wrong.”

    This is why I am here and thank you for the detailed answers.

    “I want to turn your life upside down.”

    Good, turn me upside down, shake me and hit me around a little bit. Then tell me specific ways, based on what I am doing now, that I could improve by household budgeting site.

    Let me “see” by my improved numbers that what you are saying works outside your own success.

    Well, you asked :-). And thank you GREATLY for what you have already taught me.

  53. Dan Gershenson
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:27:30


    Thanks for speaking to the 2 things I get sick of hearing all the time from people who get up on stages with microphones: Make your content remarkable and blog every day.

    OK, great. But there’s more to it than that, as you affirmed. And I’d always suspected that the blogging every day advice was the biggest reason that leads people to burnout anyway. Why not start slow, focus on creating something useful that people want to hear, then scale up the frequency over time? Coming up with good content is hard stuff to begin with and I don’t think bloggers need to put that kind of pressure on themselves.

    Great read. Looking forward to your posts.

  54. Ross Arcemont
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:27:33

    You’re the man without doubt Jon! I hope that my blog can launch with even a fraction of the success you’re getting here. Looking forward to the future of this blog!

  55. Nancy Roe
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:29:10

    Thanks for your honest approach to writing and providing information to the public.

  56. Catherine McKinney
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:29:42

    Congratulations Jon, a great opening post, smashes some myths and explores better ideas of approach. It is great to hear a big league player not push the “be on every social media platform” you can immediately. Literally beginning a blog I was overwhelmed with the tasks of developing voice, topic approach and social media tactics. Maybe you could address a few of these concerns individually. I plan to learn as I go. But now I have a great friend to accompany me. Thank you.

  57. Austin Furey
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:31:13

    Really liked the post and the site design.

    As someone who just started a new blog about a month ago, this was particularly insightful.

    -Austin Furey

  58. Geordie Romer | Leavenworth WA
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:31:40

    Jon- I feel like my real estate blog has plateaued. I don’t feel as excited to write new and interesting content like I once did. The good news is that the blog still brings in lots of clients and keeps us busy, unfortunately I don’t seem to have the fire I did when I first started in 2004. How do I rekindle the spark?

  59. Tess
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:31:54

    Great new blog Jon, congratulations. Made me realise I, too, suffer from Kevin Costner syndrome!

    I write for women in mid-life and older who have rebellious instincts and broader interests than grandchildren and/or trying to look abnormally young forever. I’ve built up a core of great readers and have a reasonable amount of discussion going on. The first few months (I’ve been blogging on the current site for about nine months), my subscriber list grew each month, but it’s plateaued now at about 300. Trying to figure out what to do next.

  60. Tony Fuentes
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:33:10

    Hi Jon, I’m struggling with turning my skills into a service or business that people will line up to pay for.

    Yep, that’s probably the biggest challenge for me.

    My second would be branding, coming up with an irresistible offer that people scream, jump and faint over (like Michael Jackson) and getting to know my audience better than they know themselves.

  61. Lisa
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:34:00

    Congrats Jon! You are truly and inspiration. I would like to grow my audience and expand my reach. I am guest blogging, commenting on other blogs…not sure what my next move should be. My guest blog contributions get thousands of views sometimes but that does not translate to traffic on my blog.

  62. Geordie Romer | Leavenworth WA
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:34:06

    PS I really want to subscribe in my feed reader. I won’t read this blog if it’s just in my email in box. It’s too crowded. Can you give me a hint on how I might subscribe to the feed?

  63. Benjamin
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:34:15

    Hello Jon,

    Thanks for the perspective! I am such a novice that I do not even have a blog yet! I am so confused about how to start that I am allowing myself to do nothing in an informational paralysis. Do I self host? What sftware should I use? How do I choose a template? I want it to be great so bad that I have not done anything at all yet!

  64. I Lovely
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:34:35

    Finally! Can’t wait to read more if your wisdom, Jon.

    I’m visiting via my iPhone and there’s one glitch – the social buttons cut across your copy just below the post photo.

  65. Radford Castro
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:36:39

    Am I doing something wrong? I made all of those mistakes short of telling my life’s story. I’m still doing them – especially writing everyday. I’ve been in the game a little over a year but have 1k-2k visitors a day. Where do you draw the line between popular blogs and not-so popular blogs?

    I’ve changed the site’s design a few times now but haven’t went out of my way to make a whole custom design. I do make substantial mods to them though. I’d like to think I listen to my readers all the time. Most of them come from the conventions we visit. I do the SEO thing but won’t kill myself from it but I am envious that other blogs are getting the authority treatment and comments – that’s where I’d like to be next.

  66. Kimberly Houston
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:37:34

    Excellent, I’m so excited your blog is now up and running! : )

    I spend alot of time thinking about what readers in my niche might be struggling with so I can write about that on my blog. The way I figure this out is to spend a fair amount of time on other similar blogs and pay attention to the comments, as you mention in here; I also visit forums to do the same thing. And there’s nothing like a good question posed on Facebook or Twitter to get some good intel. I tried doing a survey recently, but since my blog is in its infancy with few readers to date, I didn’t get much of a response, but it’s def something I’ll try again down the line.

    One piece of advice I saw on another blog today was to “become your customer” when you sit down to write, and I try to do that as well. My goal is to add value to my readers, and I want them to come away from a blog post with something actionable they can go off and do right then. So I try to put myself in the shoes of someone who’s searching for a specific resolution to a specific problem, and write from that perspective.

    Still working out a bunch of little tweaks here and there with my own blog, so the launch of your blog here is very timely, and I’ll be adding it to my list of resources to check regularly each week! : )

  67. Robert
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:41:49

    Finally some sanity in the world.

    Quality content in a niche still rules, not quantity.

    Robert Medak
    Freelance writer, editor, reviewer

  68. Elizabeth
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:46:03

    I’m getting ready to launch my blog – again. Launched in the summer of 2011 and didn’t do it the right way. Now I have 3 posts ready to go up, an MVP to go along with it, and 10 part autoresponder series.

  69. Shane
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:47:10


    I have to say the most traffic I have ever received was 1400 views in one day, and it certainly wasn’t from Google. I was mentioned in a forum posting that had a lot of people viewing and my traffic spiked and then slowly dwindled back to the 200 views a day range.

    My main focus has been a combination of the SEO/Snowball tactics, and it’s sort of worked but I’m absolutely not getting the kind of traffic I would like. Since you label all of the above tactics as ‘dumb’, then I’d LOVE to hear what suggestions you have! I’m really looking forward to Boosting My Blog Traffic!

  70. mark
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:48:21

    You asked us to share our problems…mine is that I have solved a problem — a big one — about how Shakespeare wrote his plays — by candlelight and with a quill pen. 100,000 words in 1599 alone (Hamlet, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It)

    Further, I can tell you why we go to these plays even when we know the outcome of everyone of them. The answer is profound for writers and, to some extent, to sales people (see Marc Antony’s speech in Julius Caesar).

    But, as far as I can tell, there is no market for this information. And, I have looked.

    To the extent there is a market, it is dominated by people who have asked and answered the wrong questions. Which just makes these plays more mysterious.

    So, I don’t know if I’m wasting my time or not. But, I do think I’ve answered the question you asked us to answer.

  71. Susanna Perkins
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:49:18

    Hi Jon, congrats on getting it launched.

    I’m flying to Panama tomorrow, moving there actually, but I took the time to read your post because I knew it would be great. Looking forward to what you have to say going forward.

  72. Annie Andre | Chief Adventure-ologist
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:52:11

    This gave me lots of perspective and loads to think about especially the piece about writing what people want to hear vs what we think they want to hear.

    Right now i’m struggling to take my blog to the next level. For 8 months i was just searching. It wasn’t until 2 months ago where i finally began to find my core audience and focus. Now i want to know how to find places to guest post that will most help my blog. How to craft those letters to the site owners.
    I’m also working on an online course. I would love to know how Joint ventures are done. What is typical what is not when asking someone to contribute something to my product for free like an interview which will be included in a paid product.

  73. Ruan | EbooksTutorialsAndGuides
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:52:42

    Hi Jon,

    Firstly I am excited to be here and to comment on your very first post on the new blog. I am also very excited to see the very first point you made in the start of this post about getting readers to read you content sure doesn’t look like anywhere near to be a problem for you!

    When I read your mail (just a couple of hours ago btw) and you asked “who would be the first to comment?” I thought I probably won’t as it was published a couple of hours ago already but I thought I might just make it to the top 20 at least…well, here I got and it was at #74! So yes, you nailed that “getting readers to read you content”.

    Jon I think after reading this post I’ll have to go back to my book you should remember we talked about. I thought I was nearly done but yeah, this post erased that illusion pretty fast.

    So here’s where I’m at since you asked Jon and also how I think you may be able to help.

    I did start off my blog by creating a good number of content first but please bear with me that was before I saw your webinar about your course and guest porting okay?

    So now I have content and well I love writing so I am doing a post at least once a week but at the moment I am busy finishing the book so that takes more of my time at the moment.

    Yes, my Alexa Rank dropped from over 6mil two and a half months ago to just under 500k and just below 2k in South Africa which I don’t think is too bad. BUT, I am getting only around 25 visitors on average to my site per day.

    I just did and got my second guest post approved on weblogbetter and well the first one got just over 80 comments if I remember correctly (we’re not comparing the numbers with yours, deal? 🙂 ) and the current one is live for about three days I think with just over 60 comments. Point is it’s not too bad but I am not getting the traffic numbers I would like.

    Now you mentioned something very important that caught my attention. Maybe I was writing about what I wanted to write about and not what the readers or people out there want. Although my keyword research suggests differently and that those ARE highly sought after topics I write about.

    I was told by two experts (you should know them very well yourself) that I need to narrow down my niche as “how-to’s” can mean anything and it’s just insane to try and cover the whole “how-to” field.

    My problem? I have no idea how to find that micro niche if I may call it that. I have no idea how to narrow down and focus on a specific thing. I love writing and I know how to know things and more importantly: I love to teach others how to do things.

    I know that my whole blog design is probably going to need to change and just the thought of that gets me a little scared already as I spent HOURS on the current one (yes all customized by myself not having the cash flow to by a premium template or skin or to outsource the job)but that’s okay. If narrowing down my niche would mean more traffic and interest, then I have no problem with starting all over.

    A mouth full indeed…

    Any ideas from your side Jon would be highly appreciated 🙂

  74. Jon Spooner
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:53:06

    Totally struggling with #4 – I painted myself into a corner by jumping into an un-named pro theme that means I have to update WP as well as the pro theme. Uggg. I slacked on keeping up with it and now I am stuck back in an old version of WP with an old version of the pro theme. triple UGGGGG!!!

    I am struggling with too many options to move forward! Do I rebuild the site to be responsive for mobile? Do I rebuild towards a more Pinterest-y style?

    great starting post!

  75. Mark Davidson
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:55:15

    A great blog post…. Telling a story about our lives is only an effective blog post if there’s a lesson to be learned from our experience that’s consistent with our focus and only if the reader can step into our world and relate to us. A story about our lives should always have some action steps to take. Providing a solution to a problem through story telling is always a big plus.

    Reflecting on your post, I’ve added a few of my own thoughts, piggy-backing off of yours:

    1. Simple designs are the most effective. Case in point, your blog here.
    2. Rather than creating posts of value, create posts that are personally relevant to your audience. Be interesting but as mentioned, what’s interesting to one person, is mundane to the next. Write for your audience. As human beings we are constantly sorting, filing or deleting information.
    3. Story telling is powerful because when deployed correctly and using the right word choices, allows our readers to enter a world we’ve created and allows the reader to project the right references in their mind’s eye. The goal is to create a fully associated experience in the brain and nervous system of our readers. This will anchor our message in the memory of the reader.
    4. Emotion is a powerful tool. Provide emotional stimulus. Depending on the objective, there are a variety of human emotions we can stimulate. Emotion also helps to anchor messages.
    5. Write with an end goal in mind. What kind of response or action are we looking to generate with our post? Be direct. Never assume the reader will fill in the blanks on their own. We have to tell them. It’s our job. Paint the picture. Ambiguity is the hallmark of lazy communication.
    6. Random posts about random things will produce random results. Eliminate randomness. Stay on purpose.
    7. Reward your audience. Human beings are funny that way. We’re hardwired to respond when we are rewarded.
    8. Write in a way that sparks the idea, “This is too good not to share.”
    9. SEO is important but search engines don’t read, respond, or share. Search engines don’t create conversation around your posts. Search engines don’t become fans or self-identify with our brands. People do. Write for human beings.
    10. Hire a proof reader. (Note to self: Hire a proof reader.)

  76. Selena Moffitt
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:57:30

    Hi Jon! I’ve been looking forward to this. I took your Guest Blogging class and am using the tactics, albeit, too slowly 🙁
    I’ve decided to start a new blog that focuses more on the most popular aspects of my old blog. I hope I can LISTEN well to my audience!

    My questions:
    1. How do landing pages affect conversion to email subscribers/buyers/etc.
    2. Can you line out the step-by-step for those of us who are very limited on time 🙂
    Thanks so much!
    Selena Moffitt

  77. Nadia Chaudhry
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:58:17

    I don’t have expertise to tout around being an expert for… that’s my issue. More of an ethical issue.

  78. Bert
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:02:30

    Hey Jon,

    Great first post.

    We are in the middle of re-branding our site and we really struggled with the transition. After 10 years and some time spent with your colleagues from Copyblogger we have taken that step. Our site is turning into a blog while our services are in their own sites.

    One challenge is as we learn from you and turn that message into our own words for our customers and readers, how do we give credit where it is due? What is the best way?

    Our site is launching today and is built on genesis with a studiopress template. We added some of the look for testimonials that we really liked on the CB site. Our concern was how much did it look like we learned vs took.

    We are very respectful of others work and want to give it its due.

  79. Julie in Provence
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:06:30

    I’d love more readers and more advertisers! Me and everyone else of course. But as we all know, a good blog is very time consuming to produce and I’d like to start seeing a better payoff. Thanks!!

  80. Jim McFarland
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:08:04

    It’s great to see this thing take off Jon!

    First, with the mountains of problems and concerns, and quagmires, and KEY MATERIAL TO WRITE ABOUT AND QUESTIONS TO ANSWER, AND THEN BUILD USEFUL PRODUCTS AROUND that you’ve just solicited directly from readers, I would have to say this is probably one of the most clever opening launch posts I’ve ever read!

    I honestly thought you’d open with the 30 interviews in 30 days you’ve written about.

    Not only do you NOT follow the traditional advice of a pillar post, or round-up or huge list post, but you use a small list of pretty standard “go-wrongs” (with some cotton candy and a a few gold nuggets thrown in) and then you let your readers give you the EXACT formula to satisfy them and make them salivate!

    Clever and strategic. Classic “Morrow.”

    You’re like the mad blogging scientist Jon, hellbent on world blog domination…LOL And I’ll bet you have Mr. Bigglesworth purring on your lap, right?

    Ok, so my biggest challenge right now is defining the way I’m going to stand-out from all the cacophony of internet noise out there. How do I approach my blog brand, and launch in a way that stands apart from all others in my niche?

    Thanks Jon, and I’ll be modeling you soon.

  81. Jim Cantwell
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:09:00

    Hey Jon,
    Great post, I am guilty of 1,2,3,4,6 & 7.
    I do write everyday, but I only write for and post to my blog once a week on Sunday
    I started my blog about a year ago, writing on what I thought people would want to read, and I hated it. In part because I was writing about things I had no interest in. I had 200 visitors, and a handful of comments, 0 shares and 1 subscriber in a year
    A few weeks ago I was ready just to delete my wordpress blog, and give up when I read a couple of great posts from 2 great writers I have become friends with that gave me my aha moment I renamed my blog and off I went started writing more about what I am interested in and really decided not to care about the traffic coming to the blog and focus more on my voice and engaging better with the readers that do happen upon my blog and by doing so the numbers are up as of today traffic is at 697 from 200 in just 2 weeks so in 2 weeks I had 497 more views than I did the entire year before. People are sharing on social sites now, commenting and linking back to my blog on theirs.
    I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn and find my niche.
    Would love to hear any input you have

  82. Sophie Lizard @ Invisiblogger
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:15:37

    OK, let’s see…
    I don’t obsess about SEO.
    I’d love to have people show up just for my awesome content, but I don’t expect them to.
    I do tell stories sometimes, but they’re not all about me.
    I chose a free blog theme and did my own graphics, but I probably wasted half a day trying out different colour palettes and typographies.
    I don’t post something new every day, or even every week; just when I can and when I have something ready.
    I do spend time on Twitter, not so much Facebook. Twitter is where fun people are (and my blog, so far, is not where people are at all).
    I was hoping there’d be some snowball effect. But I know from experience that, unless you do something to push it along, the snowball is veeeeeery slow-growing and eventually reaches the plateau at the bottom of the hill.

    I am struggling with 3 jobs, 2 blogs, a toddler, and various other things not worth listing. My new blog is something I want to develop and market, but I need to know what things I should spend my time on and what things won’t make much difference.

