winning the blogging popularity contest
I want to know what makes a blog “popular”. What brings people to a blog and keeps them hanging around? I am not looking to make my blog popular and I will continue to be honest to myself and to my writing style, but I am curious about what makes people interested in blogs in the first place. Honestly, I have never been a devoted blog reader and my favorite sites, until recently, have consisted of gmail, msn.com, and facebook.
Take Dooce.com for instance. It is the personal blog of a woman in Salt Lake City, Utah and her life throughout her marriage, children, and her trials and tribulations. Heather B. Armstrong, the author, maintains an average of 300,000 readers daily. I had 50 once and was thrilled! I can’t even imagine 300,000. But then again I don’t think I would be able to handle the pressure of 300,000 people caring about what I have to say. I hardly know what to say to Dan on some days.
I have read random articles about it before I started the blog that you are reading right now, and I came across some of the following advice:
- Write within your niche
- Keep it informative – don’t waste anybody’s time. Get to the point
- Update often: 3 – 5 times a week
- Advertise your blog anywhere and everywhere
- Interact with your readers
I follow most of the above advice pretty well, although I don’t really try to. Lucky for me my niche is personal insight, and that pretty much means I can do whatever I want. Another thing that works in my favor is that I am not a patient person by nature and that keeps my posts relatively short (although I can’t really guarantee I write things that don’t waste anybodys time to read). NaBloPoMo keeps me updating 7 days a week. I also enjoy talking to the people that leave comments here. At the rate I am going at following all of that advice, I should hit 20,000 visitors by the end of the month… and in case you couldn’t tell, that was sarcasm.
There has to be more. There has to be something else that draws people in. Everyone could follow the above advice, but that doesn’t mean that everyone would have a popular blog. It has to be the content or the delivery of it. Some kind of connection has to be made that not everybody is capable of. I don’t think it’s something that can be taught: you either have it or you don’t.
Whether or not my blog ever reaches 300,000 or 30 on a daily basis, I will continue onward doing what I have been doing. I write for myself. And who knows? Maybe that is the missing link that pulls an author from obscurity to becoming one of Forbes Most Influential Women in Media as Heather Armstrong has achieved.