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How Did A Blog Reach 2.6 Million Followers?

May 18, 2010

The social media blog Mashable along with the political blog Huffington Post are evidence of the mainstreaming of Blogs into the global niche digital publishing arena with both companies providing aMashable's Social Media's Blog Growth great example of best practice.

To understand this more I would like to investigate the rise and rise of Mashable. Peter Cashmore began the Blog in July, 2005 in Scotland and it is now approaching its 5th birthday and claims to have 2.6 million followers and using the tool at achieves monthly traffic of 5.16 million.

It is not surprising to find that it was built on the foundation of 2 core elements (that I have mentioned regularly in past posts) and are the foundation of  any successful blog despite the online scammers claim to easy fast money online.

1. Passion for the subject

2. Hard work (he worked 20 hour days regularly)

I think it is worth noting that Mashable’s success goes beyond these foundational elements.

Here are ten other reasons for its success that are worth highlighting.

1. He picked a trend early “I felt like social networking wasn’t being covered to the degree it could be. I didn’t necessarily know there was an audience for it. I find it best to dive right in and learn the hard way.”

2. Mashable has been on  Twitter’s Suggested User List (SUL), since day one and  reaped the benefits the huge following numbers brings.

3. They use list headlines to great effect

Mashable and its use of lists headlines for social media

4. He wrote 7 blogs a day during his first year

5. Mashable  is now posting 20 plus times a day in 2010

6. They break stories early from the source quite often in simple format.

Mashable and breaking stories on social media

7. Encouragement To Share On Social Media so consequently they have been early adopters of new social media sharing technology such as share buttons for Twitter, such as Retweet, Facebook share, Facebook like and others such as Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon and Delicious.

8. Bridge the gap between bloggers, social media, technology  and also some of the the “famous people using social media such as Ashton Kutcher and Co.

Mashable and Famous Social Media Users

9. They keep it simple so that almost everyone can read the articles

10. They run off line events that create community and tribe. Mashable says “A lot of the benefits from running events has been in terms of greater visibility for Mashable as a brand. We are connecting our audience to other members of the tech community, and people are going away and talking about Mashable.”

What other factors have made Mashable so successful?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2010 9:51 pm

    Feel like you missed the most obvious one: he’s covering the internet on the internet.

    There is a certain amount of echo-chamber at work with social (e.g. lot of convo on Twitter is about Twitter), so knowing the audience was certainly a factor.

  2. May 18, 2010 10:45 pm

    As much as they are successful, they also write a lot of crap that it just retweet fodder. “10 tips for…”, the 10 tips being the same old same old repackaged under the allure of providing some new information or framework.

    Like Alan says above, there’s a lot of echo chamber people who just buddy up here, who have no voice and find it within mashable.

  3. May 20, 2010 4:06 pm

    Really great post. I think we have to work harder to bring our blog to surface. Niche topics is a good decision.
    I also think that appropriate design (not too much, please) is also a plus. As well as taking “posts elements order” really seriously, to help readers scan the whole post, and find the key spots with value.
    @RolandoPeralta | CommunitiesDNA

  4. May 21, 2010 5:42 am

    That was a really good post, I think it is up to the website owner where they want to be in 5 years. It is my thinking that if I just put my head down and keep charging along in 5 years I can look up and see what all I have accomplished. I try to post at least 5 times per day on my sites for now, and do lots of link building to get people to notice my blog. I can’t wait for 5 years to come around so I can get at least 1 million visitors per month.

  5. June 22, 2010 3:29 pm

    This post depresses me. Mashable launched just six months before my first blog. This is proof that I did not know what I was doing. 7 posts a day? 20 hour work days? are you kidding me? i don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything that badly.

    Kudos to Pete for making it work.

  6. July 3, 2010 9:35 pm

    @ Daniel I totally feel you. I started blogging in 2007 but it boils down to how much time you have to put into your project. It takes time from your real job and since blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme, you have to work even harder while going to school or working full time.

    It takes a lot out of you. But on the flip side, if you can put that sort of energy into a blog that has potential, then you have a fair chance.

    Niche blogging seems to work better and allows you to post less often but if you really want to build a brand, one or two blogs is what I limit my self to.

    For a while, I was working on 5 blogs at a time, that spread myself way too thin. SO now I decided to stick to 2 plus my freelance design company.

    I just launched OBI…going to see where that takes me.

    Thanks for sharing this and as always, Jeff great work!


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