Every new year, I look at my stats from the year before and think, There’s no way I’m topping that. I prepare myself for the worst and accept that last year must have just been a lucky streak. It’s one of those damning moments of self-doubt, most writers experience when evaluating their own work.
This year, my thoughts are exactly the same. While my blog continues to grow exponentially, there are always specific posts that became extremely popular for one reason or another. Last year, that post was Translating Becky with the Good Hair.
In fact, almost all of last year’s most popular posts discussed racial tension, and the politics of Black hair. This year, every last one of my most popular posts were a tribute to my island country of Jamaica.
Curious to know which ones? Check out the list below.
This is the most recent post about Jamaican culture on my blog, so the fact that it made the list should tell you how popular it’s been over the past few weeks. Published on the 1st of December, it covers some of the many faux pas foreigners unknowingly commit with Jamaicans.
While writing the article, the top pet peeves named by Jamaicans I spoke to was having foreigners try to sound like us to show they were “down” with our culture, and being asked for weed.
While living in Jamaica, it was one of the last countries I would have described as feminist. Feminism and women’s equality was supposed to be an America ideal, a perk of living in The Land of the Free.
Well, when I moved to America, I was in for a rude awakening. Though America had many more laws than we do, supporting women’s rights, I found that culturally, Jamaica was light years ahead in actual female empowerment.
Want to know a fun fact? Jamaica is one of only three countries in the world where your boss is more likely to be female than male. The other two countries are Columbia, and St. Lucia. Jamaica is the only country in the world that can claim that at least 60 per cent of our managerial workforce are women.
I didn’t know that women were rocking the corporate world in Jamaica at the time I wrote this article, but I nontheless found other interesting facts about the country to share.
In fact, this article was written in 2016, so it’s surprising that it made the list for 2017 at all. This was probably because all my Jamaican posts were especially popular this year. Even last year, while interviewing an Australian musician, it came up that I was also an immigrant, but Jamaican.
He then began to tell me about how he had read an article called 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Jamaica, and that the most surprising thing he read in the article was that rap originated in Jamaica.
Yes, he was talking about this very article — my article. To say I was truly flattered would be a terrible understatement.
Want to know another fun fact? The model in the picture is my friend of now 15 years, and the Senior Designer at my PR firm. Yes, she is Jamaican. Don’t let the Asian genes fool you.
That brings us to the second-most popular post, written to dispell the stereotype that all Jamaicans are Black, or purely of Black descent. The post discusses how African, British, Irish, South Asian, East Asian, and Spanish culture came together to create one unified yet diverse cultural identity in Jamaica.
Written in February of 2017, this post on Jamaican ethnicity has been a quiet success throughout the year. While it never went viral or showed any unusual spikes, it steadily drew in more traffic than any other blog post throughout the year, for almost every month.
I’m not sure what spurred its consistent popularity, but being shared more than 3000 times on Facebook likely had something to do with that. It also picks up a lot of traffic from people researching information on Jamaica, possibly for school or travel.
Of all the articles I published this year, this one stands apart from the rest. It went viral within the Jamaican diaspora worldwide, and was shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook.
It also brought me many new fellow Jamaican followers on Twitter, and WordPress. In fact, one Twitter follower shared that the post was discussed on RJR, a popular and highly respected radio station in Jamaica.
Not surprisingly then, the month this post was published, my blog went from modest but steady traffic of 5000 or so per month to more than 64,000. It has yet to recover, and I’m not complaining.
I believe this post is the reason all the other Jamaican posts on my blog gained (and regained) popularity, particularly in the final months of this year. Needless to say, I’ll be writing more posts about Jamaican culture in 2018.
With these successess now almost behind me, I look to 2018 with that aforementioned apprehension.
Will I have another month of 64,000 viewers next year? Will something else go viral? Will I write articles that resonate with the thousands of regular readers that make up my online community? Or will 2018 be the first year of decline?
It’s hard to say exactly what will happen, but I never started this blog to be famous. I write because if a day goes by without writing, it’s not a day well spent. That so many of you have spent 2017 sharing the results of those sessions with me is something I’ll be forever grateful for, no matter what 2018 brings.
Thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to read, like, share, or comment on my posts — even the trolls! Here’s to a year worth celebrating!