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DISCUSS: What Was Your Most Popular Post in the Last Month and Why Did It Succeed?

At our ProBlogger Training Event last Friday I had a great conversation with 3 attendees during a lunch break where we each shared a post on our blogs over the last month that gained more visitors and/or comments than normal.

We had to say what the post was about and why we think it ‘worked’.

The exercise was fascinating and revealed a few similarities between the posts. I enjoyed doing it so much that I thought it might make an interesting group discussion here on ProBlogger.

In comments below – please share a link to a post in the last month on your blog that got more visitors and/or comments than normal and tell us why you think it worked with your readership.

Once you’ve shared – have a look at the links others share and the comments that they leave. I suspect that by doing so we’ll all probably learn a thing or two about creating successful blog posts.

PS: Here’s my answer. The most popular post on ProBlogger over the last month was ‘Don’t Fall Into This Trap That Could Destroy Your Blog‘.

I think it worked partly because the title makes you want to know what the trap is… but also partly because the post is based upon a story and is on a topic that most bloggers can relate to.

Over to you!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. for me it’s been “Which Leadership Style Is Best”: http://blessingmpofu.com/which-leadership-style-is-best/

    It’s a post i wrote last year that i just edited a little. added more links in it and two “click to tweet” options. i then publicized it on twitter, facebook and google+. that’s what i did and might be why it got the attention. besides that i’m not sure

  2. Donnie Law says:

    I just launched my site two weeks ago and the only post with more than one comment is the first one. There are quite a few high quality pictures and an inside peak into my family and our travels. Hopefully my “teaching” series can pick up some steam. I’d love thoughts and criticism.

    http://donnielaw.com/westin-trillium-house-blue-mountains-ontario-hotel-review/
    http://donnielaw.com

  3. Brian says:

    Our most successful post took up the topic of ethical travel and specifically why we won’t travel to North Korea. http://everywhereonce.com/2013/09/03/why-we-wont-travel-to-north-korea/

    I think it worked on several levels. One it is a topic that is relevant to our community of independent travelers. Two, it takes on a controversial topic and stakes out a position different from those taken by many competing blogs. Three, and most important, the position we take is well reasoned and well researched (if we do say so ourselves.) The combination of those things led to a highly shareable contribution to an important debate for our blog audience.

  4. Brandon says:

    I run a new blog to help pastors improve their public speaking. The most popular post this month was titled “8 Ways You Might Be Losing People in Your Sermons.”

    Link: http://www.propreacher.com/8-ways-you-might-be-losing-people-in-your-sermons/

    I think the title helped, because like Darren’s it makes you want to know what you might be doing wrong. It is also a list post, which for whatever reason always do better for me.

    I also got some good traction, because other bloggers picked it up and shared it. Just today it was featured on Pastors.com

    Still don’t have a ton of reactions in the comment section though.

  5. The post that best worked last month on my blog is titled ‘Relationship between authorship and meta description: A question of character’ (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=es&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=es&tl=en&u=http://sergioredondo.com/2013/09/02/authorship-y-meta-description/&usg=ALkJrhhCVndL3NiPf39qvjx6IS5jPjhhpw#sthash.gIToNwy3.dpuf).
    I think it worked well because it offers very useful info and is a study-based post.

  6. “That Lady I Was Telling You About.” http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/that-lady-i-was-telling-you-about/

    This was a simple (true) story of the unexpected impact that my wife had on a girl. All my wife did was eat lunch with a 5th grade class every Wednesday.

    My blog is about experiences and things we are learning living in one of the most impoverished counties in the USA. I think people resonated with this post because it shows how easy it is to have a big impact.

  7. Shana Norris says:

    I remember that post here at Problogger, Darren. I certainly wanted to know what the trap was.

    My most popular recent post was this one: http://shananorris.net/2013/09/10/maggies-chocolate-chip-cookies/

    Most of the traffic on that post came from Pinterest, so I attribute it’s success to the visual aspect.

  8. Reticula says:

    I have to split the question to answer it. My blog post that got the most views was this one: http://reticulatedwriter.blogspot.com/2013/09/post-chicago-ramble.html for 2 reasons. First, I committed to writing a post every day in September, and then I went on a short trip and missed 3 days. My readers and Facebook friends wanted to see what I’d been up to. And second I vaguely wrote about something uncharacteristic I’d done that involved taking off my clothes. This post was definitely the one that caused the most discussion at a party I went to the weekend after.

