What makes a post popular?

Is there a sure-fire formula for creating content that will draw visitors like the proverbial bees to flowers?

I know that many Singapore bloggers think they have found the key: they run down any and everything to do with the government and in that way assure themselves of a following.

Even if no one sensible is interested in their trash, they can always count on those tasked to track reactions to government policy or thru such means gather public feedback.

But for those like me who want to build a following without deliberately and cynically stirring up controversy, how can we do it?

I have no template and I’m often surprised by my most popular post which found readers without any “marketing” effort on my part. I had written that there might have been “over-reaction to melamine in China milk“. Despite the many months since it first appeared, it continues to find readers. To date it had been read, or at least seen, 1,432 times or  almost 13% of the number of times this site has been viewed.

most popular post

most popular post

The next most popular post is “Bali in the heart of Bishan Park” with  373 views. It’s another “sleeper” — and unlike the melamine post wasn’t controversial or even topical. It was simply about a little oasis in Bishan serving nouveau vegetarian food. And it hit the spot!

Other “sleeper” posts include “12 X 12” (about a cafe at Suntec City selling organic food as an adjunct to a salon for brow-trimming) with 223 views and “QQ-rice is nice…but…” (about a Taiwanese rice concoction that’s lip smacking good) which garnered 155 views.

By contrast, posts that I tried “selling” to friends and acquaintances via mass emails, while having better viewership than the lower ranked “sleepers”, are only marginally ahead.

The reply from Cold Storage concerning the complaints I had posted in this blog about a number of price discrepancies I found while shopping at its supermarket in Great World City drew 228 views or just 16% of what the melamine post attracted — and just a few views ahead of my third best sleeper!

The next two posts in which I had invested similar “marketing” effort were “NUSS membership has its privileges..” (170 views)  and “Why cook this man’s goose?” (160 views) about the ill-fated account of a permanent secretary’s Cordon Bleu misadventure.

Conisdering that Mr Tan Yong Soon attracted a rebuke in Parliament from Teo Chee Hean the Minister in charge of the civil service and a separate dressing down from Peter Ho, the head of civil service, I would have thought that my take that the man is more sinned against than sinning would have got a larger audience.

Yet the post did not get overwhelming number of readers! And this was despite my asking people to read it. And despite MSM TODAY putting a para about my post and a link to my blog on its front page!

Guess I’ll never be another mrbrown! And there’s no accounting for taste, both the reading and the eating kind.

Yet visitor numbers alone may not be the ultimate arbiter. Interaction is another useful gauge. If I go by this, then my several posts about a little eatery called Tea Shake Hut selling dry mee siam in Bugi Junction wins hands down.

Ever since its closure and my discovering its new location in this post I’ve received intermittent estatic response from like-minded fans of T-Shake.

The ability to experience and then share the joy of the experience with total strangers and thus increase one another’s happiness makes blogging on the Internet something that purely MSM journalists will seldom, perhaps never, enjoy. Because my archives are free to browse forever. Not so those of the Straits Times or TODAY.


3 thoughts on “What makes a post popular?

  1. A bit late but never mind! A very Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year to you and your family.

    These days, I just post what I want. Not bothered about traffic…but it seems that when I have a post on food, I will get a lot of comments.

  2. Thank you Sibu Pacik! Gong xi fa cai, nian nian yu you, nian nian kuai le!

    I guess we should just post whatever we want — which i do all the time — without worrying abt traffic.

    Still, I can’t help finding it curious why some posts, despite not being marketed by me, should get such good response while others despite, or in spite of, my efforts to promote get just ho-hum number of views.

    Btw, there are many promotions to East Malaysia… which is the best place 2 go to besides Sibu?

  3. Pingback: Popularity of St Teresa post a divine mystery? « FOOD fuels me to talk…

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