8 Proven Tips to Make Your WordPress Blog Popular
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

Around 33% of the entire internet runs on WordPress, and thousands of new WordPress blogs are launched every day. Whether you’re using a slow shared hosting plan or a blazingly fast managed WordPress host, it’s never been harder to compete.

And if you want maximum performance with minimal hassle, we really do recommend using a managed WordPress host. Our recommendation is WP Engine, which we use ourselves to run our sister sites.

But starting a blog is easy. Keeping it going and getting it popular is the real challenge. The problem is that even with great blog content, your blog doesn’t automatically become popular. The adage “build it and they will come” doesn’t apply to blogs. But we can help!

Let’s take a look at several strategies you can adopt today to make your blog more popular.

1. Focus on a Specific Topic

Many people start writing a blog with the glorious plan of writing about their life, the universe, and everything. 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. But if you insist on talking about anything and everything, vlogging might be a more appropriate format 12 Engaging Vlogs You Need to Start Watching Today 12 Engaging Vlogs You Need to Start Watching Today If you're new to the world of vlogging and wondering where to start, or you're simply on the lookout for some new vlogs to check out, this list is for you. Read More .

If you want to write a popular blog, you need to focus on one or two topics and write about them often. If you don’t feel like you can write about a single topic that much, then try gradually broadening your topic as your traffic grows. For instance, your real passion is strawberry plants, but that’s hardly going to fuel a blog for more than a few weeks, so perhaps pivot to advice on growing fruit trees, then move on to gardening in general, etc.

I’ve often found blogging to be a great driver for personal growth: writing reinforces the learning process. So as you explore your topic and broaden your knowledge, write about it.

2. Be an Expert and Be Trustworthy

Who would you trust more for information on cancer therapies: Marie Curie Cancer Research or Joe Blog’s Healing Crystals? The answer is obvious, and Google knows that too, which is why Joe Blog’s Healing Crystals was probably nowhere to be found in the search results.

Trustworthiness is an important factor that Google looks for, whether that’s by the automated ranking algorithm or the human quality checkers that review websites. This is particularly important for posts that talk about health or money issues, but applies to all topics to a lesser degree.

So even with a blog focused on one particular topic, you’ll need to ensure you have sufficient expertise to be writing about that topic in the first place before you can stand any chance of becoming popular.

So how do you show your expertise? The precise ranking mechanism is not known, but we can assume it relies heavily on links from existing trusted websites. Link building is a vast topic and not something you should seek to do unnaturally.

But there are also things you can do on your blog to demonstrate expertise, like displaying any qualifications or experience you have in your author biography. If you’re CCNA certified and have 10 years experience building corporate network infrastructure, writing a blog where you review network routers, then proudly say so!

There’s nothing wrong with telling people why you know what you’re talking about. Brag about your achievements. Show you’re an expert. Tell people why they should trust you.

3. Use Google’s Search Console

Previously known as Webmaster’s Tools, the Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google to give you direct feedback on things like:

  • How your site is performing in the search results (the number of times it’s shown to a search user vs how times it’s clicked on etc).
  • Indexability, such as inaccessible pages or broken sitemaps.  and any technical issues that Google is experiencing.
  • 404 or other servers errors are appearing.
  • Mobile compatibility.

This is a separate service to Google Analytics, which gives statistics about traffic and visitors). It’s easy to set up and completely free.

8 Proven Tips to Make Your WordPress Blog Popular Google search console

4. Optimize Your Blog for Mobile

Around half of all web searches are now done from mobile devices, and that’s on the increase. If your website doesn’t work as well on mobile, scales badly, or takes too long to load over a limited speed 3G connection, you’re losing out on potential visitors.

I hate to keep banging on about Google, but that’s where most of your traffic will come from, at least until you’ve built a loyal audience. Mobile-first indexing means that sites with mobile issues will be shown lower down in the search results to mobile visitors.

8 Proven Tips to Make Your WordPress Blog Popular mobile friendly

So how do you make your site mobile-friendly? Picking a design that scales well is critical. Look for themes tagged as being “responsive”. Many theme stores also offer a preview feature that allows you to switch between desktop or mobile emulation, but if not, you can use the Chrome desktop browser to emulate a mobile device.

