The One Big Reason Some Blogs Succeed, While Others Crash and Burn

The One Big Reason Some Blogs Succeed, While Others Crash and Burn

This article is excerpted from Chuck’s book, Create Your Writer Platform.

Most writers’ blogs forever linger in obscurity. These sites never receive a number of page views that would be considered noteworthy (1,000 a day, for instance) or help them sell thousands of books over time.

If you’re just blogging for fun and don’t care about how many hits you get, that’s one thing. But if you’re using a blog as a means to build your writing network and platform, you’re probably curious about what you can do to attract a bigger readership — and I can tell you how to do just that.

So what separates the small percentage of larger, successful blogs from the rest of the herd? This is a question I’ve studied for many years, both while building my own Guide to Literary Agents Blog, as well as when I’ve reviewed other writers’ sites.

The answer is surprisingly simple: the one core element that virtually every successful blog provides. (Note that this key trait is not just relative to blogs; popular social media accounts provide this one thing, too.)

What trait sets successful blogs apart from the rest?

Stop for a moment and identify the first websites you visit upon waking in the morning. I’m willing to bet “My email account” and “Facebook” are the top overall responses.

But why do you visit these websites day in and day out? Why do you spend so much time on them? The answer is so obvious that you might have never put your finger on it. These sites provide immense value to you.

Email allows you to connect with anyone around the world instantaneously and for free. Stop for a moment and remember how mind-blowing that is. Facebook lets you share news, articles and images with all your friends and relatives around the world — again, for free. You’ve likely been using these sites for so long that you’ve forgotten just how amazing they are — and how tremendous the value is for either.

And it’s this element — value — that separates the few big sites from the many others.

Remember that at any given time, dozens (if not hundreds) of things and to-do’s and websites are competing for our attention. That means your blog must provide a darn good incentive to read it. This could mean pulling together hard-to-gather information, or making readers laugh, or informing us, or sharing advice that makes our lives better or easier. Any of these elements translates to value in a blog.

Quick note from Chuck: I am now taking on clients as a freelance editor. If your query or synopsis or manuscript needs a look from a professional, please consider my editing services. Thanks!

Am I providing value?

Let’s say I spend a Saturday with my daughter at a local Cincinnati park. I take great pictures of her on a beautiful sunny day as she swings and slides. Then I think this would make for a great blog column, and post the best pictures online with some silly jokes and comments about how cute she is. Now here comes the money question:

Do you really give a damn?

Do you really care about what I did last Saturday?

In all likelihood, no, you don’t give a damn. You don’t care enough to pull your attention away from countless other (much better) things and glance at my new post. And that is perfectly understandable — because the column provided no true worth for you. In fact, the value was for me; I had a great opportunity to document a fun day with my girl.

People have a hard time wrapping their head around the very simple fact that much of the blog content they create isn’t really helpful for others, but rather for themselves in some way or another.

How to create value

If I truly want to vie for others’ attention, I need to turn the spotlight off myself. The best way to do that is to create something that is of importance not to me, but to people I’ve never met. Note that once I decide to do this, my task immediately becomes more complicated (but that’s a good sign I’m on the right track).

So while you wouldn’t read that picture-filled post I just created, would you read a different post I wrote called “5 Great Family-Friendly Parks in Cincinnati You Probably Didn’t Know Existed”? I’m guessing you would, because this post has instant and undeniable worth for you. It will make your life easier and better.

A simple litmus test you can do when considering if a post has enough value to draw people in is to ask this question: Was the post easy to compose or not easy to compose? [bctt tweet=”The more value something provides, typically the more difficult it is to create.”]

And that’s why most blogs linger in obscurity: because writers don’t spend the amount of time necessary to compose worthwhile content that will demand attention.

Think about it. How long would it take me to create that original blog post with pictures of my daughter? Probably 20 minutes. But how much time would it take me to compose the second post? A lot longer.

I’d have to visit the parks or talk to people who had. I’d need to collect images of the parks, and show you screenshots of where they are via Google Maps. And I’d have to write up the perks and boons of each. My guess is it would take me four to eight hours in total. It’s a lot more work, but the end result is much more worthwhile to readers.

So the next time you go on a vacation to the Maine coast, don’t return and assume strangers will want to hear about how your trip went. Remember what Freakonomics taught us: Incentives make the world go round, so give readers a reason to take notice. If you write about the trip and call it “Our Crazy Vacation on the Coast,” I’m going to ignore it. But if you compose a post called “7 Fun Places to Visit in Portland, Maine,” then you just might catch my attention.

We’d love to hear from you: How do you create true value in your blog posts?

Quick note from Chuck: if you’re looking for a writing conference, perhaps one of these below is in your neck of the woods. I’ll be presenting at the following events in 2017:

The giveaway for Chuck’s book Create Your Writer Platform is now over. Thanks for all your comments. Congrats to Nikki!

Other TWL Guest Posts by Chuck Sambuchino:

  1. How Successful Authors Use Social Media to Sell More Books

  2. Tips for Pitching a Literary Agent at a Writers’ Conference

  3. When Can You Call Yourself A Writer?
Filed Under: Blogging
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  • Kevin Campbell says:

    A great post. It’s simple advice that applies to all marketing and communications. Focus less on ourselves and more on the customer. I recently put a company’s sales presentation on the back burner and replaced it with a 3-minute video, because the PPT forced the salesperson to spend too much time focusing on the company instead of the client. No value. We should apply the value test to all we do.

  • lisa evola says:

    On our blog we encourage people to live out each day in faith. We give them ideas on how to reach out to others as well as how to grow stronger as a Christian. We cover topics that I believe we all struggle with as parents, friends, spouses, and generally as human beings. I think encouragement to start off each morning is valuable in that it sets us on the right track by giving us a right perspective of what lies ahead.

  • Hi Chuck!

    Excellent post! You are absolutely right about the necessity of delivering value to readers. No one cares what value was given to you (or to me); what people care about is the value that is given to them.

    The more and more I study copywriting and the art of persuasion the more and more this truth rings off bells in my head.

    If we want our blogs to reader, client, and customer magnets we need them to be extremely valuable to readers. Zig Ziglar always said, “If you help other get what they want you will unconsciously be getting what you want.” In other words, the more we help others succeed the more we succeed.

    Again, great post! I really enjoyed reading it!

    • Thanks for sharing the quote, William. I agree — by helping others succeed, we also help ourselves. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Hi Heather!

        Thanks for your response. And no worries on sharing the quote.

        I noticed after reading my comment that I jumbled up some words and phrases. It was pretty late when I wrote that (Yikes).

        Any hoo, still great post and I really enjoyed it!

  • Robin Botie says:

    Hi Chuck. On my blog site at I’ve been writing everything about my own experiences crawling my way up through grief and finding joy again … in the hopes that people suffering from losses will be able to get something like inspiration or ideas to aid in their own struggles. I am not a counselor or expert. So I phrase whatever I write in terms of my own experience. Are you saying I need to spell it all out as in : 5 tips to overcome the loss of your child; or 7 cool ways to avoid your mascara running when someone tells you, “I have a message from your dead daughter;” or what to do when you think you’re losing your mind in grief? What do you think? Please remember to consider me for your free book draw.

    • Thanks for your comment, Robin, and for sharing your experience so openly. I don’t think you need to write a “5 tips” type of post headline to provide value to your readers, though.

      Your posts detailing elements of your experience could help others who find themselves caring for a sick child or recovering from a loss. Lisa McKay is a great example of a blogger whose personal stories are valuable to readers; she blogs at and we wrote about one of her posts at

      If you wanted to offer advice in your posts, what about addressing friends or family members of grieving parents based on your experience? Explaining how to comfort a parent who has lost a child or what small gestures were most meaningful for you and your daughter would certainly be helpful for people who care, but aren’t sure how to best offer support.

      What do you think?

      (And yes, you’re in the draw! We’ll choose a random comment on Monday.)

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Robin Botie says:

    Forgot to ask for notification of new posts on previous reply. I really like what you wrote and I’m trying to figure out how to make this information work for me. Cheers!

  • Karen Rice says:

    This makes complete sense. Just as we must give of ourselves in our writing, by extension we should have something of value to offer in our blog. Great post – thanks.

  • Jennifer D. Bushroe says:

    Thanks for the tips! While I don’t have a blog or website up yet, I’m actively researching how to go about this and how to do it well. Right now I just have a document full of notes, but some day I’ll carry it through! 🙂

  • Tillery Johnson says:

    Interesting article. I’d love to hear more thoughts on blogs geared specifically to entertain as they are particularly hit or miss, and there seems to be a bigger X factor somewhere in there. I’ve read some hilarious blogs that weren’t necessarily popular or successful.

    • Great point, Tillery. Entertainment has quite the X factor when it comes to finding a devoted audience, since 10 readers might have 10 different ideas of what’s funny or enjoyable.

      Does anyone else have ideas as to how blogs aiming to entertain could provide value to their readers?

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Hey Chuck, thanks for your advice. This post is clearly informed by a great deal of experience. In my blog posts I try to illuminate the potholes in the big freelancing markets and show readers that there are alternatives in the industry. Most freelance writers and marketers are severely undervalued and underpaid, and I want to help them navigate to bigger paydays, steadier clients, and greater work security.

  • Great article! Since I’m a writer and I blog about writing and books, I try to find value by answering questions I’ve had myself and sharing my own struggles as a writer, along with what I do to combat them. We all want to know we’re not alone and that we struggle with the same things 🙂

    • Great point, Denise — whatever questions or struggles you’ve faced, sharing your experience will help others who experience similar situations. Thank you for sharing your hard-earned knowledge!

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Allyn Lesley says:

    This was brilliant because it was so simple. Value. You’ve hit it on the nail, and it’s something that we have become accustomed so much so that we’ve lost insight on it. A blogger that can capture content that is valuable will have endeared followers and readers … and so too will an author. Thanks for the share.

