10 Blogs with Explosive Growth to Learn From

  • May 3, 2010 by Corbett Barr
  • 118 Comments

blogs with explosive growth

Welcome! If you’re new here, thanks for stopping by. Think Traffic is a blog about building website traffic. Have a look around and enjoy this article about blogs with explosive growth. It’s one of our most popular posts.

Studying popular blogs is a great way to find ideas for growing your own blog traffic. Over the past year, I’ve watched quite a few new blogs quickly grow huge readerships of 1,000, 2,000 or even 5,000 subscribers or more.

I scoured the blogiverse for especially fast-growing blogs (no more than 2 years old) and found these 10 each with nothing short of explosive growth.

Then, to find out how they achieved such amazing success, I asked each blog’s founder “what is the key to your blog’s growth?” The answers are below, and some might surprise you. There are some amazing nuggets of traffic-building wisdom here.

Study these and you’ll notice that there isn’t one single formula for blogging success. There are some similarities though, and I’m curious to hear your perspective in the comments below.

You might notice that these blogs are mostly marketing and personal development blogs. That’s where I live, so those are what I’m familiar with. I tried to find some entertainment blogs that would fit here, but every time I look for entertainment blogs, my head starts hurting and I feel like I need a shower. I know there are a ton of really fast growing, newish blogs out there on other topics (entertainment, tech, cars, environment, you name it), so if you know of any please share in the comments.

RSS subscriber numbers for most of the blogs are included below. Some blogs display a subscriber count on the site, others don’t. Here is how to find unpublished RSS subscriber counts if you’re interested.

Here they are, 10 blogs with explosive growth, listed in order of subscriber growth rate from really-fast-growing to impossibly-fast-growing:

Johnny B. Truant

#1: Johnny B. Truant

Founder: Johnny B. Truant
Blog age: 13 months
Subscribers: Johnny doesn’t post subscribers. He’s punk rock like that.

I included Johnny here even though I have no idea how many subscribers he has. What I do know is regardless of his absolute traffic numbers, Johnny has built the right kind of traffic for him, the kind of traffic that supports his business. This strategy has helped Johnny build a full-time online business in under a year’s time. He’s a great guy to learn from.

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Johnny: I attribute pretty much all of my growth to making friends. I could break that down into what I’ve done on Twitter, on Facebook, via email, interacting with people in person or whatever, but there’s no point. You’ll get the idea if you think of it in terms of making friends.

I don’t pay any real attention to SEO or anything that might be a “strategy” of any sort. I’ve basically just tried to be cool to people, to hang out, to be fun and hopefully interesting, to cheer for the people I meet, and generally to be helpful. It looks selfless, and a short-sighted person would think it was wasted time. But those friends have become my readers and my customers, so it’s how I continue to work.

Almost Fearless

#2: Almost Fearless

Founder: Christine Gilbert
Blog age: 24 months
Subscribers: 6,056
Subs/month: 252

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Christine: I was one of the lucky ones. In the first 30 days of blogging, I wrote a post that landed me on the first page of Reddit. I also received tons of traffic from Digg, Tumblr and Stumbleupon. Before this, I was averaging about 100 visits per day and I earned each and every visit. I commented everywhere. I had stumble strategies. I would submit my posts all over the place. Then the right people came to my site and I got lucky. A post I wrote caught on and I had 30,000 people at my site that day.

I don’t credit my overall growth to that post, but it did something very important. It taught me very quickly that I was writing for an audience. A hundred comments rolled in. People were reading my stuff. Overnight, I wasn’t just spewing non-sense out in the ether without any clue who was reading it. I was getting feedback and I was learning about my target audience. This is what they wanted:

  1. Positivity.
  2. Clean layout and easy-to-scan subtitles.
  3. Topics that are helpful or solve a problem.
  4. A new spin (i.e. don’t be boring).

If you write what your audience wants, they’ll do the promotion for you.

Outspoken Media

#3: Outspoken Media

Founders: Rae Hoffman, Rhea Drysdale and Lisa Barone
Blog age: 14 months
Subscribers: 3,869
Subs/month: 276

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Lisa: What’s been key to Outspoken’s blog growth? I think it’s our voice. What makes Outspoken unique in our space is that we don’t shy away from the hard stands or the difficult conversations. We think the hard conversations are exactly the ones we NEED to have and we’re pretty good about figuring out what’s important and throwing it out there for discussion. I think many bloggers (and people) are afraid of offending anyone or being called out or being told that they’re “wrong”. And because of that, they don’t put themselves out there or stray from the middle of the pack. We do. And I think that’s allowed us to differentiate ourselves from other bloggers, but also to show our readers and community who we are, what we’re about, and what we’re like if you hire us to work with you. For us, that’s been the best part of the blog – letting people “meet” us.

