Let me allow you in to a little secret of the blogosphere: The week between Christmas and New Years is the slowest week of the year for site visits. We are all busy and distracted and otherwise out of our routines, so traffic to blogs plummets to a mere forty or fifty percent of the usual. For that reason you’ll find many bloggers treading water, so to speak. Instead of investing a whole lot of effort in articles and series that will be missed by so many readers, they create lists and other lesser forms of content. For example, they might provide a round-up of the top stories at their blog from the previous year.
Speaking of which, I recently looked at the top articles of 2012 and was really surprised by what bubbled to the top. So here they are, as rated by the simple metric of page views, a measure of how many people pulled up the various pages in their browsers.
Heaven Is For Real – Heaven Is For Real continues to sell, though two or three of the competing “I went to heaven” books have given it some stiff competition in the genre.
Jesus Calling – Though my review of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling was written in mid-2011, it continued to be read in 2012.
In Which I Ask Ann Voskamp’s Forgiveness – My review of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts (#5 on this list) provides the context for this follow-up article.
Smilingly Leading You to Hell – Here’s one that I chewed over for months before finally posting it. It suggests that the attribute of “niceness” is a-biblical and massively over-rated.
Competitive Mothering – This article from May struck a nerve, though I can’t remember if it was a good or bad one.
One Thousand Gifts – My review of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts takes the #5 spot for the year.
I Looked For Love In Your Eyes – This is an older article, a sad poem looking at the effects of pornography, that received some attention last year.
Visual Theology – My series of Visual Theology infographics caught on. I will group several of them together here, though they were the #3, #4 and #5 pages: The Order of Salvation, The Books of the Bible, The Attributes of God.
Real Marriage – I considered Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll a very disappointing book on marriage and critiqued it for much of what it teaches about sex.
Created To Be His Helpmeet – As I pulled up the list of this year’s most-read articles, I was very surprised to see this as the most-read. This review of Debi Pearl’s book on being a wife—an offensive and mean-spirited book that goes far beyond what Scripture teaches—must have resonated with others.
I guess the big takeaway here is that book reviews continue to lead the way. More specifically, critical reviews of popular books continue to lead the way. Not only that, but even the articles that were not book reviews, were in some way related to controversy (with the exception of Visual Theology). Clearly controversy sells, and people look to the blogosphere to help them sort through the compelling issues.