  • Toni says:

    I guess this is my sign from the Universe. I’ve been taking the easy route with my blog posts and writing about my life exactly for the reason you stated in the article – it’s easier and takes less time. Many of my readers seem to appreciate this view into my world. However, this article has inspired me to work a little harder to provide more valuable content for my readers.

  • Kip Flynn says:

    Thanks for the great advice Chuck…as a new writer I think I’ll go on to read your other posts!


  • Terry says:

    Excellent post! What is ‘of value’ to your audience depends upon who they are and why they are coming to your site in the first place. Knowing your target audience is essential to providing them with valuable content. Consistency, then, is critical. I had a travel blog that documented my four-month voyage around the world. I recently took it down, not because it wasn’t interesting, but because I am seeking representation for a young adult novel right now and I don’t want mixed messages about who I am and what I’m about ‘out there’.
    I’m waiting to launch a new blog/website until after I have something of real interest regarding my journey toward publication. It seems the market is flooded right now with writing advice and news from pre-published folks. That’s not the public image I’m interested in conveying right now. What do you think? Worse to be absent from social media or present but sending a mixed or tentative message?

    • lisa evola says:

      I absolutely agree with you Terry, Different people value different things. It has a lot to do with where they are in life; struggles etc… what resonates with them today may mean something completely different next year. I believe the struggle is to find new material consistently that will peak their interest as they grow or change or learn from previous experiences. Knowing your audience well is definitely key! and then , yes, keeping up with where your audience “resides” socially can be equally important whether it is on a social media site or in real life… need to “be” where they be 🙂 and yes, you want your social footprint to be relatively consistent. Although I believe that you can have various types of writing out there as long as you are consistent with your voice, and also what you value. For instance if you are a Christian writer of non-fiction, you can also write novels as long as you aren’t a completely different person when you write it. If you try to reach out and help on one site and then put out a smut novel, it may be a problem because your audience won’t know how to take you. I have to say, I have done a lot of things….but this author thing is by far the hardest thing I have ever done!! Good luck with your book!

  • Elke Feuer says:

    Great advice! I found sharing tips about my writing experiences has been the sweet spot. I love helping people but I have the tendency to put write my posts in I instead of you. Working on changing that.

  • Really good post. I always try to make my posts as useful as possible. Partly because I want to have a successful blog, partly because any time I have thought ‘Oh this is gold’ – it has been because I have found really interesting information and I want to do that for others. I’ve seen some other blogs and they just read like a diary.

  • In addition to the great content to bring readers to the blog, it seems these days that the ability to monetize the blog is the ultimate payoff. It’s something that would be a good future column topic, because the blogger vs. WordPress and levels of themes that can be applied directly impact a reader’s impression of the blog–is it easy on the eyes to read? Can you search it easily for past content? Is it consistently reliable but does the author still shake up the layout now and then so you maintain interest? What this author, Mr. Sambuchino, has going for him is the trustworthiness and reliability of what he has to say as an authority. IT doesn’t matter where he writes. You know you can count on it for to-the-point usefulness. What newere bloggers need to understand is concept of time in how long it takes to build up interest, and taking first-time visitors to return visitors to subscribers. Would love to win the book. If I don’t win, I’ll buy it anyway.

  • Thanks for the great content. Please enter my name for the drawing!

  • Building engagement and a larger audience is something I have been working on for a while. I would agree with this advice, creating content that others will value is the most important part of growing a platform.

    One item I know I need to be aware of for my platform is that as a novelist, if I concentrate just on items relating to my current series, I will keep my current followers engaged, but this may not interest new followers. To build a larger following, I need to generate even broader content.

    In trying and expand interest, I have recently started writing a free web series with weekly installments. It is still early, but I hope that will give people a reason to conitinuing coming back regularly.

  • Roving Jay says:

    I blog my passion .. and by osmosis .. I create value. I started my travel blog as a way to share all the things I’d learnt about this local area of Turkey. I did hours of research … which is actually really simple and fun for me to do, but over time I realized that not everyone has the same passion or even the time to do the same research as me.

    Time is of the essence, and if I can save my readers time, by providing them with a one-stop shop of information – they won’t need to go somewhere else.

    I started off by writing for me. My blog was a way to have an online resource for me to reference, but over the past three years my rapid growth in blog traffic made me realize the value I’m offering.

    As well as blog posts, I started to consolidate key location information into Free Quick Reference Travel Guides, available for downloading to print or save to a mobile device. This “something for nothing approach” is priceless – and one of the best ways to add value. Not only for visitors to my site – but for me as well. My free guides also feature on accommodation sites and forums. They’re providing value to visitors of other sites – and also providing me with free advertising.

    I think the over-arching philosophy of a blogger should be about giving. Even if you have a product to sell (I have e-books available to sell!), you still need to give something for nothing.

  • Monica Sackman says:

    I have yet to set up my website or blog yet. I have reading and researching how best to go about it. There are many mixed opinions. I really appreciate this article because it doesn’t just address how to set up blog, but how to use it, what the content should be like. It’s not as simple or as easy as some people want you to think.

  • Sherry says:

    Thanks for this post. This is something we are always thinking about – especially how to be more creative and do something different. The blog is entertainment based and while our opinions are unique their are so many similar type blogs we are always trying to come up with something that will make our contest stand out in the crowd.

  • I think you are absolutely right and half my blog was reporting on travel sites . Those posts did get the most hits. Now I’m writing at and I think this same kind of value post will go over well there.

  • Chuck, thanks for the great insight on the value of blogs. It made much sense. I present a blog on Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury in which I offer the latest developments on TBI. I also interview Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors and Caregivers, which is a category that appears to be very interesting to other survivors and caregivers. Your article convinced me that I am on the right track. The other thing that I do is post something pertaining to brain injury almost every day, so that folks can count on learning something new each time they visit. This makes them more interested in returning often.

    Thanks again for all of your interesting work.

  • Angela says:

    Great article! I hate wasting time on nonsense, so I know that I’ve skipped over worthless web jargon. Good advice for aspiring author/bloggers like me. Thanks!

  • Robin Deeter says:

    As a newbie to all of this, I find this information very useful. I need all the advice I can get about creating a successful author website and blog. I appreciate you sharing with all of us.

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to share this information that does, indeed, have value. I learned the importance of providing value the hard way after a few years of posting on my FB fan page and getting little response. It’s important to know what you don’t know, so I hired a social strategist who told me I needed to connect with my tribe by providing information they needed and wanted to hear. She created a new website for me – – and coached me as I blogged. I went from getting 5 or 6 views per blog a year ago to 2314 views on my post this week. I am experiencing a growth explosion on my site, blog, and FB page. You hit the nail on the head with your advice to provide value. Doing just that was how I was finally able to connect with my tribe.

  • Jami says:

    I completely agree with this. I find many blogs of writers to be more like Facebook posts than actual content. But I wonder what is a good publishing schedule for blog posts if you are a working author? I also spend around 4 hours per post which is much of my daily writing time. How often should you give up your novel writing for blogs to be effective?

  • Bruce says:

    Great article. This is the very thing I’ve been struggling with. For a long time I’ve written mainly for me and put it on a blog just in case it might help someone else. But over the last year I’ve tried to transition to less about me and more for others. Unfortunately it’s been a rough go. Any tips for how to make the move from me-focused to others-focused? Thanks.

  • Andrea says:

    Since I’m a writer I try to answer questions I have had about writing. I try to make sure that I’m answering questions people might struggle with, and explore what a writer does and how to get words on page.

  • Vy says:

    When I find a great website, I explore every single corner to see what else it has to offer. Some websites hold my interest (subject matter) but offer little content which makes me leave. I blog professionally and on my own time. I’d love to be able to create a writing website where I can share information, but I’m curious if writers feel there are just too many these days.

  • Nikki says:

    This is something I’m definitely going to keep in mind, as I’ve just begun blogging as a young writer/cosplayer wanting to build a name. Though I think everybody understands that people read blogs for what they get out of it, streamlining the vague understanding of that into one question–does this content have value to a reader?–will help me make my posts more worthwhile and successful, I’m sure. Thanks! 🙂

  • Kelli B says:

    I love Chuck and his work! I recently had the privilege of listening to a presentation he gave on this subject at the SWA Writers Conference in St. Simons, he has made a profound impact on the way I view my blog, which is a bit of an eclectic mix of advice for those planning life’s greatest events, every day inspirations and my passion for writing and animal rescue. When I first started my blog it was full of my poetry and my writing and a few snippets about my day job ( event planner) and my volunteer work ( animal rescue) but then after hearing Chuck speak, I re-invented the wheel. Now I primarily write and tweet about event planning advice, inspirations and animal rescue happenings and leave my poetry and creative personal writings as an occassional add in. I have added over 100 followers the week after the conference just by making these small adjustments!

  • Terrance Leon Austin says:

    Thanks for the information Chuck. As a new writer, I can use all the advice and wisdom I can get.

  • Christina says:

    Great post. I especially like you how you demonstrated the comparison of putting together a piece that is valuable for others versus writing something for personal interest. It also helps up to be mindful of how we can frame our own experiences into valuable information that will be useful to others.

  • Ainslee says:

    Great advice! I never thought about it that way before. Which is funny because you’re absolutely right that I would not read a post about your vacation, but would definitely check out a blog highlighting great sites from your vacation spot.

  • Andra says:

    Thanks for this important post. It comes at a time when I’m thinking about developing a platform for my novel (not yet represented). Others have advised me to develop a webpage, but also a blog and other accounts. I’m not sure what I could possibly write in a blog other than the book’s availability and content at the time before and just after publication. Are you saying that I might offer “5 Best . . .” advice about the books I like and recommend as a fiction author? Or that I should offer relationship tips since I’m a retired psychotherapist and my novel is about family relationships? My overall question is – what does a fiction writer blog about?????????? Thanks so much for any ideas.

