The 7 Secrets of Running a
Wildly Popular Blog

image of heart

Did you ever wonder why some blogs attract tons of readers and others don’t?

Of course you’ve wondered. We all have. Because if you’re reading this blog, you almost certainly have a blog of your own. You think it’s great, and you want lots of other people to think it’s great too.

So what’s the answer? Why do some blogs become more popular than others?

There are lots of reasons why people flock to certain blogs, but I think one of the most important is that popular blogs are written by popular people — the sort of people who attract others.

And becoming a popular person isn’t just a matter of fate or genes. It’s something you can work on.

I’m not saying content isn’t important when you’re creating a popular blog. Content for the best blogs is almost always top-notch, interesting, and informative — and that takes work.

But a blog isn’t just about work or great content.

Think about the most popular person you know in your personal life. What is it about them that attracts other people? Brains? Skill? Knowledge? These things could be part of it, but don’t you also know popular people who aren’t the smartest, the most skilled, or the best-educated?

When giving the commencement speech to the Vassar class of 1983, Meryl Streep said this:

Real Life is actually a lot more like high school. The common denominator prevails. Excellence is not always recognized or rewarded. What we watch on our screens, whom we elect, are determined to a large extent by public polls. Looks count. A lot. And unlike the best of the college experience, when ideas and solutions somehow seem attainable if you just get up early, stay up late, try hard enough, and find the right source or method, things on the outside sometimes seem vast and impossible …

In other words, success isn’t necessarily about competence. It’s often about likeability. People like to spend time with people they like.

The same applies to blogs. Success often depends on likeability. How you come across. Your vibe. Your attitude and personality.

And if I were to break this down into specific tips, I’d say there are 7 secrets for making your blog (and you) more popular.

1. Have a conversation

People don’t like to be lectured or talked down to. They just like to talk. And a blog is really a form of conversation between you and your readers. Even if people don’t always directly communicate with you or leave comments, the tone of your posts should be more or less conversational.

Don’t write like you’re delivering a sermon. Write like you’re chatting with a friend. Keep it easy and informal.

2. Lighten up

You don’t have to tell jokes, but it’s smart to keep things light-hearted. Consider the Men with Pens blog. James always has a lot of fun when writing a post, and her sense of humor makes the information more readable and entertaining.

Your readers are probably having a tough day. Their desk is groaning under the weight of all their projects. The economy is crappy and their life is full of responsibility.

If they read your blog and come away feeling just a little happier, they’ll keep coming back.

3. Be yourself

After all, people are not coming to your blog just to acquire knowledge. They’re dropping by to visit you.

Which means you have to be there.

That means revealing a little about yourself, sharing the occasional personal photo, posting videos where you talk to your readers, letting people know what’s going on with you.

For example, in a recent Pro Copy Tips post, I mentioned that I visited Las Vegas for my sister’s wedding. I show a photo of me standing in front of the famous welcome sign on a sweltering afternoon. I mention playing the slots and losing a little money. (Only a buck. I’m not much of a gambler.)

And all this served as an introduction to thoughts about how writers take risks, so it remained informative and focused on the reader.

4. Be nice

Yes, your mom was right. You have to be nice.

Don’t be a diva. Answer your emails. Respond to comments. Be polite even when a reader makes the occasional stupid remark or a troll flames you for no good reason.

The people who are rude to you are having a bad day, or a bad life, and they want to share their frustration and anger with you. But it’s their problem, not yours. They want to provoke you. Don’t let them.

If anyone gets out of control on your blog, don’t bicker about it. Just delete the comment and move on.

5. Get over yourself

When you think about it, blogs are really kind of egotistical. You have to think pretty highly of yourself to assume other people want to hear what you have to say day after day.

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy ego, but your blog really isn’t about you. It’s about your readers.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you cater to your readers needs, the more popular and profitable your blog can become. The more you give, the more you get. The world is full of self-centered and stingy bloggers. Don’t be one of them.

(I realize this might seem to contradict #3. There’s a delicate balance there. You want to share enough of yourself to make a connection, but still keep your focus on your audience.)

6. Help people

Isn’t this the whole point of a blog, especially one that’s wildly popular? Why do you visit Copyblogger or Lifehacker or Chris Brogan, or any of the other top blogs?

Because they offer you lots of stuff without necessarily expecting something in return. The people who run these blogs are constantly thinking about how they can help you.

Again, think about the people in your personal life. You probably know that one person who is always willing to help, no matter what you need.

Why do you keep going back to that person? Because you know they’ll say “yes” when most others will say no. Helpful people are popular people.