The other key to our growth has been an amazing community that found us early on and was incredibly accepting. We’ve done our best to continue to grow it by responding to blog comments, asking for their input and responding to tweets/emails that come in, but the truth is, they’ve been incredible loyal and supportive for no other reason than that they respect what we’re doing.

The “secret” to a successful blog has always been great content and community engagement – and I think that’s something that’s been built into the core of Outspoken, both in the blog, but really throughout the whole company.

Smart Passive Income Blog

#4: Smart Passive Income

Founder: Pat Flynn
Blog age: 18 months
Subscribers: 6,095
Subs/month: 339

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Pat: Here are the keys to my blog’s growth and success:

  1. Consistency — keeping content coming on a regular basis, and not just content, but good, quality, killer content.
  2. Interaction — I try my best to respond to every comment, and I think people take notice. It helps build the community around my brand and builds trust and authority at the same time.
  3. Transparency — I think I’m unique in this realm, because I’m totally transparent about everything I do online. That’s why my monthly reports tend to be my most popular blog posts each month, because I talk about my income down to the penny. Not everyone is doing this, and this is my way to stand out amongst a sea of other blogging and make money online blogs. There’s no room for hype in a totally honest environment.

Notice how I didn’t mention anything about search engines =)

How to Make My Blog

#5: How to Make My Blog

Founder: Marko Saric
Blog age: 19 months
Subscribers: 7,412
Subs/month: 390

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Marko: There are few reasons. First if all the content. I have consistently published high quality, shareable content over the last year and a half or so.

Second is going out there and spreading the word about this quality content. Commenting on other blogs, guest posting on the biggest blogs, spending a lot of time connecting with influencers and the target audience on stumble, Twitter and other social media sites.

Far Beyond the Stars

#6: Far Beyond the Stars

Founder: Everett Bogue
Blog age: 7 months
Subscribers: 3,065
Subs/month: 439

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Everett: Oh man, the key to my explosive growth, wow. Honestly, I never thought I’d have 3000 subscribers after only, what has it been? 7-8 months now.

There are a couple of factors though I think contributed to it.

  1. I’ve been blogging for a long time. I briefly worked for Gawker Media with some of the key founders of that company in 2005, during they heyday of their growth. I then went on to photo edit New York Magazine’s blogs for three years — working closely with a bunch of remarkable individuals as they grew those blogs to the sizable audience they have now. I saw what they were doing right (writing content that matters to their readers), I saw what they did wrong (writing about Lady Gaga and Lindsay Lohan.) So, explosive growth or not, I put Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of blogging in long before Far Beyond The Stars launched. This isn’t to say that a person who hasn’t blogged before is at a disadvantage, I don’t think that’s the case. It’s just that I didn’t have to spend any time learning the technology, because I already knew it.
  2. I did my best to build relationships with some of the foremost bloggers in my niche as soon as possible. I did this by first praising their work as often as I could on my blog, because I honestly believe people like Leo Babauta, Chris Guillebeau, and Glen Allsopp are doing incredible work that matters. They deserve to be recognized for that, and so I often mentioned that they were big inspirations for what I was doing. I try to give as much as I can to people I respect, and who are more successful than I am, without expecting anything in return.
  3. I focused on the important people. When you hit 200 subscribers, there are 50 people who you should not spend time talking to. When you hit 1000, there are 850 people you shouldn’t spend time talking to. When you have 3000 subscribers there are 2850 people that you shouldn’t be talking to. What is the magic number that I left out? 150. You cannot interact with a tribe of more than 150 people, don’t try to, it just doesn’t work, our brains don’t work that way. I keep track of this by not following more than 100 people on Twitter, because I need room for real friends too.
  4. I interviewed everyone in my niche as soon as possible. If you go back in my archives, one of the first features I did was a weekly Interview with a minimalist blogger. I started with people who were reasonably respected, and worked my way up to people who are more famous.
  5. I gave myself no backup plan. There was no option but to succeed, or well …we won’t think about that. The truth is that there really is no bottom to fall out of if you have a little bit of intelligence on your shoulders, and the ability to stop spending money (which ironically is what my blog is about.) Maybe I could have created a successful blog while I was at my day job, but I don’t think so. It helps that I’m authentically doing my best to 1. be minimalist, 2. live and work from anywhere. What makes me stand out from the growing crowd of minimalist bloggers is that I’m going all the way, head first, take no prisoners, I’m going to live with less than 50 things and I will make my money from the Internet. Everyone else in the niche is awesome, and I love what they’re doing, but everyone is also different. People like Joshua Becker have an equally passionate love for being minimalist as I do, but they apply the philosophy in a much different way, because their goals are different. This is great, because it makes my blog unique, and it also makes their blogs unique. Stand out by trying something different, especially if it makes some people hate you. :)
  6. I had an idea. I watched Penelope Trunk and Seth Godin do a show today from Seth’s office, and he reiterated that one of the primary things he was trying to communicate with Linchpin is that there is an element that you can get from following instructions. If I told you the recipe for blogging success, it won’t work, because then you’d be copying me. I have an idea which my blog is based on: I will be minimalist in order to live and work from anywhere. It’s a simple one, it’s one that works really good when people actually do it (I know because I’m actually doing it.) The thing is, I can’t tell Think Traffic’s readers what their idea is, because their ideas are their ideas. The hardest part is having the ability, and honestly the strength, to write something that hasn’t been done in quite the same way as the way you’re doing it. The most difficult task that I face every day is taming the voice in my head that says the thoughts I have are too crazy for the world to know about.

