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Best Articles Of 2013: A Year Of Riskology By The Numbers

2013-sparklersFellow Riskologist,

It’s the last day of 2013, and I thought it would be fun to wrap up the year with a recap of the most popular articles and some stats to show what we’ve been up to here as a community.

I hope that, wherever you are, you enjoy your New Year. Take a moment to think about all the things you’ve done, the risks you’ve taken, and the memories you’ve created. And if you don’t celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1, just enjoy your Friday (or Saturday for all you on the other side of the dateline)!

Top 5 Articles By Number Of Comments

Here are the top five articles from 2013 that generated the most comments. I noticed the articles that motivate you all to leave comments and engage with each other usually contain personal stories or controversial ideas. I love seeing you get involved and leave your comments, so I’ll make it a point to write more like this in the coming year.

1. 11 Lame-Ass Excuses You Make Every Day That Are Ruining Your Life (And 11 Non-Lame-Ass Alternatives)

I used to struggle with making excuses about why I never followed through with things I wanted to do. I was the guy with lots of ideas, but little action. This post is about how I overcame that problem, and how you can cut excuses from your life.

2. The Absolute Insanity Of Not Buying A Home When You’re Young

According to my math, buying a house (in the right circumstances) when you’re young is one of the smartest risks you can take for your financial future. Of course, there are many other factors that go into the decision, and there was some intense debate in the comments!

3. My Coffee Date With A Fortune 500 CEO: The 5-Email Challenge for Intelligent Introverts

This was the story of how I managed to get a coffee date with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company in Sweden when I was just a lowly intern. The lesson is that, even if you’re an introvert, there are some really great email strategies you can use to connect with people you admire. The challenge I issued also brought out all kinds of great stories from readers.

4. The Profit In Inconvenience: Why 300 People Said No To $700

When volunteering for a small flight delay netted $700 in free travel, I asked myself, “Why don’t more people do this?” The more I thought about it, the more I realized how many great opportunities normal people turn down just because they seem a little inconvenient. And you all shared some great examples of your own.

5. Maybe You Can Say What You Really Think and People Will Still Like You

When a close friend of mine died in a plane crash earlier this year, the world lost someone who knew the value of honesty. My friend Jessi always spoke her mind, never sugar-coated the truth, and everyone loved and respected her for it. This was a hard one to write, but the message was important: When you live your truth, some people will disappear from your life, but many more will love you for it.

Top 5 Articles By Traffic

Here are the top five articles from 2013 that generated the most traffic to the website. In some cases, I think a compelling title catapulted mediocre writing. In others, I think good writing overcame a mediocre title. For better or worse—hopefully better—these were the articles I wrote this year that you just couldn’t stop clicking on.

1. The “Don’t Own Stuff You Can’t Fix” Plan For Life

I’m a big proponent of self-sufficiency, and one rule I live by is that I try not to own things I can’t fix myself. This article went viral in the “Survival Blog” scene and brought in a lot of new readers. If you’re one of them, “Hi!”

2. The Shocking Truth About School Shootings That No One Realizes (And How to Change A Bad Habit)

This article was the result of a little personal research I did after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary last year. I never intended to write an article about it because—warning (!)—it’s kind of a downer, but I decided the lesson was worth sharing. Sometimes I wish I’d never written it, but a lot of people came to read it.

3. 8 Emails That Changed The Author’s Life

This is one of my personal favorites of the year. I asked a bunch of my friends to tell a story about a time they wrote an email to someone “out of their league.” The stories I got back were incredible. People’s lives were changed just by stepping up and making contact with someone they admired. This one has a surprise ending.

4. Stronger, Faster, Better: 9 Cheat Codes For Real Life

When you’re a kid, finding the cheat codes in your favorite video games is a lot of fun and even encouraged—it’s good to find easy ways to do hard things. Then you grow up, and everyone tells you there are no shortcuts. Well, yes there are! There are lots of them all around just waiting for you to pounce on them!

5. The Pre-Mortem: A Simple Technique To Save Any Project From Failure

Why does everyone wait until something goes wrong to learn a lesson? This post is about ways to figure out what could go wrong at any time in an important project and how to navigate around disasters before they happen. Apparently, a lot of people want to know how to do that…

And Some Fun Stats From The World Of Riskology

I thought it would also be fun to share some of the numbers that explain how this blog—a living, breathing thing that runs on hot tea and nice emails from readers—made it’s way through 2013. This is just for fun.

– 1 –

Site re-design. Trust me, once was enough!

– 3 –

Open heart surgeries on my dying MacBook Pro. I really know my way around this machine now.

– 7 –

Times I broke the website and hoped you didn’t notice. A recent favorite was today when I accidentally deleted 100 articles while searching the database for the stats for this post.

– 11 –

Hate mail emails. Of course, I got hundreds of sweet ones I cherish every day, but what would life be without a few sour apples? My favorite was short and sweet: “Hey, go **** yourself.”

– 13 –

Random conversations with strangers that turned into an article. Here’s the best one.

– 81 –

Articles published. After taking a hiatus from writing in late 2012/early 2013 to work on other business projects, I’m back and prolific as ever. Feels great! I missed you guys!

– 211 –

Countries where Riskology.co readers came from. Don’t ask me how that’s possible when the U.N. only recognizes 193 countries. I guess Google Analytics has a bigger list. Either way, we’re global, baby!

– 468 –

Hours spent writing and working screwing around and talking to baristas at coffee shops. Hey, when you work from home, this is how you make friends. Without it, I’d probably lose my ability to speak and revert to primitive, animal-like behavior.

– 650 –

Cups of tea drank while writing. Yeah, I might have a problem. If Starbucks had an executive platinum level, I would be a lifetime member.

– 1,025 –

Subscribers who joined the Smart Riskologist Newsletter. Over half of them were added just this month after re-launching the site and the Smart Riskologist Test. Could you be #1026!?

– 1,425 –

Insightful comments left by smart and good-looking Riskologists. I know you can’t be bought with flattery, but that’ll never stop me from trying. Thanks for being a part of this fun, crazy community.

– 114,776 –

Words published right here on Riskology.co. Despite a slow start at the beginning of the year and many other projects demanding attention, I’m pleased to see I fought back and broke the 100k mark for the 4th time in as many years.

– 398,208 –

Smiling faces who came to the site. Seriously, almost 400k unique and amazing people… reduced to dots on a screen in my analytics dashboard. I just imagine you’re all smiling and clapping and fist pumping, etc. Don’t be a stranger!

– 662,881 –

Posts read by Riskologists from all over the world. That anyone besides my parents reads this stuff is completely humbling. But more than half a million articles read just this year? This Riskologist is getting a little misty eyed.

I hope 2013 was amazing for you. Here’s to an even better 2014.

See you on the other side,
Founder, Riskology.co