I’ve had a few things I’ve written “go viral” and get tens or even hundreds of thousands of shares (which is still not much in internet terms), but what amuses me is that the single most popular blog post I’ve ever written *over time* is this one on biblical insults. It has never gone viral, but about 20-30 people read it each day, which means that it eclipses all other posts on my blog. Apparently most people find it from google searches.
None of these—either the quick “viral” pieces or the slow-and-steady accumulators—are what I consider my best writing. There are several lessons in this for people writing in public: 1) Try to write well consistently, because you don’t get to choose what will be read the most, and you don’t want to have regrets over careless mistakes if/when something explodes. 2) Popularity has little to do with quality. 3) Descriptive titles are important. I definitely don’t give enough thought to titles.