The 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging

The 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging

Reader Comments (322)

  1. Wow! Wish you’d written this piece some 8 months back. I learned most of the points you’ve mentioned – the hard way! Anyways, there are people that still start blogs, and look for new ways to get inspired, and posts like this will always be there for them 🙂

  2. This is a great read!

    I especially love your 5th point. I hear constantly that you need to be unique and find your own style (which is entirely true), but anyone who tells you they aren’t like any other blogger is just flat out lying to you.

    There’s not a single blogger (other than maybe the first one ever) who doesn’t have influences from those who came before in their niche. I would imagine most of us started blogging because we read other blogs and thought it would be good to try for whatever reason.

    With that said, I agree that its important to find your own place through those influences.

  3. Always good stuff, thanks! I especially agree with your first point about giving and then giving some more. So many people miss this point. At my company we give tons and it does pay back, sometimes without us even having to ask.

  4. nice piece – I agree with all the points – particularly the one about the work involved, for some reason so many people want to have it all happen with no work! I mean come on – if you have ever worked for a terrible boss in a bad day job, even the most difficult work in the online world doesn’t compare – IMO

  5. As the writer of a brand new blog with a highest-traffic-day of 9 whole views, I really appreciate the tips! Thanks for consistently writing interesting, funny helpful stuff.

  6. Thank you thank you! I love brief succinct blogging tips. I’m going to print this out and put it right next to my monitor. I still haven’t gotten more than 4 views per day on my new blog, even though my non-broad keywords make me #2 on google most of the time. These will def. help!

  7. I worry sometimes about falling into the morass of being “just another geek blogger,” and being overlooked because of it. I do what I can to make my blog more academic than ordinary, and I think I’m doing a decent job of carving myself out that little niche. I’m working very hard at establishing my own voice, while still being something that your rule #5 advocates: I want to be as good as some of the main bloggers in my field, but not them.

    My main worry then is that my subscribers (via Feedburner) and my pageviews have held steady with very little growth or decrease at a small number for a while now, and I wonder if there’s anything else I can do to promote it and make people see my blog as more than, like I said “just another” one. I know there’s the waiting period, and I’ve really hit the 3 month slump, but I don’t know where to actively go to get new readers without breaking the first rule you mention by not seeming selfish or like I’m spam.

  8. Loved it! Especially the bit about the Warcraft figurines. Hey – how about a blog for drag queens that are into Warcraft? I think I’m onto something…

  9. Why didn’t you write this about a year and a half ago when I started my blog? It sure would’ve helped me get over some of those initial stumbling blocks we all face 🙂 Seriously though, this is a great reminder not to give up too soon! Thank you!

  10. I have a friend who’s like Warcraft party guy 🙂 In fact, I work with him. Talking to him on the phone, you can never find an exit to the conversation. I’ll say “I gotta run. Talk later.” He’ll say “Ok, let me ask you this…” If I were that way on my blog, people would exit my site the same way I hang up on my friend when he doesn’t get the point. Someone once told me that we’re here to serve others. To me, blogging is one manifestation of that belief.

  11. @Lex, I agree, I had a tough time deciding what it would be the sins of. Could be social networking, social media marketing, content marketing, or a host of other overlapping categories.

    @Angela, my bet is it would be a small niche, but a fiercely loyal one. 🙂

    @Professor Beej, are you working on building relationships with other bloggers writing about similar topics? A good, systematic plan to guest post on relevant blogs can be great for growing your audience steadily.

    And I’m laughing about the other “7 Sins” posts around the web. I did do a little Google search, but it doesn’t surprise me that there are others out there. Something irresistible about that framework.

  12. @Sonia Simone: I am trying to, yes. I have already written a series of guest posts on one major blog in my area, and I am consistently commenting and Twittering with other bloggers to actually become a member of the community rather than an outsider.

  13. Great points. #7 made me laugh, it brought to mind the Ted Striker character in the 1980’s movie Airplane!

  14. I found your tip on “patience” to be encouraging. I’ve been working at this for a few years and although traffic is increasing, not nearly as fast as I would like. Reading these deadly sins has made me want to try even harder.

  15. Great stuff. I’m just about to start a blog, and these clear, concise tips of what NOT to do will be a big help. Plus, you made me laugh! 🙂

  16. #5 Identicality: Its great to observe and learn from what others are doing. Take what you like and leave the rest.
    The sin is losing or not giving your unique spin or voice to what you do. Most have a great Identity/Persona already but choose to believe it is not good enough so they become a poor quality duplicate of someone else. Putting yourself out there is the only way to know what works for YOU.

