Guest post by Paul Wallis, an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US.
Why are some blogs incredibly popular? Why do great blogs get barely noticed? Why do some pretty banal looking things get millions of hits when something which is bordering on genius is ignored? It’s nice to think that these things just reflect lousy taste on the part of the public, but the truth is rather more blunt. Some of the best bloggers ignore basic rules. Some of the least impressive blogs in terms of actual content don’t ignore those rules, like SEO.
Blogging history- A brief dose of a tough market
The days of the “messianic blog” lasted for about six months in the late 90s. At the end of those six months the blog market was saturated. From the ashes arose the specialist blogs. Technical writers moved in, as did expert writers in particular markets. The blog market became highly diversified in a couple of years. Even the stodgy mainstream media, having eventually learned how to spell the word “blog” started running a few blogs, then multiples.
You will have noticed that this was anything but a random process. The markets demanded blogs, and got them. The bloggers swarmed around these markets like wasps around sweets. The other types of blogs got buried in the stampede.
It wasn’t a matter of justice to good bloggers. It was business, and it was good business for both writers and markets. Therefore it was always going to succeed. The most popular blogs in this market were the high copy value, high information value blogs.
Specialist bloggers target their materials to their particular fields of expertise. They write to a specific audience. This is basic marketing, known as “positioning”. Non-specialist bloggers are providing entertainment, as much as materials. Their style is simple, but it’s still targeted to a particular audience, at that audience’s baseline level.
Popularity as a commodity
When you’re reading a blog, what do you want to get out of reading it? Which blogs are popular with you, and why? Popularity is the market share of a blog. The blog’s market is its subject matter. Some blogs cover a lot of topics, loosely based on business, finance, fashion, etc, but the information is all relevant to the audience. The huge numbers of hits are no coincidence. The blog is excellent value for readers. This popularity is a very salable commodity in terms of revenue, affiliates, and other money making options for the blog.
The technicalities of a popular blog
If you’re a good writer, media person or graphic artist, you can use the basic technical aspects of search engine optimisation and high value content to get a great audience. You can raise the profile of your blog through “brand exposure”, sowing your links strategically around the world, and make sure your content is better than anyone else in your field.
Focus your blog content. Find your best subjects, where your materials are strongest, and where you can produce materials almost effortlessly because of your expertise, and target that audience. You’ll get your readers, and your blog will become popular very quickly.Share This: