Updates to FindABlog.Net
28 February 2021: New A to Z of Niches Page
FindABlog now has an A-Z of niches list so check it out if you're not sure what niche you want to choose for your new blog.
- In response to user demand I have increased the number of blogs listed in the travel and weight loss niches.
- Behind the scenes I have added a different method of adding new blogs to the index. This should lead to increase in the number of high quality blogs appearing in the index.
- I've added a contact page.
- There's a new chart on the blogging data and statistics page that shows what percentage of blogs listed on this site have various social media accounts. Whether they use them all though is another matter...
- There's a new part of the site for finding out more about travel blogs.
16 February 2021: Blogs Now Being Tagged With Relevant Niches
The site is now starting to tag blogs with relevant niches (e.g. weight loss, affiliate marketing). More niches and tags will appear as the site gains more visitors. Hopefully the site will grow rapidly as FindABlog is currently receiving more traffic than FindAForum was at an equivalent stage in its life. Incidentally there are currently 142,951 potential niches in the blog database now (although not all are worth putting on the site).
16 February 2021: Site Now Shows a Blog's YouTube Videos
If a blog has an associated YouTube Channel then some of their videos will start appearing on their blog details page. Initially these will only appear for blogs whose Channel ID is the long ID that begins with UC - I'm working on adding videos for Channels that have a 'real name' for their Channel.
The videos will appear in a new tab of the Executive Summary section of the report. There's also a YouTubers page that showcases some of the most watched videos FindABlog finds while indexing blogs.
- All YouTube channels are now being correctly identified, regardless of whether they use their UC code.
- I have added in support for Patreon. They're not really any better than the other social media 'giants', but many independent bloggers rely on them for a good part of their income so please do support blogs that have a Patreon account!
- I've split the blog listings in the drop-down menu at the top of the page into two different lists. There is a new menu to show case some of the bloggers who are doing very well on YouTube and also those who are using Patreon and Podcasts to keep their offerings fresh and exciting in 2021.
16 February 2021: New Niche Screenshots Page
There's a new feature that allows you to view screenshots of the best blogs in particular niches. Here's an example that shows the best blogs in the herbal remedies niche, and here's the page for weight loss blogs. To view the screenshots gallery for other niches go to the main niche page and choose a niche.
11 February 2021: Hello Podcasts
You can now see if a blog has a Podcast. These are becoming increasingly popular so you should evaluate whether a Podcast would be a valuable addition to your blog.
- Blogs that allow guest posts and also those that support CommentLuv or Disqus are now appearing on the site.
- There's a new page to show "Everywhere Blogs". These blogs have accounts with the "Big 5" social media companies
(Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram)
and which also have a Podcast[coming soon -the site has not yet identified any blogs with everything].
- I've added Instagram to the list of social media platforms recognised by the site.
- There's a new page to show blogs you may be able to write guest posts and articles for.
- More niches are showcased in the Niches drop-down menu in the top menu bar.
- In this bitterly cold weather, Saki has been lying in her bed all day watching classic movies. Can you spot the classic movie quotes she's started using? They pop up from time to time in the side bar tips panel.
- Blog summaries will now start appearing on the site.
- The site is now using page-level caching which will speed up blog listings pages.
- Blog pages now show an activity log tab so you can see what details of a blog were last updated.
- Blog rankings have been improved.
- Icons representing blog properties are now being displayed in search results.
- LinkedIn icons are now showing up correctly.
7 February 2021: New Hot Niches Sidebar Panel
I've made a hot niches sidebar panel. It should appear on most pages (including on this one). The number of different niches it could showcase will increase over time.
- Blog posts are now being stored. This will allow more updates to the site to focus more on niches rather than individual blogs.
- The feed loading routine on the blog details pages is now a lot more fancy. It will show if the blog's feed is inaccessible, or whether it's just empty. Incidentally if you're reading this and you own a WordPress blog, just make sure your RSS feed isn't showing the entire text of your blog posts. This increases unneccesary bandwidth and also can help hackers clone your entire blog! I've never had that happen to one of my blogs, but strangely it did once happen to a phpBB forum I owned. I didn't complain too much though because they kept my original adverts on the site!!!
- There's a new page to show which WordPress blogs have the largest number of comments. These blogs are obviously doing something right, so take a good look at them.
