A lot of people take to the Internet in the hopes to create a popular blog. Personally, I’d just like to be popular enough to keep the bills paid through ad revenue. Not everyone will experience high degrees of success when building their websites. According to statistics, a new blog is created every 0.5 seconds. But not even half of them will be active in 12 months. So, how long does it take to build a popular blog?
How Long Will it Take To Develop a Popular Blog?
Developing a popular site takes a great deal of effort from you. In fact, it’s this effort that will dictate how long it will take to reach a higher degree of recognition. Because there are so many things that can go into the popularity of a blog, it’s almost impossible to say with 100% certainty that you can reach a set number of visitors within a specific time frame. However, constant effort from you will keep the site growing month-to-month.
6 Things That Will Determine a Popular Blog
1. Well Written Content
You’ve probably heard the saying, “content is king.” On the Internet, that is more true than you might realize. You could dump money into SEO techniques, buying amazing themes for WordPress or even spend $1000 per month on advertising. It will be your content that makes the biggest impact for building a popular blog. Here are a few things you can do to improve your delivery.
- Understand Your Audience
A lot of bloggers focus on targeting a specific group of readers. For instance, this site focuses on helping others write content or find work as an author. My health website targets those looking to lose weight. Understanding your audience can help you fine-tune the content you write allowing the website to be more efficient when it comes to driving traffic.
- Discovering Post Lengths
Knowing how long your post lengths need to be can help improve search engine ranking as well as engaging your audience. There are many factors that play into the perfect number of words for your blog. It may take a bit of trial and error to discover which is best for you. For instance, experts say that posts more than 2000 words are the best. However, my most popular article is less than 1500.
- Grammar Is Important
Creating grammatically correct posts denotes expertise and will improve visitor retention. The last thing you want to do is confuse your audience because something is misspelled or the sentence structure was poor. You don’t have to be an English major in college to create amazing posts, however. Sometimes things will get past me as well. Unless you’re writing for a client, perfect grammar can be subjective.
- Posting Frequency
The frequency in which you create blog posts will contribute to popularity as well. This is another difficult aspect to consider. Some experts will write three to five times per day while others create two or three posts per month. In reality, frequency will need to be determined by your visitors. It’ll take a few months to discover the most effective frequency to build a popular blog.
2. Optimization Practices
Search engine optimization is needed if you want to compete with active blogs. Every niche on the Internet has a large number of sites dedicated to them. Keeping your site optimized is vital if you want your posts to show in search results to surpass this competition. If you don’t have money to invest in SEO techniques, there are easy ways to improve your rankings without spending a dime. Personally, I don’t spend money at all for building my websites aside from hosting and domain names.
- Yoast SEO
If you’re using WordPress to develop your blog, which I highly suggest you do, the Yoast SEO plugin is worth the installation. In fact, I am seriously debating on buying the premium version because of the additional tools. This is the plugin I use on all my sites, including this one. It will help you develop stronger content for search engines while guiding you to create easy-to-read material for your audience.
One of the best things you can do for your blog is to research how to fine-tune SEO yourself. Things like header development, meta descriptions, keyword usage and more will play into how your blog performs in search engines. You don’t have to become an expert to see quick results, though. Any information you learn will strengthen the blog in the long run.
- Newer Themes
Making sure your theme is up-to-date has potential to help optimization. This includes making sure it’s responsive and looks nice on mobile devices. Many developers will implement things in the programming that contribute to SEO. If you’re using an older theme that hasn’t been updated in a few years, you may want to consider moving to a newer platform. I know it helped this site exponentially.
3. Popularity of the Niche
Your blog’s niche will contribute to its popularity. If you’re writing about something that isn’t as popular on the Internet as other topics, you won’t see as many visitors. This can be a double-edge blade, though. If you’re in a niche that isn’t popular, that also means that you have less competition to worry about.
- Discovering Popularity
There are several ways you can gauge the popularity of your topics. Google searches, using the keyword planner and Google trends can be helpful when determining if others on the Internet would be interested in reading your content. If you are writing about a very popular industry, it may take longer to build a popular blog.
