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3 Secrets To A Popular Blog: The Absolute (Unbridled) No-Holds-Barred TRUTH

I was reading a tweet today linking to a post titled Secrets to Running a Wildly Popular Blog”.

It was full of the usual stuff that we’ve all heard before so I thought it was about time somebody told the real truth how the popular blogs got where they are today.

Since nobody else has stood up to the plate I guess it’s up to the BLOGBloke to show the way (again).

So without further adieu here are the three no-holds-barred truths how you can create a popular blog, and how the a-listers did it too.

(Do you like my new look BTW)?

WARNING: For those of you who are in the brothahood (and the sistahs or squeamish at heart) … look away now because sometimes the truth hurts.

Let the countdown begin…

  • The #3 secret to a popular blog is to create your own blog network. So what if it’s just another lame link-farm? As long as Google doesn’t know it, who’s to know (rhetorical). It can be a public network (friends only need apply) or strictly under the covers (covert DMs and email). Works just as well either way cause we’re all friends … right.
  • The #2 secret to a popular blog is writing a BS book on blogging or social media. Also called the fake it till you make it success formula, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or even have original content. Just pretend to be an expert. Again … who’s to know (also rhetorical).
  • And the #1 secret to a popular blog (drum roll please) is good old fashioned networking schmoozing with the a-list crowd. Schmooze long and hard enough and you just might find yourself becoming one of them (or at least that’s what the hopefuls are banking on). This includes hanging on every breath they take, groveling on their blog (leaving complimentary comments), stalking them at tweet-ups and blog expos (is that legal), sending them emails (that end up in the spambox), or guest blogging (so they can vacation and recycle another book) etc.

Everything else is just smoke and mirrors … and that my friends is the absolute (and unbridled) TRUTH!

The truth does hurt (don’t say I didn’t warn you).

Did I miss anything? ;-) Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Written July 29th, 2010 by | 36 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Favourite Blog Tips, Featured Tips ,

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There are 36 Comments so far to “3 Secrets To A Popular Blog: The Absolute (Unbridled) No-Holds-Barred TRUTH”

  1. I guess you covered it all !
    Looking good bloke ! ;-)

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 8:55 pm said...

    @Jaffer, groveling is so beneath you … but it works :-)

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  2. LMAO. Were you in a funny mood when you wrote this? I was laughing so hard.

    I think interesting and relevant content is the most important thing concerning blogs or websites in general. Search engines seem to like well written and original content from what I can see, of course it doesn’t help when people go around copying other people’s content.

    Once you have written the blog, it does help to tell as many people you know all about it as well. I tell a lot of offline people about my blog, but that’s just me, I like talking!

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 2:25 pm said...

    @BH, glad you liked it and you can drop by here and talk any time. Cheers!

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  3. Yep what Maniar said. Nailed it on the head.

    Kinda sad though, those fake it till making it and scmoozing people must not have a life whatsoever.

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  4. Always keeping it real. That must be why I dig you so much. Keep doing your thing as you do it very well.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 7:53 pm said...

    @LisaKiftTherapy … “keeping it real”. Yup, that’s what I do. Some folks love me for it and some, well … don’t. Don’t know why either ;-)

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  5. I’ve used the blog network method with some success, but have never been able to do much with social media. Nice list though and better than the standard “build a high quality site and they will come” general advice.

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  6. Content is king and writing interesting and relevant content is the most important when blogging.

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  7. So cynical! All of your points have merits and problems at the same time; yeah, I said it! lol

    First point, not everyone who’s ended up with blog success was part of a link farm, if you will. As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that it does the blog network way more good than it ever does individual bloggers. At the same time, I remember reading a guest article on Problogger last year where this guy admitted he and 9 other guys decided to write comments on each others blogs for almost every single post for six months, and all of their blogs grew dramatically because they rose in prominence and that brought other people in. Not quite a link farm but a consortium, and in a weird way it gamed the system.

    Second point, most of the books written fail and thus don’t give anyone a bounce. Heck, I’ve written a book and done a webinar, and neither has helped my blog one bit. On the other hand, if you’re already kind of a guru and have lots of friends to help you with your book launch, then it’ll definitely give you a bounce, but at the same time you already know the gurus and thus you probably didn’t need the bounce to begin with.

    Third point, look at the example I gave in point number one. That proves that not only a-list bloggers can boost your presence. And to tell you the truth, I know some a-lister bloggers and a few other famous people on Twitter and in real life, and none of them has helped to boost any of my blogs anywhere. The people who leave comments on the a-lister blogs are kidding themselves if they think any of that is going to help them. On the other hand, an a-list blogger saying something specifically nice about you in a post and giving you an actual link could help boost your blog, but if your blog turns out not to be worth it then the bounce will only be temporary, so your blog had better be ready to bring it.

    See, I agreed and disagreed all at the same time, and none’s the worst. :-)

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 12:23 pm said...