    I know you can help with that, because you already have. So thanks, and I’ll be waiting for your next post!

  83. Elizabeth
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:19:18

    *Realized that I did not answer your question…

    So, I’m getting ready to launch my blog – again. Launched in the summer of 2011 and didn’t do it the right way. Now I have 3 posts ready to go up, an MVP to go along with it, and 10 part autoresponder series. I’ve been working hard to improve my writing (writing 1000 words at least for the last few months). I’ve read tons about content marketing and sales copy writing for landing pages for the last year now.

    Since I’m in my first stage of getting readers and prospective customers, I’m struggling with how to get my stuff read and getting people to buy my MVP. My end goal is to have an online business of steady revenue.

  84. Amandah
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:20:56

    Great tips … thank you!

    I’ve heard ‘experts’ say, “Blog every day if you want to grow your blog.” I tried this and got burned out. It comes down to writing quality content, finding and sticking to a posting schedule, and enjoying your blog topic. Be genuine … be you!

  85. Greg Nudelman
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:26:25

    AWESOME post.

    I am so glad you blasted these, because I was likewise taken on by these “truths” none of which worked for me for about a year. I am now much more reader-focused, and write shorter pieces with my genuine voice, so my first free webinar is about to sell out. Twice.

    1) How do I track sources of traffic? Any way to automate knowing where the traffic is coming from using Google Analytics tag?

    2) I have a fair bit of new traffic every week. I’d like them to sign up for newsletter or webinar, not leave a comment. Yet I’d like to know what my readers are thinking. How do I balance comments with signups?

    3) What wordpress plugin do you use to avoid spam?

    4) What wordpress plugin do you use to show member-only content/videos?

    Cheers & looking FW to more great content.


  86. Eventful Woman
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:31:25

    Great post Jon. They’re all great point but I love what you say about SEO and I particularly love the length of your post. So much for the ‘experts’ who say you should stick with 500 words or less.

  87. Felicia Shelton
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:31:38

    Thank you for this, Jon. I, for a second, thought about leaving my blog behind, but I just love it and I like to inspire people about design, travel and now my new home, Paris. I won’t give up. I know that something is about to happen. Thank you for your words of truth and encouragement.

  88. Jen
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:32:40

    Great post, Jon – thanks for sharing!

    I’ve recently started blogging again, but this is the first time I’m doing it for business. Your list has definitely helped me see where I should focus my time.

    I’ve never been a big follower of blogs – I’d love some suggestions on where to find other blogs that are relevant to my audience. Any tips on how to find a similar audience on Twitter would be really helpful too.


  89. Steven A. Lowe
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:36:33

    FINALLY you published your blog – we’ve been waiting for this for…years!

    Off to a good start, and since you asked, I’d like to see something other than the low-handing fruit: solid advice for business bloggers whose audiences are unlikely to be avid blog readers or users of social media.

    Thanks, looking forward to watching this one grow!

  90. Tranque
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:36:46

    Excellent post. You’ve certainly been “listening” as your blog name reflects the one most pressing thought on every blogger’s mind! We should all be paying attention to that!

  91. Paul
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:36:56

    Worth the wait. But then I knew it would be.

    Where am I struggling? With my mindset. I started my site for the love of it after becoming jaded with online marketing (my day job). I also had some bad Internet karma to work off.

    I’ve been helping people for free for a few years. Now I want to turn it into a full time thing, and that means getting paid. It feels wrong to me to ask for money from people for what I do for them.

    But I know the answer to this conundrum lies within me, nowhere else.

  92. John Howlett
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:37:42

    Dear Jon:

    Congratulations on your new launch, I wish you all the best.

    What is your thoughts on long vs. short copy on blogs.

    Until now I have not asked people to subscribe is that a mistake, will it turn people off from visiting?

    Guess bloggers good or bad? My plan includes 10-12 per year, based on a blog that post daily.

    Jon, I didn’t want to be a hog with three questions but I thought I’d give you a choice

  93. Steven A. Lowe
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:38:02

    FINALLY you published your blog – we’ve been waiting for this for…years!

    Off to a good start, and since you asked, I’d like to see something other than the low-hanging fruit: solid advice for business bloggers whose audiences are unlikely to be avid blog readers or users of social media.

    Thanks, looking forward to watching this one grow!

    [if this double-posts, sorry, WP kept locking up]

  94. Eventful Woman
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:39:19

    Hey again Jon
    I maybe eventful, but I was neglectful in that I didn’t include my questions:
    1. What are the best ways to grow the my number of readers and then subscribers?
    2. What are the benefits of using WordPress over

  95. Jenifer Cotter
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:44:30

    Jon – I think you just saved my sanity! I have been successful in the past blogging/sharing in the fertility niche & arts/crafts niche and never had trouble gaining a following but since starting in the writing niche I am struggling to get out the gate.

    I am a newbie @ twitter {& it shows} and have been pondering if tweeting more frequently or adding more personal posts to my blog would help, but having read this post I think I will preserve my sanity & the little family time I have.

    Not really sure how everyone else finds time to follow all the “how to be successful” suggestions floating out there for new writers/marketers and still find time for life ‘cuz I certainly can’t seem to find that balance. Looking forward to reading your blog to help me along the way!

  96. Frank Eves
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:46:14

    When I was working full-time, I often wished there were far fewer after-hours phone calls, from my patients. Now that I’m retired, my wish has been granted, my phone is relatively quiet. Why on earth am I reading ? Is it possible that I’m not really the hermit I imagine myself to be? Do I miss the conversation? Thanks Jon, I appreciate your time and expertise.

  97. Deborah
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:49:09

    I enjoyed your article. I am about to launch my website Nutrition Therapy and I wish I had more time to write articles.

  98. Mary Speller
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:53:12

    Jon, I love it. I have not read any of your writing for a few weeks and I have MISSED it! This blog is so YOU and it is great.
    For me developing a process that I can follow regularly to build traffic would be great. It would stop me jumping around and help me to develop consistency.

    And while I wait, I am going to have a near-death experience in an explosion, get naked, write a blog about it, and hope it makes me millions of dollars.

    And look forward to your better, less painful, solution.


  99. Sherice
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:55:44

    I’m glad to see that BoostBlogTraffic has finally opened up! I just have one problem… at least on my (enormous) screen, it’s really difficult to read the sub-headlines… they’re almost faded completely into the background. Not sure if it’s just my screen or not, but I wanted to let you know.

    Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got up your sleeve 🙂

  100. Randine
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 15:58:21

    Great post!!

    I feel the same way. I started with the idea of building a load of content fast and when I saw what people actually read and liked, I realized the content of the blog was what was important. It needs to be what people just like me want to read, learn, explore. Not just what I wanted to spew on a page.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  101. John Frenaye
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:09:21

    Thanks for an eye opening post and congrats Jon!

    You talk about successful blogs and how they need to have several hundred readers a day initially and then several thousand a day after a year. While this is true for some general blogs, what about the niche blogs? Certainly this barometer is not the same.

    Example: My blog is a community news and events blog. It has grown pretty well (sure we all want more) but I have taken it from zip to 90,000 UV in under 3 years. I am happy. I have people looking to advertise with me (my revenue model).

    But I am focused on a particular geographic area. Any suggestions on increasing traffic for finely defined blogs?

    John (with an “h”)

  102. Frank Stapleton
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:11:26

    I do so many things I don’t know which one to do. I have a website showing my large abstract paintings. I have another website about inventing. I’m the inventor of the ScreenSweep that has sold over forty million units. I have an e-book that’s been selling on the internet for several years and have just started a blog about how I get my products on the market. I wrote a book called celestial conversations (which I love)and that I would love to share with people. I’ve written another book called, “Calling in the rain”. It’s a book about miracles (the thing that I’m most proud of). I have another book that I have written called, “A Brush With Words” that I would like to get out there for people to read. Bottom line, I don’t know that I would drop any of the above and just concentrate on one thing. The thing that I get the most inquires about is on inventing but I’m not sure that the market is big enough – about 5,000 google inquires a month and there’s a lot competition.

  103. Hunter Boyle
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:15:54


    Congrats on the new blog launch! Perfect topic, solid advice and a snappy headline (of course). Looking forward to more posts and blogging wisdom. I have to agree with other commenters that the gray text strains the eyes a bit. Otherwise, keep the good stuff coming …

  104. Jan Schochet
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:15:54

    Have been waiting and not disappointed. Thanks for this post. It does dispel several myths I’ve come to realize on my own are not true. I appreciate your corroboration.

    As an aside, I was going to remark on the illegibility of the subheads, but see that Sherice beat me to it. Very very light and hard to read.

    My question: can you critique my blog? (That’s a doozy of a question isn’t it?)

    And how can I get more readers? I’ve just relaunched/rebranded and my list is below 300 now (I send out a weekly email that includes a selection from the blog post with “read more here” link).

    Thanks so much for your always helpful work, Jon.

  105. Anca
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:20:57

    Thank you for this post, John.

    I subscribed before you launched this blog, being intrigued by what was yet to come. Following you and joining Carol Tice’s Freelance Writers Den last week, come at the right point in time for me. As the law of attraction works (for those who don’t know what this is, they should watch “The Secret”) I desperately wanted to find the right people to tell me what I do wrong and what to do in order to get well-paid writing gigs. Various circumstances led me to your blog and the Den. I know I attracted this through what I wanted. I am confident I am in the right place now.

    I don’t have a professional blog yet, but I do have a writer website which includes links to some of my best articles I published in the past year and a half. I want to put my freelance writer career in motion and attract well-paying clients. I’m done writing for peanuts. That’s why I’m here and also a member of the Den. In fact, I heard about you through Carol, in an interview she did with you a month ago on writing great headlines. And I downloaded a copy of your Headlines Hacks.

    I know I’m not an outstanding writer (plus I’m not an English native speaker), but I am a good writer. What you are doing with this blog is exactly what I’ve been missing on for the past 18 months. I can relate to some of the mistakes you describe.

    Will keep following and look forward to learning a lot from you. You are a true example that anything is possible with drive and motivation.

    Thanks again,

  106. M. Sharon Baker
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:21:34

    Hi Jon,

    Congrats and wow, 2764 words and I read every one – many of the comments too. Who says all blog posts have to be 450-650 words?

    Loved Mark Davidson’s additions – and look forward to others weighing in and building upon your work in the future.

    My problem is a bit different – I’m so busy writing for other people’s blogs and for clients that I find it difficult to squeeze in time for my own blog.

    But the bigger problem is that there is so much information already out there about my topic that I feel most of my ideas have all ready been written by others. How do I figure out what I can contribute that’s different and important in a seemingly crowded niche to achieve my goals?

    My 8 readers aren’t really a large enough group to survey, and I fully understand giving readers what they want. But the most read post on my blog is about where I live and tulips, not content writing.

    Looking forward to an amazing ride.

  107. francesca b.
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:29:50

    congrats, it’s a boy and healthy your first post.
    thank you for being spontaneous and opening my eyes to the “dirty truth”.
    I do write daily on FB (122 followers) and blog once or twice a week on Tumblr (23 followers). frantically tweet (whenever I can or remember, sometimes at the traffic light sometimes at school pick up, when I am in line)with a larger and faster return rate.
    look forward to have my life turned upside down.

  108. Charles Bohannan
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:32:35

    I have a blog for an up and coming startup and it’s going to be a great challenge getting traction. We’re trying to not to explicitly promote our brand but rather establish thought leadership on the sharing economy.

    So as far as content I’d like to see here, it would be something above and beyond the realm of personal blogs and branding, which I see too much of these days.

    Thanks, Jon. You’re an awesome guy.

  109. Renee
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:32:40

    Congrats on the new blog launch – loving the wealth of information in your post too!

  110. Debbie @ Happy Maker
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:34:55

    Great first post Jon. thank you and all those comments. Wow Will I ever get there. I do know one think that I am not dong is the guest blog post. OOPS!!

    I find myself running out of time from doing all the other things. No, I am not making up excuses for myself. I know i have to do better.

    Thanks again and You will see me again.
    Blessings to you, Jon,

  111. Jay
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:38:19

    Thanks Jon – Really helpful and thank you for that. I do worry about SEO and social networking to bring in more followers etc. I’m not a writer, my blog is visual and personal. I’m also UK based and I don’t know if it makes a difference. And yup! Like one of your previous comments, a crit of my blog would be unbelievable as sometimes you’re just too close and our friends are just too kind!

    I’ll now stop worrying about all the points you raised and plan a strategy to build my followers! Have a great week, Jay

  112. Annamarie
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:39:51

    The struggle: where is my audience? How do I find them? It’s not a particular market niche – my audience is anyone of any age, circumstance who is considering or looking to share housing.

    So I just did “dumb mistake #4” – but I don’t’ think it was because I also offer tools and info and I’ve made it easier for people to find what they need.

    I’ll be interested with where you go.

  113. Ryan Hanley
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:40:08


    Amazing post, you know that at minimum as of my typing this 104 other people have told you as much.

    What I want is real life actionable advice and tips and strategy… not 6 bullet points…

    If you were to post one article a month and it had as much value as the one above I’d be perfectly content and revel in every new word you wrote.


    Ryan H.

  114. Karen Friend Smith
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:42:09

    Thanks Jon. The starting point is definitely the hardest — knowing where to start – and you hit it on the head. Just start.

    Thanks also for busting out the myths. The biggest message I got from this post is that I should trust my instincts – stop trying to follow everyone else’s ‘expertise’ and instead focus on my customers/readers/audience. If I’d spend half the energy I spend ‘learning’ on actually ‘doing’ I’d probably be miles ahead. Thank you for that message.

    So, I guess the next challenge – get out the q-tips. I will be listening very closely to everything you say. And watching your strategy. I really find you brilliant & I want to connect with my members the same way that you connect with your readers. Thanks for being visible & genuine & I will definitely follow, share & keep asking questions. Thank you!

  115. Gene E. Bush
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:47:12

    I am told I am “doing it right” Have a website, weekly blog ‘Shade Solutions”, monthly newsletter “Garden Clippins'”, Daily Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Following advice and most of my hair has been pulled out. There simply is not enough of me to go around.. I honestly have a real business to run and all this social media time is not really helping.
    We are there to serve… but there must be a return.

  116. Annmarie
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:52:45

    Interesting launch. Many of the “dumbest mistakes” I’ve already realized.

    Struggle? How to find those folks who need what I have to offer when they need it. My site has services and a blog.

  117. Sharon Wieland
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 16:58:19

    Hi Jon,
    This may be elementary, but it is my problem: I get so much spam in my comments that I had to stop reading them! I may miss a real comment in the future because I do not take the time to go through the thousands of spam comments any more. What should I do?
    Thank you for any suggestions.

  118. Laura
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:02:15

    Such great wisdom, thank you!
    I would love your help with my blog. I have been actively blogging for a year in a faith niche. And I wonder about writing what people want to hear… I am an expert in my field and that may not be what people want to hear, so how do you think about that?

  119. Dennis Ingwersen
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:03:07

    As I was reading down the page, I kept going, yep, been there and doing that. I know enough about business to know you have to give people what they want. In the blogging business, I don’t get to meet my customer. I cant ask them what they want and they dont give it up when they drop by. Can you relieve my frustration?

  120. Jennifer
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:10:39

    I must agree – loving the information. Figuring out what not to do as well as what really works is very beneficial. I also had a difficult time reading the lighter text but certainly looking forward to more great articles from you – thanks again!

  121. Tommy Walker
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:16:46

    Fantastic Jon!

    Now where would you look if you were looking for ideas for things to write about?

    Certainly writing about things people have questions about is the first logical step, but where do you find the questions?

    And next, how do you get your post in front of the people it can help? Certainly it’s not good etiquette to go into the comments section and be like “Hey Read My Post That Is ALL about xyz” but there has to be some middle ground…

    What do you think?

  122. Roberta Budvietas
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:26:52

    Jon you are a man with a powerful heart. Thanks for this. I look at the slow growth of my blog and the noise ringing in my head keeps saying not my blog but guest blogging. I have done some but not enough in my space which has taken me a long time to really figure out. I keep listening and comment and write. One challenge is I talk slightly differently than the norm and test, tweak and modify often. I have lots of students who I have helped over the years. But asking for an order is tough. I love to give but I need dough right now to keep going. And a job is not an option so what I want is to take and help baby boomers get into business and change the world yet again. Look forward to the next step.
    Tried to share on FB but somehow the share got hung up

  123. Jon Cooper
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:33:37

    Sorry John, but I disagree with #4.

    I’d been blogging since March of last year when December rolled around. I was getting 100-200 visitors a day, but I wanted to triple that. Immediately.

    So what I did was I redesigned & relaunched my blog. I spent a lot of time getting my blog’s theme exactly the way I wanted, and yeah, it was totally custom. I learned how to do it all myself (Thesis is a bit of a leaning curve), and to this day I’m continuing to improve it (adding a custom background momentarily).

