What the Most Popular Personal Blogs on the Web Have in Common

Posted on December 5, 2017 by in Tips & Tricks | 24 comments

What the Most Popular Personal Blogs on the Web Have in Common

Starting a personal blog is one of those things many people have thought of doing. And because it’s so easy to get started, most of those people have actually created one. Some have even managed to create pretty successful personal blogs out of something that started out as just a hobby. But what’s the key to running a successful and popular personal blog? What separates that rare few from the masses who begin this journey? In this post, we’ll be sharing some key principles that successful personal blogs have in common.

Let’s get into it!

1. They Are Both Personal & Niche-Orientated

personal blogs

Image by SuperAk / shutterstock.com

The first thing that’ll open the road towards success for a personal blog is finding the right balance between personal and niche focus. The personal side of a personal blog is important because it’s obviously one of the primary reasons why people want to stay in touch and visit your website on a regular basis. Your opinion, interpretation and point of view are central to that.

However, it’s also very hard to build a loyal audience if the content you share isn’t specific enough. By trying to please different audiences, you’ll end up having no long-term relationships with people in these audiences because none of them will feel like your blog is just for them. However, if you focus on one niche, you’ll be able to think in the long run and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

2. Many of Them Use WordPress as Their Blogging Platform

personal blogs

Image by VectorsMarket / shutterstock.com

Another thing we often see with popular personal blogs is the use of WordPress as their content management system. Not such a surprise if you account for all the advantages WordPress offers. Some of the main benefits that convince bloggers to use WordPress are:

  • There are thousands of themes for this and thousands of plugins for that
  • Search engine friendliness
  • Fully customizable
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Automated, one-click installations offered by web hosts

3. Minimalistic Design & One Main Color to Accentuate

personal blogs

Image by Vectorphoto / shutterstock.com

The next returning factor that we want to mention is the minimalistic design most personal blogs have. The reason behind this choice is the large amount of content that gets shared on a personal blog. To make sure the attention goes to the content, the design must be easy to process but definitely user-friendly as well.

Most personal blogs out there, however, try to add a personal touch to the design as well. That’s also necessary because these details make it easy for your target audience to visually remember what your website looks like. Choosing one additional notable color throughout your entire website usually does the job (along with your highly personal content).

4. Custom High-Quality Photography

personal blogs

Image by D Line / shutterstock.com

We’re in 2017, of course people are going to expect high-quality images everywhere. But when you are running a personal blog, it’s that more important to be the owner and creator of that photography. It’s the thing that makes your blog really personal. Visitors know that the content they run into on your website is unique and that they won’t find it anywhere else; just like they won’t find another you out there either.

The combination of offering your visitors high-quality images that are personal at the same time is what’ll keep them engaged in the long run. If you’re testing out products, for example, the quality of your images will have a big impact on their capability to form an opinion based on yours.

5. They Maintain a Regular Post Frequency

personal blogs

Image by Art work / shutterstock.com

The success of a personal blog quite often depends on the post frequency as well. That’s because it’s not just about posting good content once and letting it slide afterwards. That kind of popularity will get a personal blog nowhere. If anything, it’ll only make it look like its best time has passed.

The art of creating a well-functioning and popular blog is finding the right post frequency that matches both the blogger’s and the target audience’s schedule. There is no use in posting too often if the content that’s being provided doesn’t live up to the expectations visitors have. Likewise, posting too rarely will not keep your visitors engaged.

6. They Keep Everything Simple (KISS Principle)

personal blogs

Image by Vetreno / shutterstock.com

Personal blogs are also known to keep everything as simple as possible. However, that doesn’t mean the value of the content that’s being shared has to suffer. There needs to be a nice balance between readability, understandability and the value of a post.

This way of creating content matches the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) which believes that content should be as easy to read and follow as possible so it doesn’t take the readers all too much time and effort to understand something or do it themselves.

7. Web & Social Media are Strongly Connected

personal blogs

Image by D Line / shutterstock.com

Many popular personal bloggers are also pretty active on social media channels. These social media channels are usually the main destination to do content promotion. That’s why you’ll notice that most personal blogs also have elaborated social media channels they want to link within their website as frequently as possible.

Usually, that includes putting social sharing possibilities within each post and placing social icons within the header or menu of the website along with other places on the website.

8. They Keep Growing a Mailing List

personal blogs

Image by vladwel / shutterstock.com

The last thing worth mentioning is growing a mailing list. This is one of the things most popular and successful personal blogs do. It’s just one of the easiest ways to keep a connection with your audience that comes from your side. You won’t only have to wait for your visitors to come to you, by building and growing a mailing list, you’ll be able to remind them of you and your recently posted content.

