This is the time of the year when bloggers and sites are posting their most popular, most visited, and/or best articles of the year. I’m always fascinated to see what draws people’s attention. I hadn’t done it before for my own blog, for no particular reason other than I’m always “writing forward.”
Until now. Out of curiousity, I went and look at the statististics for all of my posts in 2012. And I learned something.
I know I should pay more attention to “the numbers” – visits, comments, RTs, shares, etc. But I don’t. I’m always grateful for these things, of course; like every other writer, I’m always gratified when something I do strikes a chord. But it’s not the main reason I write. That is a more complex subject, comprised of compulsion and the desire to tell a story, no matter how large (or small) the audience.
If you had asked me what I thought was my most visited post of 2012, I would have said “Acknowledging Daily Mercies, What?” published in June. And I would have been right, even without looking. What happened was that Tim Challies at Informing the Reforming cited it in a blog post, and visits soared (once again punctuating how much of the internet is all about influence).
What did surprise me was this: five of the ten most visited posts on this blog were poems, and by a significant margin. Four of the five were in the top five most visited posts. I can’t explain why; there was no Tim Challies of poetry who cited any of them on his blog. But there were tweeted and shared, and a few showed up on some lists.
But still, poems occupying five of the ten top spots? I wouldn’t have guessed that at all. In fact, after blogging for going on five years, I wouldn’t have guessed that at all. (I also wouldn’t have guessed that people are interested in my Poetry at Work column at TweetSpeak Poetry, but they are.)
And while I do a fair number of book reviews, only one book review made the top 10. (And it was the only review that made the top 30 most visited posts.)
So, here are my 10 most visited blog posts of 2012, out of a total of more than 450.
1) Acknowledging Daily Mercies, What? (June 21, 2012)
2) I am a path (poem) (Jan. 22, 2012)
3) Three pearls (poem) (Jan. 10, 2012)
4) Train to Oxford (poem) (Oct. 14, 2012)
5) Crepe Myrtles (poem) (June 12, 2012)
6) Beauty and Love and Grace, Reflected (May 14, 2012)
7) Using Work to Block Creativity (June 27, 2012)
8) F.C. Etier’s The Tourist Killer (Nov. 16, 2012)
9) Archtown Beer (poem) Oct. 23, 2012)
10) A Riot in Sunday School (Dec.. 5, 2012)
To provide some numerical context, the blog averaged between 200 and 250 visits a day in 2012. "Acknowledging Daily Mercies, What?" had just over 700. The last post on the list had just over 300. The poems had 588, 502, 484, 393, and 324, respectively.
Does this mean I should post more poetry? I don’t think so. I think I’m going to keep doing what I have been doing.
But the poetry thing is still surprising.
Photograph by Peter Griffin via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.