Blogger True Stories: The Highest Traffic I Ever Had
By: Taylor Davies

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As a blogger, do you ever wonder to yourself how a certain post (either yours or someone else’s) got so popular? There’s no universal secret to why certain posts are more successful than others. It often has to do with timeliness, but sometimes people just like things; they have a gut reaction that causes them to share, to comment and to talk.

The most popular post of all time on my personal blog (I’ve been posting for 3 years) was this post on a DIY project I did one weekend. It wasn’t especially good, but it was picked up and reposted by my ad network, The Huffington Post / Stylelist. Same goes for the second and third most read. So my reason is pretty obvious, but not everyone has a network that pulls their content that way. Sometimes all it takes is the right retweet, a properly shared link or a very timely topic to help a post shoot to the top of your rankings or go viral.

I wanted to know what the most popular posts from some of our favorite bloggers were, and if their authors could pinpoint a reason. Below you’ll see five very different experiences from five very different blogs. You’ll notice that spikes in traffic happen for many different reasons, non of which are out of your reach!

 

Jessie Thorpe, Denimology

I find the posts that have the largest amount of views extremely humorous! Our number one post (Kendall Jenner in Taverniti Cargo Pants) was read by 22,000+ people and Kendall Jenner wasn’t even that well known at that point, nor was Taverniti that popular in the denim world. Although, Kim Kardashian’s star was shining brightly and cargo pants were all the rage. Take note of the fact that all 3 of our top posts embrace celebrity denim style, our second highest being this Coachella style-related post (20k views), and this one on Kate Middleton (19k).

Anna Derkin, See Jane

Once it was announced that I was a finalist in Refinery29′s ‘Next Big Style Blogger Contest,’ in 2011, I received a ton of unexpected traffic to my site. It definitely was a wake-up call for my blog (and me) and it was definitely unnerving coming to the realization that it wasn’t just my family reading it anymore!  Of course, they were the original readers and they’re a tough crowd, so I still aim to please them with every post. The exposure that came from taking a chance and entering that contest inspires me  

 

Victoria McGinley, Vmac + Cheese

I can think of two examples of posts that got serious traffic. The first was actually a series of posts I put together before attending the Altitude Summit this past January. I dubbed it ‘Mini Alt Week’ and designed infographics using quotes from lots of bloggers that I reached out to ahead of time. The series offered tips, insights, and best practices into the world of blogging. I think it was successful for lots of reasons: 1. It provided major value to other bloggers (and even potential bloggers), 2. It was pleasing to look at (if I do say so myself!), not just huge blocks of text with no color or images, and 3. it had sharing power. So many people ended up linking to the series that week, both on Twitter, Facebook, or their own blogs! The other recent post I can think of was discussing my honest views of diving into the world of wedding planning. I never DREAMED the post would get the response it did (in fact, I worried it might even alienate people). But it was real. It was ME. Sometimes, I think putting yourself out there and being vulnerable can resonate with your community. It shows that you’re just like them, and can make you as relatable as you are in real life!

 

Jess Estrada, Fresh Jess

I did a post back in 2010 on feather hair extensions, right before they really took off and became a big trend. To this day, it’s seen over 400% more traffic than my second-highest traffic-driving post. I’m pretty sure that when you Google “featherlocks” my blog pops up in the top search results. It was my first time getting on the press page of a brand’s site (the salon & the feather extensions both included me) and seeing my blog next to Vogue & InStyle made me so happy! That post really kicked off a slough of fun brand campaigns and sponsorships for me.

 

Ashe Robinson, {putting the} Ash in Fashion

My most popular post, in terms of traffic, was inspired by a post by lifestyle/finance blogger Fabulously Broke in the City.  It was calledFinance & the Fashion Blogger: Things I Won’t Give Up to Save Money, but I slanted it with a fashion & beauty twist.  It was quoted in a post at The Consumer — completely out of context. Then others began to link to the post, with their own commentary– again, out of context. That day I received 6700 page views (about 10x my daily traffic!).  I received comments calling me a bitch, shallow, claiming that I must own a $500 purse for every outfit– one person even accused me of having a job! LAWD HELP ME I HAVE A JOB.  People COMPLETELY missed the point that a) I run a niche blog and b) took a post idea and applied it to my niche.   That much traffic actually sucked when people were coming to my site for the wrong reason; defending myself was useless.  I learned a lot from that post, and it definitely helped me develop a thicker skin as a result. (And by the end of the day, I just kept telling myself– and the computer– hey! thanks for all the traffic!)

