Top Posts from 2016

Like many bloggers I’m fascinated by traffic patterns and understanding user / reading behavior. If I were to be even more strategic I would actually do something with a lot of this data but I actually don’t care much about it at this point in time.

In fact, I don’t care at all, to be honest. If a particular blog post gets a lot of views then I’m happy and if it gets barely anything then I’m equally happy. Why? Because I write first and foremost for myself.

But, for those that are interested, here are the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2016. And, if it makes sense, I’ll provide a bit of context and perhaps explanation with some of these. All of these stats are provided via Jetpack.

Most Viewed Posts in 2016:

1: How To: Care for a Little Sad Person

Holy shit, did this post bring in the pageviews. I mean, it brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors, mostly first-time ones. And not only did it go “viral” once, but at least twice and a few more mini-spikes to boot. I wrote a small retrospective on the second one here.

This was a classic, classic, example of how straight-up stupid-lucky you can be when you just consistently produce content, even when it’s not even that good. This post was completely “throwaway” and yet it out-performed every single blog post of the year by an jaw-dropping margin.

The internet is whacky, unpredictable, and can sometimes pull in your favor. Your job is to just show up.

2: The 10 Best Writing Notebooks to Capture Your Creative Thoughts

Please, please notice the time-stamp on this post. That’s right, August 2011. If it wasn’t for the “Sad Person” post above this post would have been #1, just like it has been for the last 5 years running.

In the industry of blog and content creation we call this “evergreen” content and there’s a reason for that. Because it keeps producing for you, year after year after year after year.

And, if I told you how much money I make from that one post (via affiliate links and a direct link to my indie macOS app, Desk App) it would kind of blow your mind.

I could actually talk much more about this, but, I’ll just let what I’ve written so far sit there for your consideration…

3: What is a Blog? What is a Blogger? What is Blogging?

This post is even older than #2. It’s one of the most referenced post of all-time on this blog. It’s made me, essentially, an “expert” when it comes to being a “blogger” or defining the darn word.

Not that I am, but, the internet thinks that I am. Hilarious.

4: Create a Simple Privacy Policy for Your Blog

Really…? Really.

5: 20+ Distraction-Free Minimal Writing Apps to Help You Focus Your Blog Content Creation

Could I please have a longer title? Also a key driver of conversion for my indie macOS app (go figure). Make that money, yo.

6: How Much Traffic Do You Need to Start Advertising on Your Blog?

One of the most searched for answers in terms of blog monetization. People want to know and apparently I have a pretty decent answer to this question.

Now, this was during the time that I was personally trying to maximize earnings via the blog directly (i.e. I was trying to be a professional blogger) so I was simply sharing what I felt was appropriate and what I did for my own property at the time.

Do I still agree with this sentiment? Probably not. In fact, I’ve moved entirely away from direct monetization from my blog and it even feels “icky” when I see others try it. I tweeted this yesterday:

Times have changed, but folks are still looking for answers to these common questions. My blog (and that blog post) delivers.

7: 10 Tips on How to Push Down Negative Search Results

I can understand why this one is popular and continues to be one of the most popular posts of all-time. It’s something that many of who live digitally online would love to figure out.

8: The Role and Responsibilities of a Chief Communications Officer

Kind of surprised by this, but, it is still a popular topic and it was something that I was fascinated with because I tried the role out for a small amount of time at a startup.

It’s worth noting that not only did I get fired from that job (thankfully) but that startup ended up tanking completely, for a number of legit reasons. But, I shared my learnings and it still resonates with other folks. Glad I could help.

9: Getting Featured in the Apple App Store (iOS)

Not surprised by this because it was one of the most important queries that I had when I first started building iOS and macOS apps. It still is a topic of huge conversation when I chat with other indie Apple-centric developers.

We all have our independent and corporate theories and apparently the stuff that I continue to throw out there is good enough for a feature (the last 3 weeks I’ve been on the front-page carousel). So grateful, so humbling.

10: The Complete Guide to Using Images in Your Blog Posts

One of my personal favorite blog posts of all time. I really enjoyed putting this one together and it’s helped hundreds of thousands of people over the years. So glad that I penned it.

Final Note: This is really striking: Only 1 post was written in 2016 and the rest were as follows:

  • 2010: 2 posts
  • 2011: 4 posts
  • 2012: 1 post
  • 2014: 1 post
  • 2015: 1 post
  • 2016: 1 post

Apparently 2013 was a really crappy year of writing. Oh well.

But aside from that random aside, the reality is that 90% of the top-performing posts in 2016 came from previous years. Again, evergreen content all-the-things.

And, you know, I’d love to just sit on this topic for some time and preach the value of just writing and not quitting but I harp on that so hard I won’t do that again in this post, but, I think you get the point.

Showing up and doing the work and being patient about the long-game is, well, the name of the game. But, if you don’t agree with that principle then I’ve got nothing for you.