    You can say it was because of a few landmark posts, but as the blog owner, I can tell you the design is one of the biggest reasons for the success I have today (15,000+ visitors a month now). I was writing the same stuff before & after, yet the increase in traffic was huge.

    It’s easy to start dissing a few strategies that experts tell you to do (by no means am I an expert; I’m trying to say that a lot of guru bloggers most likely back this one up), but if you’re willing to do it right, and if you put everything you have into it, you can make it work. Almost no “huge mistake you’re making” is so bad that you can’t make it work if you really want it to.

  124. Gregory Ciotti
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:36:14

    @Jon Cooper

    I think you might be overvaluing the changes in your blog’s design.

    Design can increase conversions in terms of well placed opt-ins and such, but I think the larger point here is to not get stuck tweaking your theme constantly instead of creating content.

  125. Mark
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:40:55


    Next blog:

    Respond honestly with how many of these comments contain anything of value to you or to anyone else reading this post. Explain what that value is. If everyone commenting is a budding blogger who listens then there should be plenty – right?

  126. Jill Heijligers-Peloquin
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:40:57

    Hi Jon – thanks so much!
    Great start – and yep – we’ve been waiting (sing “anticipation” ala the ole ketchup commercial! ha ha).

    I have my online products – and a cool new ‘members only’ educational project going – and even then – with a nice little family of captives (he he) – you just can’t MAKE em comment – and link – and share, can you?

    I try to ‘do unto others’ – and I try to Tweet and post supportive cheerleading like “Sharing and commenting and ‘liking’ is the Social Media CURRENCY du jour! Its free – it is reciprocal – and I’d love to hear what you think!”

    OY! I’m puttering along, man!

    Best lashes,

  127. June
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:45:43

    Hi Jon, thank you for this article. I really needed it. I started blogging last April and don’t get much traffic.

    I get more spam comments than anything else. I know that people read my articles but they don’t seem to comment. I want to know what I’m doing wrong.

    I’m in the process of writing an Ebook to offer to subscribers for free. Maybe that way I will get somewhere with growing my blog?

    I was also thinking about doing a survey to find out what my readers would like me to write about. I would be grateful for any advice from you please.

    Thanks again for this article. I’ve subscribed to your blog because I don’t want to miss any of your great tips.

  128. Lois Mazza
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:53:43

    Wow! !28 comments already. I WILL be sharing and I will be taking your excellent (and may I add FREE) advice and reading every comment here to look for trends in what other people are interested in knowing more about.
    I need to figure out what to write about. I need to understand what I care about that others might also care about. Because I don’t want to spend my valuable time writing about something I don’t really, truly care about. I seek passion and expect to find it.
    Thanks Jon, I am so looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to learn more about successful blogging.

  129. Nigel Merrick (Photography Coach)
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:55:22

    Hi Jon – I’m so excited now that you have this blog live, and I loved the first post here!

    Everything you said in here is so right on the mark, and I know I’m guilty of all these dumb mistakes (plus the 327 you didn’t mention :-))

    Right now, I’ve blogging for a while, and am just starting to find my direction. With help from this, I hope to be able to clarify that even further and get moving properly!

    Thanks for being there for us all – you’re much appreciated.


  130. Rachel
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:57:27

    Hi Jon

    Your personal story moved me, inspired me and turned me into a subscriber with plans to read your every post. I am grateful to have learned of you and am excited about learning more with your new blog. You have asked for questions and I have many. Here are some. Hopefully this is not going over the top.

    We are creating our first ecommerce website which should launch the first week of April 2012. It is for products that we found to help a condition that we live with personally. It seems easier to think of making a section for resource articles/ guides or FAQ’s than a blog. Is there a difference to an article versus a post?

    I would love to hear what you would say about the following:
    1. How should a blog connected in seamless top navigation to a store be done to support sales and build subscribers?
    2. Should resource 101 guides be placed in a blog or in a separate section for resources articles?
    3. Should a blog share all the same top navigation as the store, to make it easy for a user to navigate there or not?
    4. Should the store blog have a landing page with a category break down (ex: product/service or solution) to make it easy for a user to find content posts and brand the site as experts on business subjects or be free and not so clearly organized?
    5. In social media I read advice saying to talk 70% of the time about your industry with no commercial references and only 30% of the time to talk about your business. Do you agree with this for blogging?
    6. When you have a blog connected to a store, how do you propose to engage readers and market solution products?

    Thank you.

  131. May
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:58:46

    Always enjoy reading your post Jon:)
    Just a suggestion, the colour of the title is too pale,” Dumb mistakes” the font style is very thin as well, it’s a bit hard for reading but maybe just my opinion!

  132. marquita herald
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 18:33:28

    I’ll add my two cents to “great job” on the first article Jon. First for those who’ve mentioned spam problems with comments – if you’re using WordPress there are some extremely effective plugins you can use – I rarely get a spam comment. Re my blog – see me scratching my head at the moment. I’ve tripled the number of subscribers just in the last couple of months – seen a huge increase in likes and comments on Facebook and Twitter – getting great feedback and even testimonials re my content and last time I checked time on site had increased by 40%. Despite that I’m stalled as far as overall volume of traffic. I need to do something different and the only thing I can think of is to finally get off my duff and try guest posting.

  133. Evelyn
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 18:38:58

    Congratulations on the new blog. I’ve been making more of the dumb mistakes you’ve listed than I care to admit. I’m ready to learn how to get more traffic to my blogs. 😉

  134. Tanya
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 18:39:39

    Hey there Jon,
    You’re setting the bar high with your opening post. Great work!
    As I am a beginner blogger, I have very little time to work with. I would like to make the most use out of my time and be able to measure my success (right now I measure success by the amount of spam in my comments).
    Thank you for the warm invite.

  135. Laurence Vincent
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 18:41:31

    This is a terrific prescription and great advice that I will try to put in practice. Thank you.

  136. Alison Cummings
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 18:49:01


    You’re right. It’s easy to let the “mechanics” get in the way, when really, blogging is really about people. And how you connect with them – be it your readers, fellow bloggers or thought leaders.

    The challenge is remaining true to yourself. Being authentic and keeping the passion.

    As you mention, SEO has been front and centre for a while now. So do you fall in love with your captor, or buck the trend?

    More recently, the focus has been on how to formulate the perfect e-mail pitch.

    Lately, I have received an increasing number of formulaic “last chance” offers that repeat the offer every other paragraph. Under the skillful hand of an experienced copywriter, that can work. If not, the pitch comes across as desperate.

    After the rush of social media has come the tarnish of disillusion.

    I am hoping to get back some of my original enthusiasm.


  137. Angela Risk
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 19:03:57

    How do I decide if I am a store or a blog? So happy for this post, can’ wait for more!

  138. Anthony Smits
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:05:15

    Like your other thousand friends and watchers I’ve waited for opening day. And you’ve begun as I’m sure you’ll continue, with a focus on what our readers want.
    Your message is the old one: the always-relevant one that people in general only want to hear about themselves; in a marketing sense that means their problems, and so on. And you’re asking for ours. I like that you listen. By implication you suggest we do likewise. I hope I heard this time.

    I’ve had the chance to take an offline educator’s courses and take them online. You wondered about the subject of your first message here. I’ve been wondering similarly about beginnings and direction, yet also stuck in those detours you describe.

    Ok, so I’m off to ask and listen. Thank you for the first lesson and thank you for encouraging us.


  139. Russell VJ Ward
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 19:13:02

    Great post and congrats on the launch, Jon.

    Your fourth point absolutely kills me too. So many fellow bloggers in the expat space I operate in are posting 4-5 times per week in the hope that this will drive a massive spike in traffic. The proof is in the pudding – it just doesn’t deliver anything other than a few extra readers for a whole lot of effort and encourages new bloggers to do the very same.

    I posted last week on my own blogging frequency –

    My premise was that I’d rather post when I have something worth saying – and something that people want to read about. Thanks for drawing attention to such a widespread misnomer in the blogging world 🙂

  140. Wayne
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 19:41:23


    Love your article but hate the font colors. Just simply too hard to read.

  141. Chris Aitken
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 19:47:37

    Jon — thanks for your first post; look forward to reading more in the future. In response to your question, here is our struggle:

    We operate in an odd niche: helping students who are applying to top level MBA programs, both in the US and abroad (

    We are taking the application “secrets” that people pay thousands of dollars for in private one-on-one coaching fees and making that information available for a few hundred dollars online.

    Our primary challenge is the inherently seasonal/transactional nature of our target audience. Our audience is interested in our content area for the 6-12 months while they are applying to business school. And then they’re done. Each season is an (almost) complete rebuild of our audience from scratch.

    Apart from a suggestion to move into a different niche/market(!), I’d be very interested in learning more about how to quickly develop audiences and engage them, even if the initial intent of the audience is probably more transactional.

    Thanks in advance.

  142. David
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:51:53

    Congrats on the successful launch Jon! The first post was great! It gave me some good ideas & practical work to do on my own blog. If this is a sign of what is to come, then I know it will be a great resource.

    My blog ( is new. I mean, just-launched-a-few-weeks-ago-and-have-less-than-10-subscribers kind of new. I am looking for a plan to put into action. I know how to market a business, but how do I grow a reader base, subscribers, email lists, & anything else I am missing.

    Again, Jon thank you for all your help… in the past & in advance.
    David R.

  143. Natalija Brunner
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 19:54:55

    Thank you Jon for this insightful post. I read your personal story today and was truly inspired. It makes one stop and wonder why we complain so much about the little things. It also makes us question ourselves about what is really important. Sure, in writing I want to be heard. I want to make a difference, but sometimes it seems as if I’m swimming against the current – getting nowhere in the process.

    The most difficult aspect of this new world of social networking is struggling to be heard. Sometimes when you start to see “Likes” disappearing on your Facebook page, people not responding to your posts, or your sales not moving along as quickly as you’d want them to, you want to shout “Anyone? Anyone?” – and I have actually seen people do this. It is frustrating when you see people with apparently no significant content whatsoever get the following you wish they had.

    I’ve never heard of you until today, but thanks to starting to use Twitter in that past week or so I have discovered so many new people that I never would have discovered on Facebook. I was strongly opposed to Twitter and to blogging (and Facebook, for that matter). I still wonder “Why do people blog in the first place?”. What are you trying to accomplish? Then I wonder, “What am I trying to accomplish?” Sure, we all want to be heard, but it doesn’t mean we have to spout daily banal FB posts and useless Tweets in order to gain that attention.

    I am very interested in seeing where this discussion will lead and will continue to follow your work. Thank you for the encouraging words.

    @Russell VJ Ward – It’s strange, but I happened to see a reference to your post on blogging just yesterday it seems. I completely agree. Quality is much more important than quality.

  144. Jean
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:58:48

    I am not sure how I could write blogs for pay. I do get a few dozens comments weekly about some information that I copied and credited from Wikipedia, but making money by blogging was not the intent.

    How can someone create blogs for payments and by whom.

    Thanks for your comments on this matter, in advance.

  145. Sandra Hall Rosser
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 19:59:21

    I have been blogging since January 2, 2012. I blog 3 times a week. I have had almost 1200 hits in the two-and-a-half months I’ve been writing. I have almost 50 subscribers by email. I don’t know if this is a lot or a little. Would appreciate your help and advice. Sandy

  146. Sharon
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:00:05

    Well worth the wait, thank you Jon. I haven’t started into the world of blogging just yet but should do, to launch my cosmetic brand. I’m always keen to be reminded why blogs and social media tools actually work. Thanks again for sharing your smarts!

  147. Courtney
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:03:40

    Hi, great post. I’ve managed to avoid most of the Myths except for the snowball one – I’ve been writing just under 2 months, and I don’t have hundreds of followers, though I’m growing. I find it hard to believe that this is only because I need to listen better – I founded the blog from listening for the past several years to people without any prior knowledge of China ask me questions about my experiences there, the government and law, how to make Chinese food, etc. I think I must just not be reaching the right audience. I agree that SEO is generally futile, but I’d love more suggestions on how to get readers beyond listening – listening will produce better content, but as you said, that doesn’t guarantee hundreds of daily readers, either.

    Would love for you to check out my site and see what you think –


  148. jules
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 21:29:07

    Thanks for a great post Jon. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months now, so don’t have much content. I’ve heard all the “guru’s” talk about doing every one of those mistakes you mention above. I might be guilty of the “stories” one. I’d like to grow my readership list (which is practically non-existent)and somehow monetize it, e-books, related products, etc. I did buy the domain, but it’s hosted at WordPress, and I don’t believe I can add e-commerce functionality to it as it sits. Do you think you could poke around the blog and give me some ideas about what I’m doing wrong or right, and some suggestions on growing my readership?

  149. Valerie Deveza
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:36:31

    This post is really helpful jon.. by just reading all the comments below you’ll be able to list down topics/ideas to write about.

    To answer your question, I made almost all those dumb mistakes. LOL!

    I guess what I just did right was to listen to exactly what my target audience would want to read about. I always listen to every Q&A calls and list down all questions I can use as topic for my blog. I always listen to social media news and give my readers what they could learn from that news.

    I guess right now, I’m struggling on how do I get my target audience to read my blog post? How do I get them visit my blog? How do I get them subscribe to my email list?

    I know a lot of bloggers will say go out of your blog and connect with other bloggers but seriously what exactly should a beginner blogger do when he goes out of his blog? Often times this tip is too broad that it leads bloggers to being overwhelmed and off track.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

  150. Elise Rochelle
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:53:43

    Hi Jon,

    Loving the site and post!

    I have 4 posts … with big gaps in between

    Where I’m struggling:
    – Dicking around with design (I will now stop!)
    – Dicking around with plugins (I will now stop!)
    – Dicking around looking at pretty pictures (I’m going to stop saying I will stop … but I will actually stop)

    I think underneath all of that ‘dicking around’ I’m just scared a I’m not an expert and I’m also scared that I’ll find someone that’s doing it better than me.

    So – How do I overcome the fear and develop and content strategy based on what my potential readers want?

    P.S – Hope my Aussie slang didn’t offend anyone

  151. Phil
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:55:23

    To sum it up. Keep it Simple Stupid. 🙂

    Thanks for the list Jon.

  152. Johanna
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:55:42

    Thanks for an insightful post, and congratulations on the success of boostblogtraffic 🙂 I reckon I’m guilty of every one of the 7 dumbest mistakes:(

    My blog Zigazag is about travel, writing, blogging, expat life and living in Western Australia. It hasn’t grown exponentially but it is growing. I suspect I’m covering too many topics, and that I’m ‘broadcasting’ rather than always being ‘helpful’ – yet some of my most visited posts are those that tell a story around an event or place. The most helpful thing for me would be to have some constructive criticism around content, layout and design.

  153. Nate
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 21:03:27

    What’s up Jon,

    I’ve been waiting on the launch of the site for a while. I’m a member of your GuestBlogging community. I can already tell that this blog is going to be the one I look forward to reading most.

    I’ve recently started a new blog launch. My main issue is really where to start from the very very beginning. Do I start off with a post, or a product? Free report? Video? It puzzles me to say the least.

    Help a brother out!

  154. Mike Curry
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 21:04:59

    I’ve made all 5 dumbest mistakes…so, thank you for that. But more importantly, that you for the much needed insight.

  155. Josie
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 21:26:15

    Great article! Being an off and on blogger I’ve found myself making many of these mistakes. Especially redesigning my blog, the last time I started a blog I spent most of my time and energy getting it “just right”, by the time that happened I was pretty burned out.

    After reviving my current blog the things I struggle with most are 1) creating great content (that people want to read); 2) getting past writer’s block; and 3) finding my voice in my niche. I’m really looking forward to the new site and hope to use all of the great tips to grow my blog to what I know it can be. Thanks for all the insight!

  156. David
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 22:00:25

    I just started my new blog as a place to put ideas while I begin writing a book. Having the blog be a success isn’t the goal, but if anyone ever comes to comment, I’ll be sure to take your advice and listen.

  157. Rahul kuntala
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 22:57:33


    My name is Rahul kuntala, author of I am writing this mail to take a suggestion from you about my blog.

    I am a newbie to blogging, started learning and knowing about blogging related things from last 5 months. Since then I am working hard to grow my blog’s credibility (I’m spending almost 10 hrs a day).

    My problem is:
    I’m not getting much traffic to my blog, but I can understand it’s just 6 week old blog.

    How can I improve quality backlinks to my blog?
    What can I do to increase the readership for my blog (I’m creating “Readable content” in my blog though)?
    How can I improve my blog’s exposure?
    At what frequency should I write on my “Blogging Niche” blog i.e how many posts per a week?

    Please suggest me the bullet points. I would be greatful if you do so..

    Waiting for you valuable reply

    Really thanks for the article 🙂

  158. Lisa Kneller
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 23:20:55

    “If you listen, your audience will tell you every single time.” This is the best advice and I think I will print it out and keep it above my computer at my desk. I don’t ever want to forget this one. It will remind me to continue researching.

    Thanks for this great blog Jon!

