What People Are Searching For In A Blog

To be more precise, what people are searching for in this blog. A couple of months ago I restarted blogging, more like an experiment. There are more than 10 years since I’m doing this, and, for the last two, things were slow around here. Switched focus to other parts of my life, like moving to Spain, for instance. But, as you can see from the featured photo, once you put some life into a dormant thing, other people tend to notice, the increase in traffic is obvious.

So, as we are approaching the end of this year, I thought to do a bit of analysis of what people are searching for in my blog. For this, I used Google Analytics’ Behavior section, and I took out all the links to pages (like home page, about, top posts) and all the links to various products. I also deduplicated the links served as AMP (amplified pages) and counted each link only once. What’s left is a top 15 list of the most popular posts this year.

Without further ado, here it is:

  1. 50 Ways To Start Fresh
  2. 14 Ways To Say Yes
  3. 33 Questions For An Interview With Yourself
  4. 33 Ways To Overcome Frustration
  5. 100 Ways To Live A Better Life
  6. Accepting Your Dark Side
  7. 100 Ways To Screw Up Your Life
  8. How To Avoid Being A Toxic Person In 13 Simple Steps
  9. 5 Good Reasons To Share Your Goals And One Powerful Reason Not To
  10. How To Defrag Your Mind In 5 Easy Steps
  11. 5 Things Avatar Taught Me About Self Improvement
  12. Action Versus Reaction
  13. The Art Of Not Believing The Lies You’re Telling To Yourself
  14. 7 Ways To Drastically Improve Your Social Life
  15. 5 Types Of False Positive People

I will try to extract a bit of meaning from this list:

  • 9 posts are lists, 6 posts are narratives. Still a very obvious preference for list-based content.
  • 14 posts are – believe it or not – from 2009 – 2012, whereas only one single post written in the last two months (in 2019, that is), made it to the top (it’s the one about not believing the lies you’re telling to yourself)
  • semantically, still a lot of people out there seem to struggle with their own darkness (just looking at topics like: accepting your dark side, false positive people, screwing up your life, overcoming frustration). It may feel like I don’t have any lighter, more joyful content on my blog, but believe me, I do. Or at least I try to have.
  • 2 posts are about improving oneself in relation with other people (what I call “social self improvement”: not being a toxic person and improving social life) whereas the rest of self-improving posts are more about introspection. I don’t think this is specifically a bad thing, on the contrary, introspection is very necessary.
  • the general preference seems to be for broad self-improvement and motivation, with only one specific post about goal setting.

A very important thing about traffic sources: a little over half (58%) came from organic search, the other part was direct / referral. For content written more than 10 years ago I consider this to be absolutely mind boggling. Over the last two months I started to do some SEO stuff, and that shifted upwards the numbers, because otherwise direct / referral would have been over 50%.

Summarizing this analysis in one sentence (as incomplete and biased as it may be): in a self improvement blog people are searching for ways to cope with their own, inner dark side, sticking to timeless content (as opposed to timely, event-related content) and they are preferring consistent, albeit list-based articles, and less narratives.

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