This was an interesting year of blogging and it’s been quite the journey! Before we get into the top 5 blog posts of the year, in terms of views, let’s look back on the year briefly.
There was much about the WordPress platform that I did not know about at the beginning of the year. I didn’t know what the hell a “featured image” was. Now, I know thanks, in large part, to Canva. I was slow to adopt Canva. Hoo boy, I wish that I had gotten into Canva earlier as it has been a tremendous boon for this blog. OptinMonster is another great tool that I incorporated into the website in order to garner subscribers. The Sunday digests that you get? Couldn’t be done without Mailchimp. There were plugins that I was not familiar with. My sharing strategy left much to be desired, mostly due to a feeling that I was an imposter. I learned to get over it!
Along the way, I learned a lot about the importance of crafting titles (more on this below). I learned that controversial posts can generate a fair number of views. Along the way, I reduced my posts from three to two per week.
There were highs and lows. The high was the writing streak from May to the beginning of November. The low was running into writer’s block in the past couple of months.
I owe much to Jackie Bradbury in Texas, aka The Stick Chick. She’s a marketer in real life and possesses tremendous knowledge about marketing and social media and I tapped into her social media knowledge in order to formulate a social media strategy for Bamboo Spirit. I’ve got a long ways to go but I’m getting somewhere here. 🙂 She has been quite helpful as far as this blog is concerned.
That said, let’s get down to the top 5 blog posts of 2015. Click on the images to read each post.
Admittedly, the numbers on this post may be skewed as I promoted this post on Facebook a couple of times. I really should promote it more in order to broaden my private client base. Expanding that base is one of my goals for 2016. If you see this post pop up regularly on the Bamboo Spirit Facebook page, there’s a reason for it. 🙂 Likely, I’m running a targeted ad for the local area (Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa). This is an attempt at marketing one aspect of Bamboo Spirit and getting more leads. This happens to be one of my goals for 2016.
This was easily one of the most controversial posts that I wrote this year. This post is pretty self-explanatory and was the result of seeing a video of an FMA practitioner’s tapi tapi. This was a pretty detailed technical breakdown. Unfortunately, it was construed by some as an attack on the integrity and character of the practitioner in question. I’m not too sure that I will write a post like this again. Interestingly, it got shared by a lot of FMA practitioners in the Philippines generally approving this post. I got some private correspondence complimenting me on this post.
This post was the beginning of a hot streak of writing that lasted from May through the beginning of November. Topics came to me easily and writing the posts was easy peasy. Everything just flowed and it all started with this post.
I had the most fun writing this one. This took a bit of work but was truly a blast and an experiment in fiction writing. This story had been percolating in my head for quite some time but I never got around to writing it up until earlier this year. I sent the draft to three physicist friends of mine to make sure that this post accurately stated the basic physics. Of all my posts, this may have the most life. For example, it got 253 views in the month of November…..without any re-shares on my part. I dunno where this post is being read or shared. Perhaps at the Hadron Collider in Switzerland? 🙂 I would not be surprised if this post creeps up to the #1 position some day.
This was originally posted as “10 Reasons to Try Modern Arnis” back in February. Even though I shared it on Facebook and on G+, it got only a tepid response. I was a bit baffled as I thought that this was a fairly good post.
Fast forward three months on a Friday night. I was bored and fiddling around on the blog, trying to come up with a topic for the following day. On a whim, I went back to this post. I decided to change the title of the post and tweaked the body of it to reflect the new title. I also changed “featured image” to the above. I posted it to a couple of FMA groups that night. BOOM! The post went viral (by FMA standards). It just took off and was shared multiple times on Facebook. The numbers were unbelievable.
I learned three huge lessons as a result of this experience. This was another turning point for this blog. Lesson #1 was the importance of keywords in a blog title. “Filipino Martial Arts” is a biggie. The 2nd lesson was this was one of the first times that I used the “featured image.” Blog posts without “featured images” generally do not get much attention. The last lesson was learning to be patient with sharing posts. Many bloggers are anxious to share their posts first thing in the morning. Share in the morning and they’re done. I shared this particular post to two FMA groups, the first at 8:00pm and the second time at 10:30pm and the result was phenomenal.
Since then, I’ve learned to spread the shares throughout the day and most importantly to wait until the evening to share the post.
And finally, the most viewed post of 2015 is:
Not only is this the most viewed post of 2015, it’s also the most viewed post of mine ever. I’ve been blogging off and on since 2007. The title of this post is, I think, the biggest reason why it got so many views.
Controversial and/or provocative titles often help in enticing readers to click on a post and read.
That said, you better have good content to justify the title or you’ll be known as a “click-baiter.” This post was the result of different criticisms of FMAs that I heard over the years. I decided to distil those criticisms into one post and address them one by one. This was a fun one to write!
GM Steven Dowd, the moderator of “FMA Informative” on Facebook picked it up early that day and posted it on his group page. As a result, a good number of FMA players shared it. The post went viral for the next three days. This post is also easily the most commented post ever, at least on Facebook. I had a ball reading through the comments, both informed and well, the not so well informed. 🙂 I hope to be able to replicate this experience but it will be difficult. We shall see!
As noted earlier, I had a hot streak from May through the beginning of November. I was coming up with good topics and churning out post after post. Then writer’s block crept in at the beginning of November. While I was able to continue writing, it wasn’t the same. I had run out of FMA related posts and filled in the gap with motivational type posts. I admit that a couple of them were half-assed. That hot streak came to an end.
Since November, there have been occasions where I stared at a blank screen unable to come up with a topic and gave up. I opted to re-run old posts rather than force it. Writer’s block sucks big time.
I think that some of my earlier mojo is coming back but I am not 100% sure. We shall see. 🙂