If you’re reading this you either already have a blog and are looking for ways to make your blog more popular. Or you are thinking of starting one and you want to do your homework so that your blog gets to be a success. But whatever the reasons are, you probably also want to see which blogs are the most popular both in general and in the niche that you want to blog in.
When it comes to the topic of “Most Popular Blogs” there are 2 distinct angles that pop up. In this article, I talk about both. The first section covers the 10 parts of a blog that are necessary for a blog to become popular, or successful. And in a short second part, I have added a ”Food for Thought” section where I shed a bit of light on the influence big media companies have over the blogging industry. To finish, I list interesting, quality blogs in a wide range of niches.
What Makes A Blog Popular?
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So who gets to decide which blogs are hitting the right spots for users? Google? SEO gurus? Or the vast majority of internet blog fans? What makes one blog more popular than another? Is it the sheer volume of traffic through a site? The number of comments? The amount of revenue it makes? The number of shares on Facebook, Pinterest, Insta, or Twitter? The popularity of the niche? These seem to be the obvious things, right?
Then there are the other components like
- Good solid content
- Catchy blog titles
- A strong domain name (usually also the blog’s name)
- Choosing the right niche
- Focus on short and long terms goals
- Effective marketing strategies
- Catering to the target audience
- Signing up with a reliable hosting platform. We recommend Bluehost. And you can read our Bluehost Review here before you commit.
There is so much more to creating a blog than meets the eye. And so it’s fair to say that the blogger who puts effort into all these areas will no doubt achieve some form of success.
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And in previous articles, we have covered most of these topics. Click here to go to our blog menu. Including one on How To Start A Blog.
The components listed above form the foundation of a blog. Get each of these points right and your blog will get to be popular. It will take time and hard work so patience and perseverance are good qualities to have.
A popular blog is one that reaches its target audience. And delivers!
10 Things Your Blog Must Have To Be Popular
Once you have the basic structure of your blog planned out you need to focus on what you will add to it. Include the 10 components listed below to guarantee that visitors to the site can
- Find all your content
- Navigate the site with ease, and speed
- Learn about who you are and what you do
- Order products you sell
- Subscribe to your emailing list/blog posts/RSS feeds/podcasts
- Make secure payments
- Share your blog’s content with friends and colleagues across multiple platforms
A popular blog is user-friendly.
Here are the 10 components you must have to make your blog suitable for optimal user experience. They are not listed in any particular order as they all need equal attention to create a complete blog that people will love coming back to time and again.
Find a home for your blog
1. Secure Hosting Platform
Get signed with a trusted web/blog hosting platform. You can’t run a successful blog without being hosted. So choose a hosting platform that is suited to your specific needs. Are you an established corporate concern or an indie, start-up blogger? Do you own a small business and need a blog to promote through or are you on the road to building a blog as a business? Different hosting sites offer various packages.
Do some research on how much ownership you have over your website and content. Some sites have small print clauses, offering free websites, in exchange for them having ownership on some of your stuff. For example, platforms like Wix and GoDaddy offer websites entirely for free, but that means your blog does not belong to you. You do not influence anything; you’ll never be able to make money from your blog. Such platforms won’t allow you to move the site you built with them.
The best and the only right solution is having a self-hosted site for your blog. That is web hosting, your own domain name, and free CMS.
A safe bet is to use Bluehost (cheap and suited for beginners) as a provider and WordPress.org as a CMS. It is the open-source ethos of WordPress.org that allows bloggers to have more control and security. If you don’t know How to start a blog – read my article.
Introduce yourself and connect
2. About Me Page
This page is important. It tells visitors who you are, what you know, where you come from, and where you are going. A very important point to remember is that this page is about the customer just as much as it is about you. The about me page lets potential subscribers know what you offer and how you can help them.
An effective about me page will have contact information, a backstory of your business and/or of how you got here. It should also have a Call-To-Action pop-up and an option to subscribe directly from that page.
An about me page can act like a route map to inform users of what else they will find on the blog and what not to miss out on.
