My 10 most popular articles for 2017

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Photo snapped of me before I ran my first 10-mile race

2017 was eventful for me. I ran a 10-mile race and two triathlons. I spent my first year as a married man. And I joined up with #TheResistance, donating to dozens of progressive campaigns and even knocking on doors on behalf of Democratic candidates.

But it was an even bigger year from a web content perspective. In the beginning of June, I wound down my successful content marketing business so that I could try to make a full-time living by monetizing my own content (I wrote about how I plan to do that over here).

Because of that move, I’ve been able to devote every working hour to producing high-quality article content that covers the intersection of technology and media. I was able to produce 40 long-form articles, dozens of newsletters, thousands of social media posts, and even some YouTube videos.

I still consider it to be very early in my journey, but already I’ve seen some significant traction with my content. Articles I produced this year have amassed 134,714 views. Since I started tracking them in June, I’ve generated 2.7 million impression across my articles, social media posts, and newsletters. I grew my subscriber base across social media and email by 27,800.

That’s just the beginning. I have a Google Doc full of ideas for future articles and am working on a half dozen new ones as I speak. In many ways, I view 2017 as laying the foundation for my content strategy, and now that I have a steady rhythm of content production and distribution, I’m hoping to see strong growth in 2018.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to go comb through all my audience anlaytics and pinpoint the 10 stories I wrote in 2017 that generated the most interest from readers. Here they are:

  1. This Google spreadsheets guru makes $4,000 a month on online courses (23,172 views)
  2. How this personal finance blog rakes in millions from e-commerce (10,867 views)
  3. How the Washington Post built the nation’s most beloved weather blog (7,465 views)
  4. How podcasts with small audiences are attracting advertisers (4,596 views)
  5. Why a NASCAR reporter left USA Today and launched a Patreon account (3,916 views)
  6. Why AARP has an entire team dedicated to answering Facebook comments (3,463 views)
  7. How brands are using viral quizzes to grow their email lists (3,461 views)
  8. The Facebook page purge has already begun (3,160 views)
  9. How GOOD Magazine grew its online audience by 844 percent (3,135 views)
  10. How Patreon became a major source of revenue for podcasters (3,060 views)

Well, that’s all I have for you this year. To read my 2018 coverage of the business of online content, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. You won’t regret it. Happy New Year!


FULL DISCLOSURE: Want to know how I was paid to write this article? I explain it in this video.

Simon Owens is a tech and media journalist living in Washington, DC. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Email him at For a full bio, go here.

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