7. Stop trying so hard

Yes, you need to work at your blog. You should write good posts. You should offer solid information. You might even put in long hours.

But don’t push too hard. Relax. Enjoy it. Make it part of your life. If you’re desperate for success, that desperation will show.

It’s like dating: there’s a fine line between wooing someone and stalking them. I mean, have you ever had someone get a crush on you and start trailing you like a puppy? It’s annoying. And a little creepy.

No matter how much you want success, just remember that it comes fast for some and slower for others.

There’s a moderately popular blog I used to enjoy. Then the people who run it announced a product. From that day forward, every post was about their product. Every link pointed to a sales page. The blog was no longer a conversation. It was a relentless sales pitch. I don’t visit any more.

Meryl Streep was right. Life is like high school. And success has a lot to do with being popular. So … be popular.

About the Author: Dean Rieck is one of America’s top direct marketing copywriters. He shares his writing and freelancing know-how at the wildly popular Pro Copy Tips.

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Comments

  1. I liked this, and it’s a good reminder about lightening up. Is it me, or has the whole blogosphere become so damn “serious” lately?

  2. The “Don’t Be a Diva” part — what if you write to someone who is where you want to be, blog popularity-wise, and they simply don’t answer?

  3. I like the tips. Our experience is that you also need something interesting to talk about – or at least an interesting angle. There’s no point putting in the hard work if you haven’t got anything to say. A bit of time spent on creative strategy and thinking about what your readers might be interested in really pays off. Finding that niche in the first place where you can talk with authority and share useful experience and information is really vital before you start with the tips above.

  4. Hey Dean,

    I’m glad you put this together. I look at the blogs I visit continually and they have everything you mentioned. I was using some of the blogs as a model. Now, that you have this list put together. It will make it easy for others to follow.

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  5. Andrew Billmann :

    “James always has a lot of fun when writing a post, and her sense of humor makes the information more readable and entertaining. ”

    I knew “James” was a pen name, but I didn’t think the dude was actually a chick. Who knew?

  6. Very nice.

    It’s important to remember that a blog is a conversation and it really sucks when the only person to talk to is…you.

  7. Hi Dean.

    I have vivid memories of watching the video of Meryl’s commencement speech as a freshman at Vassar in September 1983, the semester afterward. Her main point was that though life is a lot like high school and excellence isn’t always rewarded, don’t lower your standards. Pursue excellence anyway. Also great advice for blogging.

    Thanks for your post. All great advice as I start my own blog this fall! (Website goes up tomorrow.)

    Evelyn

  8. I like what you say. In my blog “circle” there have been several posts about just this: why do some blogs garner so many comments while others have so few.
    And the comments can just be one word (we’re not talking long, thoughtful here..), while other really well written blogs have maybe a comment or two.
    Tricky business. I think it can also have to do with the content and who your readers are. A craft/DIY post will result in more comments than a trade show recap: it’s just the nature of the content.
    And yes, it IS a conversation..a question posed is always a good way to elicit comments.

  9. Awesome post! I was being mentored recently by someone regarding my radio presenting and they said some very similar things…in fact it was almost identical…I’m spotting some patterns that filter in every area of life. Thanks for the awesome post!

  10. Hey Dean,
    Really liked this post. Much to learn from. I am going to reference it on my blog as there is much good information here. Cheers!

  11. Very insightful. I hope it’ll help me improve my blog. Thanks!

  12. Thanks Dean,

    I know I get a little preachy sometimes and try to keep it in check. I think that is one of the things that people need to realize about celebrity status. People like to flock to things that are a little off, or a little different than they are. If your blog is nothing but the rantings of things that the reader feels like they could have said themselves, then they won’t stay long.

    It’s all about developing your own voice and then having that voice be something that people actually want to hear.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  13. I have blogged personally for about 4 years, and was surprised to find several of the qualities you list in common with how I blog. So, that made me feel pretty good. However, I am missing some key elements on the new blog I just started for the chamber of commerce I oeprate. So, this information and list will be helpful in building a successful blog that not only promotes our chamber members but gives something of value to the folks that visit.

    I love the notion of the blog being a conversation, not a lecture! Thanks for your help!

  14. Mom was right “just be yourself” …

    It’s the simple things that are the most effective …

  15. You nailed it, very interesting! I just started blogging and have been searching for a way to get readers. Thanks so much. I remember high school and will think of that when doing future blogs. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  16. Terrific!! I have several blogs but recently getting my teeth into the Social Media subject and what it is all about – for the average person, as well as businesses and bloggers.