    • Roving Jay says:

      In my Author Blog I write about the writing tool “Scrivener”, I offer tips on how to use the software to organize my content. If you don’t use specific software you could blog about writing tips; your unique approach to writing and organization that could benefit others. Or you could focus some content on family relationships — tips on how to handle specific scenarios; best practices; lessons learnt….

      These two different approach would attract a different readership, so you should define who you want to attract and then offer solutions to their questions. As you book is about family relationships, that seems like a good tie-in.

  • Maria Lopez Davis says:

    Great post! As a former DIY blogger it was easy to create content that people would find valuable. But now I’m starting a blog as a writer and I find myself slipping into writing posts that are just sharing things about my life. This post was great info on how to avoid that boring pitfall and find a way to make my stories relevant and valuable to others.

    thank you!

  • Veronica Bergschneider says:

    I use my author page to discuss writing related topics most of the time. I also comment there on news I have seen and books I have read. I use myself as the example of how to apply the tips and ideas in my articles.

  • So helpful – and what I’m coming to realize is that if I want to grow my blog, I have to start writing it for an audience, instead of writing it for myself. Sounds simple, but it really was an epiphany when I realized that. If I write because I have this need to communicate, to share, to be a part of the conversation, I have to present it as something of value to the reader. Because there’s two parts to the relationship – I’ve been forgetting about the reader.

  • Renee says:

    Great article! One major reason you left off….if a blogger just doesn’t blog. Oh my, that’s me! I created my blog, posted a few articles, and know exactly what I’m called to blog/write about but I just haven’t made the commitment. I often post quick thoughts on facebook and most of my family and friends keep encouraging me to get started again. I’m also not sure my family is ready for my “absence”. Blogging/writing requires some quality time and with 4 kids, homeschooling, and running a house, it just is a little overwhelming hence why I haven’t been faithful in posting. So, I guess I need to get some guts to take the plunge and have a talk with the ole hubster about getting some help around the house. 🙂

  • TR Johnson says:

    Great advice whether blogging or in everyday life. Make your conversation/writing interesting and relevant to other people. Thanks!

  • This article hits the point exactly 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    That’s it! That’s what I’ve been trying to put my finger on. Value! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  • Hi Chuck, thanks for the excellent content here. A lot of folks think it’s all about having hundreds of pages out there, and that’s definitely a huge piece of getting the search engines to notice your site. But if the content of all those pages isn’t of interest or value to your followers, well, they likely won’t be your followers for long. And it certainly won’t attract any new folks. I had the good fortune to sit in on the WD online workshop yesterday hosted by Nick Usborne (Building Your Author Online Platform), and between the workshop and your blog here, I’ve picked up some great nuggets of information that’ll help me continue to grow my site. Thanks!

  • Cassy says:

    Thank you! I’ve been blogging for my own pleasure but am preparing to publish a book and am realizing how important it is to build my platform. Scary, but necessary, I’m learning. Thanks for the guidance! 🙂

    • Roving Jay says:

      If you’re preparing to publish a book, a mailing list is a valuable asset. I built mine by offering something for free, in return for being added to my mailing list, and now when I publish a book, I have a built in audience to promote it too.

  • Tione Ndhlovu says:

    In blogs, even when one may be tempted to talk about self… it’s important to channel views to benefit and generalize an opinion or topic being presented. l always tend to think of the people who will read and how the write up may impact them to such an extent that when I read it again I feel the energy.

  • Pat W Coffey says:

    Targeted audience, subject matter that counts, regular blog (one reader’s can count on), and opportunity for feedback. My blog surprises me on a regular basis.

  • Catherine says:

    Glad I took the time to read this entry. It’s perfectly timed for me.

  • Hope Nwosu says:

    Interesting post.
    It’s not said in vain that nothing good comes easy.
    Great post + opportunity makes a popular and fulfilled website/business, the kind I also like to have.

  • Rose says:

    Loved this post. I look forward to exploring your book, one way or another!

  • LeeAnn says:

    Like a few other commenters, I have been researching, reading, and taking notes before actually starting my blog. This should be the first piece of advice given to aspiring bloggers. It narrows ideas and sharpens focus if you have to consider how you’re going to apply them in a way provides value to your reader, rather than just being something you’re interested in.

  • Marilyn Read says:

    I had never analyzed just why I go to certain sites. This post was eye-opening as I am in the process of creating my website and blog. Wow! And for free. Thanks, Chuck.

  • Gloria says:

    I am in the beginning stages of creating my blog/website. This is helpful, and timely, information. Thanks!

  • EJ Speakman says:

    I’m an author who’s just now creating a Facebook promo page for my upcoming novel. Thanks for the great insights!

    • Roving Jay says:

      I just published a book and also created a Virtual Book Launch event for the launch weekend, and it drove lots of engagement, and additional traffic to my website.

  • Ben Sobieck says:

    Chuck is spot on. If there isn’t value, what’s the point?

    I write about the guns and knives in fiction at It’s a niche area with a broad appeal (at least I think so). There’s enough value there that Writer’s Digest is publishing my book on the topic later this year. Check it out!

  • I couldn’t agree more. I appreciate what you said about how it takes more work to create great value. We can’t expect great content to come instantly.

  • Candi says:

    Thanks, Chuck. I am just beginning to get serious about starting a blog, and your information is succinct and timely. Glad I took the time to read your article. It gives me a good place to start.

  • E. L. Irwin says:

    Very good points. Thank you. I’m an, as yet unpublished writer, trying to build that necessary and infamous platform. I blog at LoveWriteLive, but traffic is slow. My niche is fiction, specifically YA fiction and it must contain romance in some form or function. Yes, I’m that girl. I’ve completed one novel already and am working on a second. I blog about them, as well as books I’ve read and am reviewing, and about my experience in the submission process. Again, your analogies were good; makes more sense now… Thanks!

  • In the first two months of developing my blog, I’ve found the deeper I delve into my own struggles with balancing creative focus and survival, the more readers are able to relate out of their own writing experience. The key for successful self-promotion in this forum, I think, is to offer up your own experience in a way that is humorous, entertaining and instructive enough that readers can apply it to their own work, feeling the “spotlight” is as much on themselves as it is on you.

  • Tara Aarness says:

    “People have a hard time wrapping their head around the very simple fact that much of the blog content they create isn’t really helpful for others, but rather for themselves in some way or another. If I truly want to vie for others’ attention, I need to turn the spotlight off myself.”

    In other words those with un-diagnosed Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality Disorders would struggle with this concept. Lol

    Thanks for leading us down the trail toward the clearing. It’s good to know that I’ve stumbled upon the right path.

  • Thank you for this simple yet pertinent information. My blog started out as a group email to friends regarding my recent move to Costa Rica. When the number got too large for the email comfort of some of the recipients, a blog was suggested. I thought: “Who cares?” about my escapades. Well, it turns out a lot of people do because I make them laugh. I don’t intentionally write ‘humor’, they just are quite entertained by my stories. Now that I hear about “value”, I will consider that in my blogging. If I can get my message across and give somebody a good laugh, I consider that value. Thank you for posting!

    • If you’re gathering readers, you are doing something right, so don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Blogging about Costa Rica is a lot more interesting to the lay person (i.e., valuable) than blogging about parks or pasta or pinnacle.

  • Thanks for your post. I have seen the same behavior among young journalists who want to write columns full of personal experience and inside jokes. I’ve tried to encourage them to write about others in order to build a loyal readership.

  • Kay Gibson says:

    How about humor tho, you usually have to make fun of yourself?

  • I just started a blog last week, and I think this post will really help me frame some upcoming posts and increase visitation. In fact, two of the posts I’ve already put up are proof that you’re exactly right; the soapbox post didn’t receive nearly the traffic that the funny post about a popular, newly released book did. Thanks for the guidance. Hope I win and get to read the rest of the book this was excerpted from!

  • Rochelle says:

    Was anxious to read the “one big thing” and was totally thinking it would be something about design or attractiveness, but what a great and common sense surprise…and needed reminder.

    Sometimes when I’m struggling to push an idea out, the struggle trips me up and I wonder if I’m really meant to be even trying my hand at this in the first place. What you’re saying drives home the fact that, in the back of mind, nine times out of ten I’m trying to produce something that sheds a different angle on “hot topics” like race, interracial family dynamics, grief or slice-of-life while also providing hope.

    So thanks…this was the reinforcement and nudge I needed.

  • Chuck, I agree with you that we need to put the necessary time and effort into creating the best post we can. For me that means creating a beautiful one. The goal of my blog is to inspire others to stop and enjoy creation and its Creator. I want to bless my readers with the feeling they’ve just had a break out in nature so that they can go forward in their day with the hope and peace that God cares about them individually.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  • Deanne says:

    I’m building an online platform through book reviews and Twitter, since I find the very word ‘blog’ annoying and reading about other people’s thoughts incredibly boring, but this way I can appease my inner narcissist. We all want to talk about ourselves but finding a way to connect is vital for interest. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Krystal says:

    This was really informative. I’ve been pushing around the idea of starting a blog but I just didn’t know what to write about because I wanted it to be successful and for people to enjoy it and the information I was giving them. Thanks!

  • Brittni says:

    While I agree that value in a blog is important, I would argue that the stories about people’s vacations or favorite activities can provide value just like any story if they are written to make a point or provide humor. I would also disagree that I visit Facebook first thing in the morning solely because it is valuable; I go there to see what’s new. If no one posts anything new, I don’t go there as often. I think this is another key to a successful blog, and one that can be difficult to implement without a great deal of self-discipline.

  • Patty says:

    Sound and common sense advice for anyone who wants to build a readership/fan/client base.

