101 Ways to Make Your Blog More Popular and Successful

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After 15+ years of online publishing, 12 years of blogging for a plethora of blogs, being an SEO and a paid blogger for a decade by now I finally am convinced that I know how it works.

What I learned about online publishing, blogging, SEO in 10+ years you can now read in 10 minutes.

This is my list of 101 ways to make your blog more popular and successful. I used most of the techniques to increase my own popularity. Other measures have been taken by numerous other bloggers with success so I have to catch up on them myself.

1 – 5: Twitter

1. Get social on Twitter, the people on Twitter will support your blog if you do it right

2. Follow some people on Twitter who share your interests but not too many

3. Reward people tweeting and retweeting you, or say “thanks” at least

4. Tweet only good stuff, so people get interested in you and visit your blog

5. Use inline tweet embedding to allow quoting of your blog posts

6 – 10: Niche social news sites

6. Target niche social news sites like Inbound.org, Growth Hackers or BizSugar

7. Become a power user at the one that fits you best

8. Tweet good articles from the niche social news communities

9. Use a striking avatar like the sombrero guy image I use

10. Socialize with other active users and add them as friends on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn

11 – 20: Your blog

11. Add an unforgettable image or huge headline in your blog header

12. Use self-hosted WordPress, as it’s the most widely used blogging platform and makes socializing with pingbacks easier

13. Use a great design or customize a clean and simple WordPress theme [Aff]

14. Allow pings, trackbacks and real links in comments (drop the so called “nofollow” attribute)

15. Reply to your genuine commenters who add value in the comments

16. Link to other bloggers, most notably your peers, not only the well known ones

17. Create pillar or flagship content like huge lists, thorough tutorials, unique resources

18. Be the first to say something: break news, uncover scams, debunk myths

19. Review and address other bloggers personally

20. Create and publish a list of blogs that are similar to yours and/or a good supplement

21 – 30: Other blogs:

21. Accept and support authorities in your field

22. Make a list of the top 10 blogs in your field and try being like them and better

23. Contribute guest posts on other blogs

24. Notify other bloggers when they have broken links or their design does not display correctly on some browser

25. Get inspired by other bloggers

26. Comment on other blogs, out of interest, not only for marketing purposes

27. Meet other bloggers in real life and connect

28. Share others’ blog posts to your favorite social media or vote there for them

29. Do not expect other bloggers to like you just because you’re there, actively befriend them

30. Do not annoy other bloggers by Skype, mail or other means, only contact them if it really matters

31 – 40: Writing

31. Write about popular topics but not those everybody else already covered

32. Find a new angle to a story instead of mere repeating or linking

33. Use striking, funny, easy to remember post headlines like “The Day I was Reborn, Twice”, “Help! I Ate my iPod”, “10 Ways to Become a Millionaire in 5 Weeks”

34. Do not write too short or too long posts, depth not size matters

35. Write timeless blog postings not just yesterday’s news

36. Know your audience and offer it what it wants, not only what you think is appropriate

37. Be yourself, do not write like you would write for an employer, write as if you write a letter to a friend

38. Offend offenders who spread nonsense

39. Do not offend people weaker than you

40. Ask questions and incite discussions

41 – 50: HTML and CSS

41. Use clean, lean HTML and CSS for website speed, limit the usage of fancy scripts

42. Use headings, lists, bold, italic and other means of making a text readable

43. Use large headlines for posts

44. Use the h2 tag for post headlines (h1 is for the blog name)

45. Use good looking webfonts to make your headlines look better

46. Do not use fonts for headlines which are not meant for them and look ugly (Verdana)

47. Make your font size readable in your posts but not too big, your readers are not half blind

48. Use colors that contrast but not too much and not too many of them, black on white is still best

49. Be original but let people recognize that your blog is a blog, by using some well known elements

50. Use compatible CSS rather than proprietary tricks only newer browsers support

51 – 60: Images

51. Always use images in posts

52. Use striking images in your posts, like collages, bright colors, images that metaphorically illustrate your point

53. Be original, do not just display the Google logo when you write about Google

54. Do not steal images without proper attribution

55. Use a list of images to attract large audiences, but don’t forget #54

56. Use .png screen shots or parts of them as images for your blog posts

57. Use pictures of beautiful women (but SFW)

58. Do not use pictures as the only content of a post if it’s not a list

59. Do not use images that are bigger than 100kb, not everybody in the world has a fast connection

60. Use thumbnails for bigger images

61 – 70: Topics

61. Cover the most important things in life: Love, peace, happiness, community, freedom

62. Do not write about SEO (it’s too late for me)

63. When you write about SEO call it blogging tips or feed the bot

64. Write about how you feel, tell personal stories

65. Interview interesting and well known people

66. Write about stars, people love stars: Angelina Jolie I love you!

67. Write about what you know first hand, what you have experienced

68. Concentrate on positive topics, do not just write how bad everything is

69. Do not write about your wife, kids, where you live, how much you earn or what you bought unless you’re properly armed or live in Sweden

70. Write you earned millions of dollars by blogging to get known

71 – 80: Blog promotion

71. Contribute to blog communities on other blogs by commenting and beyond

72. Promote your best blog posts repeatedly (not all of them)

73. Add carefully selected sharing buttons to social media sites your preferred audience is at

74. Use WordPress as it’s already optimized for search to the max out of the box

75. Link out to others to get links, do not engage in link exchange, link buying or selling or any automated link schemes

76. Do not use keywords like “california real estate” as your name when commenting unless it’s your blog’s name (then add as as John of x)

77. Don’t overdo conventional SEO on your blog, it’s in most cases counter productive

78. Do not create merely “content” – write articles, reviews, interviews

79. SEO is not Spam, don’t ping dozens or hundreds of blogs just for the backlinks

80. Do not automate your blogging efforts

81 – 85: Getting Subscribers

81. Display a (big) orange feed icon ideally where everybody can see it

82. Use Feedly to check out similar blogs and how your content displays

83. Let people subscribe by email via Aweber or Mailchimp

84. Offer a full feed not just excerpts

85. Explain what a feed is for people new to the concept and offer a choice of the best feed readers

86 – 90: Branding

86. Create a personal brand. Use your name. Don’t blog as “admin”

87. Get a unique and remarkable name for your blog

88. Get a short and memorable nickname for yourself, Tadeusz Szewczyk = Tad Chef

89. Use your blog URL and/or avatar throughout the Web

90. Get a short and memorable domain name [Aff], I use seo2.us

91 – 101: Miscellaneous

91. Do not offend people for being different than or disagreeing with you

92. Be open minded, let anything and everything inspire you

93. Treat your readers and other bloggers like real people, with respect and compassion

94. Explain things you know, there are always some people who don’t know

95. Be different but stay true to yourself, do not pose as somebody else

96. Do not overload your blog with ads, or hide content with opt-in overlays

97. Do not use Google Adsense unless you make real money with it, otherwise you lose more credibility than you earn

98. Become an expert in your trade, be a specialist for your topic, don’t try everything at the same time

99. Do not try to do everything or be everywhere, concentrate on the stuff you like, prefer and are good at

100. Cooperate with others, altruism is the best egoism

101. In short: practice SEO 2.0 to popularize your blog


Originally published October 29th, 2007. V2 republished August 14th, 2010. Last updated June 18th, 2015.


* (CC BY-ND 2.0) Creative Commons image by Rob Hogeslag