    I see my followers growing on twitter due to treating the experience like going to a party where I don’t know anyone. How do I meet and chat with others, and also make sure I get invited back again? Same methods are working for me.

    I also dislike those that blast twitter with auto messages and are all about selling without giving me something.
    Yep – just like high school and everything else in life – we need to be liked.

    I try to do the conversation mode for even my cooking blog, as for fact that is the format that I like to read. My favorite blog @dooce is all conversation and peek into her life – and the attraction. Pioneer Woman cooks does the best cooking site due to the conversation mode.

    thanks for the tips!

  17. I have found #2 to be untrue for me. I find my most popular posts to be the most passionate, strongly worded ones. I will occasionally have a post with humor but even then the more satirical ones work better than light-hearted jokes.

    I’m guessing that this works better for me because it more closely matches my personal style (which I realize is #3). To me, trying out different things and sticking with what resonates best with you and your audience is more important than trying to be light-hearted.

  18. Great ideas Dean! I think that if more people had FUN with their blogs, there would be a much higher blog survival rate. You hit the nail on the head – content is absolutely important, but there are other, perhaps more important, factors to running a highly successful blog.

  19. @Evelyn, great advice, from someone who’s made it pay off pretty well for her. :)

    @Sherice, if the person’s email box is anything like mine (it’s probably worse), they get hundreds of email messages every day. Gentle persistence pays off. So does making sure you’re asking a question that can realistically be answered. I know that I get a lot of email that’s essentially asking me for consulting services — if I spent even 10 minutes answering each complex question that was emailed to me, I’d have no time for any other work at all. I thought this post spelled out the issues very well: http://ittybiz.com/social-media-doing-it-wrong/

  20. Well put, often bloggers forget that blogs are a conversation piece and the audience should be involved.

  21. Rick,

    I love this article. It’s a great motivator for those poor lost souls who were insecure in High School.

    It’s easy for us “way cool” guys to give advice on being liked! We were wildly popular guys in HS. Voted most likely to succeed, had chicks driving past our house, tossing their unmentionables on our lawn.

    Fast forward 10-20-30 years and you’ve outlined the process that made us popular.

    Excuse me, I’m just going into surgery to repair the damage to my cheek from an errant tongue.

    Your post was great! I think good writers can get past their own insecurities, by inviting their readers to explore topics with them. It’s like saying to them: “let’s go to the zoo together and explore.”

    I love self deprecating humor, too. It helps me get a point across, without talking down to anyone.

    By the way, what did your Mom say about those unmentionables on her front lawn. Mine was not amused!

    Steve Benedict

  22. I think that it is very important to engage with your readers while being yourself. That is what turns your blog into a success

  23. @Andrew Billmann – I happened to hear ‘James’ on a webinar last week and was surprised to discover ‘he’ had a woman’s voice.

    I’ve got one other point to make: ENJOY writing your blog posts. If they become a chore and feel like homework then they will read as such.

  24. Great tips,. I would have never thought of that approach to writing article but now that I read this piece I certainly will think in those terms.
    Thanks
    Arlene

  25. Great tips and I especially like the part about not trying so hard (and turning every post into a sales pitch after launching a product). I definitely want to make sure that no matter what, my blog is always helping people.

    Thanks!
    -Moki

  26. Love, love this advice! Being down to earth is what attracts me to my most favorite – and successful – people. That and being determined without being too serious and always being professional and nice.
    I tell myself, the day that I stop enjoying this and start working hard at it and put rules and regulations around my blogging, is the last day I blog. I started to blog to have the time of my life – and so far, it’s coming along brilliantly….Thanks for reminding me that I am on the right path!

  27. Hmm.. interesting points you bring up there. I started following all Mens with Pen and Pro Copy and Copyblogger but now I just follow Copyblogger.
    While the other two might have all these quality – copyblogger doesn’t and that’s why I love it.

    Cheers

  28. This article omits an 8th secret: writing headlines like the one you used. :-)

  29. Hey, awesome tips! I particularly like the part about a blog being a Conversation. That’s the part I’m becoming more aware of with my own blog – that and letting them see ME. :)

    Thanks for the tips!

  30. @Sonia – I read that once and I just went back and read it again. Makes perfect sense to me! I don’t think I could manage 2 sentences, but five… for now. :)

  31. Great post and I’m screwed! Seriously, who wants to visit a dentist, let alone a dental blog.

    Loved Dean’s advice is this post. It’s about business success as much as blogging success.