  17. Thanks for the blog post

    i loved the last point the most i visit that many blogs that bore me to tears and dont have any charm, wit or personality. It doesnt matter whether the information is good we want to be able to read an article on a blog in full without getting bored.

    kind regards


  18. Sonia, this was great – and I really needed to read it today. This whole week I’ve been angsting over my blog not growing fast enough (okay, not as fast as Leo’s Zen Habits, which I seem to have unfortunately picked as a blogging benchmark…)

    I *knew* I was being stupid and I’ve got loads of positives chalked up already: some lovely comments and emails, some content I’m proud of and that pushed me as a writer/person, a much nicer looking site (Thesis!!) than previous attempts … it’s just so easy to think of my goals and then look at the current reality and wonder why I’m not there instantly.

    So big big thanks, I’ll be bookmarking this and coming back whenever I feel a bit discouraged. 🙂

  19. @Ali, you really are a masochist, aren’t you? 🙂 You’re doing great. Glad I could provide some encouragement when needed!

    @Pace, ah, yah. 🙂

  20. Good article!
    Even though my blog is currently in a coma but someday it will rise reborn like a phoenix, I do not have the time for it at the moment as I am doing too much consulting between my house in Hell and Redwood City.
    1. I like broccoli ice cream. It is certainly more flavorful than icky old green tea ice cream.
    2. I don’t collect World of Warcraft figurines, but I do play WoW. I don’t even talk about WoW, but since you brought it up, my Alliance paladin, Snowcup on the Icecrown server reached level 70 last night in Howling Fjord. It was pretty cool and I let someone else take this great axe that dropped during our questing. Then this pickup group and I bombed the pirate ships from a zeppelin and pretty much cleaned out the UK catacombs. We also killed some proto-drakes and those cow-like things for quests as well as collecting lost cannon balls.
    So when are we doing lunch? You can bring Brian but only if I am not picking up the liquor tab.

  21. Perhaps if we adopted the same attitude of a non-profit, it might help refocus our thinking from “it’s all about me” to “it’s all about you.” That doesn’t mean you can’t make money (non-profits do – they just reinvest it back into their organization).

    BTW: Loved #5. Thanks for the helpful post.

  22. Wow Sonia, what a great summary and “refresher mini-course” you just gave me here!

    I kinda slowed down and drifted, but your 2nd and 3rd points really woke me up again. I need to keep going and stay on-course.

    Thanks for your (funnily ironic) inspiring article!

  23. Nice list.

    On “boorishness,” it’s hard to prevent that in a blog format isn’t it? Since you’re the only one speaking?

    Is it enough to invite discussion in comments or are there more interesting ways to involve other people and other ideas?

  24. I think sloth should be numero uno. In anything that we do really, its the deadliest sin. We won’t be able to do anything, go anywhere if we’re lazy or avoid any kind of work.

  25. ooops… Sorry I got the email wrong!

    I think sloth should be numero uno. In anything that we do really, its the deadliest sin. We won’t be able to do anything, go anywhere if we’re lazy or avoid any kind of work.

  26. You are so right, I loved this post. I think that blogging is all about personal style and keeping your readers in mind, first and foremost. And then your audience will find you. Not everyone will like you, but many people will.

  27. I just started a blog because I’m fascinated with the idea of creating something of value and getting that to people. This post helped me learn what I should look out for while I pursue this new endeavor. This was great stuff. Thanks.

  28. I was beginning to think I was missing the receptors that enable you to appreciate what people are saying. It’s nice to get confirmation that the problem isn’t with me.

  29. Well — Not like a lot of us are LAZY that have Junk Websites/Blogs

    In my case it’s just a hobby that I don’t care if I make any money.

    However, that being the case – I am not running out and paying for services.

    I spend countless hours just keeping my FREE stuff operational (example: PC’s, Linux, Apache, WordPress)

    So it’s more of a challenge just learning how to keep it all working.

    So time runs short on the actual creating content aspect – All part of it being a hobby I guess.

    My last system crash I lost all of my content – I have a few LLLL.COM’s for sale HERE if interested.

  30. Having the right blogging platform (one that inspires you to find your true voice) really helps. I’m guilty of more than a few lame blogs in the past. Get out of the doldrums, it helps!

  31. Wow, inspiring post I have to agree with everyone else.

    A lot of it is common sense, but sometimes common sense is so hard to figure out. This list will help a lot.

    The link that says “Problogger” puts you on Seth Godin’s blog again, I thought maybe you meant to link it to But I could be wrong, and in that case I apologise.

    Thanks for another wonderful post. 🙂

  32. Excellent advice! Sometimes, it’s hard to take some advice to heart, but everything here sure hits the nail on the head. Great post – thank you!!

  33. I really enjoyed this list, and will have many takeaways, and still I wonder – WHATEVER HAPPENED TO “WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW”?????????????????

  34. too much true you just listed…But it is good, somebody sometimes needs to kick your ass, as otherwise your blog really starts to suck…

    Btw just came back from interesting seminar here in Sydney about internet marketing and want share it with other copyblogger readers. It is free 2 days geekversity seminar and may be there is one close to you, as geekversity organize them not only in Australia, but also in US, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia and couple other countries (sorry, don’t remember names). (it is affiliate link, first day’s homework :), but it still doesn’t cost you anything).