    The post that received the most comments was this one: http://reticulatedwriter.blogspot.com/2013/09/snippet-from-horror-film.html . I get very few comments on my blog; most of them are on Facebook. On this post someone using an alias left a comment calling me out about writing about a charity ride for a domestic violence organization in one post and then writing about working on a horror movie, a genre she believes glorifies violence against women. So I posted her comment on my Facebook and asked for input. A friend who is a horror writer took it to his Facebook wall and did the same thing. There were over 60 comments on mine and close to 100 on his (he has 10 times as many friends). I took 2 posts to answer her question: one that was personal and one the consolidated many of the other responses. The second post went up early this morning, so I can’t say where it lands in my monthly stats.

    I should probably say, I’m a professional writer, but not a professional blogger. My blog is eclectic, and I never know what will spark a discussion, either in the comments (least likely), on Facebook (most likely), or in real life (often). I suppose that’s what keeps me writing there. I’m like a rat running through a maze getting random pieces of cheese.

  9. Joshua Smith says:

    My most popular post last month was “10 Funny Things to Do While Bored in Class.”
    http://www.jtsmith.tk/2012/11/10-funny-things-to-do-while-bored-in.html

    Not only does the title contain a number and a great adjective “Funny” to catch people’s attention, but it also targets the audience of students sitting in their college classrooms browsing the internet bored.

    The post is completely ridiculous, which makes it that much sharable on social media.

    BTW: There were no comments on that post because I just implemented G+ into my blog. Don’t let that keep you from commenting there though!

  10. The most read post of the last month was me crowing about the fact that the Cat token was selected by Monopoly players to replace the Iron token. And me trying to convince everyone that he who listens to cats wins the game of monopolying the “Golden Dawn market” (I write about the strangeness of an occult system called Golden Dawn). Why does it work? I am guessing that it has a cat in it, and actually breaks out beyond my normal audience (GD is really a niche of a niche type of audience–my best guess is that it consists of about a thousand or two thousand people worldwide–yeah, I know–I should write about other things instead).

    http://gleamingsfromthedawn.blogspot.com/2013/08/monopoly-cat-wins.html

  11. Monu Alagh says:

    i see a sudden huge increase in traffic on this article(Upcoming 2014 Android Smartphones) Link: http://www.trickmik.com/2013/08/upcoming-2014-android-smartphones.html..

    And i think everyone is thinking about the upcoming android smartphones.. and this month totally goes to smartphones updates like iphone launched with ios 7 etc…

    That’s the reason…

  12. My most popular post this past month was called “iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C PSD Mockups” and can be found here: http://www.bestpsdfreebies.com/iphone-5s-and-iphone-5c-psd-mockups/

    I believe it worked mostly because it was a response to a trending topic. The iPhone 5S and 5C were just announced and our community was excited to see what was available for designers. It was kindof a reflex post based on what was trending, and it worked.

  13. Marcy says:

    My post that got the most action in the last month was “Zorbing: A Gigantic Hamster Ball and the Meaning of Life”
    http://www.tootimidandsqueamish.com/2013/09/zorbing-gigantic-hamster-ball-meaning-life/

    I think it was the curiosity factor about what zorbing was that got people to read it, and then people seemed to identify with wondering whether they would or wouldn’t want to try it.

  14. Amber Adrian says:

    http://pandaamber.com/2013/09/my-next-adventure/

    People enjoyed this post because I did a new and scary thing – talking into my laptop camera without scripting or editing (or even showering) – and I did it in a raw and vulnerable way. Allowing yourself to do the scary thing, to be raw, to be vulnerable, can open a lot of doors. In your own brain and out in the world.

  15. Aqib Shahzad says:

    It really seems to be interesting to keep in touch with the blog readers and to write more blog posts. Last month, i wrote an article on that how bloggers can make good income with sponsored reviews and it got good traffic from search engines. Link to that top trending posts of my blog is http://moneymeblog.com/sponsored-reviews/

  16. Mrs Woog says:

    It was this simple little post I belted out on Tuesday. I only wrote one sentence, which was interesting. I find whenever I dip into a little politics, things fire up a bit.