    Joe :D

  32. This is probably one of the best posts I’ve ever read about blogging. And I love that quote by Meryl Streep. The scariest part of all of this is that people who were never popular and did not have a good time in high school and who carry a chip on their shoulders that they are not well liked, are probably going to have a hard time with blogging.

    I hate that looks matter (aka design) and that popularity matters (aka the more popular a blog is, the more popular it will continue to be) but that’s the truth.

    Thanks for these points.

  33. Hi Rick,

    This is an interesting post.

    I like what you said about being yourself and lightening up a little. All too often I get the feeling that I need to provide this awesome information and I need to be real cerebral in my presentation of it.

    But then I come across a post that has somewhat similar information , but you can tell by the tone that the author is having a good time and seems to be confident.

    I’ll visit that blog again.

    Thanks, it was food for thought.
    Mike

  34. What I like most about your definition of popular is that it does NOT match what I remember about high school popularity (via my foggy, bitter teenage lens). When I think of high school popularity, it revolved around fitting a certain “look,” having the “right” clothes, and putting on a certain air of superficiality.

    Your definition is one where genuine consideration, kindness, conversation and communication are key components of popularity (regardless of what a person looks like or what clothing they wear). This seems like the kind of popularity that comes from learning more about ourselves and seeing the bigger picture of life.

    What I love about cyberspace is that even a shy person who isn’t the best dresser can reach popularity status – so fabulous!

  35. @Joe, on the other hand, you just have to make yourself more likeable than your competition. ;)

    @Corey, there are definitely some advantages to being a grown-up, aren’t there?

    @Sherice, before I read that post by Naomi, I was able to remain in denial. Now I’m out of denial, although I haven’t come remotely close to solving the problem. Ah well, it’s a form of progress I suppose.

  36. Terrific post. Quick informative fun read. You did all the things you covered in the article.

  37. Thank you! This article didn’t teach my anything I didn’t already know, but it did certainly remind me of a few points I have been neglecting. I’ll do a better job of focusing on my peeps!

  38. Great post! I finally started my blog (about a suddenly unemployed writer’s midlife embrace of the new) back in March, after much resistance … and I can’t believe how much fun I’m having. People who know me say it really “sounds like me” … but the coolest thing is when people I don’t even know wander onto the site out of nowhere and comment.

  39. The timing of this post is perfect to me. I’ve just been reflecting on the idea of lightening up and be careful about being too preachy. Every single point you made here resonates for me. I too run from blogs that are one continuous sales pitch like the plague!

  40. I enjoyed reading this; loved Meryl Streep’s quotes.

  41. I had to print and hang these reminders next to my computer. I love love love this!!

    Thanks for reminding all of us..it is not about us it is about our readers!!
    ~Donna

  42. Thanks for the tips on blogging. I am wanting to set up a blog for my website. Where can I find information about setting up if you will? Do I set up a separate website for the blog and link to my existing website or just set it in my present website??

  43. Hey Dean,

    Each of these are commonly overlooked. When I set out to create my blog, I followed what others were doing. They were doing each and everyone of these.

    I’m glad I had done the same thing.

    I firmly believe this is the right way to do business.

    Jerome Ratliff

  44. My first ever blog and first ever go at writing, thankyou so much, this was really interesting, and informative, I will try to live up to your ideas, but trying to find how to work a blog and facebook and all the other things now is daunting, I am a 70 year old great grandmother and hope someone will be interested in what I have to say
    thankyou
    Anne

  45. So so true. Its really is about adding value and more importantly , adding value self-lessly. Thank u for sharing.

  46. A great post with advice that is easy to follow. Very accurate insights.

  47. Well said, that over all tone of “be cool and just relax” really seems to make sense.

  48. This whole post was wonderful! All of the points brought up are important and valuable. All of those qualities will bring readers back for more!

  49. Great reminders! Thank you!

  50. @quilly and @Jerome, interesting, isn’t it, how many folks overlook the basics? Which is good, because it makes life easier for us. :)

    The sports cliche is true, it really is all about the fundamentals.

  51. Don’t be a diva. Answer your emails. Respond to comments.

    Your comments have been AWOL for the last three posts, Dean. Where are you man? You better not say, “I’m on a horse.” ;)

  52. Great post Dean. I have found that I am often attracted to blogs based on their style and like-ability. I hope to fit the style of my blog to it’s purpose, offer help, and remain true.

    -Sean

  53. Hey Dean, Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. But what if your blog is about a retail store? Your last paragraph is making me wonder if I am doing this right.

