How can you tell when you have a popular blog? Have you ever realised some subtle factors beyond search engines, which tell you whether your blog is popular or not? This article points out the subtle tell-tale signs that you may or may not notice when your WordPress blog becomes popular.
1. Brute Force Attacks and Login Attempts
As soon as a blog is created and is crawled by various search engines and bot services around the world, it starts to gain publicity. This publicity is closely watched by people who want to exploit the popularity of your blog, to push their communication across. This basically means that when your blog becomes popular, you will be bombarded with attacks and attempts to gain access of your website. If you have enabled some security features in WordPress, the logs and alerts will draw your attention to the anomalous activity.
While this may not be very welcome, it is an indication that you are on the right track to becoming popular. You must therefore ramp up the security of your WordPress blog, by implementing features and plugins which filter out the malicious activity. You can rename the wp-login page, setup a firewall, limit login attempts per IP Address and do much more to secure yourself.
2. Spam Comments
Just like the brute force attacks and login attempts, you will also notice a lot of spam comments from persons trying to publicize their website by putting those comments on your posts or pages. You can use various filters and plugins (like Akismet) to filter out known spam sources and suspicious comments. However, you must also manually approve or reject comments so that your website does not promote parasitic behavior.
3. Your Web Hosting Provider complains about excessive resource usage
When there are a lot of visits on your blog and each visitor is genuinely browsing through your blog, it can cause a lot of resources to be consumed on the hosting server. A heavy site with a lot of traffic can take up a significant amount of RAM, CPU processes and Web Server processes, which can adversely affect the performance of other websites sharing the same server. When your blog gains popularity (or it causes a nuisance to other server users), your web host is sure to contact you with a warning or alert. This may be either due to your website outgrowing shared hosting, or it may also be due to a buggy blog or buggy plugins. Some plugins are known to cause an excessive amount of trouble for the server resources. Be careful when installing them. Some providers also offer an option for you to monitor the real time resource usage of the website through their control panel.
4. Ad revenue soars
When your blog hits new levels of popularity, you will notice that ad revenue also increases proportionately. This is simply due to the fact that your blog is receiving more hits and page views and it becoming an important source of information for a lot of people. Fluctuations in ad revenue are also sometimes representative of the fact that you have neglected updating your blog or delayed putting out quality content.
5. Competitors write about you on their blogs
Its quite obvious that a popular blog gets the attention of genuine fans and well wishers, but on the other hand, a lot of blogs are referenced by competitors or not so warm fans. Your blog becomes the center or criticism and ridicule, some of which maybe constructive, but the bulk of it coming from competitors who feel they are on shaky ground and can win loyalty through commenting about your blog posts or website. WordPress allows you to see pingbacks i.e. cross referenced comments or quotes from other websites using WordPress, pointing to a page or post on your website. By cross-referencing, you can allow a backlink to the other blogger as well.
All in all, the good comes with a bit of the bad. There will always be successful people and ofcourse jealous people as well. Your aim should be to focus on regularly pushing out qualty content and using all the features of WordPress to the best ability.