  159. C J
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 23:37:46

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for being our #1 mentor and following your inner-calling to help others.
    My struggles:
    1. Distractions – keeping my butt in the chair and completing a Blog.
    2. Staying consistent on posting weekly or monthly.
    3. Not knowing how to turn Blog site into a viable website to include selling product or services.

  160. Joan
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 23:46:15

    Thanks Jon for another great post. I really like the 7 mistakes, and realize now I do make most of them. Now I have a direction and something to think about on my own blog,which is just a blogger on google. It was a place to start I guess.

    Signing in and putting a comment just so I don’t miss out on your newsletters and posts. Have a super good day and good luck with your blog, although I now know it is not much luck,just good planning. JB

  161. Astro Gremlin
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 23:52:56

    My site is 10 months old. Although traffic has gotten better, it seems stagnant at about 100 per day. I’m willing to listen. Been commenting, my Alexa rank is down to 131,252, but it’s all sort of . . . stagnant.

  162. Crack You Whip
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 01:25:10

    Great post! So glad I found it. New subscriber…yay!

    My blog is not quite 3 months old and is doing very well with hundreds of hits a day I averge 50 or more comments per post. I think you have some great ideas and I agree about not posting every day. I only post once or twice a week and people literally wait for my posts. I know people who post every day and it turns into rambling at some point, like a blown-up Facebook status.

    I believe my blog has the potential to “takeoff,” but I just need to have patience, I suppose.

    This was a great post, looking forward to many more!

  163. Maxwell Ivey
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 00:59:26

    Hi John; Your first post was nothing less than your usual excellent work. Of the mistakes you mentioned, i’m guilty of having several platforms. My main goal is to sell equipment on my website. So, I have that plus the blog, several social media pages, an email list, and cold calls and emails to generate new listings. My blog is actually responsible for the largest sale I’ve made yet. It seams people find photos and video on my blog easier than they do on my website. After an update to a post where I added a video, a entrepreneur from new york contacted me about buying a used carousel. the sale went quickly after that. I don’t know that I can give up all the different outlets being several years in, but it is certainly worth considering. and about blog themes. I use the default theme that came with my blog site. No one ever complains, and many people start their comments by telling me how nice my layout is. thanks again for all your help. take care, max

  164. Malika Bourne
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 01:21:18

    I only wish I had been able to read this months ago. Would I have absorbed it. Maybe not. I had to live and learn
    Thanks for sharing your insight. I will take it to heaert and work on improving my blog under your good suggestions.
    Oh, I find the size of your chioce of print too small. My bifoacals had a work out.
    thanks. Malika

  165. Marilyn
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 01:46:11

    New Jan 1 blog to support writing inspirational, devotional, and retreat materials. My main struggle is in balancing the time for new learning & implementing the blog, supporting pages, blog, Aweber & other mechanism stuff with time for writing the actual materials other than the few blog posts.

    I haven’t promoted the site because the content lacks depth and variety. Based on this post, perhaps I should build the email list and ask those preliminary folks who I would invite, what they would have me put on the site? What’s minimum to have in place to promote?

  166. Kashif
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 02:34:14

    I am deciding to start a new blog after some mistakes! So, this time I am going to follow your guidelines, Let see.

    And the way you write is immersive, literally. Usually, I never read such lengthy post, but this time I did.

  167. Phil
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 02:51:34

    I suppose my biggest problem is information overload, when I read this post I can remember reading on one blog or another why all the points you raised were good. and I have tried them and as you predict for the most part none of them work. What I end up with is a mess of a blog which nothing is really done well. 🙁

  168. Juha Liikala
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 02:54:30

    Hey Jon,

    And congrats on the launch! Looks good already.

    All these mistakes sound very familiar. My biggest personal vice has always been my blog’s design (kind of obsessed with it). Another big one that I recognized was the fact that it’s way too easy to pick a post topic that currently interests YOU. It’s a whole different story if it interests your audience though!

    (Get to) know your audience and write FOR THEM. 🙂

    – Juha

  169. Jessica Benavides Canepa
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 03:37:07

    Very insightful post Jon! Thank you so much for writing it.

    I’ve only started my blog a month ago and have already committed a few of the mistakes that you’ve stated.

    This said, my blog has not been created with the idea of building a career around it (I am a writer and offer it as a compliment to my portfolio site) , but it has intrigued me how some of my posts have received a great deal of traffic already — solely based on the decision to write about what readers seem to want to learn most about.

    So in order to answer your question, what I am struggling most with at this time is finding the time and resources to continue to write blog posts that readers will find useful.

  170. Peter Martin Jorgensen
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 03:39:55

    Super interesting article. Could’ve used a few of those pointers a couple of years ago.
    BUT (in my opinion) there’s a point missing : Dumb Mistake #7: Choosing a headline layout that’s virtually impossible to read if not in a completely dark room.

  171. RevCollins
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 03:43:14

    Currently my traffic seems to be stagnant at 10-20 per day. I have a small blog that I have been working with. I have seen a growth since I began actively trying. I guess I have been guilty of all the above and it explains so much.

    I am looking for ways to increase readership as well as newsletter subscribers.

  172. Sheyi
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:15:47

    Hi Jon,

    I so much love the tactic you used in launching this blog. Getting thousands of subs before launch is a great thing and I love that.

    I guess you need to write 7-Great things you need to do before you launch your blog too.


  173. Nuscha
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 04:25:36

    Thank you for the list of dumbest mistake – that was a great start.

    My question comes from the corner of “Author-Blogs”. I love to write so my instinct is always to start a blog and then another, about topics I write (and publish) about. But they cost too much time to maintain so after a busy start, they lie dormant, to my regret.
    Blogging is not my goal in itself. I love blogging as writing and I want to use my blogs as platform for my (e)books.

    So I am pondering if a solution would be to post in *one* place (my homepage runs under a WP magazine theme), splitting the content in different categories (e.g. writing advice, content from my books that I am giving away on topics such as crafts with kids and dating advice).

    The problem I see is that the “blog” will be all over the place, content-wise. Does that really matter? As a blog-reader, I don’t mind if the blogger writes about other stuff as well, as long as I find information about the content I am looking for. Or is that just me?

  174. Peter Keep
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 04:30:35

    Thanks Jon,

    I’m just putting some articles together for my first blog. This is a timely and pertinent posting. I’ll try and put it to good use.



  175. Russell Petcoff
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 04:47:15

    My ego would like more readers, but I’m generally content with what I write. It’s not perfect or great and could always use help. Knowing there are people willing to take time from their busy day to read what I write is humbling. My biggest problem is motivation. It comes in fits and spurts.

  176. Geoffrey Gordon
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 04:50:37

    Hi John

    I am a word press website designer. There I said it. So many of my clients have asked me when I am going to train them on social media and blogging. I just keep getting more work and I know i need to blog and put together a course for them.

    But like you have said above, all the advice out there seems a little too phony. So i have watched and observed and read and observed and tested for the last year or so.

    I think the number one thing I was looking for, was what you told me today ” I need to listen to what the readers in my industry are looking for, that can help them. Period the end.

    I don’t want to start teaching something that isn’t solid. I want a simple but solid strategy that works.

    So for me its about creating listening mechanisms and then listening and collecting data. Afterward responding and listening again. Its kind of a science. LOL.

    Solid advice John looking forward more blog posts. So my suggestion is writing more blog posts about listening, how to do it, what to do when you get it, etc…

    Ps. The headers in the blog post are very feint and hard to read, i would suggest changing the font. 🙂

  177. Lois Mazza
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:34:22

    Where are the names of all these blogs everyone keeps talking about! I read the whole page of comments and saw only one with the name of the person’s blog (okay, maybe two). I keep seeing: ‘my blog’ ‘my blog’ but no names. How can I check out new blogs if no one is telling me what the blog’s name is?
    Am I wrong? Are they secret blogs?
    Tell me your blogs names so I can visit!
    P.S. I am not telling you my blogs name because I do not have an official blog yet…
    Soon, I am certain I will get it together, especially after reading Jon’s wonderful advice.

  178. Adrian Cestone
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:37:59

    Hi Jon,

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have just started a new blog and have noticed that there are so many different opinions on this/these subjects that is mind boggling to sort through them all.

    Thanks for bringing this down to something that makes sense to me.


  179. Phil Callinan
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:41:25

    Nice one Jon.

    Some great advise and insight. I have learnt a great deal from Danny Iny about guest blogging and was wondering what your slant is on that approach. I also enjoy your advise from membership of the “Third Tribe” and hope you continue with that.
    All the best
    Phil Callinan

  180. Beatrix Willius
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 06:06:31

    My biggest problem is that I don’t know exactly what I need to change for my blog. Unfortunately, I choose a very broad niche (email) for my blog. There hasn’t even been one comment. But what exactly do I need to do? The advice given is really too general for me.

  181. Angie
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 06:15:05

    I’m guilty of #7. I love my niche, and find intrinsic reward in writing, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want extrinsic rewards too.

    The tip about listening to your readers makes perfect sense. I wanted to run a questionnaire on my site, but have been putting it off. Now I’m motivated to do it. I am unsure how to get people to respond. I’ve considered offering some kind of give-a-way.

    I am so glad that you advise against writing every day. I write 2-3 times a week, which seems reasonable to me. If I wrote everyday, I would run out of topics quickly, and I’m not brilliant enough to create high quality content every day. I need time to revise my content. In fact I usually write my posts 2 weeks before I post them, set them aside for a couple of days and then revise them 3-5 times over the next couple of weeks before they go live. I wouldn’t have time to do that if I posted daily.

  182. David Sadler-Smith
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 06:19:41

    I can see myself under many of the posts headings – oh dear.

    A big problem for me is motivation and momentum. I’ve stopped and started a few times – I’m currently on pause.

    Like most people I’m at my most creative when things are stacking up against me – I think you need something to push against. But what about when lifes good – when I’m busy and everything is going well, that’s when I lose momentum – help

  183. Riyah
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 08:04:51

    Hi Jon,
    The advice you gave us on the 7 dumbest mistakes when launching a blog really proved to be helpful and useful. You gave valid reasons and it was definitely insightful. I am now in the process of launching a blog and will definitely use the tips you have given us in your article.
    Thanks so much.
    Warmest Regards

  184. Sefa Tsegha
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 07:15:10

    Nice thoughts! And I definately had a nice read, too. I own a blog that focuses on teaching IT newbies in Nigeria how to utilize the opportunities offered by technology to grow their businesses both online and offline. These are serious mistakes EVERY blogger, not just beginners, must avoid to remain relevant. I am one of them. Thanks

  185. Dani
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 07:15:16

    Hi Jon!

    Congrats on the new blog and thanks for sharing. This topic has been on my mind lately as I’ve written a few posts on a new blog over the last few months, and I’ve had zilch for traffic (not unsurprisingly)!

    I’m a new author currently editing my first novel and I’ve read many articles encouraging people like me to start a blog/website very early in the process, even before you have representation; that’s where I am. Honestly? I have no idea what to write about, but am eager to build a platform for my “voice.” I research other authors’ blogs and can’t help but feel I’ll never get there. It can be discouraging, but I loved the advice in your article and hope to apply it.

    Looking forward to seeing your future posts!

    Thanks again.

  186. Corinne
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 08:15:56

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the timely post. I’m launching a consulting business and my coach suggested I start blogging as part of it. I’m not messing around with the design but am trying to come up with an appropriate title for the blog. Look forward to reading more of your stuff.

  187. Chris
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 09:35:31

    What an articulate post. It strikes me though that there’s an inherent paradox at the heart of what you say. If I start focusing on what I think others want, what about my own ideas and preoccupations? The things that ignite my soul? When I read blogs, I want to discover something I didn’t know and relish the insight I didn’t realise I craved. In short, I’m looking for great ideas, great content and serendipity, not platitudes. I note that the blogs I find truly original are rarely the most popular.

  188. Tammy
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 09:52:34

    Great post,Jon! Very excited about your new site! I know you’re going to laugh when you read this question: But how do we “listen” so we know what to write? I’ve heard this many times and I agree with it. I’m just clueless about how to do it! Is it doing a search for the Google words that people use? I haven’t found much success with that. I’m also bored doing it. Is it lurking on my friend’s posts in social media? I’m a THERAPIST! I KNOW how to listen to people in person. So I am banging my head trying to figure out how/where to listen so I know what to blog post!

  189. Leon Noone
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:54:40

    G’Day Jon,
    Really enjoyed the post. But that sans serif font you’re using is hard to read because it’s so light in colour. It’s gray not black. And the crossheads are simply illegible.

    I’m not trying to be a smartass. I really enjoy your work. But I thought you’d want to know. I’ve been involved in direct mail for about 20 years. One of the biggest mistakes is presenting stuff that’s physically hard to read. A good example is one of the comments above written almost entirely in capitals. As you know, capitals kill readership.

    And hardly anyone tells you because they simply stop reading and leave. Trust that you’ll excuse my boldness in raising this


  190. Rachel Z. Cornell
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:30:08

    !, If you’re not subscribed yet, click here to get free email updates, so we can stay in touch.

    2. Share this post using the buttons on the left. As one of this blog’s first readers, I’m not just hoping you’ll tell your friends about it. I’m counting on it.

    3.Leave a comment, telling me where you’re struggling and how I can help

    ***tell me where you are.


    ***Tell me where you’re struggling.

    ***Tell me how I can help.

    ***And then strap your in.

  191. Robert Keniston
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 11:49:43

    Hello Jon,

    I recently created a blog called “Perfectly Done” on Tumblr.

    It was created as a new hobby and it features all those things one would consider “just right”.

    My main concern is getting followers/readers and having them share it with friends and other people who like things perfectly done.

    I’m new to the blogosphere and really have no clue what I’m doing.

    I enjoy posting once a week for my own kicks & giggles but I know there are people out there like me who would enjoy some of the posts.

    I’ve created a Facebook Page for the blog and only have 3 likes on it and I also post on Twitter and Facebook whenever I post a new item on Tumblr.

    I’d love to increase the visibility of “Perfectly Done”. Any suggestions on a good strategy?

    Thanks in advance!


  192. Kate Buti
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:59:04

    Really useful info for us novices out there, thank you. I agree with Sheyi, the top 7 tips on ‘what to do’ rather than ‘what not to do’ would be great. I haven’t yet started my blog but would love some tips on ‘getting started’. I am a textiles designer and have recently launched my website. I realise the importance of a great blog in generating traffic but should this be specifically linked on theme and content to your site – and thus subtly linked to your bigger aim of selling. Or does it even matter if it is not entirely related. In effect as long as you are writing interesting things that people want to read.. could you be writing about an entirely different subject. i.e travel or fair-trade or french cheese?!

  193. Robert Riggs
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 12:07:27

    I found this post brilliant in its simplicity. Less is more. I spent 27-years as a television news correspondent telling stories on the tube and online. When I left old media, Brian Clark of copyblogger (a fellow alum of Texas A&M) introduced me to content marketing.
    I believe the Internet has changed the storytelling paradigm. It’s no longer about talking at people. There’s no longer the voice of God authority.

    We are trying to understand how video can be part of the conversation and help start other conversations.

  194. Robert Riggs
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 12:18:51

    This post is brilliant in its simplicity. Less is More.

    I spent 27-years as a TV news correspondent telling stories on the tube and later in my career online.

    When I left old media, Brian Clark, a fellow alum of Texas A&M and the founder of copyblogger, introduced me to content marketing and urged me to purge the old media approach of interruption marketing. I get it.

    I believe the Internet has changed the storytelling paradigm. It’s no longer the voice of God talking at people. It’s not about my product, my service, or me. It’s about you and your needs.

    The challenge is how do we tell stories in a more conversational format that connect with people. And how do we use the video to start conversations.

    Is the polished complete story dead? Is it more about video clips punctuated by text on the page? What do you find that works? We’ve been experimenting with to get a feel for what works. The how-to videos produce strong results and we’ve found that women just like watching raw video of horses galloping at play.

    Storytelling in video can powerfully move emotions. The stories in which I used a person or animal for the storytelling vehicle in the 3 act drama always struck a strong responsive chord.

    Jon and others. Any ideas?

  195. CRLife
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 13:33:48

    Getting links from other bloggers in my very small niche (verbatim reporting) is not going to happen for a very long time. I know it and I’ve accepted it. My predictions and ideas about creating a long-lasting career in my field are not popular, although inevitable and undeniable. There are a lot of purists out there who are set in their outdated ways, so they lost their jobs needlessly. I want to prevent more of that somehow, and I’m meeting resistance.

    Suffice it to say I did not start my blog thinking about what the readers want to read. I listened. I investigated. They’re in denial. I had heated discussions on message boards with the closed-minded about what is really going on. I think telling them what they want to hear would be a disservice. Telling them what they need to hear is where I’m at at this point.

    How do you influence an entire industry so they can continue to flourish? I’m hoping one person at a time will help. I’ll keep reading your advice and keep trying to apply it to what I’m trying to accomplish.