    Outdoor Diva!!!

  54. Darn. Now I have to be nice AND popular.

    Anyone want a honey crackle?

  55. Dear Dean,
    I loved the way you express your thoughts. Not to mention all the fine tips you gave in, the way you says it went straight into readers heart.
    I had always admire those who are “popular” in my school years and also now,in my “blogger years”. They got some kind of aura that would posses readers to bounce back to their pages and revisit them everyday. Some people would say content is king, yes, I believe it too. However, I agree as much to Dean’s opinion, being popular really does make the difference.
    I found some blogs, which are so popular, even if the blogger just put one picture and a line for one of his post, people still visit and leave comments. Sometime hundreds of comments flood his blog, without needing him to add up the conversation.
    Thanks Dean, your post is very inspiring… ;)

  56. You need somethign interesting to write about, something that readers won’t see on another million blogs.

  57. Making a website you or centre around you whilst still staying on your topic is a good way to go about it. I like talking about personal experiences. For example I am a Uni student so I like to talk about how I pretty much do this Part time and it shows anyone can do it part time such as mothers.
    Great Article!
    Stuart

  58. I like this post Dean. I’m off to take my chill pill now:) Well, a long hot shower and a good book read between the sheets. Sometimes it does feel like hard work and that’s when you need to stop and take a step back until you can start having fun again and yes, making fun of yourself. If I don’t do it no one else will…. at least not to my face:)

  59. Great post Dean. You obviously have a lot of experience on this subject. I am going to past this on to all my blogger friends, some really need to read this lol.

  60. Point number 7 resonated with me. Big time.
    (y)

  61. Great, simple, clean tips. As a new blogger I found this post to be a reality check. It’s a little difficult at first to find “your voice” in a blog, but the more you write, the more it evolves. I enjoy having my own little column, with no boss :). Looking forward to developing a following one day so I can get the conversation part going; maybe I’ll even be popular!

  62. I sat at my desk and yelled “Yes, yes, yes!” Someone who gets not only the idea of great blog writing but life in general! I’m printing it off and telling my teenagers to substite the word “blog” for “life” — I’m not the only one saying that these things are important. Thanks for sharing-it made my day.

  63. I just enjoyed reading it. Thx for sharing those helpful tips!

    - Alex

  64. Good post! I agree that life is like high school – oh wait, was that success is like high school? Blogging is like high school? Ms. Streep, what the hell did you say?? That’s what happens when I only get 5 hours of sleep. Anyway, thanks for the great tips!

  65. thanks for this very useful tips, could anyone visit my blog and send me a feedback on how it is in terms of being conversational or not? I think i’m not sure where i stand on this.

  66. Terrific post…I agree most people want to like you, when they arrive at your blog. Thanks for the reminder.

  67. Great post!
    I am also a new blogger and am always looking for ways to promote my blog. Also, these 7 secrets will help to keep me on the path of providing informative content to my readers. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  68. Good post on driving blog traffic with a “lighter” touch to blog content. I have been amazed by how much rich blog conent is out there. If any of your readers blog about San Francisco and are interested in additional exposure, they should feel free to contact us for inclusion on our site. We pull in news and blog RSS feeds from top writers and share stories at http://sanfrancisco.lalalocal.com.

    Trust me – great content, especially with personality, is still hugely important.

    Thanks for the post!

  69. Great post Dean, I featured it in this week’s Deuce Group Weekly Ten Important Posts.

    I think you could almost even change the title to seven secrets to being a good and/or happy human being.

    The people that are blogging are humans, and like in the real world, if you’re going to get into networking, you want to be yourself, be enjoyable and all that other great stuff.

    Thanks again for a great post,

    Jamie

  70. Thanks for this!

    Scott

  71. Late to the party, but hey!

    Great list, and every one of these points rings true for me. You’ve certainly clearly written what it takes to have a popular blog.

    I’ll add one, too: Relax. Write for yourself, have fun with it, and don’t worry about whether it’s good enough. Readers can sense relaxation in the flow and style of writing, and they’ll enjoy the post that much more because of it.

  72. Ultimately it comes down to building relationships with your readers and simply having a conversation. Ok, I am working on being popular from now on.

  73. Great site! love the tips my favorite is –You don’t have to tell jokes, but it’s smart to keep things light-hearted. A lot of bloggers are too serious with blogs that aren’t supposed to be.

