5 Keys to Running a Successful Blog

It’s difficult for me to believe, but I have been blogging for almost 8 years. I started this blog in the Summer of 2007 (under the Elliot’s Blog moniker), and I have published nearly 5,000 articles in that time. Based on traffic, revenue, and even longevity, I would consider this to be a fairly successful blog.

There are many people who would like to turn a blog into a business, and I thought I would share 5 things that I think helped this blog become successful. Of course, you are welcome to share your thoughts about this, as well as more general thoughts about what makes a blog successful.

When you’re finished reading this you should check out  Heidi Cohen’s blog  for some great advice on publishing a blog. Heidi was a professor of mine at NYU, and I think you will benefit from reading her blog. There are quite a few articles about blogging with some valuable tips.

5 key factors that I believe have made this blog successful:

  • Niche topic  – Investing in domain names is a small sector, and anyone can participate. There are quite a few excellent blogs and websites covering the business of domain names, but that number is quite small when compared to other businesses such as graphic design or web development.
  • Field expertise –  My knowledge allows me to share expert insight that other’s wouldn’t be able to provide. I spend much of my time trying to buy domain names, bidding on auctions, and doing acquisition or sale research. When I learn something or think something may be helpful to others, I am generally willing to share that information.
  • Frequency of articles – I am constantly looking to write articles that I think would be relevant to readers. I also do my best to write about current events and topics that are in the news now. If something happens now that will impact my business or I think is of interest to people in the business, I can generally publish an article with my take very quickly (lucky to have a supportive wife!).
  • Engaged audience – Just about every article that is published has insightful  commentary from readers. Frequently,  there are excellent discussions and helpful information shared in the comment section.
  • Supportive  advertisers – Advertiser support is critical because  I wouldn’t be able to spend this much time on this blog  if I wasn’t being compensated. If there were no advertisers and I still had the desire to share, I would have to charge for a subscription. Advertiser support means readers have free access to the website.
Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. What did you do when you started out with your blog in terms of generating revenue? Obviously, without the user base, it’s hard to attract advertisers. I would assume you just had to put the time in without earning anything in the beginning, right?

    • I didn’t make any money at the beginning.

      I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I do now though, and making money was not even a consideration at the beginning. I was more concerned with selling my domain names that generating advertising revenue.

  2. Hi,

    I have recently started reaching out to find experienced and successful people who have made the business of buying and selling Internet real estate that is profitable. My portfolio is growing and I now want to start selling, what I would like to ask you is this, can you recommend sites for selling that are good and reputable. And I am also looking for a good forum to join.
    Your article is great and was helpful with the knowledge of creating blogs that are successful, can you explain how you make money with blogging. I have always been perplexed by this business.

  3. Thanks for the share Elliot. This can surely help anyone succeed, whether they are getting into domain investing, internet marketing or just writing about what they love to do such as sailing or knitting.

  4. Curious, if you had to do it again would you have pigeon holed yourself into just the domaining niche or made it more broad including marketing, advertising, investments of all types etc…..

    The reason I ask is you can only grow as big as your user base and the domaining base is not that big. It basically has a cap but if many subjects were talked about then there would be no cap. The base would be much bigger and would continue to grow year after year.

    • I wouldn’t change things.

      I would rather be one of a few blogs than one of many. I don’t think I could offer “expert” insight in other fields.

      IMO, there are more than enough advertisers in the space to make decent income, especially since blogging is just a part of my business.

      Good question.

  5. Another curious question, since changing your name from ElliotsBlog to DomainInvesting how much do you think putting the keyword “Domain” in your blog name has changed your traffic. Is it better by 10%, 30% etc……

    • I don’t think it helped with traffic, but that wasn’t really the intention with the change.

      It’s easier to allow others to contribute (more to come on that), it’s more of an “authoritative” source that news outlets cite, and it will ultimately be more saleable.

      ElliotsBlog.com ranked well for various domain name keywords, and this blog continues to rank fairly well.

  6. What did you major in? Did you get a grad degree? Did you have a regular job before plunging into the “domasphere”? (Domasphere.com still available.) Did you feel like you wanted to ditch the 9-to-5 corporate world and do something more flexible and free? It’s not just about domains, but about people, too, and these are the kinds of questions people want to know about you, Elliot… 😀

    • Masters Degree in Direct and Interactive Marketing

      I started out as a Project Manager at Wunderman (direct marketing agency in NYC) and then became a direct marketing Program Manager at AIG where I helped oversee telemarketing and direct mail campaigns.

      I went on my own in November of 2007.

  7. It’s been quite a journey, huh? Congratulations! Your blog success is because or the frequency and quality of your posts, and transparency of at least 70% behind your business decisions. So it’s a personal and real glimpse into your professional life. I don’t always get a chance to visit, and sometimes there are large gaps in between because I’m so busy, but I can count on enjoying your posts when I get here. I wish you continued success.

  8. I live in Brazil, and I’m starting in the domain business. I read your blog daily. Congratulations for the work, and thank you.

  9. Great read Elliot. If I have to add one more bullet point to this list I would go for: Passion. It’s the essential ingredient for any blog imo.

    I personally think that sharing your know-how and expertise is the most contributing factor to the success of DI.

  10. Hi,

    Can someone please recommend the best site for listing my domains. And also, how much of your apprasial should determine your asking price.


  11. Congrats on your 8 year run Elliot!. I think part of having a successful blog is not just what you do but what you DON’T do, like another domain blogger who uses teaser titles to lure in readers, or posting sexy and provocative images to sell content that nobody would otherwise read.

    When I come to your blog Elliot, I know I’m reading the Boston Globe and NOT the National Inquirer.. Kudo’s to you for keeping it clean and respectful.. Wishing you another 8 years 🙂


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