When I first began my personal blog in December of 2015, I didn’t have any idea what to expect. I just committed myself to the idea that I would start writing about what was on my mind. I opened a WordPress account and got off and running. I was really very pleasantly surprised when some of my musings began to be read by a few people people. Occasionally, one would get shared a few times on social media and the readership numbers would bump up to several hundred. Then, in July of 2016, as the presidential election campaign was heating up, I went against my better judgement and posted a called Why Mike Pence Terrifies Me that outlined my grave concerns about the Trump/Pence ticket. That piece changed my life. Within a few minutes of sharing that article on my Facebook page, I could tell things were going to be different. It was my first experience with anything approaching “going viral.” The article began to be shared, and shared, and shared. Over the next two days, I was being bombarded with comments–pro and con–and receiving friend requests from people all over the world. Because of the way the analytics worked on my site at that time, I had no way of knowing how many times the article was shared, but it was a lot. I know that it was read in more than 80 different nations. Because of that article, I began to be more willing to write about politics. Within a year of that of writing that piece, I had signed over my little personal blog to Patheos and, for the last 6 months, I have been writing for their Politics Blue channel. If you’d have told me in December of 2015 that I would be a political columnist on a big platform website, I’d have laughed right in your face–but here I am.
Since I signed on with Patheos, I have access to much more detailed analytics about how much my articles are read and shared on social media. I thought I would post an update on some of those numbers and take this opportunity to sincerely thank you, my friends and regular readers, from the bottom of my heart. Without you taking the time to read and to share what I write on your social media pages, none of this would be possible. It’s all thanks to you!
Since my blog went live on Patheos a little over 6 months ago, I have posted 86 articles. Those articles have been shared on social media a total of 36,364 times as I write this. That number ASTOUNDS me! That is an average of 423 social media shares per article I’ve written at Patheos. Thank you!
Obviously, not every article I’ve written has been shared over 400 times on social media. In fact, now and then, an article I post will get very little attention. Sometimes, that comes as a disappointment. There have been a few things I’ve written that I have been quite fond of, personally, that made almost no splash. Here are my top (or bottom) five examples of articles I had much higher hopes for than what they achieved.
My Favorite Articles that Went Nowhere (click on link to access article)
1. How Reggie Miller Taught Me to Empathize with Trump Supporters Shared 21 times
2. The Hypocrisy Gene Shared 35 times
3. The Tectonics of Rioting Shared 5 times
4. Thomas Jefferson, Perplexing, Paradoxical Patriarch (or, Ain’t That America) Shared 18 times
5. Pleading the Twenty-Fifth Shared 7 times
So, I’ve learned along the way that I can never know for sure how each article I write will go over. Some, like the ones I shared above, got me very excited and apparently excited very few other people. It happens and you move on. Others, take off like a shot, sometimes I’ve expected them to do well, other times I’ve had no such expectations. But below, I will share my top ten list of most popular articles I’ve written since joining Patheos.
Top 10 Most Shared Articles from the Empathy Mine to date (click on link to access the article)
1. Christian Trump Supporter, What’s it Going to Take? Shared 6,167 times
2. Did God Place Donald Trump in Power for a Reason? Shared 3,559 times
3. Christian Trump Supporters, Can You See the Emperor Has No Fruits? Shared 2,511 times
4. Dear Conservative Christian Friends, Can We Talk About Charlottesville? Shared 2,468 times
5. A Jewish Liberal Snowflake is Reflecting Christ’s Message Better than Most Christians Shared 1,613 times
6. When Conservative Christians’ Patriotism Overwhelms Their Heart for the Hurting Shared 1,573 times
7. An Indelible Stain Shared 1,277 times
8. I Choose to Stand Because I Haven’t the Guts to Take a Knee Shared 1,148 times
9. Supporting the Orange Man and Ignoring the Red Words Shared 938 times
10. The Not-So-Veiled Agenda to Push Christianity Into Public Schools Shared 908 times
So there you have it; a brief look back at my first 6 months as a columnist at Patheos. In some ways, it feels like I’ve been doing this forever and in other ways it feels I just got started. I have enjoyed every moment of it. I thank you again for reading my sometimes rambling thoughts. Columnists react to what they see and write it down, often in the heat of the moment. Sometimes passions and emotions run high. Sometimes, I may write a response to something one day, and then write about it in a very different way the next day. What you get is what is on my mind at that time–thoughts and feelings evolve with the passing of time. So, if my writing seems to wander about from time to time, that’s just the way it is–you are getting a snapshot of my thoughts and emotions at that particular moment.
And again, I sure to appreciate you for taking the time to read what I write and helping me sort out my feelings.
Here’s to the next 6 months!