    Reminder that a huge part of blogging is to have fun and tell others about the topic with a light heart

    Thanks

  74. Thanks for sharing this. You’ve really covered all the important details on how to become popular with your blog. I also agree with being nice and lighten up, we should not really exhaust ourselves too much

  75. Thanks for this. Great ideas to help me continue my blog!

  76. Too many times have people missed the golden rule. Number 4, be nice. People are harsh or cruel sometimes! Or even worse show hardly any emotion or character at all! Not me, I attempt to while educating my readers let them have fun!

  77. Thanks for these valuable reminders – especially the one about the importance of lightening up. That fits with the high-school-as-life comparison. Very few people liked the kid who couldn’t appreciate jokes and never laughed.

  78. Here’s some good advice from animator Chuck Jones about he and his partner writing for cartoons:

    “We never wrote for anyone but ourselves… we had only the supposition that if we were making each other laugh, perhaps we were making others laugh.”

    If Jones figured out that being yourself, using humor, making viewers laugh and enjoying your writing all worked for him, too, then this advice has been tested by the best!

  79. Great post! Many people focua too much on hiw to get more money and more traffic but they forget these essentials in running a good and lively blog

  80. Now this was something I really needed to read. A lot of those points really hit home. Thanks for providing such great information. I will definitely take this list and run with it.

  81. Definitely a knockout post, but I started wondering why this received twice as many tweets and comments as many others. It’s not because it’s specifically about running a successful blog, I don’t think, because most posts here are about that.

    I think it’s the simplicity and the humanity of your post, Dean. Your advice is easy to get. The words ring true. And it makes the whole endeavor seem doable. I like that. No wonder you’re a top copywriter.

  82. @Steve, the headline didn’t hurt either. :) Dean knows his stuff, both in the advice he gives and in the headline he used to pull in reader attention and engagement.

    @Bob, can’t get a much better model for anything than Chuck Jones!

  83. Dean this was a very informative post. The part about coming away happier describes me as a reader of blogs and why I freequent the ones I do.

  84. This feels almost like a back to the basics kind of post…it really reminded me of what is really important and makes you look back and say, Wow that’s really all I have to do.

    Sometimes we overcomplicated things, doing these things should guarantee your success in blogging…if you apply them.

  85. I got wind about your blog from social mouth. I am a newbie in blogging and your article is thought provoking and insightful. You just hit the nail on the head and i look forward to learning more from your blog.

  86. Great post. Like any ‘job’ if you enjoy it, this will show in your writing. I always try to be relaxed but informative. There are so many blogs today, each with differing styles. The most important rule is not to copy styles, but develop your own unique style, being yourself. No one does it better.

    Many thanks again

    Simon

  87. In the real world I can buy beer. That makes a lot of difference. Not getting strip-searched over Ibuprofin is kinda cool too.

  88. Wonderful post! I agree with you. I tend to visit more blogs where I feel like I have a personal connection with the blog author. I like to read people like Nathan Bransford’s blog, but I don’t comment…What’s the point? Mary Kole is a whole different ballgame. She responds to commentors questions. I think just spewing out information is boring…I love blogs that let me share something. I hope that people who read my blog feel like they are part of the “conversation.”

  89. This is amazingly informative! I love it and it will certainly help my way of thinking on how to post a blog next time. I really do not think of the things that really matter in a blog, I only make them for advertising purposes like promoting a product and trying to convince people to buy. True to the fact, that I am trying hard to create my blog as presentable as possible, but I am missing a lot of things.. Thanks to this information it is really an eye opener for me. I just started out as a normal blogger without any experience and without any idea how things work. It’s not a lot of work, but I need to follow the procedure in searching for my niche or keyword to start with, its not that complicated..I just need to research more information about a topic and research some more on how people behave on searching things and what patterns they go through. The next post that I will make would be a better one and have the confidence of driving traffic to it.

    Mark Levine
    Thanks again, wish me good luck.

  90. Thanks for this, I think you’re definitely on to something. The blogs which have made it into my “favourites” folder in my Google reader aren’t necessarily the most useful to me (I’m a designer and read a lot of design blogs), they’re the ones I enjoy reading the most. There isn’t a single design blog in there! They’re personal, they’re fun and feature a wide range of subjects.

    Definitely something to ruminate on when I eventually launch my new blog.

  91. Success is like high school? Yikes! I’m a high school librarian and I love teenagers but their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed. That probably works for Hollywood, but in “real life” the qualities you mentioned (be nice, engage in conversation, care about the other person) are what creates meaningful success.

  92. There are great tips. Great content, being in touch with your readers, responding to their comments and helping them really makes a blog(blogger) popular.