(Thanks David Damron for reminding me of Ev’s rocketship growth for this post.)

Man Vs. Debt

#7: Man Vs. Debt

Founder: Adam Baker
Blog age: 13 months
Subscribers: 5,875
Subs/month: 453

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Adam: Looking back, two things have really impacted my early growth.

  1. “Pillar Content” – Pillar content (or evergreen content) is the big, hairy, authentic, resourceful, passionate posts that keep you up and writing all night. It’s a post on a topic or an issue that you’ll be able to link back to dozens and dozens of times over the next year. I’m a firm believer that if you could write one of these once every two weeks, it’s drastically more beneficial than posting a mediocre post everyday. Every time I pour myself into a project or a post like this it pays many times the dividend in traffic, feedback, respect, and sales.
  2. Genuine Networking – Like in most things in like, genuine networking can really help lessen the time it takes to accomplish your goals. I love being around other people, talking about their projects, and supporting cool ideas. It’s where I thrive (at least internally). When I first started out, I constantly scoured the web and my niches for ways I could genuinely provide value to people/bloggers I looked up to. I left passionate, but honest comments. I bought bloggers products that inspired me and reviewed them on the blog. Even in the first few months, I was helping make connections between one blogger and another. It turns out if you honestly try to help enough people… people start going out of their way to help you, too. :-)

ViperChill

#8: ViperChill

Founder: Glen Allsopp
Blog age: 6 months (since relaunch)
Current Subscribers: 6,192
Subs/month: 638 (since relaunch)

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Glen: Being willing to write about the things that nobody else is willing to and putting in the hours that allow that to happen. That, and caring about helping my audience more than anything else.

Social Media Examiner

#9: Social Media Examiner

Founder: Michael Stelzner
Blog age: 6 months
Subscribers: 20,325 (email subscribers)
Subs/month: 3,387

What is the key to your blog’s growth?

Michael: The key to our success has been great articles (#1!!!), great design and great partners. Without good content we would be a flash in the pan. Without great design we would not have a memorable brand. Without great partners to help spread the word we would not have reached as many people as we have.

#10: Which blog would you add?

As for the tenth blog on this list? That’s where you come in. What other fast-growing blogs do you think should be on this list? I’m looking for blogs ideally less than two years old with “explosive” growth, whatever that means to you. Please share your pick below!

Thanks to all the bloggers on this list for getting back to me on relatively short notice. You guys and gals all rock!

Stay tuned for an interview with a blogger with a subscriber growth rate of more than double any other blog on this list. I saved his story for a separate post coming later this week.

photo by bbum

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


Think Traffic is now The Sparkline. Click here to check it out.

Or View The Archives

Gary Arndt May 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

A nice list. Some of them I had never read before. I will check them out.