3. Contact Page
Many blogs combine three elements, the media page, contact info, and the “about me” blurb. However, if you feel you need it, adding a complete page of contact info helps to legitimize your blog and also show people the extent of your network. This is especially true if you have more than one physical location that you run businesses from.
So the contact page should include how to find you physically (if applicable), as well as via email and your various social media channels. Add relevant contact numbers, like a WhatsApp number or a business number.
4. Media Page and Portfolio
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This is another component of a sound content marketing strategy.
Your media page can be part of the about page or you can dedicate an entire page to your publicity. Include things that you have written, publications and sites you have appeared on or written for. Podcasts and other interviews you’ve had or hosted. Add other jobs and positions that you hold (or have held).
Basically it’s an extension of the about page that further cements your expertise and experience in your niche. And builds trust.
This page is important if you are branding yourself and want to make money online.
5. Branding – find a favicon
Favicons are 16×16 pixel illustrations. A favicon helps build brand recognition. You’ll find the favicon (like our BOYO favicon) in the top left corner of blogs and websites. A favicon allows people to recognize you just by the logo. It is a subtle but powerful marketing tool.
6. Mobile Responsive Designs and Themes
Today, more than half of all mobile users say they won’t recommend a business if the site is not mobile responsive. It’s not enough these days to just have a site that fits the screen size. Users want access and visibility to all features on the site.
7. Easy Navigation – Drop Menus and Hamburgers
Once people land on your blog you want them to stay as long as possible. If your layout has a hamburger icon (especially on mobile devices) then users know to click on that to view the menu. Your blog needs to be structured and organized into sections so that people know exactly where to go to find what they are looking for.
Say I have a gardening site for urban gardeners. My drop menu could feature categories like:
- Container gardening
- Organic gardening
- Pests and diseases
- Know your herbs
- The Garden Pharmacy
- Grow your own vegetables
- Garden Equipment Reviews
- Shop with us
This allows users to save time and find what they want quickly. If they don’t, chances are they open a new tab and type their search request to get what they want “instantly”.
Sharing Content and Interactive Blogging
8. Grow your subscribers
Most blogs will offer something for free, like a toolbox of strategies or templates for content calendars, marketing hacks, and just about anything under the sun that’s relevant.
In exchange, you submit your name and email address and agree to get monthly newsletters or to be kept updated as new content gets posted. Email marketing is an essential part of growing traffic and generating income.
Your blog can either have a pop-up that gets people to sign up or once you click on a button you get redirected to the email subscriber form.
9. Share Icons and Sharing Buttons
Social Media marketing is also an area that successful bloggers pay attention to. Bloggers who spend time promoting on social media see much better results in traffic and user interaction. You want as many people to be sharing your content across all platforms.
Most WordPress themes come equipped with the Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook icons already built-in. And you can also add an icon if people want to share content via their email. You get to add the relevant links and decide where you will place them.
The icons (buttons) have two main purposes. You can get readers to share your content from their own accounts by clicking on the relevant icon. You can encourage them to like, follow, or pin your content.
So not only is your content being shared, but you are also gaining new followers, and potential subscribers. You get software (plugins) that makes sharing easy as pie. Social Warfare (warfareplugins.com) is a good example and it’s recommended by very popular bloggers, like Melyssa Griffin and Rob Ryan.
10. Secure Data and Payments
This is a very real concern of almost everyone who shops online. People worry that their financial details will be used fraudulently or the site will get hacked and their info stolen. So it’s crucial to have the correct protocols in place to guarantee your customers safe and secure shopping.
WordPress has the functionality you need to configure plugins to receive secure payments. A PayPal Buy Now Button is available for simple sales. For online stores with carts and catalogs, you could use something like WooCommerce.
WordPress is actually designed to be secure, contrary to what people assume, just because it is open source. You can set your criteria within WordPress even further, for added security. Other areas you might want to secure are the dashboard, logins, database, themes, and plugins.
Choosing a reliable and trusted hosting service adds to security.
So these are the 10 main areas you need to cover to set your blog on the road to popularity, generating income and success!
