5 Silly Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Blog without Even Realizing It

5 Silly Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Blog without Even Realizing It

Now, now, now. Don’t even try to pretend it isn’t true.

Let me guess…

You spend hours on Twitter and Facebook “working,” only to wonder later if you really accomplished anything.

You comment on the blogs of bigwig bloggers, telling yourself you’re “networking,” nevermind that none of those comments actually lead to anything.

You have a growing collection of books and courses promising to teach you all the secrets in the universe, but they sit in that “to be read” folder collecting dust.

In the back of your mind, you know you can do better. Technically, you even know what to do.

But something inside you refuses to let you, and every day you struggle with whether or not you should just give up or find some other shortcut.

You know how I know this?

Because I’m you.

The conversation that saved my life

“You are the dumbest smart marketer I know.”

All I could do was sit there, dumbfounded, staring at my monitor, blinking like a moron. Derek Halpern, a friend and a marketer I respect, just called me out, and I had nowhere to hide.

“I like you, which is why I’m telling you this. Stop Doing Dumb Things.”

I tried telling him about how my website was no longer what it needed to be. I tried telling him I knew I was “a little backwards” at the moment, but I would soon get it sorted out. I tried telling him I was working on a product, and once I released it, it would change everything.

“Those are nothing but excuses,” he said. “Just wanted to point that out, that you’re creating bullshit reasons not to grow your email list.”


The life and times of a professional blog saboteur

After the pants incident, I faced two choices:

Find a job in the middle of an economic crisis or do what I knew I was born to do.

Naturally, I picked the latter.

For months, I downloaded online marketing to my brain. I absorbed so much information, I’d wake up every morning bleary eyed, head on the keyboard, cheek deep in a puddle of drool.

It paid off, though.

Before long, not only did I start to really understand what was going on, but I used my background in entertainment industry to draw parallels between character building and the internet, forming my own unique marketing philosophy. A year later, I’d gone from just barely scraping by to building a sustainable income.

But you know what?

This was the worst thing that could’ve happened

I got comfortable. I stopped exploring.

I gave money to others for spoon feeding me their perspective. I’d buy training, put it into action, see it work, help a few people out, then…stop. I’d buy more training, see it work, then move on to the next shiny thing.

It was disastrous. In just a few years, I switched my “authority” position eight times, each time believing it was the secret to finally setting me apart.

Good luck to regular readers trying to keep up. As soon as you started to think you figured out who I am, poof, I turned around and became someone else entirely.

Haha! No commitment to a career path rulez!

*Ahem* Ok, so why? Why would anyone do this to themselves or their audience?

Have I been afraid of success? Afraid to put the work in? Am I just being lazy?

As much as I hate to admit it, I think it’s fear of success.

That and arrogance.

How to stop holding yourself back

Truth is, when you know your work is great, but you don’t have the recognition you deserve, you’re arrogant too.

You don’t have to walk with your nose high to be arrogant. I mean, isn’t it arrogant to think just because you’ve created something good, you deserve to be recognized?

This was a hard one for me, but eventually I realized doing good work is only the first step.

Less talented people will always get more recognition when they hustle harder to get their name out.

You can’t rely on, nor should you expect, your readers to do your promotion. It’s not their job to make sure you’re seen.

Instead, adopt mindsets and systems to improve your output and expand your reach.

And stop doing silly things. Here are some of the biggest offenders:

1. Not taking your blog seriously

“I’ve got client work to do.” “I have to write for this other website.” “I’ll write when I’m a little less tired.”

I tell myself these things all the time.

But if you want to be successful, you have to realize they’re just excuses. They’re reasonable, yes, but they’re excuses nonetheless.

The reality is successful bloggers take their blog just as seriously as their day job. It’s that important.

Yes, you have to eat and sleep, or you’ll keel over dead, but you don’t have to watch TV for hours every night, check your email every five minutes or get sucked into the social media vortex. So, stop screwing around with all that stuff. I’m serious.

You HAVE TO be the first person to respect your blog. If you don’t, how can you expect others to respect it too?

This means spending long, sweaty hours at the anvil banging out headlines, refining your storytelling skills, and magnetizing your calls to action.

It means doing technical stuff like internal linking structure, information architecture, and opt-in form placement.

It means stalking your competition to near obsession, so you can predict their every move, and beat them at their own game.

Is it a lot of work? You bet your ass it is.

But it’s the only way.

2. Thinking you can work without a schedule

When I was producing “Inside The Mind” my assistant (read: friend) and I spent 95 hours every week to produce a 4-6 minute video.

On top of that, I maintained two full time clients, and a writing gig that required 1,000-2,000 words every single week, for 22 weeks.

What I learned? Your schedule is your only path to freedom.

For me, there are two schedules:

The Writing Schedule

The writing schedule is all about the creation process.

When your workload increases, saying you’ll create “when you feel like it” is the same as saying “I want to never have time for anything please.”

