25 High-impact blog posts from 2015

high-impact blog posts

Each year I do a round-up post that summarizes my best content of the year. If you missed some of my best posts, here’s your chance to catch up! I’ve divided this into my most popular posts (in terms of page views) and then a few more that may not have been the most popular but had an impact nonetheless.

A few surprises here as I counted down the year:

The most popular posts of 2015

1. Content Shock

This is a first for me. The most popular post of 2015 was written in early 2014! That’s right — my most-viewed post (by far) was something I wrote two years ago. My observation about the changing economics of content continues to rattle the web, showing up in speeches, books, conferences and more than 1,000 blog post commentaries.

2. The 10 best company blogs in the world

This post had all the hallmarks of a great post. It was helpful, insightful, visual and was presented by an attention-grabbing headline.

3. What is the best social media platform for your business?

I’m very proud this made the top of the charts because I loved this post. I think it will help a lot of people who are overwhelmed by all the choices on the web.

4. What will replace Facebook? Six considerations

The basic premise of this article is that there is no immediate threat to Facebook. Don’t worry about this!

5. Why it takes so long to achieve social media success

Again, an extremely useful point of view. The web rewards you when you provide unique and helpful advice!

6. Five reasons companies are bringing their marketing in-house

I thought this would stir up a bunch of controversy and defensiveness but it didn’t. People generally responded with “yes, you nailed it.” This article also appeared in Harvard Business Review.

7. Facebook content strategy is a time bomb for inbound marketing

This is the most important post I wrote in 2015 for the simple reason that I articulated a trend that people are simply ignoring. I’m puzzled as to why this has not caused more conversation. The marketing world seems to have its head in the sand.

8. Beyond Content Shock: The defining trend of 2015 is content ignition

Usually I kick off the year with a bog post that sort of defines the theme for the coming year and that was certainly the case with this post. We are living in a world where great content usually does NOT rise to the top. Great content is starting line, not the finish line. It set the stage for a focus on content transmission and hinted at the theme for my book The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business. By the way, I think this is the most important trend for 2016 too!

9. 25 Nuggets of essential social media wisdom

This post was something new for me and a bit of a risk. It was simply a list of short ideas I share with young people starting out in the field. I posted this last month and it continues to get a lot of attention. If I had published it earlier in the year it probably would be higher on the list.

10. A solution to the content marketing measurement puzzle

A couple people told me they thought this was the best blog post they had read all year.

Favorites that did not make the list …

(in no particular order!)

Can SEO drive “viral” — I liked this because it introduced a big new ideas about the relationship between content and SEO.

10 soul-grabbing brands that prove you don’t need SEO to succeed — I just LOVE LOVE LOVE these stories. The post did not really take off in a big way. I’m surprised by that.

Your social media success may start with gray social media — I think this is a BIG IDEA. Really a key to marketing success in an information dense world!

Sometimes you don’t need a community. Sometimes all you need is a hamburger — I get fed up by marketers who claim this is the age where we need to inspire our customers, involve them, immerse them and build community. Sometimes all I want is a hamburger.

Is there a place for social media in a boring business? — Introduced the idea of conversation hierarchy.

The new “liquid model” for content marketing strategy — There’s no such thing as an annual plan any more. And yes, it’s time to build on “rented land.”

What is the purpose of a blog post today? — This is the first of many posts to come exploring the changing nature of content.

How to get off your ass and start blogging — Because people needed to hear this!

A new process to quantify marketing success — We NEED this!

There is no community on social media — Well … of COURSE there is. This post represents one of the very few times I called out a person by name. I chose to do this because the person is in a high position at a respected company and his comments were broadcast widely before I wrote this post. It deserved a rebuttal!

How to differentiate your blog based on the time you put into it– So many people loved this post. I had to get it in there.

Five ways to calm down and not be overwhelmed by social media change — I need to read this one myself sometimes!

As digital ad options dry up, marketers turn desperate — I hate it when corrupt companies take advantage of people and this is an example of a terrible marketing practice. A lot of people made changes after this article ran.

To drive value from your content, focus on trust not traffic — This is a core value and a theme of my work.

Sponsored content and the economics of trust — Such a HUGE issue today. Deserves more discussion!

Content Shock is here. Now what? — Perhaps it is elegant to end this post where it began — Content Shock. In this post, BuzzSumo reports that overwhelming information density is here and dramatically changing the economics of some of the biggest publishers in the business.

I can’t end the year without thanking the amazing contributing columnists to {grow} this year: Amber Osborne, Eric Wittlake, Kerry Gorgone, Kiki Schirr, and Brooke Sellas. Their work made this a more interesting and amazing place. And Mars Dorian stood out for so many reasons this year. His work just gets better and better and he has now written on {grow} longer than any other paid writer — more than three years!

I hope you have enjoyed these high-impact blog posts. Thank you so much for reading my blog and encouraging me with your kind comments in 2015!

mark schaefer

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Robbie Biller.

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