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How the Great Blogs Began – The First Posts (Round 2!)

August 2nd, 2007 · 6 Comments

You didn’t think I was done did you??

Today, we’ll look at five more highly successful blogs about blogging:

  • Lorelle on Wordpress
  • CopyBlogger
  • Entrepreneurs-Journey
  • TopRankBlog
  • Blogging Pro


Birth Date: Aug 16, 2005 Age: 2 years
Google PageRank:
Technorati Rank
: 434
Alexa Traffic Rank: 13,310
First Post Title: Lorelle on WordPress
First Blog Subject: Like some of the other successful blogs profiled last time,
Lorelle’s blog starts off with a well-defined purpose and sticks to it. Her first post lays it all out—this will be a blog about blogging using WordPress. The focus was narrow for the beginning, which has made it easy for her to stick to her plan over the last two years—quite successfully.
Historical Alexa Daily Reach:


Birth Date: Jan 9, 2006 Age: 18 months
Google PageRank: 6
Technorati Rank
: 73
Alexa Traffic Rank: 7,570
First Post Title: Sold
First Blog Subject: Another good example of a blog that started out with a fairly specific purpose and stuck to it. Copyblogger, the creation of Brian Clark, started out with a first post in a well-designed series of posts that were intended to motivate a reader to want to learn more about the relationship between written salesmanship / copywriting and blogging. From there, he steps right into some great posts on the subject. All excellent reads, which probably explains why he now has 21,528 feed subscribers at the time this was written.
Historical Alexa Daily Reach:


Birth Date: Nov 18, 2004 Age: 33 months
Google PageRank: 6
Technorati Rank
: 2,700
Alexa Traffic Rank: 15,103
First Post Title: Welcome to the BetterEdit Blog
First Blog Subject: This blog is going to make for one sweet case study! Anyone could learn a ton by reading through all of his past posts from the beginning. Entrepreneurs-journey began as a way for Yaro Starak to profile the progress of his "real" web-based business at www.betteredit.com. Things have changed a lot over the months and years, and he’s now begun focusing on the blog itself as the centerpiece in his web-based business. The blog’s name certainly fits—it’s truly an entrepreneur’s journey! I can’t wait to dig into the details of what’s made Yaro’s blog tick—can you??

Historical Alexa Daily Reach:


Birth Date: Dec 28, 2003 Age: 44 months
Google PageRank: 6
Technorati Rank
: 117
Alexa Traffic Rank: 13,823
First Post Title: Welcome to the TopRank Online Marketing blog!
First Blog Subject: Lee Odden started up this blog as a companion site to his main web marketing site, www.toprankresults.com. There are a lot of early posts, mostly short and referring to outside content related to his business (SEO). With all the content, it’s a mystery to me why Alexa doesn’t report any significant increase in web traffic to this site until late 2005—something worth digging into. I’m also finding it difficult to believe that a number of the very popular blogs I’ve profiled in this post and my last post have dropped off in popularity at around the same time…beginning in January 2007. Look back over the other nine Alexa traffic plots to see what I mean. Something may be amiss…
Historical Alexa Daily Reach:


Birth Date: May 24, 2004 Age: 39 months
Google PageRank: 6
Technorati Rank
: 319
Alexa Traffic Rank: 25,827
First Post Title: Welcome
First Blog Subject: BloggingPro has the dubious honor of being the last blog about blogging profiled in this initial series. The first post, like several of the others, gives a short & concise overview of the type of information you can expect to find on the site. It appears that BloggingPro has stuck to its initial vector pretty well—although generic blogging tips is a pretty big niche & allows for a lot of freedom. Check out the Alexa graph. After several months of very little gain, BlogginPro established a pretty solid level of traffic and slowly improved on it until late 2006. Once again, we have another reasonably popular blog where the daily traffic received seems to have dropped off significantly in 2007.
Historical Alexa Daily Reach:

Wrap-Up – What’s the Best Way to Start Your New Blog?

I hope you’re beginning to get the picture. There isn’t any one best way to start out your new blog, although some ways are clearly more efficient than others. A quick glance back at the Alexa daily reach of the blogs profiled here easily shows that those blogs that started out the gate with a well-defined purpose and stuck to it were able to increase their daily reach far more quickly than the blogs that struggled with their identity for a while. I imagine we’ll find, upon closer inspection, that all of the bloggers who fit into this category had significant experience in related areas before they kicked things off. The good news is, if you don’t know exactly what you want to blog about, there’s plenty of time to figure it out, and there are plenty of examples of people that have started out that way and ended up being remarkably successful. It just might take a bit longer to get there.

Next time, we’ll broaden our horizons a bit and get out of the "Blogging Blog" niche to see how some of the other types of blogs out there kicked things off.

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Tags: Case Studies / Profiles · Step-by-Step · Blogging for Money

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Clark // Aug 2, 2007 at 8:57 am

    This is really interesting… except for my part, of course. :)

  • 2 Lorelle // Aug 2, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Very interesting and some great insights, however, the stats you have uncovered for Lorelle on WordPress are influenced by WordPress.com on Alexa and originally by Google, though that seems to be sorta cleared up lately. The issue is that Lorelle on WordPress is a subdomain of WordPress.com. Maybe the services have cleaned up the difference, but early on, before I stopped paying attention to stats, they hadn’t.

    I don’t think that stats really speak well for a truly good analysis of what makes a successful blog. Your descriptions of why they are “successful”, though I’m not clear about your definition of success, is good, and the most valuable part. Online numbers have long been easily manipulated and screwy. Hopefully they’ll come up with better stats somewhere in time.

    If I were to sum up all the years of experience blogging (and before blogging was blogging), I would say that the number one influencing factor in the “success” of a blog is its ability to create LINKABLE content, content worth linking to.

    Goes back to the cave days when the story that became a legend was the one most entertaining to be told and thus, told many times, often beginning with the phrase, “Did you heard about…”


  • 3 Jason // Aug 2, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    That’s interesting Zen that all these successful bloggers had a vision and stuck to it all the way to the top. It seems the way to go, huh?

    I also want to say that from reading a few articles about the top bloggers, most of them either sell advertising space on their own or sell it through a program like BlogAds. Seems to also be a sign of a top blogger these days. What that has to do with the beginning, I don’t know.

    Anyway, cool post. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series. I’m a current reader of Entrepreneurs Journey, so I was psyched to see how that one started out. To tell you the truth I didn’t know anything about how Yaro Starak got where he is today, just his recent ventures.

  • 4 Zen Zoomie // Aug 2, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    @Lorelle & Brian, what a great surprise! The first comments came from two of my favorite bloggers (who just happen to be profiled in this post!) Thanks for stopping by! Lorelle, your post is spot-on–and I think it actually deserves a full response vs. just a comment back.

    @Jason, yep–most of the blogs I’ve profiled so far have kept a laser focus on what they’re there to do. Thanks for the pointer of “self-marketing” of ad-space. It would be interesting to see at what point each of these bloggers reached a point where they were able to go out on their own successfully. Maybe when we dig in further, we’ll find that they left a good trail to follow… I can’t wait to see!

  • 5 Jason // Aug 4, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    “Maybe when we dig in further, we’ll find that they left a good trail to follow…”

    If you can find this kind of info, I’ll kiss your feet Zen. Looking forward to the next installments!

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