- Blog listings pages for WordPress blogs will now show the general level of commenting that the blog attracts, on a scale from 1 to 10. This will only be displayed if the blog makes this data available. Incidentally this is on a logarithmic scale, as some blogs get 1-2 comments per year but I have estimated that the largest blog (that I know of so far) gets over 750,000 blog comments per year!
- Blogs that allow guest posts and also those that support CommentLuv or Disqus are in the process of being identified.
7 February 2021: Blogging Niches Are Here!
I've added a new Hot NichesBeta page. This shows the hottest blogging niches here on FindABlog. It's currently in Beta not because it doesn't work well (it does) but because FindABlog doesn't yet have enough niche data to show enough niches yet. Still, it's looking pretty cool - for example this is a long list of blogs in the Keto diet niche. The search is working really well because blogs purely about keto diets are at the top, then it goes down to more general dieting and weight loss blogs and also pulls in a few blogs in related niches (for example the Paleo diet).
Here's another list of niche blogs - this time in the herbal remedies niche. SakiAI reckons this niche isn't too competitive, and if you browse the list you'll see there are many different approaches to starting a blog in this niche. I have some more ideas for how to make this part of the site even more useful, so stay tuned... the first feature is that you can now click through and see a list of blogs that allow you to post comments. Please don't abuse this service!
6 February: Performance Improvements
A blog's feed is now loaded asynchronously so blog details pages will load a lot faster, particularly for slow or broken blogs.
- Behind the scenes preparations made for the addition of niches to FindABlog.
- Related discussion forums and related e-commerce stores are now displayed in blog details pages. Forums are worth starting if there aren't too many existing forums in the niche AND you have a way of getting users to sign up and post on the forum. E-commerce stores often have blogs you can comment on and they're worth a look if you're interested in making money from drop-shipping products.
- Blog names added to breadcrumbs in blog listings pages.
22 January 2021: Blog Ranking Coming Soon
Some more updates:
- I've started ranking the blogs so we can have a page like FindAForum's Top Forums. I've completed the ranking algorithm and the blogs are busy ranking themselves, but it will take a while before I have enough data to be able to display it on the site. This is more for fun than anything else although it will serve a practical purpose in that I want to prioritise showing you guys the *best* blogs that are out there, and this algorithm will help a lot with that. Note: see top ranked blogs here.
- Blogs will now show related content from our sister site FindAStore. The stores listed may not necessarily be that relevant yet but bear with me as FindAStore only has 585 stores so far (but FindABlog has over 10,000 blogs). I hope you'll all find this functionality useful as it helps showcase what you could do if you added on a dropshipping store to your blog. Both WooCommerce and Shopify allow you to add a blog to your store too.
- Images have been switched to the .WEBP format which will save me (and you!) significant bandwidth. Remember to use this format on your own sites as the images can be up to 85% smaller than their equivalent .PNG versions.
- The blog listings pages have been improved. You can now see the reliability indicator for a blog ( = excellent, = poor). If you're smart you'd have already figured out that blogs with poor reliability are great candidates for replacing with a better blog!
- The category pages now showcase some of the more popular blogs in that category.
16 January 2021: New 'New' Blogs Page
I've added a New Blogs page to the site. Please don't confuse this with the Latest Blogs page. The New Blogs page shows blogs that have been created in the last two years (but I hide blogs from this list if they're less than 90 days old in order to give them more of a chance to establish themselves). The Lastest Blogs page shows the blogs that I have recently added to the site.
Elsewhere on the site I've tweaked the search page to iron out some problems with the infinite scroller (it's the first time I've ever used this piece of tech).
I've also added my Twitter account to the site just in case you want to tweet me.
14 January 2021: A Hard Night's Work in the Categories Section
I've done a lot of work cleaning up the blog categories. Basically when I built FindAForum I manually assigned blogs to their specific category. With FindABlog the process is automated so it's.... not amazing. This is one thing humans tend to do much better than computers.
In time the site should be able to automatically categorise each blog, but it's going to need a lot of data to train it. In the meantime I've had a good browse through the catalogue to try and move some of the more obviously wrongly categorised blogs somewhere more suitable.
One thing I will say to all you bloggers - MAKE SURE YOU STICK TO YOUR BLOG'S TOPIC. The work I do to build FindABlog isn't too much different to what the search engines like Google and Bing do when they crawl your blog. There are some blogs that don't really use a lot of the important key phrases in their niche. That makes it hard for me to categorise them, and it's not going to help their search traffic either.
