What’s Your Best Blog Post of the Year So Far?
A question from a recent #Blogchat about your best blog post so far was a lot tougher to answer than I expected it would be.
If someone just walked up to you and asked you to point to your best blog post that you’ve written so far this year, could you name one?
It’s an interesting time to think about it because now that we’re in July, we’re already halfway through 2018. The question about your best blog post of the year actually came up during a recent edition of #Blogchat, a Sunday evening chat about blogging hosted on Twitter.
It was a simple enough question.
The answer was not nearly as simple. It surprised me how difficult it was to pinpoint what I considered my best blog of the year. I hadn’t thought about it, granted, but it didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t immediately be able to recall a post I was really proud of.
Then I realized why it was a difficult question.
As a blogger, I’m more focused on my next great post, not the ones I’ve already written that I’m particularly proud of. I want to spend my time continuing to build an inventory of posts that you’ll like and find useful. If I’m that enthralled with what I’ve already written, that’s taking (in my book) too much focus from what I’m writing next.
After all, once I publish a new post, it’s really up to you, my reader, as to which posts are the “best.” I may have a favorite every now and then, but if my analytics tell me no one is reading it, is it really a “best” post?
On the other hand, in my case, and I’m sure it’s true for a lot of blogs that have been around a while, it’s posts older than the past six months that tend to perform the best over time, especially if I’m doing a better job of SEO and writing content that is useful and answers questions.
Here’s an example: over the past 30 days, my best-performing post is “Wifes or Wives? Let’s Examine Some Irregular Plurals,” which I wrote in December 2015. It’s not one of what I’d consider my best posts, but it’s obviously one that’s answering a specific question that a lot of people who make it to this blog are asking.
One of my all-time best performing posts, “Is It a Bad Rap or Bad Rep?” was written in April 2013. That’s obviously a question a lot of people want to know, so it’s a post I’m glad I did. But I wouldn’t call it one of the best things I’d ever written.
So what would I pick as my best posts?
Given that we’re now officially halfway finished with 2018, I thought I’d try to figure out which are my best posts of the year from my point of view.
There’s just one problem: my blog is a multi-topic blog. Does that mean I should come up with my best posts by month or by individual category? That might not necessarily be fair: the topics of blogging, grammar and faith are regular topics that appear every week. The others, life, journalism, television and tech and the web; appear as the topics come up. So it’s probably likely that the first three might be unfairly represented. Some might have enough posts to provide a large enough sample from which to choose.
If I go monthly, I could probably have a selection of at least a couple of posts per topic.
So let’s try that:
Best Post: “How To Tell If You Love Your Neighbor Correctly”
Hearing a Christian podcast that mentioned, in passing, a very simple test to determine whether you’re living up to third part of the “Greatest Commandment” led to this post. It seems in our current state of affairs, where showing love and compassion seems to be such an extraordinarily difficult feat for anyone to accomplish, this topic was a good one to discuss.
Honorable Mention: “Maybe Niche Blogging Isn’t for Every Blogger!”
I’ve long suggested that you have to take so-called blogging “rules” with a grain of salt and determine what works best for both you and your audience. Abandoning the “niche” rule is what worked for me and mine.
Best Post: “What Bloggers Could Learn from Comedian Jack Benny”
When Benny, who remains one of my favorite comedians, died in 1974, the blogosphere didn’t exist and it’s probably safe to say that almost no one imagined such a thing might exist. But something he told his colleagues during comedy tours could serve as very good advice for bloggers all these years later.
Honorable Mention: “Proof School Shootings Don’t Happen ‘Because We Kicked God Out’”
This post was in response to one of those snarky catch-phrases that always seems to pop up every time there’s a shooting at a school.
Best Post: “No, Updating Blog Archives Isn’t ‘Cheating’”
I’ve felt the hesitation myself to go back and make changes to old posts. It’s time to shed the fear.
Honorable Mention: “Is Dog Cloning an Option We Should Even Have?”
Those of us who own pets we consider members of the family have a special connection non-pet owners will never appreciate. But pet cloning seems to be a grasp at straws that doesn’t seem likely to “bring back” what’s lost. It strikes me as a waste of money. A waste of a great deal of money!
Best Post: “I Wish We Wouldn’t Say ‘God is Good’ Only When Good Things Happen”
Sometimes, seeing one social media post too many can prompt a little rant. The title pretty much explains what I’d seen too much of that particular week.
Honorable Mention: “Nasty Blog Comments? Don’t Be Afraid to Take Out the Trash!”
Some bloggers feel they haven’t the right to remove mean-spirited comments from their blog. If you feel you need some kind of permission to do so on your own blog, please consider this post to be it.
Best Post: “Why I Don’t Have a Spelling Disclaimer on My Smartphone”
A lot of people send emails on their smartphones that include a little message at the bottom asking forgiveness for spelling or grammar problems. To me, that’s not a courtesy…it’s just an excuse for laziness.
Honorable Mention: “Grammar Tip: Forget You’ve Heard of ‘Myself’”
The word myself is so misused so often that I almost wish we could just nuke it from existence. There are a handful of times when it is necessary and used correctly. But chances are, when you hear it, that’s not one of those times.
Best Post: “Churches, ‘It’s Not About You’ is a Poor Response to Worship Concerns”
The topic of concerns about loud worship music is one I’ve tackled a few times over the years. This follow-up was in response to a reader’s comment about what she was told when she raised a concern at her church and the problem that response reveals.
Honorable Mention: “Sanford’s Parting Shot on Partisan Politics”
Congressman Mark Sanford never lost an election…until this year. His opponent in the South Carolina Republican primary made Sanford’s criticism and disagreement with Republican President Donald Trump a major issue, and apparently voters responded. This was his perspective as the numbers were still coming in.
Those are the best posts I could decide on, but it was nice to find quite a few posts I liked reading again and, for a few months, a really rough time trying to narrow it down to a “best” option.