Instead, block out times for you to work on your different writing projects, and set deadlines. The point of a writing schedule is to create as much as possible in the time you allow yourself. You’re won’t always be satisfied, but the only way to polish an idea is to pull it from your brain and put it on the page, no matter how much it writhes, kicks, spits and swears at you.

Ideally, you want to get into the habit of writing a set amount of words every day.

Learn your rhythms. Write when you’re passionate. Edit when you’re critical.

No doubt, you’ll be walking through spider webs at first. But underneath it all you’re training yourself to be a helluva good writer.

The Publishing Schedule

Just because you write every day doesn’t mean you have to publish every day.

The whole point of the writing schedule is for you to create a volume of work while refining your skills.

Your publishing schedule curates the best work to your blog.  Some blogs are only publishing only one or two extremely useful articles a month on their own blog.

When you take your writing seriously, and you put yourself on a schedule, you don’t have any choice but to produce a large enough volume of work that’ll grab people’s attention.

Not everything has to make the final cut to your blog, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used somewhere else. And if you commit to publishing on a schedule, both on and off your blog, people will notice.

3. Trying to make everything perfect

Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing was able to write 40 posts, more than 80 guest posts, two books, and a lot of other content, all in a single year (2011).

Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers grew from 0-17,000 subscribers in 11 months. He’s managed to get to A-List status in what seems like a crazy short amount of time.

Heck, Smart Blogger had 13,000 subscribers before the site even launched.

While this sounds Herculean, the truth is these guys have the same 24 hours in a day you do. The difference between them and you, is while you’re perfecting your one piece, they’re moving on to the next opportunity.

Set a goal for how long you’ll dedicate to a single article.

If you plan on writing one article a week, only spend a week on it, don’t go over. If your limit is 3 days/article, make it the best it can be in 3 days time, then move on.

Even if you’re only writing one article a week, by the end of the year you’d still have 52 articles. (if you’re publishing on your own blog once a month, you’d have 40 articles left over to publish in other places.)

4. Reinventing the wheel

Originality is a Sin.

There’s a reason why every Cosmopolitan’s headline looks exactly the same.Those headline templates sell.

There’s a reason that every popular blog within a niche formats their posts similarly. It’s easier to read.

There’s a reason why shows like CSI and House stay on the air. Every episode follows a proven structure, making them easy to follow and keeping attention between commercial breaks.

Does that mean you have to be a copycat?

No. Don’t think for a second that borrowing someone else’s format means you skimp on individuality.

For example, imagine your content is an apartment. The floorplan might be the same as every other apartment in the building, but you change the furniture, paint, and decor to make it your own.

Content works the same way. You take the framework and adapt it to your own individual style.

The result?

Less guesswork. Faster content creation. More traffic.

Speaking of traffic…

5. Promoting your blog only sporadically

Something I’ve learned by taking Jon’s guest blogging program is if you want to grow your audience, guest blogging works.

With one caveat:

You must be consistent. (and guest blog like a professional)

Promoting your blog is a marathon, not a sprint. One good guest post every few months will not sustain you.

Our attention spans are too short. (Honestly, can you point me to an article you read a month ago?)

To grow your blog, you need regular support from other bloggers, on a steady basis. That means writing lots of guest posts.

Don’t limit yourself to posting only on A-List blogs either. Look to some of the other B and C list blogs too.

Hang with the cool kids, but form your own posse. That’s how all of the popular blogs I can think of got to where they are, and that’s how you can do it too.

The bottom line?

Do something

You know, reading this is well and good, but if you really want a popular blog, you have to earn it.

What’s painful for me right now is reflecting on the past 3 years and thinking, “I haven’t done enough.”

I know I’ve done great work, but I’ve been afraid to share it. If you’ve read this far, chances are, you feel the same way.

It’s not that I’m afraid of being told that I’m wrong or stupid. No it’s much worse that that.

I’m terrified of being center field, stripped naked, with the faceless crowd laughing in one booming, disjointed voice.

But you know what’s even more terrifying?


Knowing I’ll wake up tomorrow and 20 years will have passed – and I know I didn’t do squat.

Don’t let this happen.

You want to be successful? It has to be a choice.

So, let’s make a pledge. Repeat after me:

From now on, my fears will not rule me.  I will be disciplined. My fears will not bully me into doing silly things.

The rest is up to you.

About The Author- Tommy Walker sabotaged his career for too long and now he’s making up for lost time. He’s in pre-pre-production for Season 2 of his series “Inside The Mind” and is hosting “The Mindfire Chats” a live-stream that mashes up expert panelists from various fields to discuss the core principles of online marketing.



  1. Rahat Bashar
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 23:44:10

    Appreciate the great advice Tommy.

    You’ve touched upon the topic of promoting your blog. I think it’s also important to promote your posts as well. I remember Derek Halpern mentioning something like 20% of your post should be writing good content. The other 80% should be to promote that post.

    I’ve realised one thing after running my blog. And that is “Treat your blog as a business.”

