Now, before my loyal friends (and mother) all rush to my defense, let me just say I agree with him. And no, Michael Hyatt didn’t actually call me a lousy blogger to my face (or otherwise). (And no, I’m not going to mention Monsieur Hyatt in every post from here to forevermore.)
Here’s the deal. Mr. H. wrote a post on Saturday entitled, “Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?” Sadly, I’m guilty of roughly eight of them on a regular basis. Boo. And I’m re-posting his Mistakes List without permission, which is most likely Mistake #11, but I’ll write now and ask forgiveness tomorrow. Here’s Mr. Hyatt’s list (in bold type) followed by my comments.
Mistake #1: You don’t post enough. Well, bless my soul. I got this one right. I post just about every single weekday and sometimes on weekends. Score.
Mistake #2: You post too much. Well.
Mistake #3: Your post is too long. Yes. Guilty. Apparently, the goal is 500 words per post. I’ve already written 181, and I’m just getting started.
Mistake #4: You don’t invite engagement. The posts that invite the most engagement are those that are “controversial, transparent and open-ended.” I agree. And yet, I shy away from the controversial many times because I’m often still licking my wounds from the last time I dipped my toes in the pool of controversy.
Mistake #5: You don’t participate in the conversation. Mr. Hyatt does an amazing job of replying to the comments on his blog (right in the comments section). I do talk back but not a lot.
Mistake #6: You don’t make your content accessible. In other words, do you write in such a way that people can scan your content and items of interest will catch their attention? (subheads, bulleted lists, shorter paragraphs.) On rare occasions, I’ll nail this one. Like today.
Mistake #7: You don’t create catchy headlines. Not with any frequency.
Mistake #8: Your first paragraph is weak. Most days? Guilty.
Mistake #9: Your post is off-brand. What does this mean in plain English? Well, bloggers who are trying to build traffic (get more blog readers) are supposed to stick to a primary message. “Hobby bloggers” can get away with a little more random, but they’re not going to get tons of people coming back (except for friends and family). Herein lies my biggest quandary. (stay tuned later this week for an entire post devoted to Mistake Number Nine)
Mistake #10: Your post is about YOU. Gulp. Mr. Hyatt asserts that readers of this blog don’t care about Marla Taviano; they care about themselves. “What’s in this post for ME?” you ask. This one’s a biggie. Even if you’re someone who comes here because you know and love me, it’d still be nice to get something out of the blog, eh?
Please keep in mind that he’s talking specifically to bloggers who want to increase traffic to their site for one reason or another.
Which of these mistakes do you think is most important to avoid?
500 words on the nose! Rock on!