    I have actually followed –and enjoyed — blogs that weren’t created to deliver something of value to the reader, including one which chronicled a woman’s experiences living in a foreign country, and one which was a journal of a woman sailing the Pacific. I think what kept these styles of blogs fresh was the fact that the writing was extremely “readable,” and the bloggers didn’t weigh their posts down with the mundane. They only touched on those things which were universally interesting or humorous. Make me laugh, and I’ll keep coming back.

    But then, I guess that IS something of value to me, isn’t it?

    You’ve given me much to think about. Cheers!

    • You’re actually proving my point here. This woman sailed the Pacific, and shared her journey. Was that an experience you were familiar with? No. Was it common and available to read in thousands of other sites? No.

      It was unique, and different, and hard to create (and she had to SAIL THE PACIFIC to write it!). So it shared a unique experience with us that we are not familiar with, and thus there is the value.

      But if you write about your kids at the park, or a fancy dinner you had at a Thai place, or how you’re struggling through the query process, none of that is unique or hard to come by — hence, no value.

      “Value” does not directly translate to “instructional.” If someone wants to travel down the Amazon and blog about it, it’s unique content that’s difficult to put together, and I’m interested in reading it.

  • Troi says:

    Ah, and here I was thinking that all the hair-pulling and bursting into tears trying to finish a post boiled down to my tendency to overthink. Without a doubt I still have tons to learn about blogging, but what I will say is that this article has encouraged me to keep going with a new realization for the process.


  • Kaili says:

    Great advice – I am about to join the blogging world – been a print journalist for years. Trying to find my digital mojo … can you talk about keywords/metadata etc in getting your blog “out there” or am I way behind the times!

    • I would simply Google things like “Advice on SEO” and “How to Create SEO” and then you can immerse yourself in search engine optimization and learn why some blog posts come up high in Google. They will discuss how keywords work better than I can. Remember that SEO comes over time — you will get better at it as you go along, and even go back to old posts and spruce them up.

  • This was very helpful and I would like to see more on this topic, especially for fiction authors. Blog topics for non-fiction are pretty straightforward. But fiction writers, especially, unpublished ones, need to be very creative in writing something of value that appeals to their readers and relates to the book. I just started blogging two weeks ago with a plan to blog in the humorous voice I use in my novel and on the topic of phobias, which relates to my main character. As Chuck said, it’s not easy.

  • Kathleen says:

    This article is a good example of a value-added blog. Many of us would like to win a free book, so we read it. Then we find it has useful information.

  • Kerrie says:

    It’s weird, but when I try to write helpful articles they don’t do as well as experiential posts. Maybe this is just because of who my readers are? My most successful post combined both. I wrote a compelling headline (I Wanted to Lose Weight By Running, but What I Found Out 4 Years Later Surprised Me) and it also got the support of a fitness/weight loss book’s Facebook page. It received about 20,000 views in two days before slowing down. It’s at about 28,500 now; it was posted in Feb. I have not been able to even come close to any kind of significant post since then (although, I’m taking a blogging hiatus right now). Like I mentioned, the articles I spend the most time on, researching, compiling info, etc., are the least successful. But then I post some random rant about why do gray running tights exist that took 5 minutes to write, and everyone reads it. I don’t get it! Here’s my most successful post:

    • My guess is that your experiential post DID provide value and advice to people, just in an anecdotal way. Regardless, if your blog or social media is having success with a certain type of content, than feel free to provide more of the same if the readers keep coming! Nothing succeeds like success.

  • Joan Leotta says:

    Thanks so much, Chuck. I’ve never seen a post of your that was not great. I’ve been trying to offer things of value to out hers on my blog, but I think I have been both too scattered and too “slight” in what I offer. Great advice!

  • Marina says:

    I love the post. Now a days there are so many blogs out there you have to find a way to make yourself stand out; don’t be afraid to try something diffrent. Figure out what you like to read about as a person, and what other blogs in your nitch arint doing for ex I really love the look and feel of a book it’s important to me. I didn’t see any other blogs doing that so I include it in my posts. I also love talking about the awe moments and saw not a lot of book review blogs go into chapter discussions so I made that as well, now instead of another book review site in the crowd I’ve made a more interactive reading experiance for everyone to follow along with. It’s scary not knowing how it will turn out but as long as your passionate about what you do and are happy doing it you can’t fail because when you are truly passionate about what you do you will wake up every morning and find ways to better your business do that enough push hard enough and you will succeed

  • Joe-la says:

    Thanks for a great article! I am currently planning to start a blog and have been looking at different angles. This has been most helpful and made it very simple.

  • Thank you for the great post, Chuck! My problem is that I have a review blog and I review indie authors that have no more than 3 books published. I am working on my debut book as well. Since I am not able to read as much as I used to, the posts are sporadic. Being a “newbie” I am not sure what other content I could provide that would be of value. I have a decent amount of followers, but not very many hits. The most I’ve ever had is 76 and the average is about 10, sometimes less. What can I do to post more regularly and what content could I talk about? Thanks again.

    • Samantha W. says:

      Hey Rebecca. Your website sounds like a really nice concept. It sounds like you put a lot of pressure on yourself if each post requires you to read a book. Have you considered expanding a bit to include reviewing resources for indie authors? I’m sure you do plenty of web browsing on such subjects but if you alternate between reviewing a resource one week and reviewing a book of an author another week you’d get two weeks to read the book. There are so many websites, books, apps, forums, courses, workbooks, workshops, webinars for writers out there that I’m sure you could find things to discuss. Focus on the free resources mainly to attract the largest amount of visitors. Not everyone wants to spend $50, $100, but everyone is willing to try free. But it is nice to know if the time is worthwhile and that’s where you come in. Just doing one post a week would be a great way to consistently build your site as a valuable resource while still leaving time for your other endeavors. Just some thoughts. Good luck, Sam

      • Thank you for the great ideas! That is something I had never thought of! I do run into some great blogs, forums and manuals on craft that are very helpful. I appreciate the tips and will definitely try them! 🙂

      • Great point, Sam, and best of luck building your site, Rebecca — it sounds like a lot of work, but a labor of love!

        TWL Assistant Editor

  • Very good advice! I write a daily blog and often spend a entire day working on a blog post. Some days I need a break or have writer’s block and on those days I write what I call “fluff” pieces. Those are exactly as you described – a post that is of value to me and probably not many of my readers (unless they are voyeurs)


  • Samantha W. says:

    It is so nice to see that the trend toward providing valuable information to create a quality website is gaining full steam. I remember the boom in content mills years ago, before Google enlightened their algorithms and began punishing sites focused solely on traffic driving. The more genuinely informative, and consistent in quality, a website is, the more people will view it as reliable and authoritative in the given niche. If you want to be sought out, you have to give a reason. Static pages and weak content are not enough. Heck, even those sites whose information is superficial (i.e. viral video sites, tv show fan sites) depend on constantly providing something new for their readers to enjoy to keep bringing them back. Oh, and give stuff away. Whether an ebook, a printable, or a picture of frosted flakes that happened to form the likeness of Jerry Garcia, people eat it up. 😉

  • susan says:

    Thanks for a post worth reading. I’d love to win a copy of your book.

  • Liza Rose says:

    Hi Chuck, Thank you for your work in researching this.

    My take on this is that while you want to find a niche market, you can spend a long time trying to determine what that niche should be. Writing about what you know is a good way forward, without it just being about “you”, your “experience in kayaking” for example might lead you to blog about that topic. Make sure that you include enough keywords that you might use yourself when searching for kayaking (paddle, current, kayak, canoe, waves, sea-kayak, whale watching for example) and your audience can locate you. It doesn’t matter what your topic is (one mans rubbish is another treasure works on the web as much as in real life) so long as you write well.

    Of course Im just starting out, so I hope to follow my own advice, which is based entirely on guesswork! But I will keep you posted if it is a sound hypothesis!

    • Sounds like you’re on the right track, Liza, though I’d say think more about great content than you do about keywords. After all, even if keywords initially bring someone to your site, they’re not going to stick around if the value isn’t there.

      Best of luck!
      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Jacquelynne says:

    This was just what I need today-ahem, it had VALUE. I was stuck between two ways of doing a similar concept, and this absolutely helped me decide.

  • Deb says:

    Some great reminders of what really matters. Unless the blog is a vanity project, providing value should a guiding principle. Thanks for the post!

  • Delaney says:

    Sooo. . . the basic issue is what does a reader get in return for priceless moments of her life that she can never get back? Time isn’t money, but most of us don’t have any extra time lying around that we need to invest. If anything, we don’t have enough. (Same with money, but I digress.) I’m a former teacher who COULDN’T . . . QUITE. . . pry my fingers from the pointer when I left the classroom, so I started a blog to answer writers’ questions. The blog evolved from Q&A into an Advice-Confessional that lays out what I’m learning on my own writing journey. One post talks about self-publishing. One addresses a recent column in SLATE that dissed adult readers of YA lit. More than one post discusses Getting Rejected and how to handle it. Readers get a laugh, get advice, get whupped upside the head, get resources. It ain’t Chuck Sambuchino, but it ain’t chopped liver either. The hardest thing for people is feeling all alone. My blog shows them they aren’t.

  • Kimi says:

    Great post, I totally agree! Would love to win a copy of the book too. 🙂

  • I have to admit this blog hit me right between the eyes. Bullseye! I’ve been struggling with my blog writing, making changes, adding and deleting, narrowing my focus, changing blogs, twitter accounts, migrating from an eclectic focus to a streamlined narrower path . . . and paying my dues to get there. (Can we really teach an old dog (teacher) new tricks? Yikes!) Thank you for articulating a doable solution, how to create value, through your word picture example. The value question is a good one as it helps center a blog article’s purpose. However, I do have a concern. When it comes to sharing knowledge, I do worry about sounding cocky or know-it-all. Does that come with the territory? I write spiritual material and believe it is a risk. I enjoyed your article. Thanks! Norma

  • Perry Lee Harden says:

    This is an EXCELLENT article on the subject.