    Thank goodness the responses were respectful and well thought out. Opening up these type of topics for debate can be tricky. Be prepared that not everyone is going to like it, and that is fine! Being brave is fun, and I am getting better at it. (thanks to you Daz)

    VIVA LA DIFFERENCE!

    http://www.woogsworld.com/2013/09/i-agree-gretchen-weiner.html

  17. Darren Poke says:

    My most consistently popular post on my blog is titled, “50 Great Coaching Questions” and it always ranks well. http://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2010/08/04/50-great-coaching-questions/

    The most popular new post last month was “9 Tips to get your Mojo Back” which resonated with my audience because we all have times when we feel tired or off-track.

    http://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2013/08/21/9-tips-to-get-your-mojo-back/

  18. I write for an Australian satirical blog and our most popular post in the last month incorporated three hot topics in social media – the politician (and now Prime Minister) Tony Abbott, his adult daughters and twerking. The post still generates a lot of traffic, although quite a few of the searchers seem to be after salacious images of the daughters of our new Prime Minister. Shame on you!

    http://www.thetunnelpresents.com/tony-abbotts-daughters-twerk-magic/

  19. Karen Main says:

    The post that got the most interaction last month was “Eat the Frog…..an unusual time management tip” http://karenmainonline.com/eat-frog/ Obviously the title is intriguing and the content appealed to a wide audience.

  20. I really love this post we did where we shared a question from one of our readers. I gave our response and then asked our community to share theirs.
    http://www.ytravelblog.com/quit-job-travel-the-world/

    I adored their responses; it was so life-changing for the original person asking the question. It made me realize the power we hold to help and make our readers the hereos.

    It also allowed me to step away from the comments and let our readers take control. I usually respond to every comment, but this one I felt was the community’s to own

  21. Emily says:

    My most popular recent post was one calling for respect post-election. I think it was partly because politics was a hot topic, but also because everyone’s sick of the sledging and name-calling going on.

    And the fact that someone far more popular in blog land than I am found it and shared it on facebook didn’t hurt either!

    http://emhawker.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/respect-without-side-serving-of.html

  22. Sandi says:

    Clever exercise you’ve provided here sir.
    You are right – my best one over the past month was 100 Years of Saltitude: http://ediblepotential.blogspot.com/2013/08/100-years-of-saltitude.html

    I think it was successful because so many people are shuffled through (or have someone close to them that is) cardiac rehab, so it’s…relatable.

    Also like to think my playful sarcasm and dry wit is appreciated. That’s what I’m going for anyway. ;)

  23. Jen says:

    My most popular post continues to be ‘How to do tomboy stitch’ – http://semanticallydriven.com/2008/05/making_tomboy_stitch.html. It’s 5 years old now but I think I’m the only how to on the internet and it’s a good instructional piece with images to demonstrate. Wish I could think of a follow-up.

  24. Theressa says:

    Some interesting insights here worth testing out, thanks guys.

    My most popular this month was titled “Are you letting Social Media Sites steal your website visitors?”

    I think it was popular first because of it’s title {people want to know how they’re contributing to the loss of visitors}Also, getting + keeping visitors is a common problem for newbies + then I offer a solution that takes less than a minute to implement.

    So the success of this post was due to a combination of curiosity, a common problem + a simple solution.
    http://chicwebdesigns.com/social-media-sites/

  25. Curtis Bisel says:

    “All My Pictures in iPhoto Disappeared! How to Safely Get Them Back” is an article I just posted not to long ago and it’s quickly become my top post and is generating really good traffic for me.

    http://scanyourentirelife.com/2013/all-my-pictures-in-iphoto-disappeared-how-to-safely-get-them-back/

    I am trying to help iPhoto users during a really scary time when they did something in the application and now they think they have lost their photo collection — their entire life of photos!! So they are hitting the search engines hard to find an immediate solution.

    I think because I used the exact set of keywords in my title and in my post that my readers are typing into Google, I am reaping the benefits of traffic from Google.

    It’s win win for both of us! :)

  26. Stephan says:

    I think this is a very nice conference that you organised here.
    My best one is update my product to my customer
    http://www.kulerthemes.com/acceptus-responsive-opencart-theme-for-your-successful-online-store/

    I think it was successful cause my customers are very satisfaction and happy. It can help them to update our product effectively and very convenient for them.
    Thanks for your amazing article.

