Saturday, November 18, 2017

My 10 Most-Read Posts of 2016

It took some doing, but after taking a deep dive into my blog analytics, I’ve found the 10 most-read posts I wrote during 2016.

When I decided I’d do a post about the posts that received the most reads during 2016, I knew I had a choice.

The first choice was to go the easy route and just pick the top 10 most-read posts overall, which I knew would likely involve several “hit” posts that have consistently performed well over the past couple of years. I assumed, however, that there might not be a post written in 2016 among those 10.

The second choice was to do it the hard way by meticulously scanning my analytics from the top slot until I came across 10 that had actually been written during 2016.

I now wish I had chosen the easier route. Here goes:

1. “Riddens or Riddance? Rid Yourself of the Wrong One!”

If I were going to pick a single topic for this blog, I suppose it would have to be grammar, since the majority of my most-read posts each year tend to be in that category. This particular one, about confusion over the phrase “good riddance” was the top post written in 2016 in terms of page views, but wound up coming in 31st place overall, meaning older posts from the past three years still maintained high spots for the year.

2. “My 10 Favorite Episodes of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’”

As big a hit as this 1960s sitcom was, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that this post became one of the most-read posts of the year. For those who’ve managed to miss the show despite more than 55 years of reruns, it starred comedian Andy Griffith as sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina, a small town that bordered on insanity thanks to a cast of screwballs. It’s one of my all-time favorite TV shows. If you have the chance to watch, pick your episodes from this list.

3. “Don’t Tell Me Who to Vote For! Pastors, That Goes Double!”

I suppose I heard one too many pastors that week urging me to vote for a candidate based on a party rather than based on the person’s character. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a serious problem.

4. “Beat or Beaten? Can This Mistake Be Stopped?”

Part of my real job involves copyediting, so this post was based on a serious pet peeve I’m tired of seeing.

5. “Since When Did Church Have to Become a Rock Concert?”

The theme of loud church services has certainly struck chords for my readers. This one, written early in 2016, laments the apparent desire for worship leaders to look less like church and more like a secular performance.

6. “Does Something Pail or Pale in Comparison?”

Homophones, words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings, are always a fun topic. In this case, one of the words has a single meaning, as a noun. The other has multiple meanings, as a noun, a verb or an adjective.

7. “Lottery Players Better Off Letting Machine Pick Winning Numbers”

When the Powerball jackpot jumped to an estimated $675 million, the largest in history, I posted this story about a study showing you’re better off letting the computer randomly select your numbers. When you think about it, it makes sense.

8. Y’all or Ya’ll? The Southern Word Even Southerners Misspell

The word in question means “you all,” which should give you an idea as to which one is correct.

9. “The Best Time to Post on Social Media”

As nice as it would be to imagine, there’s no ideal time to post that works universally for every social media network. Based on some of the latest research, I tried to break down the best times generally considered to post on various networks including your own blogs. But remember: use the times as a starting point. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for your specific audience.

10. “Livefyre Comment Plugin for WordPress to Shut Down”

This was a post I certainly was not happy to have to write. Livefyre was the comment system this blog used for many years, but in October, the company announced it would end its free service. A dollar is always a dollar.

Thanks for reading these most-read posts and any of the others in 2016. I hope you’ll be back during 2017 and beyond!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.