Chad did an interesting analysis the other day - looking at the traffic attracted by science posts vs. non-science stuff (e.g., pretty pictures, politics, etc.). This made me look at my all-time traffic here (I know some of the posts are re-posts from the old blogs where they got lots of traffic as well, but I can ignore that for the purpose of this exercise). I rarely ever check Google Analytics, so the first surprise was my 6th place in overall traffic for the past month! And then I looked at the Clock content to see what have been the greatest hits over the past two years.
Considering I have more than 6000 posts and many of them are brief and low-content, I was quite happy with what GA brought out to the top - quite a nice collection, in fact. What can we say?
First, older posts had more time to accumulate traffic. Second, a few silly posts got one-time big traffic because of Digg, Redditt, Stumbleupon, etc., but that lasted a few hours and is gone.
Some pictures got hot-linked by others and got all the way up to the top of Google Image searches, and these keep bringing traffic all the time.
Obvious PZ-baiting also brings a big burst of non-lasting traffic.
Participating in flame-wars, just like participating in community activities (conferences, scifoo, anthology, Ask The Scienceblogger,....) brings a lot of traffic for a brief period of time and then it's gone.
Politics, as a rule, brings nothing.
The science posts, especially Basic Concepts and BIO101 lecture notes keep going and going and going.
Friday Weird Sex Blogging brought a lot of traffic - but those posts are science!
So, if I intend to keep growing regular readership, I need to write science posts more - they may get few comments, and little immediate traffic growth, but they are a gift that keeps on giving.
Here are my top-traffic posts, under the fold, so you can take a look. I ordered them by total Pageviews (and stopped once I hit posts that got less than 1000 pageviews):
Chuck Norris Creationist 179,340
Cell Structure 156,648 Pageviews
BIO101 - Lecture 7 - Physiology: Coordinated Response 89,646 Pageviews
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask) 52,351 (several more hundred each time it got reposted as well)
Mananimals in the news again 31,725
Me and the Copperheads 23,490
T-rex at night! 15,947
Another Pretty Bird 14,364
Cell-Cell Interactions 13,311
Blogging About Bush 10,561
The Mighty Ant-Lion 4,938
Michael Egnor. Who? 2,823
Circadian Quackery 2,439
Do whales sleep? 2,324
It's Official! 2,073
I Want This Job! 1,855
Impact Factors 2007 1,638
The Giant's Shoulders #1 1,636
Monster House 1,160
Pledge Of Allegiance 1,105
Hot Peppers 1,045
This one is for PZ 1,008
WOW! You have loyal readers... I include myself in that of course. I am happy to see that the science blogs work. They don't get very many comments, but the proof is in the pudding! It gives me faith in my uber-sciency-ness.
My top-traffic posts are the ones for the beautiful birds meme. That's another way to get traffic - start a blog meme or carnival.
I am surprised that only one meme and one carnival made it to this list: the beautiful bird and the Giants' Shoulders. Some of my favourite posts did not make it here, some of the silliest ones did, but overall, if this list were to be the complete list of all of my posts, that would still be a pretty decent blog, methinks. It is interesting that long political rants never made it here!
Huh, in my blog, the lame doctor who post is the more popular one, only surpassed by the calculus post. Anyways, good job on your science stuffs. *thumbs up*
It's obvious what you must do to fully flesh out this theory - make a weirdsex post about Chuck Norris getting it on with Harry Potter. You might take down ScienceBlogs with a post like that.
That said, the everything you wanted to know about sleep is probably my single favourite blog post of any blog of all time. Incredibly informative, incredibly useful.