Analysis of Five Top Blogs and What You Can Learn from Them
Inspired by my recent post on How Young is Too Young?, I was contacted by 16-year-old blogger Onibalusi Bamidele who has guest-written this post.
There is a trend among many new (and even old) bloggers. I discovered many of them tend to quit, lose hope, or even become less dedicated to their blogs when it seems they are not seeing any result for a period of time.
In blogging, however, we all know that there is nothing like overnight success and you will only get what you put into it. If you invest your time and hard work into your blog, then you surely will get something great in return.
This post will analyze five of the most popular blogs on the Internet and will detail a lot of factors about them that contribute to their success; hopefully, you can examine some of the factors and improve on yours.
The following blogs will be analyzed:
- Daily Blog Tips
- Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development Blog
- Entrepreneur’s Journey
The following factors will be analyzed:
- Their blog age.
- Their domain name
- Their post type – length, frequency and value.
- Their monetization strategy
- What they have in common
Their Blog Age
I will be using when they started writing blog posts to calculate their blog age which can be found in their blog archives. Based on my findings, Problogger started in 2004, Copyblogger started in 2006, Daily Blog Tips started in 2006, Steve Pavlina’s Blog started in 2004, and Entrepreneur’s Journey started in 2004.
You will notice that all these blogs did not just start yesterday or even last year. They have been around for years now. Yet many bloggers who have not even spent up to a year on their blogs keep complaining about not achieving any results. It is true everybody loves success but we should also not fail to understand that success does not come overnight; it comes after a lot of hard work, persistence, and patience.
I have yet to see a top blog that has not been around for years now, and that is what brings about the joy of it.
Similarly, this is applicable to the “make money online” niche. If that becomes too easy, then everybody will be doing it and it will lose its value.
It takes hard work and patience to make it offline and this is exactly applicable online.
Their Domain Name
Another great thing to analyze from these blogs is their domain name. I personally believe that your domain name will affect your blogging career and how people look at your blog.
It is very important to have a domain name that communicates what you blog about without even visiting it to get that assurance. To that end, if we take a look at the above domain names, we will notice that almost all of them made it easy to know they are about blogging. The only exceptions are Steve Pavlina and Entrepreneur’s Journey which are naturally not in the blogging niche.
Another great thing to note from the above domain names is that they are user friendly and very easy to remember, and most of them are less than 15 characters.
Further, if we also take a close look at some of the domains, you will notice they try to establish a type of authority for the blogger. For example, by looking at ProBlogger, we are being told that the owner is not an amateur but a pro blogger.
Many bloggers will ask “why should I use a name like ‘problogger’ when I don’t know much about blogging?” I will answer this question in a simple manner. Darren registered this domain name when he was not known and when he had no readers. It is how you treat yourself that your readers will treat you. If you begin to call yourself a mediocre now then your readers will regard you as such and it will affect your overall blogging career.
It should be noted that a blogger can still succeed irrespective of the domain name, but the better and more memorable your domain name, the easier it is for you to succeed.
Their Post Type – Length and Value
Many bloggers believe that you should be writing long posts (like Glen does), but I can tell you it depends on you, your writing style, and how best you can convey your message.
Let’s take Techipedia for example. Most posts are long but you will discover that the posts here are not just rehashed junk and have great value to add to you (the reader). It is simple because Tamar discovered that is what works best for her and she adapted to it.
I also love writing long posts because I love to give great value in my posts and I believe that can be done better in a long post. For example, if I’m blogging to tell you the importance of traffic then I should also tell you how to get traffic in the same post.
Short posts also work but you must be ready to update regularly. You will notice Tamar does not post everyday (Glen also does not) because their single posts already convey a lot of information. I prefer this method than a blog that just passes out anything and posts everyday.
Below are the posting frequency of the above blogs:
ProBlogger provides updates everyday, Copyblogger updates almost everyday, Daily Blog Tips has provides updates everyday, Steve Pavlina updates anytime (but regularly), and Entrepreneur’s Journey updates anytime.
You will notice that only half of the above blogs update everyday, while the other half updates when they like but I think this your own choice should depend on your online business model.
If your online business model is to make money from advertisements like AdSense and banner ads then I will suggest you should be updating regularly because the type of visitors who work most with this model are the search engine visitors, so the more regularly you update your blog, the more search engine visit your content and the more you get indexed, the more traffic you will gain.
It is also important to note that these blogs are not just popular because of one thing but because they give value. If you take a look into their blogs, you will notice that they don’t just write anything but they write high quality and informative posts.
Their Monetization Strategy
Many bloggers are of the assertions that using some types of monetization strategy will hinder the growth of your blog; this is true and is not true. You should know that using some types of ads like Kontera (contextual advertising) and the likes on your blog will irritate a large percentage of your readers but using AdSense the right way will not affect your blog.
Even the most popular of these blogs (ProBlogger) uses AdSense and banner ads and I don’t think it is affecting the growth of the blog.
My suggestion is for you to start monetizing now so that you curb the expectation of “free” amongst your readers. For example, my blog is three months old. I have never written a product review on my blog and my posts average 30 comments. However, after writing a product review on my blog recently, after 24 hours I only had 3 comments on the post (which is very unusual). This means I have built an audience who love free information only. Now I must work on correcting this.
All of these blogs also make use of affiliate marketing and it works for them since they have a large audience. However, what I don’t see them use is contextual ads, and I wouldn’t advise any new blogger to use it.
What They Have in Common
What all these bloggers have in common is passion and patience. If they were not patient then they would have quit years back. I am very sure there were some bloggers who started with them and were inspired by them but are no longer blogging. Blogging is really great only if you are ready to work hard and wait patiently for the results.
It is also important to notice that all these bloggers don’t just write anything on their blogs; they write valuable posts only.
MY TIP: Examine your blog now. Is it where you were some months ago or you are improving? It is true all of these blogs were not overnight successes and it took time for them to be where they are but you should also note that growth is a gradual process. If you are where you were six months ago then I would advise you to think twice and examine your blog to know what you are doing wrong, and if you can’t find any then my best advice for you will be to change your niche.
Onibalusi Bamidele is a 16 year old entrepreneur. He blogs at youngprepro.com where he shares some not so common tips. He also write about wordpress on wpkube.com. Get his free ebook on how to make it online.
Blog photo (bottom) by Shutterstock.