Underpromise and Overdeliver

By Daniel Scocco

If you set expectations high and fail to live up to them you will lose trust and credibility. This concept applies to every endeavour in life, whether we talk about business, relationships or blogging. How should you cope with expectations? Underpromise and overdeliver, always.

Bloggers need to consider this factor both in terms of quantity and quality. Should I decide to write three times a week on this blog people would probably lose some interest, after all the name says “Daily Blog Tips”. Notice that in order to be daily all I would need to do is to write one post per day, but I try to overdeliver and write at least three posts daily.

Secondly, bloggers must also consider the expectations they create regarding the quality and usefulness of the posts. If you promise to change people’s life with your blog you better do it or else they will feel that you are not living up to your purpose. What should you expect from Daily Blog Tips? Simple and effective tips to improve your blog. Nothing more, nothing less.

Make sure you meet the expectations of your readers both in terms of quantity and quality. Better yet, underpromise and overdeliver!




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12 Responses to “Underpromise and Overdeliver”

  • Anthony

    I completely understand what you are getting at and totally agree. The only problem I have with this post is the term Underpromise. It has a connotation, at least in my mind, making a fake or false promise. I prefer, setting reasonable goals… Good post though Daniel.

  • Daniel

    Anthony, goals are for yourself while promises you make for others. When I set goals I also like to strecht and make them challenging.

    When I mentioned promises, however, I was referring to when you promise stuff to other people. For example when you say you will do a report for you boss or when you say that you will write a series of posts on a certain topic for your readers.

    In that case underpromise refers not to promising something fake but rather to promising something you are 110% sure that you will be able to accomplish.

    Thanks for the comment, it made things clearer.

  • Bes Z

    First, I must apologize Daniel: for some reason I am posting lengthy comments here for the past 24 hours. Maybe it’s the amount of Sprite I drank last night, or maybe it is because of the cold weather, not sure.

    Now, on-topic: Excellent point Daniel.

    Anthony, you bring up a good point that may appear to relate Underpromise with a false promise. However, underpromising is something like the following examples:

    1 : Your friend is need of $200 to pay for his/her college books which he/she cannot afford due to various reasons, and is asking a lot of friends for some money. You tell your friend: “I will try, though I am not sure how I can try though” and you give him $190. You promised that you will “try” to do something, meaning you could do anything, and you actually helped him/her a lot.

    2 : You tell your site readers you will have a contest with gift prizes for people who come up with an idea for something, and the prize can include $1000. Then, when the contest actually comes, you say the prize is $5000 with many other expensive prizes like computers and stuff. You have promised something that was already nice and over-delivered.

    Does that make sense? 🙂

  • Christopher Scott

    Good point. This is actually a common business saying/motto, and I think it’s worth reviving, especially for something like blogging.

  • Anthony

    Maybe I misspoke in my previous comment. I completely understand your post and the concept of under promising but over delivering. I completely agree with the practice as well, I do it quite frequently on my blog, as well as in my professional life, and probably not enough in my love life. HAH!

    The only thing I was trying to state was I personally don’t like the term under-promise. In my simple little head it just sounds like a bad thing.

  • Daniel

    Bez, your essay-comments are a great resource, they add a lot of useful ideas to my posts, if in the future I start making money from this blog I will hire you to complement each and every post I write 🙂

    Also, your examples are up to the point.

    Anthony, yeah probably its a matter of how the word sounds for you, but as Christopher said this is a common business saying. If I am not wrong Tom Peters (a business guru) defends this idea quite often.

  • Bang Kritikus

    more promise more fake

  • Blog Promotion Quotes

    I completely understand where you are coming from and totally agree. The only problem I have with this post is the term Underpromise. It has a connotation, at least in my mind, making a fake or false promise. I prefer, setting reasonable goals…

  • richie

    hi all,
    i would like to add something here. Underpromise and over deliver. take this as an ex. you are giving your client two months time to finish his project but you actually finish it in 1 1/2 months and Delivered it to the client. This is what meant by under promise -overdeliver

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