5 Tips To Realistically Build A Popular Blog

By Guest Author

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Knowing all of the things that you know and still not being able to take your blog to the next level. The level that’ll catapult you into “popular blogger” status.

I mean, isn’t that the goal that we all have – aside from making money?

Sure you know the things you thought you needed to know. Things like traffic tips. Both on and off page SEO. An enticing “bribe” to capture more readers. Sharing you content on social media platforms.

But regardless of doing these things for months … even years … you’re still not at that point you want to be. And you’re getting frustrated, aren’t you?

I’ll even bet that you’re probably thinking that those popular bloggers just want to keep the “secrets to become a popular blogger” all to themselves. That they don’t even want to share it. That if you’re lucky enough to become a popular blogger someday, you’re lucky enough to have stumbled across the secret.

But you know what?

Shame on you for thinking that way because the actual answer has been in front of you for your whole blogging life.

Listen, I’m no popular blogger but I do have and use common sense. But besides that, the one thing that I do better than almost anything else is pay attention.

I pay attention to what’s going on around me, in blogging, in the news, wherever. And by paying attention to these popular bloggers, I’m strategically putting myself to be in their position one day.

In the meantime, not to be a glory hog, I’ve decided to share with you a few of the more important tips I was able to come up with. By following these tips, you’ll get a better understanding of how they built their blogs to become so popular and how you can do it too.

So, get out your magnifying glass, Sherlock … we’re going to have a look at 5 tips right now.

Tip #1: Emulate What Successful Bloggers Are Doing.

It always amazes me when certain bloggers, who obviously wants to prove that they can make it, try to do this by being original. By being different. By not following what others have previously done.

These bloggers always leave me shaking my head and asking one question.

Why?

Why try to be original? Why try to be different? If others have done it before you, then what sense does it make to re-invent a completely new wheel?

Listen, being original is one thing but the best thing you can do for your blog is to copy other bloggers in your niche. Now, let me clarify what I mean by copy them. I’m not saying for you to blatantly go and copy their content – rather copy certain things they do.

For example, if they have a post that’s very popular, write a post of your own on that topic. If they have a certain “bribe” to get readers to join their mailing list, come up with a similar “bribe” of your own. If you notice that they’re very engaging and active with comments and on social media, do the same.

Emulate them as much as you can, while still being yourself, because they’re obviously doing something right to succeed – and you want to be just as successful as they are.

Note: Make sure that you emulate one successful blogger at a time and do it for considerable amount of time (6 months) before starting to see the results that you want.

Tip 2: Build Relationships With Other Bloggers.

I’ve only been involved with blogging for a little over a year, but it really amazes me how much blogging has changed in the short time I’ve been involved in it. Not too long ago, to be successful blogging, it was all about SEO and choosing long tail keywords to rank for.

While to some degree it’s still that, the blogosphere has drastically changed. More and more it’s all about building relationships with bloggers and relationship marketing – and I couldn’t be more happier.

While I think SEO is important, I feel it’s much more important to build relationships and engage with others.

This can have a longer lasting effect on the success of your blog. But the greatest thing about it is that it’s fairly easy to start.

Here are a few example of how you can start:
Commenting regularly on other blogs.
Sharing other bloggers content on your social media platforms.
Emailing them personally about a specific post they wrote that you enjoyed.
Doing these things on a consistent basis will quickly get you on that bloggers radar and they’ll start to pay more attention to you.

Once that happens, you could be well on your way to building strong relationships with many bloggers. And that’s a great thing since it’s difficult to be successful blogging if you try to make it on your own.

Note: Always do this for the right reasons – meaning your goal is to create new relationships and engage. If you try to do this for the sake of getting a back link, those bloggers will quickly see right through it.

Tip 3: Give Your Readers What They Want.

If you don’t already know this then you’re about to get a rude awakening.

What you write on your blog isn’t for you. And as harsh as it sounds, nobody really cares about what you think. See, what you write in your blog posts are for your readers. Every last word.

