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how to make popular blogWordPress is a powerful blogging platform, and many thousands of people start a WordPress blog every day – whether it’s self-hosted How To Setup A Self-hosted Wordpress Blog for Free How To Setup A Self-hosted Wordpress Blog for Free Read More on your own web server or with a free WordPress.com How To Make A Wordpress.com Blog Look Professional How To Make A Wordpress.com Blog Look Professional Read More blog. Many bloggers give up after a few months though, often because their blog isn’t as popular as they would like it to be or they aren’t getting many comments. The problem is that even with great blog posts, your blog doesn’t automatically become popular. The saying “build it and they will come” simply doesn’t apply to blogs.

So let’s take a look at 8 strategies you can adopt from today to make your blog more popular without delving into the technical aspects of WordPress.

Focus On One Topic

Many people start writing a blog with the glorious plan of writing about their life and thoughts on the universe in general. The sad truth is that while one or two of your posts may appeal to some, the broad range of content will prevent many visitors from coming back for more.

If you want to write a popular blog, you need to focus on one or two topics, and stick to them. If you don’t feel like you can write about a single topic that much, then try broadening your topic up a level – for instance, your real passion is strawberry plants, but that’s hardly going to fuel a blog for more than a few weeks, so why not write about growing fruit trees – when you get sick of that, move on to gardening in general.

By keeping your content focused (and learning about the topic yourself in the process), you will keep people on your site looking for more of your content, and coming back for more next month.

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Make Friends In The “Blogosphere”

Chances are you aren’t the only blog about gardening on the Internet, so find a few fellow bloggers and start participating and commenting on their blogs. Most will allow commenters to include a link with their name. You’ll not only get some visitors from their blog, but you may also build a rapport with the author and can consider a link exchange.

A word of warning though – make sure your comment is genuinely adding something to the conversation, providing useful information for other readers and relevant to the post you are commenting on. It is extremely frustrating to have someone say “hey, nice blog post” in an effort to simply self-promote, and it will quickly get your IP address marked as a spammer.

how to become popular blog

Join Blog Carnivals & Blogging Support Groups

For my past blogs, I’ve had enormous spikes in visitors by participating in so-called “blog carnivals”, where you write about a particular topic and submit it to the carnival host, who will include your post in their round-up of all the entires. Assuming the host is popular, or the carnival is correctly promoted by all participating blogs, it’s a very successful way to introduce readers to similar blogs and everyone benefits. The best place to find a carnival that suits your topic is to visit blogcarnival.com.

Join a blogging support group too, like bloggers.com. It’s another great way to find similar blogs, and all members get listed in the database as well as their latest posts highlighted on various pages.

how to make your blog popular

Keep Visitors On Your Blog

If you’ve got lots of related content, it’s fairly safe to assume any visitors will be interested in that too. We’ve covered a few plugins (LinkWithin, Best Related Posts Two Awesome SEO Wordpress Plugins For Internal Links Two Awesome SEO Wordpress Plugins For Internal Links Read More , or SimpleTags which we use for MakeUseOf) that can do this automatically for you before, so be sure to read that as it’s all still relevant. Posts with a small preview image will do much better than simple text links (look at the bottom of this article for a great example).

how to make your blog popular

Write Outside Of Your Blog

Guest blogging on related blogs helps to establish you as an expert in a particular topic. In fact, we even accept guest submissions for MakeUseOf as long as they meet our stringent publishing standards. MyBlogGuest is an easy way to find blogs looking for guest writers, or even find guest bloggers for your own blog during those dry spells.

You might also want to consider writing a quick article or two on some of the free article aggregate sites such as EzineArticles, which lets authors include a link or two and push their content out to a large audience of subscribers.

how to make your blog popular

Engage Your Readers & Encourage Comments

If a reader comments on your post, they obviously have something to say – but they might not have bookmarked your site, or shared it yet. By replying to your readers and keeping them engaged, you foster a relationship that keeps readers coming back, as well as making them more inclined to post your story to their Facebook wall or retweet it.

Another way to encourage interaction is to reward commenters with a plugin like CommentLuv CommentLuv - Reward Commenters On Your Blog With Blog Links CommentLuv - Reward Commenters On Your Blog With Blog Links Read More , which highlights a commenters latest blog post.

how to make your blog better

Add Social Sharing To Your Blog

While I’m personally against the rise of social sharing widgets everywhere on the Internet, some small unobtrusive buttons on your website can do wonders to increase your blog exposure. Stick to the basics with Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon buttons to avoid the clutter that can make some blogs look messy. AddThis is one easy WordPress plugin to help you do this.

how to be popular blog

Keep At It

Blogging is not a short-term thing; you really need to be in it for the long haul if you want to build a large base of readers. Keep publishing fresh new content, accept guest submissions, and work at building your network of blogging friends and link partners. You will get there eventually, and as your blog ages, it gains more and more trust from the search engines.

Image Credit: ShutterStock

  1. meet shah
    August 16, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Please visit my blog once. I would love your presence.
    I don't my people to just read what i write. I want them to relate to it and emotionally connect to whatever i say. Whatever i say aren't only some words but are some unsaid feelings.

  2. Cahya S nugraha
    November 30, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Dear mr. James Bruce

    I found your post just by the time I wrote this comment.
    its very helpful but I had some question at last.
    I already do the blog (cahyasetyan.wordpress.com) since 2012, and I don't have that single topic (I mean like you said before), I just wrote everything in there(dont really considering the kind of the topic), like i was just write a very general problems that I assume are important to be share, and most of it I use 2 languange in there (English and Indonesian).
    do I really need to start over and wrote just one or two topics then ? I do had some followers that love to read my blog but at the last 3 or less months I messed up my post and I do really confuse then.(even thou my followers grew up too), do I need to deleting my post or just let it be then ?

    warm regards,

    Cahya S Nugraha

    • James Bruce
      November 30, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Reading your posts, I'd say your blog is more of an artistic endeavour than an attempt to make something that draws masses of traffic and provides an income, so I can't really comment. Your goal is just not the same as mine.

