What Was Hot On The Blog In March?

 

Trying something new. A monthly roundup of my top 5 breakout topics plus what they tell us about the future.

 

I’ve always been intrigued to see which posts catch on beyond my subscriber base or my immediate social media circle.

The key is to get an early scoop. Sometimes it’s the evolution of a particular trend that I catch a whiff of before it gets picked up by the mainstream media. If I catch the wave of those nascent trends early, the posts can become hugely popular, sometimes for 2-3 years running (e.g. “What’s Up With Open Table, Everyone’s Suddenly on Resy” was a top post for me from 2017 thru late 2018).

A sudden uptick in readership on a particular topic frequently indicates that a culture shift is underway. And, it’s always a mega-thrill for me to see topics I’ve been hot on the trail of, suddenly catch fire.

 

Here are the top 5 posts that popped this March (and why):

 

#1: Beau of the Fifth Column (Feb 18, 2019)

My friend Ryan Humphrey turned me on to Beau (real name Justin King). He’s what’s called an adversarial journalist, very political with a Libertarian/left leaning skew (I think).

  • If you google him, you’ll get 2.7MM results with the Opinionator post about him on the first page of Google search which explains a lot about why he continues to gain traction on my analytics.
  • On Google Trends, he’s also a breakout search as of March.
  • He provides video commentary on the political and social/cultural events of the day – especially those that have you asking WTF is happening here? His videos can be found on youtube (94K subscribers) and facebook (where he has 163K followers).
  • At first glance (and listen), he comes off as a good-old southern boy but nothing could be further from the truth.
  • My post on him on Facebook got me some nasty comments from people I do not know, nor want to know.

PREDICTION: We will see a lot more of Beau (or perhaps he’ll revert to his real name). His videos make you consider things in a new light. Because he has both a military and an international background, I find his  perspective more insightful than what you hear from most political or cultural commentators.

 

Read on below for posts 2-5.

 

#2: Big Question: Why Still Blog (July 17, 2018)

 

 

I wrote this after I came back from my Nordic trip where I primarily Instagrammed. Much easier but also more superficial.

  • I also wrote it in response to all the people who kept asking me why I wasn’t doing video or a podcast. My answer was that I don’t generally like video (Beau, above, being an exception).
  • Serendipitiously, shortly after I wrote this, the whole video thing came crashing down when it was revealed that Facebook had cooked the books and sold advertisers a bill of goods on how popular video was (when it actually was not!).

Here are some stats that might be driving the recent interest in this post about blogging:

  • If you google “how to start a blog”, you get 4.3 billion results. The first search page is all about how to start a blog in 2019 so clearly it’s still a thing.
  • If you google “why still blog,” you get 2 billion search results. And my post on the topic is on the first page of google search.
  • On Google Trends, “how to start a blog” is up 200% while “podcasts” are breaking out under blog trends (as in blogs about podcasts!)

PREDICTION: Blogging is undoubtedly less popular. The majority of lifestyle and fashion blogs have moved on to instagram. Some bloggers have turned to podcasts. I remain a fan of the written word and will stick with writing for the foreseeable future.

 

#3:  Keto: Why Do People Fall For Fad Diets? (Sept. 28, 2018)

 

 

I had just wrapped up my weight loss program with My Body Tutor when this crazy Keto diet fad blew up.

At the same time, the medical community was just beginning to weigh in (negatively) on Keto.

Here’s why this post has come in at #3  for March:

  • Google search for Keto diet returns 37 million results.
  • “Is Keto Diet Safe”, comes in with 38 million results (so clearly people have started to question it’s validity). My post, however, is nowhere to be seen on the first few pages of Google.
  • On Google Trends, Keto diet peaked in Dec/Jan and has been declining since. The breakout topic on Google Trends is “Keto on Shark Tank.” Some new Keto diet product was brought to the sharks and exposed as a scam with Mark Cuban going ballistic about it.

PREDICTION:  It’s all going negative on Keto. My post on the topic is popping as more people search Keto in this new negative environment.

 

#4: Hudson Yards: So great despite the haters (March 19, 2019)

 

 

No surprise here. It’s all everyone in NYC is talking about: retailers, real estate developers, the media. The critics hate it for being too elitist, the people love it for being shiny and new.

  • To the critics at the NY Times, NY Magazine, the New Yorker etc., I say the only elitism on display, has been your own. The snobbery critics have exhibited about Hudson Yards is astounding. I suggest the critics come visit – not on VIP night – but on any day or night of the week and mingle with the people. They will see the only 1 percenters (in attitude if not actual income) is themselves!!
  • My take on Hudson Yards is largely positive. Judging by the humongous crowds, average New Yorkers agree with me.
  • I also know for a fact that small independent restaurateurs along 10th Avenue are beaming with gratitude for the huge bump in business they’ve gotten since Hudson Yards opened. Something the critics would prefer not to see since in their worldview, Hudson Yards is the bad guy putting all the small “mom and pops” out of business. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

PREDICTION: Hudson Yards will become an even bigger hit over the summer. It’s an extension of the High Line (already one of NYC’s top tourist destinations). The crowds will also be coming for the Vessel, The Shed and the huge variety of eateries. Sadly, the retail and residential elements will remain a huge challenge.

 

#5:  Q+A With Sheila Patel: CEO/Founder Graffiti Collective (March 21, 2019)

 

 

This Q+A series has been a hit since its inception. Sheila Patel’s, however, went above and beyond because she is a monster when it comes to social media. Her connections are golden and she already has a huge and supportive network that will get her over the finish line.

PREDICTION: Sheila Patel and Graffiti Collective will become an Insta-Hit. Sheila has the energy and the vision and the smarts to make this brand happen. My best guess as to who will acquire her brand: Lauder!!

 

Bottom Line.

Based on these 5 top posts from March, I say keep an eye on all but most especially on Beau of the Fifth Column. That man is going places. Judging by how early and how rabid presidential politics are shaping up to be, it’s not for the faint of heart. Beau has the intelligence, the independent outlook and the global perspective to call out the BS coming at us from all corners of the media and most especially from the most bombastic, extreme politicos.

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