The Secret to Developing a Popular Blog

Building a blog that will get a wide attention from the blogosphere is not an easy goal to achieve. There are thousands of blog created each day and only few of them will eventually be acquiring some popularity.

First, lets define a popular blog as a blog that own a large readership. Everyone will agree that blogs like, TechCrunch or DoshDosh are, without a doubt, popular blogs. They all own a large readership and, consequently, a big influence on the blogosphere. So, what is the secret?

Popularity needs three main ingredients to be achieved: time, quality and distribution channels. Of course, you may have notice that there are only two of them on which you have a real control or at least an influence: the quality and the distribution channels.

First, lets do a little walk around the quality. Everyone heard about the adage: Content is King. Of course, content is essential because it is the raw material and the foundation of a blog. The quality of this content will have a significant impact on how your readers perceive you and your blog. Of course, the quality is something subjective that depends on multiple factors. For example, the level of knowledge of your readers may have a big impact on how they will perceive your content. However, for the benefit of this post, we will assume that quality is high and, consequently, is not an issue on our quest for popularity.

The second ingredient is the distributions channels. Developing a wide range of distribution channels is the golden key for success and popularity. In fact, your blog popularity will largely be directed by the way your content will be distributed. The ultimate goal is to have as many people as possible to see, recommend and distribute your content! This is essential to build a strong branding and a large audience.

This said, the goal of this post is precisely to present how you could build a large and engaged audience by developing different distribution channels. Those channels will be presented as the following:

  1. The blog community channels
  2. The authority based channels
  3. The social media channels
  4. The search based channels
  5. The advertisement channels
  6. The offline channels

Distribution Channels

The Blog Community Channels

Your blog community could be defined as your regular readers. It is the people who already follow your blog and like what you do. This group of readers could be decomposed on 3 important groups: the bookmark readers, the engaged audience and the a featured unconditional fans. In fact, they are all your most faithful allied. Of course, they are all at a different level, but they represent the core of your content distribution center. They are convinced readers that talk about you and make your content circulate all across the blogosphere.

It is critical, on a promotional point of view, to develop this community in order to give your blog a significant leverage. Building a popular blog is all about relationship and team work. It is a matter of developing relationships based on reciprocal trust and emotional engagement.

Developing this kind of relationship begins by doing something significant without hoping something else in return. Its a pure act of generosity. It is essential to offer something that has a real value for the intended person. It could be a featured post, a blog review or a simple comment that will start a true communication between you and this person.

There are tons of things that could help people achieving their goals. At least, on a distribution context you may build an amazing relationship network by showing your presence to other bloggers. It could be by linking to them, sending them personal email, publishing a positive review, etc.

In the context of your content distribution, dont underestimate the power of a supportive community.They are the foundation of an efficient and productive distribution process. In fact, they will be the catalyst to develop all other distribution channels.

The Authority-Based Channels

The development of this type of channels will rely on your ability to present yourself as an authority. Among these channels, here are the main ones:

  • Forums
  • Blogs comments
  • Help sites (like Yahoo! Answers)
  • Review sites (like Yelp)
  • Guest posts
  • Articles directories

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15 thoughts on “The Secret to Developing a Popular Blog

  1. great post dude, you really fleshed things out.

    the problogger is really good at fostering relationships, i see him everywere online and has frequent meetups in the real world.

    also, many online advertisers forget many of the traditional off-line techniques that are simple and effective. i am really guilty of this myself, so I am revisiting marketing 101 stuff and teachings of marketing master David Ogilvy

  2. @Marc: Thanks for your comment and your support. You are right when saying that off-line techniques are quite effective. For example, we have obvious proofs in the off-line market that the word of mouth marketing is one of the most efficient way to get new clients.

  3. Wow! Excellent resource, and with diagrams :) Good work. Will have to bookmark and re-read.

  4. @jonson roth: Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it! By the way, I really enjoy adding diagrams. I personally like to have a visual support. It makes the content to be clearer and this is a quality element that I particularly enjoy.

    Hope you’ll make a little stop by my blog! :)

    Thanks again!

  5. Hans, a very thorough post with a lot of great information.

    This line, “As we previously say, content distribution is all about relationship” in particular strikes me as important. Relationship is SO vital in establishing trust and ongoing dialog. There’s just nothing better than a word of mouth recommendation.

    If my friend eats at a restaurant and says it’s great, I’m going to eat there too. If the tv celeb. tells me it’s great on a commercial, I might eat there. If an unknown actor tells me it’s great I might, possibly, consider going there – maybe.

    I discuss the question of relationships and a priori expectactions in this article about Marketing Lessons.

    Julia Roberts pre-disposed me towards liking an unknown actress!

    We have to remember that, fundamentally, we are all social creatures with all that implies.

  6. @Sublime Products: Thanks for your comment. I really enjoy getting feedbacks.

    Now, concerning relationship, I think it’s the basement of blogging and marketing in general. No matter your niche or whatever you do, relationship is the foundation. As you said, we are social creatures and we need others to accomplish ourselves. Another essential thing: generosity and altruism are the food of any lasting relationship!

    Don’t hesitate to contact me directly is you need anything:

  7. That was a very informative article. I’m glad I found it on the forum. I agree with you about the word of mouth part of advertising. I have used that form of advertising more extensively since I have created my own business card for my blogs.

    I am still learning more about keywords and how to use them in my posts. Traffic from search engines brings in people who are more willing to stick around and look through my archives than just using forums to bring in readers. Great article will be looking for more from you.

  8. @Majik: Thanks for the good words! Hope to hear from you on my blog! Never hesitate to contact me personally!