 

We would love to hear about the highest traffic post you ever had! Go into your Google Analytics (or the analytics of your platform) and see what post has the most views. If you feel comfortable, share a link and some ideas of why you think it was so popular!

 

Comments

  1. salha says:

    Amazing article!! Thank you! :)

    xx, The Cabinet Of Fashion blog

  2. My most popular post to date was actualy a post on Celebrity Luv and how everyone longs for it. It was retweeted by Dawn Richards formerly of Danity Kane and I couldn’t believe how it took off. If only every post could see that kind of success but I’ll always have luv! http://www.frugalflirtynfab.com/search/label/Love%20Love

  3. lola999 says:

    I always get the most views when I post ads I’ve seen in Europe. Not huge numbers but still..it’s nice.

  4. Jayinee says:

    My most popular post is one in which I get a crazy weird Aztec little boy bowl-cut:
    http://visualinput.me/experiments/

    And a close second is my post on badass artist Yayoi Kusama:
    http://visualinput.me/infinity-rooms/

  5. Shayne Renee says:

    My highest traffic post came from a Torrid retweet. Within an hour I had 700 hits (about 10x my normal traffic in an hour) and 3000 within the next 10 hours. After that, I had an increase in Twitter and Facebook followers and they actually stayed! It was definitely a big moment for my blog :)

  6. Sian says:

    My most popular post is on how to dye your hair ombre, I did it just before it started to get popular and I still get several views on it every day!
    http://xrebelangelx.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/how-to-dye-your-own-hair-ombre.html

  7. Jaspe says:

    my highest traffic post came from a photoshoot with a model friend combined with an opinion post on “the new gentleman”. it went VIRAL like crazy, was absolutely shocked by the number of times it was shared !

    http://caramelboots.blogspot.com/2011/11/return-of-gentlemen.html

  8. Samantha says:

    My most popular post would have to be my submission for Bloggers Do It better over at Pretty Shiny Sparkly in Feb. Kristina tweeted about my post and traffic went nuts! Taking advantage of opportunities like this, and those here on IFB is so important when starting out I think.

  9. Mine was Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. I think that it was because the picture that I chose had a beautiful shot I her train. I think that the second highest was this chick that was bare foot on the red carpet at Canned.

  10. WendyB says:

    I was a journalist, so it makes sense that a lot of my highest-traffic posts come from my good timing in pouncing on breaking news. One was Alexander McQueen’s death…the other, oddly, was about Bristol Palin’s baby daddy Levi Johnston. For both of them, I was on the first page of Google results for about 12 hours!
    :-D

  11. My highest traffic post was a tutorial for daytime smoky eye makeup: http://sugarandchiffon.blogspot.com/2011/11/tutorial-daytime-smoky-eye.html

    I think this one got the most traffic for me so far because it is easy to follow. So many times in magazines the makeup tips are from professionals, and thus they are hard to follow. I am by no means a professional! I just posted my own tutorial of how I created my own signature daytime smoky eye look–no professional makeup experience necessary!

  12. debi c says:

    this is my highest hitter.(50k+)..
    http://flysongbird.blogspot.in/2011/05/women-and-fashion-in-1920.html
    maye because i did it on the 20′s just when it was a style inspiration for a lot or maybe i just unwittingly used a lot of good key words..a person even contacted me saying it was her grandma in 1 of those photos.i tried to help her find the source but it had lost track in between all the exchanges..
    this 1 i know why it has brought in so many hits in such a short span of time
    http://flysongbird.blogspot.in/2012/03/how-to-do-pastel-hair-if-you-do-not.html
    i posted the link on the source page and it is very popular right now.