Arturas Kvederis May 3, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Wow, a really great post, I launched my website just a couple days ago, there are really some good points made and things to think about it, thanks!

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:45 am

Hey Arturas, I agree, most of the advice here is really useful for beginning bloggers. Notice that all of the success stories rely on the fundamentals: great content and genuine networking.

Jamie Favreau May 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I loved the part where it was said that they interviewed everyone in their niche. Very motivational and a very good idea. A friend of mine mentioned that to me at Tech Cocktail in Detroit. I know who I want to interview but I can see how interviewing a few people all the way to the top would make a lot of sense.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:45 am

Yeah, awesome tip from Ev Bogue. He’s a guy to watch out for.

Diggy May 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Hey Corbett!

Nice list of blogs, I’ve connected with many of them and their authors.

I’d say that one thing that is crucial to building up a blog and readers very fast is knowledge of bloggers. It took me a long long time to understand everything when I started out with my very first blog. If I were to start one again today I am confident I could grow it much faster, simply because I know what to do and how to do it.

It seems to me that ThinkTraffic is also experiencing great growth? Maybe it deserves that number 10 spot!

Cheers
Diggy

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:47 am

Thanks for the nomination! Seriously though, there is a learning curve for most people. Some get over it faster than others. I have an interview coming up later this week with a guy who has grown a 50,000 subscriber blog in two years with no prior blogging experience.

Marcin May 4, 2010 at 12:33 am

Really inspiring stories, thanks for this article Corbett!

Latief@AnotherBlogger May 4, 2010 at 12:49 am

You should put my blog, lol! 3 month old. I have a problem with subscriber bro, any help? Thanks in advance.

Henri Junttila May 4, 2010 at 1:18 am

Awesome list, and an excellent question. I’m having a hard time thinking about someone for the 10th spot though. But I was happy to find Think Traffic, because I now have tons of ideas of my own for my blog ;)

Keep rocking!

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:48 am

Glad you found us! Thanks for commenting on your first time here.

Dave Doolin May 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Henri, you would be a good candidate for a 10th spot here. You grew extremely fast.

Andy @ FirstFound May 4, 2010 at 2:01 am

Outspoken media are blogging idols of mine. Lisa’s right when she attributes their success to their voice. Anything that stands out from the crowd is key to the success of any venture, and OM’s snark and vibrancy put them head and shoulders above lots of the competition.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:50 am

Yes, Andy, I definitely agree. Outspoken Media is such a great brand name for them too, isn’t it? It just reminds their audience (and the founders, I’m sure) what they stand for every time you hear their name.

Parker Lee May 4, 2010 at 2:27 am

Hi Corbett!

I’ve heard great things from you through Glen, and I must say, this article was Very, very helpful. Coming from someone with a blog that’s been out for no more than a week, I’m determined to be on your list next year! Looking forward to reading more of your work buddy.

All the best,
–Parker

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:51 am

Good luck with that, Parker. I would love to do a follow up next year and be able to say that “Parker, who commented on this feature last year…” That would be pretty cool.

seo|kai May 4, 2010 at 2:27 am

I would add smashingmagazine.com as one of the best and largest blogs!
They had enormous growth during the last years

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:53 am

Smashing Magazine is a great addition! I didn’t include them only because they were started about 3.5 years ago, but they have nearly 200,000 RSS subscribers now. It is a fantastic blog, no doubt.

Alan May 4, 2010 at 2:54 am

I’m with Diggy–considering how new this site is, I’m so impressed with the kind of traffic you’re getting over here. You’re really “walking the walk.”

Keep it up! Nice post.

Alan

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

Awesome, Alan. Glad you’re enjoying the posts here.

Vanessa May 4, 2010 at 3:07 am

Hi Corbett!

Wow! Thanks for the list of blogs to look at and emulate some of the things they’re doing. I know a blog that, according to Google Analytics, has had a WHOPPING 1700+% growth in just one month! Amazing, huh? What blog is it? It’s mine at http://GetSimplifized.com OK, transparency time…my blog is less than two months old but I’m LOVING it (and apparently so are some other people)! I left a comment with you a month ago and really appreciated the encouragement you gave me. I write each post with quality content and your principles in mind. Thanks, Corbett. One day I WILL make your “10 Blogs with Explosive Growth” list…legitimately!