That’s why it’s important to always try to give your readers what they want. And that’s quality content aimed to helping them or teaching them. Once you deliver on that, they’ll steadily start coming back for more.

So how do you do this? Here’s a few suggestions:
Ask them questions on your social media platforms. (Eg. What is it that you struggle with blogging?)

Visit forums and post a thread. (Eg. What’s the one thing you wish you had known about blogging when you started?)
When you give your readers what they want, chances are very high that they’ll start relying on you for advice and go to your first before they consider someone else.

Note: To know exactly what they want requires alot of research so while it may take a while to write the content, be prepared to work just as hard researching what they want.

Tip 4: Stand Back And Assess.

Sometimes it’s just best to take a step back and look at what you’re really doing with your blog. Many times, we can get wrapped up with blogging and certain strategies that we’re implementing, that we don’t take the necessary time to find out what’s working and what’s not.

This is a very important tip that you need to do in order to be a popular blogger. And, there are certain steps you could take to figure this out:

Take a day, a few days or whatever it takes to look at your blog and see if there are any changes that you could make to get even better results. This means looking and testing certain things such as color, layout, formatting, etc.

You can even ask regular visitors/readers or a fellow blogger to give their honest opinions on your blog. Chances are they’ll be very critical, which is good. In a sense, that’s how you want them to be so you can work on those things you need to improve on.

Use heat map tools like Crazy Egg to see where on your site people click, and more importantly, where they don’t click at all.

Note: This is something that many bloggers don’t do and you should at least be doing this every 3 month or so. It’s fine to implement a new strategy but you have to assess things and find out what really works and what doesn’t.

Tip 5: Be As Active As Possible.

Hard to imagine that when I first started out with my blog, I started it off as a static website. Meaning that I only had a few posts on there and new content wasn’t added on a regular basis.

Thankfully I smartened up because to build a popular blog, you have to be active.

That means coming out with blog posts consistently, replying to all comments, commenting on other blogs, staying active on the social media platforms you use and communicating with your readers.

With there being so many blog out there you have to always be active to (1) build those relationships and (2) stay relevant in the eyes of your readers.

Note: While you want to be as active as possible, you have to be strategic as well. So only be active in places that provides you a great source of traffic and engagement.

Bonus Tip: Show Your Personality.

This is probably the most overlooked thing that so many bloggers aren’t doing on their blogs but letting your personality show through does wonders not only for your blog, but for your brand.

People identify best with other people.

When you’re willing to show off your personality (funny, quirky, inspirational, etc.) you’ll start to connect more with your readers because they’ll see that they’re dealing with a real person who isn’t afraid to show who they are.

Some of the most popular bloggers out there show their personalities in every post that they come out with and how do you think that’s working out for them?

Over to you

Building a popular blog is a goal for many bloggers, including myself. Do you have any additional tips to add to this conversation? Let me know in the comments below.

Andrew M. Warner is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to teaching other bloggers how to engage, build strategic relationships and ultimately succeed in blogging. If you want to connect with Andrew, you can check out his blog Shade Of Info for more great content.




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33 Responses to “5 Tips To Realistically Build A Popular Blog”

  • Andrew M. Warner

    Hey Daniel,

    Thanks for this opportunity and for publishing my guest post here. Truly appreciate it and hope you have a great week.

    – Andrew

  • Shawn Gossman

    Great post! I think tip #3 is crucial. Some bloggers have a hard time figuring out what to write about and then when they figure an idea out, write about it, it ends up being something that the audience isn’t looking for. I always write FOR my readers covering topics about blogging that they wish to see.

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hey Shawn

      Thanks for the comment. Truly appreciate it.

      The best way to counter #3 is to do surveys. Ask questions to those that subscribe. Have a separate email in the autoresponder or send them a personal email asking them what they’re struggling with.

      Hopefully they’ll tell you and then you’ll be able to use that information to write content for them. Thanks for the comment.

