Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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November 29, 2021

The 14 Most Successful WITS Blogs This Year

Every so often, I jump into the archives to see what is and isn't working here at Writers In the Storm. I look closely at the posts that are getting more attention to determine whether we should ask the contributor to continue with a series on a topic or whether there might be a tie-in with a current post. I look to see which posts successfully keep the top spots, year after year. (For example, only a few of the posts below happened in the last 18 months - most are older.)

It's always an interesting journey for me through the blog stats, and it seems like the list always offers me something I needed RIGHT NOW, such as Margie's post on hugs in the top spot below.

Perhaps that will happen for you today as well.

Who Got the Top Spots for 2021?

I removed the posts that get a bump by being included on top blogs or curated lists, and also any pages. But below is a list of the fourteen WITS articles that performed the best this year. I even left the numbers in, just in case those contributors wander on by (so they can bask in their amazingness).

TitleViews
Fresh Writing Sells: Make Hugs Carry Power - Margie Lawson6,944
Sexual Tension: It's All In Your Head - Susan Squires6,388
Should Your Story Have a Happy Ending? - James Preston6,124
10 Character Traits of an Espionage Hero - Piper Bayard5,772
The Benefits of Writing a Novel "Just for Fun" - Janice Hardy5,639
Evaluating Sexual Tension on the Sentence Level - Angela Quarles5,624
7 Unstoppable YA Plot Ideas to Make your Novel Fabulous - Kris Maze4,668
What Type of Secret Does Your Character Keep? - Angela Ackerman4,629
Book Cover 101: How Much Should a Cover Cost? - Melinda VanLone3,651
Five Tips for Writing Tears that Carry Power - Margie Lawson3,188
Using The 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy To Build Tension In Your Fiction - Jenny Hansen3,027
Why We Love (and Resent) Alpha Males - Laurie Schnebly Campbell2,932
The Ultimate Writers’ Guide to Twitter Pitch Contests - Carly Watters, Literary Agent2,892
4 Easy Edits That Make Your Story Flow Better - Julie Glover2,644

What do these posts have in common?

Except for two outliers -- Janice Hardy's writing life post and Melinda VanLone's article on book covers -- all of these posts are about writing craft.

Another interesting observation is that each post also covers most of the SMART goal spectrum. That means the topics and information in the post are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame. Basically, these posts offer tips that you can immediately practice and apply to your own work in progress.

I'm just a happy little blogger, but I'm pretty sure that last point is why these posts are "evergreen." After you poke around in the links above, I hope you'll let me know what you decide.

My Thoughts and a Question

I always like posts that make me think about my writing in a new way, teach me something completely new (I'm thinking about Melinda VanLone's book cover posts), or that help me stretch a bit as a writer to develop new skills. I also like posts that get people to share tips in the comments, since there's nothing I like better than an active comment section.

My question to you... What types of posts are your favorite(s), and what new topics would you love to see covered here at WITS? Which of the 14 above is your favorite? Please let me know down in the comments!

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About Jenny

By day, Jenny Hansen provides corporate communications and LinkedIn advice for professional services firms. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction, and short stories. After 20 years as a corporate trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Facebook at JennyHansenAuthor or at Writers In The Storm.

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18 comments on “The 14 Most Successful WITS Blogs This Year”

    1. I need to review mine again too. My recent immersion showed me that I'd forgotten a bit more than I was happy with, so it's time for a review. Her posts are a great place to start. A search in the sidebar can find them all fast. 🙂

  1. Jenny, thank you very much! It's no hyperbole to say that it's an honor to be on the list with such excellent bloggers.

    Tony Gwynn reportedly said that every time he hit a home run he thought, "Is that the last one? Can I do it again?"

    No pressure for the next one, oh, no. Yikes.

    All kidding aside -- thank you very much.

  2. How do I thank, thee, let me count the ways! Thank you, Jenny, for sharing these again. There are older posts here that I somehow missed. Having slapped my past self, I'm busy reading. I took notes from Susan Squires and reread James Preston's post just because it warmed my heart. That's just the beginning...

    1. Awwwwww! Susan Squires' post is really old, and really good. She wrote another one with her writer husband Harry Squires called "Talking Back to Your Brain" that was SO USEFUL for me. It taught me how to ask my writing subconscious questions so it could answer.

      Example, I have a scene that's been giving me trouble where my heroine and antagonist have to have a really important verbal sparring match - it marks the turning point in the book, and it had to be entertaining AND move the plot forward.

      All my options were blah. But I asked - what is important enough for them to fight about? I also asked - what is less important, but entertaining? I took a two-hour nap and woke up with the answer. That scene is rollicking now.

  3. My favorites by far are the craft related posts. I learn so much from them (especially Margie's). I've also been enjoying Piper's spy craft posts. I look forward to the day when one of my posts makes the annual list!

    1. I like craft posts too, and how-to's about stuff I don't know. And I love getting a window into "spy stuff" from Piper. I don't always make the list either, Bob, but I hope we BOTH make it next year. 🙂

  4. What an honor to be on the list! Understanding what YA is and isn't must resonate with writers.

    Thank you Jenny, for putting this together for today. In my nano fever yesterday, I completed over 8k words! This may be the year I make it over the 50k finish line.

    I personally enjoy the essays that encourage. But I always learn a ton from craft and publishing posts. I appreciate all the knowledge here and it still amazes me how writers are giving back to the writing community.

    -Kris

    1. I was pretty excited to see you there, Kris. But I am WAY MORE excited that you had an amazing insanely awesome Writing Sunday!! Congratulations!!!!!! I am at 48K-ish and feeling the end in sight tooooooo.

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