Monday, December 28, 2015

The Stick Chick Blog 2015 - Top Posts of 2015

When you write a blog, it's always interesting to see what content resonates with your audience, and what falls flat.

You can work for months on a post, writing and rewriting, coming up with the perfect images or video, post it, and you hear crickets.  Or, you can bang out a quick post at the last minute, having suffered from a completely blank mind up until deadline, and it practically goes viral.

This. Sometimes this.

That's life in the blogging game.

Last year, I ranked my top 10 posts. This year, I felt like I got so much great reaction on content I reshared more than once and were written the year before that the idea of "top 10 posts" became kind of irrelevant.  So here's a look at the posts that did really well for some reason, or the ones I'm the most proud of, that I wrote and published in 2015.

The #1 post in 2015 by a landslide (in fact #1 ever in the two year history of this blog)...

Admittedly, if you're going to coat-tail on anybody in the martial arts world that just about everybody loves to pieces, it'd be Master Ken, right?  I wrote this in June as one of those last-minute "What the hell am I gonna blog about?" kinds of posts.  I woke up that morning drawing a blank, went through some martial arts discussion groups, looked at YouTube and watched another "Enter the Dojo" episode and then it hit me.  Nobody ever praises Todd Woodland, but he's the one who makes all that stuff work (and I mean this seriously - Joe Conway, who plays Todd, does a great job in making the stuff work). I pulled it together in a half hour or so, and put it out there, and people seemed to like it.  It was an okay post, good for a Saturday at the last minute.

Then about a month later, Master Ken posted it on his Facebook page, and Matt Page (the real guy behind Master Ken) shared it on his personal Facebook page.

And the Stick Chick blog exploded.

It was on a Sunday night, and I could see the views jump by dozens at a time by constantly refreshing my browser.  Within 36 hours of that post, I got as many views as I do in the best month I've ever had up to that point.  It was nuts.  It was huge.  It was my best month ever.

It was awesome.

So lesson learned here? 

Coming to the attention what we marketers call an "influencer" - somebody who is in your "space" and is highly influential to your audience - can be a huge lift to your work.  Matt shared my post and for a while I rode a huge wave of new audience views.  While it's calmed back down to normal, I'm pretty sure I picked up a few new regular readers out of it.

I've written what I call "fan posts" like this post before (like the one talking about an awesome fight scene in Daredevil, or the one where I share my love of Kung Fury).  It's a nice backup plan when you can't think of other stuff to write.   I didn't expect Matt to share it like he did - I didn't even know if he saw it.

But man, that was so fun when he did.  I'll always be grateful for that.  Now I have to figure out a new take on Chuck Norris or the UFC and see if they will post it in their channels... hmmmmmm....

Other posts that you guys seem to like this year, or I was particularly proud of, in no particular order:

Let's Talk Sticks - my arnis stick buying guide

Enough with Sensei Scumbag's Shenanigans! - my frustration with sexual predators in the martial arts community, and my suggestions for how we can tackle the problem

Knives Suck - a breakdown of a guy murdered by another guy with a knife, and what I learned from it

More on Strike Mechanics - nerding out on how striking works in Arnis

Style Wars - declaring a cease-fire on style-vs-style arguments

Filipino Martial Arts - Why We Don't Make the List - riffing off of a post by +Brian Johns about why the FMA's are so relatively obscure inside and outside the martial arts world

Ranks, Belts and Shenanigans - why the ranking system we typically use has a serious downside

The Myth of Realism - how "alive" is "alive training", really?

Just Call Me the Mayor of Newbietown - how much I love working with n00bs (seriously)

A Question of Trust - why it's  hard to develop the trust we need to train together

THAT GUY: The Full Cup - the person who come to learn but already knows everything

THAT GUY: Overly Macho Guy - he will never, ever tap.

6 Annoying Things About Being a Female Martial Artist - 1 (and part 2) - I love being a female in the martial arts, but man, there are some annoying parts about it

The Monster Post of Martial Arts Marketing Tips and Tools - my attempt to help all all y'all do better with marketing your stuff

A Secret of the 12 Angles of Attack Revealed (to me) - I got less dumb about something that's right in front of me in the basics of Modern Arnis

If you're a regular reader, did any of the posts I listed here make your "best of" this blog?  Did I miss a favorite post? I want to know what you think (as always)!