  93. Hey Brian, I am part of the thousands of copyblogger readers who are a big fan of your blog. I have started my own blog thanks to you and your inspiration. I am struggling on writing killer content that is intriguing to my viewers. Do you have any suggestions for books to read to develop content rich articles that grab your viewers to read your articles?

  94. I’m at the computer all day today.
    And I keep coming back to this very post.
    Over and over again.

    I’m going to print it and hang it on my wall. Seriously, I am. It’s that ridiculously helpful to me.

  95. it takes hard work and dedication in so becoming popular.

  96. Your copy has life. Keep it up, sunshine.

  97. Great advice. Thank you for sharing! I recently started my own blog (http://juliesmeltingpot.com) and this was very helpful. I actually searched and found the entire commencement speech by Meryl Streep and found it to be very poignant. http://www.merylstreeponline.net/byms4.html

    Julie

  98. Helpful post Dean – Many of the people and businesses I speak with still don’t get the importance of a well constructed blog. Even when they do, they have a hard time understanding some of the finer points and the best way to make a blog post successful.

    I coach and guide people to create an effective blog because of unmistakable benefits. A well thought out blog post created a new page that will be indexed by Google and the other search engines and as we all know, the more the better. It also give you an additional opportunity to gain attention for a select group of new keywords and maybe most valuable, the compelling content within the blog post may attract new inbound links. That is a lot of birds to kill with only one stone.

    With all that being said, I think you brought an often missed element to a good blog post. You talks about the philosophy of content delivery, better communication skills and getting the blog post on a level that will be more understood and accepted. Your methodology allows a blog post reach the reader more effectively and supply the information in a more usable way that will make it easier for your reader to engage. Well done!

  99. Lovely post, this is just what I needed. You have quite an insightful site. ^^

  100. Having dabbled with blogging for over 3 years now, I have always asked what makes a blog successful? Dean puts a great perspective on how to achieve this. It’s all about connecting with readers and keep them coming back, a feat I am still learning. I am new to copyblogger and I am already acquiring a lot of knowledge on how to achieve success blogging.

    Thanks Dean, great post! and thanks to copyblogger for this great watercooler.

  101. I agree with what has been outlined here, but there is another crucial element that we all overlook because we read blogs. We read blogs about blogs. Finding readers and followers in other niches or segments is much harder to do.

  102. Wow, this blog totally put things in perspective. I, like most of the people reading this blog, have one of my own and it can be tricky to think of blogs to write about that will be of interest to others. Thanks!

  103. I agree- people buy people……not a company. If you are in business, a little personality goes a long way.

    If you’re blogging just to blog, you need a reason for the visitors to come back- that would be you!

  104. Outstanding! You nailed it – it’s all about being yourself and being personable… Kind of letting your personality shine through. You’ll attract the sort of people who are drawn to your personality.

    It’s been my experience that these are exactly the sort of people you want to keep around!

  105. thanks.this is helpful..it gives a different side of effective writing.specially for us newbies,entering the world of blogging.thanks for the guide

  106. Terrific, I realized I need to work on a few points you have pointed out. Really appreciate the way you tackled the points.

    Simple message to me don’t overly fuss about content, be friendlier and give more.

  107. Good post. Most bloggers talk down to their readers even if their goal is education.

    Katie Frothingham

  108. Good Points! specifically point no.1 ‘have a conversation’ I would like to add a point to this. you can extend your conversation to other platforms too, which will help you make your blog more popular. Like social networking ( face book, twitter etc) and social book marking, guest blogging etc. your conversation on other social platforms could also increase your readership and make your blog popular. Blog Popularity = Great Content + promotion. what do you think?

  109. Fabulous info, there is definitely some points I need to consider in here, and some things I totally cringed at because it made me realise I was infact doing them! Im new to all this so appreciate the tips
    cheers

  110. Excellent post, as always! I think the challenge for most of us is this: “You want to share enough of yourself to make a connection, but still keep your focus on your audience.”

    This is what I think the best blogs (such as Copyblogger,of course!) have achieved. This post is an inspiration, and so is your blog! Thanks!

  111. Joe the Dentist,

    Who wants to read a dentist blog? Who wants to read a blog about writing? Writers, for one. Do you mean which potential customers would want to read a dentist blog? Pearly white teeth are a great thing to have, you could write about all the stars and their wild escapades, of which would not be possible without great looking, healthy teeth. You could even take that a step further and make a hot or not vote on each celeb based on teeth.

