Switch to mobile version

Best of Raptitude in 2010, and a 2011 Preview

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:

10. 3 Pieces of Advice I’d Give My 18-year-old Self If I Could

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.

9. Die on Purpose

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.

8. To My Fellow Skeptics (and Believers Too)

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.

7. How to Make Mindfulness a Habit With Only a Tiny Commitment

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.

6. How to Deal With People Who Frustrate You

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.

5. If the election really mattered to you, you’d do more than just vote

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…

4. Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

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.

3. This is Your Life’s Work

People liked the rat-in-a-box metaphor. “Ratty” was here, and don’t you forget it.

2. 9 Mind-Bending Epiphanies That Turned My World Upside Down

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.

1. 40 Belief-Shaking Remarks From a Ruthless Nonconformist

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.

Coming Home

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.


A Raptitude Community

Finally! Raptitude is now on Patreon. It's an easy way to help keep Raptitude ad-free. In exchange you get access to extra posts and other goodies. Join a growing community of patrons. [See what it's all about]
Uzma January 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

Hi David. A Very Happy New Year. Thank you for a great list and for the point on how Raptitude grew on its own momentum. Only goes to show how far good work goes. I hope it keeps growing leaps and bounds.

Henway January 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I discovered Raptitude in 2010 and am so glad I did… this blog has really opened my eyes in a lot of things and issues. Looking forward to more in 2011.

Lindsay January 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

I discovered Raptitude in 2010 as well and I’m glad I found you. I turned 30 this year as well David, and like you, I know I’m not cut out for the 9-5 in this life.

So also like you, I’m hoping to turn this blogging thing into a source of income. Here’s to our success…I’ll be here reading!

David January 5, 2011 at 6:56 am

Cheers! *clink*

Samantha Dermot January 5, 2011 at 3:19 am

I can’t say that I already achieve my success online but I am happy with the visible improvement in my life because of my online activity. I hope all of us reach our goals! We need to take advantage all the opportunities that will come our way.

Henri January 5, 2011 at 6:07 am

Thanks for the mention, David!

I’m glad I could throw some inspiration your way. Your traffic numbers inspire me. 1,000,000 visitors last year, damn. Nice!

David January 5, 2011 at 7:08 am

Hi Henri. I wouldn’t think I could pull off my plan this year if it weren’t for people like you sharing your experience with the world. Thanks so much. I really appreciate Wake Up Cloud.

Danielle January 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm


First of all, a HUGE congratulations on the growth of your blog. You’ve certainly earned the success you’re finding and I’m really looking forward to following Raptitude in the future (and sharing it with everyone I know). :-)
Second, I commend you for having the gutts not only to realize that you’re cut from a different mold than the people who can do the 9-5 thing, but for dedicating yourself to finding a better way of life. Good for you! Now, teach me! :-)
Happy Blogging, and Happy 2011,

Brad January 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Congratulations! I am having my doubts about whether I am cut for that 9-5 mold either. I actually couldn’t find a 9-5 mold, so I have to settle into an 8-6. Blah! I go crazy without my freedom; I need to explore.

Your blog is obviously doing quite well. But can I ask exactly what you are waiting on? I have followed it fairly closely and I have noticed only a small amount of monetization. Maybe it is just more artfully incorporated than I can casually detect?

David January 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

Hi Brad. While I was traveling I had to pay 4-5 dollars an hour for internet access, so I didn’t have time to do much other than post my content and check my email. Once I got back in July, I just wanted to spend time with my friends and get my life back in order. Things have stabilized now, and I’m going ahead with my plans for expansion. I’m no longer waiting. Most of the traditional blog monetization approaches don’t sit well with me. Raptitude will be a part of my income, but probably not the major part. I’ll earn money mostly from other projects.

Brad January 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Cool. I think it’s great that you do this just to do it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 Trackbacks }

Desktop version

Raptitude is an independent blog by . Some links on this page may be affiliate links, which means I might earn a commission if you buy certain things I link to. In such cases the cost to the visitor remains the same.