    It is true, as a blogger you must write what the public will value.

    It’s inspired me to write an article about managing stress. That’s a subject that I believe I’m qualified to write about and something the public will truly value. What do you think?

  • Lisa Montes says:

    This is a great article. Thank you for this valuable information. I have a blog of my own and have found it a difficult task trying to find material that others would find interesting and important enough to read. Yes, the material I have posted took me a while to write . It wasn’t simple. It was complicated. A definite sign I was on the right track. Again, thank you for this article.

  • Hi:

    Great thoughtful post. I’ve been thinking about value across dimensions. It’s interesting the trip to the park could also have been about parenting. What do they value, and what do I know, and how do I communicate about it in a way that makes it relevant to them…

  • Kathy Haskins says:

    Thank you for this post. I struggled with a blog because I felt like it was a me-fest, but I see how I can adjust to make it valuable for others.

  • What an incredibly insightful post. There’s a big difference between giving value and just indulging in our own experiences for the sake of writing. I’m just starting out, and I try to give tips and how-tos for new wives on my blog as best as I can. I should keep this in mind. Thanks!

  • Julie Schroeder says:

    Don’t have my blog up and running yet. Thinking of doing one for my Real Estate Business, but I want it to be useful and not dry. Really, how many people want to read a page full of housing stats? Also, considering a creative blog to encourage people to get their creative juices flowing.

    Thanks for your post!

  • Marie Miller says:

    Hi Chuck,

    I was meant to stumble on this post tonight. I have been working on my website as well as trying to get into building my blog. For a newbie, I am at a loss; what should I write about or what things that are interesting to get anyone to access my blog. After reading everyone’s post and suggestions I now know what I must focus on. Jerry M. also suggested that we have to be creative in what we write about that is interesting to readers and relates to the book that we write. Thanks Chuck and Everyone.

  • Anna says:

    This entry was informative and worth reading. I normally spend at least 8 hours blogging on my website, It’s Not All Gumdrops & Unicorns, every weekend. It mostly consists of my Song Saturday and Cartoon Sunday blogs. Once people join my website, they can read other entries, that outside viewers can’t. The same applies to reading 1 of my Short Horror Stories.

    Eventually, I will add a sample of the latest short story, that I’ve been writing. I spend most of my time managing and blogging on my website. Therefore, writing is typically back burned.

  • Kelly says:

    Wonderful advice! I’ll implement this in my blogging; I’ve wanted a bigger audience and am sure this will help. Thank you.

  • Bisileesh says:

    This is the most useful blog i read about blogging.Truly inspriring to write something worth for the site visitors.Thanks for sharing this.I wrote few blogs and they havent got any attention from site visitors.Now,i know why they failed to garb the attention of peoples.I am looking forward to write something better!!

  • Great post…I blog about nature, wildcrafting, and designing with materials from the land at The photography allows the reader to be in the field or studio with me and learn from my experience while gathering his\her own ideas for creativity. I agree, takeaway advice and information is key.

  • C.L. Roman says:

    On target! Thanks for the great advice.

  • Debbie says:

    Thanks for the tips. Makes sense.

  • I think this is an amazing thing to share! I myself am guilty of filling my blog with personal information, I know, but I also try very hard to reach out and give aspiring authors some of the tips and information they need in order to build their writing skills and improve their work.

  • F.J. Thomas says:

    Great advice for bloggers. I hope my blog, Talking In The Barn brings value to readers!

  • Hmm. I needed that reminder=) Thanks for the advice.

  • Thanks for the advice. Great points to consider. I am currently doing a 26-week series on my blog. It is called Writing from A to Z. I take one letter of the alphabet each week and find writing related words starting with that letter, then put them together in a narrative that includes the definitions as well as other information. Not getting a lot of traffic yet, but I am only on the letter H. Hopefully it will build as I go through the alphabet.

  • Tom Austin says:

    I have to admit. I’m not entirely sure if I’m doing what this is suggesting, what it’s warning against, or somewhere in the middle. At any rate, maintaining a decent schedule of updating is also essential. A few months ago, I dropped off the map on my blog, but when I came back, I made sure to explain why and what happened, because mine isn’t just about the topic itself, but my views on it. I try to interact with the reader even before comments are made. I think that, when you make it personal, depending on what you’re writing, it can actually help.

  • So very true. I remember years ago learning WIIFM – I think in the Dale Carnegie Courses – the reader, the listern, anyone in your audience wants to know the WIIIFM – what’s it it for me… hit that and you’ll have their attention.

    • Love that acronym, Mahrie! It’s so true — if you can explain what’s in it for the reader, you’ll be able to convince them to read. Thanks for sharing.

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Madeline says:

    Thanks for the insight! It’s very helpful for an aspiring author like myself who’s trying to build her platform 🙂

  • Brigette says:

    This post is so helpful. It’s easy to get caught up in things that make us (meaning me, me, me) happy. It’s fun to share things that make “me” happy, but looking at a blog post from the perspective of ‘how will this help others’ really makes you think about topics and content in a value-added way.

    I’m excited to give your suggestions a try.

  • Lana Hood says:

    I recently dipped my toe into the world of blogging and this is the conclusion that I have also reached after reading other’s blogs for inspiration and insight into this world. It is my goal to now publish only blog entries that are of value to my reader. Thanks for reinforcing this important point.

  • Rosie Bird says:

    This was a good reminder. Lately I’ve tended to post email questions sent to me and answered in email. Except for adding photos important to my website, all that’s required is copying and pasting.

    The posts that are viewed most heavily on my site are those that are completely informational and not about my personal circumstances or that of my readers.

    Thanks, Gail Lewis (i.e., Rosie Bird).

  • S. Rae says:

    This served as such a wonderful reminder for me. Thankfully, after reading this and going to check back on my multiple platforms (blog, Twitter, etc.), I haven’t been much a culprit of hum-drum “status updates.”

    I will definitely be considering this as I continue to write, though. Original, stimulating content is what keeps me coming HERE, so why shouldn’t that same rule apply to my own blog?


  • Shanon Lee says:

    I agree with this article. I have gotten to the point where I realize I would rather blog less and write posts that create value, than publish drivel more frequently. I have to take just as much care when writing for my website as I do when I write articles for my clients.

    Great post!

  • Melissa says:

    I had a blog. Truth is, I hated it. I decided that if I hated reading what I wrote, people who didn’t know me would hate it tenfold. Now, it’s just a placeholder until I decide how best to proceed with a blog. Some online posters argue that you’ve got to have a blog to be taken seriously as a writer. I don’t think that’s true. However, I do think it will be hard to be taken seriously if I have a really lame blog. So, until I figure out a way to make it work for me and my readers, I’ll keep the “nothing here” headline and try to keep it under the radar. 🙂

  • This is really an awesome post with some great epitomes.

  • This was an interesting and helpful read. I like that humor was included in value. I realized I follow many blogs and vlogs simply because the authors make me laugh along with providing useful information. Well done!

  • Alie says:

    I agree that a blog needs to offer more than a family photo. I feel like everyone is a photographer and blogger and it becomes too much to sort through.

    I think Twitter, Facebook, Instagram give me what I want to know. I rarely click a link to read more unless it is offering more information that I need.

    People are all about quick to the point information.

    Thank you for sharing and the book giveaway.

  • Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for this advice.

    I have to remind myself all the time to not write about stuff that no one cares about but me.

  • As an editor, blogging and creating a writer’s platform is a relevant topic for authors seeking self-publication and for those going the traditional route. Building a bigger readership is important. I look forward to reading your book and using it as a reference.

  • Mariah says:

    Frankly, I’ve always been wary of creating a blog, although I do really want to make one. Creating a platform seems to grow more and more daunting the more I read about it. Thankfully, this advice has slightly allayed my fears, and it doesn’t appear to be the typical advice that suggests compromising quality of content is a good thing.

    Thank you! Perhaps I’m one step closer to starting that blog!

  • Information like this belongs in a text book; it is an ah-ha moment. I enjoyed some of the comments on this article as well. (sorry! I only read a few). It not only gives an answer but it is thought provoking. I could post answers but right now, being new to this industry, I’m full of questions. So I blog in hopes that my thoughts and concerns might help another some day.

  • Julie says:

    I write about chronic pain and health. I’ve found that in those topics it’s important to establish a balance between sharing myself and just talking about illness in a general way. My readers need to know that I’m in this with them, but at the same time my posts can’t be all about me.

  • Melanie says:

    As a beginner…this is awesome!

    …and by the looks at the comments, it was great value too 😉

    Reality Writer for His Glory!

  • Leah Brock says:

    This is good. I certainly find in all of my writing efforts that anytime I am
    1. pumping some text out without much thought
    2. not passionate about the topic
    3. saying the same things several other people are saying
    4. in any other way not all there in my writing readers put about as much effort into reading as I put into writing.

  • Lee J Tyler says:

    Chuck, if anyone has brought value over the years, it would be you, frankly. My website was hacked (when my computer was in the shop) so I was plugging social streams with my thumb & cell phone! I keep adding onto an already pack post on webmaster tricks to keep your site safe. It’s an important subject & I want to bring all of the tools & information possible to the readers. Good content takes more than 20 minutes, right? Thanks for this.

  • Great post. I really like what you said about questioning if a post is easy to write or hard to write. I feel like interactive posts, where I’m asking a question, starting a discussion, or making up some kind of poll or game are generally what drive the most people to my blog. But I would love to win the book, because I can definitely use some more tips about blogging and platform building!

  • Corey Popp says:

    When I decided to learn the craft of writing, I needed an electronic notebook to keep track of everything I compiled. The authoring tools offered by blogging services were a perfect fit. The decision to make the notebook public (thus creating a formal blog) came later. A visit to my blog may appear to offer tons of writing advice (from an unpublished writer no less), but every article is nothing more than a public journal entry to myself.

