If you run a business or marketing agency, you probably know blogging has come a long way from its reputation as a side hobby 20 years ago.
Creating a successful business blog is now a full-fledged multimillion-dollar marketing strategy—and in some cases, blogging can even be a business all on its own.
But that doesn’t mean securing revenue and conversions from blogging is easy.
Writing compelling blog posts is time-consuming, and conducting the right content and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to get your posts noticed is even more time-consuming. With millions of blogs out there, it can be extremely difficult to stand out, especially if your business’s niche is saturated.
So how are companies using blogs to engage readers who will convert to paying customers?
To find out, we looked at 10 of the most popular blogs in the world to see what makes them so effective at driving profitability for businesses.
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10. Gizmodo—Focus on a Niche
Peter Rojas launched Gizmodo in 2002, and it has been building a loyal fan base ever since. The blog offers posts on a wide variety of “geek-centric” topics, including tech, science, and pop culture in the United States and globally.
Gizmodo attributes much of its success to its focus on a niche audience.
Geek culture has become increasingly popular in recent years, as evidenced by the success of shows like The Big Bang Theory and Silicon Valley.
Gizmodo’s content is laser-focused on this trend while still offering a creative array of topics for its readers. It also doesn’t shy away from taking advantage of revenue from advertisers.
9. Smashing Magazine—Deliver Premium Content and a Streamlined User Experience
Founded by Sven Lennartz and Marc Thiele in 2006, Smashing Magazine offers content on web design, development, and user experience.
Similar to Gizmodo, through mastering its specific yet flexible niche, Smashing Magazine has established itself as one of the most popular blogs on the internet.
But more importantly, Smashing Magazine’s popularity can be attributed to two more factors:
- First, the blog has a streamlined way of suggesting new content to read, making it easy to spend a lot of time there.
- Second, Smashing Magazine offers a mix of free and premium content, which encourages readers to return to the site for more high-quality content.
8. Envato Tuts+—Become the Authority and Use Different Formats
Envato Tuts+ was created by Collis Ta’eed in 2006. The blog focuses on offering tutorials and courses for creative and tech professionals, such as web designers, graphic designers, and photographers.
The blog owes its success to creating high-quality, compelling, and informative content in multiple formats. Positioning itself as a subject-matter authority, it has built a highly loyal user base.
Envato Tuts+ gets its revenue from a mix of its premium memberships, which provide access to exclusive content, and commissions from selling digital goods such as resources and lessons.
7. TechCrunch—Become the First of Your Kind, Then Know How to Expand
TechCrunch focuses on technology and startup companies. The blog was founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington and acquired by AOL in 2010.
One of the reasons TechCrunch has been so successful is that it’s one of the first blogs to focus on tech startups. This gave the company a first-mover advantage, and its well-written content allowed it to secure its position as the go-to startup blog.
TechCrunch has also capitalized on its success by creating secondary products, such as its TechCrunch Disrupt conference and the Crunchbase database.
These products have further solidified TechCrunch’s place as a leading source of information for tech startups.
6. Mashable—Focus on Quantity and Leverage Social Media
Mashable covers technology, entertainment, and news. It was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore.
The blog first attained success thanks to its enormous output and dedication to releasing high-quality content on a consistent basis that readers could depend on.
Later, it began focusing more on creating a community around its content by incorporating social media into its strategy. This allowed it to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing, which helped it grow its audience even further.
5. Copyblogger—Keep Content Useful and Include Interactive Tools
Copyblogger focuses on giving tips, tricks, and general advice to marketers, particularly those in the content marketing niche. It was founded in 2006 by Brian Clark and has since become massively successful.
Like many of the other blogs in this list, Copyblogger found its initial success in targeting a specific niche and doing it very well. By consistently releasing useful, accurate, and engaging advice for online marketers, Copyblogger established itself as an expert in its field.
It continues to expand its reach by releasing interactive tools that help digital marketers, such as tools revolving around SEO and social media.
4. Perez Hilton—Know How to Engage Your Audience
Perez Hilton is a controversial blog that covers celebrity gossip and news. It was founded in 2005 by Mario Lavandeira, better known as Perez Hilton.
Although celebrity gossip has always been around, this blog was among the first to bring it into the online space.
By immersing himself in celebrity culture, Hilton stayed on top of detailed and juicy gossip about some of the most famous names and controversies of the day.
With its smart use of paparazzi photos and headlines, the blog became an authority in the celebrity gossip space.
The blog also makes good use of interactive content, like quizzes, and purely visual content, like video and photo galleries.
3. Moz—Focus on Education and Expertise
Moz focuses on inbound marketing and SEO. Founded in 2004 by Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig, Moz offers SEO software services as well as content and community.
Since its inception, Moz has been one of the most popular sources of information for marketers looking to improve their skills and strategies, particularly when it comes to SEO.
Using various content types and features, including industry reports, case studies, and educational vlogs, Moz is known for its detailed and authoritative offerings.
Moz is also notable because it shows how blogging can be used to successfully promote a brand’s services and products. In fact, Moz is so good at this that its blog has, in many ways, eclipsed its SEO service offerings.
2. Engadget—Strategically Incorporate Affiliate Marketing
Engadget covers consumer electronics and technology news. The blog was founded in 2004 by Peter Rojas.
Engadget has always been one of the most popular tech blogs because of its mix of breaking news, product reviews, and analysis. This content diversity allows it to appeal to both hardcore tech enthusiasts and more casual tech users.
One of the most notable aspects of Engadget’s business model is its use of affiliate links. Many posts include reviews on, breakdowns of, or even news pieces about specific tech products coupled with affiliate links that allow readers to buy those products.
This affiliate strategy generates the majority of Engadget’s revenue and is an example of the power of using affiliate marketing in a way that aligns with your brand.
1. HuffPost—Prolifically Make “Something for Everyone”
HuffPost covers politics, entertainment, business, and pretty much anything else your average newspaper would cover. It was founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington as a simple commentary blog.
HuffPost has always been one of the most popular blogs because it covers many different topics and content styles.
On any given day, HuffPost generates lifestyle articles, opinion pieces, hard-hitting journalism, and everything in between on every topic imaginable. No matter what someone is interested in, they’re likely to find something that appeals to them on HuffPost.
HuffPost is also prolific with its content, with an average output of up to 1,000 articles per day.
From those articles, at least a few dozen usually go viral, allowing the website to consistently dominate conversations on social media and stay relevant.
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Clearly, a wide variety of strategies can contribute to running a successful blog. Some of the most important strategies that the blogs on this list use are:
- Figuring out their niche and sticking to it.
- Knowing what topics and content formats their audiences want to see.
- Focusing on quality over quantity …
- … Then focusing on quality and quantity.
- Using subscription or members-only models that keep everyone happy by offering both free and premium content.
- Capitalizing on unique monetization models that work for them, such as affiliate marketing.
- Branching out into other product offerings, such as classes, software, and in-person events.
- Posting consistently and keeping an eye on current events related to their niche.
All of these are viable strategies, and most can work for almost any blog. The most important thing is to find the strategies that work best for you and your audience—and stick with them.
One other unmentioned strategy that the most popular blogs have in common is a focus on quality writing and editing. Each of these blogs has a team of copy editors preventing grammar mistakes and errors in sentence structure from tarnishing the quality of their content and the reputation of the blog.
If you want help creating a polished, professional, and engaging blog for your business, reach out to our team at Super Copy Editors.
Go ahead and get your quote for copy editing and proofreading of your blog posts. We’ll send you price and turnaround information and explain exactly how we can help you ensure success with your blog.