The success of blogs can be measured in many ways.

When it comes to marketing, the more eyeballs a blog gets, the more opportunities a company has to sell and make money. Especially if the site’s main focus lines up well with your marketing initiatives and target audience.

A successful blog is one that completely locks into their target audience and highlights niche topics that align with the blog’s core focus.

For those managing their own company blogs, there are lessons to be learnt from the success of the internet’s biggest blogs.

Here’s a look at 10 of the world’s most trafficked blogs, as of April 2017, according to eBizMBA Rank. This site looks at the current average of a website’s Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from Compete and Quantcast.

10 of the world’s most successful blogs… and what they’re doing right!

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

1. Huffington Post

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 110,000,000

Year started: 2005

Estimated monthly revenue: $14,000,000*

Originally, this site started as “The Huffington Post” by blogger-cum-celebrity Arianna Huffington. It was recently renamed as simply HuffPost and regularly tops lists for global traffic and revenue.

Whilst HuffPost has maintained it’s initial focus on American politics with a decidedly liberal stance, it has also greatly expanded to include a wide variety of other topics and localised editions. They’ve achieved this through pulling in content from a pool of individual bloggers and content creators that vary from professional writers to politicians rather than directly employing all of its own writers.

Over the years, HuffPost has come under scrutiny for taking advantage of unpaid contributors to help grow its content database and, in turn, attract more viewers. Still, this approach has certainly seemed to work in its favour. The site rakes in the revenue from sponsored advertising across its different channels and is thought to be valued at over $1 billion.

The lesson: Crowdsource to your advantage and don’t underestimate the power of niche topics to attract more visitors.

2. TMZ

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 30,000,000

Year started: 2005

Estimated monthly revenue: n/a

2005 must have been a good year to start a blog-style news site. Its the year TMZ, a wildly popular U.S. celebrity gossip site, was also started. For the nosy human beings, TMZ checks all the right boxes: the breaking scandal, the sexy photos and the shocking titles, trying to pique reader’s curiosity and keep them clicking for more. A recent gem:

10 of the world's most successful blogs and what they're doing right

SHOCKING!!!

It’s not just the type of ‘news’ TMZ shares, but how they do it, i.e. very effectively. Somewhat surprisingly, at least to those at more mainstream media outlets, TMZ has actually broken the story on several major celebrity headlines over the years. This includes being the first to report on Michael Jackson’s death and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce. The content, combined with its ability to share big stories first, keeps readers coming back to TMZ as a trusted resource year after year.

The lesson: Give the people what they want (sex, scandal, fame, fortune, failure) and do it quicker than anyone else. While not all blogs may have the naturally juicy content TMZ shares, there’s something to be learnt from tapping into people’s curiosity and cleverly crafting your post titles.   

3. Business Insider

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 25,000,000

Year started: 2009

Estimated monthly revenue: n/a

Business Insider focuses on sharing and analysing business news with an emphasis on the financial industry. One of the things that make the site so interesting is that it outperforms rivals from more recognised brands, such as CNBC or Forbes, yet doesn’t have a large staff of writers.

It makes the most of its resources to do this, zeroing in on what its readers want to see most and aggregating relevant posts from other sources. Business Insider is clear on who its reader is, what their behaviours are (like how long they spend on reading a single article) and what they’re most interested in reading.

The lesson: Know your audience. Easier said than done, but it is the most important thing whether you’re a blogger or a marketer.

4. Mashable

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 24,000,000

Date started: 2005

Estimated monthly revenue: $2,000,000*

Another 2005-er, Mashable was started by Pete Cashmore in his Scotland home and quickly grew to be the go-to source for social media and tech news. Since then, the outlet’s focus has expanded a bit, but still emphasises social media news and updates while growing its audiences significantly, thanks in part to pushing content out on a variety of platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The lesson: Making the most out of amplifying your message or content on social media channels early on can reap great rewards.

5. Gizmodo

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 23,500,000

Year started: 2002

Estimated monthly revenue: $325,000*

Gizmodo is tech-centred site that also excels at sharing a good dose of design, science and science fiction news. It was originally launched in connection to Gawker and in 2016 was bought by Univision Communications in their acquisition of Gawker Media. The site obviously still has a strong following and is another one that has benefited from using a number of different bloggers to capture and share a constant stream of posts. Its content topics were also popular with a dedicated audience at the time of launch, but then grew over time regarding tech, science fiction and design.