  • Marilyn says:

    I need to really think about some of your points as I build up my blog. Thanks for the timely post.

  • Danielle B. says:

    Fantastic excerpt, thank you! This information is spot on, useful to all bloggers and clearly stated, which I appreciate. This information will be taken to heart and implemented. 🙂

  • Lanise James says:


    Great posting. I’m starting a blog soon and have already started writing my content. I already notice how much time/research is necessary to write posts that my readers will value. I was starting to get frustrated with the amount of time needed. This post confirms it will be well worth the effort! Thanks

  • Lynette Sali says:

    I loved your words about “value.” It is so very true that creating “value” is very hard work. Being a master of words takes practice and successful bloggers do have a mastery of the English language. One also needs a creative and imaginative mind to pair with that mastery to write a successful blog. Thanks for posting. I enjoyed your words and saved the article for future reference.

  • Rhoda Baxter says:

    Great article. Very useful and to the point.
    Can I second the request for a post on advice for blogs that focus on entertaining. I’m a novelist
    I could write about writing, but there’s hundreds of blogs that do that. What else can a novelist write about?

  • Ashley says:

    “Your job is not to be blandly accepted by the grand population, but the favorite writer of a few” – @RobertJSawyer.

    Of course value motivates us to read, and hopefully to write. My hope is that the value of the work stays more important than the size of the audience. I hope to have integrity on the page, even if I never become famous for it.

  • johnnie barmore says:

    Helpful article. It inspired the question “What do I have to offer that is of value.” As with most creative professions many are drawn to the light, but few have light to offer. The desire to write and the ability to “write something of value ” are distinctly different things.

  • shannon says:

    Great post. Very helpful and insightful. I am new to this and really want to have a strong and successful blog and can’t imagine what I’d do in life if I couldn’t write. I look forward to reading more from you and learning all I can.

  • Glad I found this. Great information to help focus our efforts on what we’re trying to achieve. I’ve determined that I am going to need 2 blogs. One for business that provides value to others and one that is purely self-indulgent that provides no value other than maybe a laugh or two about my life.

  • Thank you for the article. I am a romance author trying to build a platform. I have been frustrated in the blogging arena because other authors seem to pump out several blog posts a day. Mine seem to take hours to write. Your post here makes me feel like I am on the right track after all. I do not care for what I’ve nicknamed backscratching and carnival barking blogs. Meaning those blogs that say ‘come read my friend’s book because she is going to tell her friends to read mine’ in not so many words. Instead, I have been trying to offer something of value in each post. And you are right, that takes a time investment. SO, that leads me to this question…Is one blog post a week, if it has meat to it, enough? Otherwise I would spend all my time blogging and not writing the next novel. A tricky balance to find, especially being a romance author. It’s hard to find topics that say hey I’m an expert in smut. LOL Thank you for your time and advice.

    • It’s a tricky balance to find, Renee! Some authors blog quite often, while others blog weekly or even less. Finding what works for you might take a while, but experiment to see what feels right. It’s better to have one or two great posts than seven less-than stellar ones!

      Best of luck,
      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Jessica Casillas says:

    Surprise! Never thought of a blog as providing value. Goes to show my inexperience. Thank you for the article! Will definitely keep this in mind for every piece!

  • Cindy Bennett says:

    Great advice. I am at the very beginning; gathering all the information I can to ensure I increase my likelihood of success so very grateful for posts such as this.

  • Great post and great advice, I have been blogging for more than two years, I have two blog sites at the moment the first was meant to get me into the habit of writing so I just wrote on varied topics and subjects. The second one is specific which has been running for a couple of months. I thought I would share my experiences of a marraige breakdown and how I used the break-up as a springboard of turning my life around.
    I get what you have said about adding value to the blog and how that would certainly attract many viewers. I thought sharing openly about ones life experiences would be helpful. I have had difficult to get people viewing both my blog sites thank you I will take on board what you have said and see if that can improve my blogs.

  • Annie Chau says:

    Great advice! I never thought about what made me return to a blog week after week. Although on the surface it seems like the blogger is talking about their personal lives, I do see now how they tie in tidbits of their lives with a topic that interests me and that can be shared.

  • Joe Combs says:

    Not only was this a great article, but for me it was very timely.
    I’ve been analyzing my posts trying to discover why some draw so much more traffic than my other posts. After your article I looked at my blog again. You nailed it. The posts that required the most research and time to write are the ones getting the traffic. I didn’t make the connection until I read your article.
    Thank you.I will share your article on my blog.

  • Jessica Swanson says:

    3 weeks ago I left the corporate grind to pursue my love of writing full time. I am starting from zero and learning as I go. I appreciate this article. It has great advice and I definitely found value it. Lesson learned…lightbulb over head is on! Thank you.

  • I agree with your article here. My experience has been that visitors and readers of your (the blogger) blog want to read something that is heartfelt, doesn’t go on about the blogger but the experience.
    What they took out of it and how it can help the reader get to learn more about whatever it was that the blog was about. Giving your reader (aka visitor) value for their time and energy in visiting the site. Sometimes this can take a short time or it can take a long time. I don’t agree that the more value it provides the longer it takes. If you are passionate about what you are writing about and if have mapped out what you want to say, it should flow pretty quickly.

  • Lauren says:

    Great advice! I’ll definitely ask myself that question with each new post from now on.

  • Elizabeth Comberiati-Sisler says:

    Great post. Definitely made me think. Glad I stopped to read it it is so easy to forget that just because something is interesting to me doesnt mean it is to the rest of the world

  • Pia Bertucci says:

    Great post, Chuck. As someone who is just getting started and has yet to put together a blog or platform, this is very helpful advice.

  • Maria Beasley says:

    Make it plain! Thanks for Mr Sambuchino for the great information. As a future Pastor and current minister of the Word of God, I believe you are spot on regarding your advice. When I began to prepare my messages, it has to be something transforming (value) to my audience. I also found that value doesn’t necessarily mean excessive quantity, but quality. People do not have time to figure out your answer to their question. So, the word Value is a great word to think of with any type of message regardless of the forum. Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed day!

  • Julie Watanabe says:

    Hi, Chuck! Wow! This article is just what I’m looking for to start my blog. I have the idea, motivation and drive, this was the push. Thank you for your words. Without realizing it they spoke volumes. Very informative!

  • Tamra says:

    Thanks for that reminder Chuck. You are right! My most successful blog posts have been ones I focused on something my readers could use…vacation information, pricing, value, unusual places and fun things to do. Hopefully, my blog will eventually find its way to a larger readership. I’m still trying!

  • lilia says:

    Thanks so much for the wake-up call. I’ve been floundering around on a subpar blog for over a year now, not knowing what to fix. 🙂

  • Theresa Davis says:

    Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for your article. I’m a new writer and realize the need to create a blog but have been unsure of how to go about it. My ideas have been all over the place. Starting with the interest factor really helps me focus on just a few possible angles. The task is suddenly less daunting. Many thanks!

  • Heather,

    You re-blogged Mr. Sambuchino’s post so that “you”, and he too, get more SE visibility each time “you” reply to a comment, even just a “me too” comment. You are riding on his coat tails, and vice-versa, to give your blog more visibility. That is certainly one way to make your blog more successful. It says nothing at all about someone else’s blog, someone that does not play that game. Value is certainly in the eye of the beholder and elusive to be sure, but re-blogging for the sake of eyeballs, as so many authors now do, sucks. It’s only one step above paying for comments.

    • Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that “value is in the eye of the beholder,” and it sounds like this post didn’t hit that mark for you.

      We ran Chuck’s post because we respect his opinion and consider his advice valuable to our readers — and from many of the comments on the post, it sounds like it’s been helpful. Does it give us more visibility when he shares the post with his community and social media followers? Sure, but the goal is to provide value to those readers, not just attract “eyeballs.”

      I (and post contributors) respond to comments on posts not to boost SEO, but to participate in the discussion with our readers. It’s great to hear what people liked about particular posts, as well as what they didn’t enjoy, questions they still have about the topics, and what they hope we cover in the future.

      TWL Assistant Editor

      • I hesitate to reply to your reply Heather because no one other than me took exception to this post. And in truth, as I made clear in my initial comment, I agree with the “value-added” premise. My objection is to the growing practice of re-blogging, which I find distasteful at one extreme and offensive at the other. It cost you nothing to post Mr. Sambuchino’s essay, yet your blog benefited from all the comments. It flies in the face of the essay’s central message, the “value” contrast between writing an anecdotal piece about taking his daughter to an amusement park to investing the research effort to write a valuable piece about a collection of amusement parks, their pros and cons and what visiting them is like. You could have written that essay but it was easier to re-blog his and thus profit from his name recognition. Was “value” provided? Certainly, but was it just Internet smoke and mirrors? Well, you know what I think. Commenters too share this undesirable practice. It takes the form of making what I call “me too” comments that add little to the discussion but allow them to publicize their own blog or website. It’s this “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” syndrome that seems to be so pervasive that I find objectionable.

        You are correct; the post did not resonate with me, other than the common-sense notion that a blogger must provide value to attract readers. It missed the mark because I write fiction and as several others noted, what is the value-add premise at a fiction-authors site? Is it the prose itself or is it something else? In Mr. Sambuchino’s book, “Create Your Writer Platform” from which this essay is excerpted the author expresses doubt that a fiction writer needs a platform (it is worth noting that a blog can be a platform but a platform is not necessarily a blog). He writes:

        “If you want to write a nonfiction book, you must have a platform in order to get editors to consider your work. If you’re writing fiction or memoir, a platform isn’t mandatory, but it will certainly help your chances (especially with memoir) – and it translates to more book sales and money for you once your title is released. And with the way things are trending, who knows? In five or ten years, a writer platform may be mandatory for any book.”