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 8:56 am

Hey Vanessa! Congrats on the growth so far. I hope you’re out connecting with other bloggers, writing guest posts, meeting people on social media, etc. Combine that with some really great content and you’ll keep that growth going.

Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot May 4, 2010 at 4:00 am

Impressive stuff:) I reckon Kelly DIels must be doing well too, not sure how old her blog is though.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 9:00 am

Great mention, Annabel! Kelly is doing really well. Her blog “Cleavage” is just about a year old: http://www.kellydiels.com/ I don’t know how many subscribers she has, but all other vital signs are really healthy.

VH May 4, 2010 at 5:46 am

I am looking forward to seeing those blogs. I love that blogging anyone can succeed if they know how to communicate with their users without being overbearing.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

Blogging is a great populist medium, isn’t it?

Ross May 4, 2010 at 6:24 am

Wicked list Corbett. Solid content as usual. I know about most of these but I’ll have to check out the others as well. One thing I’ve noticed about the popular blogs is that they seem to be everywhere. I notice them connecting on their blog, twitter, facebook and every other space they can get their hands on. But it’s not just a canned message here and there, it’s a real person talking to you and loving doing it.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

It makes you wonder how some people find so many hours in a day, doesn’t it? It’s better to write fewer genuine messages than a bunch of impersonal ones though. That’s the part some people get wrong.

Daniel Wong May 4, 2010 at 8:35 am

Awesome list – I agree with you, I can see them keep growing! Out from 9 websites, I am already following 8 of them. I followed them religiously everyday through my RSS.

I think Karol from http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/ deserves to be on the list too. He done a few guest posts around the blogosphere. Not sure how old is his blog though. But it’s definitely rising and taking attention.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

Yes! Karol is a great addition as well. His blog is less than a year old and he already has a really dedicated audience. It’s no doubt due to his dedication to useful and inspiring content: http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/

Taylor May 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

I think the design blog sixrevisions.com has shown tremendous growth. Jacob is an awesome guy, and truly a mentor for myself and my design blog aspirations. He has fantastic design sensibility along with great and passionate content, and followers.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

You guessed it, Taylor! Six Revisions is the subject of another post later this week. Jacob has built a blog with over 50,000 subscribers in just over two years. Amazing!

Kathy Jerzak May 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

Your timing couldn’t be better as I have been mulling over blogging ideas for the last month – ever since the local RE bar camp. I have 2 blogs I started – Project 365/photo a day but both are very dusty. A lot has evolved in the last month when I started following some great people on twitter and reading blogs, a few which are mentioned here.
Just today, I think I found my ideal/theme for mine and one for my teen daughter if she is interested.
So thanks for a great post for someone ready to jump in with both feet~!

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hey Kathy, good luck with the new projects! Glad we can help.

John Bardos - JetSetCitizen May 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

Another fantastic post Corbett!

You definitely know the ‘secret’ formula for success. Great Design + Great Content + Engaging Readers

I second the motion, ThinkTraffic should be #10.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Shhh, don’t give away the “secret,” John! Seriously though, you’re right. The formula for success is simple. Following it (and getting the details right) is hard. That’s why I started this blog. Thanks for the nomination!

Mike Carlson May 4, 2010 at 11:02 am

Another good one Corbett. I really enjoy how your blogs bring helpful information that the rest of us can put to use.
One common thread all of these people have is “action”. The more we look around at who is really being successful, it becomes apparent that the internet is not a road to easy riches or anything else. But with as much, or more, effort that would otherwise be put into a dreaded J.O.B. the ‘net has the potential to provide us with the lifestyle we’re after.
Thanks for sharing these stories man.

Mike

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Well said, Mike. Action is where it’s at. Research alone can only get you so far.

LoneWolf May 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I wish that I could slide into that #10 spot on your list, but I just haven’t seen any consistent growth. I try to build the friendship/networks via Twitter. I try doing the Stumbles and Diggs.

Part of the problem is that I’m not consistent with my posting, but I just don’t see much traffic from the efforts that I put in. I guess I just have to keep working at it until that big break comes along.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Hey LoneWolf, you’re not alone. Consistent growth is the hardest thing to come by. If you’re not growing consistently, it usually means one of two things. 1) If your traffic is generally very low (100 or less visitors per day), but you occasionally get bigger spikes, it might signal that your content isn’t consistently high enough in quality. 2) If your traffic is higher 100+ visitors per day, but it has plateaued, it might mean that your external promotion efforts aren’t working, or you haven’t been doing enough promotion. Just some food for thought. Good luck.

