What exactly makes a blog popular? Some blogs just seem to rise to the top naturally, while some, in spite of being well written, never quite make it big! Building a popular blog isn’t easy, everyone who got to the top worked hard for it, but they also worked smart.
I am not going to tell you that there is just one key ingredient to getting to the top, because that, frankly, would not be true. But there are two key things that nearly all great bloggers do well, and you should too!
The first ingredient to building a popular blog is great content.
Building A Popular Blog – You Need Great Quality Content
First, before you can have the most cutting edge blog in your niche, you need to have learned enough to be an expert in general. I know that many so called “gurus” say that you can be an expert after five minutes of research, but the truth is that becoming a worthy authority takes time. That doesn’t mean that you need to know everything about a specific subject, but enough to begin writing about it. Assuming that you are an expert and you have a good handle on the general background surrounding your niche, then you need to offer good quality content to your readers.
Building a popular blog requires good content and a good way to produce good quality content is to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world, especially within your niche. Here are three ways that I recommend keeping really up to date with news in your niche;
- News - Keep up to date on recent news events on television, radio, online, newspapers, etc. Even if some piece of breaking news is not directly related to your niche, it might still be valuable to you in some way. If you look at the news through the lens of your expertise and your website niche, you can write articles about the implications of breaking news on some aspect for your blog. If you want to search for news right from your browser there are plenty of great options, Google News is my favorite.
- Other Bloggers - Subscribe to the best bloggers in your niche, understand their take on things, and develop your own angle that distinguishes you from everyone else.
- Google Alerts - Another great tool is Google Alerts, which sends updates to your inbox about any subject of your choosing. You can subscribe to the alerts according to your own specifications. Just choose the keyword you want to be updated about, how often you want to be updated, and how many results you want to have sent to your inbox and Google will do all the hard work for you. If you have never used it before I highly recommend experimenting with it.
If you haven’t noticed, I love using Google’s free services for my blogging research.
Of course, that’s just one aspect of building a popular blog. The second ingredient to an ultra-successful blog is community.
Building A Popular Blog – You Need To Interact With The Blogging Community
Remember how popularity contests worked in high school, where there were certain people that were in the inner circle, and the rest of the people that weren’t? Well blogging is not exactly the same as high school, but there are some similarities when building a popular blog.
In a popularity contest nobody gets to be the most popular all by themselves. Becoming popular requires being appointed to the position, so to in blogging! Every niche has it’s inner circle of the most popular bloggers, and they are the ones that have the power to bring you up to stardom. The most popular bloggers help each other with links, social media exposure, and other forms of friendly advertisement. Getting into the inner circle of your niche is the best way of building a popular blog. The question is, how do you go about doing that?
Assuming that you are producing awesome content already, the key to climbing up the blogging social ladder is guest posting. Get in touch with other bloggers in your niche who have a following, and are also really awesome at blogging. Ask them if you could post on their blog. Often bloggers will say “yes,” because it is a simple way for them to produce good content without having to write anything.
Try to write a post that will really add something new, and interesting to their blog, and present it. Be willing to make edits upon request. Link to your own blog with a bio box, and expect some new, targeted traffic to your site. Eventually, you can work your way up the social ladder, and request to post on some of the inner circle blogs that are really popular. Once you are in the inner circle, be generous to other bloggers, keep friends, and keep producing great content.
But what do you think? Would you add any points to this list when considering building a popular blog? Perhaps you disagree with any of these points? Let us know your opinions and views by leaving a comment below!
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Susie Brown
Susie is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business consultant.