      – Andrew

  • Mary Austin

    Daniel, this is a good article with value, so it would be nice to see the author’s name instead of “Guest Author”

    I like the bonus tip, show your personality. I find the easy way to do that is to make videos to accompany blog posts. We get to hear, and in many cases “see” the author and begin to get to know them.

    I agree that it is good to stand back and reassess a blog site. Even if everything seems to be on target and up to date, small changes can still freshen things up. WordPress themes make it so easy to change up the look and layout of a blog site. Tweak and test, tweak and test.

    Great tips offered here.

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Mary, thanks for the comment.

      “I like the bonus tip, show your personality. I find the easy way to do that is to make videos to accompany blog posts. We get to hear, and in many cases “see” the author and begin to get to know them.”

      Showing your personality is really an important thing. And your suggestion is really interesting. If you do videos, would you then use them on Youtube? I was thinking about this when I was watching some marketing seminars yesterday and it’s worth looking into. Maybe I’ll do that for 2015.

      Yep, reassessing is definitely necessary. Sometimes, we do need to take that step back and look at things once again.

      Thanks for the comment, Mary.

      Appreciate it.

      – Andrew

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Mary, thanks for the comment.

      “I like the bonus tip, show your personality. I find the easy way to do that is to make videos to accompany blog posts. We get to hear, and in many cases “see” the author and begin to get to know them.”

      Showing your personality is really an important thing. And your suggestion is really interesting. If you do videos, would you then use them on Youtube? I was thinking about this when I was watching some marketing seminars yesterday and it’s worth looking into. Maybe I’ll do that for 2015.

      Yep, reassessing is definitely necessary. Sometimes, we do need to take that step back and look at things once again.

      Thanks for the comment, Mary.

      Appreciate it.

      – Andrew

  • Jane

    Hey Andrew,

    Glad to see you over here at DBT with a great post! Emulating what other successful bloggers are already doing saves a lot of time and effort since we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It also saves us from making a lot of fatal mistakes!

    Building relationships matters a lot. But we have to be very careful and avoid building relationships for the sake of benefits. When relationships are genuine, it is priceless! But if they are built with some expectation in mind (like hoping that they would share the post for us, or endorse us) that ruins the purpose of relationships!

    Thanks for the wonderful tips Andrew 🙂

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Yea, when you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, it makes your job alot easier. Now I’m not saying to copy them fully. As a blogger, you still have to be somewhat creative, but you can see some of the ideas they have and improve upon them.

      Building relationships is very crucial. Like you said, when they’re genuine, they’re priceless. And even though some people do build relationships for their own gain, they really won’t get very far.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Andrew

  • Richard Martin

    Great post Andrew.

    I agree with everything you say here, especially the part about building relationships.

    I know I harp on about this over and over at my blog, but it really is a hugely important aspect of blogging that many don’t even think of – let alone try and do.

    And it sort of links in with what you say about personality; so true, people identify with people. Again, I often say that I am invested in a blogger on a personal level just as much as I’m invested with their content.

    If you are a newbie blogger or not, this is a worthy read, congratulations Andrew.

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Building relationships is probably one of the most important aspects of successful blogging. It’s something that should never be overlooked.

      “I often say that I am invested in a blogger on a personal level just as much as I’m invested with their content.”

      I like that saying and it’s so true for me as well. When I can see your personality jump off the page, I’m much more interested and engaged in the content.

      Thanks for the comment once again, Richard.

      Have a great day.

      – Andrew

  • Adrienne

    Hi Daniel,

    Great of you to have Andrew sharing his wisdom with us and what a great job he did too. Such sound advice and boy do we live and learn through this process don’t we Andrew?

    I tried to do the copying part but I didn’t do a very good job. I had to take a step back and just decide I was going to go for it, good or bad and pray I got good results. I did and boy was I thrilled but that’s still good advice. I’m sure others have had much better success than me. LOL!!!

    The building relationships, I’ve got that down pat as you very well know. Yep, that is a very important part of this process that we do not want to leave out. In my opinion, this is what will get us even further along than had we decided to do this on our own.