Tom May 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

It’s nice to find out that I have a good taste in which blogs I follow! I’m another recent blogger so it’s nice to have something to aim for. Give it a year, and maybe I’ll be up there :)

Hailey Rene May 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Awesome article and really glad I found your blog. I just went through this article with a fine tooth comb generating tons of ideas for my own blog. Thanks!

Hailey Rene

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Cool, Hailey. Let me know how it goes!

Evan May 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Now go out and find people who have done these things and aren’t successful. I bet there are some about.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Good question. I’m open to suggestions if you know of any good examples. If you truly produce great content on a topic that people care about, have a great brand/design and effectively promote that content for at least 12-18 months, I would be surprised to see someone fail.

Evan May 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

This is my problem; “effectively” means successfully. So, yes, those who have been successful have been successful. If you see what I mean.

Srinivas Rao May 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Hey Corbett,

Thanks for sharing this list. I’ve actually interviewed a few of these people for BlogcastFM and they have some amazing stories. Ev bogue was one of my most recent interviews and to see how fast he’s grown has been really inspiring. You’ve also given me a whole new list of people to speak with :) . Good stuff.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Can’t wait to hear the interviews, Srinivas. Your interview with Ev was great.

steve May 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm

wow! Thats some eye opening stuff! That means its possible for everyone! I never heard any of those blogs in the list. Great Info!

Melissa Gorzelanczyk May 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm
Corbett Barr May 5, 2010 at 9:10 am

Great additions, Melissa! All three of them have done a fantastic job growing dedicated audiences over the past year. I hadn’t checked in with Jeffrey from Art of Great Things in a while. It looks like his blog is really taking off.

Glen Allsopp May 5, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Hi Corbett,

Great list and thanks for including me.

Though, I’m sure SME has been around for a few years?

Corbett Barr May 5, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Hey Glen, glad to have you on the list.

Social Media Examiner is only about six months old. Crazy, right?

Annie Stith (@Gr8fulAnnie) May 6, 2010 at 4:23 am

Hey, Corbett!

I’ll bet another characteristic all these bloggers have in common is that they enjoy what they do, giving them the drive and motivation to do the rest.

Just sayin…

Annie

Nevil Darukhanawala May 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

What I love about this post is that it makes you rethink what needed for the success of your blog doesn’t it?

Corbett Barr May 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Yeah, the bloggers on this list all focus on the fundamentals instead of promotional tactics and tricks. Promotion is important, but not without a solid foundation and great content.

Barry Adams May 7, 2010 at 12:29 am

State of Search – barely 2 months old and already one of the best SEO blogs around with a PR of 5 and a S&S awards nomination. It doesn’t get much more explosive than that.

Corbett Barr May 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for the addition, Barry. In case anyone is interested, State of Search is at http://www.stateofsearch.com/

LiberateYourLifeProject May 7, 2010 at 2:04 am

Of all the advice, I find Everett Bogue’s Far beyond the stars most intriguing, In fact, i am using his techniques right now to try to build traffic for my own site! :)

Gail from GrowMap May 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

This is the very first post from Kikolani’s Fetching Friday Mashup that caught my eye and I am very happy I made the time to read it. One thing I would add to the great advice of these bloggers is the importance of collaboration.

There are now many ways to plug into existing groups including the private blog collaboration started by Murray Newlands that I co-moderate with Connie Foggles, the CommentLuv and BloggerLuv communities, Guest Blogging communities like Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest and the growing DoFollow CommentLuv KeywordLuv community of selfless bloggers.

Do not judge growth by my subscriber counts as I have many other priorities beyond my own blog and do not focus on that over what else more important I must do. You can judge our community though by the discussions in my comments.

If anyone wants links to the other sites and communities I’ve mentioned just ask. I am plugged into them all which is why I am spread so thin. :-)

John Sullivan May 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I sit here thinking about the Game of Blogging. Whenever I see an awesome list like this I always watch to see if the people says Thanks. Bloggers are notorious for not doing so. I think if I played my cards different I may of ended up on the list but the reality is I found many of these social media sites the owners aren’t to social, well if your a client and mention money it’s a damn luv feast :)
Nah I will stay with real bloggers not sales people we do ok :)
Your site is excellent
Thanks gave me something to think about

Arafat Hossain Piyada May 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm

After watching their success number I should say I’m way away from their success. I really love ‘Far Beyond the Stars’ success as his blog have the same age of mine.

