Every year at this time I look back at the year’s most popular posts and review my stats. I started doing this because I figured, who’s reading my blog on New Year’s Eve anyway? Then it turned out to be a nice way to reconnect you with my favorite posts from the year, which never get the most pageviews.
Down the Road got about 15 percent more pageviews this year than last year, returning to 2018 levels but not approaching this blog’s salad days of 2015-17.
I credit two things. First, a change in Google’s search algorithms early this year benefited my little blog — search traffic is up more than 30 percent over last year. Second, I leaned much more aggressively into sharing my posts on Facebook. It helped a lot. Visits from Facebook are up more than 30 percent this year, too. I was especially pleased by the reception my road-trip posts got via Facebook, as those are normally the least popular posts I write.
Comments are up slightly over last year. This is my favorite metric on the blog because it represents engagement with you.
Here are the five posts I liked best this year. True to form, they weren’t the most popular. If you didn’t read them the first time around, I hope you’ll click and read them now. I put my whole heart into them.
- When your wife decides to divorce you: I got two pieces of excellent advice when my first marriage ended. I’m glad I took it. I’ve shared that advice with you.
- You always have to figure out your life: I always thought that in your 50s, life evened out and cruised smoothly. Hahahahahahaahaaaaaaa no.
- Brant’s and South Bend’s Miami Village: A reminiscence about a great neighborhood shopping district in my hometown, and delicious chocolate malts at a gleaming stainless-steel soda fountain.
- The freedom to live life on your own terms: A parenting story, of backing off and letting a struggling child find his own way.
- Hitting the parenting sweet spot: I wrote this for new dads — not all of whom enjoy their babies. It’s okay, it’s normal. Your kids will grow to ages that you will enjoy.
My most viewed posts from 2020 rose to the top thanks to heavy sharing on Facebook. Here are the top five:
- Film photography blogs you should follow: My annual list of film photography blogs.
- The covered bridge at Bridgeton, Indiana: Photos and history of a beloved covered bridge.
- Abandoned US 40 bridge west of Plainfield, Indiana: An abandoned bridge, built about 1925, on the National Road.
- Making film photography less expensive: My best tips for saving money in film photography.
- Pentax ME Super: A review of the Pentax ME Super, a compact but capable 35mm SLR.
Pageviews are nice, but I write this blog to engage with you. That happens when you leave a comment! Here are 2020’s five most commented posts:
- Help me test my blog: I was trying to track down a problem I was experiencing with comments. I wrote this one-paragraph post asking you to leave a comment to help me test the problem. You did, in larger numbers than on any post I’ve ever written!
- Film photography blogs you should follow: This annual post is always popular and you always recommend in the comments more blogs I don’t know about.
- 53: Thank you for wishing me well on my birthday!
- Another go with LegacyPro L110 developer: You all gave me excellent advice and perspective as I continued to learn home film development.
- Juneteenth: are we really woke this time?: We had a constructive conversation about race and discrimination. Those are so rare on the Internet.
Thanks for reading in 2020!