Your 10 Most Highly Viewed Articles

EzineArticles expert author Ed Howes mused in a recent blog comment:

“Maybe instead of all this speculation about what readers want, we should all analyze our ten most published articles.”

My gut opinion is that it seems very intuitive to want to draw conclusions by analyzing your most successful 10 articles; but the reality may be that you never really know what it was about them (mechanically speaking) that caused the outstanding success.

Example: Your subject matter could have been the traffic trigger; timing, search engine love, an accidental keyword density that matched a market search volume demand, some ezine publisher who promoted your article without telling you (happens daily), a high profile blogger could have highlighted your content because of a single sentence you had in it or maybe it was the compilation of thoughts you put together…

In conclusion: I think it’s a good exercise to review your top 10 most highly successful articles, but don’t become convinced that you can repeat the success by modeling what you thought worked because the truth is that you may never know what the key traffic trigger was that landed you the success in the first place. Agree/Disagree?

16 Comments »


1
Susan Scharfman writes:

I am probably the last one to pass informed judgment on this. I don’t write for mass market, and unless I’m writing about writing, I don’t do show and tell. Nevertheless, Ed Howe’s comment makes good sense even to me.

suschar

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 11:39 AM

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2
Ed Howes writes:

I agree. There are just too many variables to give one much more than clues. If we publish at multiple websites and can only compare page view counts, the popularity mix differs.

Page views themselves can be deceptive. They only tell us how many opened an article. No way to know how many read it through or were disappointed it was not what they thought. This is why I chose to look at most published. Who would take something for reprint they had not read and enjoyed?

EzineArticles is one of very few which provides publisher pick up info and even then, older essays generally have more pick ups than newer, so time of exposure is one more variable. So I imagine is the mix of reader interests from day to day, month to month. View counts are certainly a better indicator of title choice and summaries.

Maybe intuition is our best guide. Maybe, when we know we have improved, we should go back and edit a few older articles and see what improvements we make in the edits.

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 11:54 AM

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3
Edward Weiss writes:

Actually, there is a method to getting articles in Googles top 10 search results. Here’s what I do:

I use Overture’s keyword tool
I find keywords that aren’t too competitive
I write articles with titles that contain these keywords
2-3 weeks later, they appear in Google

I’ve done this for a while and it works!

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 12:21 PM

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4
Susan Scharfman writes:

I’m so tired of searching and falling for everyone’s keyword advice. It takes too much time and I am still on Google’s page 3 for writer and editor. Everyone promises the best results if you just sign up. Bah humbug!

suschar

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 12:53 PM

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5
Lance Winslow writes:

Basically what you are saying is that Article Marketing is a crap shoot. If so and it is more about luck then are you saying the goal should not be most highly viewed articles?

Perhaps you are right and I would like to point out this page; http://www.EzineArticles.com/?type=mv

I would like to say that my opinion of the types of articles that most likely will become the most viewed is a total disgrace to this industry. It is despicable, disgusting and makes me want to puke.

Of course I am just thinking outloud and just because I have 10,101 articles online, the most of anyone on the entire internet, I am not suggesting that my opinion counts for anything more than the next guy or gal. But this is the truth as I see it.

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 1:14 PM

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6
Susan Scharfman writes:

Oh boy is Lance right on the money. Every time I glance at the most viewed articles I cannot believe my eyes. it just underscores what I know: My stuff hardly get’s read. If this is what our society is all about, I’m with NASA on their first journey to infinity and beyond!!!!

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 2:03 PM

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7

Taken from Lance:

Perhaps you are right and I would like to point out this page; http://www.EzineArticles.com/?type=mv
———————

Wow… this IS upsetting. Gads i had no idea we had deteriated as a society that much!

Well it all makes sense now… everything.

It actually makes me feel like sobbing.

I know, that is just the dramatic artist in me but still.

So lift up my head and continue on trying to figure out the game. Find my keywords as best i can and compete.

Get my articles read without losing my soul!

Kathy

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 4:05 PM

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8

I don’t get it… I thought the main counter-point I was making about Ed’s statement is that you DO NOT always know what the real catalyst or traffic trigger is when you write articles for a site like ours.

Many of the most viewed are there because of TIME, not because our society really cares about those topics.

If you ask a search engine, they will tell you that Britney Spears, Beyonce, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Fergie are in the top most requested queries pretty much all year long… and you don’t draw the same sad conclusions as I’m seeing here in this thread from Lance and Kathy.