As I mentioned up top, there was another angle you can take when talking about what makes a popular blog.
Does a popular blog equate to a quality blog?
Are the highest-ranking blogs actually the best quality blogs? Or do some great blogs slip through the cracks thanks to corporate players that have started infiltrating and dominating the blogosphere since the inception of the Huffington Post?
Do the vast majority of independent bloggers, from many different niches, realize the competition they are up against. And does it matter? It seems there are enough users for the big and the small fish to be popular and successful in their own right. And we know that a growing number of smaller independent blogs are pulling in 6 and 7 figures a month from their blogs.
But did you know that there are 16 companies, all linked to many brands and sites that dominate Google’s highest rankings? Can this invasion by corporate blogs and websites affect the popularity of smaller blogs by taking away traffic (due to their high rankings)? Or are they helping small independent blogs to grow?
Popular blogs will make money and have lots of fans either on a large or small scale, depending on the niche they are in, and the size of the target market they aim for.
A popular blog is a well-liked blog
Simply put, a popular blog is a well-liked blog. But blogs can be popular for different reasons. Some popular blogs will have a small following while others will hit the mainstream big time and become popular through sheer numbers alone. Some blogs have mediocre content but stunning images. So a text-rich, quality blog is not always the most popular when there is competition from image-rich blogs.
I think blogs can also become popular because of peer reviews doing the rounds. This type of selection and promotion between bloggers is a great way to build business relationships with other blogs. Through actual reviewing and searching for high quality, good content blogs we depend on each other to find blogs that can be enjoyed and shared around the web.
What about content?
Surely in a world that plays fair (hand over mouth to giggle), the content will always win the day. And the best content wins! Mmm, I wish it was like that. And granted, Google has really stepped up when it comes to placing the importance of content at the top of the pile. Or has it? For every algorithm that gets applied, there will be unscrupulous blog owners (corporate conglomerates) trying to beat the odds. And often winning. This means some blogs, despite ticking all the boxes, will fall through the cracks. But it also means that some bloggers will rise to the challenge and know how to appeal to the populace in just the right way. And become successful and popular because their blogs bring value.
Can a blog be popular even with a small number of visitors? Yes, especially if those visitors are regular. And what about income? Are the popular blogs the ones that bring in the most profit? All these questions are relevant, but another question has come up.
Is a blog popular because it is backed by giants of industry?
Popular blogs have started appearing with a list of corporations that endorse them. TheBigMansWorld.com, a cooking and recipe blog, is a perfect example of a popular blog. The design is perfect, and the layout checks all the boxes. It has awesome recipes and images. And there is a list of companies that endorse Armano Liew’s popular blog. Names like Esquire, Forbes, Men’s Health, Vogue, and a slew of other recognizable media publications have their logos on his blog. This is common with many popular blogs. This means professional bloggers have learned how to pair up with big business. So despite what anyone thinks about big business, you have to commend the bloggers who have grabbed an opportunity to totally rise to the occasion and play the game.
Through having a bottomless budget and fingers in many pies, are these corporate blogs slowly choking out independent blogs that can’t compete? And if this is the case, surely we are to blame because we are the consumers that support these brands with our hard-earned cash. They are popular because we have been sold on them. And if you check out a blog like BigMansWorld, you will see that it’s a blog that has covered every aspect needed to make a blog successful.
I think my point is just to make new bloggers aware that they can really take their blogs to heights that were not previously available. Blogging is a mainstream, highly competitive field. But there is enough room for everyone.
Research Reveals A Monopoly In The Google Ranks
An article, written and researched by Glen Allsop from SEO company, detailed.com, exposes 16 companies that dominate the rankings. Below is an infographic showing who the 16 companies are and which companies they own. Deeper research reveals which sites are linked directly to which companies.
Although it seems unfair, it is not illegal to manipulate rankings. And in fact, Allsop even says the purpose of the study isn’t to attack these companies, it is more about how Google reacts. And how it benefits them and their shopping services. An interesting article from 2015 (Guardian) also brought up the topic of owning data, and how this affects the success of other sites in the face of this immense corporate competition. Read the article here.
