How to have a popular blog

Continuing my seemingly endless series of posts about blogging, I have more tips for new bloggers, or for those of you with tired or stagnant blogs. As I approach my fifth anniversary of blogging, and have reached a current total of 1,222 posts, I have noticed a few things along the way.

Many of us are more than content with our blogging lot; happy with the way things are, and we bumble along in the same old way. Yet there are a lot of bloggers who watch the tumbleweed pass over their blogs. They yearn for more interaction, and become disappointed with the performance of their blog. It was not how they thought it was going to be when they started, that’s for sure. They tire of posting, wonder if it is all worth the effort, and sometimes just give up on the idea.

So, how do you get off to a good start, or revitalise a blog that has hit the doldrums? I have a few suggestions that you could try.

1) Post photos. People love to look at pictures, and generally prefer them to reading text. After all, if they just want to read, they could curl up with a good book.

2) If you don’t want to take photos, add images, gifs, or graphics. These are easily available, and free to find, all over the Internet.

3) When you run out of ideas, re-blog somebody else’s posts. If they have a re-blog button on the page, just use it, and allow your readers to see that you are bothering to read other posts, even if you are not writing any yourself. Add a nice comment, and perhaps advise the original blogger that you are going to do the re-blog. It is an easy way to get out of a blogging slump, and helps someone else in the process.

4) Specialise. If like me, you have a general blog, with a few categories and a mix and match approach to blogging, you may discover that this is not working for you. When this happens, it is time to specialise. Pick something you know about, perhaps a hobby, or a lifelong interest, and revise your blog into one on a specialist subject. Then follow lots of other blogs on that subject, and you will soon become part of a community again.

5) Change your theme. If you have settled on a theme from day one, and never changed it, you might find a new look is all that is needed to brighten things up, and renew interest from others. WordPress has a large number of free themes, and you can preview your blog on them, as many times as you like.

6) Delete your old blog, and start a completely new one, with a different name. If you have reached the stage where you no longer feel you are getting anywhere, re-think the whole process, and start from scratch. If you have active followers, you can write a last post informing them of the change, and a link to your new blog.

7) People cannot comment on posts if you don’t publish any. Just because you got only four views on your last effort, and no likes, doesn’t mean that the process is pointless. Your next post may well hit the spot, and be more rewarding for you. But you have to publish it, or you will never know.

8) Remember why you started blogging. Keep it in mind when it all doesn’t turn out like you had hoped it would. If it was a good reason, then it’s worth continuing, if only for yourself.

9) Don’t give up too soon. Rewarding blogging doesn’t happen overnight. There is no quick fix, and it takes time and effort to establish yourself in a blogging community. Be determined, and keep going.

10) Look at lots of other blogs. Don’t just post your stuff in isolation, and expect everyone to come knocking at your door. That won’t happen. Read what others have to say, and look at how they are saying it. Steal a few ideas by all means, but keep your own style, as copycat bloggers are always obvious.

There you have ten more tips. They are useful for new bloggers, and also for experienced bloggers who have become weary. Remember, almost any blog can be improved. You just have to want to do it.

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95 thoughts on “How to have a popular blog

  1. Great job on this post. It is both informative and makes you ponder. I am a baby blogger and I love reading tips of how to be a better blogger. I have always loved to write, however I have found my new form is art. I’ve been an artist now for just under two years and it is indeed my passion. Creative outlets are necessary for me and I love blogging.