    I’ve also got #3 and #5 down pretty good too but I could use more assessing. It never hurts to take a step back, see how things are going and if there is more room for improvement. Thanks for that advice Andrew, I appreciate it.

    Great post and great job. Wonderful tips here and thanks again. You guys have a great week now.

    ~Adrienne

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for the comment. I still do the “copying” part. I’ve come to the realization that blogging is really a copycat industry and people say the same things and have the same views over and over again. Knowing this, I just analyze their views and find a new approach to present that information. Especially if it were popular posts.

      Oh I know you have building relationships down pact. This is something that other people, unfortunately, still struggle with understanding.

      I feel there’s always room for improvement and I have a full list of things that I have there, but haven’t gotten done yet. Perhaps in the break, I’ll get all those things completed.

      Thanks for commenting once again, Adrienne.

      Truly appreciate it.

      – Andrew

  • Rajesh Bermuda

    Hi,
    Great article. Be original always good, but while preparing content in a particular topic, blogger have to research another blogs. it is common thing and we cant avoid such a thing. But blogger get new idea from those blog and he should develop his own content, That’s very important.

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Rajesh,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Yes, research is a very important part and should be done all the time when preparing content. The last thing you want to do is write information that’s incorrect. But looking at other blogs and seeing what they wrote is good to get ideas for future posts or to see how engaging people are with certain posts. Once that research is done, you can craft your own post and put your unique spin on it.

      That’s blogging, after all.

      -Andrew

  • Carol Amato

    Hi, David,

    I am so very happy that you have featured a guest article by Andrew warner, he is so knowledgeable and there are many takeaways in this post.

    @Andrew: I really love the introductory phase of this article, it really sets up the powerful tips you have laid out so very well…

    I like the word emulate. It’s a lot better than the word copy. 🙂

    I think you’re right, we can all get inspiration from other successful entrepreneurs, which encourages us to go down a certain path, and possibly create a certain type of content.

    But I’m a little bit more cautious about emulating any type of practice with social media because for me, to engage in a new activity on a continual basis – it has to be scalable, and sustainable.

    I do have a team, so I’m not a one-man band, however, I need to see an ROI before I start doing something that’s time-consuming on a regular basis, not just because somebody else appears to be successful at it. I prefer to see a case study we’re proven results are documented.

    Tips 2, 3, 4 and 5 are outstanding – I couldn’t agree more!:-)

    I really appreciate the bonus tip. I was so lacking in confidence at the very start, that I took quite a while before I eased into revealing the real me. Once I did, it became a whole lot more fun, and I got more engagement as well. So it was a win-win for everybody.

    Thank you so much for this thought-provoking article, I enjoyed thinking about what I believe in these areas.

    Sharing with friends…
    – Carol

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks for the comment. And thanks for the compliment as well.

      I don’t see anything wrong with emulating other successful bloggers. Especially when it comes to certain posts that they write. I mean, if they’re in your niche and has your audience, it would be a smart move to copy them. No?

      Regarding the bonus tip, it’s so important. And maybe I’ll talk about this in a future post for myself and maybe even provid a case study. But showing your personality is really important. And like you said, you get alot more engagement when you do.

      Thank you for the comment as usual, Carol. Appreciate it.

      – Andrew

  • Asif

    Hi
    Thank You for sharing post, i am under work for your 05 Tips is most important with us and powerful information share with us. Thank You Very Much.

    Asif

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Asif,

      Thanks for the comment. Yea, following #5 is good to do. I don’t know where I would be if I just kept my blog as a static website. But all the tips presented here are important and worth looking into.

      Good luck to you.

      – Andrew

  • Adib Abadi

    hi Andrew, 🙂
    Great reflection on our need for ‘something’ to be Popular Blog. This post gives the essence of the answer. Inspiring!

    I’m off to follow the call for action…

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hey Adib,

      Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed the post. Building a popular blog may not be something that EVERYONE wants to achieve but if it’s something that’s of interest to you, then these tips are a great starting point to follow.