  196. Greg Specht
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 13:01:59

    Nicely Done! I am a new follower, learning about the Blogging World and how to do it effectively.

    A GREAT topic to kick off your new site!

    Greg Specht – Salem, Oregon

  197. April Starr
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 13:36:51

    Very interesting post. I have a new blog I recently started, and while most of these mistakes are not ones I did – I did do #7 and took a LOT of time on my design to get it just the way I wanted it before launching. But, I am an artist and designer so I felt it was very important to create my own design to reflect my aesthetic. And the nice thing is that now it is done, I don’t really have to worry about it anymore! And I did get it done – it wasn’t a perpetual procrastination reason.

    I already have something of a built in audience, especially on Twitter and Facebook, from my art and from a previous blog, so when I started this one, I put out a poll of subjects I felt I had something to offer in, and asked people what topics they were most interested in hearing about. I very much agree with your last point – it is very important to listen! And polls are an easy way for people to respond. Now that I’ve started posting, I’m paying attention to what kinds of posts people respond the most to, and what really seems to resonate. Thanks for these tips!

  198. Bob Mutch
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 14:52:27

    Where am I struggling?

    I’ll go ahead and answer my own question first, and in the process, maybe help someone else.

    Distractions. Lack of focus. Attention deficit. The answer — at least for me?

    Stop reading “everything”. Stop attending webinars. Stop planning site layouts. Stop thinking up new ideas!

    Start “doing”! Start applying already acquired knowledge. Start that first site design. Implement ideas that you know are the logical foundation to something bigger that comes later!

    If anyone can relate to my comments, then we each should start today to DO something! Strive to fail if that’s what it takes to move from thinking and planning to ACTION!

    I’m done. I’ll check back in . . . AFTER my first, feeble attempt at launching my new site!

    Woo-hoo! Thanks, John! I look forward to seeing your new site grow like crazy!

  199. Michael Corley
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 14:26:08

    Hi Jon,

    I’m entering a plea of no contest, as I know I’m guilty of the following blogging mistakes:

    1. Relying on SEO
    2. Writing valuable content on subjects no one is interested in
    3. Obsessing on my blog’s design, and
    4. Spending way too much time on Facebook and Twitter in the name of blog promotion

    But that’s why I’m here, right?! To let you strap a rocket so my best blogging efforts can yield some great results.

  200. diane
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 16:30:44

    I am late to the party but wanted to leave a comment. Great advice but I have heard all of these tidbits before. As I have concentrated on publishing great content and not over obsessing about SEO and keywords, visited and commented on other blogs and linked to anyone (legitimate) I can, I continue to see slow, albeit steady, growth on the blogs I write for. (I am a ghost blogger for several sites) I look forward to seeing how you carry this advice forward so my clients can reap the benefits of a good blog and I can get all the credit. (and if it goes viral I promise to include you in my acceptance speech!).

  201. Dave Mariano
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 16:41:06


    Very pumped your site is up. Congratulations to you. Here’s where I’m struggling/a work-in-process:

    1. REALLY figuring out what I want my business model to be. I love what you do. I love Copyblogger. I love the idea of how you guys conduct business. I’m just wondering if i should even be listening anymore. not because it’s not valuable, but because I’m not sure it’s for me right now. I started a studio in October of last year and my ideal customer has changed a few times. My latest idea is Guitar for Busy Professionals, and I’m not sure a blog should be the focus to attract them. Or maybe I just narrow my writing and send specific posts to one contact at a time for feedback?
    2. Spending more time researching and “learning” than writing and teaching and talking to actual potential customers. This is my first time out on my own and after several months I think I’m finally realizing it has to be more about people. I mean, I knew that from the beginning, I’m just not sure I wanted to believe it and I certainly didn’t want to act on it. This is why I was so attracted to Copyblogger, etc. from the beginning. I still am, and will still read, but i can’t forget that it started with one man writing, looking to add one reader at a time.

    Thanks again for your great ideas, instruction and for sharing your personal story. It truly is an inspiration.


  202. Jane
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 17:39:30

    Jon, I stand convicted, but clearly I do not stand alone. I am here to learn.
    What do I want, need and seek after?
    MORE traffic. MORE subscribers MORE comments
    How to get sponsers…
    I need to work smarter not harder.
    I’m ready now!

  203. Ceci
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 19:54:04

    I really liked this post, some useful tips there.
    I was wondering the obvious question:
    What can I do?
    I like writting about books, guidedogs, blindtec, news, an books.
    I’d like more trafic.

  204. Nial Fuller
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 21:15:18

    I totally agree with every point made here Jon. Blogging with good information and content for your readers is important, but that is only half the battle to long term success. Excellent post.

  205. Ebuka Okonkwo
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 02:10:44

    I cannot begin to tell you how many blogs I’ve started only to sell them off. Worse, I ditched some, abandonned them to die like animals caught in a brutal sand storms of African desert.
    I’m not only guilty of all the 7 Dumbest Mistakes you mentioned in your inaugural blog post, but I’m hunted mercilessly by the pangs of failure, that it seems to grip me with inertia hence I procrastinate setting up another blog for fear of failure. I wonder how many bloggers are caught up in the same quagmire?
    Kudos Jon, this post, illustrates indeed that you ‘selpt’ well with your readers.
    All the best!

  206. Pichaya
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 07:25:32


    Thank you for your words of wisdom. You are a Master!

    Bow to You!

  207. Mike Harmon
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 07:31:13

    I think I have made all of those mistakes, and then what happens is I end up in a quagmire, wipe everything I had written with the intent of refocusing, and then I just stopped writing.

    the one thing I would add is to have some semblance of consistency as well (that being my largest struggle)

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said, and I think being reminded of it helps. Appreciate the post.

  208. Mo
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 07:46:02

    A little comment for Dave Mariano from me, Mo, writing as Glasgow Guitar Guy (my alter ego new blog run for my virtuoso brother Tommy in Scotland. Just added your site to our “Rock Roll”. Wishing you all the best, Mo.

  209. Mo
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 07:55:11

    Jon, it´s wonderful to see how much you work at helping us bloggers. Just wanted to say that though I have the kind of blog (slog!) you mention, the narrow visibility it´s given me has had its own small fruits. Money would be great but right now (and following on from Chris Garrett´s philosophy)I´m achieving a little “authority” by getting to write in my own field, Hispanic Studies, for a wonderful, inspiring entrepreneur selling books on Spain. So while blogging might not – probably won´t – make you rich, learning all you can about it, FROM YOU, is guaranteed to deliver little triumphs right to your door!

  210. Dries Cronje
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 08:00:03

    Hey Jon

    Maybe “what niche to tackle” is the first thing that comes to mind. Often we choose our niche based on what we want to say, but what people want to hear about is something different…

    In another niche completely.

    If you could give me some solid advice for searching for a niche compatible to me and how to ensure the market is there, ready to carry your blog to fame, that would be awesome!

    Looking forward to the next post!

    Talk soon,

  211. Dana Wilson
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 09:37:54

    Thanks for your engaging, informative and even inspiring post, Jon! My biggest challenge is probably taking too long to write. As a solopreneur, I wear many hats and need to make every minute count. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you on this blog.


  212. Stephen Jeske
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 13:24:35

    Jon, where do we go from here?

    Your right on all accounts. For the beginning blogger, these activities consume far too much precious time.

    So the initial focus is on “listening to the customer” or more likely listening in on other people’s customers if you’re just starting out.

    So that activity should give you enough material to create one or two really good posts each week. And the “52 Headline Hacks” download will keep you well supplied with headline material for the next 6 – 12 months.

    But dumb mistake #2 is thinking valuable content is enough. Which begs the question.

    What now?

  213. Isabelle Fredborg
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 16:54:33

    I’m probably guilty of both 6 and 7. I guess what I struggle with is that I’ve been online for quite some time but reading rather than doing, which means I’m aware of a lot of fancy techniques and stuff, I just don’t know what to try and what to focus on.

  214. Susan S. Bosco
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 16:02:57

    Guilty of most of the things you mentioned. I’d start a website, fill it with valuable content (which I quickly learned I could not add to daily) and then try to work the SEO to my advantage, all the while desperately hoping to create something that would become a supplementary income. When the traffic didn’t come, I’d scrap the site. Did that a couple times and wondered how to tackle the beast. Yours is a refreshing approach.

    I can write. I can put up a site. I believe I can write what a targeted market wants to hear. But…how can I make it make $$?

  215. Laura Rajsic-Lanier
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 16:19:18

    I think you need to mention more about WordPress. I started on Blogger, thinking the platform didn’t matter. One year later and I had “0” followers.

    After spending a lot of time on Copyblogger and listening to Internet Marketing for Smart People, I moved to WordPress. Nine months later, I have 20 followers. It’s not a lot, but it’s working. I was *so* excited the first time I received a real comment.

    Purchasing a theme is my next step since I’m working with a free one now. I’m trying to build my blog one piece at a time.

    Thank you, Jon, for your blog and good luck!

  216. Rodney C. Davis
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 16:44:05

    OK Jon. I took one of your courses and have been climbing up that blogging learning curve by listening to some successful bloggers. I THINK I know exactly where my bottlenecks are:

    1. I need to put a free offering together.. something like a free report. I know what topic attracts the most readers, but my gut tells me it has to be more than just a few posts pulled together and edited. I don’t have an angle yet. I want something valuable to give away.

    2. I have a few guest posts that I think will do well on any popular blog within my niche. All I need to do is find that blog and make sure I tweak the writing style to suit. But its so darned difficult to find a popular blogger that accepts guest posts, has a good number of readers, AND pays attention to “guests” and comments sufficiently to notice when they pitch.

    3. I’ve come to suspect some of it has to do with the nature of my niche. It’s not really a niche cuz it’s too wide, and all the little sub-niches around it are so numerous that they’ve gotten too competitive. So I’m looking at another niche that is still in keeping with my line of work, and thinking more in terms of starting a real business and using content marketing instead of just marketing one that does not exist. The usual bottlenecks apply there.. need a feasible plan so I can find a little capital.

  217. Sinead Horan-Webb
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 18:30:00

    Hi Jon,

    Love the work you do so much I followed your polite requests to comment, share and sign up to your emails – only to realise I had already signed up! Guess I’m just that keen!

    Thanks for your informative and honest advice. As someone new to blogging (who mainly writes ghost articles and blogs for small businesses) I’d love to learn more about growing my own audience.

    How do I approach other blogs about writing a guest post? Where else besides my own social sites can I promote my blog? What are some effective ways of encouraging people to not just visit your blog but to follow your posts?

    I know I need to offer more value on my site – at the moment it’s like a glorified portfolio – but it’s still in the early stages and my approach is simply doing ‘what I can, when I can’.

    I look forward to reading more of your generous pearls of wisdom!


  218. Deanna @ The Unnatural Mother
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 18:58:12

    Love these. Guilty of many. I’m constantly wondering if my blog brand is too broad, do I need to be pigeon holed in a niche to build a successful blog and brand myself accordingly, or can use my three interests and go at it, and build a successful brand?

  219. Brinkley Simpson
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 23:30:25

    Learning how to be better in bed is a common goal of most of the men I know-it is right up there with “lose the beer gut” and “figure out how to get paid for playing video games. There are a few common sex mistakes that most men make, so avoiding these can help you claim that “great in bed” title.

  220. Sandra Slavec
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 02:12:01

    Hi John,

    Where am I struggling?

    I’m basically invisible. I leave comments no-one responds, I try to reach out to people via emails but I’m pretty much ignored. So how do I get people/bloggers/clients to take notice of me?

  221. Dee Kumar
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 05:30:17

    It’s this being ‘reactive’ rather then proactive mentality that seems to be killing the new generation of entrepreneurs. It’s almost like they feel like thye can sit back and somehow they deserve success instead of going out there and earning it.

    I see so many bloggers with the same mentality. They take little time to go out there and drag in the masses, they simply rely on Google to do all the work for them.

    You obviously have done many things right to have such a follwoing before your first blog post. Maybe this is a wake up call to many that blogging is not the only way to success, sometimes blogging comes after you are already a success.

    Dee Kumar

  222. Tams
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 09:51:49

    Deception is correct. I think at some point over the past 3 months and some still, I have hit every single stumbling block you have listed.
    Competitive topic being my largest demon. I keep telling myself to trudge forward, but in the end I feel I may be fighting a dead horse.
    At what point do you throw in the towel and decide to begin again? I’m not saying quit, but start anew.
    This is a true, disheartening and mind-clenching post. You’ve done well and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

  223. Olle Lindholm
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 05:24:26

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for a great post! As always, I learn something new from you. I’ve made most of the mistakes you’ve talked about in your post (redesigning my blog was and still is something I am struggling with. But I’ll try to let that one go…)

    I’m struggling with finding a niche, a specific topic, to write about, because I am a person who is intererested in a lot of things. Can this work or is it better to specialise?

    I think it’s a matter of growing your strengths and complementing your weaknesses, giving advice on what you know. In short, helping people. And you, your blog and your story reflect that.

    Looking forward to reading this blog!

    Again, thanks for everything!

    Cheers from Australia,

  224. Gina
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 15:49:44

    I’ve been so misled!

    I too am guilty of Twitter/FB reliance, however that IS how I get readers. FB moreso. I do publish every day, or try to. I write posts days in advance, according to my editorial calendar.

    The people who read it, really like it. They’ve told me many times that it’s addictive. I’ve been using Twitter and FB to get the word out…but it’s not growing that fast.

    I have no idea how SEO works, so that might be a major reason!

    I’m listening. My world is ready to turn upside down! I am your grasshopper.


  225. Linda
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 20:16:24

    Dries pretty much nailed it — way up at the top of the comments. Niches, nooks,alcoves and crannies: how to do the research, how to find the intersections with my own interests, experiences, and expertise.

  226. Glitters
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 01:18:42

    Hi, I know you’ve had lots of questions and may not be able to respond to all. I would really like a feedback on my blog. I started blogging in February and so far, i’ve had approximately 270 visitors. Is this reasonable? I have 6 subscribers.
    Would really like to know if this is a good average.

    Many thanks


  227. Anne Galivan
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 01:48:33

    Hmmm…well, I’ve never been obsessed with SEO because I don’t understand how it works.

    I know that I’m writing content that my readers need, but I sometimes think I need to go back to my earlier posts and write some new posts that deal with those same subjects, to give my readers more information and more detail. I’ve learned a lot in the last two years (in terms of what could be helpful to my readers) and I think I could improve some of the posts I published when I was just starting out.

    I don’t post more than a couple of times a month, partly because of time constraints, but also because I really research my topics so I am giving my readers what I consider “meat.” My niche is quite specific: I have a blog about homeschooling. And even though there are certainly tons more people homeschooling now than when I started homeschooling my kids over 20 years ago, it’s still a pretty narrow niche. I do also occasionally write more general parenting posts but they still are tailored to a quite specific group.

    In my opinion, many of the more popular “homeschooling” blogs are little more than “mommy blogs” with a lot of flash but not a lot of substance. I think I am offering a good deal more valuable information. In fact, I know I am, but yes, trying to get it out to a larger audience has been a challenge.

    I tried the “contribute to forums in your niche” strategy but found it didn’t work. I have used Twitter from Day One on my blog and I do get traffic from there, for sure.

    I also know that doing guest posts is supposed to be the big secret, and I’ve done a number of guest posts but they weren’t exactly on huge blogs so they didn’t drive a lot of traffic. Still, they were fun. But I just can’t get enthused about trying to fulfill the (what I think are) ridiculous requirements for some of the larger homeschool sites I’ve looked at. And it’s not as if I’m going to get published on Copyblogger! Theoretically, even if I were, most of the people who read Copyblogger are not going to come back to a homeschooling blog.

    Much of what you say does apply to me. For instance, believing in the snowball effect. Hey, I’ve been counting on that one! But in the end, I know that I have helped some people in very profound ways. I do believe that even if I never get 10,000 hits a day, the influence I have had in those people’s lives makes my work worth it. That’s just what I believe in. I started my website to help people because I have over two decades of knowledge on a subject most people are intimidated by. Yes, I’d like to reach LOTS more of those people, but those I HAVE helped are certainly grateful I took the time to share my knowledge.

    That’s all I’ve got…which I’m sure was more than enough!

  228. Elizabeth
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:54:14

    Listening to the Headline Webinar Replay. It’s great. For the past couple of months, I’ve been using Headline Hacks every time I get ready to write a headline for anything now. Thanks for the webinar and the PDF.

  229. Annelen
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 05:40:39


    I am very happy I came across this blog. Knowing what not to do is very helpful.

    Well, my blog is called Norsksonen and discusses topics in relation to learning Norwegian as a foreign language. As a teacher for students learning Norwegian as a foreign language, I’ve felt for a long time that this kind of blog was needed. Since no one else seemed to take on the responsability of starting it, I did.

    So my first challenge is that I’m writing in Nowegian. I’ve thought about translating some posts into English, but I figure that it isn’t worth the effort. My audience is immigrants in Norway who needs to learn the language to get a job. I would like to learn more about stategies to figure out when things are worth the effort.