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  2. I just decided to start blogging and have no idea what I’m doing. I appreciate people like you who try to help us newbies! Thank you for the tips πŸ™‚

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    1. I am very pleased that you found it helpful. If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me by email. The address is on my ‘About’ page. And thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. very good one..I too recently wrote a piece for how not to get frustrated with poor traffic..one should just keep on writing because the primary reason for you to write a blog is that it makes you happy, thats it..so yes,readers are important but certainly not the deciding factor..here’s how I overcame my low phase while blogging

    https://the-passport-souls.travel.blog/2017/04/22/blog-writing-the-dilemma-of-a-beginner-and-how-to-actually-get-started/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the tips πŸ™‚ trying to get more people to follow on WordPress… It’s been a challenge moving people off commenting and liking on Facebook! Slowly slowly I guess..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very different to Facebook, Roxy. Not as immediate, and requires more effort, in many ways. I wrote this about Facebook.
      https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/blogging-is-not-facebook/
      Try to find some people with like-minded or similar blogs. Follow them, and you might get them following you in return. That way, you can build up a new community, with nothing to do with the one you already have on Facebook. Those Facebook friends are unlikely to migrate, in my experience.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pete, thank you so much for the tips. I’ve been thinking of specializing in a new blog, while keeping my personal one. I loved what you said: “Just because you got only four views on your last effort, and no likes, doesn’t mean that the process is pointless”. This is really advice for people who are anxious like myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Renata. I am very pleased that you got some encouragement from this post. So many new bloggers become obsessed with having high stats and popular blogs, that they tend to forget why they started, and become disillusioned. I went down that route a few times, but it all came good in the end.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the advice. People usually don’t understand how much time and effort we put to write on our blogs. It’s like a full time job to me and the employees don’t mind a lil appreciation which means views and likes for us πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey! I love this post! I actually just started a new blog (again) and I know the main issue I’ve always had is not sticking with it long enough to achieve the results I want. I also like to switch up my theme for the holidays sometimes and while my current blog is new, I noticed an increase of viewers in the past just by changing my theme, even if it was only temporary, so I’m really glad you included that as one of your tips.

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    1. I am very pleased that you found this post to be of help. There wasn’t much advice around when I started, so I do try to give new bloggers the benefit of the many mistakes I have made.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. I have started and stopped a few different times over the years. There’s an encouraging note in this post; usually when I find myself pulling the plug, I just feel like a colossal failure.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I am glad you can feel the encouragement, which was intentional. There is no ‘failure’ in blogging. Who cares if you stop, then start again? Unless you are trying to make a living, or worried about having a huge fan base, it is incredibly liberating. Say what you want, put it out there, and if few people read it, who cares? Do it for yourself. Like I said, remember why you started.
            Best wishes, Pete.

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          2. exactly. I think my current blog is like my 5th one I’ve had over the years, but all my other ones were “niche” blogs. This is the first one I’ve actually been able to stick to because I look forward to writing since I know I don’t have to stick to a single topic.

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  8. Your tips are very valuable. I love to write posts since day 1. It just never gets old for me. I like providing information and make research for my readers. Thanks for your post, I will be back!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Serendipitous! I just finished doing a ‘refresh’ of content on some of my static pages…harder to do than one might think!
    Your tips are thoughtful and genuine, great reminders for this almost 4 year old blogger!
    πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pete, your advice is terrific. I will add to it only to reiterate – be active and engaged. If you love to post stories about what you love, then that passion will connect with people. Find ways to share your material – Pete, you posted about how a blog isn’t Facebook, and I agree – however, I post stories that I share on Facebook fan pages – my recent story on an Eagle slice CD got more than 500 views in two days AND 150+ comments on the Eagles Facebook pages I am a member of…reach out to people who may be interested in your stories and they will respond!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, John.
      I am aware that you get great results from Facebook. Promoting blogs on Facebook can be very useful, I am sure. I was mainly talking about how some new bloggers present their blogs in a Facebook-style, with lots of flash, but little substance. Also how their attention span seems to be more related to Facebook, than Blogging.
      Best wishes, as always, Pete.

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  11. Great tips, Pete! Your advice, based on your blogging expertise, is bound to be very helpful to many newbies and old-timers. At some point, I might add a second blog. The one I currently have serves a specific purpose, and that’s fine. But I wouldn’t mind having a blog where I can publish short stories or essays on one subject or another. I’ll give it some thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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