        I would argue that day has arrived, which begs the question: What is the nature of a fiction-writers platform? That’s what I was hoping to find in this essay. Unfortunately, I did not.

        In part II of the book Mr. Sambuchino attempts to answer that question by reporting case studies of successful writer’s platforms (blogs), four of which are by fiction authors. One writes anecdotal pieces about his writer’s journey, apparently on the assumption that if you like his navel-gazing you will like his books. Another publishes interviews of publishing industry leading lights. A third invites post submissions from potential co-authors – her submission form could have been lifted from almost any literary agent’s guideline’s page – and the fourth has a slick, polished front end to her shopping cart. All four are successful authors (all have published at least one title) so ergo; they must be doing something right in the blogosphere, even though they are all different. I do none of these so my approach is probably all wrong.

        My ambition when I grow up is to be Elmore Leonard. He achieved his success before the Internet arrived on the scene so I cannot use a Leonard blog as an example. My goal in writing my blog is to convince agents and editors that I know how to write and also that I can use the Internet to help promote my books if and when I land a publishing contract. And no, self-publishing is not my thing. Mostly I publish excerpts of my writing on the theory that one can open one of my novels or short stories to any page, begin reading and not be able to put the book down. I’ve also written about the craft of writing (how to write good dialogue, how to use dialogue to convey back story, how to use attribution tags intelligently, and so on), a technical How-To to get a WordPress sandbox running on a Mac using either MAMP or XAMPP (interestingly, my most visited post) and a humorous (hopefully) piece that relates my experience at a well-known authors’ workshop (fictionalized names to protect the guilty). I don’t really know whether what I’m doing is beneficial to me or anyone else, since no one can say, definitively, certainly not Mr. Sambuchino what really appeals to readers of a fiction-writer’s platform (again, assuming a blog is a platform). However, none of the fiction case study examples he cited seem useful for my stated goal. I’d love to participate in a discussion of exactly what constitutes an aspiring fiction writer’s platform.


        • H L Gibson says:

          Very interesting response, Thomas. I would love to see what you’ve done on your blog. I don’t want to copy but I, too, am still up in the air about what to put on my fiction writer’s platform. I have some ideas; let’s hope they aren’t lame.

          Questions: The posts you’ve written about the craft of writing, are they your own opinion and/or instruction? Are you a writing teacher/professor? Or are they something you’ve learned from reading, sitting in a class, surfing the internet and have posted as your own? Do you assign them value because you took time to research the content of the posts yourself? Would you be offended if someone re-posted them or would you want your knowledge/research forwarded for the benefit of others? If they’re not your own, do you give credit for them? Even what one researches and posts as their own may not be as original as he would like to believe. Would you be agreeable to only reposting the very best content? Just some thoughts.

          • To H.L. Gibson,

            I think we are getting a little off-topic here. I’ll try to answer as concisely as possible but if Ms. van der Hoop asks us to take the discussion off line, you may reach me via the contact page at my website:

            Check out the Resources page at my website. There you will see some of the books that have influenced me as a writer. We are, of course, all products of what we read. My take on the writer’s craft is in general based on a lifetime of reading, and specifically, from the books and authors cited. I took up writing fiction full-time in 2009 when I retired from a career as a software engineer. My last gig was with one of the SE companies, which name is not relevant to this discussion. My fiction writing hero is Elmore Leonard and his Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing is particularly influential. If you’ve read 10 rules you know it is prospective… without many concrete examples. For example, rule # 4 is: “NEVER USE AN ADVERB TO MODIFY THE VERB ‘SAID’… he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange.”

            Of course, if you’ve read as many of Leonard’s works as I have you will know he occasionally broke his own rule. Like all of us, he was occasionally inconsistent but most of his dialogue omits adverbs in the attribution tags. I wrote a piece about this using my own prose to show many examples of how to avoid adverbs and still add an emotional context to the dialogue. I quoted Leonard as my source.

            The piece I wrote about MAMP and XAMPP is 100% original work.

            My piece on Naval wardroom etiquette quotes extensively from The Caine Mutiny and Crimson Tide. As a preamble I wrote:

            To get right to the point, what I did was to paraphrase two memorable scenes from film: the 1995 Hollywood Pictures production of Crimson Tide and the 1954 Columbia Pictures film of The Caine Mutiny. I thought: this is a writers’ site. Surely they will get it… see the connection… see the humor in what I did… perhaps get a chuckle out of it, because of the context. No such luck.

            Then I wrote my own 100% original spin on wardroom etiquette. I served in the Navy so I know of what I speak and I always quote my sources when I use material explicitly.

            I have taken one writing course: Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft by Brooks Landon at the U of Iowa.

            I explicitly quote my sources whenever I draw on someone else’s work. See my short story, When Devil’s Advocacy Fails… Bad Things Happen for examples.

            If you are using re-post as I have used re-blog then you know I disapprove of the practice. I won’t re-blog someone else’s material and I prefer others not re-blog mine. I can’t, of course, enforce this restriction. All industrial-strength blog platforms offer that facility. I prefer quotation, attribution and citation with html links back to the original document. If you like something I’ve written you may quote me with attribution without permission as is commonly done with brief quotations in critical reviews. If you wish to use more material than can be conveniently expressed as such, please contact me so that we may discuss the usage you contemplate. For citations I prefer the Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk and White or some other authoritative bibliographic standard. Treat my posts as if they are scientific papers and you will get no complaints from me.

            Note at the bottom of every page and post my copyright declaration. discourages this practice. They believe the theme author holds the copyright to blog content that appears on their site. I disagree. I believe the theme author is entitled to copyright protection for the theme and credit for the IP but my content is mine and mine alone; thus, I’ve added my declaration to theirs. They can’t prevent this because they offer customization with CSS as one of their premium services. I expect all those who view my content to respect that declaration.

            If you still have questions let’s discuss off line.

            Thomas Docheri

          • H L Gibson says:

            No thank you, Thomas. You answered my questions.

        • Thanks for elaborating, Thomas. One small clarification — we didn’t just lift this post from Chuck’s book to post on our blog; he specifically shared it with us as a post he thought would resonate with our readers.

          You make a great point that this post doesn’t offer any specific advice for fiction writers, and perhaps we should have noted that in its introduction. That being said, I think the main point of this post is that anyone who blogs should offer value to their readers. As Chuck noted in a comment earlier, “[A post about sailing across the Pacific Ocean] was unique, and different, and hard to create. So it shared a unique experience with us that we are not familiar with, and thus there is the value… ‘Value’ does not directly translate to ‘instructional.'”

          A longer discussion of what fiction writers should blog about (or whether they should blog) and how they can provide value seems like a good idea, given the number of comments asking for more information! While there are likely as many opinions out there as there are fiction writers blogging, we’ll see what we can do to put together a post with ideas and advice from some fiction authors.


  • Vicky Chan says:

    Great advice! I love the example of how things that mean a lot to us may have no value to the reader. We really must direct our focus to the reader. Thanks for the practical words of wisdom! You are truly an expert!

  • Dameon Cox says:

    As a newly self-published author, I need all the help I can get. Thanks for your help.

  • H L Gibson says:

    This is the kind of info I’m looking for as I start to create my author platform. My one concern is how to apply this to a platform that promotes fiction. What am I selling besides the book itself?

  • Hi Chuck,
    Thank you for a very eye-opening article. I’m going to be sending all the members of my blog team here.

    All the best,

  • Catherine says:

    Very informative post. As a writer in the early stages of blogging, I feel there are many points I can take away from this. Thanks for posting!!

  • As always, great post, Chuck.

    I try to write relevant content by thinking about what other science fiction fans want to read about. I write blog series’ content so that I’m not switching between different types of posts too often. I do quite a bit of research on each topic so that I’m giving my readers the best information that I can.

    I have noticed my readership growing a bit over the past few months, but it’s not yet topping 200. Hopefully, by continuing to read the information on The Write Life and keeping up with Chuck, I can learn better ways to grow my readership.

    Thank you again, Chuck.

  • Mary Jo Burke says:

    I read blogs that mix it up, advice, book reviews, even funny videos. Changes every day.

  • Rita says:

    Finding something the reader values and something the writer is interested in can be a challenge. I hope to get better at that.

  • Joyce says:

    I don’t have a blog yet and am just starting the process of entering the writing field. This was a helpful article as I move closer to that goal. Thank you.

  • Lori says:

    I’m fairly new to blogging and am glad for the reminder to add value, value, value. And a great point about the time it takes to research and add salient information for folks. Thanks!

  • Shian Smith says:

    Excellent post. I’m not new to writing but am new to building a platform. It’s nice to have this information available to start me off on the right foot. Thanks!

  • LeTresa Payne says:

    Interesting post. Currently, I do not have a blog/website. I am interested in learning more on how I can building a writing platform to market my work to the wonderful readers of the world so that I may gain a reading audience. I have been writing for years, but I am just now attempting to pursue a career in writing. I believe that writing material that peaks the interest of readers is very important and that the best way to do so is to write something that will be of value to them. That pretty much means, write something that they will care about. Writing is my creative avenue. With writing I am able to express myself in a way that I would not be able to otherwise. I look forward to reading more from your book “Create Your Writer Platform”. The excerpt was a good read.

  • Carol-Lynn Rossel says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this post. I’ve been stumbling around (mentally) trying to figure out what to write in a blog. You’ve given me direction.

  • Lee says:

    Exactly! I only wish I would have built a bigger platform before my book came out. Blogging and social media really help! Thanks for writing this!

  • Thank you for this tweet loaded with information. I am grateful for your guidance, especially as I have written a blog for years; and ot has resulted in zero sales of books.
    I am taking time away to consider what to do, and in my research I found your writing! Now to apply your teaching. ..