  13. Jadeee says:

    This was such a helpful article! I just found my posts with the most traffic and have decided to dedicate at least one post each week with a similar feature (pics of stylish women) xx

  14. My most popular I did as a public service: “How to Turn Off Captcha in Blogger”
    http://spygirl-amb.blogspot.com/2011/05/tech-tip-how-to-turn-off-captcha-in.html
    I LOATHE captcha and as soon as I learned how to stop it, I wanted to share the steps (only for Blogger). Now that Blogger updated their interface, I’ll have to redo the screen grabs.

    Number two is a recent post from March — “TxSC Sketches”
    http://spygirl-amb.blogspot.com/2012/03/txsc-sketches.html
    This post/activity created quite a buzz with the TxSC participants. Very gratifying – I realized this is one of the unique angles I can have on my blog: my ability to do live sketches. Since “finding one’s own voice” was one of the key themes/pieces of advice gleaned from the conference, this came together nicely for me. Instant confirmation that this is a good direction for me to follow.

  15. Sia says:

    My most popular post is about the Curvy Kate Models:

    http://www.bra-none.com/2012/01/curvy-kate-models.html

    I am astounded what happens when forums find this post. Traffic spikes substantially and then several threads are written and the traffic stays high for weeks until it subsides.

    It’s exciting but daunting. It leaves me wondering who will find it next. Traffic has come from men’s football forums to women’s soft porn sites!

    Crazy!

    Sia

  16. Stella says:

    Great article!! I have just started my blog but please stop by and let me know what you think!
    XOXO

    http://www.wardrobestories.blogspot.com

  17. Rachel says:

    My most popular post was when I wrote about how I was considering going red ombre with my hair. http://www.rachelphipps.com/2011/02/hair-lust-ombre-but-with-twist.html I know has so much traffic because people Google search ‘ombre hair’ and the celebrities I mentioned in the post!

  18. Sandy says:

    I am actually facing a different kind of situation. I am a jewelry designer who is focused on getting more traffic to my site so I can sell my creations. Blogging and social media obviously help get traffic yet I find I’m not a natural at speaking through my slow typing fingers. Let alone having the time as I find it is an other job in itself. If any of you natural fashion bloggers have advise for me I would do back flips I mean I would love it. I need to create image and a buzz around my designs. Advise anyone????

  19. Heather says:

    Six months ago I wrote a post on my experience with gel nail polish: http://thestyleconfessions.com/2011/06/06/gel-nail-polish-whats-the-big-deal/. It’s still my top post, easily receiving four times the hits of the next most popular on my blog. I think it’s because when I posted it this summer there was NO other information about gel polish on the web. To this day I try to hunt down topics that haven’t been covered.

  20. Karen says:

    About 2 months ago we did a meme on fashion bloggers. It was funny and authentic and seemed to really strike a chord with so many people that we got requests to come up with more.

    We got over 520 likes, 239 shares and 60 comments on FB with total reach of over 2M during that week along – driven by a few other things we had going on for fashion week.

    What do you think? It’s our Feb 17th post on http://www.facebook.com/StyleMusee

  21. Kevin says:

    Mine came from a fake news story I wrote about murders occurring at the Yahtzee World Championships.

    http://www.breakmentaldown.com/2011/04/hey-after-tragedy-that-occurred-in.html

    As I said, completely fake, but there actually is no Yahtzee World Championship, so when people Google that or some variation on it, it sends them my way. I’m #2 on Google for that search, just behind the Wiki entry for Yahtzee.

  22. Kyla says:

    Wow, nice post! Very helpful!

  23. Mary says:

    I blog about vintage style and photography and my two highest traffic posts have been: a photo of Marilyn wearing a bikini and showing an operation scar on her tummy which is consistently the most viewed post on the blog, and a 1930s photo of a circus elephant being hoisted onto a boat, which trended on pinterest and caused a big row about circuses, animal cruelty and whether the photo was even genuine! A complete surprise!