This infographic is Courtesy of Glen Allsop detailed.com. Read his complete article here.
Back To Most Popular Blogs
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So that was just my take on popularity within the blogging industry. It is not necessarily a negative. In fact, if anything it shows that starting a blog is a recognized business and there is hope for all bloggers to take their blogs as far as they want them to go.
I love discovering new blogs and I love revisiting the blogs that appeal to me and my interests. But what about the rest of the online community of blog fanatics? What do you all find worthy of your valuable time?
And that’s why I wanted to add a popular blog from various popular niches. I hope some of these choices for “most popular blogs” surprise and delight you!
To me, a popular blog is one that delivers good content, has a layout and visuals that make you want to stay forever, and fast loading times. For me, a site that loads fast is a winner. A blog will be popular if it is brandable. If a reputable brand has a blog all its customers will subscribe. If you have accounts at various retail outlets, you receive their blog posts via email. It doesn’t mean the customers read them but it will be a successful blog because the mailing list is long and can be used to generate income.
Nobody puts the time and effort and money into a blog only to say, “I don’t care if no one reads it, I’m doing it for myself,”. So we can all agree blogging is all about trying to get your blog to be popular.
Let’s explore the Most Popular Blogs
Let’s explore the Most Popular Blogs in some of the most popular niches around the web. Take note of all the components in each one. The formula works. Take a look at our other articles on specific niches and our top picks for those. I have tried not to duplicate, as I really am passionate about sharing quality blogs with you all.
Popular Blog in Technology
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This online magazine is by far the best tech blog around. The magazine format covers categories from technology and science to business and culture. It’s a great site for finding articles that are well-researched and well-written. It is for the average person that enjoys keeping up with trending gadgets, science topics, and new tech ideas.
Most Popular Blog in Healthy Living
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This guy built a solid following with his, at the time, revolutionary natural health tips on eating your way to your best life. Nowadays David’s food philosophy has caught on big time. A great website, podcast, and blog. He is considered a health guru in natural health circles.
Popular Blogs in the Lifestyle Niche
Zen Habits – Leo Babauta
This lifestyle blog is different to what you usually get. No flashy images, it is very zen! Great blog posts and sound advice on staying fit and healthy and mindful.
Copied and pasted straight from Kottke’s about me page. This is a gem! And a good example of a great “about me” blurb.
“Founded in 1998, kottke.org is one of the oldest blogs on the web. It’s written and produced by Jason Kottke and covers the essential people, inventions, performances, and ideas that increase the collective adjacent possible of humanity. Frequent topics of interest among the 26,000+ posts include art, technology, science, visual culture, design, music, cities, food, architecture, sports, endless nonsense, and carefully curated current events, all of it lightly contextualized.”Kottke.org
Popular Blog in Food
More about food
Gina Homolka whips up hundreds of wholesome, seasonal recipes. Healthy and scrumptious! Each recipe is categorized for special diets and gives nutritional details. Great images. She’s on point with trends and many of her recipes include air fryer and instant pot cooking.
Popular Blog in Finance
G.E. Miller chronicles his journey to financial independence. He covers topics that range from frugal living, investments, savings, budgeting, and other financial strategies to financial freedom.
Most Popular Mom Blog
Mama Doctor Jones
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Written by a mom who is also a doctor. This mom blog is practical, informative, and sprinkled with humor and good advice. Danielle Jones has created a blog that is both stylish and independent.
Most Popular Blog in Motoring
This car blog is full of luxury supercars, performance, and reviews. They cover gadgets and accessories for dudes and feature excellent photography.
Most Popular Blog in DIY Home Maintenance
Donna shares great repurposed projects among other DIY hacks and ideas. The site is original and fresh.
Most Popular Blog in DIY Craft
A Beautiful Mess
Great tutorials, tips, and inspiration from two crafty sisters, Elsie and Emma.
Most Popular Blog in Freelance
Tools, resources, and articles all geared towards freelancing.