      Thanks again for the comment.

      – Andrew

  • Lash

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for sharing your observations about building a successful blog.

    I’m in travel blogging and have had my site for 3+ years. From the very beginning I’ve emulated what other travel bloggers have been doing.. .at least as much as I can see that they’re doing.

    I also connected with them from the very beginning, mostly via interviewing all the top travel bloggers, and sometimes via email and/or social media.

    However, none of that has helped me get anywhere near the levels of success those top travel bloggers have achieved.

    So I’ve been looking harder and assessing what they’re doing harder/ who they are. I’ve finally concluded that the one thing I see all successful blogger have is training in business and/or marketing. Most of them have MBAs, worked in marketing for years before blogging, ran their own businesses before blogging or otherwise understand business and marketing.

    It really looks to me like that is the key. No matter how great your content is, how well you interact with top bloggers, slam the social media, etc etc… if you don’t know marketing and/or business, you’re not going to get very far.

    At least that’s my conclusion thus far. Any comment about this?

    Thanks for your time.

    best regards, Lash

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Lash,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Perhaps you may be better off implementing strategies from bloggers outside of your niche. That’s another thing to try. You have to analyze what those other travel bloggers are doing … or more importantly see what they AREN’T doing and make a note of that.

      Then, look at some strategies that people in other blogging niches are doing that successful. Borrow some of those ideas and use them for your travel blog. I’ve recently started doing this on my blog where I take bits and pieces from what I see on popular food blogs, travel blogs, tech blogs and implement them onto my blog. Most of the results have been good so far, but the advice I’ll give to you is to test.

      Test things out.

      I don’t believe you need a degree in business to be successful as a blogger but perhaps you could go on Youtube and look at some seminars on marketing they have there. The last few weeks, I’ve been away online because I’m watching marketing videos, attending webinars … all to learn new things and grow. Perhaps you may consider doing the same thing.

      Also, Derek Halpern has a saying that he got frm somewhere else. And the saying is, “What Got You Here, Won’t Necessarily Get You There.” Meaning, what you’ve been doing to get to this point in the 3 years, won’t necessarily help you grow and get to the next level.
      What that means is that you need to be strategic about how you’re going to get from the level you’re at now to the next level. All successful people go through that … otherwise they’ll never be successful.

      Lastly, social media can only get you so far. Your email list is the real gold. Continue to build on that and things will start getting easier.

      – Andrew

      • Lash

        Hi Andrew,

        Thanks heaps for your thorough and thoughtful reply. I appreciate that.

        GREAT idea to watch & emulate blogs from OUTside my niche! As a matter of fact, in the past month of reading various sites dedicated to successful blogging (already out of my niche) I’ve learned so much… including joining in on commenting & questions such as this. I’ll continue trying to learn more from other niches as well. thanks.

        I’m also not sure you need a DEGREE in business to succeed with a blog, but ALL the bloggers I’ve seen succeed have a very solid background in either business or marketing. I’m betting that we need to at least understand business basics, of which I’ve realized I do not. I most definitely need to learn that, as well as marketing! Thanks for the suggestions on where to learn. 🙂

        Yep, I do understand the concept that in order to get up to another level you must learn new concepts, skills, viewpoints. If you want to get to a new ‘place’ you have to become a different person first. Time for me to level up!

        Thanks again for taking time to advice me. Awesome.

        cheers, Lash

  • Don Purdum

    Hi Andrew,

    You made some really fantastic points. I’m going to take some leisure to agree and disagree with you just a bit in one area.

    “Emulate What Other Bloggers are Doing”

    Okay, I understand why and I’m not totally disagreeing with you. There is value in that. But only as long as you working out who you are and you’re finding your own voice.

    I personally have never emulated a single blogger. I have my own ideas and I write to help others and articulate those ideas. Are they all unique? Maybe parts of each are and some are not.

