Earlier this year I mined the top 50 most read posts across the Passle network for information. I’ve decided to delve into our data once more to get a more up-to date picture on what makes particular posts created using Passle successful. I’ve looked at the top 50 most read posts from the start of January 2016 to 30th November. A couple of these were also in the previous list, which shows the longevity of content that stays relevant!
In February, the average top 50 posts had titles that were 7.52 words long. Titles have evidently lengthened as the average has now grown to 8.1!
The shortest is still the 3 words long Beware Referral Key, and the longest, at a whopping 23 words long, is The Daily Mail's latest insult: a Supreme Court Justice who is "a feminist" and was instrumental in the crafting of the Children Act 1989.
As with last year, I’d argue that what makes these titles successful is their specificity, whether short or long. The authors are clear about the content contained, which increases the likelihood of the right person clicking on it.
- 18% of the titles were formulated as questions.
- 18% of the titles included a number, (such as this), including 4 out of the top 5 most read posts.
Posts created from scratch vs bookmarklet
Back in February, 66% of the posts were created using the bookmarklet. Out of these, 5 made the top 10 most viewed posts.
The number has dropped a little, but posts created using the bookmarklet are still in the majority (57%).
The average length of posts in the top 50 is 356 words long. This is a 60% increase from February where the average length was 222 words.
The average in the top 10 was a little longer, at 699 words. The longest post in the top 50 at 2,217 words long, also made it into the top 10. One of the top 5 posts was only 70 words long so size, evidently, isn’t everything.
I also looked at the main drivers of traffic to these top 50 posts and was surprised by the results. In 60% of the cases, Twitter was the main driver, followed by LinkedIn (18%), Facebook (10%), Google’s search engine (4%), Google+ (2%), Yammer (2%) and unspecified (direct) traffic (2%).
Twitter has a reputation for being a network where plenty of sharing but little clicking occurs – this data suggests that there is still value in distributing your content on this network.
To create a Passle post that’s going to drive the right views, you should therefore:
- Craft a specific title
- Consider using a number in your title
- Aim for 356 words
- Don’t underestimate Twitter in your sharing strategy
For more tips to distribute your content, check out the video below!
p.s. I use a Chrome extension to check wordcounts, you might find it useful.