Read More, Write Less: The Key to Blogging Growth

Though you might infer otherwise from the proliferation of high-priced self-improvement seminars, personal growth is basically a simple equation. If you eat more than you excrete, then you grow. Eat less, and you shrink.

Not all growth is positive, of course. If you can’t metabolize what you eat, then you will grow bloated and sick, not strong and healthy. So the desired equation is slightly more complicated: personal growth requires both digestion, and nutritious food to digest.

This rule applies to the physical body, and equally so to the work of a blogger. Information comes in from various sources, your mind digests it, and the end result is knowledge. Your blog posts are crafted from this knowledge.

Are you eating and digesting enough to grow? Here is a metric you can use to evaluate your growth potential, and the potential of your blog.

Calculate Your BMI: Blogger Mass Index

BMI: Blogger Mass Index

The Blogger Mass Index, or BMI, is a ratio of your blogging input to blog output. The higher your ratio, the greater your ability to craft unique and compelling content, attract subscribers and links, and build a reputation for excellence within your community.

To calculate your BMI:

  1. Count the information sources that influenced your blog over the past month. Reading an online blog post or article, or watching a YouTube video clip, earns you one point. Reading an offline book or magazine gets three points. Specific, relevant events and life experiences are worth five points each.
  2. Divide the sum by the number of blog posts you wrote over the same month.

If your BMI is 10 or above: Congratulations! Your blog may be imitated, but your hunger for knowledge and passion for sharing ensure that it will never be duplicated. While educating your readers, your blog also serves as a catalyst for personal growth and self-improvement.

If your BMI is 1 or below: You are a cut-and-paste hack, and your blog is soon to be forgotten amongst the endless hordes of aggregators and arbitrageurs. Sorry!

If your BMI is somewhere in between: Consider reallocating your time, to maximize your blogging gains.  Spend more time listening, and less time talking.  Prioritize learning above teaching.  Read more, write less.  Your own readers will thank you for it.


  1. This is a really excellent article. I read a lot of blogs and also non-blog websites for inspiration, as well as reading books offline. Your article contains first-rate advice not only for bloggers, but also for life in general. Thanks!

  2. Yes, if you have no relevant experience, and get all your information from the Internet, and yet somehow do not consider yourself a hack writer.

    Try performing a web search for “make money online”, and you’ll see why I implore all bloggers to check their BMI.

  3. You know I don’t agree with you, I think writing is more important than reading because knowledge doesn’t necessarily come from the outside world only, introspection and subjective experience are great sources of knowledge as well….. but I loved the BMI, very clever 🙂

  4. Thank you for illustrating my point. If you had read my article carefully, you would have noticed that I prioritize personal experience above blogs and books.

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  6. Hello Chris: A nice article with a great analogy. I agree with the concept. When you speak of “Specific, relevant events and life experiences are worth five points each. ” should this calculation be included in the articles read sub-total? Kudos to you also for the PersonalDevelopment Oracle .. a great BMI tool 🙂

  7. Cleverly presented and good advice underneath it all. Soak up all the experiences you can, whatever form they may take. Very good post.

  8. I had never considered this. a neat thing to ponder.

    I read so much more than I post it isn’t funny. I write an average of 1 blog entry per 20-30 things I read. However much of what I read never makes it into the blog because I am a student of so many things that do not relate to the goal of my blog.

    I am curious then if the things I read do not count, because I do not put them in the blog.

    I had one article I wrote where I applied vedic philosophy to taiji, but never once mentioned that i was doing so, that was the Grasping the Sparrows Tale article. This is an example of how I use synthesis to write, rather then expound upon the hindu concepts of the 3 types of movement relating to choreography I just dropped all the terms and applied the concepts.

  9. I wish I had a place in my blog for personal experiences. As of yet I have not written about any of them.

    What is there to say for me though? My personal experience is pretty atypical for a martial art enthusiast. Most of my training these days is push hands and energy transmission practice involving trees.

    I find it hard to write about the experiences, but I guess I have noted in my blog that I don’t believe that it is possible to learn the energies correctly by doing the moves fast in the air. That does come entirely from lessons I was taught by losing fights with light posts, steel pillars and trees.

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