    What I’m struggling with is, that I don’t want to be rude and pushy. I am trying to convince people to read my blog, because I feel I have a lot to say. However, at the same time I’m a bit scared. I would like some guidelines as to what you absolutely should do when promoting you blog, what you can do, and when you become pushy.

    Also, I’m a bit unsure of what you mean by number 6. I do promote my blog on Facebook. If you use 10 minutes a day, and simply share your posts, I don’t see what harm it can do. But, that might be the reason why I am reading your blog, and not the other way round.

    The final problem I am facing is lack of knowledge about everything … or at least most things, connected to blogging. So more knowledge? Yes, please.

  230. Edward Dusza
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:14:05

    This is the best site for anybody who desires to find out about this topic. You notice so much its nearly onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a topic thats been wrote about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

  231. Colin
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 22:06:56

    Basically I agree with the idea in this post. I think its better to say that is dumb to over do any of them and ignoring the others. After all, it’s about balancing the effort, it’s about optimizing your strategy to promote your blog.


  232. GK Zachary
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 22:57:40

    Great article, Jon. Like everything else you do, it is informative and readable. Best, GK

  233. Marina Klima Goldberg
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 23:53:11

    See Jon I am just working so damn hard that the only fear I have is that if I go crazy I will not know it – I will be crazy.
    Here is what I struggle with:
    1. How to go from point A to point Z. Just a simple structure with no details to start. Eg: I have a blog-I get visitors-I get subscribers-I am desirable to vendors-I get commissions getting their products sold. I read about segments, watch video on the topic but nobody talks about the map from A to Z unless you start buying some other crazy courses that would lead you in the direction that their creators want to take you to. That does not mean that you want or need to go there.
    2. I have no problems listening. I know what my prospects want to talk about. But it feels that there re so many blogs talking about same that I need to create an identity and voice if I want to talk about same. I have both, and more. But I am so angry about the shut down of my whole industry that I cannot relax and let go, and be myself again.
    3. I am a coward. There is a niche within my industry that I would like to follow but it means a lot of learning plus marketing. I just do not feel strong enough to do both. See, whatever I do to stay within my creative process is fine for now, but then I really dream to get into helping people with mobility issues to live better in their homes. I did a couple of projects, but not enough…need to learn more…and ran out of steam. I am hoping to do more of those and write about them…one day.

  234. Flodner
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 07:40:28

    Not bad, but these are typical mistakes.
    I regret that I missed your webinar, hope to attend the next one

  235. Phil Bailey
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 13:55:55

    I’ve started a blog focusing on providing helpful info for the baby-boomer generation (folks 50 and over) who are experiencing health, fitness, financial, relationship and medical changes in their lives. I’m getting virtually zero visitors to my web site. Any help in generating visitor traffic would be greatly appreciated!

  236. Derek
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 18:44:43

    Jon – I just found out about you from copyblogger and the my biggest issue is ‘writing good content’. Looking forward to learning more from you and what you have to offer! Great points above.. think I’ve messed up on most all of them :/

  237. Jerry
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 15:42:06

    My largest issue is that traffic on my blog seems to have plateaued. I’m stuck at between 2500 and 3500 pageviews per day, and nothing I do seems to boost those numbers. If you can help with that, you’ll have succeeded in turning my life upside down.

  238. Orlando Viera
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 22:47:54

    Great article for newbies, thank you!

    My question would have to be…. Would you recommend different apprlaches in the hunt for readers based on your blog’s content? In other words, would a health and wellness blogger take a different readership and SEO route than say an entertainment news blogger? Or would you say that these mistakes hurt and the opposite help all bloggers relatively equally!

    Again, thanks for the great insights!

  239. sue
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 10:28:04

    Thanks for all the great content. My desire is to find an easier way to comment on blogs and news articles without having to sign in an attain passwords for them. This can be such a time drain

  240. Geoff
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 18:55:38

    Guilty of most of these… especially the SEO waiting game. On a positive note, I catching on to developing a unique voice and opinion that will separate my sites from others.

  241. Shrikant Bhosale
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 07:54:41

    I am just staring at water before diving into it.

  242. Mark
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 09:20:32


    I would like to add Mistake #8 to the list.

    “Not engaging with your audience.” As I write this, there are 257 comments on this post. There are ZERO responses from you, the author.

    The vast majority of bloggers with passionate readers, sans Seth Godin, are equally as passionate about engaging with their readers in the comments section. It boggles my mind that a “first post” with north of 250 comments did not even solicit a generic “thanks for reading” response”.

    Just my 2 cents.


  243. Orlando
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 21:15:55

    I agree with Mark here. Comments are opportunities to engage the reader and get to know your readership on a deeper level. If readers are taking a few minutes to acknowledge an article or ask a question, a good blogger takes the time to reply.

    Mistake #3 is a little disappointing. While I agree that there are thousands of bloggers that post poorly written stories serving little purpose, there are also thousands that make readers laugh, cry, and come back for more. In the long run, the blogosphere weeds out poor writers and bad stories. A good blog, I believe, is personal and/or driven by personal ambition and drive.

  244. Richard
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 22:31:39

    Unbelievable – in one post Jon Morrow creates THE must-read blog.

    Brilliant stuff, Jon. Very inspirational.

  245. Rosy Rosenheim
    May 02, 2012 @ 07:23:05

    Great Website buddy. Thank you for offering us your time. I will put this on my twiter page for my friends to come and read it as well.

  246. Shalu Sharma
    May 05, 2012 @ 19:13:04

    The first thing when one starts a blog is that they are obsessed with the design. Design design and that is all that matters. But in fact, what matters is the content of the whole blog. I seen the best blogs with the basic of designs such as default wordpress theme. And indeed never bet on the SEO bank.

  247. Art
    May 19, 2012 @ 21:00:29

    Hi , thank you for valuable post.
    Do you have any tips for promoting your blog on youtube ?

  248. Art
    May 20, 2012 @ 11:35:34

    I mean promoting my blog on youtube 🙂

  249. Sudheesh
    May 24, 2012 @ 12:30:45

    Dear Jon,

    This is a fantastic first blog.


    Listen.. Listen…Listen…I am going to implement this strategy.

    I have just started my blog. Don’t have much subscribers as of now.

    Hope you will help!

  250. Amanda
    May 26, 2012 @ 10:11:46

    Jon, I’m a new reader and a relatively new blogger. Do you have any thoughts about inhibition and blogging? I love to write but wonder if I should do so anonymously. I’m afraid of giving too much information or saying the wrong things. I feel like there’s a certain personal hurdle I have to jump. Did you experience this?

  251. Neil
    May 30, 2012 @ 11:06:07


    The ‘dumb mistakes’ are thought provoking, but the solution – ‘listening’ – isn’t going to help someone (like me) who just doesn’t have any readers. I’ve tried all the usual stuff, but the bottom line is that if nobody knows my site exists, then what I put on it as a result of paying careful attention to what people want is not going to help. At least if I had good SEO, a handful of people might visit my blog. Once someone actually looks at it, it’s my job to make sure they keep coming back. But my problem is how to get anyone other than a few close friends to find me!

  252. Weirdopedia
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 15:28:51

    Hey, Jon,
    I have no idea if I’ll ever come back to this blog, but just wanted to let you know that I loved this post. Especially the ending. Makes the reader feel special in a way.
    It was my pleasure to share it on all possible networks and hopefully, I’ll have the time to read you from time to time.

    Take care.

  253. Troy Broussard
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 19:23:26

    Your observation about posting too frequently (daily) is an interesting one. I think that – like any topic – it depends a lot on your goals. In the beginning, as you mention, getting your posting counts up to be respectable is pretty important as well to having some credibility, so I can see both sides of the coin on this one.

    The points about getting less social engagement and comments and perhaps even burning out your readers, however, also makes sense. Though I think that a lot of readers get conditioned to whatever you do as long as it provides good value.

    I know I am subscribed to some bloggers that i don’t read every post they put out, but I do quickly check them out and don’t unsub from them over it.

    Take care,

  254. Meaghean
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 19:55:49

    So, quick question…. If I launched my blog, a week ago… How much daily traffic should I be recieving by now?

  255. Amanda
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 16:56:13

    Wow! I’m so impressed by this site! I’m so happy I found it!

  256. Lise Griffiths
    Oct 31, 2012 @ 06:05:28

    Wow thanks so much for this – these harsh truths cut out alot of time wasted.

  257. Bobbi
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 06:20:30

    Great post Jon! I know that listening is key. I have written about it before on my site and Firepole Marketing. I know that where I am struggling is attracting the traffic to my site. It is building but I need to tap in to more of the listening as well in the marketing to find the exact topics that I need to answer. Thanks for writing this!

  258. zahib
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 17:03:24

    Yes, The fog is clearing, now it’s making sense. I noticed the facebook is become the next “Me-Tube” where everyone want to share personal information about them, but wonder why they are not getting anyone interested into what they are doing. Because no-one cares about you until you show you care about them.

    Great Post, even tho I’m late to finding it.

  259. Austin Hodge
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 10:24:48

    I’ve definitely been struggling with deciding on how best to go about getting out there and recruiting subscribers. You certainly can’t just sit and hope that people show up to the site. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

    Best wishes,
    Austin Hodge

  260. Ben McCahill
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:07:38

    I set up a blog on surviving and thriving when u get booted out of the corporate duvet after 20 years.

    Today I asked a REAL friend to review it. They hated it and told me why in detail. I had not written for my target audience, but was being too clever and totally self centred.

    Ouch. I have now officially hit every mistake mentioned in your post.

    But you have given me the hand I need to get going again.


  261. Toki
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 20:48:42

    Hey! I’m an expert in UNIX and Linux – not usually a popular blogging topic – and have started up my own website. Because it’s not an area usually associated with blogging (despite the fact that a huge amount of the knowledge and UNIX admin knows comes from articles written by people on the internet), there’s not much help for how to gain followers. I guess this is a specialised area, but it’s something I’m still looking to find advice on – how to get a blog following in IT.

  262. belinda
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 12:50:09

    Wow – so many comments… and for a jolly good reason. I do like a short, sharp sentence – it wakes up the brain.


  263. Warren Horak (Business Coach)
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 01:45:56

    Thanks Jon,

    Some really great practical tips for all bloggers

    Looking forward to more blogs and tips

  264. Stu
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 13:06:02

    FIrst things first. Jon, I discovered you as many others may Have
    Done through Johnny. I have read pretty much everything you have recently Written. I love your stuff. Your mind your strength – everything.
    Because of you I have unsubscribed from many “gooros” lists and concentrated on simple two way communication with my readers.
    I have also subscribed to a couple of FB pages owned by “top bloggers”
    One thing that pisses me off about them is that they write a post and manage a Shit load of comments but NEVER interact with those people.
    You are not normally guilty of this. But here we have 282 comments and no Jon? You justify your popularity in style. We both know why we all do this stuff and the second main reason is the deniro! When you first started writing you would of replied and interacted with us mortals. 282 comments. 282 paypal accounts. 282 people You could softly point towards your own excellent products. 282 people who want to talk to you in this thread.
    You won’t take this personally. I hope. Its just you’re a cool guy. People respond to your words. You’re a great teacher and leader.
    Now put that blond 22 yr old private nurse away and come say hi.
    Much love Stuart.

  265. Stu
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 13:08:33

    And yes my head is between my knees waiting for the flack!

  266. Riley Digital
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 12:26:57

    I read this post and thought about it and it makes a lot of sense. If the people following your blog are reading your posts and replying you are doing something right. If you are writing posts and no one is reading then you are not writing the right content.

    Content is King and everyone would agree. Your blog should have a purpose and the purpose should be to fill the heads of your readers and it sticks there. If you are in a small niche then your numbers will be small.

    I am a new follower.

  267. zoomingjapan
    Mar 20, 2013 @ 01:36:44

    A very inspiring post.
    I’ve just read through this one as well as through a bunch of other blog posts here. They are all very informative.

    In fact I think I spend too much time reading about “how to improve” my blog instead of actually doing it!

    I’m not doing that badly with my blog, but I want to push it to the next level. And after reading this post, I think I must be doing a lot of things wrong.
    After all you said: “If you’re not getting that kind of traffic, it’s not because you need to be patient. It’s because you’re doing something wrong.”

    My main problem is that all the blogs out there that tell you how to create a great blog and write great content, focus on certain types of fields and niche blogs. None of them seems to apply for my kind of blog. It’s really frustrating.

    The topic is certainly something people are interested in. There already are a lot of websites and blogs out there, that cover the topic.
    I just struggle finding a way to make my content unique.

    I keep thinking about it, I keep reading all kinds of great blogs like yours, but I just don’t find the answers I’m looking for.

  268. Student
    Mar 21, 2013 @ 22:30:48

    Wow, talk about tough love – I really like what you wrote above. I’m getting started on blog soon, Jon. THANK YOU so much for letting me know that I don’t have to write every day to get traffic. I love to write, but I don’t want to write every day! I also like the fact that you stated I should not worry about Facebook or Twitter right now, but to just focus on building my blog. And thanks for reminding me that I need to listen to know what my target market wants to read about. By the way, I’m also loving that Headline Hack Cheatsheet, too. I would like to read more straight talk like you wrote above. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.

  269. Miss Kim @ behgopa
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 13:32:10

    I have been blogging for a month. I have 1,300+ page views and zero subscribers. It can be a frustrating process, but I am having fun with it. I know I am probably making every other mistake in the book.
    I know the changes I need to make to generate more traffic. And I am doing the best I can with what time permits. But as far as the content alone on my blog, tell me, is my blog crap?
    Am I talking too much of myself? Not enough quality photos? Any feedback would be welcome. You can be as harsh as you want. I can take it.

    • Brian
      Sep 15, 2013 @ 16:47:48

      Hey Kim,

      No, I’m not Jon but I looked at your blog anyway and have some feedback for you. The first is if your blog is meant to be a professional blog, then you’re better off switching to your own host instead of using Blogger. But if it’s not, (which I don’t think it is) then it’s okay to use a third party site.

      Just know that when you aren’t paying to host your blog on your own site, your content is at the mercy of the parent company. They can delete it whenever they want.

      2. I looked for an About page first, and couldn’t find one. Your about page doesn’t have to be all about you, it can just talk about your blog, but it’s necessary since it lets readers know what your blog is about. (I had to assume what your blog is about, and I’m assuming it’s about your personal life?)

      3. Your headlines aren’t helping you get readers to click. Example “The way I stayed cool in the kitchen for the past couple of weeks” could’ve been, “A Chef’s Secret to Beating Kitchen Heat” (that’s not the best headline but it’s a quick example of what would work).

      Also, if you noticed I capitalized the words in the headline using the title case format. This link is a free title case converter, just type what you want to convert in there and it’ll do the job.

      4. Images, in general you either use them with all of your post or none of your post. Looking at your top three, you missed an image for ‘yelping.’ You’ll also want to have the image in the same place for each post to maintain consistency. The ‘norm’ is the top right at the start of each post. You don’t have to follow the norm just follow consistency.

      5. Your sidebar, it’s good that you only have one instead of 2 on either side of your post. But it doesn’t really draw any attention, I noticed it more as “random clutter in the corner” rather than actual ways to engage. This could be a limitation of blogger (I use WordPress) but if possible reduce the number of widgets you have and give them a border.

      Example: Place the blog archive widget at the bottom of the page, and replace it with the ‘recent posts’ widget (if blogger has one). That way, when a reader reaches the end of your post they can easily see what to read next.

      Cut down your sharing options to just one (for now), since this is blogger, you’re probably best of using Google+ as the only sharing channel. The more +1’s you get on Google+ the stronger your authorship becomes.

      Revamp your about me widget. “Hello!” Doesn’t tell me much or get my interest. Just makes me want to say “hi,” and find something else to do.

      6. Reframe your content. We all like talking about ourselves, I know I do, but readers like to read about themselves. Instead of using, “my,” and “I,” use “you,” and “you.”
      Your post about Oi Muchim is your best out of the top 3 (in my opinion). However, your font changes mid post, this is bad. Unless you are block quoting, your font shouldn’t change, and even then, it should change to italics. However, your picture for the Oi Muchim post is too close. If you can, take a step back and take a second picture that shows the entire dish (plate and all), it’s currently too in your face.

      A new headline for Oi Muchim “Rediscovering Your Lost Appetite with Oi Muchim. Also, consider adding a sub header “The Recipe” and then inserting the content about how to make it.

      I could go into more detail but I’m at 637 words. Hopes this helped.

      Happy blogging,


      ps. Avoid using versions of ‘to be’ in your writing. Example “I have been.” Yes I used to be’s in this comment, and my only excuse is I’m multitasking.

  270. Ami
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 18:28:35

    I like the ‘focus on one platform until you’ve got thousands of subscribers’ advice. Thanks for that~

  271. Darren
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 22:06:50

    Being a first time blogger knowing where to focus my energies has been really challenging. I’ve been guilty of trying to spread myself to thin with limited time to spend on each platform. So after reading this post it’s made it clear to me that I wasn’t really getting anywhere.

