I’d say 2021 was a pretty good year for The Phoenix Desertsong website. Of course, as it seems is always the case, anything Pokemon or Magic the Gathering related far and away outperforms my more serious work. I even turned away from posting gaming related articles mid-year trying to push my non-gaming related content, but apparently, I’m just destined for my most popular online content to be mostly pocket monster and trading card related!
Kicking off 2022, I wanted to point out five top articles from 2021. They aren’t the top 5 articles, as the top 50 or so are dominated by Magic the Gathering and Pokemon. So, I chose five articles with very different topics, to show that, yes, I don’t just write gaming content, although that’s what always performs best in terms of views for me. These are listed in reverse order of yearly views (from January 1st, 2021, to January 1st, 2022). I invite you to check out the articles at the provided links if you’re interested.
While I have never had my own literary agent, I have plenty of experience dealing with bad literary agents working with other writers. There were existing articles on this topic when I initially wrote this piece in 2019 (I believe), and it’s performed alright since I moved it to The Phoenix Desertsong. For awhile, it was the top article on Google on this topic. It’s still among the top three when searching for warning signs of bad literary agents, and honestly, this advice applies to evaluating any sort of representative agency on their trustworthiness.
This analysis of my favorite Robert Frost poem, “Birches,” written for an assignment in my senior year of high school. It’s been updated several times since then, as it’s appeared on various blogs I’ve had over the years. Its final resting place has been its best home, getting search traffic every few days likely from students wanting to better understand the work for purposes of an academic assignment. It surprises some people that I repurpose academic work as articles, but I find it to be rewarding to share this information as it helps students of a new generation in better understanding certain topics, especially when it comes to history and literature. It still amazes me how in-depth my original analysis was and the majority of the piece remains intact from 2004.
This is another of my academic articles repurposed as an article for my website, but this one is interesting more for the fact that it picked up steam during the fall and winter of 2021. Apparently, Modernist poetry is experiencing a bit of revival in the academic world because I get tons of search queries about Langston Hughes in particular. That’s great, because he was an amazing poet and deserves to be read. Of course, the Black Lives Matter movement likely has something to do with the revived interest, too, and I’m certainly OK with that.
Necroduality is my favorite card for Magic the Gathering’s set Innistrad: Crimson Vow, the last set released by Wizards of the Coast in 2021. Apparently, this sentiment is shared by hundreds of fellow Magic enthusiasts, so the intense research I put into this article originally written as a sort of “spoiler” just before the set’s release was well worth it. I’ll likely return to revising this article in the coming year, as I like to keep these card reviews fresh if they’re getting good search traffic. The Crimson Vow set hasn’t been as well-received as expected, but I expect people to be chasing this Zombie doubling enchantment for many years to come.
I’ve been a Pokemon fan since 1999, so it should come as little surprise that I have plenty of pocket monster related content. But, as 2021 was Pokemon’s 25th anniversary (it was released in 1996 for Japan), I ramped up my Pokemon article writing quite a bit. But, I was shocked that this was the article that not only topped my gaming articles in 2021, it was my top performing article by a long shot. It received nearly twice as many views as my second top-performing article. What makes Lickilicky so special? I haven’t a clue, only that I wrote about it considering it’s not a popular monster, and it was new to the Diamond and Pearl games, which were remade for the Nintendo Switch in 2021. Apparently, there are quite a few people out there who silently loved Lickilicky for years and refer to my article to build the best Lickilicky they can. This is why article writing can be such a thrill: you never can quite predict what will perform the best over the years, but this article was a hit from day one and receives more search queries that perhaps anything I’ve ever written.
I hope to greatly diversify my topics posted on The Phoenix Desertsong in coming years, but I have such a backlog of old content that needs to be weeded through, revised, and reposted. So much of it is MtG and Pokemon related, too, so I expect these to still be what brings most people to my humble little plot on the internet.
What did you enjoy reading online this year? If you’re a blogger or another sort of content creator, such as on Twitch or YouTube, what content performed best for you this past year? I’d love to compare notes, as search trends continue to be one of my favorite topics for pondering.
~ Amelia <3