The end of the year is a good time to look back and reflect on the past twelve months. What did we accomplish? What could we have done better? How can we improve next year? And most importantly, what do our readers want?
Back in the early days of Writing Forward, I used to gather up my end-of-the-year stats and let readers know which articles were the most popular. Somewhere along the line, I drifted away from that tradition. I decided to bring it back this year, partially because I myself am curious but also because I think it’s useful to know what interests and engages other writers. Here’s what I learned:
Social Media Loves Creative Writing
One of the greatest gifts that the Internet has given us is the ability to connect with other people. On Facebook, we can connect with friends and family. On LinkedIn, we can connect with other professionals. Twitter allows us to find people who have shared interests. And discovery engines like StumbleUpon or user-generated news sites like Reddit make it easy for us to share relevant, interesting news and information.
All of these tools are excellent for writers because they offer us a way to interact with other writers and share our writing with the world.
Writing Forward benefited from all of these social media sites and many more. I am fairly active on Twitter and post every article on Facebook, so I was surprised to learn that StumbleUpon brought in the most readers. Thanks for Stumbling, you guys!
One of the most popular posts on Twitter wasn’t even published here at Writing Forward. It was a guest post I wrote for The Top Ten Blog: “The Top Ten Ways to Spice up Your Writing.” Months later, the tweets and retweets just keep coming.
However, a more recent post, titled “Writers, Censorship, and SOPA” also got a lot of traction and helped me connect with a few dozen other writers and anti-censorship activists on Twitter. I’m especially glad that people embraced this article because I think it’s critical for writers to not only be aware of censorship but to oppose it vehemently.
I found out that Facebook offers some new tools to help us understand how our content is performing. Their stats were only available back through July, but the findings were interesting. The posts “10 Tips for Writing a Book” and “Making Time to Practice Writing Every Day” engaged the most people and got them talking. And an oldie but a goodie, and one of Writing Forward’s most-read and most-shared posts of all time, “The 22 Best Writing Tips Ever” went the most viral.
Hits and Comments
I always find it interesting to see which posts get the most comments. That tells me that the posts sparked ideas or questions. Interestingly, the post with the most comments of 2011 also has the most comments of all time, and it was the single most-visited post on this site. The overall popularity of “25 Creative Writing Prompts” tells me that writers want to write. They’re looking for ideas and inspiration, and that’s a good thing.
The poets came out and supported “Three Poetry Writing Exercises, and people are looking for “Ideas for Creative Writing Projects and Practices.”
I want thank everyone who visited, subscribed, tweeted, liked us on Facebook, commented, and otherwise engaged with Writing Forward. I hope to bring you lots of great creative writing tips and ideas in 2012, and I hope that next year, you’ll keep writing.
Happy New Year!