One other update... I've enhanced the display of search results in all the pages listed under Explore Blogs. The category results pages will now also show a maximum of 100 blogs. At some point I'll start paging them, but for now if you want to see the whole list then use the search facility. Incidentally the listings pages now show little icons so you can see what features each blog has, including whether they allow you to post comments and what social media accounts they have.
12 January 2021: Advanced Search Facility
I've busted my brain to bring you the advanced search facility. Now you can search for blogs that have different properties. For example you can just search for WordPress or Blogger blogs. You can also search for blogs that have specific social media accounts associated with them. I've also put in a (very important) ability to search for blogs that accept comments. Finally you can search for blogs that are monetized using either AdSense or Amazon.
Given the sheer number of blogs in the index now I have changed the search results from being server-side to client-side. It's also my first ever website that uses 'infinite scrolling'. To view more search results, scroll the mouse or swipe the screen if you're using a mobile device. I'll monitor how it works because again because there are so many blogs now, other pages on the site could really use this technology too.
There are a couple more database fields I've added. One will only be for internal use but the other will be used to show blogs that appear to be corporate entities. This should make it easier to find smaller blogs. It's surprising how many gigantic corporations use WordPress these days!
I've also fixed a bug that was stopping the site showing sites monetized by AdSense. I thought there ought to be more Made for AdSense blogs on here!
10 January 2021: Added WhoIs Information
The site is now collecting WhoIs information about each blog in the index. It will take a while for the data to appear for existing blogs, but it will be included in the data added for new blogs.
There's some really useful information in WhoIs data. You will now be able to see how old the blog (or rather its domain name) is. This should be useful for identifying new blogs. Remember that new niches are created all the time so it's definitely keeping an eye on these blogs. The site is also capturing domain registrar details (i.e. what hosting company the domain name was registered with). I've not included any information that might compromise the privacy of website owners. By the way the domain registrar isn't necessarily the same company that hosts the sites. For example this website isn't actually hosted by GoDaddy, even though that's where I registered the FindABlog.Net domain name.
Finally there is now some juicy domain name expiration data so this may help identify domain names that are about to go under...
I've changed the data collection routine so that keyword collection is a little more reliable. I've also updated the algorithm for finding blogs that make use of AdSense to monetize themselves. There don't appear to be quite as many blogs using AdSense these days, or maybe I should say that there aren't as many high quality blogs using AdSense.
As for blogs - the current count stands at 9595 and I'm hopeful we'll hit the big 10,000 psychological blog count in a few days! I've tried to increase the number of blogs in smaller niches and I know how popular food blogs are so we now have a lot more of those.
7 January 2021: Improved Data Quality
I've spent the whole of day polishing the blog finding routines. It will take a while for the new data to start appearing on the site. Eventually blogs will now show:
- A proper site name if one is available.
- The blog's listing will show the blog's title graphic if one is available. If you want to add one to your own blog, I believe Yoast's SEO WordPress Plugins will allow you to add one in.
- Each blog's keywords have been cleaned up so hopefully less junk will show up.
- Each blog's keywords will also have a few keyword phrases listed rather than individual words. How many appear depends on the structure of the particular blog.
- Hopefully each blog will now have a screenshot. I have reordered the blog insertion routines so that the screenshots are done first, and basically no screenshot = no place on the site. I'll also try and remember to switch my VPN on when adding new sites. This should hopefully avoid the "do you want our cookies" popups from spoiling the screenshots. You don't need me to tell you what a nuisance they are!
- Blog posting history is now fixed. I had a kind of plan to truncate the little chart if the blog stopped posting. However that didn't seem to work too well and I'm not entirely sure what my thinking behind this was. So hopefully this will start resolving itself. In time I'd like to be able to put the charts from different blogs on the same page. It would be nice to be able to measure how "hot" a niche is. For example I'd like to compare all the keto blogs to see if people think it's worth blogging about it or they largely seem to have scaled back the posting. That niche seems so saturated (fat) now that it must be so hard to come up with post ideas without using my Niche Laboratory research tool for inspiration.
I've been thinking about all the "dead" blogs in the directory. There are already quite a few! Initially I thought about removing them. However, being able to detect old blogs might actually be useful. ALL of the blogs listed on FindABlog are (or were) in search engines. If you think about it for a moment, a blog that has gone out of business is still potentially valuable. I know that in the last year I let quite a few of my old blog domain names expire. Some were quite valuable - one was making $600 a month at the peak of my blogging career. So I plan to leave the old and abandoned blogs in the index but at some point I will flag them as such. It would be really cool if I could put a link to the wayback machine so you could see what the blogs once looked like, plus a link to see if you can actually register the former domain name. Now that's got to be a good way to make money!
