I've been running this blog off and on since 2004, and have been posting almost daily (or more) since near the start of 2010. I've written on a wide variety of topics, and for the most part, usually just write what will amuse me or what I need to get off my chest. Though my writing career has benefited from having this blog, for the most part I'm not writing content with the sole purpose of furthering my career or writing articles that I can eventually sell (for starters, it isn't common practice for publishers to buy content that was originally put on the 'net for free). I'd be lying if I claimed that I didn't care a little about growing my readership or making the site more popular, but in the end, its main purpose is going to be my place to write about things I want. The simple fact is, a site of random assortment of content is rarely going to attract as many readers as a site that is focused on a specific subject matter. But my job is to to write on specific subject matter and write to the specification of others, and so I don't want to do that on a blog that is designed to be a hobby.
All that being said, I do like attracting traffic to the site. I am always interested in seeing what blog posts bring in the most readers. So, I decided to reveal the current all time most popular blog posts.
RIP Macho Man Randy Savage 1952-2011 - This blog post actually still gets several hits a day, despite the fact it was written at the start of June. This is one of the examples of where 'pimping' out my blog paid off huge. I ended up sending this link to a few sites, because I thought their readers may be interested in checking it out. Most of the sites were nice enough to put up the link, which lead to this being the post that generated the most traffic for this blog within the first day. Because of that traffic and the fact the link is on several sites, its convinced Google that this article is an authority on Macho Man. Now, the post usually gets pretty high on Google rankings if you search for info on Randy Savage(especially if you want to know about a Macho Man Halloween costume). The good news is I'm pumped to have an article that does well on Google, but the bad news is that I'm pretty sure I'll never write anything that will attract the same number of readers. Right now, this article has garnered more than four times more hits than anything else on this blog. And people used to complain when I wrote about wrestling.
RIP Jack Layton 1950 - 2011 - So, this would lead you to believe that people sure like reading obits. Though I think it has more to do with the fact that I also passed this link around to several sites, and most were kind enough to post it. It hasn't been able to get close to the Macho Man article, mainly due to the fact Layton is much less known outside of Canada than Macho Man. I'm not saying that is fair or that I like that fact, but I guess, I can't blame people being more interested in 80s wrestling than modern Canadian politics (sometimes I am too). Unfortunately, my Layton article doesn't do as well on Google, or people just aren't searching for Layton as much after his death. Again, not necessarily a fact I like, but then again, I don't tend to google too many politicians (especially those outside my country). This blog will always have a special place with me because not only do I think it was a fitting tribute, but others liked it enough that they wanted to buy it for their own site (which is pretty cool considering it was offered up for free on my blog first).
My Wonderful and Amazing Life Changing Announcement - I told you that babies equal traffic. The subject header probably could have only meant three things 1) I was going to be a father, 2) I landed a book deal or 3) I was just being ass and would end up writing nonsense (because I do that). At least two of those would have been intriguing enough to draw in people that wanted to find out what it was. I think it also helped that I ended up using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to build up anticipation for my announcement and cause people to be alert for when I finally posted this article. It also shows that obviously lots you actually care about my personal life, which you know, is nice for the ego. In the end, I chalk this up to the power of babies and the value in hyping something up (and the fact my wife didn't want to make her own announcement, so she referred people to my blog).
As Promised By My Previous Post. . . - I actually have no idea why this one rates so high, especially since there are many more articles that I promoted more constantly. This was essentially just a throw away I threw up, because I promised I would put up something after the Bears vs. Packer NFC Championship game. All I can think is that you're all cruel and you wanted to see me cry about my beloved Bears.
Craig Kielburger: Inspiring Others For Greatness - I am happy with this blog post's position because it isn't about my favourite team losing or my random moanings. I also didn't really promote this blog much outside of Facebook and Twitter, so its pretty high considering it has nothing to do with babies. I think, it has done well because Kielburger is known well enough that people want to read about him (he's been googled by folks from several countries) but isn't big enough where he is written about on a lot of major sites. Essentially, the blog post had a lot less competition on search engines, and so it usually ranked fairly high when one was looking for Kielburger. I am fine with that because I think it is a pretty good article, and I think Kielburger is a great human being that more people should recognize. This is another article that still gets Google hits on a fairly regular basis.
