Despite what you might hear, there really isn’t a formula, or levers you can pull to magically create content that’s going to connect with readers. Writing really doesn’t work that way. Nor should it. Or at least, for me it shouldn’t. It’s actually a lot of fun for me to see what readers gravitate to on my blog, because very often they’re pieces I really enjoyed writing.
In 2016, I wrote a large number of articles I’m quite proud of. Not all of them were ones that found an audience, but many of them did. Here are the top ten of those:
1. What’s the right (journaling) Bible for you? (January 27, 2016). Aside from getting to review a series of journaling and note-taking Bibles, this one was fun because I was able to experiment with photography in a way I usually don’t have time to.
2. A super-important, life-changing announcement from the Armstrongs (July 5, 2016). This was probably the most exciting thing I was able to share all year.
3. Three Bible passages you don’t want to admit you don’t like (but kind of do) (January 21, 2016). When the Bible reminds us of our smallness, it often rubs us the wrong way. But if we want to keep a right perspective and faithfully follow Christ, we need to be put in our place by God’s Word.
4. The secret of consistently reading (May 6, 2016). Reading advice is important for y’all, clearly. I’m glad my habits seem to be helpful.
5. Five books by J.I. Packer every Christian should read (January 15, 2016). This year, J.I. Packer’s public ministry came to an end. These are a few of the books I recommend to any Christian.
6. I’m writing a book on marriage! (April 1, 2016). I’ll never forget the moment I got a text from one of my former coworkers saying, “Dang it, you got me!”
7. Reading Writers: Tim Challies, Reading Plans and Essex County (May 25, 2016). The second episode of Reading Writers is still one of my favorites. Tim is a great guest, even if he’s completely wrong about how great graphic novels are.
8. Unashamed by Lecrae (book review) (May 3, 2016). Lecrae’s memoir (co-authored by Jonathan Merritt) is a powerful read. I’m glad he had the opportunity to share his story.
9. How to engage on social media like a Christian (April 14, 2016). 2016 was the year of the dumpster fire online, and 2017 doesn’t seem to be promising any improvement. This is the best advice I can offer on how to behave Christianly online, and points I strive to follow every time I post.
10. Holding out for the good news (August 7, 2016). A short meditation on why we shouldn’t give up when we hit the seemingly unceasingly grim portions of Scripture.
Although the above represents the most-read posts written in 2016, there are a number of others that continue to draw a lot of readers. Here are the top five of those:
- God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle? (July 2009)
- (August 2014)
- 5 books every new Christian should read (May 2014)
- Seven books Christians should read on the Holy Spirit (September 2015)
- Ministry Idolatry (September 2014)
See what made the cut in years past:
- The most-read articles of 2015
- My favorite articles to write in 2014
- The most-read posts of 2014
- My favorite articles to write in 2013