It was a year ago today that a column was written that featured the "popular blog posts" of top bloggers. That post was by Phillip Lenssen, and didn't include one women in the list of over 15 bloggers. That blog post was what propelled me into launching the Women of Internet Marketing series.
I thought as a nice way to commemorate what set the series into motion, I'd ask a number of women around our industry what was their most popular blog post / article / podcast and why they felt it was so popular or resonated with their audience. The women featured are listed in alphabetical order, and are the ones who responded when I sent out the email asking various women around the industry for their input.
- Kim Krause Berg of Cre8pc on Usability &
SEO with Usability: What The People Want
"I was surprised this particular piece took off. For starters, it's long. I think the examples and analogies worked, and I just happened to strike a chord. "
- Christine Churchill of KeyRelevance / SEM Clubhouse
Expand Your Market By Increasing Web Page Readability
"My inspiration for the article was my mother and watching her struggle trying to read web pages. I wanted to remind webmasters that not everyone reading the web has 20-20 vision and that people read differently on the web than in print.
This article provides timeless good advice that is practical and easy to follow and can make a huge difference in readability. People seemed to relate to the article because it's been reprinted a number of times and I've received numerous emails on it."
- Donna "DazzlinDonna" Fontenot of DazzlinDonna.com
Favorite 10 Free Stock Photo Download Sites
"As is often the case, what is most popular is not necessarily the thing you want to be known for. By far, my most popular blog post was just a typical list of 10 useful things...useful...but not earth-shattering information. But I guess it just was useful enough... to enough people... that it became a hit via the social networks, and the traffic just keeps pouring in for it. And while it is related to my blog's topic, it isn't as directly related as I'd like it to be. I'd prefer to have all that traffic going to more strongly-related posts, but one cannot force users through a funnel if that isn't the funnel they wish to be sucked into."
- Sara Holoubek of Marketing Profs Daily Fix
Burma-Shave: The Social Media Classic
"When one peels the layers of techno-babble, humans have been interacting with content and media in pretty much the same fashion from day one. That first guy that drew on a cave wall is really no different than the guy expressing himself via a mobile phone video uploaded to YouTube. We in the interactive industry frequently forget that it is these truths that drive our business at all."
- Julie Joyce of SEO-Chicks.com
Why Relevant Links Are Irrelevant
"It combined two important topics: The Clash and links. The post spoke about the concept of relevant links and how easy it is to fake relevancy, as a machine can’t really detect relevancy and we’re being scared into thinking that these algorithms can do more than they really can. The post was submitted to Sphinn and then got Stumbled Upon. I think it addressed a fear that we all have…that Google is perhaps omnipotent and there’s no way to keep fighting it. I believe that there is a way to keep fighting, but it requires you being a tad bit clever."
- Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide
Zero Dollars, a Little Talent and 30 Days
"I think it resonated with my readers because it showed that you really can still pull off an online success without a ton of money in the bank. It also showed that just becuase someone is well known as a marketer doesn't mean they don't make mistakes. I was pretty honest about the areas where I screwed up and the areas where I succeeded. That type of openness can go a long way toward helping readers feel like you can relate to their situation.
As for how it gained in popularity, it was mostly word of mouth. People liked the series enough that they blogged about it and word spread. Even two years later, that article still drives more page views each month than any other article I've written, mostly due to direct links from bloggers who are just now finding the series."
- Rebecca Lieb of The ClickZ News Blog
Google Sweet Google
"The it-could-happen-to-me factor. As recently as yesterday, someone brought up this post in conversation – 5 months after it went live."
- Debra Mastaler of the LinkSpiel
Help! I'm New, I Need Links, What Can I Do?
"Everyone has to start somewhere - hopefully the linking suggestions in this post give people a little roadmap to follow!"
- Shari Thurow of Search Engine Land
Term Highlighting and Search Engine Optimization
"I believe this particular blog post resonated well because of search usability. So many people believe that search engine optimization (SEO) and Web site usability have nothing to do with each other, when, in fact, they have so much in common. People wanted to see evidence of that connection.
Term highlighting is a process done specifically for search usability, making the searcher feel more confident that he/she is being delivered to relevant information. It’s been done in the information retrieval industry for years, long before Google and Yahoo came into existence.
I am rather surprised that a somewhat technical blog post was so popular not only with search engine marketers but also with journalists and public relations professionals."
- Cindy Turrietta of eMarketing Talk Show
Creating Search Engine Friendly Websites with Matt Cutts (Podcast)
"I think this one resonated in large part due to Matt’s popularity and also to the subject matter. People want to know specifics. Of course the fact that he is a blogger and “friend of bloggers” didn’t hurt, so we acquired a lot of backlinks and listens from his post about doing the show. Our PR went from a 4 to 5 almost overnight and our audience grew exponentially. The information he provided were the answers to questions people had at the time and continue to have because it has always been one of our most listened to shows. Funny thing, I just listened again and can’t believe how nervous I must have been because I sound horrible! I hope I’ve improved some since then."
- Jill Whalen of High Rankings
Getting Into Google
"This is my most popular post/article that still consistently gets the most daily traffic which recapped the Providence, RI SEMNE event in July where Dan Crow from Google spoke.
This post became popular because during the meeting, amidst other great info, Dan also provided us with some breaking news on the new unavailable_after tag. Although the tag is of little use to most websites, the breaking news aspect of the post was what made it popular. Nearly every major SEO/SEM blog picked up the news and linked to the article, which is what popularized it and also why it still receives a lot of traffic.
What I learned about bloggers from that post and the way it was linked to, led me to write the 10 Blogger Types: The Good the Bad and the Sleazy which also continues to get a lot of traffic. But none of my articles/posts have the longevity and consistent traffic of the Getting Into Google post, which I attribute to all the links out there which people click through.
- Stacey Williams of Prominent Placement
Managing Pay Per Click (Podcast on eMarketing Talk Show)
"This podcast resonated with the audience because I went into a lot of detail about which “levers” to pull, when managing pay-per-click, in order to reach various goals (such as increasing clicks or conversions). I also included things to watch out for, how to measure your success, and more."
Last but not least, I figured I'd toss my popular post into the ring:
- Liana "Li" Evans of Search Marketing Gurus
Ten Tips for Getting out of Google Hell - (InformIT article)
"This article hit an entirely different market than the normal reach of SMG, InformIT targets technologists, and this audience tends to not really understand search marketing as deeply as the normal Search Marketing Gurus' reader, that's why I believe it was so popular. Many webmasters just can't figure out what's going on when they are stuck in "Google Hell", so this article really hit home with this crowd. Subsequently it brings in a lot of readers to SMG as well."