What makes a blog post popular? Drama or the hope of redneck jokes?

Laura Vanderkam had a post last week that inspired a lot of interesting comments.  One of the commenters noted that hir most popular blog posts were always the sad/drama-filled ones and more cheerful posts weren’t so popular.

So, I was curious to see if that held true for us.  (On that day last week, our own posting was a lengthy gripe about the lawn, which did not get so many comments as say, our more positive posts about things like getting tenure or having a baby…)

So here’s what our wordpress history has said:

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.

From 2011:

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1.  How the used car market is like health insurance September 2010 25 comments
2.    About July 2010
3.  Mortgage Update and a worry December 2010 34 comments
4.  Why I’m in no hurry to become a millionaire September 2010 18 comments
5.  Searches that find our blog amuse us September 2010 5 comments

Many of our most popular pieces are pf posts about how we don’t need to go to extremes in money matters (or parenting or, you know, life).  We even have a post contemplating why they’re so popular!

In terms of most comments:
1.  Delurk for us today!
2.  Musings on why weight targets bother me
3.  Homeschooling: A deliberately controversial post
4.  Do the holidays stress you out?
5.  ******* creationists!

IIRC, the weight one and the creationist one resulted in some nutty commenter going crazy in the comments section.  But none of the above posts are about truly terrible things happening to us, except maybe me complaining about how hard it is to learn about evolution when you live in the Bible Belt.

So… I think we must have either pretty amazing readers who aren’t attracted to us for Schadenfreude reasons or we must be filling some kind of SEO niche that isn’t predicated on misery, but instead on redneck jokes, Mr. Money Moustache, and the love of a happy medium.  (Also, man, we must have been on fire back in 2011!)

If you have a blog, what are your most popular posts like?  Is your readership misery-seeking?  If you don’t have a blog, what are your favorite kinds of posts and what kinds of posts do you keep coming back to check on?

2013 in review: A summary from WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 240,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 10 days for that many people to see it.

In 2013, there were 252 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,091 posts. There were 14 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4 MB. That’s about a picture per month.  (We should have more pretty pictures!)

The busiest day of the year was June 24th with 1,209 views. The most popular post that day was Expanded ramblings on extreme living.

Attractions in 2013

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2013.  Your writing has staying power!

How did they find you?

The top referring sites in 2013 were (we love you guys!):

  1. bardiac.blogspot.com
  2. scientopia.org
  3. getrichslowly.org
  4. reassignedtime.wordpress.com
  5. Google Reader

Some visitors came searching, mostly for grumpy rumblings, mr money mustache, nicole and maggie, you know you’re from the south when, and mr money moustache.

Where did they come from?

174 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States. Canada & The United Kingdom were not far behind.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2013 was Delurk for us today!

These were your 5 most active commenters:

Hm, we should send rented life something as a prize… Suggestions?

Delurk for us today!

I was poking around on some of our posts from a couple of years ago and noticed that some of our wonderful regular readers then, with regular blogs then, stopped their blogs sometime in 2011 or 2012, and a few of them have disappeared entirely.  (We miss you guys!)

Our blog readership has dramatically increased since those days, yet our regular commenters seem to have diminished in number.  We wonder if some of that might be because we’re established now and people who aren’t yet regulars feel like they’re outsiders and aren’t ready to join.  Our regular commenters are pretty amazing, it is true, and that might be intimidating.

So, in the interest of increasing conversation, we’re declaring this Grumpy Rumblings Delurking Day.

If you’re a reader of ours but not a regular commenter, say hi, and, if you like, tell us a little about yourself.  If that’s intimidating, then tell us what you like about our blog or what you’d like to see more of.  If that seems self-serving on our parts, then just say hi (and we’ll understand)!

If the problem is thinking up a screen name, we recommend choosing a type of cat.  Here’s a list, though you may of course choose something else.

There’s no captcha code, so delurk now!

Welcome Scientopia Readers

Welcome to Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured.  Someday (but not yet) to be Grumpy Rumblings of the Tenured or else Grumpy Rumblings of the non-academically employed living in paradise trying to make ends meet.  (Did you know that rent for a tiny 3br in the SF bay area is around 3K/month?  We’re not currently living that dream.)

Who are we?

Well, according to our about statement:

Nicole and Maggie live in two different parts of the country.  We are good friends.  We are untenured, in two different fields.  We are cranky, and we are anonymous.  If you think you know who we are, you’re probably wrong.  Don’t even try to tell us apart; we are of one mind (except when we’re not– only one of us likes mushrooms, and the other one of us likes eggnog).