  35. Hi Sonia, great article. I’m a new blogger myself and I am working on providing as much value in my blog as I can for other new bloggers. Teaching what I learn as I learn it. I can’t wait until I find my own place. Everything is so new to me right now. I have a few boggers that really inspire me and I visit their blogs often. I know it’s just going to take some time … and work! 🙂

  36. Awesome, awesome and more awesome! I really liked the point about finding your own voice! I have so many of those that it is hard at times to do just that…lol…

    With the many virtual assistants now days, (me included) I’m thinking my voice may be something along the lines of Sports and NASCAR. That’s one thing I have not seen in the VA industry…….so, what do you guys think…..VA of Sports?

    Any suggestions? Thanks and will be coming back for more!

  37. Great Post. The give and then give some more is what I keep hearing – and what I have started to try and do on my blog. I am a newbie at this so if you have a minute could you take a look at my blog and leave a comment. Any comments good or bad are always constructive.

  38. “Webwinkel weblog August 15, 2009 at 4:56 am

    If Broccoli Icecream is your favorite. Sell it. Be a little different. Promote the broccoli, be the broccoli authority…”

    This one is priceless, funny, but straight to the point! SY

  39. As long as you know your niche and the subject to you isn’t deathly boring, you shouldn’t have to much of a problem writing a blog about it.

    The problem comes when you write the blog simply for the money. Then these problems show and you are dead.

  40. What a killer post, Sonia! I’m amazed at how you can pull such fresh, relevant stuff out of your hat after having written so much fresh, relevant stuff already. Consider yourself retweeted. Best regards, P. 🙂

  41. I can related to impatience. I was OK at the 3 month, 6 month, 12 month mark. When I got to the 18+ month mark, I started to get impatient. I’m learning that I need to change things up a bit more if I want more/different results.

  42. I like your third point impatience which does keep into a blogger , getting audience is long term process than happens just in a night.

  43. Great post. Isn’t it interesting how this can be applied to every day life and not just blogging. If you avoided these sins in your every day life, you’d be a pretty amazing person. The qualities that go a long way into making you a good and interesting person also go along way into making you a good and interesting blogger.

  44. I’ve probably done all the seven deadly sins, but the one I’ve been doing over and over again has to do with impatience.

    I just can’t wait for my posts to get published. I can’t seem to write a post, not publish it, but wait a few hours or a few days and get back to it and see if it needs a rewrite. If I could do this, I think that my posts would be a lot better.

    I usually just come up with an idea, write the blog post (15 minutes or so) and publish it as soon as I finish writing.

    I admitted it, impatience is my biggest sin when it comes to blogging 🙂


  45. As always great thoughts. I guess in my world impatience is the thing that I struggle with. However, lookin back is always good to see what I’ve achieved by just sticking to the task and being absolutely consistent all the time

  46. Unless bloggers take seriously the important points you have writen here, there will be no chance for them to succeed. The truth hurts and it is fact that we are oftentimes not aware of our selfishness.

    It is important that we first be aware of ourself. Success in blogging requires reflection of our self. 🙂

  47. Hi Sonia,

    As a relatively new blogger I think that these tips are absolute gold. Far too many people just want to take, take, take. You can’t expect visitors to trust you and to come back to your blog if all they are getting is sales pitch after sales pitch.

    And not only that but giving information and wanting to help others actually makes you feel better as well. We all want to make money but if you do it morally and without selfish motives then the rewards will be greater and last longer.

    Best wishes

    Andy Michaels

  48. This was ridiculously helpful. Thank you. Although my cat isn’t smart enough to read. In fact, my cat isn’t even smart enough to pee in the appropriate location.

  49. This was exactly what I needed to hear. It pretty much covered all the issues I have been dealing with, and I have to say thank you for this. Great post!

  50. Good stuff, I think my brain exploded too when I heard “but that takes too much work” from people I was helping out. I don’t know why people think they can do well by doing nothing.

    Sure, once you’ve got things running smoothly you can work a lot less, but you’ve gotta bust your ass to get there. Same thing with the first point you made.

    Too many people seem to think that the way to make money with any social media is just to spam as many people as they can and pray for a few sales.

    Why not just do the same amount of work, build a following and generate 10x the cash? I hope this actually sinks in with people.

    And it’s always good to remember that most of our competition sucks, so it’s not THAT hard to stand out 🙂


  51. I’m really glad this has been helpful, thanks, all, for such kind words.

    @Julie, I have a cat who is actually too dumb to use a scratching post. Poor dopey little guy.

    @carti, who said I was hiding? 😉

    @andabwa, great point. Sometimes I forget that life exists outside of blogging.

    @Barbara Ling, oh, one of my favorites! I’m a fan of Paul Newman’s maxim, “Always take the work seriously, never take yourself seriously.”