I do know that some of those in the MostViewed list are there because of time (2004 or 2005 when they originally went live); others because their owners highlight them from their own high traffic websites; and some because of favorable rankings in Google or MSN of which we have no control over.

To Lance’s points, I’d say that authors shouldn’t have a goal to get their article into the most viewed list because it doesn’t mean very much. What’s more important is for them to focus on producing a high quantity of quality original articles… and the more they produce, the ‘luckier’ they will get at attracing more traffic… and then let TIME do the math.

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 5:14 PM

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9

Hummm so I guess there is still time for me.

Maybe in a couple of years my silly little story about Tony the gecko and my worry that I killed him will be a top story!

Darn…

i should have named him Britney Spears!

Just kidding of course Chris! i get the message.

Comment provided December 17, 2006 at 5:47 PM

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10
Peter Cutforth writes:

Interesting that the number 2 ranked article about ingrown hair is number 1 (and other top ten posns) in Google and MSN, but only has about 850 searches a month in Overture. Not that many, but obviously it has hogged those spots pretty well unchallenged probably since August 2004 when the article was published!

I’ll bet Mike has been making a nice steady mozza off his affiliate link… (How come EzineArticles allows an affil link: http://www.1bodycare.com/159490-iht ??), although I guess it is his own site as well right?

Good on him!

Peter

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 2:14 AM

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11

Peter,

You’re right, that 1bodycare is Mike’s site and we do allow people to put affiliate links to their own site even though it may gum up the article review and approval process.

You have uncovered one of our pilot test projects as we are an affiliate of Mike’s. I started this pilot test back in 2004 to see if we could earn enough money via affiliate marketing to offset the need to charge for a membership fee. If you go back to 2004, we were fee-based for about 4 months and I was considering allowing affiliate partnership deals instead of membership fees.

As you may know, in January of 2005, we opened up the site to become FREE for everyone to submit articles.

Via Mike’s affiliate program, we earn enough money to pay one of our editors to review and approve articles on one Sunday a month… which means, if you can do the math, it’s not very much even though still appreciated.

We’ve also discontinued taking on new partners for the 2004 affiliate marketing pilot test program.

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 8:08 AM

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12
Peter Cutforth writes:

Chris, thanks for the explanation.

Looks like a good affil product range- does it convert well?

I think there must be a good number of authors who would be very interested to support, and be able to have confidence in, the long term commercial viability and profitability of EzineArticles.com

Do you have a mastermind group or other forum that assists you with this issue from a strategic perspective?

I’m sure there are several authors for whom EzineArticles.com is a critical component of a full time income.. For these people, knowing that EzineArticles.com is profitable, and will remain so into the long term, is very important. And in my view, profitability should not just be marginally so :-)

Peter

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 3:32 PM

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13
Susan Scharfman writes:

P.S I forgot to mention I recently got great freelance work from a prominent Newspaper. Thanks EzineArticles.

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 3:55 PM

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14

Peter,

This blog *IS* the EzineArticles business mastermind group. :-)

There are some downsides to having a public mastermind group… mainly having to do with security and competitive threats… but the upside benefit of market feedback from our stakeholders has outweighed the negative of not being able to discuss everything about the business.

I belong to a private netpreneur mastermind group and most of my friends are netpreneurs with at least 5-12 years of online biz experience.

Our team is enjoying the challenge of growing the business and many of the software and server investments we made this year won’t have an immediate pay-off, so we are keeping the long-term perspective. 7 years down and many more to come… I hope. :]

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 8:32 PM

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15
Lance Winslow writes:

Actually Chris,

Your comment about the value outweighing the competitive risks of information leak are exactly what Bill Gates describes in his reasoning for maximizing information share in the digital nervous system of an organization in his best selling book; “Business at the Speed of Thought” which is also available on cassette tape and I happen to have been listening to all 13 hours of it on a long-distance drive yesterday.

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 9:57 PM

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16
Allen Taylor writes:

Wow! Interesting discussion.

I agree with Chris Knight’s point, but I think the original question is kind of pointless. It doesn’t define what popular is. Are you interested only in page views? Google Ranking? What?

The object of article marketing is to write doggone good articles enough that ezine publishers and webmasters pick them up and republish them. This builds inbound links to your web site and, you hope, drives traffic. That’s the reason you should be writing articles.

Since that is the point, I’d rather have an article with only 100 page views and 25 downloads than 1,000 page views and 10 downloads. Which is the more popular article? Just because someone read it doesn’t mean they liked it. See my article on this subject.

Comment provided December 20, 2006 at 1:27 AM

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