    Thanks for the blunt advice.


  272. Ash Roy
    May 08, 2013 @ 05:18:15

    Wow John!

    I just read this blog post and was pretty blow away (even though it was written a few months ago)!

    I know at the end of the blog you asked us to tell you where we are struggling so here goes: I’ve had a blog for about a month and I definitely don’t have visitors in the hundreds – which I know you said is an indication that I’m not doing something right. (I average about 30 per day but have hit 230 visitors after sending out my second newsletter earlier this week).

    Obviously I am doing something wong. My blog is in the productivity and stress reduction space and targeted at busy professionals who are time poor and stressed to their eyeballs.

    As you suggested I will listen to see what people want to learn about and hope that I will be able to make this work. Can you recommend some good sites where I can listen in this productivity and stress reduction space?

  273. sarsrose
    May 09, 2013 @ 08:39:05

    thanks for this, was a great read and very down to earth which i appreciate. My question is this: i want to get off to a good start, but how do i know if i have? I’ve been blogging for three weeks, but i have no idea what sort of figures i should be looking for in my first few months. Thanks!

  274. Greg
    May 25, 2013 @ 04:18:03

    Great info…thanks!

  275. Glen
    May 29, 2013 @ 08:00:24

    Hey John,
    For me, the “listening” is the BIG take-a-way.

    I’ve made the mistake of using social media as a platform, and NOT a “listening” tool.

    I’ve read the comments and can see the nuggets of wisdom that was slipping right through my fingers.

    Thanks for the nuggets John, and I LOVE the Guest Blogging Course.

  276. Ansh
    May 29, 2013 @ 12:25:47

    Hi Jon,
    Absolute fantastic blog post.
    As you have mentioned telling stories should be avoided but I can see many established bloggers telling their life stories and getting good response from the readers?

    Does this really matter? How can we build trust with our readers?

  277. Aqib Shahzad
    Jun 04, 2013 @ 22:36:10

    Useful information shared. I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info.

  278. ZimNinja
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 08:52:25

    Awesome post. Very useful and I think everyone who owns a website should read this.


  279. Elizabeth Flores
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 07:38:36

    Jon, I stumbled across your blog and it’s like the world knew I was a struggling blogger and brought your valuable content to me. I look forward to reading more of your posts! The straightforward attitude is so refreshing and to the point. I read the article you posted about copying the greats and I will certainly be trying that. My question for you is:
    How do you get people to take the plunge from visiting the blog everyday to actually hitting the subscribe button?

    • Christ-El
      Jun 20, 2013 @ 16:07:21

      I have the same question. Good luck with your blog.

  280. Dean
    Jun 21, 2013 @ 07:19:43

    Building traffic will always be a challenge. With Google changing the rules when they want, you have to be ready to adapt and change. Another “dumbest mistake” to add is not being careful with spelling (personal experience). If you miss your errors, and your site gets spidered, your site is not going to rank for the keyword you intended it for. So be careful and proofread continuously!

  281. WJLambert
    Jun 21, 2013 @ 19:55:40

    I literally only started blogging GoogleToday[dot]Net one month ago. I found that Google in general was a popular topic, but being a fanboy it wasn’t hard to enjoy writing about it. What I can’t figure out is why I get zero “real” comments. I’ve swatted away dozens of spam comments, but of the 20-30 real daily unique visitors I get, no one ever leaves a comment.

    I also have a couple other blogs with topics that are similar. I think I get what you’ve said that I need to write about what people like. But other than using Adwords, how can I find what people like?

  282. Jason Lim
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 00:04:52

    If it wasn’t for you. I would do about 3 / 4 of these dumb things. It’s from here that I found out I shouldn’t post every single day! Thanks a lot for this amazing post, Jon.


  283. Rochelle
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 00:57:41

    Well, I just started my site/blog a week and a half ago. I’m writing my first novel. People said, “build your platform before you even start writing your novel.” So that’s what I’m trying to do. What in the heck am I supposed to write about that’s going to grab people’s attention and beg for more? I don’t really have advice to give (except advice on daily life stuff: kids and so on) because I’m the one scouring the internet for advice for me! What will help me find out what people want to read about from me? I am super glad to read that it’s better to post once a week or two and not daily or 3-5x a week. I was exhausted just thinking about it.

  284. Cache Digital Ltd
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 15:49:55

    Hi, I really like your post, you tell it how it is, people need to concentrate on the important issues and your blog is a fine example of what can be achieved, I plan to start a blog soon but don’t want to just write thing for the sake of it, I think its important to be interesting and i have never been the best storyteller/writer so its going to be a bit of a challenge I guess the proof is in the number or readers, thanks for sharing your tips, best wishes.

  285. Nikki
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 11:30:32

    I don’t know how you are going to read all those comments AND help us all. But it’s worth a shot. So here’s my story. I started my blog around 12 days ago and I’m not happy at all with the response.Just about 23 followers and a couple of likes per post. I’ve been writing everyday so that’s one thing I’m going to stop. Some tips please?

  286. Liss Thomas
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 07:53:43

    I think my approach is slightly different because I write fiction. Do people want to read it? Yes but how to find those people is a challenge. I have auto tweet, facebook and ever other social media set up and it brings in the readers but sometimes not enough of them 🙁

  287. Lara Mealor
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:35:09

    Thanks for this post. I am struggling just going live on my blog and trying to create a variety of social media launches at the same time. Maybe I need to hold off but I am a social media nut… love Facebook. My marketing company suggests a Milesstone graphic with text. HELP. Hoping to be live next week. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  288. Liz
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 01:24:56

    I need help figuring out exactly what my readers will want – I’ve been writing about products that are Made on Maui – going for the whole buy local/support local artist thing- while the idea has been received well, and the people i profile are happy for the publicity, its not gone viral. any tips and ideas would be appreciated.

  289. Lisa Sweiback
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 09:06:43

    Im pretty new at blogging and am striving to make a career of it, via sponsoring. Although I have add sense right now which is lagging a bit. My question is, is there anything I need to add or take away from my blog to make it appealing enough for followers and potential sponsoring?

  290. Willi Morris
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 05:45:53

    *ouch* Jon! The traffic one really hurt. My blog has “snowballed” but not to hundreds of readers. And I am sure you aren’t implying that not getting hundreds of readers in a month means you suck and should give up. I don’t know if my storytelling skills are stellar, but when I’m honest with my readers about my life, I get more feedback than any of my posts regarding freelancing. It’s crazy. So besides those points of contention, I agree spot on!

  291. Helen
    Aug 13, 2013 @ 11:34:45

    All I want to do is write blog posts that help my audience and you just gave me the freedom to do that. Thank you! I would love to learn how to convert blog readers into clients of my coaching business.

  292. David Mann
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 08:10:39

    Well, this post found me out and no mistake. My blog is a few weeks old. I’m enjoying it, but I am indeed writing what I want to say. Worse than that, my audience is me, when I was 23 years old, so it’s an audience that doesn’t even exist for me to listen to!

    That said, there is a huge interest in some of the things that interested me as a 23 year old in his first management job, and I shall try to follow your advice because I can see it would be very helpful. Thank you.

    Oh, I should add a straight-up, in your face, unembarrassed, slightly desperate plea for anyone reading this to go to and let me know what you think my chances of success are.

  293. Bastiaan
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 21:27:06

    Hello Jon, I want to thank you a lot for this post! It got me on the right track again. About 4 months ago I started my blog (travelblog) like many others. I was writing stories about my adventures in several countries. My plan has always been to make a living out of it in a few years. This post made me realize that people are not really interested in my travel stories, but they want useful advice about traveling and advice about how they can change their live like I changed mine (i’m a nomadic traveler going everywhere without a real place to live).

    Now I made a small business plan (2 pages) and it really opened up my mind. I bought a premium theme (elegant) and currently I’m writing my pages and my “flagship” content. I want to be useful for people and inspire them to travel, provide them with usefulness and eventually help to change their lives, because I know a lot of people are stuck in their 9 to 5 job… (I was).

    Thanks for the inspiring and useful post. I will subscribe to your blog!

  294. Tom Southern
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 13:14:29

    You’ll notice that Jon opened up the floor to people to tell him what you’re struggling with on your blog. He’s not replied (I’ll guess) because he wanted you all to have your say so … He could respond by writing posts that would give you all answers.

    It may seem strange not to get any replies directly. Instead Jon’s offered more fuller answers in the posts you can read on BBT. And that’s one of the secrets for how to “listen” to your audience … Write posts that answer their questions.

    Personally, I think it’s a great technique. Whatever you’re struggling with, you’ll find a post now, or coming up, to give you solutions.

    Great lesson, Jon. Cheers!

  295. Dani
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 09:05:03

    Very well written article. The mistake I made (out of the 7 above) is that I wanted to write everyday. As a result my quality suffered and people were not sticking around for long. I will change my strategy to writing once per week (at least initially), and I will spend the rest of the week communicating with my target audience and identifying what is it that they want me to write about.

    I am definitely going to monitor this blog and keep on learning new and exciting stuff.

    I wish a lot of success to Jon Morrow.

  296. Sajid Hussain
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 18:41:49

    Hi John,

    Thank you so much for the very nice article. I learned a lot from this article. I was making so many mistakes including these however from now I will never repeat them.

    Found your article very worthy. Honestly speaking, I have read it out complete.

  297. madeline
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 01:52:08

    Hi, I’m starting a blog about building, renovating and property investing in Australia.
    Since the recession bad marketing and desperate sales tactics has had a huge backlash on consumers. I envision creating a blog that breaks down unrealistic bs marketing and gives good advice will actually attract people. my main issue before I start this blog is attractive readers and publicity on a more localised level, if anyone can give me good advice it’d be greatly appreciated.

  298. madeline
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 01:53:46

    *just realised I wrote attractive readers rather than attracting readers.
    Blog fail #1 crap spelling.

  299. Melissa
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 20:25:14

    I started out of the gate tremendously in my eyes, 800-1,500 visitors a day . I have taken the biggest dive ever in the last week. I am so upset. I know where my traffic was coming from and why ( 3 specific Pinterest Pins) I have had popular pins since, just as not as much. I mean, we are talking dived down to 100-400 a day. I am naive to think that once the site was older traffic would start flowing from search engines… your # 7 killed that for me. I’m SO depressed about this. ughh 🙁

  300. Sylvia
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 13:41:34

    I’m guilty of #1 SEO and #4 redesign.

    When I started my blog I researched dozens of SEO gurus and implemented a lot of the generally agreed upon advice. I used all white hat, manual methods, but I must have gone wrong somewhere because it seems Google dinged me. After making decent progress on the serps my site disappeared for weeks. It has come back but landed on page 6 and seems to be stuck there.

    I love to write so it was easy to build the site fast with lots of content. But for whatever reason Google didn’t appreciate it.

    As for the redesign issue, I absolutely detest the look of my blog. But the navigation works nicely and is easy to follow. That is why I keep it as is even though I agonize over the aesthetics.

    Keep these posts coming Jon! Very helpful.

  301. Meinwords
    Nov 03, 2013 @ 02:17:31

    I have a faith-based blog that is almost a year old. The focus is on scripture study and insights gleened on life through a biblical perspective. I blog about struggles and lessons in everyday life and apply Christian principles to them. I’ve polled my readers in a sincere effort to find out which topics they would most like to read about but I have had very little feedback. Suggestions?

  302. Andreas Baxevanidis
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 04:36:58

    Dear John
    am really touched by the way you write about yourself (I read the copyblogger page), am 68 y.o. handicap from myelopathia. Have fought a similar battle like yours for 25 years, before I was a succesful businessman, after the strike, became a painter at first because I was talented and it was a dream since my childhood. Recently became a blogger and I publish articles about the very bad economic situation, about also our marionette of a government here in Hellas (Greece).
    My posts are right where you described above and I’d like to have a bigger audience/readers, for I noticed that all around the world read my posts, have a nice pen but don’t know about internet marketing although i studied marketing many yers ago. I guess your opinion and help would be appreciated in case you have the time to answer me. My English are not so good but at least am able to communicate.

  303. mike
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 22:22:06

    new blog, 2 months old. statcounter is showing an average of 120ish views a day. some days more, some less. the most I ever got was 200 or so. just trying to find what works.

  304. Jason
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 23:15:36

    Wow, what a great article. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. 🙂

  305. Tapiwa Mapani
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 05:51:42

    This article was a real eye opener! Indeed I was writing articles that I wanted to write not what people wanted to read. Glad I found this when my blog is still young so I can easily correct my ways! 🙂

  306. markbarz
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 00:17:18

    Content has always been king, and this belief has become a rule ever since Google rolled out the Panda update. Although website quality is the sum of all elements found on a webpage, plus all the technical matters that occur on code-level, a large part of it is attributed to the content published on page.

  307. Ben Joseph
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 16:36:24

    “Will my blog get traffic by posting a comment here?”

    Haha, this might be another dumb mistake if doesn’t work. Great post anyway!

  308. Sarca
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 21:00:33

    Just coming in to say that I agree with what you wrote about. I think it’s important to write for your readers to a certain extent. I made all the mistakes you wrote about with my first blog, including having facebook and twitter accounts. Frankly, I just couldn’t keep up with them, and besides the fact the blog wasn’t attracting any readers beyond family – so the effort didn’t seem worth it. I have another blog now with more readers than I ever expected. I read other blogs and comment on them too which gets some community engagement, and I am holding off on social media at least for the time being. Thanks for the great post!

  309. Tan
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 18:28:22

    I started a new blog some time ago, I write new posts everyday and realize that I cannot get a lot of traffic if it continues like that so I stressed out, search for advice in google, and found this. I really thought that valuable content and seo are enough for new blog, but after reading this my mind changed. Now I know why I’m struggling, It’s because I’m too focused with the content without thinking any other things. Thanks a lot for the advice!

  310. David
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 14:28:43

    My Blog launched on the 10/02/2014, so far it’s had 818 page views. Is this unusually low for a new blog?

  311. HMFJewels
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 14:06:12

    This was so, so helpful! Thank you!

    I’ve been working as a copywriter and blogger for a company for around a year and I fell into most of these mistakes with my own blog. I can’t wait to start making changes on my personal blog now!


  312. yeahright
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 08:08:33

    This information wasn’t correct in 2012 and it isn’t correct now in 2014.

    For those who are starting a blog, do not listen to this crap. I’ve been blogging for 12 years and there is nothing better for you than writing every day.

    Utter crap. Stop leading people astray pal. Really.

  313. NetSeoRank
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 14:20:31

    Im so guilty for number 6. I need to sharpen my focus. Thanks for the perspective.

  314. webdesign
    Mar 05, 2014 @ 02:01:13

    Very good, thank you so much

  315. Ebele
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 04:44:03

    Hi Jon. Thanks a lot for this post. I’m on the verge of launching my blog but waiting for a better design. But now, you’ve hit me with #4. I’m good to go but still wondering how to attract and maintain readers and subscribers. Any advice on take off will be appreciated. Thanks

  316. Josh Malan
    Mar 29, 2014 @ 13:30:14

    I fell into the trap of trying to blog EVERY DAY. Thank you SO much for your great insight. I will try to avoid these mistakes in the future. Thanks for the great info!


  317. Harpal Singh
    May 12, 2014 @ 16:29:19

    tONS OF THANKS FOR THIS AMAZING POST. So for small blogs , we should post daily and for big blogs we should offer quality content instead of quantity.

  318. Angela
    May 13, 2014 @ 10:51:18

    Hi Jon. Thanks a lot for a great post. It has help me get some guidelines in place for the launch of my blog. That isn´t for me but for the fashion designer and entrepenures out there that are struggeling with their business. Thorugh the site I help them discover the new way of running their fashion business, increase their sex appeal and doing more of what the love.

  319. Steve A
    May 15, 2014 @ 11:00:39

    Thanks for a great post. I just started my site a couple of weeks ago and have been able to drive up my likes on FB to approaching 100 and seem to have some traffic on the site, but can’t get my page past 5 on Google which is frustrating. I am writing every day just to get the content up, but will take your advice and start to ratchet back. In fact, I will take a lot of your advice to see if it makes a difference. Thanks again for the great post.

  320. Evan
    May 15, 2014 @ 18:51:39

    I may have given myself an insoluble problem. My interest is in developing autonomy – encouraging independence.

    But if people are independent they tend to be unpredictable. Which leads to me having problems finding where they are.

    So may ‘I can’t get there from here’ or maybe I haven’t figured out how to find my ideal readers yet.

  321. R Smith
    Jun 27, 2014 @ 15:25:11

    Hello. I enjoyed reading your post and thanks for the tips. I’m having a hard time building up my audience. I don’t have a huge following on facebook or twitter, and my family and friends are not subscribing. They prefer to simply like my facebook page. What can I do (being that I not tech savvy when it comes to SEO and other avenues) to build the audiences of my blog? I’m a future world traveler and my blog is about my journey as I prepare to travel the world. Hope to hear from you soon!

