Being big believers in the lean startup methodology, we keep a constant eye on metrics across the business from sales to marketing; from content to community engagement. It’s also important to do a deeper dive into your metrics a few times a year to analyze what works and what doesn’t, and to tweak your strategy accordingly.

Conducting an annual review of your content performance is especially helpful when planning for the following year. With that in mind, we took a look at all of the content we produced in the past year for our own blog to help drive our 2016 content strategy. Of the 136 posts published, here are the ten most popular blog posts in terms of visits:

1) Top 10 companies winning at remote work culture and their secrets

2) 15 female founders building killer tech companies

3) The 15 marketers you need to follow: from the emerging to the legends

4) The top 15 marketing trends of 2016

5) The top 10 freelance trends of 2016

6) The freelance writer’s toolbox: 50 products you don’t want to miss out on

7) 11 Twitter chats you need to be participating in

8) The 10 best destinations to spend your winter working from

9) The end of the resume: how 5 professionals landed dream jobs using social media

10) Everyone is creative: Tom Critchlow on taking the leap from employed to free

The top referrers to these posts were:

  1. Direct (email, organic search, direct visits)
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Organic search
  5. SaaS Weekly Newsletter from Hiten Shah
  7. (Matt Mullenweg of Auttomatic’s personal website)

The themes we found in the content that drove the most visits and saw the most shares are:

  • Content type: Readers are most attracted to lists featuring people and companies
  • Distribution: The posts most likely to go viral are those featuring people of influence who share them with their own networks 
  • The CloudPeeps hook: We don’t just publish lists, that’d get old. Rather, we share exclusive tips and deeper insights. Each post is well-researched to share information that you won’t find on other blogs
  • Content: Well-researched posts full of data, facts and trends such as marketing trends and freelance trends perform well with little distribution on our end. People find them and share them through organic search, leading to viral spread
  • Most popular topics: Remote work, influencers (top entrepreneurs, top marketers), tools, trends, freelance lifestyle, productivity, social media. Success stories (end of the resume post) also drew interest 

You’ll see how these insights will influence our content in 2016. We work hard to keep things fresh and interesting, but it’s good to have an idea of what types of content you find most valuable. Are there topics not listed you’d like to see us write more about? Let us know!