It’s not that difficult to become popular if you offer something unique, and keep your audience of target in mind. But what does this really mean?
I started this blog a while after the Hebrew Hummus Blog was already gaining huge popularity, and recognized as one of the most authorative and successful blogs in Israel.
“Huge” in terms of a tiny place like Israel is rather small compared to what an English writen blog can achieve, and that’s the reason I started this one, but the basic concept is the same.
In Israel, I needed only one year to become highly recognized. I got hundereds of backlinks right away, was interviewed by a dozen newspapers and TV channels, and more or less penetrated all major media channels – with little effort.
The Hummus Blog seems like a far larger project, all-in-all, with higher aspirations and greater vision, so I’m not in a hurry. Still, I’m gaining higher popularity every month, so I believe it is working (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give me a link. Please do…).
After little more thean a year, the Hebrew Hummus Blog is already ranking 1-3 in all major search-engines, for almost every related term one can think of. The English version is doing better and better. In some cases, I’m up against well established sites, but I know it’s just a matter of time.
But why is it working? What’s the concept? I’ll discuss it in details in future posts, but here are the basics:
1. The Hummus Blog(s) is/are one of it’s kind. I went for that “niche” in the first place, because I thought there’s a need for such a blog (about hummus, that is), and because being the first means you’re going to get ALL the traffic. At list at first.
2. Writing about Hummus means more than just being well-themed. It’s being unique, intrigueing, extraordinary, refreshing. About half the links I got was from people saying “look, there’s a blog about hummus as well!”. One of these links was from Slashdot, some where from high-authory blogs about food or about Israel or middle-east politics. Some from .edu and .org sites.
3. These blogs are, of course, conservatively SEOed (Search Engine Optimised), with propper titles, meta tags, inner link structure and other SEO elemtens, mostly implemented on-the-fly. There are thousands of blogs about this stuff.
But the real advantage lays in the simple fact that most everything I post here – and the blogs themselves – are natural link-baits. I get a considerable amounts of links and traffic from social sites and services such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Del.icio.us, etc.
4. It’s always best to be link-worthy, but it is also important to emphasize the fact that you are of the linking-kind yourself. I don’t think you really need to give in order to recieve. Insead, I try to link everything I think my readers will like. For example, if I come across a nice chickpea recipe with some lovely photos, than I link to it.
5. One should not really bother to learn special techniques, or think in terms such as Organic SEO, link popularity, linkbaiting etc. It is always good to know these concepts, but it is far more important to adopt good habits and constructive approach.
Resourceful pages should be linked to. Original content should be linked to. A great photo always deserve a link. And if your blog is dedicated to something that is really a passion of your, then you’ll never run out of ideas, or out of pages you could link to. So set your standards high, and stick to it.
5. Same goes for comments. In both cases, BTW, Google Alerts comes pretty useful (although not a stand-alone solution at present). I never comment if I’m not really interested; just as I never bother to check if a blogger to which I comment uses nofollow tags in comment or not. It is of no relevance to me and to other surfers. In time, it will be irrelevant for serach engines too.
Thare’s a lot more to be said, but these – as I said – are the basics.