  52. This is a GORGEOUS post. Totally office wall material. (Or in my case, uh, the wall next to the living room table I’ve been using as my desk…)

  53. @ Jens — When you publish the secret to getting your posts written in 15 minutes or less, THAT will make your blog take off like wildfire. 😀 I’d read that post.

    @ Dave — I’ve never been so happy to have fat kids before.

  54. Great article! I do think it raises some important questions. For starters, it’s SO important to recognize when “finding your own voice” that being unique needs to still be valuable. I’m a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and I also love business & marketing, but does that mean I should start a blog for Springsteen fans who also happen to be entrepreneurs?

  55. I also think its important to present your blog content in such a manner that the reader feels as though you are talking directly to him or her. I guess that’s called engaging. “Bounce” rates are so high for websites or blogs that frustrate the reader with discussion that appears above the reader’s head. It takes a certain amount of skill to engage a reader, whether your topic is about puppies or network infrastructure. Write like you talk and people will listen (or read).

  56. I can’t believe I hadn’t found this website before. It’s going right in the favorites.
    This article is great seeing as how I have two new blogs, and that I’m working on. When I get to it there will be a third
    When I wrote a plan out for these blogs and what I want them to achieve, I realized every single goal had the words “Help people…” at the beginning. I think this is a great way to look at the sites you are making.

  57. Excellent way of putting things in perspective Sonia, you’ve written a great post! There is a lot that people can learn from and the first point really hits home. I think it’s natural to get carried away selling your products but that’s not what successful blogging is about, it’s about connecting with your audience.

  58. This post rocked so hard, Sonia.

    I personally love the 7 Deadly Sins because they can apply to freelancing (and blogging and business and anything) so much, in so many ways, that it’s fun to write about them – and fun to read about them too.

    Up with Sloth! 😉

  59. Hey Sonia,

    I like your comparisons and analogies.

    I’ll bookmark this post and share it every time someone mentions that blogging and social media is too much work.

    Thank ya!

    George 🙂

  60. The worst part about these sins is that they’re NOT deadly. If they were, then the blogosphere would be a whole lot less crowded.

    Of course, I also wouldn’t have any consulting clients. Hmm…

    Great post, Sonia. 🙂

  61. @Jon, laughing, you are so evil. 🙂

    @James, totally. The 7 Deadly Sins of Baking Muffins! The 7 Deadly Sins of Database Design! It works for everything.

    @George, love that, spread the word. Thanks!

  62. Marvelous piece, Sonia. those i consider the biggest challenges in the blogosphere that will simply elevate bloggers to the next level.

  63. Thanks! These are amazing points. I really wish I would have read this a couple of years ago. All of your points make sense and are helpful with a sense of humor, rare in blog.

  64. @Linda, geez, don’t you have any easy questions? 🙂 My guess would be to create a relationship that lets you make insurance less scary and less intimidating, given that right now trust levels for insurance companies are, well, not too high. That, and decoding the insanely complex language the actual companies use to tell you what they sell.

  65. I’m with you on the ‘months of hearing nothing.’ This is the most frustrating thing trying to explain to clients I build blog enabled sites for… Three months on they ring saying, “when am I gonna make money from this?”. The first thing I ask them is, “How are you measuring your leads now?” And then if they’ve been clever enough to integrate a feedblitz database mailing system with their contacts, they notice they have seen an increase of repeat biz or referrals.

  66. Thanks for this great article. I found it on the Pro Bloggers group on LinkedIn. I’m a new blogger and loved your advice!

  67. Excellent post! As way of social media mention, I came across the post via a recommendation. I agree with the point on value propositions. Just sometimes hard to be patient to see the ROS(Return on Sharing).



  68. Amen! Excellent tips, insights and candor – Right on target. The snowballing and patience things really hit home for me. I just started new ongoing webinars for blogging content and story ideas ( Give, give, give, and the universe will pay you back in abundance. Great job!

    Susan (@sueyoungmedia)

  69. Sonia,

    Thanks for the insurance tips. I learned long ago to speak English, not Insurance. I’ll work on chunking it down to easy, basic stuff to be less intimidating. Best, Linda

  70. Sonia

    Love the post. I am pretty much a new blogger and constantly ask people ask me how much time does it take each day. How can you keep up? Aren’t you afraid that people will not come back and read it? I also get asked why give out so much information for free. This one I love as my response is always the same – if I am not giving it out someone else will.

    Patience is something that people need to remember in social media. Unlike traditional media where you run an ad and people come right away, social media is takes time and getting people to read your blog consistently is being awesome. Not every post will be awesome to everyone but it will be awesome to someone.

    Thanks for the reminder of having your own voice. We all have our own style and pushing hard to be someone else is never going to give you your own blogging identity.

  71. Nice article. It can be hard to keep blogging when it doesn’t look like anyone is reading but I guess it’s just soldier on and keep putting something there for people to read and if it’s good enough it’ll work in the end.

