Lessons From a Wine Blog’s Top Ten Most Read Stories
For a wine blogger like myself who tends to write almost exclusively about and for the wine trade, readership is going to be naturally smaller than conscientious wine bloggers writing for the larger consumer audience. I’ve accepted this for the entire 14 years of this blog’s existence. Interestingly, though I’ve not written quite as much recently as I used to, the number of readers of this blog has increased over the past year. Why?
I don’t know.
Still, the phenomenon made me think about what I’ve been writing about and what kind of posts attract the most readers. To figure this out I went back and looked at the top ten most visited posts over the past two years. It’s interesting.
1. Top Ten Differences Between Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley
2. Illinois Bottom Feeding Lawyer Goes After Wine Shippers
3. The Coming Repeal of the Three Tier System
4. Ten Warnings for Visitors to Napa Valley
5. Wild Yeast Fermentation: “There’s No Such Thing”
6. Terroir Is A Myth
7. Critics of Napa Valley Wine Industry Are Loosing Badly
8. Killing the Wine & Arsenic Story, Before It’s Too Late
9. Did Wine Blogs Die Without a Funeral?
10. The Napa Valley Wine Train Incident: No Comment
There is something to learn from this list of top ten posts from the past two years. First, note that two of the top five posts are actually of most interests to consumers. #1 and #4 are about visiting Napa Valley. It confirms that this is more readership in consumer-aimed wine blogging. But that’s no secret.
The #2 post, about the hundreds of lawsuits that were filed against wineries and retailers by a bottom feeding lawyer reminds this writer that composing something of value to the trade, something that impacts them directly, is what the trade responds to. See also post #8
And of course controversy attracts readers. See posts #3, #5, #6 and #10.
The novelty of the wine blog publishing format is over and done with. See post #9. However, that is not to say that the content of wine blogs is less relevant than it used to be. In fact, I’d argue that some of the most important reporting and commentary is in fact coming out of writers who still use the blog publishing format to report and comment. This is probably due to the fact that most blogs are published by folks who do not have to please advertisers and do not have a board of directors or editorial board to keep pleased. Self publishing provides a kind of freedom that professional/commercial publishing does not.