What Makes a Blog Popular?

Written by Wendy McCance

Some bloggers have been asking me why their blog might not be getting much traffic. If readers are checking out their blog, the question has been why there aren’t many comments.

Besides the issues discussed in my article,
Some Secrets I’d Like to Share About Blogging http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/some-secrets-id-like-to-share-about-blogging/
I can say there are a few more reasons you might not be getting the response you are hoping for.

Below are 5 additional reasons you might not be getting the response to your blog that you are hoping for.

1.  You have a niche blog.

The best example I can give is that of my second blog, Adventures in Real Estateat: http://wendyworkinginrealestate.wordpress.com  I figured that with the housing market the way it has changed, and so many people in a transition (rental homes are extremely popular right now), that it would be a no brainer.  I figured this new blog would be even more popular than this one.  I was so very wrong.

I’ll just lay all my cards on the table and say that I started the second blog May 2012.  My biggest day of views topped out at 77 views for the day.  My average day saw about 19 views.  Think about how many months I have been plugging away since I began the second blog.  This is because my blog is aimed at a very small audience.  I hadn’t realized how small this audience would be until I had worked on the blog for some time.

I also rarely see comments unless it’s from a new real estate agent who appreciates learning what to expect in the business or someone in a transition (thinking of buying or selling a home).  For most, there is no reason to comment.  The reader is just picking up some information and moving on.  There is nothing that personally strikes a chord.  There is just not much to say about what they have read because it is just to gain some information.

In comparison, my blog, Searching for the Happiness began in February 2012 and by April 2012, I was seeing enormous change.  I had just hit on something that was relatable and people wanted to continue to read.

The takeaway is that you never know what will become popular or what will fall flat until you try out your idea.  Honestly, I think that’s part of the fun of a blog.  It’s challenging to find an idea that people will enjoy.  It’s all part of the creative process.

2.  Have a central theme.

I have been to blogs where there is so much someone wants to share, that it gets confusing.  A blog about family life with pages dedicated to recipes, crafts and stories about your kids should work nicely.

If your blog is part personal stories and part chapters of fiction from the book you are writing, you need to make sure it’s obvious which is which and tie it together.  I am embarrassed to say that I have read blogs like this where I read some of the fiction portion and didn’t realize it wasn’t a real life experience until a post or two later.

To tie the two together, you might want a page that shows the process.  Mix how you felt and what you did and then give a snippet of what you ended up writing.  Just make sure readers know the snippet is the fiction portion.

3.  You need to consistently write posts to get an audience.

I have had people reach out for help saying that they are not getting anyone to visit their blog after 4 months of writing (for example).  I would go check out the blog and would see 2 posts their first month, 4 posts their second month, 1 post their third month and 6 posts the month I checked it.

If you aren’t writing fairly regularly, your blog will sit with no views.   Each time you post an article, your post circulates through your personal efforts at advertising and through the WordPress site (if that’s what you are using).  In between this time, it just sits.

If you start to get interest and people check back just to see that same article days or weeks later, the interest will begin to die out.

4.  The name of your blog should be the same name as your blog address.

When I wrote my second blog, Adventures in Real Estate, that name wasn’t an option for my blog address.  I was so sold on that title, that I went with a different name for the address.  Wendy Working in Real Estate is what I used (http://wendyworkinginrealestate.wordpress.com) to be exact.

It was a horrible idea.  I just couldn’t give up that snappy title.  I know I don’t get as much traffic because readers don’t know how to reach me.  If you can’t or don’t want to use your blogs title for the address, at least use your name so that people can google you.

5.  Grammar really does count.

There have been blogs I have seen that are either full of spelling errors, or just don’t make sense when read.  As long as you use spell check and reread your blog to make sure it flows nicely and is understandable to the reader, you should be fine.  You don’t need to spend hours on your post, but rushing through and posting as soon as you type that last word is a recipe for mistakes to occur.

I know I said there would be 5 reasons, but I thought of one more important point I just had to mention.

6.  Make sure everything works properly on your blog.

I have learned from experience that you should always check links and those pictures that can be clicked on.  What’s the use of adding links someone might enjoy if they don’t work properly.  That’s just going to annoy your reader.

I hope this post has been helpful.  I have had to tweak areas of my blog many times and can relate.  How else would I know some of the pitfalls?  Just take care to do what you need to so that your blog comes across as flawless as possible and move on.  As for me, my blog is always going to be a work in progress.  There’s so much I still need to learn myself.  Thankfully I have some great people reading my blog who are generous enough to give me pointers as well. 🙂


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