The lesson: Roll with the punches and learn to adapt to changes in your structure and messaging if needed. While the blog has stuck to its roots, it has also gone through major organisational change and still come out on top.

6. LifeHacker

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 23,250,000

Year started: 2005

Estimated monthly revenue: n/a

Lifehacker bills itself simply as the site for “Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done.” Simple and straightforward, yet highly intriguing (who doesn’t need help getting things done?) This site aggregates posts ranging from guides on reading sheet music to “A Helpful Woman’s Guide to Upgrading Your Entire Life With Homemade Marijuana Gummi Bears” and everything in between.

The lesson: Help people and show them what to do. Sites like Lifehacker, Pinterest and other ‘how to’ sites and platforms do incredibly well showing other people how to do something in a way that often makes their lives easier or helps them get ahead.

7. The Verge

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 18,000,000

Year started: 2011

Estimated monthly revenue: n/a

A relatively new site compared to the others on this list, TheVerge is a multimedia platform that looks at technology news from a mainstream audience’s perspective, including how technology, science, art and culture intersect. With posts ranging from new XBOX reviews to NASA news, the site is tapping into a cultural shift: technology has moved to the centre of people’s daily lives, particularly when it comes to mobile.

The lesson: Be timely and relatable. Your average Joe may not care about all the intricacies of how a new mobile camera works, but they do care how it will affect their photo quality or phone cost. The same goes for marketing – be relatable.

8. The Daily Beast

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 15,500,000

Year started: 2008

Estimated monthly revenue: n/a

Focusing on politics, pop culture and world news, The Daily Beast first started running in 2008 and prides itself on delivering ‘award-winning original reporting and sharp opinion from big personalities’, with a tendency to call out others’ BS. Recognised by Nieman Lab as one of the fastest-growing news sites year-over-year in 2015, The Daily Beast has continued its strong growth and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

The lesson: Stick to your guns. Consistency, perseverance and telling the truth usually pay out.

9. TechCrunch

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 15,000,000

Year started: 2005

Estimated monthly revenue: 2,500,000*

Covering technology and startup news, TechCrunch was originally founded by journalists Michael Arrington and Keith Teare, and was acquired by AOL in 2010. Today, the blog still maintains a loyal following and is also recognised for its “Disrupt” conferences held in various locations each year.

Along with sharing industry news, the site now also boasts posts from a number of respected industry leaders, and has maintained a reputation for being critical during product reviews. A positive product post or review on TechCrunch is like striking gold.  

The lesson: Don’t underestimate the value of thought leadership. And how much people like to geek-out on tech news.  

10. Perez Hilton

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: 14,500,000

Year started: 2005

Estimated monthly revenue: $575,000*

This controversial gossip website, run by Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr., aka ‘Perez Hilton’, isn’t even at its height of popularity and is still coming in strong with nearly 15,000,000 visitors a month. Similar to TMZ, the site shares scandalous celebrity news and gossip, but with more personal (i.e. scathing) commentary from Perez himself. The blogger and website have regularly come under attack over the years for sharing controversial information, images and videos that celebrities have claimed to be slanderous or illegally obtained. However, this controversy, and Perez’s strong voice, have only fuelled the fire, with millions of readers wanting a daily dose of the site.

The lesson: There’s no such thing as bad PR when it comes to attracting eyeballs.  

Bonus!!!

11. The Phrasee blog

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

Estimated unique monthly visitors: None of your beeswax

Year started: Mind yo’ business

Estimated monthly revenue: For us to know

While the phabulous Phrasee blog may not have achieved the massive readership of the other blogs on this list (yet), it is growing steadily. Covering topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and email marketing, the Phrasee blog uses humour, alternative perspectives, and research to connect with the niche market it targets. Recently recognized as the UK’s best PR, marketing and communications blog at the UK Blog Awards, the Phrasee blog appears poised to take the internet by storm in the years to come.

10 of the world's most successful blogs... and what they're doing right!

The lesson: Read our blog, it’s awesome. 

*Estimated monthly revenues were drawn from this recent Forbes article.

Sign up to Phrasee’s weekly newsletter. It’s awesome. We promise.