99U is a resource and event series to help creatives build incredible careers, supercharge their work, and make their ideas happen.
Most Popular Blog in Design & Architecture
Building Blog was started in 2004 by Geoff Manaugh, who among other things, is a writer.
“Its goal is to explore topics related to architecture and the built environment through a lens of technology, literature, crime, history, archaeology, acoustics, science fiction, subterranean space, warfare, the planetary sciences, and more.”BLDGBlog’s about page
Most Popular Blog in Design & Graphics
An amazing design blog run by Shillington Design School. It features resources, jobs, informative articles on the latest design news, and design portfolios of Shillington students.
Books, branding, design, illustrative design, graphic design, and more. Informative articles on a crisp, clean site. All about design, photography, and UX.
Most Popular Blog in DIY Building
Pretty Handy Girl
Brittany is a general contractor and wants to break stereotypes about girls and building!
Most Popular Blog in Gardening
Family Food Garden
All things gardening, homesteading, permaculture, and herbs.
Most Popular Blog in Knitting
For knitters, crocheters, designers, and dyers. Funky patterns, tips, and yarns.
Most Popular Blog in Quilting
Blossom Heart Quilts
Alyce shares free tutorials, patterns, and stunning photos. Find all things quilting here.
Most Popular Blog on Sustainability
Melissa Breyer writes about sustainability across all categories from tech to building to food, art, and science
Most Popular Blog in Agriculture
Agronomy for Sustainable Development
This is a peer-reviewed journal on agriculture in the context of sustainability. As such it is full of accurate and on-trend information about farming, agriculture, science, and sustainability. While not a blog it is still worth a look if you are interested in these topics.
Most Popular Blog in Politics and News
Talking Points Memo
Well-written articles on politics and news, mainly the USA. Entertaining.
Most Popular Blog on Music Festivals
Betty and Kora
Great updates and behind the scenes info on various music festivals around the world. And cool photos. Betty writes and Kora shoots.
Most Popular Pet Blogs
Puppy in Training
Blog about service dogs, how to train them, and how to look after them.
Paws and Effect
JaneA Kelly has been running her blog on all things feline since 2003.
Most Popular Blog for Men (Lifestyle)
More to follow
A blog for men that features a range of topics from grooming to lifestyle, to business, finance, careers, and health.
Most Popular Sailing Blogs
Yoshi and Bonita sail the seas and blog about it.
Most Popular Blogs in Photography
Behind the Shutter
In-depth and current educational information on how to shoot wedding photos by Sal Cincotta of Shutter Magazine
Beers and Beans
This blog combines photography and travel. Join Beth and Randy on their travels and enjoy the visual journeys they have recorded as well as some great travel hacks and advice.
Bernabe Richard blog
Richard is a world-renowned photographer. His blog is a feast for the eyes. He shares iconic photos and lots of educational material for aspiring photographers.
Most Popular Blog on Off-Grid Living
The Homesteading Hippy
Heather Harris is the Real McCoy! Her blog and website are awesome. If you want to know about off-grid living from homeschooling to permaculture to canning your abundant crops, you’ll find out how here.
Most Popular Vegan Keto Blog
Kind and Keto
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The creators of Kind and Keto inject enthusiasm and vibrant energy into recipes and blog posts that help people adapt to a healthy and kind way of eating. They also offer “Kind and Keto” coaching for anyone wanting personal support on their road to health.
Most Popular Cryptocurrency Blogs
A practical place for beginners to learn about blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Leaving You With This
I hope you find some inspiration here. Whether your blog is still being conceived or already a growing concern, I hope you can apply some of the things you read here to your new or existing blog.
Remember that there is always room for improvement but as long as you put in the hard work and squeeze some love into your passion project there is no reason why your blog should not grow in popularity and reach the core audience you are hoping to appeal to.
If you find more amazing blogs drop me a line in the comment section. Perhaps I can review them in future blog posts.
Do You Want to Start Your Blog?
Check out my free step-by-step guide How to Start a Blog.