    The more I got into the mindset of treating my blog as a business, the more I started to take it seriously. I began to lower the amount of time I spent procrastinating and increased the amount of time I spent doing quality research in order to write in-depth posts. I began looking at ways to seriously increase my traffic and generate interest for my blog. I was also able to focus on increasing the income my blog was generating.

    Work hard now and enjoy the fruits of your labour later

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:38:39

      Perfectly put 🙂

  2. Declan
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 05:33:40

    Very good post here, Tommy. There’s certainly no substitute for hard work, approached in a smart manner.

    One tip that has stuck with me for years, is when you decide to write an article, take a 5 minute walk and just ponder a little on the topic and structure you want the content to be based on.

    You’d be surprised how the mind offers up great insights when it’s away from the workspace for a couple of minutes, especially outside with all that lovely fresh oxygen 🙂

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:14:48

      I often start with a good walk before I write, and several times in the middle if I’m finding I need a moment.

      This post I believe there were four walks over the course of 5 days.

  3. Esther
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:07:09

    I needed to read this today. As a MOM of little ones, its tough writing on a schedule. At the same time, I can do it in a way that works for me. As the eldest girl of 11 children, I know what it means to fit it all in!

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:25:49

      Being a parent definitely makes things a little trickier. I’m a father of one and have another on the way, and I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when the second one gets here.

      But something I’ve been working at is getting up just a little bit earlier every day, and going to bed a little earlier (doesn’t always happen this way) Leo over at http://Zenhabits.net has some great advice on this, and experience as a parent on getting it all done.

      Mom’s without a doubt have it harder in this department because everything relies on you, but with a little extra effort (…yeah… I know) you can make it work 🙂

  4. Mauro D'Andrea
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 03:08:53

    Hi Tommy, really interesting post.

    For sure, we sabotage ourselves constantly. There are so many way we can do it…sometimes it’s pretty tough to be focused.
    Once I was listening Anthony Robbins when he said one thing that completely changed my way of thinking about business and blogging: “Success is 80% mindset and 20% technique”.

    He was so damn right. Most of the time we can’t reach our goals it’s because we are not focused enough, or disciplined enough or we have some mindset issues.
    Instead, when you have the right mindset, even if you don’t know the right technique, you can figure it out.

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:37:35

      Thanks Mauro 🙂

      Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Anthony Robbins is great, and he’s far more successful than me, and I see the underlying value in what he’s saying here, but as a blanket statement, I’m going to have to disagree.

      Kind of like Ahmed’s comment below using the same 80/20 principle, success isn’t about 80% mindset, 20% technique… it’s about doing the work.

      Statements like this are incredibly dangerous because they lead people to believe that all you have to do is “Think” like you’re successful, and it will happen.

      While there’s an element of truth to that, the part that most people don’t talk about (or want to talk about because it isn’t sexy) is the execution.

      You can’t just sit there and have this mindset that your blog is going to be successful, if you’re not doing things like promoting your posts, doing keyword research, crafting your headlines etc…

      These are all technique driven. These are all incredibly technique driven and the only way you’ll get there is by practicing that technique over and over and over and over again. Until it hurts. Until you want to quit.

      When I’m talking about discipline, I’m talking about the discipline to practice that technique. I’m talking about for a while abandoning your thinking and focus only on doing and losing yourself in that technique.

      Statements like Tony Robbins 80/20 mindset to technique are only applicable to you once you’ve got that technique etched onto your bones.

      Because it’s only when you fully understand the rules of the system are you allowed to bend or even break them.

      • Mauro D'Andrea
        Feb 11, 2013 @ 11:19:59

        Tommy, I guess that we are saying the same thing in a different way 🙂

        The mindset (both in Tony speech and in my mind) isn’t just thinking like a successful person. It’s acting like a successful person too – because the mindset drives you to act.

        As you said it’s really important to work till it hurts, and this is just one aspect of a successful mindset.

        The mindset is what makes you go on no matter what. It’s what makes you try to solve a problem that you’ve never encountered before.
        It’s what makes you learn the best techniques.
        It’s what makes you learn the rule of the system.

        The core message of Tony was: “if you have the techniques, one day you may give up or you may encounter a problem that your current techniques can’t solve. If you have the right mindset, you won’t give up and you will always find the right technique, in a way or in another.”

        I hope that now my message is more clear.

  5. Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 04:15:36

    Hi Tommy,
    This post is really amazing. The best part is that you need to guest post more frequently. This is because 80% of the results comes from 20% of the work.

    Try to find out what is this 20% of work that do the results and then start doing it more.

    I am sure that Tommy would have to spend more time to be well-known, if he didn’t guest post more frequently.

    Set your schedule to do the work, try to maximize the no. By doing what works and you are going to succeed faster.

    Thanks again for this post Tommy.

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:25:21

      Thanks Ahmed,

      If I may, I’d like to dispel the 80/20 rule here.