    Stephan Wu

  27. My post that got the most action was an “African safari planning guide” it provides with all the information one needs before travelling to Africa.

    http://www.abacasafaris.com/blog/african-safaris/african-safari-planning-guide/

    I believe its popularity was due to the fact that the post had more than 4000 words and fully optimised to Googles liking.

  28. U2smile says:

    The most popular new post last month was ” Have You Been Affected By Gmails’ New Format? ”

    http://www.dailyblogtips.com/have-you-been-affected-by-gmails-new-format/

    This Post will Explain the Details information about the new format of Gmail.. Thanks

  29. Muhammad says:

    In last month my several posts went viral and that is because I put a story in them and made their title as if it is a story not the post. As a result I got huge clicks on each of them. Most interestingly none of them have any highly searched keywords and their topics were also quite dull in Google hot trends. It means element of story in your post attracts more visitors if your story is really appealing and related to the topic of your post

  30. Amy says:

    Interesting exercise, I regularly look at my all time most popular blog posts but don’t check what has been popular recently.

    Although my blog is primarily about books and writing, I write a series about life in my hometown and these articles tend to be the most popular as they attract one-off readers who are interested in this topic. They also tend to get a lot more shares on social media, which again attracts more readers.

    The most popular post this month was this one http://www.tenpennydreams.com/2013/08/24/im-smoggie-ode-parmo/ which was intended to be a humorous comment on our town’s own unique takeaway dish. It was popular because locals can relate, they’re in on the joke.

  31. While I was busy learning at the ProBlogger conference, this post on why I broke up with the supermarket was going off:

    http://downtoearthmother.com/2013/09/09/broke-supermarket/

    I guess it struck a chord with people because it’s something they want to do but are afraid to, for various reasons. The language in the heading was emotive, with use of the phrase “broke up”. It also helped that I had linked to a really proactive social enterprise that jumped on the post and promoted the hell out of it. But other than that, I’m stumped. It was one of those posts I’d been meaning to write for a while and didn’t really expect much response. My second most-popular post was the same. I’m sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere!

  32. Why there’s no such thing as writer’s block!

    http://thefutureisred.com/theres-thing-writers-block/

    That is my most popular post, and I only published last week. It works because the title addresses one of the main questions all writers have, no matter what type of writing or how much experience they have.

    It was in part fueled by the same Biggest Trap post you mention here. I posted my post on social media along with yours and the message “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

    My post aims at helping people move past the comparison by citing specific actions a writer can take to avoid getting stuck.

    Thanks for the opportunity to post here. I read Problogger often. This is my first comment in a while.

    • Susan Neal says:

      You’re right about the title, Leigh – an evergreen sure-fire winner where writers are concerned! I’m off to check it out right now :)

  33. This had been the most organically popular post I’ve done in the last couple weeks
    http://nouniversity.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/the-australian-minister-crisis-our-leader-knowledge-deficit/

    For two reasons I think:
    1. It provides research and comparisons of Aussie political parties that hasn’t been done before

    2. These ministers were just announced so the information was timely

  34. Vidushi says:

    My most popular article was http://newgalaxys5v.com/samsung-vs-iphone-6/.

    I think it was successful because it included the future smartphones Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6. All the techno freaks want to know what will be new and innovative in the upcoming smartphones. Both Samsung and Apple are tough competitor for each other and people want to know which smartphone will rule the market in the future. :)

  35. The post that got the maximum visitors is : http://www.yuvafantasy.com/who-deleted-you-on-facebook/
    It got viral because of a reason that there are millions of people on facebook who are eager to know that who deleted them from the friend list .

  36. marty says:

    I love getting new material to read so I cant wait to dive into the post above me! My successful post from this past month was actually a debate Fighting For The Right to Love: Your Thoughts on Being Gay in America – See more at: http://www.thoughtsonlifeandmoney.com/2013/09/fighting-for-right-to-love-your.html#sthash.H9vFrAnG.dpuf

    - I believe it worked because everyone at some level loves to debate and share their opinion with others! Plus the controversy surrounding Marriage equality is prevalent today!

  37. This past week, I just completed my last post in a series about becoming a writing and blogging expert. It was the first series I created on my blog about blogging. I got quite a few comments from my readers on most of the articles. They really enjoyed the series so I plan to do more in the near future. I think I might tackle blog SEO as the next series.

  38. Mukesh says:

    My most popular post was http://www.spikepc.com/download-wechat-pc-laptops/ and the reason is that we write a comprehensive review of the app as well as a numbered list of steps to follow to download wechat app on pc. People love numbered lists.