    @Mitch_M, there will always be exceptions but like you said it doesn’t negate the “merits” of my case. The Problogger example only verifies what I’m saying. Writing a book gives you the ‘perception’ of being an authority. That’s whey they do it, to propel themselves to the top of the heap and separate themselves from the crowd. Most people who comment on a-listers’ blogs are link builders hoping to get a PR boost. But they’re kidding themselves because most a-listers nofollow outbound links. One or two links from an a-lister won’t do much unless it is consistent in branding it into the psych of the readers. It also depends on the quality of the recommendation.

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    Reply by: Mitch at 12:29 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, True on the commenting on A-list blogs, and I rarely do unless I’m early and I think it’s worth saying something about. I actually had Problogger write me when I called him on something, and that was unexpected, but I was either 5th or 6th and thus he was available to respond. For the most part, though, you’re going to get ignored and not going to get any bounce for it, so it’s not worth it.

    But having an A-lister write about you and say something nice about you… I’ll take that any day. Then again, any time someone decides to write nice stuff about me, I’ll take it :-)

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 12:33 pm said...

    Mitch_M, well I think you’re nice … most of the time ;-)

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    Reply by: Mitch at 12:38 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, I have my moments; I just like to shoot for balance whenever I feel the need.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 1:46 pm said...

    @Mitch, ditto

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  8. @BLOGBlokeTips Yep.

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  9. I quite agree with all that Mitch had said.

    Personally I wish there was another reliable way for search engines to tell which blog is actually providing value and which is not. This link building method of judging is almost unfair because now instead of it being about providing value for most bloggers, it’s now about building links in whichever means possible even scamming!

    I will always support value over anything else. And lets’s not kid ourselves, if a blogger writes a book with no value solely for the purpose of becoming popular, it will be a complete waste of time because no matter what you do, you will only have repeat visitors when there is something of value on your blog.

    There are endless ways to promote a blog and generate links, blog commenting is only one of them. I particularly don’t comment on a blog if I don’t have anything to add just to get a link back especially that of the so-called A list blogs. Infact, I have given up on A-listers. They don’t comment back if you add a comment, they never reply their mails and you take the time to write a nice guest post and send to them, it doesn’t get published and they don’t even send a feedback. Commenting on other blogs apart from the little benefit in linkback is also a very good way to brand oneself. So I try to do it whenever I can spare some time.

    Link farms is a complete NO.

    If you are a beginner providing real value but no traffic yet, do not give up yet. You are doing the most important thing which is providing value just try to do some link building. I have found that instead of begging A-listers for linkback writing a nice article (almost irrestible) and sending to them for guest posting offers more benefits. You get a one-way link back and build credibility with his audience by replying to every comments the article attracts.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 9:04 am said...

    @Karo Itoje, read this http://www.blogbloke.com/blogosphere-rigged/ There’s a lot more to it than what first meets the eye.

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  10. […] 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog (The Absolute No-Holds-Barred Truth) blogbloke.com/secret-popular-blog-the-truth/ – view page – cached I was reading a tweet today linking to a post titled the Secrets to Running a Wildly Popular Blog. It was full of the usual stuff that we’ve all heard Tweets about this link […]

  11. 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog (The Absolute No-Holds-Barred Truth) http://www.blogbloke.com/secret-popular-blog-the-truth/

  12. @Jaffer, groveling is so beneath you … but it works :-) http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  13. RT @BLOGBlokeTips 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog (The Absolute No-Holds-Barred Truth) http://bit.ly/970Dl9

  14. @BH, glad you liked it and you can drop by here and talk any time. Cheers! http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  15. 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog (The Absolute No-Holds-Barred Truth) http://bit.ly/970Dl9 RT @BLOGBlokeTips http://twitpic.com/29z2gt

  16. REVISED: 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog: The Absolute (and Unspoken) No-Holds-Barred Truth http://bit.ly/970Dl9

  17. Secrets To A Popular Blog: The Absolute (and Unbridled) No-Holds-Barred Truth (Revised Edition) http://bit.ly/970Dl9

  18. @LisaKiftTherapy … "keeping it real". Yup, that's what I do. Some folks love me for it and some, well … don't. … http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  19. 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog: The Absolute (Unbridled) No-Holds-Barred TRUTH http://bit.ly/970Dl9

  20. Keep It Real: Secrets To A Popular Blog: Absolute (Unbridled) No-Holds-Barred TRUTH http://www.blogbloke.com/secret-popular-blog-the-truth/

  21. @Mitch_M, there will always be exceptions but like you said it doesn't negate the "merits" of my case. The Problogg… http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  22. Mitch_M, well I think you're nice … most of the time ;-) http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  23. RT @BLOGBlokeTips 3 Secrets To A Popular Blog: The Absolute (Unbridled) No-Holds-Barred TRUTH http://bit.ly/970Dl9

  24. @BLOGBloke, I have my moments; I just like to shoot for balance whenever I feel the need. http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  25. @Mitch, ditto http://bit.ly/9Dz04r

  26. […] my search again, I came across a bloke who explains how it’s REALLY done. On his blog he reveals 3 secrets to a popular blog. Hey now, I can dig it.  I have kinda tried #3 for awhile. (It’s one of Griz’s methods) But I […]

  27. Ever wondered why your blog sits in obscurity and your guru's just keeps growing? Forget all the crap they tell you http://bit.ly/970Dl9

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