According to research by Synapse Search, blogging as an industry has existed for over two decades, in which many blogs have achieved success and risen to the top of their niche. As a blogger trying to do the same, it’s prudent to pay attention to these blogs as well, to learn and one day possibly surpass them.
Started in 2005 by Michael Arrington, Techcrunch was just one of many blogs that chronicled the activities of the Silicon Valley bigwigs. It distinguished itself by first focusing solely on dotcom startups; writing about their projects, management, prospects, and the general news surrounding them. Over time though, it expanded to encompass a wider range of technology based content. A decade later and Techcrunch is one of the more influential blogs of its kind out there, with Michael Arrington named among the 25 most influential people on the web by Business Week.
What it did right
By initially limiting their focus to information regarding startups, Techcrunch was able to stand out from the crowd. It made its own niche and excelled, creating a specific reason for audiences to come to it. After gaining success, Techcrunch expanded their range of content, but still kept its initial niche. As such, it created content that appeals to new audiences, without alienating existing viewers.
Techcrunch’s success emphasises the importance of sticking to a niche you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. By concentrating your blogging efforts towards a particular subject, place, or industry, it’s possible to excel so much that you become a leading authority in it.
2. Boing Boing
Boing Boing is a long running, award winning blog that cannot be pinned down to any one category or niche. Since its inception, it has been dedicated to content that clearly suits and brings joy to the audiences and writers. There, you can find all sorts of playful content (‘woman blows smoke out of ear’ for example) that is often wacky and entertaining, without ever falling on the side of crass or unnecessarily controversial. You can also find content that is more serious and relevant in society (‘vaccinations against Ebola begin in Congolese town of Bikoro’), but these are in the clear minority.
What it did right
Boing Boing as a blog site successfully created a space where its audience felt free to express themselves in the most basic, fun content available, before this was a normal thing to do. Its dedication to this type of content is what clearly raised it above many similar blogs of the time. Also central to its success was its championing of freedom on the web, showing an ability to pick its battles and causes, and follow them through.
When starting a blog, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. Whether its videos, articles, or any other type of content, what is presented and how it’s presented should be undertaken with the blog audience in mind. Many blogs nowadays have comment sections or forums, which should be studied to get a feel for what it is the audience wants or expects.
Controversial content has long been known to be capable of making and breaking titans in any industry or platform. This was one of the greatest boosts received by Perezhilton , whose every post seemed to be aimed at inciting some form of controversy. Founded and authored by Perez Hilton (born Mario Lavandeira), Perezhilton is an unapologetic gossip blog site. It excels at providing content that simultaneously shocks and entertains audiences regularly. Considered crude by many, it is still acknowledged as a highly influential blog today.
What it did right
Perezhilton clearly demonstrated the ability to create and present content that elicits responses from the general public, as well as celebrities. It has also demonstrated several times that it is able to keep abreast of what news is trending and most appreciated by its audience.
While it’s not always considered good practice for an outlet to create controversy itself (as Perezhilton often does), it is still possible to harness the opportunity controversies bring to achieve success. Controversies of one sort or another are incredibly common in the world today; all a good blogger needs to do is stay on top of these.
4. Huffington Post
Started by Arianna Huffington in 2005, Huffington Post was a blog at a time when bloggers were among the lower class of the media industry. However, Arianna Huffington was able to create a blog that in time broke any class barriers within the blogging industry. Making hundreds of millions in revenue yearly, the Huffington Post is now indisputably bigger and substantially more influential than several respected news outlets out there.
What it did right?
From the very beginning, Huffington Post was committed to creating quality, noteworthy content. Due to the level of financial backing (which is still rarely seen at the inception of a blog site) Huffington Post was able to hire a veritable collection of professional, experienced and some already well-known writers.
This of course does not mean that you need millions to create a great blog. There are many successful blogs out there that began with little to no actual financial backing. High quality costs nothing beyond hard work, dedication, research, and an easily acquirable way with words.
By taking on board these examples, it’s possible for anyone to create a successful blog. If you’re yet to start your own blog, just log on to stay tuned to Tech Buzz Online and learn ways to get started.