My friend Gini Dietrich over at Spin Sucks recently shared her most popular blog posts of 2012.
The cool part, aside the links to all the intelligent (and entertaining) posts, is that her friend Adam Singer, who now works at Google, has created an analytics dashboard that makes the process simple. (Follow the link at the bottom of this post to get stats for your own blog.)
First, let me say that this was a refreshing exercise because it did not use number of comments as one of the measures. Instead it plotted the more important reader behaviors, things like pageviews, unique page views, unique visitors, social shares and average time on page.
And guess what? The posts I thought were my most popular ones, in some cases, didn’t even make the list. Read on for the ones that did.
My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012
Here they are, then. My 10 most highly ranked posts for 2012, in descending order. (Just click on the title to visit the post.):
This post took the number one spot, a bit of a surprise to me. This post mixed a story with the point I was making, that social media has made information more accessible but also makes it harder to sort the facts from the untruths.
Blogging Lesson: Making a point by telling stories in a post can get readers more interested and more willing to share my content.
2. Guy Kawasaki Hits a Home Run with His New Book, ‘APE’
This one offered a review of Kawasaki’s new book on self-publishing.
Blogging Lesson: Covering new products and social media personalities is a surefire strategy, but including a very entertaining video will increase the chances of social shares.
In this post I shared the more personal side of me via the core principles I live by.
Blogging Lesson: Readers enjoy it when you peel away the layers and show them what’s in your heart.
A look at how Hollywood writers pitch and promote their movies and what we can learn from that when we approach creating our blog header’s tagline.
Blogging Lesson: Mixing movies and pop culture into a how-to post can make a boring topic more fun.
Here, a simple holiday greeting with a Christmas story from my childhood and observations on how fast our kids grow up.
Blogging Lesson: This one surprised me, too. But I think it was that readers understand that universal truth: that everyone’s family is weird in some way or another.
6. Here She Comes to Save the Day!: ‘Wanton Exclamation Point’
I had a little help on this one, I think. A reporter from the Boston Globe came across the post, interviewed me for an article he was writing on inappropriate use of punctuation, and his readers visited my blog. I also used humor by sketching how Wanton Exclamation Point would look and behave if she were a character.
Blogging Lesson: Be open to media interviews, even if it frightens the $@*&% out of you.
I examined the Pinterest phenomenon and how bloggers can leverage it to get more traffic to their own sites.
Blogging Lesson: Helping my readers understand new social media trends and use them to bring more reader interest and engagement on their own blogs is a popular topic.
This was Word Swords’s Di Mace’s first guest post on my blog, where she tackled the scary topic of blogs that have outlived their usefulness—and how to prevent that happening to your blog.
Blogging Lesson: I can’t really take credit for this one, so I won’t. But Di hit it out of the park by 1) finding an interesting theme (zombies); 2) making us laugh with her outrageous photos; and 3) giving us tons of strategies to ensure that we don’t end up with zombie blogs. Good job, Di!
A self-reflection post designed to give my readers, not the “magic bullet” for success but, rather, a few of the things I have learned on my blogging journey.
Blogging Lesson: Readers appreciate honesty in a blogger’s “lessons learned” post.
10. Cowboy Macaroni and Divorcing Witches: The Changing Face of Blogging
My personal take on how blogs are going to have to change if they want to differentiate themselves from the masses. And one way to do that is to drive a point home with a story.
Blogging Lesson: In all honesty? I think it was the title on this one. If you have read my blog for a while, you know that I strongly oppose hooking readers with a deceitful headline, one that has nothing to do with the content of my post. But, hey, if the title is interesting and relevant to the post, I say go for it.
Want to find out the posts that were most popular with your readers in 2012? Just click here.
Please note: Since the information comes from Google Analytics, you do have to have an account with them in order for this to work. But it’s free and fairly easy to set up. I use GA to track my basic blog stats (page views, unique visitors, how people find my blog, what content is most popular, etc.) Here is a link with instructions on how to set up Google Analytics for your blog:
Oh, and speaking of lists, a huge congrats to my friend Ralph Dopping for making Danny Brown’s 5 Bloggers to Watch in 2013. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Ralph’s blog, The View from Here, you really should. Ralph attacks a variety of topics with lots of creative smarts and a healthy dose of humor. And thanks to Danny, who is so generous with his support of other bloggers. (I made his list last year. Thanks, Danny!)
What about you?
Do you have any ideas about which of your posts in 2012 were reader favorites?
If you ran the report, do you think it might turn up ones that weren’t on your radar screen?