Here’s the yearly countdown of the most popular posts on this site:
7) An Incredible Interactive Chart of Biblical Contradictions (August 19, 2013)
4) 8 Things Your Pastor Will Never Tell You About the Bible (September 29)
3) Reza Aslan is Wrong About Islam and This is Why (October 5)
What did I learn from that list?
The #1 post is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever written… and it has nothing to do with atheism. Maybe I should stray off my beat a little more often.
A couple of the most-read articles were written by first-time guests on this site, which suggests I should take more chances on writers with whom I’m not familiar.
A well-written, accurate headline matters a lot. (If you can make it clever, even better.)
Two of the posts were written last year but became super-popular again this year for reasons that were both in our control (an anniversary of a tragic date) and not in our control (someone submitted an old post to a site like Reddit).
As always, we could never tell in advance which posts would go viral. This list includes a mix of current events posts and “timeless” ones. What seemed to help was having a take you couldn’t find anywhere else and really fleshing it out with details. Sounds obvious, but it’s not always easy to do.
Thanks to all of you for reading and giving us the motivation to continue bringing you these stories, especially those who made a donation and gave me the chance to expand the kind of work we do here. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who sent us story tips. A lot of our posts came from your suggestions, many of which were very local and not covered anywhere else but on this site.
Here’s to another great year!
(Image via Shutterstock)