If you are thinking of building a blog and you want it to be massively successful, you should learn how popular blogs got to where they are today. By looking at their history and tactics, you can start to see patterns and tailor your strategy after theirs.
Popular blogs don’t post haphazardly. They use a wide variety of techniques to attract new readers, and you may have to do some forensic work so you can study their strategies more in-depth and get information to build your own. Reading about some of the most common marketing techniques used by top blogs can also help. Let’s look at a few things popular blogs do to increase their readership.
They Target a Lot of Keywords
There’s nothing wrong with trying to rank for a wide number of keywords as long as they’re relevant, and one thing that most popular blogs have in common is that they try to target as many keywords as they can. Mashable, for instance, has over 35,000 indexed category pages and they rank for thousands of different high-quality keywords as a result.
However, you don’t have to go that deep if you want to get returns from keyword optimization. One SEO (source) was able to get a blog from 0 to 1.4 million visitors in only six months by gathering 50,000 keywords and then narrowing his selection to 100 keywords based on the amount of work it would require for them to get the maximum results in the shortest period.
This means that keyword research has to become a priority for you from now on. You should always have a clear list of popular, yet not too competitive keywords that fit naturally within your content before you start creating.
If you listen to most of the top blogs’ origin stories, you’ll notice that nearly all of their owners started by creating superhuman amounts of content in a very short period. This is what contributed to the popularity of blogs like ProBlogger which has accumulated over 8000 posts over its 15-odd years of existence.
ProBlogger’s founder, Darren Rowse, wrote as many as 10 blogs per day for the site at the beginning. But what separated ProBlogger from the rest is that they would focus on creating evergreen content with some of it still paying off to this day.
The moral of the story is that you should try to populate your site with lots of meaningful content that will remain relevant while trying to capitalize on topics and trends in your industry from time to time. However, be careful with how much content you publish and the keywords you target as you could end up competing against yourself. Also, make sure that you constantly monitor how your content is doing and prune out pieces that are not getting a reaction as Google will penalize sites that have lots of stale content.
They Have a YouTube Channel
Look at any top blog and it’s more than likely that it has a channel on YouTube too. TechCrunch, Engadget, and Business Insider are three examples of blogs that have a huge following on the platform, and, in some cases, their YouTube channel has exceeded their blogs in terms of popularity. Lots of popular YouTube channels started as blogs too, with Buzzfeed being the most notable example.
No matter what your blog is about, there’s a good chance that you can turn it into a video. And, if you don’t feel like putting your face out there, know that you don’t have to do this. There are tons of ways to turn blog content into video content without the need for a human presence. Channels like TheRichest and WatchMojo both follow this formula and have amassed millions of followers doing so. So, if you can repurpose some of your content or create video content specifically for YouTube and other platforms, see if you can diversify your presence online and release content in different formats.
They Create Organic Links
Another thing that all top blogs have in common is that they have thousands of links pointing to them from reliable sources. A lot of their links are also generated by users, which sends positive signals to search engines and shows that your content is appreciated by the public.
So, if your linking profile seems to be a little thin right now, you may need to start taking steps to change the situation. One of the simplest things you could do would be to go on a blog outreach campaign or ask an agency to reach out to blogs and get your content featured there. Trying to secure guest spots on related but non-competing blogs yourself could also help.
All you have to do is get active on a few blogs you’d like to get featured on and try to make helpful comments in comment sections. Try to genuinely engage with the people there too. It’s only a matter of time before the owner notices you. From then on, you can try to engage with them, and contact them in private to see if they would be open to letting you post on their site.
They Create More than Simple Blog Posts
Another thing that you can do to generate more links and traffic to your blog is to mix up the type of content you release. Most popular blogs will have a mix of news posts, regular blogs, how-tos, tutorials, interviews, infographics, and all sorts of other types of content on their site to keep things interesting and extend their reach.
Infographics in particular are known for their shareability, and if you don’t have any on your website, you should consider creating at least one infographic per month and gauge your results. Don’t wait for people to find their way to them, however. Give them a little push by contacting a few bloggers in your niche and consider doing a press release with your infographic as the central piece.
If we can get anything from what the top blogs are doing, it is that most of them seem to be focusing on consistency, research, and diversifying their sources of traffic. They also seem to put a lot of emphasis on creating content that is useful and truly resonates with their audience, and this should be your main goal too.