      200% of the results come from 100% of the work. I don’t like perpetuating the 80/20 mentality when it comes to the effort that’s put in, because unfortunately what it translates to for most people is that you only have to put in 20% effort.


      In order to make it, you have to put in 100% work 80% of the time. The other 20% is left for you to recharge, spend time with your loved ones, and generally do what you need to do to still feel like a human being.

      For me, this isn’t just guest blogging. It’s emailing, it’s networking, it’s spending upwards of 30 hours writing any given article.

      It’s reading, and thinking as deeply as possible about what I’m reading, then processing that information into knowledge.

      It’s balancing that with being a father and a husband, and making sure that I’m not robbing my family of time they want as well. Then waking up again and doing it all tomorrow.

      I wish to God that 80% of the results came from 20% of the work, but that simply isn’t true.

      Now there is such a thing as working smart and finding processes that make this a little bit easier, but that still doesn’t mean you’re putting in only 20% work, that just means you’re able to divert your attention to other areas that need you more.

      But yeah, if we wanted to package it up into a neat little phrase, it’s 100% work 80% of the time which is going to get you to where you want to go.

      • Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging
        Feb 11, 2013 @ 13:12:42

        I really liked your comment, but here is one thing I would like to demonstrate.

        By 20% of the work, I mean that if you work 100%, 20% of that work is going to bring 80% of the results.

        And 80% of the work is going to bring 20% of the result. So we must know what is working, and then start doing it more.

        I really liked your comment Tommy and thanks for this awesome post.

  6. Helen Dewdney
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 05:15:13

    Well that will be making excuses and not writing enough then! Thanks for the kick up the backside!

  7. Randy Kepple
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 05:27:33

    Sitting here after an early rising due to insomnia. I’m actually intimidated to leave a comment as there are some tremendous writers that frequent this site. But this artical really hit home for me. I think you just described me to a fault.

    You see, I’m not a writer, per say, I’m a professional photographer. I love telling stories and over the years, my blog became a way to tell stories through photos and words. People seemed to enjoy what I had to say, but it became more daunting and I found excuse after excuse not to write. All the things you shared. That’s me.

    I’ve been blogging off and on since 2005 and have struggled to find my way. I wrote about events I photographed and realized that no one outside the people in the event or related family would even read the posts. Then I started sharing my hard-earned inside knowledge of my industry. Many called me an arm-chair philosopher, but even then, I struggle to figure out what I should do with this blog.

    Your words have inspired me once again. Given a breath of fresh air that elevates my hope to continue my journey and find where it leads, and stop making excuses.

    Thanks for saying exactly what I needed to hear today!

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:36:36

      You’re very welcome 🙂

      I think the hard part is breaking yourself out of the mindset that allows you to be comfortable with what you’re doing.

      With everything that’s said here though, it’s possible to go overboard in the other direction.

      I think it’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing to. Your purpose for it all. I do what I do for my family, but also to help push the space forward… why do you do what you do with the photos? is it to inspire people? Show things that haven’t been shown before?

      I think once you get real solid on that mission and it lives in your bones, that’s when it all comes into place.

  8. John Yeoman
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 05:44:36

    That’s a great post. Seat-of-pants has always worked better for me than head-on-fire. For 15 years I hacked out a 12,000-word print newsletter every month, plus ran two conferences a week, plus found time to write two marketing textbooks. (And I brought up children in the interval. Well, my wife sort of helped with that…)

    Folk who say ‘I’ve got writer’s block’ are really saying ‘I’m a dumb lazy jackass’. A schedule is everything – plus a publisher to keep you to it!

  9. Michele Orwin
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 05:57:05

    So you were the one listening in on the conversation I’ve been having with myself all weekend about how can I improve my blog. This will definitely help me get more focused on what needs to be done. Thank you. Great advice.

  10. sheila
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:00:00

    Ouch! It’s difficult to look in the mirror. Thanks for this bit of blogging gospel…off to do some scheduling!

  11. Michael Chibuzor
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:10:12

    You just nailed it Tommy. I’ve been making excuses not to take action, but your post has challenged me to ditch such flimsy reasons and go for it. I’m grateful.

  12. Dita from ebizdame.com
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:32:03

    Hi Tommy,

    I did not know you knew me, yet I am sure you are writing about me (lol). Yes, I can relate to spending or “working” many long hours online and not accomplishing nearly as much as I set out to do.

    What and excellent post and what an excellent reminder to re-adjust what I am doing.

    Thank you.


    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:12:42

      Not to be creepy, but I keep a network of spies out, watching all entrepreneurs as they “work” throughout the day 😛

      Nah, in all seriousness, I still do that, I think we all do. What’s important is to recognize when you’re not actually doing anything productive, and snap back to your to-do list, OR add more things to it.

      I had a whiteboard system for stuff like that. I’d add a bunch of things to the board. Clear a bunch off, and add a whole bunch more.