My Token I Survived The Week Post - I even have less of an idea why this one has garnered so many views. I never promoted it, and it is nothing more than me just making an excuse for not blogging that week. The only thing I can think of is that Survivor Redemption Island was premiering around this time and I had 'survived' in the title, thus it did surprisingly well on search engines. Or people just really liked hearing me complain about work, and so they passed my moaning on to friends (with this and the Bears post, it seems like whining is a bigger traffic magnet than babies).
Evangelical Failure: The Flaws In Aggressively Pushing Your Belief - This was one of the blog posts I was most afraid to make public, but for a short while, it was my most viewed post. This one drew a lot of traffic from social media sites like Twitter and Facbeook, obviously due to the rather controversial title. The other big help was that Dave Carrol (who wrote the blog post that played a big part in inspiring this post) was kind enough to link to it from his blog and Twitter (so I gained a lot of his followers for this post). It also probably has an inflated number because some debates started up in the comment thread, which means a few people returned just to engage in the discussion. Actually, that is pretty obvious now, since it hasn't gotten many views for quite awhile now. It is proof once again of the value of people linking to a post, and also creating subject matter that stirs up debate.
Goodbye Ford Plant: Brantford Permanently Loses A Piece of Its Heart & Soul - This one is up this high entirely because of Google, because I didn't really try very hard in promoting it, because I (wrongly) believe no one outside of Brantford would care. The Ford Plant isn't something that is going to be really well known outside of Brantford, thus not many articles or pages devoted to it, but clearly, it was known enough around Ontario that for several months it was googled. Due to lack of competition, my blog post again benefited by being able to rank really high. I think it says a lot about how important the Ford Plant was that "Brantford Ford Plant Shutting Down" was googled by people all around Ontario and even parts of New York. It's going to be missed. And yes, I realize that actual Ford plants being shut down would also be something that is googled and lead people to my non car oriented article, but since "Brantford' never had a car plant, it is safe to say there was people clearly searching for the much missed music venue.
"Ground Zero Mosque": The Debate That Should Have Never Existed - Chalk this one up to 'striking the iron while its hot' strategy. Not that I wrote this for the sole purpose to reel in a horde of readers, because in reality, it was written more due to the need to vent over an issues that was driving me insane. But for the end of August and first half of September, this was a pretty hot button issue. The article got tons of views thank to ranking decently on Google, the link being a magnet on Facebook and Twitter (thanks to the whole controversial title philosophy), and it ended up being a lively debate in the comment section. It had a lot of different factors that made it a go to article, and for a good while it was the reigning king. The fact it was a news story and eventually people got bored with the issue, caused it to be an article that people stopped seeking out, but the fact that it still ranks, proves how popular it was at one time.
Rebuttal to the Overstated Argument That Atheism Has Killed More People Than Any Religion - Basically, all the same reasons as the above article, but with the advantage it isn't a news story so it will continue to be picked up by Google. Plus religion is actually a pretty hotly googled topic, or at least it is according to my other more widely viewed articles. Though like a lot of my other articles, it will eventually slip down the rankings based off the fact it is an older article and sites with fresher content on the same subject will move up top. It is fine with me, because I also plan to creating fresh content.
So, those are the current most viewed articles on my blog. Nothing older than September 2nd, 2010 but that is partly because a lot of my views come from a particular topic being googled (older content eventually gets pushed down by fresher content). At this point, my web presence isn't large enough for people to actively seek out specific articles I've written in the past. Though there are a few that still get viewed from time to time, but not enough for them to really move up the rankings.
Though I am sad to see that some of my favourite posts have now been knocked out of the top ranking positions and thus no longer readily viewed by the masses. The main one being what I feel is the best thing I've ever written here, It's Not Okay. . .
It is still interesting (for a geek like me, at least) to see what articles are viewed the most often and see what type of things are picked up by Google. Of course, there isn't much I am going to do with this knowledge, since as I said before, I am mainly just writing for myself on here rather than trying to launch my career with this site (though I happily accept all the loyal readers I am blessed with -- you guys rock).