  24. My highest post was one girl who had a lot of followers on tumblr. I took a photo of her for my street style blog and she linked the post through to tumblr and within a day I had 150 hits and they just kept on coming, amazing!

  25. Christine says:

    Mine was about the big earrings the women on Basketball Wives wear as the show was just coming out. A reader from another blog wanted to know where to get the earrings and that back link to my post give me about 200 hits a day!
    http://snapped4style.com/2011/01/trend-alert-rockin-knockin-the-hoops.html

  26. Laura says:

    I haven’t actually been posting very long – less than a year – and I only recently got into a good posting schedule, so I’m taking this with a grain of salt, but the highest post was about a fashion editorial I loved: http://sparksignite.blogspot.ca/2011/05/love-at-first-sight-with-editorial.html

    At first I was kind of sad that that was the top post, because it wasn’t exactly original content, but I looked at it and realized that there was quite a bit of “me” in it, and the next most popular post was a fashion book review, so it’s all good.

    What I think attracted people to this post: a) I was like superwoman with commenting around that time, so people responded in kind. I need to get back into commenting as much as I used to!
    b) The title wasn’t just “a cool editorial”, it was “love at first sight with an editorial”, which was cuter.
    c) There’s a video of a cute animal reaction at the beginning before the photos to show how my reaction was, which was humourous, and humour is always good.
    d) …I don’t know, it was a pretty editorial? Haha!

    This was a really interesting article, thanks!

  27. Sara says:

    Very interesting post I must say I had to check them all out. Informing too.
    I think celebrity posts are always skyrocketing. I havent been blogging for long but I can not beleive how many times people type Kardashians onto google Thats my all time most popular on my blog http://arhitekturaplus.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/khloe-kardashians-home-closet/ as well as sports people and djokovic post i’ve done http://arhitekturaplus.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/unstoppable-novak-djokovic-2012-australian-open/
    recent most popular is holiday season and easter decorating ideas :) http://arhitekturaplus.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/colour-friday-easter-eggs-decorating-ideas/.

    I would like to visit all to check out my 3 month old blog

    Xx

  28. kimmiepooh says:

    Excluding 2 music videos I posted, my highest traffic came from a “Get The Look” post I did on Ginta Lapina in 2010:

    http://www.kpfusion.com/2010/11/style-file-ginta-lapina-inspired-look.html

    Using Polyvore, I showed how easy it was to recreate her classic yet edgy look. Outside of one piece, all of the items were budget friendly :)

  29. aliya says:

    Well, I just let the pictures tell the story in this one – My Grandma: Miss Singapore 1960

    http://www.hillsidestory.net/2011/09/my-grandma-miss-singapore-1960.html

    Its received the most traffic but not the most comments…

  30. Amber Sweet says:

    Earlier I had been viewing a post of mine that was trending wildly and it shocked be because the post was actually from back in January. Strange thing is that it’s poorly written, all of the proper credits may not be there, and the layout is kind of blah. Great to see though because I was happy to write it.

    my post on color-blocking:
    ( http://www.ambersweet.net/2012/01/color-blocking-is-still-here-for-2012.html )

  31. I wrote a series called Building a Remixable Wardrobe, sharing with my readers what I’ve been learning about how to build a mix-and-match wardrobe and get the most out of your clothes instead of always wanting to buy more. People have been pinning images from that series on Pinterest. Then, within a couple of weeks, the second post in the series “Shopping for Remixable Pieces” (http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2012/02/building-remixable-wardrobe-part-2.html) was linked by someone on Reddit, and it was featured on another popular blog that has a large readership. Getting linked on those sites increased my traffic and readership tremendously! I’m so grateful for people who take the time to share links on forums like Reddit and their own blogs!

  32. gerri says:

    Fantastic article – Thanks!