      It worked for quite a while until I had to start using a calendar to keep track of everything. That’s when it got real serious 😛

  13. Christine Livingston
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 06:42:49

    Hi Tommy

    This really resonated with me today because I too have sabotaged my blog over the last couple of years. I fell into the trap of making the blog something I did (or rather didn’t do) after I’d done my “real” work.

    My excuse was that my client work exploded (true). But also that blogging and my social media career were in conflict with my whole raison d’etre, which is about making work fit life. I told myself I didn’t want to be working 18 hours a day, and actually, I don’t.

    But I missed my blog. Missed writing. Over Christmas, I decided to do something radical: say no to some client work and make sure that whatever work I’m doing, I charge well for. That means I can do less client-facing work, have time in my week for writing, and still earn about the same. And so I’m back writing again, and loving it.

    What’s going to add even more to this is your advice about scheduling. I love these words: “your schedule is your only path to freedom”. Thanks so much for such an inspiring post!

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:08:54

      Boundaries are important, and probably the hardest thing for other people to respect.

      Welcome back and congratulations for setting up the framework. If you need help sticking to it, let me know. I’ll be happy to give you a push along the way if you need it 🙂

  14. Philip Herr
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:46:15

    Hi, Tommy!

    Thanks! I needed that!

    Your article is perceptive and thorough. I’m going to print out some excerpts and post them, just to remind myself of key points.

    The comments are great, as well. If we encourage and guide one another, we will all be better for the effort.

    You’re doing a great service. Keep up the good work!

  15. Monica Suma
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:05:07


    Thank you for being so frank. You are so right, we stay average because we don’t discipline ourselves enough, and we always have excuses on why not to publish, or wait longer, or not be the best we could. It’s also true that if we don’t take our blog as seriously as our other clients, no one will. So, thank you for this wake-up call. I personally suffer from “tomorrow I will have more time” or “it’s not perfect yet.” But when will it be perfect?


    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:04:52

      I feel like there are moments when you achieve perfection (for that time) but that only comes after you’ve worked and worked and worked and worked to get there.

      That means creating that volume of work, and really pushing yourself to do better every time, and releasing stuff even though it’s still a little rough. Taking the feedback that comes from it, and getting right back to it.

      Look at Hollywood Actors for an example of this. Brad Pitt’s been active for 26 years at this point, but many would argue that he was at “perfection” as Tyler Durden in Fight Club.

      Sure, there’s been other good (even great) stuff, but Fight Club was really him at his best. The only way to get there is to keep doing work and keep releasing and keep trying to get better every time, knowing that your “breakthrough” isn’t going to happen right now, but never stop fighting for it anyways.

  16. Kenneth A Camp
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:10:15

    Thank you for straightforward, simple to apply advice. I have been blogging for about 3 months. I am developing a decent schedule, etc. Best thing for me right now is the advice to write constantly, not always for publishing.
    I appreciate you publishing this.


  17. Jane Davidson
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:13:08

    Love the blog, love the responses too! Someone suggested a walk. I do some heavy thinking while I’m doing the dishes, and then trip over about five distractions on my way into my office. It’s truly amazing the excuses one can cook up in ten paces. I know, because I’m an expert procrastinator. That said,I’m now at a point where I don’t feel right if I haven’t written in either my business, or my personal blogs. It’s morphing from a chore to a joy. I think this transformation came about when I decided to be myself, drop the straight jacket of boring businesslike propriety, and just be who I really am on any given day. I wish I could claim this idea as my own, but I got it from another blogger:)

  18. Lisa Brouwer
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:20:45

    Quite the slap on the face of reality… just when I was having a pity party and worried I was the only one that showed up! In a crazy sort of way, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one having these internal wrestling matches!

    I’ll admit… the empty page is a very intimidating thing. I can let it defeat me or I can decide that I’m better than that and champion every opportunity to make my blog better. Thanks for giving me what I needed today to win this thing.

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:55:48

      See, the thing about the pity party here is that you’re not at all alone, but the rest of us are so busy shoegazing, we don’t even realize the other people in the room 🙂

      No doubt, that empty page is terribly intimidating.

      One of the best pieces of advice Jon gave in his Guest Blogging course is to be on a mission. That’s not to say just have some cheesy statement that states weak intentions, but really be out to make a change in the world.

      Your site, for example, is about liberation. Freedom and doing things that are going to be emotionally and spiritually fulfilling. “Living cage free” is a complete mindset. Not to allow yourself to be boxed in, not even by yourself. At least that’s what I’ve taken away from it.

  19. gail
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:29:08

    Glad I read this before I sit down to write today! Outstanding points. For me,keeping a writing schedule and not reinventing the wheel are pivotal reminders and time savers. Thanks, Tommy!

  20. Leanne Regalla
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:47:25

    Hi Tommy,

    Jon pointed me to an article of yours “106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Being Great”. Since then I’ve stumbled on your work in a few other places. All great stuff.

