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Blog Challenge: What Are Your Most Favorite Blog Post Failures

This week’s blog challenge is: Brag about your favorite unpopular posts.

On your blog, write a post about your favorite published but unpopular posts, blog posts you thought should have gotten more attention than your blog statistics report. Tell us why you think these are worthwhile posts and why you think they didn’t get the attention they deserved.

You can list one, two, or twenty posts, as long as each answers the two questions of why you think they should have been more popular, and why you think they weren’t.

As usual, create a trackback or leave a link to the blog challenge post in a text anchor link, please, in the comments. We will all look forward to reading about your favorite unpopular posts.

What are Lorelle’s favorite unpopular posts?

Oh, yes, I’ve written plenty of blog posts I was sure would be a resounding hit with my readers. According to my blog’s statistics, they were total flops. Here are two of my many examples.

Example of what the web might look like if we could see the internetCan You Visualize the Web?: When my mother asked, “What does the web look like?” I was inspired. I dug around and did a lot of research, of which there wasn’t much available at the time, to find out what would the web look like if someone could paint, draw, or take a picture of the Internet. After all, we call it the “web” so would it look like a web? I was surprised and delighted at all the various artistic renderings, mathematical equations, charts, graphs, and creative ways people had to show us what the web would look like if we could see it. One of my favorite discoveries was Atlas of Cyberspaces, which was discontinued by the author last year but continues to have some of the most powerful visual images of all types of what the web would look like. The Cyberatlas Guggenheim, a lovely Flash exhibition of artist renderings of what the Internet looks like, still offers some of the most dramatic visualizations of what the web might look like if we could see it.

Unfortunately, no one cared and few people search for “what does the web look like” or “picture of the web” and such keywords. They might, but they don’t find me very often. The article is stuffed with keywords and great links and fun samples of the visual images, but all the trackbacks are mine, save two, and there are no comments and no traffic. I think it really failed to attract attention or interest because it really had nothing to do with blogging nor WordPress, though I thought the subject very fascinating to research and write about. It just didn’t match my blog’s purpose and audience interest.

The Day I Looked Forward to Casinos, Drugs, and Penises: I had grand hopes for this amusing little post that poked fun at the impact negative blogging can have on your blog to increase your blog’s traffic. It poked fun at the Digg Effect to spikes your blog traffic up. I also thought this post would get a lot of attention as few blog posts at the time featured the keywords casinos, drugs, and penises, really good attention-getters…I thought.

WRONG! Sure, a few people left some comments and trackbacks, but the traffic numbers were not the resounding smash hit that I was sure it would be. I even joke about that in one of my comments, asking if anyone had dug the post on Digg yet. I believe it didn’t work because the title didn’t say “How to Generate Traffic With Nasty Comments and Bloggers” or something similar, appropriate, and useful. While fun and fairly well written, its satirical nature was not typical of my writing style and threw a few people off. Or they just dismissed it due to the post title looking spammy.

So how it’s your turn. What were your favorite blog posts that you thought would be fun and get the attention of your readers but failed.

These are published weekly and are an attempt to kick your blogging ass. They serve to challenge your thinking and efforts in blogging and blog writing. To participate, start challenging yourself now. Today. Go for it.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted June 20, 2008 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Your “Can You Visualize the Web?” experience is eerily similar to a post I did this month called “The Rise of Visual Browsing”. Lots of time and effort to research and summarize a dozen cutting edge technologies….and a near-empty comments section with discussion limited to just myself and a co-worker! Ah well, I still enjoyed it.

    As a sidenote, I just discovered your interview with Jeffro in the WP Weekly archives – great stuff.

  2. Posted June 20, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I like the topic about productivity, but sometimes what I think is a great tip related to my blog (not the one linked from my name here) failed miserably.

    This is something hard to guess. We can do research on other blogs, forums and ask the audience through polls or surveys about what they want, but we can’t find out which topics are going to turn them on, especially if it is unrelated to the main blog topic.

  3. Posted June 20, 2008 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    All my posts are unpopular. I cleaned up the code after the previously meager number of visitors to the site dropped off further but still no result. If the internet is creating bland mass culture by using popularity as the measure, then this is a good thing. I persevere because of my confidence in the originality and challenge of the work. I would hope to touch a few people in a meaningful way rather than reinforce crap with mindless repitition and plagiarism.