  72. again, great post! Your style influences me. Humor just makes anything easier and more fun to read. Sharing useful tips among the humor makes it even better!

  73. I do have some reader fans that start off sites to be like my own………. but the problem with them is they didn’t press on long enough to make it. 🙁

    In my 2 years+ of blogging, I’ve done very little marketing compared to many others. When the content is good, it somehow markets itself. 🙂

  74. Yes – the joys of blogging …

    Patience they say is a virtue and so it is, as good things come to those that wait. Taking massive action has always reaped its rewards the only struggle is that after great effort one hits a wall …

    Advancing from such hurdles determines the level of success, so along with patience one needs persistence and as humans most unfortunately fall short.

    Living examples as yourself give inspiration to soldier on in search of the light at the end of the tunnel … many thanks!

    Take Care & all the best
    rod f.

  75. Great insight, Sonia.
    I appreciate the inspiration. Blogging to the top is surely an exercise in perseverance and determination.

    It’s post like this that motivate and keeps it all in perspective.

  76. fantastic post, Sonia. Your blog follows your own advice. A great reminder for bloggers to not give up or give in! Thanks! Very motivating!

  77. I have to agree with the idea of emulating others with your spin on it. There are people that are doing it right, you being one of them. And of course Seth Godin. Now I just have to find my inspiration. Maybe a little Carrot Top mixed with Ben Stein. Little funny little boring and to the point. Make my audience laugh themselves to sleep.

  78. That is a great article. It is so true.

    From now on it is a must read, twice a month, for all my students and partners.

    Thank you so much for exposing these principles so clearly.

  79. Great article that makes good inspiration. Thanks for writing such a great blog – have just discovered it and I will definitely be a regular reader 🙂

  80. Yep, guilty on a few of those. I also like your writing style; quick, to the point, and filled with quips of humour.

    Will continue reading your blog. 🙂

  81. Thanks for a great read.
    Not rocket science, but since common sense is not very common, this stuff needs to be said. All of us have been guilty at some point, I’m sure.
    Keep up the good work

  82. Thanks a lot! That´s helpful to overcome blogging-frustration ;-)) Sometimes I was not far from giving up that blogging-thing. But at last: it´s fun to share content and ideas. patience is needed.

  83. Always good stuff, thanks! I especially agree with your first point about giving and then giving some more. So many people miss this point. At my company we give tons and it does pay back, sometimes without us even having to ask.

  84. Great Post.

    I agree with almost every single point. If you just care about your blog and are only focused on your blog you won’t get that far. if you dont appreciate your readers then you wont get that far either.

    It takes hard work and a lot of patience to build a blog it doesnt happen over night or in 1 or 2 months.

  85. I agree with often every single point. If you just care about your blog and are only focused on your blog you won’t get that far. if you dont appreciate your readers then you wont get that far either.

  86. Lameness? I’m really gonna have to work on this one. I’m suffering from a severe inferiority complex stoked by my teenage son who never misses an opportunity to tell me just how lame I am. Personally, I think I have my moments. I can only hope that my organic traffic flow isn’t coming from 17 year old teenage boys looking for something they most certainly won’t find on my blog. If this is the case. I’M DOOMED!!

  87. Roschelle, just remember, there’s a reason we don’t give teenagers the vote. 😉

  88. Sonia,

    I’m not sure that my mom knows my blog exists, and my cat falls asleep everytime I start to blog. Probably not a good sign, eh?

    Great post, but many of your points require an objective point of view. I am sure that Warcraft guy doesn’t realize that he is lame, but at least he could see you digging for the cyanide capsule for some sort of clue.

    Any suggestions on how to step outside of yourself to get that objective point of view?


  89. Hey Sonia,

    In order to have a successful website you need to give incredible value and be irresistibly remarkable.

    Just look at the most successful blogs. The ones with the most passionate followers and the biggest profits.

    You need to:
    – Give 10x as much as you take
    – Recommend, don’t sell
    – It’s about them, not you
    – Make stuff that’s great, not ‘good enough’
    – Be remarkable by being an amplified yourself

    Thanks for the 7 reminders of what NOT to do so that we can turn our mild-mannered websites into Superblogs,

  90. Hi Everyone,

    *Sighz* im basically what you can call the new kid on the blog (block)… im starting to feel really down because ive been putting so much work and effort into my blog and watching the google analytics has made me very depressed however after reading this article i do feel much better! i really related to sin #3, my blog started off slow but now im at the point where i want to take it to the next level, I’m doing everything i can to make my blog succeed but it is hard, its very hard, emotionally and mentally… ive even enrolled for probloggers 31DBBB, hopefully the next time i comment here, it will be a happy one!

