Thanks so much for following my recaps this week. Today, we’re going to take a look at the top blog posts of 2016, as well as some other stuff.

But, first let’s talk a little about a change in the blog over the last year. I consider my blog my workbench. I test out topics, and I write about what’s going on. I see what questions people have, and their reactions, and I start to develop content around it. If a topic doesn’t resonate well, then I know it’s not something I’ll likely do more with in the future. But if it does do well with traffic and interaction, then that becomes something I may include in a training course, or use those comments to help shape the training I create.

A More Personal Website

One thing you’ll notice about my blog over the last year, and something that I made a more concerted attempt at this year, is that I answer almost every comment/question. I In fact, I make it pretty easy to get a hold of me. I put a contact form out there on my About Me page. If you’re part of my email community (if you’re not, you should be!), the emails are sent from an actual real address that I respond to.
And most importantly I started a Discussion / Ask Matt area. Right now it’s just Lightroom, but I’ll be adding topics in the future. And honestly, if you’ve contacted me before you know I answer questions about anything.
So why the Change? Well, over the years I think my career got the best of me. I wasn’t just an educator. I had people reporting to me. I had to have meetings and attend meetings. I had to manage magazines, outlines, recruit other instructors to create training, help other instructors create their courses, do performance reviews for people on my team, etc… And please don’t take this as a complaint. I’m definitely not complaining about it – in a way, it’s what I thought I wanted at the time.
Life is kind of funny right? Sometimes you think you want something. And when you get it, you realize you really don’t want it anymore. I thought I wanted more responsibility and control. And as the years went on I got it. And once I got it, I realized it paralyzed me from doing what I really love – teaching and training others. So then, I couldn’t delegate it away fast enough.
Anyway… Because of that, I just wasn’t able to keep up with email and an online Q&A styled presence. So any way to contact me directly just wasn’t out there.
But I’ve come to realize that my job is really all of you. If I don’t talk to you more than I talk to anyone else, how am I going to deliver for you? I don’t need 100,000 customers, or a million or whatever crazy number some of my larger competitors have. My wife and I can get by on a smaller audience, that we serve really well – and all of us can succeed.
Anyway, that’s a little bit of the back story behind the website this past year. Now, on to the top posts.

Top Blog Posts of 2016

Okay, here’s the top blog posts of 2016. I use Google Analytics to track everything, so I’m able to pull up the most trafficked posts. There’s a few in there that have a side-story, but you’ll see it when I mention the post.

My First 60 Days with the Sony A7RII (Click Here to Read)- This was by far the top post of 2016. It was actually written in late 2015 though. But it came up as number 1 on the list. It’s the only one from the previous year that’s on the list though.

An Update On My New Adventure (Click Here to Read) – You guys are great! Back in June I posted an update on my wife and I leaving our jobs to start our own photography/photo-editing training company and you guys actually read it. Like a lot of you! Thanks!

A New Way to Add a Signature To Your Photos (Click Here to Read) – This one was a really popular post. But it got a boost because I think the owner of the logo company liked it, and started making Facebook ads to point to it. I guess he figured some one else writing about his product sells it better than just a sales page does (which is probably true). I don’t have any affiliation with the company though and can’t support their product after you buy it. And I don’t get paid if you buy it (though I wish I did because I know how many of you clicked on it from my website) 🙂

No Tripods Allowed: New York City Rooftop Photography (Click Here to Read)- Another really popular post. It’s really funny if you read the comments though. People thought there was actually a rule in New York City. There’s no, though many buildings do have posted rules about it. But it’s not actually a “rule” for New York.

My First 6 Months with the Sony A7rII (Click Here to Read) – I did a follow up to the “My First 60 Days” post with some thoughts on my first 6 months with the camera. I approached it by looking at what was important to me when I first got the camera vs. what was important to me 6 months later.

Photography Lessons For My Mom: Just Shoot! (Click here to Read) – I started a series called “Photography Lessons for My Mom”. My mom is learning photography, so I thought I’d write about some things that I learned while helping here. This one was really popular.

Photography Lessons For My Mom: How To Learn Your Camera (Click here to Read) – Another popular post as I was helping my mom learn photography.

Top Sections On the Website

I can also view the top categories or sections on the website. This is really the menu at the top and Google Analytics will tell me which ones you clicked on the most.

1) The Gear Page – By far the top click was the gear page. What can I say. People love gear! (Click Here to View the Gear Page)

2) The Lightroom Section – The second most clicked on menu item was the Lightroom Section of the website (Click here to see it)

Overall Traffic Is Way Up!

Finally, overall traffic is WAY up on the site this past year. We went from having a web hosting plan that would accommodate 100,000 views each month to one that accommodates 700,000 now. For a while the 100,000 worked just fine. But as I started posting more, launching products/videos, and interacting the traffic grew. We paid a few months of overage charges, and then switched to a 300,000 / month plan. That wasn’t enough after two months, so now I’m on a larger plan that I think should be good for a while. And even if it’s not, there’s many worse problems right? 🙂

Well folks… there ya’ have it. The best of the blog for 2016. I just wanted to say thanks for being a part of it. And Thanks so much for stopping by this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed these recaps and a closer look in to what’s going on behind the scenes. I’ve got a few more recaps I’ll do over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime – Have a great weekend!


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