  4. Posted June 21, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I began a series of posts about a month ago called “Music and the Mind,” in which I was going to explore the relationship between the two and relating it to Oliver Sacks’ “Musicology,” which I was reading at the time.

    It started out nice, with a well-received post about “earworms” (songs that you can’t get out of your head), but then I realized that the rest of the book was just stories about people with bizarre music/brain conditions – nothing to blog about besides, “Wow, that’s interesting.”

    My “series” ran one post. Luckily no one has called me on it!

  5. Posted June 21, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    I went through the recent archives and one stood out as way under its potential: The Memory of Running which I wrote up in Most Favorite Failed Post.

    nice challenge Lorelle.

  6. Posted June 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Damien:

    Excellent, Damien, but you didn’t answer the challenge questions. Why do you really think that post failed? It’s interesting, but why did it not work for your readers?

  7. Posted June 23, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    @ My hmphs:

    Oh, funny! That just goes to show that you can’t judge a book until you’ve read it from cover to cover…or something like that. 😀

    So for you, it wasn’t so much an audience failure as it was an inspirational failure. Still, book-related or not, I like the idea of Music and the Mind. I’ve read a lot of fascinating articles in Science News on how music influences the brain and brain wave patterns and memories…so there is a lot of content there beyond Sack’s writings.

  8. Posted June 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    @ Epiphanist:

    Popularity is relative. I thought I was popular because I had two or three friends, not dozens, in school. Others around me kept score by the dozens of “friends” they had to declare themselves popular. It’s up to you to decide what defines success for your blog and blog audience, but this challenge isn’t about that. It is about figuring out the right way to blog and what works by learning from what doesn’t work for us and our blogs.

  9. Posted June 23, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, My Queen Anne of Seattle, as the bard wrote, Pour your ick, I new him well. Thank you for letting me explain how it’s not my writing, it’s my readers that have improved.

  10. Posted November 1, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Writing a whole post on this might make me sound desperate (although in a way i am :P) so I’m just gonna comment here.

    Hmm, the comics/drawings which take me hours to complete definitely need more attention. After all, why else do i draw them for other than to entertain my readers (AND for praise). So yea, those and some of my pretty thoughtful post. I guess those only mean something to me.

    p.s. Is there a plugin that displays posts which are in need of attention? Haha.. Seriously.

11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] inspired me today. She asks: What Are Your Most Favorite Blog Post Failures? It’s an interesting article that brings up some really good points. So I was challenged to […]

  2. […] ones which you thought would create a buzz of responses from your readers? Lorelle challenges us to brag about our favorite unpopular post. Though this blog only has slightly over a year of archives, it was tough picking a post to brag […]

  3. […] for visiting!This one’s for the bloggers and writers out there. Lorelle on WordPress has a challenge going to her readers to write about their biggest failure of a post. I thought this was a great challenge so I rushed to […]

  4. […] time, the challenge is to write about a post that died an undistinguished death. Write about a post or many posts. Doesn’t matter. He hangs it out for the world to […]

  5. […] Blog Challenge: What Are Your Most Favorite Blog Post Failures, one of the regular blog challenges I issue to “kick your blogging butt,” Atul Sabnis […]

  6. […] If you are a WordPress user, it is imperative that you follow. If you are a Blogspotter or Moveable Typer, please step aside whilst we ruminate about our failures. […]

  7. […] I even left a comment on her post. It’s #9 out of nine. Out of five comments including mine, she replied to three of them. Yes, my comment was smart-assery. Yes, I was looking to get some new readers. But here’s what […]

  8. […] Lorelle on WordPress sets a Blog Challenge: What Are Your Most Favorite Blog Post Failures? […]

  9. […] Blog Challenge on my personal blog. This time around, the challenge was to write about favorite blog post failures (the parameters were primarily about attention and statistics). In my analysis, of a post that I […]

  10. […] one’s for the bloggers and writers out there. Lorelle on WordPress has a challenge going to her readers to write about their biggest failure of a post. I thought this was a great challenge so I rushed to […]

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