We’ll be famous on the internet.

Another thing you may need to know is that #1 always starts the post.  #2 is the other person.  Sometimes #1 is #1 and sometimes #2 is #1.  We thought it was less pretentious than saying “This one” and “That one” like unicorns and horses.  Yes, we understand that is confusing and irritating for some of you.  Please refer to our about statement on that front.

Our academic posts can be found under this tag.

On Mondays we talk about money.

Sometimes we are a mommy blog, even though only one of us is a mommy.

Twice a month we answer random questions from Google searches.

You can directly ask us questions too– most Fridays we do an Ask the Grumpies feature.  Ask away!

Once a month or so (depending on how much we want to play) we have deliberately controversial posts.  More often we stick to merely debatable.

We’re not always grumpy.  For example, we love books.  And acknowledge the joy in our lives, which is not always book-related.

Welcome Simple Dollar Readers!

Please, leave comments and say hi!

Posts you may find of interest:

Why I’m in no hurry to become a millionaire.

Why you should read Your Money or Your Life.

Optimizing isn’t always optimal. Satisfice– it’s nice!

What’s your cooking system?

Don’t *just* prepay the mortgage.

Different methods of sharing finances, whether with a loved one or simply a housemate.

It’s ok to buy a new car, or a used one. This one doesn’t have the predicted 200+ comments yet– please spend some time explaining your point of view!

What do YOU think about no-spend days?  The comments talk about who they work for and who they don’t.

Are you doing better than your parents?

The experiences vs. stuff post.  It mentions marginal utility.

Have you done a financial fire drill?

We have a lot of “stop feeling guilty and relax” posts… here’s why we think they’re popular

Our most commented on post is really just a series of questions on how balanced personal finance bloggers are allowed to be, but the comments are incredibly thought provoking. So read it for the comments even if the post is kind of post-lite.

There’s a lot more personal finance posts in here (generally on Mondays, but here and there throughout the week), please poke around and enjoy! We’re very excited you’re visiting.

Are we famous on the internet yet?

It’s our one year blogiversary!

A year ago we started this blog.  A little less than a year ago we wondered what our blog should be.  We seem to have settled down into some patterns.  At least once a week we’re a personal finance blog (usually Mondays).  About once a week we’re an academic blog.  A little under once a week we’re a mama blog.  Occasionally we hit feminist… or foodie… or bibliophile (or mix those topics with the rest).  The rest of the time we are random, silly, grumbly, or joyous.

Hey– #2, are you still having fun?  I’m still having fun.  It’s been neat meeting people.  (What would we do without our readers and commenters?)  I’ve learned a lot!  #2 is totes having fun.  The secret, peeps, is to start a blog with your friend, and then you can bounce off each other.  Also– you’re not responsible for getting 100% of the posts up and comments accepted/spam filtered.

Here are just a few of our favorite posts:

Octopus is the New Black

I will not marry my best friend

Blue Children

Housing the Academic

Dream Vacation

Pre-tenure Angst and a life-changing book recommendation

Satisficing as a life philosophy

Guilt in parenting: IBTP

Blogging Boice and Hacking work habits

Governments are not people

Cooking systems and Cooking when you’re really broke

The prepaying the mortgage question

How the used car market is like health insurance

Why are the stop feeling guilty and relax posts so popular?

Which are yours?  (Stroke our egos!  Read our archives!  Comment!  Say hi!)

Welcome Get Rich Slowly Readers!

Please, leave comments and say hi!

Posts you may find of interest:

Why I’m in no hurry to become a millionaire.

Why you should read Your Money or Your Life.

Optimizing isn’t always optimal. Satisfice– it’s nice!

What’s your cooking system?

Don’t *just* prepay the mortgage.

It’s ok to buy a new car, or a used one.  This one doesn’t have the predicted 200+ comments yet– please spend some time explaining your point of view!

We have a lot of “stop feeling guilty and relax” posts… here’s why we think they’re popular

Our most commented on post is really just a series of questions on how balanced personal finance bloggers are allowed to be, but the comments are incredibly thought provoking.  So read it for the comments even if the post is kind of post-lite.

There’s a lot more personal finance posts in here (generally on Mondays, but here and there throughout the week), please poke around and enjoy!  We’re very excited you’re visiting.

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