This is a guest post by Adesoji Adegbulu. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
I started blogging by reading a lot of blogs. Among all the blogs I still read are Mashable and TechCrunch. I never skip them on my RSS reader, and I feel that other people do the same.
The question then becomes: how did TechCrunch and Mashable managed to become the most popular blogs in a saturated niche like the tech one? They followed some basic but powerful steps, and I will talk about them below.
1. Narrow your niche but make sure it is not too small. Visitors of your blog must have a common interest. Just make sure that many people share that interest, else you won’t be able to make money with advertising and similar monetization methods. If Mashable only talked about “social networks for senior citizens” they would not be half as successful.
2. Stay focused on your niche no matter what. The worst thing you can do is to start jumping from one niche to the other, starting one blog after the other. TechCrunch and Mashable always had the single purpose of bringing you tech news, and they stuck with it.
3. Simplify things. TechCrunch and Mashable talk about tech, but they always try to make the content as simple and clear as possible. The result is that even non-techie people visit their sites regularly.
4. Fill a vacuum with your blog. Don’t be a copy-cat that copies a competitors post and re-edit it for posting on your blog. Generate original content. This is a must to stand out from the crowd. That is why people often times visit TechCrunch before visiting the tech section of the NY Times.
5. Lots of content. Quality certainly comes first. But if you want to have a profitable blog, you need both quality AND quantity. Take a look at how many posts TechCrunch and Mashable publish every day. You don’t need to do the same, but posting regularly is a must.
6. Build a community around your blog. Part of the success of popular blogs is the community of readers that they have. These are not mere visitors that come from Google. There are people who visit the site every day, tell their friends about it, tweet about it and so on.
7. Be transparent. You’ll notice that both of these blogs are completely transparent with their content. If they are not sure about a piece of news, they mention it. Another day TechCrunch even wrote a post admitting that one of their interns was bribed by a company to write a review about then (they gave him a Macbook in exchange…). So make sure to be transparent if you want the trust of your readers.
8. Persist. Do you think that TechCrunch became this giant in 6 months? Perhaps one year? Two years at maximum? Well, try again. In june of this year TechCrunch will become 5 years old. That is right. I am sure that on their first year or so it was a relatively small blog and the money was not flowing like a river. Yet Mike Arrington persisted, because he had a vision.
Adesoji Adegbulu is a consultant whose interest is on blogging, inspirations, entrepreneurship, Internet marketing and social media. You can find him on his blog, and ontwitter.
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