  3. Donna Brown
    November 1, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I have a question for James Bruce. I'm going to be setting up a blog for the first time. My concern is the topic. After 17 years as a nurse, I was forced to retire due to serious health problems. As a result, I've returned to my love of writing and have published two novels in the past three years, with two more scheduled for release within the next few months.
    I'd love to promote my books, romantic suspense novels, but I'd also like to connect with other writers.
    I'm hoping to reach women who are faced with chronic illness and hoping to find a new passion and purpose for their lives. Wouldn't mind pointing to faith in God as a strong factor.

    This is a pretty broad spectrum! How do I begin to narrow down my topic? Or do I actually need to? Thanks so much!

    • James Bruce
      November 2, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Hi Donna. I'm still around, though this article is over 4 years old. ;) But yes, you do still need to pick a niche.

      You say you want to use this as a way to promote your books, but that won't work without building an audience first. Think about how these promotional posts would give value to readers of the blog. What question will your promotional posts be answering? How will users find this in a search engine? The old saying of "if you build it, they will come" just doesn't work any more. It's more like "if you build it, if you can offer real value, and if you can rank well for a topic in the search engines, then they might come".

      For connecting with other writers, a blog isn't really a great way to do it. Finding a suitable Reddit community would be more effective.

      Here's quick way to see if your idea is viable: write down some short phrases you might search for as a reader of your blog. Unless you already have a huge readership, don't bother with personalised searches for your name, those are obvious. Now search; what appears? Click through to read the sites. Do they already offer what you would expect, or could you do better? If the answers are already there, and you couldnt do better, the blog just isn't viable.

      I don't want to sound over negative about the idea, but having gone through this process with hundreds of my own blogs over the years, I've learnt that it isn't worth pursuing something unless I can offer value that isn't already there.

      Make sense?

  4. John Loty
    September 5, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for these great focused strategic tips on blogging and the links (resources) within it.
    Lots to learn and do - which will be assisted by your "tips".

    Cheers

    John Loty

  5. The Hungry Dog
    January 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Some very nice tips, thanks. I think that a lot of bloggers love to write, but if nobody reads them...what for? Writing is the easy part. Finding an audience is the hard part.

  6. Adii
    April 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

    As an I.T and network professional, i started my blog related to my skills then started writing informative articles and then got worried what the best way i can make to share my articles to the right readers, came across your post and its really useful for me. Thanks James for informative post, it will surely help beginners to populate their blogs. :)

  7. mahmoudsami
    April 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    ooh man thanks alot nice tips

  8. Walking Sticks
    March 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    WordPress blogs are self publicized kind of blogs. YOu just need to add the RSS feeders or Pingers inside it and your story will be indexed within 12 hours of posting. But in weebly the codes are not much clear or can say SE friendly codes so it sometimes hinders in growing the popularity. BUt both are famous CMS and can be use for almost any kind of purpose...

  9. James Bruce
    March 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Depends what your requirements are.

    As I understand, Weebly is primarily for educational teacher/student based sites, isn't it?

    What are your goals for your site? Is this just a hobby, or are you trying to develop a serious blog that will be popular? If it's the latter, you need your own host, domain, and running wordpress self-install (not the free one).

    Sites like weebly or blogspot are just for hobbyists, but that may be what you want.

    I'm not sure about "community"? To me, the entire internet is a community of potential readers. A lot of the community aspects of blogspot or free wordpress are just overrated ways of getting a small amount of free traffic.

    What community do you need beyond fellow MakeUseOf readers!

  10. Large Pot
    March 9, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Oh!...that's great helpful, it's so right to me! Million thanks for the article,

  11. ches
    March 8, 2011 at 7:14 am

    hi, may i ask what can u recommend between wordpress and weebly? i like the convenience of how weebly is built but what bloghost do u think has more access to a wide range of community? thank u..

    • James Bruce
      March 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Depends what your requirements are.

      As I understand, Weebly is primarily for educational teacher/student based sites, isn't it?

      What are your goals for your site? Is this just a hobby, or are you trying to develop a serious blog that will be popular? If it's the latter, you need your own host, domain, and running wordpress self-install (not the free one).

      Sites like weebly or blogspot are just for hobbyists, but that may be what you want.

      I'm not sure about "community"? To me, the entire internet is a community of potential readers. A lot of the community aspects of blogspot or free wordpress are just overrated ways of getting a small amount of free traffic.

      What community do you need beyond fellow MakeUseOf readers!

  12. Sean Reeves
    March 7, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Prooven? Is that a word?

    • James Bruce
      March 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

      Nope. Looks like someone caught it already though. (Wasn't me who wrote that, btw)

    • Aibek
      March 7, 2011 at 8:18 am

      typo

  13. Elliott Rodgers
    March 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    That spam comment you showed... I had exactly the same one on my blog, thankfully Aksimet catches all the spam on my blog *touch wood* so spam gets sidelined.

    (In the spirit of the post I didn't include my URL ;-D)

  14. Elliott Rodgers
    March 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    That spam comment you showed... I had exactly the same one on my blog, thankfully Aksimet catches all the spam on my blog *touch wood* so spam gets sidelined.

    (In the spirit of the post I didn't include my URL ;-D)

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