  • Marieke says:

    I’m in the process of setting up a blog and the one thing that continues to delay the process is exactly what you’re saying, except I did not define it so clear and practically as you have written it. I simply do not want to have the blog for the sake of having a blog, hoping there would be interest. Your advise is most helpful and the (stumbling)”block” for my blog is busy rolling out of the way…

  • Julie D. says:

    Great advice and insight. I learned so much and am grateful for the information.

    • Dameon Cox says:

      Good comment and I agree whole heartedly. I believe keeping the work mostly free of technical jargon (unless you’re writing for Wired, et cetera) and your diction easy to read; think light and breezy with a little humor thrown in, you’ll increase sales.

  • Good pace and content on your post.

    I write a devotional blog for a Christian audience ( I have also found that subjects that are easy to agree with like my series on Praise elicit a higher readership than a series on Tithing or Heaven since everyone may have their own opinion and do not want to be challenged.

    Do you agree or is their another cause?

    Also, thanks for the target for hits in a day. It gives me a target.

    Is there a similar target for number of people subscribed?

    • Raymond, I’m not sure what the cause is, but one thing we all need to do when using social media is analyze what’s working, so you can provide more of that valuable content. In other words, if you’re attracting readers with a certain type of post, keep it up.

  • Having recently started my second blog and learning from those mistakes, I appreciate your suggestions. Thanks!

  • My blog was started for a class focused on using technology to share genealogy. I haven’t been good at doing any follow up since the class 2 years ago. Thanks for the article. I just might start another blog soon. The tips added in some of the comments are also very helpful.

  • Jean says:

    As a fiction writer, I planned to write about the joys and perils of early efforts to break in. What I discovered is that a blog is great discipline. I have so many works in process; a blog post has to be finished on a schedule. Yes, that’s value to me, but I try very hard to include information helpful to other writers. I always include at least one link or the title of a book that helped me work through a problem.

    For example, an agent who read my full MS recently asked me to rethink my ending. I went back to a book called Beginnings, Middles, and Ends and got some great insights. That will be the topic of my next post on A path lit by words on WordPress.

    Thanks, Chuck, for a great post!

  • Esther says:

    I’ve just started on getting a website/blog running and glad I read this article. It provided some useful information for how to proceed going forward.

  • Dianne says:

    This was a huge “AH HA” for me. I’ve written a children’s book based on a real life rescue dog. We have really worked our local market visiting schools, groups, events and picking up steam as local celebri-dog. It is not translating in our Facebook follows and seldom get comments. I thought we’d have to post about what we are doing and show us “in action” with the message to help kids with self esteem and help raise awareness for rescue groups and shelters.
    I get it now. I see the shift we need to take to truly reach our markets. THANKS!!!

  • Alexandere says:

    I guess I’m unlucky. The only time I win at something is through hard work.

  • Frank says:

    This post emphasizes the kind of mindset you need in order to become a successful blogger. It shows you what principles should be at the core of your blogging strategy and it revels an universal truth – when you are not offering value, you can’t expect to be successful. In today’s highly competitive environment, there is no other way of attracting traffic. A short, but savvy opinion which summarizes all the blogging how-to advice you find out there on the web.

  • So simple and yet so true. And a great way to alter your thinking about different posts from just sharing to creating value. Thanks for this!

  • Cris says:

    I agree that value is the most important characteristic of a good blog, good writing skills a close second.

    I have several blogs of various value. The one I’m paying the most attention to, “There’s Something Wrong Here,” takes only a few minutes to create but has double value—for me because I’m concerned about the way things are going wrong in this country, and for others who share the same concerns. I believe there is a growing group of citizens who are thus concerned. The authors of the articles I post have done the homework and get full credit, including their websites.

    I realize people can do their own research, but most people don’t take the time to do so. I gather news reports so others won’t have to.

    While I can’t post everything that is going on, I can post some things in a variety of subjects that are a concern to others as well as myself.

    I receive nothing personal from doing this, except the satisfaction that maybe a few people (hopefully many) will read some serious news they otherwise might not because the mainstream media don’t cover them.

  • After reading your article on how other blogs succeed than others and valued the advice you give in it and commented on it at the end of June, I went back to read my blogs and saw the point you make in the article. The thing is though for beginners in writing like me writing about one’s own life experiences seem to be the thing which motivates me to write regularly how does one add value to one’s own life experiences to make the blog attract many viewers?

  • I am fascinated by this article because I started a website long ago, but had no information about using social media, building a platform, making a site interactive, etc. It’s great to get practical and helpful ideas and hear the experiences and successes others have had and what they’ve learned. It’s energizing! Thanks!

  • David LeBlanc says:

    Thanks for a very informative post Chuck. Just at the beginning stages of creating a site, and have read a large quantity of information, and even attended a webinar on this very subject. That being said, your comments are foundational, and the best place to start the process, so thank you for getting us on the right path!

  • Nice points! I always try to make sure sales job seekers who read our blog take away a wealth of helpful information and free job search resources.

  • Grant Kwok says:

    good points. I favor friends’ posts because we are friends and would try best to encourage their enthusiasm of life. I actually appreciate those posts that are w/ real value to readers instead.

  • Great advice! I try to use my life and springboard into a book review; it both makes it easier for me to write and creates a connection. My hope is that it is just different enough, but I don’t know. I haven’t been doing it long. Part of it is getting me into ‘writing shape,’ but I would like my blog to be successful.

  • I am struggling with this as well. As a small self-published author, I am trying to bring attention to my writing and my short stories on Amazon. But like many authors, I’m finding that public interaction is hard. Building a platform takes a lot of time and investment, which is a struggle for many trying to hone their craft. Do you take time away from writing or do you keep trying to get better at blogging and social engagement?

    I think in the long run any time invested in getting to know your audience is time well spent. Even if the going is slow, you’re building a platform. It doesn’t happen overnight. Right? 🙂

    • Good question — it’s a tricky balance, isn’t it? And you’re right, a platform isn’t built overnight. Best of luck!

      TWL Assistant Editor

    • Brad your sentiments resonates a lot with me, like you I have been trying to draw attention to my blogs with not success for two years. Once someone told me that if you write about your own life stories that is likely to draw some viewers. My own life stories keep me motivated to write often. I was trying to add value to my blogs but because they are my life stories there is a limit as to what you can do with them. I am not succeeding to built a platform. The only difference I guess between you and I is that you are writing a book and I am writing just a blog and I am failing dismally. Thank you for helping me realize that I am not the only one struggling to get viewers even just reading my blogs.
      I was encouraged by your comment. I wish you all the best.

  • I am still struggling about improving my blog, I guess I must keep at it hoping one day I will be getting more people viewing my site and leaving a comment or two to encourage me to continue with writing.

  • Thanks, Chuck. I just started my blog and was wondering what and what not to post. Can’t believe the answer is so simple!

  • Rachel Dool says:

    Thanks Chuck – You’re absolutely right. The only way to make a blog inspiring and interesting for people to read and come back to again is to see the information from their point of view and add something they can take away and make part of their lives.

  • ayodeji says:

    This is magnificient, simple, straight to the point and understandable.

  • Lisa says:

    Great points. I have been blogging for a couple of years and have started doing this on my site. My blog is about crafting and home decorating and I am so surprised that my competitors’ blogs have thousands of readers and many of their posts are all about “Me Me Me”. One fellow blogger just posted about a basket she just bought. The post contained about 10 photos of this one basket. BORING. Yet she has thousands of readers and I still struggle. I can’t figure it out but will keep the mindset of writing about things of value to my readers.

    • Lisa I share your feelings as I am in the same situation like you, I admit that I am not a great writer but I am learning and have been blogging for more than three years and have not been able to attract any viewers,. In total perhaps I have had only five people viewing my blogs. The only thing that keeps me bloging is expressing myself.

  • I have a FB (private) book blog of which I post excerpts of my novel as I write.. just enough to tease my audience and in turn they motivate me immensely! I have a very eager audience that provides support, encouragement as I am in the process of writing my 1st draft. This may not be the normal route that one would take, but I find that it keeps me accountable to my audience, I can throw ideas at them and they love the involvement in the process. I am writing Historical fiction and it spans more than a few generations, so this is a LONG and challenging process! Having a blog about my journey helps keeps me accountable!:)

  • I learned the secret of the success: The value the readers get by spending their precious time in the blog.

  • Tammera says:

    I use to blog and had a small following on an obscure site and I loved it. I would love to start up again!

  • Your post makes sense and explains why I get so many hits on my “The Grammar Cop” site but few on my “Chat with Cheryl.” The Grammar blog offers helpful hints to writers (value to others). The chat is of interest only to my family and friends.

  • Your example is great for non-fiction. From a fiction perspective, I would think the same applies. Write interesting stories with great characters that readers are moved or entertained by.

    Would you agree?


  • Sam Dounis says:

    I completely agree! I advise my blogging clients to ask themselves two questions before writing a blog post: what’s the question they’re answering; and will their favourite customer care?

  • HDI Manisha says:

    Adverbs – Know more about Adverbs which are a form of parts of speech and browse our FREE resources for types and list of Adverbs. @

  • Ahead says:

    Your article was mind blowing and is a lesson for new bloggers. Thanks for a great research work.

  • Faith says:

    Hi! I am a beauty & lifestyle blogger. In response to your question at the end of your blog post – One way to create value for your readers is to collaborate with good brands who are willing to sponsor free samples/products for you to run contests. 3-way win for everybody: reader gets freebie, brand gets buzz/attention, blogger gets traffic. I don’t know if this is regarded as a good way, but it’s something I did and generated positive results. Just sharing!

  • Philos says:

    It’s true that most of the popular sites we visit provide something we want – and does it in a way that bodes well with the ‘what’s in it for me’ itch. And creating a resource that gets people’s attention takes a lot of time, planning and polishing.

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