Cindy Larsen May 8, 2010 at 5:55 am

Corbett is really into this…look at all his posts.

Liberateyourlifeproject May 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

Oops i forgot to add, I really like this lifestyle design blog by Maren Kate at http://www.escapingthe9to5.com

I believe she is getting loads of traffic, but more importantly, RETURN traffic. Recently she just interviewed Neil Patel and her blog is full of positive stuff that just inspires whenever I have the time to come in and read.

Corbett Barr May 13, 2010 at 9:46 am

Yeah, great mention. Maren Kate is doing a great job with her blog.

Winston Lawrence May 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Thanks for this interesting post – I would say that underlying theme that I think I am seeing is that they all seem to have a clear idea of who their audience is. I’m definitely bookmarking Marko Saric How to Make My Blog
as that is well written and closest in ‘theme’ to what I am trying to do with my blog.

Imran Yousaf May 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Hey Corbett, you have done an excellent job. I liked the success strategy from Almost Fearless. She hit social networking and drove great traffic to her site. Excellent job dude.

Jerry Garrett May 9, 2010 at 10:11 am

Wonder how some of these guys combat web scrapers and content thieves? The bigger a blog gets, the faster it grows, the more it seems to attract the internet’s criminal element. That’s been my experience in trying to grow my site. It’s been very discouraging and de-motivating.

Corbett Barr May 13, 2010 at 9:48 am

Hey Jerry, what’s your concern about web scrapers and content thieves? It doesn’t really harm your blog or audience, and there is not really anything you can do about it anyway. My suggestion would be to ignore it. That’s what every big blogger I know does.

Website Design May 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

Very interesting insights…. thanks for sharing.

Start big and launch with a few killer articles… then it’s all about timing the market with an aggressive marketing campaign that gets traction and brings in return visitors

william doust May 10, 2010 at 5:54 am

I tried quite a few of the links both in IE and FFox and got no where fast. I gave up, but I noticed socialmedia exmainer! – They got really good newsletters – well worth subscribing

Corbett Barr May 13, 2010 at 9:49 am

Hi William, what do you mean you “got no where fast?” The links didn’t work for you?

Custom Web Site Design May 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Hmmm not bad. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful list of blogs with us and keep up the good work.

Maciej @ SEO Noobie May 12, 2010 at 7:47 am

This is a great list for sure. It can be tough to keep up with so many blogs on an everyday basis. Just not enough hours in the day sometimes to keep up with them all.

Elaine Ellis May 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I really think Edelman Digital is doing a really good job since they relaunched in March of this year. http://edelmandigital.com/ It has great content for a big agency, which is very rare!

Corbett Barr May 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

It’s sad how inept most of the “big agencies” are at building a popular site and using social media. Edelman at least seems to be hiring people with more relevant skills for digital PR.

A Samuel May 14, 2010 at 3:51 am

I had also never seen any of those blogs, but number 9 Social media examiner looks good; will go check it out now.

Peter Jay June 12, 2010 at 5:21 am

Hi Corbett.. First time here. Just walk around and found this site has many useful article about traffic. Keep it up. I will subscribe you RSS today. :)

Corbett Barr June 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Fantastic, Peter. Glad to have you here.

Motivatory September 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I was thinking of adding a blog or two but after looking at some of the blogs posted here, I felt i shouldn’t waste my time as the results here are simply mind blowing.

Passerby October 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Great article and blogs, obviously or they wouldn’t have experienced that sort of growth.

The interesting thing is that many articles have similar information, probably copied and pasted in many situations. I have tried most of the things to boost the number of visitors, but I still seem to be frozen and no matter how many articles are posted traffic does not improve. There are 7 of us writing on the blog.

The ways to increase traffic on blogs, does not work for everyone.

Dan J October 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

#11 (behind Think Traffic) should be http://www.startupfreedom.com. Sean’s subscriber totals aren’t on the site right now but he seems to have a fairly steady following and really helpful content.

Micki McNie October 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I really appreciate that almost everyone mentioned authenticity, making friends rather than smarmy networking techniques. Everytime I hear “killer content” I get a bit intimidated but I hope that writing authentically and killer content will grow to be related.

