This is the fourth post in a series in which I explore my Forbes blog traffic. Since I've made a living for years by prompting people to click, I'm using this to document some of the ways in which this works. The answer, by the way, will always be as elusive as the human soul.
Regardless, simply put, I fucking killed it in February. Which was nice, because last month, I really shit the bed.
In January, I had 51,135 views.
In February, I had 193,011 views.
What went right? (I wrote another post about all this stuff on my Forbes blog yesterday, as well.) Basically, I'd been working the business of vice beat for years, and I never really felt like I could get a handle on it, so this last month, I was like, fuck it, I'm going to do it, and by doing it, I'll figure it out. So my commitment to myself was that I had to post once a day every weekday. Which I did. Thankfully, a short month. It's kind of like running, I suppose. You don't figure out how to run longer by thinking about it. You figure out how to run longer by running. Seems obvious, but do you practice it? Sometimes, thinking about shit is an excuse.
The most popular post was "Playboy Is Naked Again and It Is Awesome" with 85,978 views. Second most popular was "What Diversity? Kate Upton Covers Sports Illustrated Issue" with 33,912 views. Third most popular was "This $85,000 Gun Has a Piece of the Statue of Liberty in It" with 12,875 views. Fourth most popular was "A Male Porn Star Discovers Leaving Porn Is Harder Than You'd Think" with 9,535 views. And fifth most popular was "This Female Photographer Shoots in Strip Clubs" with 7,905 views. Sensing a trend? Never let them tell you sex doesn't sell. I'd like this lineup of top posts to be more diverse -- although, let's not frown at sex and violence. I'd like to see more posts about guns, booze, smoking, gambling, and rampant drug use. And over-the-top cars. And prisons. Let's shoot for that in March.
What went wrong? Here are a few posts that really shit the bed: "This Fashion Brand Wants You to Make Love, Not Walls" with 81 views, "Why Is This Model Wearing a Garbage Can Lid on Her Head?" with 158 views, and "How to Quadruple Your Blog Traffic in 30 Days" (meta!) with 133 views. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong here, but I would say that in general my headlines need work. They're too flat. Why is this? I need to deliver more hot takes and write more about things that I have some sort of passionate response to when I find them. All of these titles are boring. Boring is the enemy. Kill boredom. Toss it in a wood chipper. Die, boredom, die.