Your Best Posts Aren’t Always The Most Popular

Man in a swimming costume standing with two trophies

Someone asked me how many PR lists I am on and wondered if after all these years if I have gotten any cool stuff from blogging.

I told them I haven’t a clue how many lists I am on and said that I haven’t been asked to do any of the automotive stuff since I don’t know when, never hear from Disney and I seem to miss out on many of the other giveways/reviews that I see floating around.

Don’t know why that is.

Might be because I don’t attend the blog conferences and that makes it harder to get on the radar of certain brands. Might be because I don’t know as many of the popular bloggers as I used to or it might not be any of those things.

What Is Important and What Isn’t

The children and I speak frequently about how to determine what is important and what isn’t. We talk about the need to focus inward and figure out what we want and what we need so that we can figure build road maps to get those things.

When they tell me about how other kids are growing up with more stuff I smile and nod my head. It doesn’t happen often but from time to time I hear from my daughter about how unfair it is that so many of her friends have cellphones and she doesn’t.

Sometimes I hear stories about who went to Hawaii during summer break or about kids who went to Israel and or Europe and field questions about why we haven’t taken those trips.

I always tell them we haven’t done it yet because traveling with the kids is something I want to do more of. Some of these trips are on my list of things to do but they haven’t happened because the financial wherewithal hasn’t existed.

Your Best Posts Aren’t Always The Most Popular

Periodically I make a point to check my stats to try and determine which of my posts are the most heavily trafficked and then I make a mental note to leverage that traffic.

I think about ways to try and use that information to build the readership and think about ways to do it.

Every time I do this I find myself ensconced in the midst of a dilemma in which I feel torn about running or updating old posts again versus writing something new.

It is kind of a silly thing because there is material here that is strong enough to run multiple times. Material that hasn’t been read by everyone because of changes in readership and time passed between the last time it ran.

I teach my children to work smarter, not harder but I am not always good about taking my own advice. I could reuse or repurpose those posts and build the blog more effectively and efficiently than I am doing now.

But then I start thinking about the posts that would best serve that purpose and I see some that I know are popular but they aren’t my best work.

That doesn’t mean they are bad, but it does mean they don’t always match up with what I consider my best writing.

Add my desire to improve my writing and it becomes harder to press publish again on some of that old stuff.

Why?

Because you don’t improve unless you practice. Every time I skip writing something new I miss out on the practice component or at least I feel like I do.

An Example Of Best Next To Popular

I am proud of The 100 Year Old Penny and He Died A Hero. I think they are good examples of my writing but they don’t necessarily show up close to the top on the list of my most popular work.

Don’t get me wrong, if it is among the most popular I will probably say I am proud of it because it didn’t do well by being junk but there is a distinction.

I think one of the things that I am pushing to do is spend more time working on the longer form, essay types of posts. Things with more substance and meat that aren’t marred by concern over whether they will be too long.

Here is a partial list of some of the most popular posts here. You are invited to read them. I am going to look at them again and see what sort of information I can pull and think about ways to improve.

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6 Comments

  1. Dan Poore July 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    You always make me think, Jack. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, sometimes it’s a good thing, but it’s always an important thing. Because of you, I’ve tried to experiment more and am always trying to improve.

    The attached post is one I only attempted by trying to be better, and whether or not I succeeded isn’t even the point. So thanks.

    • Jack July 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      I appreciate that Dan, thank you. It is always good to know that our work has touched a nerve and encouraged someone to look at things differently or to consider it at least.

  2. Craig McBreen July 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    My favorite posts never do as well as I had envisioned, but I’ve had several that I just threw together in under and hour and they did extremely well. The art & science of blogging, eh? 😉

    • Jack July 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Hey Craig,

      It really is a mix of art and science. I still laugh sometimes at the discrepancy between how the well the quick posts do compared to the ones I sweat over.

  3. Sebastian Aiden Daniels July 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

    IT seems to be random on what posts are the most popular. It definitely doesn’t matter on what you think is the best.

    I know it is important for traffic to focus on the most popular, but I like what you said about it being practice on each article you like. I personally like to write what I like to write rather than what I think will be popular because I will just get burned out if I try to focus on the most stat getting article.

    I hate looking at blog stats. They just stress me out.

    • Jack July 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      It really is random at times, so very interesting to me what does well and what doesn’t.

      I try not to look at my stats too often because they really can give you a headache. Still they provide useful information so…

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