    Thanks so much for this one. My biggest challenge is my schedule right now, but I am wrestling it to the ground. Setting aside that time and keeping it sacred. I really like your point about writing an article a week, with 12 for your own blog and 40 guest posts.

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:43:21

      😀 I’m glad you’re digging it the stuff I’m putting out.

      The hardest part is getting that discipline going. If I’m being honest, it’s been difficult for me since the holiday. But I’m finally getting back into the groove of things, and it’s working out really well.

      You have to be patient with yourself as you figure out a schedule type that works for you.

      For me, it’s using a floating block schedule for my day (I don’t always start at the same time)

      But I’ve also tried dedicating whole days to specific tasks. I.E Monday = Writing, Tuesday = Calls, Wednesday = Promotion etc. etc.

      It’s tough, but oh so liberating once you’ve got everything under control. Soon you find more time for everything, including time for yourself (which so often gets neglected)

  21. Ryan Hanley
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 07:57:36


    Pretty epic bro. I especially like this line, “isn’t it arrogant to think just because you’ve created something good, you deserve to be recognized?”

    That is solid gold. From my own standpoint I have to take your suggestion of guest posting more. The opportunities are there I just don’t put enough effort into it.

    Thanks for a fantastic article.


    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:37:40

      This was, no doubt one of the strongest revelations I had, and I had it when I was writing this piece.

      The hardest part about this whole game I think is realizing that being good, no no, being great is just the cost to entry.

      After that, you have to make the earth shake just for everyone else to catch on.

  22. Patricia
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 08:05:15

    Thanks for the reminder of the importance of consistency and tenacity. A consistent schedule and discipline is the best way to keep focused and on track. Distraction is the enemy! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Sumitha
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 08:15:40

    Hi Tommy! Very nice post – both the content itself and the delivery! Sadly, I can relate to every single one of these sabotage techniques 🙁 Thanks for picking up the courage to stand center filed in spite of your fears, and calling out some of us who needed that kick in the ankle to move along and find our own courage to face our own fears!

  24. Chris Wilson
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 11:45:37

    It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not grow, after all if you keep doing what you’ve been doing you’ll get the same results.
    Well actually we usually stagnate and decline if we just keep doing the same things. The habit of doing something new is probably one the most important habit you can have (along with solving problems and stick it out through the tough times).

  25. A. Levavy
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:09:12

    Completely agree with everything except for one important side note. CSI and House have indeed reinvented the wheel. House is a detective show where the culprit is a disease. CSI has completely reengineered the way police shows look and feel. I agree about the structure part, but these shows live(d) as long as they do (Did, in the case of House) because of their originality. So you kind of contradicted yourself there. But I heartily agree with everything else, especially with advice #1, taking your blog seriously.

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:31:31

      Thanks for bringing that up, but it’s not a contradiction at all. It’s taking creating unique content using a familiar format.

      Both CSI and House adopted and adapted the format from Law & Order. As far as the look and feel of CSI goes, that is very much influenced by the over saturated feel that Tony Scott uses in his work. Just check out this trailer from Man on Fire and watch out for the over saturated color pallet that CSI uses on a regular basis.

      There’s no doubt that what’s kept them going is they are unique overall, but if you start breaking everything down into it’s individual components, you’ll find that what really makes them unique is how they’ve mashed together all the other things that worked before.

      And while I wasn’t there, I do know that often times the pitches for these kinds of things go “It’s like [insert popular show from before] but if it were directed by [insert director with a unique style]”

      • A. Levavy
        Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:47:04

        Thank you for the fast and thorough reply. I was surprised to receive a knowledgable reply, and enjoyed it so much, that I ask for the oppertunity to demonstrate why I think you actually validate my point about originality. Originality never was about creating something completely new. It’s about taking everything that came before you and has influenced you, and creating something out of that whole mess of influences. CSI has brought a new feel to television police shows. House has changed the hospital genre and turned it on its head. It’s a hospital show that revolvea more about psychology than anything else. That is why what you said actually proves their originality than disproves it.

  26. Adriana Dascalu
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 09:50:35

    Discipline is what I’m working at right now. You are right: no time like the present!

  27. Adrian Chira
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:48:36

    You are right, it’s hard not to sabotage yourself. May be it’s because when we started on a job we had a boss or a supervisor who monitored us and if we were out of track they would take corrective measures for us. When you are the boss and the worker in the same time these things does not work anymore. You cannot be on one side and the other in the same time so you miss your deadline. At first you are just a little behind, then you lag more behind and in the end you either give up or somebody wakes you.

  28. Amandah
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:54:22

    Hi Tommy,

    I’m glad you pointed out the benefits of having a writing and publishing schedule. I’d be lost without mine.

    I’ve slacked off with some of my blogs because I’m not sure if I’m as thrilled about them as I was when I first started. Plus, I created an author website and would like to have a blog on it, but right now I’m building my email list. Hmm…

    The blog on my writer website has come along way since 2008. My next step is to move from Feedburner (I know) to AWeber (already have an account) and publish a newsletter.

