2010 was my best year ever, but I plan to say that about every year from here on in. It was also Raptitude’s best year ever, with over 1,000,000 unique visits during the calendar year. This is all thanks to you, the reader, because I did virtually nothing except write content. Thanks for sharing.
Here are the top 10 posts of the year:
I tried something a bit new here by framing the post with a fictional narrative, and it paid off. It was fun to write and many longtime readers told me it was their favorite post of mine. Everyone had different ideas about what they’d have liked their teenage self to have known about life.
At first glance it’s a quick way to get an objective look at the moment, but it’s bigger than that. It’s actually a shortcut to a liberating insight about who we are and what the human condition really is. Some readers really understood the enormous implications of this simple technique, and I received a lot of glowing emails about it. An unusually short post, for me.
In the last few years I realized that religion and faith aren’t necessarily unintelligent, and it’s probably just as naive to dismiss it as it is to exalt it. A discerning (but open) mind can tease out what the spiritual traditions are getting at, without getting lost in the ins and outs of their dogma.
I didn’t expect it to be big, but people loved this one. We all know mindfulness is a healthy behavior, but it’s so hard to stay mindful of your intention to stay mindful. This is an ultra-simple way to make it stick.
A counter-intuitive strategy for dealing with asinine behavior from other people, and learning something while you do it. Quickly became one of Raptitude’s all-time most popular articles.
Just what it says. This is a direct challenge to the long-held notion that voting is a critical duty for the typical individual. Not only is it relatively unimportant, but it inhibits us from taking action that will create real change. The conversation in the comment section is a good one — I learned so much, but as of yet nobody has convinced me I’m mistaken…
Once I’d returned to the working world after nine months of seat-of-the-pants backpacking., I noticed some unhealthy habits appearing in my life. I never realized it before, but the 9-5 lifestyle creates tired, needy zombies out of people who would otherwise be fiery individualists, and that’s no accident. This one struck something deep in a lot of people, and it became an immediate hit.
People liked the rat-in-a-box metaphor. “Ratty” was here, and don’t you forget it.
A recount of my nine most life-changing realizations. StumbleUpon picked it up in a big way and it was linked to by several major blogs. Facebook people started sharing it too and it’s become the second biggest post of the year.
Raptitude’s most popular post of all time. It’s received 450,000 views so far and still gets hundreds every day. The guy is an instigator, even a hundred years after his death. This one got people talking: the comment section is boiling with angry debates and graduate-level discourses about ethics, ontology, religion and dancing.
Honorable mention: You Must Go Do the Next Thing. This one didn’t receive the pageviews these others did, but it generated some of the most heartfelt emails I’ve received since I started this thing, and I think it’s one of my best.
In 2010 I began to drift a bit from Raptitude. While I was away on my trip, I got into the habit of marginalizing my commitment to my blog, mainly because I felt guilty staring into my laptop while I was in such amazing places that I’d probably never see again. I began posting less.
Because I was paying 4 or 5 bucks for an hour of internet, I pretty much had to cut out the reading of blogs entirely, and I lost touch with the blogging community around me. That community has been the most rewarding part of blogging, and it was the reason I began. It’s also a huge source of traffic and exposure and Raptitude has been effectively coasting without it.
When I returned in July, I began working full time, and then my beloved NFL football season started, which has served to continue my habit of working in “maintenance mode.” Raptitude has always been important, but I’d gotten into the habit of just posting often enough to maintain my readership, which doesn’t make me feel so great. It was a fantastic year, don’t get me wrong, but the camaraderie I had with other bloggers in 2009 was conspicuously absent this year.
I’m proud that Raptitude was still able to quadruple its readership in 2010, almost entirely on its own momentum. I did virtually no promotion, no networking, no guest posting or collaborative projects, no traffic generation at all, yet Raptitude has established itself as a well-known blog with impressive numbers. This is all thanks to the readers, who have shared my content on their own initiative. With results like this in 2010, I’m excited to see what will happen in 2011, when I return to a more aggressive style of piloting this thing.
There is another reason why I’m going to hit the throttle in 2011. Since my trip I’ve become stircrazy. I know I’m not cut out to live a typical 9-5 life here. I turned 30 this year and I can’t afford to get complacent this year, or I might never recover. The time for passive wandering is over. I’ve been inspired by the wave of smart young bloggers who are turning blogging and online entrepreneurship into a legitimate lifestyle. I’m joining their ranks, and I haven’t felt as sure about something as I did the day I decided to start a blog.
2011 is going to be huge. Glad to have you with me.