  39. Pst Bless says:

    My most popular post in the last few days is; http://www.oracleblogger.com/2013/09/worldventures-best-growing-network-for.html. A post where i talked about the great and uncomparable opportunities, benefits and rewards that WorldVentures provides its members that no one will love to be left out.

  40. Lisa says:

    I can’t say what my best post was this month because yesterday I published this post: http://sciencelifepoetry.wordpress.com/category/science/.
    Since my boyfriend has been sending it to all his Word of Warcraft friends and I pushed it through Twitter, I get a lot of views since then. This would make it my most popular post on wordpress (started my wordpress blog 3 weeks ago).

  41. Suntec says:

    The most popular post in the last month was this: http://blog.suntec.ro/2013/09/iphone-6-concept-superb-al-viitorului-smartphone.html . In this post i was writing about the concept of iphone 6 created by a simple guy Federico Ciccarese. The pictures is wonderfull for smartphone’s lover’s.

  42. Carolyn Tate says:

    Our most popular post in the last month was Not the Biggest Loser http://champagnecartel.com/2013/08/21/not-the-biggest-loser/ – Gillian Moody’s story about her struggle to lose weight after having a baby and her not wanting to pass her difficult relationship with food on to her children by dieting. I think it struck a chord with readers because a lot of mums can relate to walking that tightrope of trying to be healthy without being obsessive. Gillian also shared a whole lot of photos and was incredibly frank and honest. She made herself vulnerable and I think people appreciated that and related.

  43. Susan Neal says:

    Hi – first of all, thanks very much for giving us the opportunity to share one of our posts here – greatly appreciated.
    The one that received the most comments on my blog this month was How to Make Your Blog Posts Memorable:
    http://writeclever.com/how-to-make-your-blog-posts-memorable/
    I think people were drawn to the title because bloggers are always looking for ways to make their content more compelling. The post itself is quite entertaining (as feedback in my comments confirms) and incorporates a list of practical tips for readers to take away with them. The questions I posed at the end also stimulated quite a bit of discussion.

  44. My most popular post on my new website this past month was titled, “This One Sentence Could Double Your Blog Traffic!”

    It talked about how the title of your article plays such an important part on your click through ratio. It then talks about how to improve the titles of your article to make them irresistible to click on.

    You can read it by clicking the link below:
    http://helpstartmysite.com/create-great-article-titles/

  45. Engr Yaks says:

    My most successful Blog last month was about me, I finally decided to share my little secrets inorder to earn more money. Telling people how I started and how the could help me earn more really helped, several. People. Wanted to be where I have been already. Feel free to read it alsohttp://makemoneyonlineatyoursparetime.com/. Thank you

  46. My most popular post over the last 30 days on Authentically Positive was 5 Tips to Developing Your Social Intelligence. I guess that this is a current hot topic on search engines. It’s a classic personal development or “self help” topic. People want to know about it and they want some advice on how they can develop it.

  47. Shamsudeen says:

    This post isn’t my most popular post or most commented on, but is the first time my post will ever be shared on linkedin and someone ever told me that he really liked that post. I mean, someone that doesn’t belong to any of your online group, someone who just stumble upon your post by accident not having any connections with your ever anywhere online.

    I think is because I wrote this post based on my honest, personal belief reason why we should start a blog, and not just follow the industry dogma belief.

    Here is the post url: http://cybernaira.com/2013/why-blogging-for-money-is-the-new-rule-in-21th-century-and-not-passion/

  48. Saif says:

    well, your post has really awesome content and it has really good reasons that is why it has some good visitors.
    Thanks ;)

  49. Tom Dixon says:

    I wrote a series on my experience updating my LinkedIn profile – that has picked up a lot of search traffic and outranks any other post month after month.
    http://www.mondayisgood.com/killer-tricks-tips-i-learned-while-updating-my-linkedin-profile/

  50. Anthony says:

    My most popular post over the past month is the ever-popular guide I wrote on Xubuntu Linux 12.04 post-installation tips. While the information’s pulled from various online sources, I presume a combination of making it as easy to explain as possible and the suggested software/Windows replacements might’ve helped.

    http://www.anthonynotes.com/2012/05/04/anthonys-xubuntu-12-04-post-installation-guide/