One small fix: there are now breadcrumbs on the category and subcategory pages.
Finally there are too many new pages to fit in the top menu so I've implemented drop-down menus. These don't tend to work too well on mobile devices but I'm going to assume that bloggers will be using desktop PC's or laptops to access this site, so I should be able to get away with it.
6 January 2021: More Blogs!
I've added a further 2354 blogs in a wide variety of niches. I've also added some code that should help enhance the site by helping to identify the best blogs on the site.
Another major addition is that there is now a page that lists the most popular Themes used by the WordPress blogs listed on FindABlog. If this proves to be a popular page then I will expand it so that you can search for the most popular Themes used in particular niches and other useful information.
30 December 2020: Social Media Accounts Identified and Comment Support Added
Just a couple more updates before I switch to developing my other new site FindANiche:
- FindABlog now identifies social media accounts linked to a particular blog. These should start appearing in the blog listings. For reference the social media sites supported are: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
- FindABlog is now starting to identify blogs that allow users to post comments on articles. This should be a really useful feature! Again it will take time for the index to update with the comment posting status of all the blogs in the index.
At some point I'll add an advanced search facility so that you can search for blogs with specific social media accounts or those that allow users to post comments. I think the latter would be an especially valuable feature.
29 December 2020: New Big Blogs Page
There is a new Big Blogs page that shows the top 50 Wordpress blogs on FindABlog ordered by the number of posts the blogs contain. The site is still building its indexes so this page should change as more blog post counts are recorded.
I've also tweaked the search results page to now show blog post numbers if available and the blog's description is also now displayed. The search results should now be improved as I've found a better source of site keywords. These keywords will also start appearing on the blog details pages.
The number of blogs listed on the site continues to grow - we've just gone past 4000 and I have a huge list of juicy keywords which should allow me to add up to 10,000 additional blogs to the site, including a lot of smaller blogs than we currently have. As you all probably know it's no use trying to start a blog targeting the keyword Weight Loss, but you might have rather more success with longer tail keywords such as Acupuncture For Weight Loss or Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss.
Finally taking inspiration from the VLC media player, there's a Christmas hat Easter Egg on the site that will display through December.
28 December 2020: Site General Makeover
I've added a lot of updates to the FindABlog website. Most pages now have a side panel with lots of useful information. There's a statistics panel which shows the number of blogs indexed, and I've also added in a panel that shows the biggest blogs on the site in terms of number of posts. The site's mascot Saki is also available to give you tips on how to get better at blogging.
Another side panel shows a random video from my attempt to start a YouTube channel. My production values aren't amazing but you might find some useful niche ideas and blogging tips on there. I've been a blogger and a vlogger but for now I am returning to my roots and I am developing FindABlog from scratch (it's completely custom built in .NET Core, MySQL and Bootstrap).
I've also added in a counter to keep a log of the total number of blog posts in the blogs that the site has indexed to date.
Incidentally the index of blogs is still being generated so just bear in mind that the data will grow more accurate over time.
The next major task I need to work on is to show much more detail about what blogs are actually blogging about...
27 December 2020: More Useful Blog Data Added to Site
A new section is now available for Wordpress blogs: Blog Post History. This shows the number of posts that have been published by a Wordpress blog. There is also addition data including when the first post was published, and there's also a little chart that shows the monthly publishing statistics. This is really useful in that it allows you to identify blogs that are very much still be updated and those that have fallen by the wayside. People start and stop writing blogs for many reasons but if a blog has been discontinued then maybe it's time to launch a competitor... Incidentally the majority of the blogs listed on FindABlog do get traffic from search engines - that's where I found most of them in the first place. So the owner of a mothballed site probably hasn't given up because of a lack of traffic.
It will take a while for all of the Wordpress blogs on the site to be updated with this data. Unlike FindAForum which is pretty much static, FindABlog updates its data on a much more regular basis. The rate of updates will depend on how many visitors FindABlog gets (which isn't too many at present, since the site is less than a month old).
By the way, to benchmark the blogs on FindABlog I've started all blog timelines from January 2010. That's when I started blogging and it seems to be a good place to start. Just remember that not all blogs were started on this exact month but by showing posts since this date it's going to make it much easier to make additional updates to the site (e.g. by showing blogs benchmarked against each other).
