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 usually isn’t what my readers click on. This year has been quite an anomaly. In past Top 10 lists, 60%-80% of the list consisted of gun and gear reviews (despite it being only 4% of my article topics). Not this year. Only two out of the top 10 articles are gun and gear reviews.
Police violence, social unrest, and the pandemic has your full attention. For the first time, tactics and social commentary articles make up the majority of the most viewed articles from 2020. I don’t know if the audience I’ve lost over the past few years has been all the gear dudes or if I’m actually writing better tactical articles. Either way, I’ll take it.
“Most popular” is a very specific 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 “click bait.” 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 four of the top ten articles were actually written in 2020. I wrote the others as far back as 2014. Three of the ten also appeared on the Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2019 article last year. 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 2020.
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 what I think is my best writing from 2019.