    Cheers for this article

  91. Why didn’t I read this before? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this. I guess I might have just done some of those sins in my previous blogs…but with a new domain and new host, I think I can do it right this time (anyway, it’s only now that I’m turning into a serious blogger..:P)

  92. I’d just add one more sin: boring. I’ve read so many posts by bloggers who are caught up in their own thoughts. They might right a post like, “Today I walked my dog around the blog. I noticed the beautiful weather. [Insert details of every tree and flower encountered.] That me realize …”

    Personal is good but if you can’t be interesting, just write about something else. 😉 Great blogs are edgy.

  93. I love the points that you have made and noticed that in my own writings and have changed gradually. Think I still need work but getting there. I love the personality you can inject into your own articles, great job! 🙂

  94. Another great post – Unfortunately the selfishness of people is built into their construct, but as you so aptly stated, this just helps the rest of us 🙂


  95. When I started blogging in late 2008 I was a sinner. I was selfish and very assholeish, today I care for my visitors and give them (great) content for free. Some websites pay me back, some don’t. My feeling is my guide today, if I feel like writing a post, I’ll do it. If I realize that I want to write a post solely because “I have to” I quickly discard that and go on with other things…

    You did a great job in mentioning those sins. Everybody should read this and follow suit. But that would be boring and steal your chances to write precious re-minders like this 😉

  96. I have been blogging actively since 2005 and I am happy to say I already blog in a manner that avoids most of the sins. The most deadly seems to be ranting on-and-on about one’s self without passing across meaningful knowledge or entertainment.
    In this blogging business, it is critical not to be selfish. 😉

  97. Excellent post!

    I’m like guilty of all of these blogging sins.

    sometimes, coming up with an idea for a blog is so depressing because it’s like everything is out there already.

    I just printed the post and taped it on my desk so I can be reminded every day to not commit any of the sins. 🙂

  98. Great post…I agree on the client issue:-) Most people want all this stuff, like blogging, done for them. They do not get the idea that blogging can help them become a better business.

  99. Great information and I thought, “this is a keeper.” Pressed print, and turns out it is 34 pages long. That is one long tail. Good job.

    Geez, what if your next one is the 8 Deadly Sins….

  100. I love your writing style – straight to the point and no fluff. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and am looking forward to reading your others. Consider yourself re-tweeted and re-posted. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  101. Getting off my ass and writing a blog post everyday is a tough one, but then I think it’s better than watching hours of mindless telly and being a couch potato! Also it builds up your blog (which is an asset after-all) which may snowball like you say in the future 🙂

  102. This is a great list for bloggers. Well thought out. Thank you for this. I often see blogs with many of these mistakes or showing signs of all of them. It is important to do things right for the success of a blogger.

  103. It makes sense now. I’ve loaded my blog with my personality but it’s IRRELEVANT to most people. But at least I don’t eat broccoli ice cream. I wonder if there’s a site I can visit that can critique my blog. And what does this mean to my constant thrust of being myself?

  104. Brian,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Your first item on the list “selfishness” really struck a chord with me. It is amazing to me how selfish and promotional people are.

    It seems to me that most people on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. are advertising their business, their products, or their services right off the bat.

    It’s very refreshing to see people providing educational information initially. After building a relationship with the reader seems to be the best time to provide some promotional information. But this must be followed up with more education.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  105. Hi, point #5 is a very good one. It can be difficult for bloggers in very competitive industries to find their own unique tone and slant on relevant issues and topics, but it’s worthwhile putting serious thought into it in order to stand out.

  106. Totally agree with you on the ‘you have to give’ thing. People just want good accurate information presented in a wonderfully witty and amusing way. I can do that, well sometimes, and when I don’t, I really find out fast.

    Still its not a lot to ask, but I have made the mistake of spreading things a bit thin and not getting enough good stuff out in a timely fashion, that really can undo all the good work because people get bored of waiting and go elsewhere.

  107. This is one of the best posts of yours Sonia! Great job.

    I can honestly say that within the 5-6 days that I have been reading CopyBlogger, I have learnt so much about writing and blogging that I am trying to change all my previous crappy blog posts.

    There was something about them which said “Dont read me!”

    Persuasive, to-the-point copy rocks!

  108. I want a cyanide pill everytime I read my post one day after 🙂
    Hope it will get better. Nice thought here. I’come back definitely.

    Good luck to all of you with blogging

  109. Just browsed around a bit and was very impressed. Loved the article about the surefire headlines and the 7 sins of blogging. I’ll be back for more 🙂

  110. I’m so very glad I found your blog! You have fantastic advice and resources, especially for those new to the game. I’m trying to find focus for my blog so my readers will enjoy my content more. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! 🙂

  111. Thanks for this article on helping me start my own blog. I am sure dedication and motivation will help me, when I need to grow my audience and quality content!

  112. Love this! Although I do disagree with the broccoli ice cream thing – if you find your niche, doesn’t matter how small, and get the broccoli ice cream lovers to read your blog, you should see it as a success.