24 December 2020: More Blogs and More Tweaks
I've added blogs for all of the most commonly researched for niches that people interested in blogging tend to think about. The site now has over 2,000 blogs listed. See the text on the home page for the actual tally.
I've also tweaked the blog retrieval so that a blog's description is now displayed (if it has one). This will also improve the search facility.
22 December 2020: Updated Home Page
FindABlog is pretty much fully operational so I've removed the under construction sign from the home page and inserted a proper home page.
I've also made some changes so that the Categories Page now lists the number of blogs FindABlog has indexed in each category and subcategory.
19 December 2020: View Latest Blogs And New Blogs Are Coming...
I've added a Latest Blogs page to show some of the blogs that have been added to the FindABlog directory of blogs. This page should get quite busy soon because I have put the finishing touches to the routines for adding new blogs to the site. When I built Find A Forum I manually added all of the forums to the site, but FindABlog is pretty much entirely automated. This will hopefully allow it to scale to around a million blogs in total. I am not sure if it will get that big, but that is probably the database's limit (for now).
Interestingly I tested out the blog insertion routines by using some blogs in the yoga niche. I found out FindABlog actually already has a lot of yoga blogs listed, but I went and found a whole lot more. This looks like a really popular niche!
By the way I have been finding new niche blogs by using the Windows version of Niche Laboratory. I always think it's cool when I end up using my own software products. If you've not tried it then give it a go as it's really nice at finding blogs and other stuff in any niche. If you ever get writer's block when blogging then you definitely need to give Niche Laboratory a go!
18 December 2020: Various Updates
It is now possible to submit blogs for possible inclusion in the FindABlog blog directory. Please read the rules before submitting blogs. Basically they need to be either Wordpress or Blogger blogs, must be in English and must be family friendly (so no NSFW blogs please). Also they should not be spam.
I've added a Top of the Blogs page to showcase the most popular blogs here on FindABlog. Note that this just highlights blogs that are popular with visitors to the FindABlog.Net website - the data does not reflect how popular or how much traffic the blogs actually get. Use this page for inspiration if you want to see a well designed blog or one that is popular in a particular niche. I'm not sure what else it will show, but it will be interesting to see what happens to this page over time. Incidentally if you want to see a similar page but for internet forums not blogs then head over to FindAForum's Top Internet Forums page.
17 December 2020: Categories Arrive!
FindABlog now shows a blog's category and subcategory. These are identical to those used by Find A Forum although FindABlog will have some additional categories added over time. I've added in a Prepper and Survivalist subcategory as this niche has expanded tremendously since I created FindAForum back in 2013.
Incidentally some blogs may appear to be in strange and unexpected categories because the category assignment is automated in FindABlog whereas in FindAForum it was a manual operation. Some blogs are also vague and wooly so it can be difficult for the algorithm to pinpoint its exact niche.
You will probably find that the search facility is better for locating blogs of interest. However, I have left categories and subcategories in because it's a feature many users found useful on FindAForum.
16 December 2020: FindABlog.Net is Now Open!
I am pleased to announce that FindABlog is open for business. It has around 1000 blogs which were harvested courtesy of Niche Laboratory's keyword research tools.
Version 2.0 of the site will include the ability to add new blogs to the site. I believe there will be the capacity to store at least 100,000 blogs, so most niches will be covered in time.
- The non-English blogs will be culled from the index as I need to keep the site advertiser safe and I can only do that with English blogs.
- Not all blog RSS feeds are working. I assumed Wordpress feeds were always www.blogname/feed/ but this appears not to be the case. I don't know about Blogger blogs as there aren't so many of those indexed at present.
- Not all the blogs in the index are still working. I could remove them but if you think about it, expired blogs are useful to know about. Quite a few people make decent money from replacing dead websites. I should know, because I started Find A Forum as a replacement for a dead website called big-boards.
- The search and categories aren't quite as accurate as they are in FindAForum. FindABlog stores less information about each website than FindAForum does. I had to make this change because there are many more blogs on the internet than there are forums, so database space is more of an issue.
- There are rather more "corporate" blogs listed than I would like. I need to index a lot of medium to small blogs but this kind of reflects the search engines' favouring of big brands these days. I should mention that a lot of big brands use Wordpress, not so much because it's amazing technology (or free), but for the fact that editorial staff know how to use Wordpress, so that's what the tech guys are told to use.