- Your Competition
When researching the niche of your content, keep close tabs on how your competition builds content. You don’t want to copy what they create, but you can get ideas about how to improve your site. Take what they offer, improve upon it and make the topic your own. It’s OK to be inspired by others in your industry, and you may even make a few contacts for guest blogging in the process.
4. Marketing the Site
Marketing the site will make one of the biggest impacts to creating a popular blog. After all, nobody can visit if they don’t know it exists. Search engines will contribute greatly, but marketing your site has potential to vastly increase your exposure.
- Social Media
Social media can be quite useful to engage a greater audience. However, this takes a bit of practice. I’ve been working part-time trying to build the reputation of this website for the past couple of months. So far, I’ve gathered a bit of traffic from social media. The health website does better, but I also put more effort into its social accounts.
- Blog Submission Sites
I haven’t had the best of luck with blog submission sites. The ones I find are either obsolete, broken or have been neglected since 2007. I am currently building a list of sites here, at Writer Sanctuary. But it’s not a very big one. I just can’t find any quality places to submit my blog. However, the two I use have helped with exposure a little bit. I just don’t have the money for “Premium” submissions.
- Engaging Others
One of the most effective methods for marketing of my sites has been through engaging other bloggers. Commenting, answering questions in forums and other types of communications resulted in a slight boost to visitor traffic. The more engaging you are with others online, the more likely they’ll visit your site. This is also true if you engage in conversation through social media.
5. Site Design and Functionality
The overall design and functionality of your website can also influence how popular it is. Speaking from experience, I hate having to sift through someone’s blog just to try and find pertinent information. I’ve also come across a few that haven’t been updated since before 2005. Make sure your site is ready to go for today’s technologically advanced world.
- Graphics and Colors
The graphics and color use within your site will make a difference in popularity. It has to be constructed with visual appeal. This is why a lot of experts have moved to a basic plain infrastructure. Personally, I like websites that have graphic improvements. You just have to make sure that it’s not distracting from your content.
- Too Many Widgets
There is such a thing as too many widgets. If you overload your site with tools and information other than your content, it can slow the site down. It can also distract visitors from your content. Another aspect to consider is that you don’t want to make your blog look cluttered with randomness.
- Structured Data
You want your posts to be easily found. This is done with good organization and structure through the use of categories. I am currently working on fixing my category list. If someone has to take too long to find what they’re looking for, he or she will simply move on. This can be bad when trying to build a popular blog. You want the visitor to come back next time. Making content easy to find improves the likelihood of a return visit.
Most blogs will develop popularity over time. It could take as little as six months to as many as six years to reach a significant amount of traffic. Don’t expect your website to perform well overnight. It will take a great deal of work on your behalf to create something that is recognized by the masses.
If you want a popular blog, you need to be dedicated to it as well as your readers. This can be difficult to do if you don’t see significant growth of your website or don’t have the time. Writer Sanctuary didn’t start moving the needle until two months ago when I actually started putting effort into its maintenance. Since then, traffic has increased by 800%.
- Constant Vigilance
Remember what I said about blogs coming and going. Keeping a constant vigil over your website can help you surpass competitors that simply give up after six months. Most people have the mindset of instant gratification. If they can’t get it now, they move on. This can be said by many blog owners who believe they will become an instant success. Once those sites are obsolete, its that traffic that you could gain.
- Search Engine Results
As I’ve been producing more content, my older posts seem to be crawled more often by Google. In fact, I read somewhere that your rankings can be affected by a lack of activity on your website. From my point of view, I have been receiving far more visits from search engines since I started writing 30 posts per month. My computer site, which I haven’t wrote for in years, is constantly losing traffic – even on it’s evergreen pages. I can assume that Google ranks sites that are active higher than those that die off.
It can feel like a constant struggle when you’re building a popular blog. There are parts you need to address in order to achieve a certain level of success. Don’t be discouraged if you only get 10 visitors per day. By keeping the blog properly maintained and the content fresh and original, it may not take but a few months to reach thousands of people every month.