Final Thoughts

Launching a personal blog and trying to make it successful is definitely a fantastic journey. To help you with it, we’ve shared some of the things popular personal blogs have in common in this post. If you any questions or suggestions; make sure you leave a comment in the comment section below!

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Featured Image by tynyuk / shutterstock.com

24 Comments

  1. Well, I subscribe to all points you highlighted here Donjete. However, do you mean the images have to be completely unique, because most bloggers purchase pictures which are also available to others?
    Thanks.

    • The point is to separate your blog/site from others by using images that aren’t predominately stock images that everyone and their brother/sister is using also.

      Keep in mind you can still get away with using stock images if you add some filters or changes to them that make them unique enough that they become a new creation.

      Either way, you can’t stand out from the crowd if your site looks the same as all the others.

      • I needed a good excuse to get into photography. Of course, most people these days have phones with cameras that are out of this world. No such luck, here. I’ll have to borrow something from my wife. 🙂

        • B.J. Keeton

          I need to get back to it, but when I first started my geeky fitness blog, I was using my phone and a few apps to make stylized photos of nerdy toys for images across the site. I stopped when I realized my skills were lacking in that department, but I wanted to do more than just stock photos, as was pointed out above.

  2. Very good round up!

    I think you did a good step towards your success, when you focus on these principles.

  3. Very good information! Is there a Blog on How to setup a blog using Divi. Is there a Blog layout?

    • The Extra theme is designed for blogging more than the Divi theme.

      • Thanks Alice, I will check it out!

  4. #6. The authors reply to comments. Oops ET

  5. I’m delighted to see some attention given to personal bloggers. The business, marketing, branding, monetizing, SELL SELL SELL of web design, everything geared towards manipulating the user SCREAM.
    Business, sure, that’s the bread and butter jobs but plenty of personal bloggers will pay money to have a nice looking website. Something that isn’t just box after box of BUY. Let’s make web pages as artfully as we can. Even business can stand a bit of arty’ness. I’d like to see more design that isn’t geared towards sales.

  6. Yes! Love this article! All great points with #6 being my favorite! Keep it simple!

  7. Good round up!

    I figure you did a decent advance towards your prosperity, when you concentrate on these standards.

  8. Great article for beginners. WordPress is the best option to create personal blog or niche websites. By the way, you can create awesome blog sites with Divi theme.

  9. Great content as always.
    I always wanted to ask ET how they manage to write such beautiful content every day. I have employed a ‘kid’ to write for me, and uh, hmm. Can you guys tell me how can I get him trained to write well for my websites? Is there an online course or something that he can learn?

    • Nathan B. Weller

      Hey AbdulSamad,

      ET content manager here. In my experience, the writer should be someone who has already proven they can create quality content before they are hired. Then, through collaboration, extra resources (such as the design resources we get from our design team), training, standardization of processes, and clear direction we can elevate what our team creates even more. I wouldn’t recommend hiring a “kid” for content creation if your business depends on it. Everyone on our team has some sort of literary education background, professional writing experience, web design experience, web development experience, and are now receiving training in even more areas (like video, audio, motion graphics, etc.). Not something I would expect a brand new professional to be able to do. That said, depending on your budget and ability right now, you can always work towards the goal of maturing a young professional by building a long term working relationship with them and investing in their skill set.

      Hope this helps!

      Nathan B. Weller

      • Thankyou Nathan,
        It’s hard to find talented and trained content writers here in my country. This ‘kid’ has a degree in English and writes pretty well, but I’d like to know what Training should he get to be more professional. Can you please suggest a book or a website, if there is?

        • Absul, take a look at Linda.com it is a good start for a beginner. Depending on what you wish to eventually achieve, would depend on what kind of writing skills you might require, a Degree in English is all well and good, and very impressive for somebody not born into an English speaking country. However If you are intending to sell something or market an idea, a degree in “Sales” and marketing will also be very help. 🙂

  10. My blog is under construction and going in many directions. This post has helped me focus on important aspects. Thank you once again Donjete.

  11. I really wish Elegant Themes put more attention to the blog module in Divi.

  12. Interesting article. I totally agree that most people running a personal blog are using WordPress. I myself following few personal blogs and all of them are using WordPress.

  13. they are use a Great personal theme.
    thanks.

  14. Great article, Donjete. I especially agree with points 3 and 5. Finding the right post frequency can be tough and it mostly depends upon your niche and the type of content you’re going to publish.

    It would have been nice if you had provided some visuals, though. Or at least linked to some example sites that demonstrate the key principles you’re sharing. 🙂

  15. Am I missing it or you did not mention who are the “Most Popular Personal Blogs”? I was expecting to visit their blogs to learn how they work

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