The top 10 One Man & His Blog posts of 2015

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

So, how was 2015 for One Man & His Blog? Pretty good, all things considered. I had much less time than usual to devote to the blog, due to a very successful working year, but I still managed a 15% increase on 2014’s traffic. I hope (and have plans) to significantly better that in 2016. Much of that gain was down to a handful of very successful posts, which you’ll find out more about below.

I really hope to write much more – and do different forms of journalism – through 2016. While training and helping others to do journalism is gratifying (and lucrative), I have a real urge to write more myself. If I get to this time next year without doing so, I’ll be very disappointed indeed.

On the back end, I finally migrated from an ageing Movable Type install to a brand spanking new WordPress install on WP-Engine, considerably upping the server power behind it. Downtime has been minimal this year, which is gratifying.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the top 10 OM&HB posts in 2015:

1. Bookerly: Amazon’s new Kindle font


The top post of the year was huge in terms of traffic for me. And I’m very smug about that. For a while I’d been slightly concerned about the disconnect between teaching SEO for journalists – and the fact that I rarely work hard on SEO for this blog. I write it for the regular readers, not the “drive-bys”. When my Fire Tablet got an update adding a new font to the kindle app, and I couldn’t find anything good online about it, I saw the opportunity to write something heavily SEO optimised about it – and reaped the rewards. A couple of links from big sites when the font hit the e-ink readers added to the success. Nice to know that I can do it when I want to.

2. Want to read your iPad in the bath?

2014’s SEO test is still doing the business. And I do, in fact, do this, on the rare occasions I have a bath.

(I shower every day, before you go getting any ideas…)

3. Why your big custom CMS project is doomed

A short, link-based post hitting number three? It’s the content. Too many people out there who have been badly burned by disastrous CMS projects.

4. Drink black coffee? You may be a psycho

Killer Coffee

Another short post that did great traffic numbers for me. And I think we all know why, don’t we?

Mine’s a black Americano, thanks.

5. Amazon’s Bookerly font arrives on E Ink Kindles

The follow-up to the year’s big winner couldn’t quite replicate its success – but then, there was much, much more competition for those search terms this time around. I’m still pretty pleased with this.

6. Markdown versus CommonMark: the ambiguity and clarity dilemma

Another 2014 post in the chart, doing the numbers thanks to search traffic. This was a big topic in a particular niche of the tech/publishing web, and there aren’t a lot of good explainers out there on the topic. I’d accidentally filled that niche, and saw the benefits with consistent traffic over 15 months.

7. Pando erects paywall of irrelevance

It appears the appetite for posts mocking the self-important Pando team is nearly as large as their appetite for stealing my photos. I’m glad to have been of service in this instance.

8. Backed: Typed, a new blogging platform


This one was a surprise. Typed was – is – a brand new blogging platform created by the good folks at realMac just down the coast from me in Brighton. Their crowdfunding campaign was a great success – and the platform is now live. It’s great that I was able to help promote that, and I really must hunker down and spend some time using it this year.

9. Chef Phil Howard talks about his drug addiction

The first piece of really evergreen content on the list. This gets huge spikes of traffic every time Phil Howard is on TV. I’m not sure I can count on the traffic for much longer, though. The embedded video is Flash-based, and that will tend to decay usability and therefore search traffic over time. I’ll be really surprised if this is in the top 10 again next year.

10. Pando’s nicking my photos again

See what I mean about the appetite for posts mocking the self-righteous tech clique over at Pando? They nicked my photo again, and never apologised, even though they change the image when it was pointed out. And then they went and hid behind a paywall. Good riddance, I say…

And that’s it for 2015’s traffic. I suppose I should get on with generating 2016’s traffic.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.