Written by: Greg Ellifritz
Seth Godin made a very powerful statement in a recent blog post.
“My most popular blog posts this year…weren’t my best ones. As usual, the most popular music wasn’t the best recorded this year either. Same for the highest-grossing movies, restaurants and politicians doing fundraising.
“Best” is rarely the same as “popular.” Which means that if you want to keep track of doing your best work, you’re going to have to avoid the distraction of letting the market decide if you’ve done a good job or not.”
I agree 100%. If find it amazingly interesting. I generally consider myself a “software” writer. I like talking about ideas and tactics rather than hardware. But that isn’t what my readers click on. Out of the 1025 articles on my site, only 42 are gun and gear reviews. Yet 80% of my most popular posts last year were hardware or gear related.
That doesn’t mean that “most popular” is a useless metric. It is an indication of broad or enduring appeal. That appeal may not be the market I’m targeting as future students, but it is a group of people who like what I am writing and are sharing it with their friends. I am attempting to create enduring content, not just “clickbait.” While I write timely pieces, my overarching goal is to create articles that are just as useful as a reference in years to come as they are interesting today. By that metric, I am succeeding. Only one of the top 10 articles were written in 2016. All others were written as far back as 2012. In fact, one of the top 10 is the very first article I posted on the site! That means people are digging back and finding useful information. That makes me happy.
So, keeping that in mind that “most popular” doesn’t equal “best”, here were my most popular blog posts (by pageviews) in 2016….
These are the top 10 posts by popularity, but by and large, I don’t think they represented my best work. Stay tuned for next week’s compilation of my best from 2016.
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