    Thanks for pointing out how we sabotage our blogs without even knowing it.

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 21:10:52

      I’m curious Amandah, what does your schedule look like?

      I’ve done a number of things, and have just started to find what works best for me, but I”d love to hear what you have to say too.

  29. Jean
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 12:05:34

    Hi Tommy… first time here. I have been blogging now for just over a year. I have three in all. I really appreciated this post. I learned a lot and feel even throught the comments I have been able to gleen some good tips.
    Although I am very new to this ‘world’ I am wondering how you go about ‘guest’ blogging.
    One of my blogs is posted on GRIT magazine and my goal is to get the other one put into a daily devotional.
    Any advice from you or others?
    thanks so much,

    • Tommy Walker
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 13:11:32

      First Jean, thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Jon has a great program on guest blogging that I recommend fully. There’s a number of things to consider like standing out to the right bloggers, finding the right topics, and writing pitches that get accepted.

      There’s simply not enough room to cover everything in the comment’s section, but I did link to several guest blogging resources on my site as well as Jon’s program if you wanted to take the time to read them 🙂

  30. Joseph Bernard
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 12:45:26

    Thanks Tommy for the very helpful reminder. I am very dedicated to my blog which I have been doing for 6 years but I fall short of getting the message out beyond by very modest readership. When I guest post my readership always goes up and so does my email list.

    I do get distracted by life but really I have all the time I need to be much more successful. Maybe I like it simple but there is a growing voice inside gnawing at me to go for it.

  31. Troy Vayanos
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 13:40:40

    Nice post Tommy,

    Yes you reinforced a lot of the information Jon provided in his course. So much time is wasted thinking you are promoting your own blog correctly on Social Media etc.

    More time is needed guest posting to well established blogs.


  32. Amandah
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 05:17:36

    Hi Tommy,

    My schedule is filled each week with sales and marketing (Tuesday and Wednesday markets) of my freelance writing along with writing projects — paying and one pro bono writing project. The latter is a local, small animal shelter. I’m helping them with communications such as newsletter writing, social media, grant writing, and other communications.

    My week could also be filled with a class, workshop, teleseminar, or webinar. I believe in continuing education. For example, this week and next week, I’m attending a leadership workshop in the evening.

    I’m trying to use nights and weekends for personal projects: a middle grade story, historical, ghost, and romance story, and blogs/websites. I’d like to find a web designer who understands WordPress and Genesis because I can’t do everything. Plus, I’m not a web designer. 🙂

  33. Jane
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 08:27:59

    Great post. I read this via Jon Morrow. I write and post on a schedule, but have not guest blogged. I’m in the health coaching business and promotion is what I seem to be missing the most. Thanks for the info. I will definitely be trying out your suggestions!

  34. Kathleen
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 07:17:08

    Great article thank you, I needed to read it. I’ve been bad the end of last year for spending hours on my blog not really accomplishing anything. My theme for 2013 is productivity and it starts with a schedule, distraction minimization and NO excuses!

  35. Kay @ Short Story Ideas
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 10:29:24

    This is great advice. Having a schedule and sticking to it is the hardest part for me, but you’re right. It’s so important!

  36. Kathy
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 19:16:46

    Loved your advice. Encouraging to realize many bloggers often make the same errors, even those who have learned like you, what success means. We hear write fewer words, write longer posts, Add meatier content, keep it simple, use bullets, use lists, etc. etc.
    The biggest lie…spend the time you could be blogging learning to blog. Your best advice (although all was great) Write…Write more and keep writing.
    I like to view a blog like a running journal of thoughts that may have once just been inside my mind or some book only I journal in, that because of technology is now available for anyone to “hear” and “see”. It can be win/win by just working on it.

  37. Crazenne
    Mar 04, 2013 @ 18:55:32

    This post is like a wake-up call to me. Brilliant insights, right on the bull’s eye.

    I have been neglecting my blog for quite some time, up to a point I am ashamed to promote it on my SNS because my recent posts are mostly crappy, bimbotic “obligatory filler posts”. A few days ago I was shocked by the dramatic drop of my blog traffic and I stupidly wasted plenty of time trying to get popular on social media platforms, in hope to direct the traffic to my blog once I get crazy increase in number of followers. I ended up asking myself what I’ve truly accomplish by putting 30 hashtags on my Instagram pictures and reblogging popular posts on Tumblr. Your post made me realize that I should go back to the basics–be a blogger whom I myself, as a reader, would want to follow. There is always room of improvements for better, wittier blogging. Thank you 🙂

  38. Kristen Hicks
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 17:53:34

    Your #1 was my #1 problem for most of the last year and a half (the length of time since I started my blog). It was always so easy to count my blog as much lower priority than work I was doing for clients, and figure I’d just get to it when I get to it.

    Turns out, it’s a waste of time spending any time at all on a blog, unless you’re gonna bother to do it well.