Adam Snyder October 16, 2010 at 7:58 am

Viperchill is a great site and being that Glen is so young is just another motivational factor for me and many others.

Black Zen October 24, 2010 at 12:52 am

Hi Corbett, this is my first visit to your blog and was pleased to land on this post first. I also recently started a blog and building traffic isn’t an easy task. Some people might get “lucky” but generally you have to put in the work. Seeing what others have done to make their blogs successful really helps. Thanks!

Corbett Barr October 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Luck is great if you can get it, but I prefer to focus on the things I can have a more direct effect on. Cheers.

Jonathan Manor November 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

great post corbett. I kind of really want to delete about 350 of the people i’m following on twitter

Jia Jun December 11, 2010 at 10:54 pm

This is a really awesome list you’ve gathered Corbett.
I’m new in your site here in thinktraffic, and I just couldn’t stop myself to continue and read more and more from your great posts. XD
I’m enjoying reading your blog, and it really does help me in my journey in blogging. :)
Thanks again.

Corbett Barr December 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Awesome, Jia. Great to have you here!

Erik Emanuelli @ Free Make Money Advice December 28, 2010 at 5:56 am

Thanks for sharing this info.

An interesting list, I am checking out the links and some of the blogs I do not know about.

It is always good to learn from experienced people.

wilson usman January 27, 2011 at 4:25 am

Yea this was definitely an great list of leaders man,
I’ve been reading their blogs since they were kids now they’re all grown up (analogy). I always knew they’d be great people.

NotCathy May 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hi Corbett,

Thanks for sharing those amazing blogs. I will surely visit those blogs to read and see why they are great. It’s nice to know that would possible for everyone too… :) Keep safe!

shajjad May 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

A nice listing of best blogger. From them I loved pat and vipperchill most. They are really genius.

shajjad

Nick Vivion January 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

We launched Unicorn Booty on January 7, 2011, and now are on track to welcome over 1 million visitors to our site this month! If that’s not explosive growth then I don’t know what is… ;D

Best,

Nick Vivion
Co-founder, Unicorn Booty

Corbett Barr January 16, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hey Nick, that’s awesome! Congrats on the rocketship growth. I’ll email you for more details :)

Sheyi January 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

So do you have an updated list Corbett?
Its great to write the best blog posts ever… Look at viperchill adn smartpassiveincome, those two guys even after you’ve listed them here, they are still in the online world, growing and doing pretty well day by day.

I stopped working on my blog until I am ready to really work on it.

Corbett, I will need to interview you!

Janessa@Janessa July 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm

I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your site. It looks like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
Kudos

Britt@hartford health insurance July 12, 2013 at 2:23 am

You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I find this topic to be
actually one thing that I believe I might never understand.
It sort of feels too complex and extremely extensive for me.
I’m taking a look ahead for your subsequent submit, I’ll attempt to get
the hang of it!

Merissa@electronic health records July 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you
relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on
just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us
something enlightening to read?

Autumn@this content July 27, 2013 at 9:26 am

This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
..HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how
you presented it. Too cool!

Weldon@Weldon August 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the last part :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

Corbett Barr May 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Hey Dave, thanks for pointing that out. Wow Henri, 1600 subscribers in just over 4 months is pretty impressive. I wasn’t familiar with Wake Up Cloud (http://www.wakeupcloud.com/) before, and I’m glad Dave mentioned it!

LoneWolf May 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I am in the very low category on all my sites. I believe that the writing is quality, but there may be a lack of people actually looking for entertaining writing.

I need to focus on things that are more informative it seems. I’ve really struggled to see any kind of StumbleUpon traffic. I’ve only stumbled a couple of my own pages amongst all the stumbles I’ve done. Stumblers drop in once in a blue moon, but the bounce rate seems to be about 100% all the time.

I’ve also done a lot of Twitter interaction, and the traffic that comes from there is minimal and doesn’t seem to stick around either. There have been a few exceptions.

The best traffic I’ve seen so far has been from HubPages. Because of this I’m learning more about article marketing as a strategy and I hope that this will pay off better than the social media does — writing is what I like to do anyway.

Corbett Barr May 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Well, it sounds like you’re on to one of the big “secrets” of success, which is experimentation. It’s great that you’ve been trying a lot of different promotional strategies to find one that works for you. Keep at it and you’ll get better results. Just don’t forget to experiment with different types of posts as well.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Sites That Link to This Post