What makes a blog interesting and worthy of discussion? I have done a lot of blogging in my life, and seen and known a lot of bloggers. Some of the people I know who have blogged have had tens of thousands of people read their blogs. Others have had maybe a few dozen? What separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to popularity? There appears to be a few aspects that make a blog popular from what I have seen, though it ought to be admitted at the outset that there are vastly more important things than popularity that are important. Popular blogs and blog entries can get one in a lot of trouble, after all.
At least for me, the most popular blog entries I have seen on my own blog are ones that are timely. Now, I really love writing blogs that are sort of nerdy and esoteric, but hardly anyone reads some of those . However, a blog entry about Ephesians 4 or something that is readily current (whether that is curent to Church of God people or my Somaliland audience) is going to draw a lot more people than something on the more arcane aspects of literature or military history. Not all topicality is a good thing. For example, a person I knew once wrote a blog entry which criticized his employers and got into a lot of trouble, his blog being popular enough that seven people (myself included) sent it to his boss. Now that’s topicality.
Those bloggers I know that are the most consistently popular are able to gain and maintain an audience because their opinions are notable. Now, not all visitors are going to be friendly, but if you are known for being an able speaker or proponent of a view, and the word gets out about the blog (and people start looking for you via google searches, bookmarking you, or subscribing), then there will be responses in views. If you write one hit and no one bothers to come back, then you might be the blogging equivalent of a one-hit wonder, but if you are known for writing fairly consistently and fairly frequently, then the result may be an enduring audience of loyal readers. If you are very lucky, you will have loyal commenters that will give you ideas for future blog entries, and you can build a community of friends and fellow bloggers, which is ideal. That requires a certain amount of excellence in communication, though.
It is easy to write one good blog entry if the mood strikes you, and then never come up with any other entries of significance because the mood does not strike one again. But in order to become an enduringly popular blogger one needs to have a regular opinion–at least a post or two (or three or four) per day that are worthy and of value. There are a few reasons why this is important. For one, having regular blogging habits gives people reasons to come back over and over again to the blog. Also, it gives people something to look up as a topic on the blog, giving one enough “chestnuts” to have a greatest hits blog entry. At least a blog a day is a good habit–more than that if time and circumstance allows. The result is a fair amount of credibility as a blogger.
If you write great blogs but no one reads them, you aren’t going to be a blog superstar except in your own mind. Mind you, I am no great shakes at marketing, but when other people do your job for you by forwarding your messages on to other people, or retweeting it, or posting them on internet fora, then you can find visitors without even looking for them. Additionally, if you start appearing high enough on google pages to be looked up on search pages, then you can get random internet searchers on your page. My philosophy is–if you can get other people who are better at marketing, then it’s always better–since that is not a skill of mine.
So, if you want to be a blog superstar, there is are a few things one can do–write about things people care about reading, write well, write often, and find your audience (or let someone place your writing before your audience). Remember also that being famous as a blogger can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on whether one’s writings are noble communications or not. There are more important issues than mere popularity, after all, that one must consider, at least if one is a believer. Whatever things are noble, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of good report must be at the foremost in one’s thoughts, and blogs.