Calling all readers and writers – and bloggers! What makes a blog mega popular?

bird I was recently asked what makes a really good blog and wasn’t sure what to answer. So, I did  a little “blogging” research and discovered  that while the stats for my little blog here suggest it is quite popular (thanks to you all :o) ) some blogs are mega popular. I was curious. What are those bloggers doing that I am not?  I did some more research and found the mega popular blogs seemed to have the following five key things in common:

1) While you can blog about anything – and people do – the more specific you are, the greater the interest in the blog. Cases in point are: shedlife, imgres which is about sheds; Julie Powell’s blog, which was about cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s famous cook book and the blog behind the making of the Julie and Julia;  cornflower books, which is a very popular book review, and  it’sacrime(or a mystery), which is  about all things to do with crime writing.


MR900368664 2) While some blogs have very long posts, others have very short posts. Some have pictures, youtube clips, audio boos, links to other blogs,  others have very little of anything. Some have give aways, others don’t. The most popular blogs, though, often have pictures and/or youtube clips. And all successful blogs keep it simple!

( ps: young people tell me video blogs are the next big thing!)



3) The blogs that make it easy to share their posts seem to be more successful that those that don’t – ie: when it is easy to click on share icons like twitter/facebook/googleplus/LinkedIn/Tumblr/Pinterest etc.

Which makes sense 🙂


MR900368664 4) Bloggers who are positive seem more popular than miserable moans – while a rant every now and then is okay, generally we do not like cranky ratbags!




5) Blogging is about communicating. The bloggers who use both their ears and their mouths  seem to have the biggest followings ie:  bloggers who encourage discussion and share new ideas and have interesting  links to other sites.


Hm? Where does this leave me? Not sure? Especially the bit about not being a cranky rat bag! But I’ll have a think. Meanwhile, what do you think? Reader, or writer or blogger,  do you agree with my findings? What attracts you to read a blog? If you have a blog, what do you think the key to its success is?  I’d love to hear your thoughts :o)

svp-brochures MR900368664 ps: Want to set up your own blog? Think it’s difficult? Not at all. Next time I’ll give you my top tips on how to get started.


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17 Responses to Calling all readers and writers – and bloggers! What makes a blog mega popular?

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Marianne

    I think it’s interesting that some blogs are magma popular. I think alot of it is down to the reader of said blog; for instant, if you have a blog to help people enter writing comps and stay afloat with with the latest new around that subject and give sound infosaid readers were looking for that are more likely to make the blog popular by bring friend to follower as well.

    Just like if someones blog is helpful or inspiring or relatable or something you can debate or give hope. So I think you have your research right!

    It just depends on what your subject is that matter I guess.

    Hope you’re well

    Take care

    • Hi Katie
      yes, that makes sense, people are looking to be informed and learn something they didn’t know before about whatever they are interested in – makes sense! So, information is the key ( I think!).

      Lovely to hear from you again:) I am well. Hope you – and all the family, including the animals – are well too 🙂 How’s your writing going?

  2. Katie says:

    Hi Marianne

    I’m alright- pets are all good now. Smokey doing a kitty jig because he’s aloud out again. Anyone would think he had been cut off from the outside world for a year. He very happy now after his cat fight and vet trip etc.. Holly and Jessie are well too. Thank-you.

    Writing is going well I really loving writing my novel, and revisiting short stories.
    How are you and your writing going?

    Take care

  3. Great to hear all well and you’re getting so much writing done – and enjoying it! All said and done, writing can be such a lovely way to spend some time 🙂
    I’m off for a few day to just write and nothing else, really looking forward to it!

    • Katie says:

      Hi Marianne

      Wow that will be nice. I bet you are looking forwards to it.- Writing is a great way to spend your time.

      Take care

  4. Ruth Hunt says:

    Hello Marianne,
    Yes this was interesting. The key thing is that people must know about the blog in the first place. I’ve seen and read so many blogs recently, if I left a comment at all of them I wouldn’t get any work done. So how does a new reader know where to go for the interesting blogs?
    Also, it seems like a lot of work for one blogger on their own i’m wondering whether a group blog is the way to go with a team of writers. As it would be easy to get sidetracked and not do much in the way of writing instead do blogging, Facebook, twitter. I know it builds your profile up but at what cost. Would our writing suffer. That’s why I think group logs are the way to go?r

  5. Hi Ruth,
    great to hear from you again too! It does take time finding out which blogs you are interested in – and where you want to leave comments. I think , as I am finding out, planning and prioritising seem to be the key, especially if you don’t want your writing to suffer! And, yes, a team of bloggers is also a good way to go – two heads can be better than one:)

  6. Wendy says:

    Hi Marianne. An interesting question. I suppose I can only say what I like in a blog.

    1. Pictures
    2. Not too long or dry
    3. Not too formal.
    4. Short paragraphs
    5. Informative (in the area I am interested in)
    6. Positive and lively
    6. Reveals something of the writer – I don’t mean every detail of their family or Aunt Edna’s Golden Wedding party – but I like to feel like I know something about the writer from reading their blog.