  33. 3 posts are the most popular:

    First – DIY post where I created neon woven neckalce, easy and it looks pretty. It was shared a lot:

    http://crashingred.com/diy/diy-woven-neon-and-gold-chain-necklace/

    Second – it was a kind of controversial personal opinion post on the fashion bloggers great divide and clique-y behavior:

    http://crashingred.com/fashion-and-style/australia-fashion-week/on-style-diversity-of-fashion-bloggers-or-ode-to-heels/

    Third post – how to promote your blog, well, it went viral fore the obvious reason – every blogger wants to know HOW:

    http://crashingred.com/blogging/9-tips-for-promoting-your-blog/

  34. latoya says:

    Hello! Ok so my blog is called Boobies Life & Luster and caters to women on an aesthetic level and also motivates them to create and pursue their goals so communicates to a deeper core. My first popular post surprisingly was just the Do’s and Don’ts of eyebrow shaping:
    1. http://www.boobieslifeandluster.com/2012/03/29/arch-ways/

    Second was how hula hooping can decrease your waist and create mental satisfaction – I called it Cyclone Cindy:
    2. http://www.boobieslifeandluster.com/2012/04/10/cyclone-cindy/

    And last was a style DIY post – I’m a designer & gave some tips on how to weave a snood & create a Chanel inspired snood
    3. http://www.boobieslifeandluster.com/2012/02/27/chanel-un-snood/

  35. AshleyGaGa says:

    My blog post “I FINALLY Got Stiletto Nails!” really brought in a lot of views. I don’t quite know why, but my guess is that many people didn’t know what stiletto nails were (or hadn’t seen them on someone that wasn’t a celebrity) before I got them.

    Interestingly, now I see girls with them all the time! LOL!
    http://ashleygaga.com/i-finally-got-stiletto-nails/

  36. Jessica says:

    Hi everyone! I’m one of the bloggers for Fashion Musings http://fashion-musings.onsugar.com/
    We’re just a new blog but I’ve noticed that often some posts get a lot of hits and others don’t and there’s no telling why! But a few trends I’ve picked up on are 1) people love humorous and interesting posts such as http://fashion-musings.onsugar.com/crazy-shoes-16622147 2) people love posts about workers rights in the fashion industry such as http://fashion-musings.onsugar.com/Sandblasting-Just-Group-17164956 3) people lovvvvvvve posts about Kate Middleton such as http://fashion-musings.onsugar.com/Royal-Travels-North-America-18111309! Guess she really is a people’s princess!
    It’s been really interesting reading everyone else’s opinion!
    xo

  37. Klara says:

    I got a massive hit for a free Pussy poster I did. I’m an illustrator & writer, and I try to involve those talents into my blogposts, by thinking, how can I do this my way? For example, I tend to draw outfits, and spend a ridiculous amount of time designing outfits for fictional characters!

    But Pussy Riot took off so well, I think, because it was breaking news, and provided a new picture that people could tumble and pin.

  38. Sunny says:

    Watch my video! It’s funny! I’m trying to be as famous as KevJumba!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dABXy5wRm5w&feature=plcp

  39. Avatar of Tamz
    Tamara says:

    My highest blog traffic comes from my post, Triadic Color Scheme: Blue-Green|Yellow-Orange|Red-Violet (http://tamzlavender.blogspot.com/2012/06/triadic-color-scheme-blue-greenyellow.html).

    I think because its such a vague description I’m getting traffic from from people all over looking for either a color wheel (which I created and included in the post) or inspiration for any kind of color scheme whether for an outfit (like I did) or home interior decorating.

    Either way I’m glad for the traffic!
    In fact I’m thinking about creating more color themed looks since its pulling in these views!

  40. This was a great article and I learned a lot I hadn’t really thought about before. My most traffiked post was actually a DIY I did of Atlantic-Pacific’s ‘Creme de la Creme’ sweatshirt. She actually retweeted it and then it was even more of a boost.

    http://www.savvyspice.com/2012/07/atlantic-pacifics-look-for-less-a-creme-de-la-creme-diy-2.html

  41. The highest traffic we ever had was when we had access to the Pottermore Beta and did a video review of signing up and choosing your house, we reached nearly 150k visits to that one article for many months in a row, tiny compared to the million visit blogs but large for our site.

  42. amazing this article tanks

  43. My highest was Tesco markdowns lol

What do you think?