5. Promote on Social Networks

The best source of social traffic, without having to build up a huge following first, is Reddit. While Reddit works best if someone else posts your content What Is Reddit and How Does It Work? What Is Reddit and How Does It Work? What is Reddit and how does it work? How do you start using Reddit as a beginner? We'll walk you through it. Read More , self-promotion isn’t banned.

However, you should keep within a sensible ratio. You shouldn’t exclusively use your Reddit account for self-promotion. Be an active member of the community, comment, and post others content too. Also, be prepared for brutally honest feedback. Redditors aren’t nice if they detect you’re abusing the system.

In my experience, Twitter is the least effective at generating traffic, though there are other reasons to maintain a Twitter account than purely blog promotion. Facebook is less effective at driving traffic (unless you pay), but is still great for creating communities. If your content is quite visual in nature, Pinterest can be an effective source of traffic How to Use Pinterest Effectively (And Avoid the Ridiculous Nail Art) How to Use Pinterest Effectively (And Avoid the Ridiculous Nail Art) It is actually possible to use Pinterest for useful tasks, though it may not seem so at first glance. Here's how. Read More , but again, is likely to be more effective if it’s not you doing the posting.

6. Keep Visitors on Your Blog

If you’ve got lots of related content, it’s safe to assume any visitors will be interested in that too. Various plugins are available to do this, but Related Posts for WordPress is the easiest way to get started. If looking for alternatives, be aware that some are very server intensive, and may even be banned by your hosting provider. If your blog is already slow or contains thousands of posts, installing any related posts plugin will inevitably slow it down further.

Related Posts for WordPress

7. Engage Your Readers, Encourage Comments

If a reader comments on your post, they obviously have something to say. 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 friends.

The native WordPress commenting system isn’t great though, so consider installing Jetpack to supercharge them. Jetpack is made by the creators of WordPress, and includes a host of other features too (some paid).

Jetpack by WordPress.com

8. Keep at It, Don’t Give Up

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, expertly written, shareable content, and you’ll get there eventually. It takes time to get noticed, establish authority, and build a readership.

And for the best crack at it, ensure you’re using a reputable managed WordPress host like WP Engine that takes away the hassle of server maintenance, letting you focus on the content and the success of your site.

Explore more about: Blogging, Web Development, Wordpress.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Alanna
    November 7, 2019 at 5:08 am

    I have done all of these and yet still after 2 years I have no traffic and no subscribers. I'm just about to give up. I don't even show up in google for my name...

  2. Krish Mall
    November 6, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Hi James,
    Thanks for an informative article. I am in early sixties and live in India. I want to start a blog on "healthy living for older people ", basically it would focus on balancing health, emotions and fun in advancing old age. What title would you suggest besides any specific guidelines.

    Mall

  3. Naijaskunk
    March 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    I like the part about engaging readers in comment, that was something i usually don't do. Thanks a lot.

    NaijaSkunk

  4. Trevor Carss
    September 18, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Excellent article, I like the part about commenting and adding value. Also, adding social share buttons can have a tremendous effect on growth, it’s a simple tweak. I would also add that your social media profiles should all have correct links in the bios, as that will drive traffic to your blog when fans are reading your social content. Optimize every social profile as if it’s the front page of the Internet. More recently, sending helpful direct messages to potential partners to do cross-promotions can really help boost your blog growth.

  5. Obi
    September 8, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Very good article! Not much has changed over the years(well,as far as attracting followers to your blog is concerned )

    • Trevor Carss
      September 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      I think social media adds a new dimension to blog traffic now. Sites like Quora and Instagram are huge drivers of traffic for me.

  6. Kazman
    December 8, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Hmmm. What a very good and useful tips, I'm a newbie blogger and I just designed my sports blog. I have been making use of your tips thanks.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Anonymous
    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?

  10. Anonymous
    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. :)

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

    ooh man thanks alot nice tips

  14. 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...

  15. 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!

  16. 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,

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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)