Ten simple rules of blogging

Last month I published my reflections on ten years of blogging, constantly. With over 11,000 blog posts, I have formed some ideas about what are some dos and donts. They are not rules, but my own guiding principles that have helped me stay focus and keep doing what I love to do – blog. Hope they are helpful.

  1. Blogging is communal: In 2008, I wrote that “blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.” That is the single biggest lesson learned of these past 10 years. Every connection has lead to a new idea, new thought and a new opportunity.
  2. Being authentic in your thoughts and voice is the only way to survive the test of time.
  3. Being wrong is as important as being right. What’s more important — when wrong, admit that you are wrong and listen to those who are/were right.
  4. Be regular. And show up to blog every day. After all you are as fresh as your last blog post.
  5. Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated.
  6. Blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time. If you respect their time, they are going to give you some time of their day.
  7. Wait at least 15 minutes before publishing something you’ve written—this will give you enough distance to edit yourself dispassionately.
  8. Write everything as if your mom is reading your work, a good way to maintain civility and keep your work comprehensible.
  9. Blogging is not about opinion but it is about viewing the world in a certain way and sharing it with others how you look at things.
  10. The tenth lesson comes from Kevin Kelleher when he was writing for us back in 2010. In his post, How the Internet changed writing he noted that forget tailoring headlines and posts for search results and remember that “writing with snark is like cooking with salt — a little goes a long way.”

Hope you get sometime to read the complete post over on GigaOM.


  1. Om Malik says:

    December 5th, 2011 at 12:05 pm Reply


    I don’t think I did that intentionally and no malice was intended. I am sorry if your feelings have been hurt and as I said it was not my intention.

    As for disagreeing or agreeing with you, I am sure we are both entitled to our opinions and they are equally valid.

    Thanks for writing.

  2. BLOGBloke says:

    December 5th, 2011 at 8:59 am Reply

    Dear Mr. Malik:

    I found it interesting that you would take the time to reply to the person (Brijwhiz) who referred to my comments, but not directly with me. Quite frankly sir I don’t understand your reasoning, but nevertheless assuming that you disagree with me I will say this.

    I stated that we should not feel obligated to write every day simply because I read all the time from marketers and content curators that we should be constantly feeding Google for SEO. I flatly disagree with that proposition because it is a reason why we see so much degraded content today. That is my contribution for a possible #11 to the list.

    Snubbing someone who takes the time to engage is in my opinion indirectly just as rude as being directly confrontational. Talking down to others is also a form of rudeness. It is a passive way of being confrontational, especially if you are in a position of influence.

    An owner of a blog has the right of course to do what he wants. However, if I feel slighted I also have the right to not visit that blog again.

    Thank you for allowing me my two cents and have a great day.


  3. David Saker says:

    December 4th, 2011 at 12:48 pm Reply

    Excellent 10 rules.

    I like the 15 minute wait rule – especially if you are blogging about something you’re annoyed about, sometimes it’s best to cool down before you hit the ‘post’ button.

    Nice work.

  4. Deepak Gupta says:

    December 4th, 2011 at 10:00 am Reply

    As always another insightful post. Thanks for sharing, Sir! And I love this new theme. :)

  5. Steve Crowley says:

    December 4th, 2011 at 6:14 am Reply

    One question would be the role of Twitter when publishing a traditional blog. Can I, say, not show up to my blog every day if I’m on Twitter instead? To what extent do they complement, replace, supplement, etc.?

    1. Om Malik says:

      December 4th, 2011 at 7:40 pm Reply


      I am not sure I quite understand your question. My view is that certain people will come to your site, but mostly people who are using Twitter or Facebook are using those as a way to pick up on when you have a new post. It is important to make sure that people get access to your stuff wherever they are.

  6. Sharifah Raudhah Alqudsy says:

    December 4th, 2011 at 5:40 am Reply

    Huge thx!
    Great 10 rules. You save me from buying expensive books on how to blog!
    My fav is rule 8, great spark plug for integrity too. Always quote you in my networking workshops, you always contribute!

  7. Brijwhiz says:

    December 4th, 2011 at 2:42 am Reply

    Very good points Om. It has been a pleasure to read you, as well hear you in the various forums like Twit, Gilmore gang, etc. only minor area where i would add my thoughts is to echo BlogBloke’s point regarding points 4 and 6. Sometimes the worry that you might not have anything important or interesting to say could be paralytic in its own way.

    Keep writing, here’s wishing you another wonderful decade ahead.


    1. Om Malik says:

      December 4th, 2011 at 7:38 pm Reply


      I think we all know when we don’t have something/anything interesting to say. I think most of us don’t pay heed to our inner censor which advises us against writing something. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the post.

  8. Anne Stanton says:

    December 4th, 2011 at 12:32 am Reply

    Good post! I have been blogging since 2004 and it was good to read these tips and to remember the basics. Lately I have been a bit of a bad “community” member as my blogging has dropped off to once a week.

  9. BLOGBloke says:

    December 3rd, 2011 at 10:53 pm Reply

    Well said Om. I especially like the part … well actually I like all ten of them.

    I too have been blogging for a decade and couldn’t have said it better myself.

    The only thing I would add is I would tie #4 with #6. If you don’t have anything intelligent to say then perhaps another day will suffice. ;-)



  10. Jeff H says:

    December 3rd, 2011 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Just trying to get started in blogging now. Confused as to where to host my blog. Regardless, your post will help me to be a better blogger once I figure out where to have it hosted. Thanks for the guidlines. PS: Love when you are on TWiT with Leo and friends. Peace!

    1. Om Malik says:

      December 3rd, 2011 at 11:28 pm Reply

      Thanks Jeff. Also, try hosting your blog on WordPress.com and once you get the hang of it, go host on one of the many places that offer WP for you. Of course, there is Tumblr too.

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