    I’ve recently started giving it more attention and time, and begun to push myself to stick with a weekly publishing schedule. With this new, revolutionary philosophy it just might start serving a purpose.

  39. Mary
    Mar 24, 2013 @ 14:39:51

    Do you have a twitter handle I could follow you on? I stumbled this post and signed up for the 52 headlines hacks- can’t wait to check it out!

  40. Vanessa@cashcowcouple.com
    Mar 25, 2013 @ 22:20:19

    As a new blogger, this has been a very insightful article. I still feel as if there is so much to learn about promoting your articles and driving traffic to your blog. I will not let my fears get the best of me though! Thanks for the insightful advice.

  41. Rachael
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 02:29:32

    Great article and I’m now sitting here thinking ‘I’m someone who makes excuses! Stop it!!!” It’s also made me think that I may just be one of those people who wants to be successful but also afraid of it. I guess it’s thought of being successful and then failing – I’m not sure.

    Time to reprogram myself I think.

    • Tommy Walker
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 07:36:25

      Can I let you in on a secret…?

      I do too.

      Sometimes we just need a reminder to get back in gear 🙂

  42. Si @ Man vs World
    May 07, 2013 @ 01:57:46

    Just doing the networking thing… seriously, you nailed me in your opening paragraph! I post regularly enough (twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays) but I’ve started to lose my enthusiasm of late. You’re right, though; if I don’t respect my blog then no-one else will.

    • Tommy Walker
      May 07, 2013 @ 17:03:09

      Could I recommend this post then? //smartblogger.com/how-to-be-unforgettable/

  43. Yvonne
    May 07, 2013 @ 15:33:38

    Oh, yeah. I am most certainly a saboteur myself…
    Luckily I have you! I just started working out my schedule and this post is going to help me make even more out of my plans and actually get something done.
    People (me) are often to easily side tracked… * squirrel
    I think what makes it so difficult is that clients (bosses) keep kicking your booty, set deadlines. Humans are often comfortable, we just do what we have to do and spend the rest with what we feel like doing, not necessarily what we should do to reach our goals.

    Thanks for the kick, perfect timing!

    • Tommy Walker
      May 07, 2013 @ 17:07:41

      Recently I did an interview with Penelope Trunk (which sadly didn’t end up recording) and she said something I found absolutely amazing.

      She said something to the effect of “when you work for yourself, 80% of your time has to be focused on marketing yourself. The other 20% is for client work.”

      I thought that was amazing. 80% for me. And I wondered why so much. So I asked, and she said something like “if you don’t set that time aside, you’ll never get the chance to work on anything other than client work. You’ll always get buried.”

      Blew my mind.

      • Yvonne
        May 07, 2013 @ 17:28:10

        It makes sense.
        Marketing is how you bring work in and that takes time. If you don’t have someone who can do part of it, there goes your time.
        Unluckily 20% of my time doesn’t always pay the bills…

  44. Diane Corriette
    May 08, 2013 @ 01:19:28

    Thank you for this timely post. Strangely enough last night I decided it was time to build my blog into the amazing personal development network it can be instead of doing it periodically in between working on behalf of clients and periods of doing nothing. My blog needs to be my biggest priority. I realized that yesterday and reading this just further confirmed my beliefs!

  45. Jim
    May 17, 2013 @ 16:16:23

    I didn’t expect it in the top 3 “Silly things…,” but certainly in the top 5:

    The writing is bad.

    • Tommy Walker
      May 17, 2013 @ 16:20:20

      You make a good point, however I’m assuming if you have the self awareness to click on a post talking about sabotaging your blog, (and you read boost blog traffic) you put some effort into being a better writer.

      Plus, and I hate to say this, but there are plenty of bad writers to do all of the stuff we’re talking about up here to get good attention. so…. there’s that.

  46. Rose
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 21:44:58

    How do you know me? Usually you meet people first before calling them out! But your making me move on…from my studying ritual, though I believe there are no coincidences!

  47. Curt Bizelli
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 09:30:55

    HI Jon and Tommy, what an eye opener! I’ve been sabotaging my blog due to the reason you mentioned about clients. I spend more time on my client projects and went months without blogging. I’m just now getting back in the blogging groove (slowly but surely). Its definitely legit, but just an excuse, and an excuse NOT WORTH IT! Thanks for the post. I’ve shared.

  48. Stan Eigi
    Dec 28, 2013 @ 09:32:44

    Hey there) I completely agree with. we all sabotage ourselves in some way, most of the time we don’t even know we do… Pity. I bet there are more other ways to kill your blog without knowing it, but as for these five, i agree. Especially first and third points. You can’t achieve anything not being serious about something. And trying to do everything perfect? No one’s perfect, and besides, I don’t think perfection exists, it’s ore of a concept, not something you can reach… Anyway, a very good article.

  49. Micheal Rowling
    Oct 10, 2014 @ 17:05:12