    Just a hunch, but I bet that would be instant conversions for you (and if done in a funny/humble way, would fall under all 7 of those points)

  112. Well I can see why my wife (Thesisthemehq.com) is such an avid reader of your articles. I found this one to be particlularly illuminating. It really struck a chord with me particularly the use of “7″ for the number of tips. I’m sure that there are more than 7 tips and this post could have been longer. However, 7 seems to be a magical number when people refer to things. I have written a number of posts on my blog that tie in to the number 7 and with your permission, I’d like to include another referencing your article here.

    Thank you for posting this article and having such a wonderful site.

    Timberwolf

  113. This is a great post, and the following statement is so true: “success isn’t necessarily about competence. It’s often about likeability. People like to spend time with people they like.”

    Thank you for posting this! It’s quite helpful.

  114. Great revelation!
    My favorite blogs do have all of those stuffs you’ve mentioned so far as I have observed. They post relevant and interesting topics which guarantees enjoyment in every reader.
    Thanks for the share!

  115. Thank you so much for this post. For the past few weeks, I wanted to change the feel of my blog. Make it more personal in a way. I have been posting sales pitchie stuff and your 7 points put me in the right direction! Be myself. How can something so simple be so overlooked?
    Thanks Dean!

  116. Some helpful thoughts for me to keep in mind as I’m building my blog. I’m in the baby steps stage but these tips should keep me on track. I’m excited to put them into practice immediately.

    Thanks for the post!

  117. Amen to #7. Sometimes we try so hard to make our blog popular, and we forget why most of us started blogging in the first place: we love to write.

  118. I kinda found this article a wee bit late, but I am so glad I did.
    I have had my blog for over a year now, and it’s gaining attention.
    But this post of yours will certainly help me to even improve more.
    Thanks.

  119. Great post! I hope you don’t mind that I will be referencing alot from here, especially the quote from Meryl Streep :)

  120. Great tips! And humour is definitely a plus!

  121. We have become so consumed in the whole blogosphere atmosphere that we have watered down the content of our blogs. Slow down, relax and toe it down.

    Great tips and advice given here.

  122. I agree that one should stop trying so hard. I was utterly frustrated feeling that nobody cared about what I had to say and once I got (sort of, I would say) over it, comments and emails started getting to me. Alright, so, the comments and stuff like that weren’t like, really that numerous… but it was a way to find out that maybe I should’ve just been me from the very beginning. Just my two cents.

  123. Ok, I guess I need to get over myself and lighten up. I definitely feel that way but I’m sure my blog:

    http://www.esterman-esterman.blogspot.com

    does not come off that way. Maybe it does.

    I’d love some feedback if anyone is interested in checking it out. I’ve had some interesting (to me) insights recently and wanted to share them. That’s what it’s about.

  124. Great advices for my blog! thanks for inspiring me!

  125. Great blog! Thanks for inspiring me =)
    If you are a gamer and want in-depth analysis, reviews, tips and perhaps even guides on popular PC games (if you have a minute) please visit my new blog: passiongaming.blogspot.com, it’s new at the moment, but I will try and post fresh articles whenever I can.

  126. Rick hit the nail on the head here and reflects something I learned early in life about writing, which was what you put down on paper should reflect the style you use in a normal one on one conversation. Simply put, if you know me, then when you read what I’ve written, can you envision those same words coming out of my mouth if we were face to face with one another. If not, I’m not being true to myself and my “likability” won’t shine through. If you don’t know me, and I’m not being myself when I write, I’m creating a persona that doesn’t exist and probably won’t be too endearing or likable either.

  127. I am fairly new at blogging, so I really appreciate these great tips.
    Sometimes I think that I take blogging too seriously and that I need to lighten up.

    I am going to try and turn my blogs into conversations.

    Great post!

  128. Great blog! I love the tips they make sense! Its tough to let loose and write whats on your mind, and not care what people are going to think of you. Im definetly going to remind myself of your comment that “there’s nothing wrong with a healthy ego, but your blog really isn’t about you. It’s about your readers.”

    Awsome writing!

  129. I think it kind of sucks that looks are such a big part of likability. Because we’ve all been so inundated by pleasant appearances in today’s culture, the opposite has become so abnormal that I prefer it! It’s a total shame that people continue to judge by outward appearances to this day. The thing that really sucks about this shameful fact is that the “normal” looking people are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. You can’t trust anyone nowadays.

  130. I definitely need to work on #5 and #7. “Relax…” Easier said than done sometimes.

  131. After reading some of your content on your site I feel kind of like I know you. I really like your site!
    Thanks again!!!
    Steve & Vicky