  113. i think the last tip signify that my blog should not contain too many words…

    thanks for the valuable advice .. 🙂

  114. good reminder… these are all basics but people tend to forget these simple rules and fell in to the trap of SEO Specialist 🙂

  115. I like articles which are easy to read and quick to digest, thanks. I’m staggered by the volume of blogs, and how much competition results. Advertising was hard enough work, and now blogs are here (presumably to stay) I’m going to struggle to justify the time – not knowing how effective they are. I resolve to make mine concise and hopefully of some interest. Ovol.

  116. Hi,

    I Just found your site and want to say thanks for the great post. I’m fairly new to blogging in this was very helpful advice to me.

    I have bookmarked your site 😛


  117. Hey Sonia,

    Thanks for sharing this great post this offers great advice for people new to blogging but also for those who are familiar.

  118. Thanks for the great tips on the post above, the most poignant advice above, is finding your own voice this is very true if you are a blogger or writing a blog.

  119. Wow Sonia, great post here. So tough to pick one sin as my personal fave, since I’m probably guilty of them all.

    Except for #5… That one I couldn’t do. I have this burning need to be creative and different. I want to write about the weird stuff on the fringe, not the mundane in the middle.

    Only thing is, I’m not weird enough to capture the weird. Maybe if I dye my hair pink…

    Joe 😀

  120. I loved the don’t write about ‘broccoli ice cream’ comment! With that said, this post encourages me that there really are people out there who might like to hear more about what I have to say. And, I will definately try to give my readers more than I take… Thanks for an encouraging place to land in my ‘how to get more readers quest’

  121. Am I the only one who struggles with identity?

    I blog what strikes me at the moment. Not a diary mode, but politics, the world, my life. And the blogs I visit do the same.

    Can your identity just be defined as, well, YOU. Your spin on life, that kind of thing.

  122. I blog what strikes me at the moment. Not a diary mode, but politics, the world, my life. And the blogs I visit do the same.

  123. Nice list, i agree that every blogger should print it out and keep it in sight whenever they are writing their own posts thanks for sharing!

  124. True, there are so many poor/average blogs out there it’s scary. As you say, just make sure you offer some value to the reader and you’ll do ok.

  125. Great Post, You hit the nail on the head. I wish I would have read your post a few years ago when I started my various blogs. I could have saved myself some trouble and pain. Your number 4. Lameness and number 7. Boorishness, really hit home for me. Thanks for your efforts and keep up the fight.

  126. I absolutely agree – too many times have I made these errors and paid the price. However I have visited a lot of blogs in the past and seen that they really do not know what the hell they’re going on about. Content really should match the keyphrase – number 6 on your list.

  127. Great blog Sonia. Your #3 mentioned of impatience is one that I had to really fight with when I started my blog. I didn’t realized that I nee time to establish my blog and to give readers what they want. This is a really great list. Look forward to the next post.

  128. Excellent piece, Sonia.

    I absolutely love your writing.

    Wish I saw this before I started one of my blogs, which has been a miserable failure (the deadly sin of Impatience, obviously). On that blog, I committed all the 7 deadly sins.

    Sloth and impatience – many bloggers face that one.

    For me, while blogging about a topic that is so very dear to my heart, I forgot my audience and it became all about me, myself and I (Irrelevance).

    I was focused mainly on monetizing my blog without unconditionally giving first (Selfishness).

    Great post, thanks again.

  129. I liked your point number 1 about selfishness. Blogging is about giving, and not receiving. If you get something in return, great! If you don’t, that’s okay; getting things is not the reason you’re blogging in the first place. To use the words of my Public Relations Applications professor, Barbara Nixon, “when you start blogging or tweeting, who’s following you is not nearly as important as who you’re following.” If you want to become a good writer, you have the read things by great writers. Nobody in this century ever wrote a wonderful book without first reading a wonderful book. This was very eye-opening, thank you for posting!

  130. Hi Sonia,

    You wanted to be Seth Godin? You’re nearly there with your inspiring views but the hairstyle – you know it doesn’t make sense!
    Great post for us midlifers, as much as anyone else.

  131. Point #1 is so well laid out. I sort of knew this but did not see it that clearly. Although I already do tell myself to be patient, I do get discouraged if I think that I am not making enough progress fast enough. My objective is to provide content of use and relevance to attract a gathering of new and returning visitors. My current business model is predicated on advertising revenue, beginning with AdSense with possibility to supplement or replace with other ad networks in the future. And maybe someday if the readership/audience is large enough, I get to ask for something in return.

    Point #2. I am not looking for success with no work. Quite the opposite – I am ready for the challenge and the work is interesting anyway. Web programming, learning, writing and promoting is challenging but interesting.

    I made the point about reaching content critical mass in one of my blog entries. I sometimes read my own blog entries as notes to myself that I need to stay on course with patience to build the content and do the marketing & promotion.