  322. Mickel
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 21:58:49

    Thanks for the great tips. I have problems with getting more visitors. Worked hard and spending a lot of time reading about getting more visitors. I own 2 websites and all of these websites are not getting much traffic. I don’t know what to do now, and i hope somebody will help me soon, because i’m almost at the point to giving up.
    My websites are and

    with kind regards

  323. Brnamj
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 20:25:34

    Looks Like I do all this mistake together at less 4 from what you mentions here ..
    Specially mistake #2 and mistake #4 … I was allows thinking making unique blog and unique contents will improve my blog soon or lather but I was wrong about that .
    I hope things changed any sooner

  324. Paige Lewis
    Jul 09, 2014 @ 09:22:09

    Hi, I was just wondering about how many posts you should ideally have when you launch. Is one okay? Or should we put more so the ones who go look will have more to read. Does it matter? Thanks!

  325. suresh
    Jul 10, 2014 @ 05:22:00

    great post bro. all things are need to launch new blog. if ignore these things blog not make any readership.i have launch a new blog before 1 month it’s not getting decent tarffic plz help me bro.

  326. Nathan
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 20:36:02

    I think one of my biggest problems is too much reading, not enough doing. Different things work for different people, and you have to go with your own style. Look at James Clear- he clearly could care less about plugins. His content is just incredible. I hope to model my own site after that.

  327. Erik Larson
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 17:42:27

    Hey Jon,

    Absolutely amazing post. This is actually the one that convinced me to join your group. I’ve been using what you said to build my own community of one man marketing teams at Thanks for the legitimately good advice, which can be hard to find today.

  328. web designer
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 05:37:51

    Thanks Jon very nice ! Congrats on the unveiling.

  329. Tom Gagliano
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 10:02:09

    Wow I feel like an idiot after reading this. To be clear, I say that because I’ve made every mistake except number 4 and 6. I’m by no means implying your writing is idiotic, it’s quite the opossite. The only reason I haven’t made mistakes 4 and 6 is because I haven’t had the time to. Give me enough time and I guarantee I would have made them. Very glad I came across your blog. You have a wealth of information to share. I just started blogging about a month ago after selling some drink coasters on ebay and having a few friends and family comment on my writing. It gave me motivation to start blogging; motivation that soon dwindled after seeing few results for my efforts.

    Reading your blog has given me new motivation to push forward using what I’ve learned from your posts. In one of your articles you said to just focus on one blog. Not knowing any better, in my first month blogging I started 3 blogs. Yikes! I realize now this was a huge mistake. I think I did this because I wouldn’t see results from 1 blog and then I’d think I’d have a great new idea so I’d start another. Then I had another idea and created the third. I need to determine which blog to continue with and which ones to put on the sidelines.

    Following are my 3 blogs, none of which are particularily breathtaking. After reading your posts I realize I’ve made major mistakes with all of them. I’m actually quite embarrassed to share them with you, but I need a shove in the right direction.

    Blog attempt #1 – This was born out of an ebay listing I created. I thought the idea was creative and unique. Now after reading your blog I realize being creative and unique isn’t necessarily going to help me.

    Blog attempt #2 – This was born out of my recent wedding and our new home. My wife and I did the wedding and remodeled the foreclosure we bought ourselves. I thought a do it yourself blog would be a good idea. Then I realized there are tons of do it yourself blogs. The large amount of competition had made me all but abandon this blog. I’ve now learned from you that this isn’t a bad thing, it just means it’s a popular topic.

    Blog attempt #3 – This was born out of my divorce over 2 years ago and the custody battle I’m going through. I thought for sure this one would take off with my strong opinions and catchy titles. Reading your posts I now realize I’m not providing any value here.

    I need to focus on one and run with it but I was hoping to get your expert opinion. Here are my thoughts on what I could do moving forward if I had to pick one:

    Blog #1 – Focus on the experiment aspect of it but give advice and tips on marketing products and inventions.

    Blog #2 – Less story telling. Post higher quality how to’s with more details and pictures.

    Blog #3 – Again, less story telling and focus more on the struggles of divorce and custody. How to’s and resources etc…

    Currently none of these blogs have any really great content. They just seem to have a lot of rambling, stories and filler. I apologize for the long comment, just desperately need an expert blogger’s advice. Jon, can you be the expert blogger to shine your glorious wisdom upon me?


  330. Mike
    Aug 22, 2014 @ 13:49:20

    Thank you! I’m a very new blogger struggling with site traffic. I’m hearing all different things: SEO is most important, promotion is most important, etc. But this article is awesome and I’ll be following it!

  331. Rich Andoh
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:18:13

    Wauw! Awesome post, very inspiring and I really have to admit some of these words really hit me right in the face.

    My blog has been growing pretty quickly and I am really grateful for your information, but at the same time it is a wake up call.

    Because I want to go places. Fast.

    • Rich Andoh
      Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:19:15

      And my question is…how do you get people to comment on your blogs? I have more than 200 visitors a day and 140 subscribers by no comments.

  332. James Rademacher
    Sep 17, 2014 @ 20:42:59

    Thanks for the great post. I am adding a book mark to this page for future reference.

  333. Orhan Ugurcag
    Oct 07, 2014 @ 10:28:20

    Very useful information in this post; as a beginner I found this a lot more pleasant to read in comparison to the same old blogging tips and tricks that most sites spew at you when you read then. Thanks for putting things into a more realistic perspective!

  334. Balazs Hende
    Oct 12, 2014 @ 11:24:46

    I’ve made at least 5 of the mistakes. Great site, I’m happy to found your blog!

  335. Lester
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 02:05:06

    I got this blog. How long will it take so the keywords be noticed by google webmaster?

  336. Jason
    Nov 01, 2014 @ 04:14:47

    Interesting suggestions. I don’t agree with number 3 personally, although I think I know where you’re coming from. I plan to write personal stories, however they will be interesting and they will relate directly to the topic at hand. I’m guessing you’re talking more about personal stories that don’t have any meaning other than being a simple journal entry?

    The rest were great though. Definitely some food for thought!

  337. Yoshiewafa
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 16:15:35

    After I read this article so more and feel stupid because I used to do it. However, for lately I’ve wanted to fix it and continue to improve so that repairs are not so stupid blogger 🙂

  338. The Mommy DAte
    Nov 12, 2014 @ 16:08:16

    I’m sure like most people, I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong and what I need to change to get more traffic. I’ve only had my blog up for a few weeks, but I can’t seem to figure out how to break ahead of my consistent traffic numbers…

    I think I fall into just about every category you listed above. I want to be successful and I want to do it right. I feel like a hamster spinning and not getting anywhere. Clearly – I need to try something different. I’ve read quite a few blogs like yours here, and I would love to see someone actually give some concrete advice instead of pointing out what not to do. I don’t mean a 1, 2, 3 manual, but lead me towards a successful path. Thanks!!!

  339. kate
    Nov 13, 2014 @ 15:42:51

    Hey, I just read this WHOLE thing and thankfully I roughly know what I was doing wrong. I have started my blog around April this year but I didn’t take it seriously until about last month. I now write my titles, include tags, have misspelled contents…most of the times anyways, I share my post to social media such as twitter and Instagram, and I try to reply to all the comments I get. Today I have reached 100 views for the first time and I’m really excited about it. Is there anything else you would suggest?

  340. Sarah @ A Grateful Blog
    Nov 17, 2014 @ 16:39:14

    While I’m sure this is all good advice for new bloggers, it also subliminally advocates the writer to ignore their own vision in face of their readers. Of course, the readers are what fuel the blog and they should be taken into account. But a blind appeal for “hits” and “traffic” – aka popularity – seems to be a compromise of values. The point – write your story if that is your goal. Write for others if you want readers.

  341. Ratko Ivanović
    Dec 07, 2014 @ 14:47:28

    I’ve been thinking about incorporating a blog into my website (it’s currently just a launch page) for while now and I’m thinking about strategies first.

    I know my target audience, and from my work on social media, I have an understanding what to produce – writing for my audience, rather about my company and line of business.

    My questions are, what is your mind on these 2 things:
    1.) Creating “episodes in a thematic way” -> to explain, most issues or subjects are made up of a few things, it’s hard to create one article that covers all of them. To provide an example, let’s say you want to discuss email signatures. There are a lot of subjects on this one – how to design one, use of a software, use of images yes/no, html vs plain text, corporate signatures, how many links, where, etc. etc. -> these can’t be answered all by just one post. So what do you think by episoded posts, with easy navigation between them (either a tag that links them all or similar)?
    2.) Personal situations -> I know you put in don’t write about your personal life. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about personal experience linking to a subject relevant to the readers. For example, the best posts I’ve seen about startups come from people who described what decisions they made, and why. So, to link it to what I ask, say you’re doing head hunting for copywriters, and you know the subject is relevant to your audience, write on that subject from your experience. I think it’s fine to include your general view (an objective stance), but provide your own as well. What do you think about these types of articles?
    (why I ask – there are a lot of articles on the same subjects, etc. and this is a way to make yours unique)

  342. Bobby
    Dec 09, 2014 @ 13:46:19

    My struggle is that I have about 8k real fans on Facebook (not purchased). I’ve got almost not traffic from Google and othe blogs. So basically, if I’m not posting a new article on FB, I’m not getting traffic. Don’t know what to do??

  343. Margaux Daughtry
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 21:15:12

    I have been blogging for 8 months now. Following all this crap advice and doing stuff wrong all on my own. I have been super frustrated and super confused as to why isn’t anything happening when I have done what I have been told?

    BECAUSE IT WAS ALL CRAP! You know, I have had this gut feeling that there was just more to it. I kept asking “experts” and felt like I must be asking wrong because I keep getting told the same thing. Now I see they probably didn’t know the correct answer! I tell ya, that pride can get people every time!

    ::Sigh:: Okay. Channeling my anger… So now, after 8 months of wasting a lot of time, I am listening to you and only you! See, the other “experts” didn’t make much sense to me, and that’s why I kept asking questions. I know you are the real deal because everything you have said makes COMPLETE sense!

    Yes, I have focused way too much on my design. I blame that partly on the fact that I am a creative person that loves arts & crafts, and of course design is comfortable to me. I WAS PROCRASTINATING!

    Yes, I focus way too much on social media. In fact, I spend way too much time participating in a blog community on facebook. This is basically where most of my comments come from. So instead of writing great articles and posting on popular blogs, I have been begging for comments from fellow bloggers. Just to make myself feel better by seeing a few comments instead of 0. So now I am realizing that.

    Yes, I worry too much about posting to my blog. Even if it’s just a quicky, just to have a recent post….THAT NOBODY READS SO WHO CARES?? Nobody! lol

    Yes, I have focused too much on SEO, because I was TOLD to! My Google+ posts make it on the first page results from the key phrase “home diy projects”. This did not get me any Google+ followers OR increase my traffic. So I believe you when you say linking to popular sites is the key!

    Okay, time to regroup and start a different strategy! Thank you SO much! Any input would be AWESOME!

  344. Caitlin
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 09:55:07

    I am preparing to launch a corporate blog in the next couple of weeks. Should I have two or three posts at launch? Or should I stick with one post for the launch? The first post will be introductory, setting the stage and tone for what type of posts should be expected, so my thoughts were there should be at least one additional post that will be more like posts to come.

    I would love to know your thoughts on this. Thank you.

  345. Anh
    Jan 15, 2015 @ 14:56:18

    It sure sounds confusing. I mean, many of my friends build their blog by writing many posts a day. The content suffers, no doubt about it. Still, they get more views than me. My blog has been there for ages and I only have a couple of views a day.

  346. Todd Ward
    Jan 16, 2015 @ 13:06:44

    Very interesting article. I agree that in order to succeed you need to provide something your readers want. I might have a leg up in that department because my site is focused on behavioral science. I have a PhD in the field and know where to go to target those folks. I am currently posting two articles a day and getting over 200 views a day and is increasing. I would love advice on how to ensure this growth over the long term.

  347. Fitz
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 21:04:48

    I disagree with nearly every single one of these ( I think that was the point to get comments ). The point of a blog is to write about what you want, freedom of expression. If you write a blog to make a living you are retard. A blog should be fun, it should be written because you want to write about a topic not because you think you are going to get million hits of an article. Writing everyday is a great way to not only bring traffic but to build up your writing skills for the big day when you actually do publish a great article. It makes no sense to be this discouraging to other. You suck… IMHO.

  348. Moana
    Jan 23, 2015 @ 15:40:48

    I really appreciate what you wrote here because I think I’m guilty of all of these. This was really an eye-opening piece. My main purpose for starting a blog was to support my business, but nobody wants to see just advertisements everyday. With that being the case, how do I listen to others and figure out exactly what it is that they want to hear from my blog?

  349. Vikki Cook
    Feb 02, 2015 @ 06:40:46

    This was very interesting to read!
    I started my blog just over a year ago and I was getting a small but reasonable number of hits each week on my blog while I was on Blogger. A couple of weeks ago, I switched to self-hosted with WordPress and suddenly, my hits are almost non-existent! I’ve done a post on the Blogger site, with my new web address clearly signposted. I’ve changed my web address anywhere that the old Blogger address was. But I don’t seem to get any hits at all on some days and where I previously had a big following across the US Europe, Russia, etc, I don’t seem to have any hits outside of the UK (based on the Google Analytics plug-in I installed on the WordPress site). I have NO idea where I’m going wrong and I’m hugely confused. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  350. Dana
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 14:28:44

    Thanks..figuring out how to expand my audience.

  351. Jessica Maybury
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 03:40:40

    Being told you listen is the advice I never want to get because it’s hard. I think though that we all need more advice like this. Thanks for saying the tough things, Jon.

  352. Swapnil
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 15:45:27

    I started my blog in Oct. 2011. Before that I’d a blog with same name hosted on But the new blog apparently has failed to gain traction. Here are my stats:
    2011: 400
    These are the hits I’d get in a year. Monthly views generally hovered around between 1500-2000. It crossed 4K only once. I’ve tried many things to optimize the traffic but there has been hardly any effect. Could you please take a look at it and advise me what all things I need to fix?

  353. Jason
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 11:41:26

    I just started a blog for posting of my short stories I write. After reading this and then seeing the comments I realized I lost focus for why I started in the first place. Sure I would love tons of views but I’m really looking for people who enjoy my stories or that can comment on them to help me improve in what I’m doing.

    Giving me story ideas isn’t a bad idea either but I think I can come up with stories that people haven’t read or seen in film yet.

    So thanks for this blog it helped me to notice what my objective is.

  354. Erica
    Feb 26, 2015 @ 13:05:36

    Loved what you had to say about soliciting feedback. That’s going into my system right now! Thank you!

  355. Craig
    Feb 28, 2015 @ 07:33:50

    Now I’m confused, so it’s a mistake to write a post everyday? What should be the frequency then?

  356. Sarah
    Mar 08, 2015 @ 12:43:09

    This is the second post of yours I have read so far and all I can say is, ‘well done.’ It’s been a while since anyone commented here so not sure if you will even catch this comment, but what the hell. I have considered blogging for a long time, but recently I came across a post offering a position as a guest blogger on my favorite weekly blog. I want to make a serious attempt at submitting my application, but I have never written a blog. After spending the last two days researching platforms, strategies, etc., etc.; I’m not sure how to actually get started while not portraying myself as a complete novice. The blog I am interested in encourages beginning bloggers to apply, but I want to make an honest attempt at submitting an application that could be successful. Do you think it’s possible to start a new blog and immediately begin blogging for a popular company? My first thought is that a spot on this blog would be ideal for growing my own blog, but I could make a stupid mistake. What do you think?

  357. morgan
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 03:55:43

    Hi! I am having trouble with my blog because I have about 60 veiws to my entire blog but hardly any on the actual posts. My first post has about a dozen views yet my other posts don’t have any at all-how do I change this??

  358. Pat Murphy
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 05:06:06


    The VA recommended I write a blog. Much like in the pilot episode of “Sherlock” actually.

    Then, my friends told me to write a blog.

    Other friends told me to.

    And on and on and on.

    I look at sites like jalopnik and kotaku. Never knowing they were blogs. I just enjoy reading their content. I look at Hot Rod Magazine and what its doing online now. I see the humor in BBCs Top Gear and see why American Top Gear isn’t as popular.

    This whole blog has been truly inspiring. Ironic I read the first post last unintentionally, and yet they all have helped me learn what I would want to achieve with mine.

  359. Suchitra
    Mar 15, 2015 @ 20:49:08

    Hi Jon,
    I am a new blogger and I have a pregnancy and baby website. What I need help with is that I am trying to create an E-mail subscriber list, but Mailchimp asks for a postal address to be included in all e-mails sent out. I don’t want visitors with a difference in opinion, landing at my doorstep! Also, when you spend on protecting your whois information with domain name providers, how does it make sense to broadcast your home address to all of your subscribers? A P.O.Box is quite expensive for a beginner like me. Is there any alternative to this problem? Thanks for your time. Look forward to hearing from you.