    I started my blog last summer and it has steadily grown in popularity – I hope because I have followed at least some of the things I myself like in a blog.

    Interestingly, the blogs with the most followers are not necessarily the ones I like best – in the same way as I prefer small hotels to large business ones – but of course your question is about what makes a blog super popular, not which ones I prefer.

    Blogging is definitely a two way thing though – to spread the net, you need to be involved in other blogs yourself. I have a number of blogs I always coment on and then others that I will comment on occassionally.

    • Hi Wendy, thanks for this, very helpful indeed. You make a really valid point ie: you write about the things you are genuinely interested in and not what you think others might be interested in – if you see what I mean? You are far more likely to be enthusiastic then and as such it is more likely you will find fellow enthusiasts. And what a great analogy with hotels and wee B&Bs …definitely, bigger is not always better! Thanks again for comment! :o)
      oops, sorry if that is a tad wordy!

  7. Bubbles says:

    I’ve come to realise that the blogs I like most have a neutral coloured background (usually white), a simple banner and lovely crisp clear photographs where they do all the hard work so the blogger can get away with writing short amounts. Also I find those where people posts photos of themselves, their home, daily life and everything else are the ones that I tend to go back to often. Weirdly this is not what any of my blogs are which is probably why they are not so popular but I’m content as I’m doing it for myself to keep track of certain things and its a bonus if someone comments/reads it. I know my most popular posts were my cultural ones but since switching to my strawberries and buttercups blog I’m struggling to bring that back in.

    Your blog however is different to all of those and I believe its popular because you bring up topics like this one that get people thinking and they can’t help but comment to offer their opinion :). It helps also when people know a blog owner will comment on what they have written so can’t help but come back to offer more :).

  8. Hi Samrana
    awe thanks for kind encouraging words about the blog 🙂 I also like pics and a simple message and something that is cheerful and upbeat, which is why your blogs are sop appealing. I also like to feel the blogger is honest or has integrity …I’m not explaining that very well but if I think I’m being tricked or lied to, I never go back!
    Funnily enough, my blogs about Auntie Sue always get a lot of interest, so, I agree, when people talk honestly about their daily life, we are also interested 🙂
    Someone on facebook (a certain Julia Herzog) said she thought a successful blog should be: “specific, simple, positive. I’ll give it a shot!”
    That’s it, in nutshell!
    BTW: your blogs are very inviting , it just may be people don’t feel they need to leave comments, which is not unusual in my experience 🙂

    • Bubbles says:

      Oh! I don’t mind at all that people don’t comment, you didn’t come across my bubbles blog earlier but it was my main one with all kinds of things and I was satisfied with it but I lost all my contents a few times so decided to have a fresh start with strawberries and buttercups which I like but its still lacking something for me. Some how though I’ve ended up with 3 blogs but those things needed separating. I’m sure I’ll be happy with it all one day :).

      I think everyone has a different opinion though and we all look for different things. You may think a blog is brilliant and I may not see the appeal in it, a bit like a book or food etc…

      • Three blogs! Yikes! Hard work! But I can understand how that happens because I feel I’m learning as I go and am definitely not always happy with my blog but what the heck, we’re not perfect! I think of it as a work-in-progress and try not to take it too seriously ;o) And, yes, definitely, different blogs offer different things to different people – thank goodness for choice! 🙂

  9. Barbara says:

    I really liked what Wendy said above – some good points and what seems to work/not work. One blog that has resulted in personal success for the author is she even has a book out based on her blog. I am still finding my feet with my new blog, the aim of which is to keep in touch with folks in Europe, but the point about having a clear subject is really important, as is asking questions!

  10. Hi Barbara, yes, I think Wendy has summed nicely what appeals in a blog – and lovely to hear from you! Thanks for cupcakesandcashmere tip! I just had a quick look – wow! It’s sort of a style guru sort of blog. It seems very professional -simple and clear and great photos. I can see why it is popular even though it’s a tad too slick for me. Interestingly enough her last post is a video blog! It does seem the way things are going. Can anyone see themselves doing a video blog in the future???

    It is so interesting to see what is popular and what is less so. And, the more we discuss this, the more I realise it doesn’t actually matter to me. I write the blog so I can share what I am doing regards my books and life generally. I am delighted when others, like yourself, join in with discussions and leave comments or just have a wee look. It’s all about communicating and, of course, like writing anything, to get others interested in what we are saying in the first place there is some skill involved (those pics on cashmere and cupcakes are great!) and that comes with practice and trial and error as as much as anything else. We learn by our mistakes and, hopefully, carry on 🙂
    Good luck with you blog, I think it’s very effective – simple, specific and positive and does what you want you want it to do:) I tried to like it – i think cormorants and shags look primeval too – and pelicans! – but my blogger thing says it is blocked and I need to work out how to unblock it on wordpress – this has happened to me before – grrrr.

  11. Thanks, M! Success in this business is an ongoing mystery….

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