  132. This is such a great post. I have seen alot of these working in the bloggers I keep up with, and even my own. I thought all of your points were relatable and informative because you take the information we all understand and recognize, and put a catchy theme and title, which keeps us all reading. My favorite part was,,, #5 Identicality: Its great to observe and learn from what others are doing. Take what you like and leave the rest. The sin is losing or not giving your unique spin or voice to what you do. Most have a great Identity/Persona already but choose to believe it is not good enough so they become a poor quality duplicate of someone else. Putting yourself out there is the only way to know what works for YOU.

  133. MAN!!! That sucks when you start down the list and find you need to stop at number two before you can go on! 🙂
    I am defiantly a “Sloth” I don’t mind doing the work, in fact i think it is fun. I am having a “hell-o” time trying to balance EVERYTHING. I know I’m not the first and will not be the last. I am working on it though. I have rearranged my office, started checking 3 computer things every am…and well, I wont bore ya with the rest.

    Thank you for blogging 1-o-1!

  134. I think i have tended to go down the route of selling products in my blogs as it seems like a natural thing to do.
    I still think there is a happy medium between promoting products and services and providing something else that is worthwhile reading, hopefully managed it on Blue Orange Link Building site.

  135. Great piece, Sonia. I particularly enjoyed the Zig Ziglar paraphrase on lame bloggers. No question that many bloggers emphasis quantity over quality. But then good writing isn’t easy.

    I’ll have to go with some of the other comments in that there are certainly many blogging sins, but this is a nice synopsis.

  136. I thought this article brought up some good points about blogging and social media. People want immediate results without putting the work and effort into it. Personally, I never thought of blogging as a way of making money but more of journal and make myself a better writer. Also I wanted a way to share my experiences with my friends and family. If you want to build an audience and make money, you definitely need to pick a topic or theme around your blog and put up relevant content. You need to approach it as a job and it’s something you love.

  137. Really great blog. So many blogs suffer from being just lame advertisments for affiliate programmes. Would be great if they started publishing some decent content that adds value instead of clogging up Google with rubbish. I get so annoyed when I search for stuff and dross is at the top of the rankings instead of something useful.

  138. OK, enough already. You win, I signed up for the email list after 5 minutes, and actually didn’t leave the site for another 20 after reading post after post of Great writing. You know how much that actually means to an off the charts DDHD multi-tasker like me? Well, it’s saying a lot.

    Thanks, and I look forward to some more good advice.


  139. I’m certainly trying to do the opposite for all of the above. I’m definately not a selfish person. There are many of those around.
    I’m certainly not a sloth. There is too much to do in life.
    I could be impatient. However I believe I can learn more about being patient but more consistent.

  140. Loved the way you ended your post today! I think passion is a large part of writing a successful blog. If you aren’t passionate about the subject you’re blogging about, it will be reflected in your writing. A boring post turns people away, and for first time guests, they probably won’t come back. If you are not passionate about what you are writing, how can you expect your readers to be passionate about what you have written?

  141. I have to write a blog every day and I grapple with these issues more than you realize. Thanks for this entry!

  142. This sentence jumped off the page: “Here’s why I don’t do much social media and content marketing consulting any more.”

    I haven’t done any “social media” consulting yet, but my guess was that people would balk at how much work it actually takes. Now I have some proof to back that up.

    And yes, I’m cruising the Copyblogger archives at 7:15 pm PST on a Sunday. 🙂

  143. Post may be getting on but it is still true today.

    Unfortunately not all people acknowledge the value they receive from the free information obtained from bloggers. It is certainly a slow process but can be rewarding if you hang in there.
    Nice post Sonia

  144. This is a great post!
    I have a lot of ways to go. I’m so thankful that people like you exist though, to help guide another person out with their own goals and revealing what doesn’t work and how being oneself is the best way to be, not only that but the very nature of humans is to be helpful and center their ideas around themselves. (:

  145. This post has given me some laugh, also a very friendly post, thanks! 🙂 I would want to have running a blog too, I just can’t decide on a right topic yet. I hope that I find that soon.

  146. So I’ve been building a blog started over a year ago. Went heavily into link building and social media exposure for about 6 months. Saw the visitor stats first dominated by Facebook referred traffic and later as SEO kicked in, Google search took over as the dominant source of traffic. Then I stopped adding content to my blog and stopped the link building effort due to indulgence in another project. As soon as I launched my new website, I see that I am getting position 47 in Google search for a relevant keyword phrase.

    I value the writing about the sins in this article and the points resonate with my experience. Maybe the early position 47 with near-zero work in SEO is just a fluke or maybe I am on to something. Time will tell.

  147. I like the information you have presented here. I think it is a good thing to be able to get started on identifying some of these particular traits that we need to come across or have before we can get anywhere. I think that is essential for our success.

  148. This is some great advice. I definitely agree with what you mentioned about hard work. It seems so many people want the results without putting in the work. I’m just starting out and have found I actually enjoy all the hard work. Now I just need to work on that patience thing you were talking about;)

  149. This is great work! I completely agree with your 7 Rules. I myself have been struggling with what to blog and how to do it. Thanks for the great advise!

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