    The point is that we can carve our own way to relevancy by coming up with our own ideas. There are times I love to think about what someone else says and it gives me an idea but I run my own rabbit trail so speak, lol…

    I know you said not to copy them, but from experience I can tell you that you can say that a million times and people still hear “do what so and so is doing… just copy” and they do. I mean, how many articles do I come across every week that say the same things… 101 Ways to Gain Twitter Followers.

    Really?

    You can’t do better than that. Sorry, I’m not wasting my time unless you have a different perspective or idea on how Twitter can help me.

    Okay, enough of my high horse, lol…

    You’re article was awesome and spot on. I really love the engaging with other bloggers topic of your article. It’s so true and it’s been HUGE for me.

    I don’t give it long Andrew and you’re going to be a superstar!!!!!

    I hope you’re having a great week!

    ~ Don Purdum

  • Rohit Singh

    Great post and nice points mentioned which are very essential for building a popular blog, I think I highly believe is that most important is produce quality content and do proper SEO by doing this things will be much easier

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Rohit,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Doing quality content isn’t always easy to do. We should aim to write quality content all the time but it’s our readers that determine if our content is EPIC or Pillar content. But once you start giving the readers what they want, things will start to be easier.

      – Andrew

  • Sudarto

    I am happy reading your article about how to make our blog popular. I began to try your suggestions one by one. For example, adopting the idea of the successful blog with developing what could make my post would be better. I do not know what the results are. Good luck.

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Sudarto,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The thing to remember is that it’ll take time. You won’t get results right away. For instance, building relationships is something that can’t be done overnight. It takes time and work and you have to be willing to be patient. Eventually it’ll come but like I said, it takes time.

      – Andrew

  • Serena @ Thrift Diving

    See, I almost beg to differ regarding emulating other bloggers. I was just saying to another frustrated blogger today (we’re in the do-it-yourself niche), and I said that in order for us to become more popular, we need to break out of this cookie-cutter mold. Blogs are so heavily saturated that we are all the same, doing the same things, saying the same words, blah, blah, blah. And I just feel like busting through that mold and do some things other people aren’t doing! Now…. As for what that is…? Not quite sure! But we need to wake up these zombie readers and stop giving them the same old crap, because all we are doing it becoming one more pea in an over-saturated pod.

    I mean, I don’t know if it has to be drastic. But it has to be the extra icing no one is doing. The thing that makes people turn their heads and say, “Wow, who is this dude? Who is this chick?” That’s the X factor I am looking for!

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

    • Andrew M. Warner

      Hi Serena,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I understand your views about the “cookie cutter mold” all too well. I too was thinking about this recently and I’m a person that likes to be original and creative. But when you’re looking at another blogger and emulating them, you’re doing the things that they’ve done that’s proven to have worked. If you’re in the same niche.

      Meaning whatever popular posts that they have, you can borrow that idea and come up with something similar but better.

      The methods they use to make money, you can follow those step and make adjustments to suit yourself.

      Yes, blogs say the exact same thing but that’s the fault of the bloggers for not being creative enough to share that content in a creative way. If everyone is doing the same post as a regular post, why not create an infographic or a comic? If everyone is for something, or pro something, why not mix things up and be controversial and look at things from the other side.

      Blogging is and always will be a copycat industry … each individual has to decide if they’re going to present the information the say way it’s been done 400 times, or get creative and do things differently.

      – Andrew

  • Vincent

    Great post, In Tip #1: “Emulate What Successful Bloggers Are Doing”. Yes i totally agree, however some bloggers over do it by loosing their own creativity and originality. They end up been copy cat in that they copy articles from established big blogs.
    What am saying is that in as much as we are to emulate what successful Bloggers are doing, we should know the limit of what we are to imitate from them to avoid loosing our own creativity and originality

  • Edwin

    The point of “showing your personality” is so key for your personal branding, which blogging becomes a powerful tool and platform to accomplish this.

  • Lerwhar Lekxel

    These are really great motivating articles every bloggers should never miss. And in the #2 clue you wrote about creating a post which went viral on others, some might just do copypasting which is back,they should try to make the post very different.

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