There are always surprises in which posts earn the most attention and which are ignored. I’ve learned it’s hard to predict which posts will do well: some well written ones with great title hooks get little attention, and some throw-away quickies do really well. I don’t know any blogger that isn’t frequently surprised.
I don’t worry about traffic much, certainly not on a per post basis. I try to write for the long term, picking topics that will be relevant a year or more from now. I rarely chase headlines for this reason since the effort expended won’t pay off much in the long term. I want much of what I write to still be read a long time after I write it.
With all that said, here are the ten posts I published in 2013 that earned the most traffic:
- Changing Your Life Is Not a Mid-Life Crisis
- How To Run A Good Workshop
- Should You Always Trust Your Gut? (No)
- The Ten Myths of Innovation: Best Summary
- How To Write a Good Bio
- How To Get From An Idea To A Book
- The No UI Debate Is Rubbish
- How To Design a Great Book Cover
- The Great Gatsby: Book Review
- Why You Should Pick Your Own Boss
The big surprise is my book review for The Great Gatsby. Most of the others are advice oriented, which make for easy twitter and Facebook fodder. The review somehow found a good home in google searches before the film came out and never fell off. Like I said, luck is a big factor in which posts pick up attention and which don’t. There are compounding effects too: once a post is popular, it ends up on top ten lists like this one, further ensuring it’s locked in place.
You can also see my best posts of all time, by category.