Before I begin: thank you. Thank you for reading what I write. Thank you for sharing articles with your friends. Thank you for commenting. Thanking you for e-mailing me.
There are a lot of blogs out there and the fact that you take the time to make mine one of your worthwhile reads means a lot to me. I hold myself to a high standard and I don't take it lightly that you and I have connected.
Here's the deal with blogs: the archives are where you can find some of the greatest hits. More than likely, you've just arrived at this blog within the past 2 months.
Due to the nature of blogging, with a constant stream of new content coming in, those older articles don't always get the attention they deserve.
If you're anything like me, when you discover a new blog that you connect with, you go back and read through every article on the site.
Quite a few of you have e-mailed me about doing just that on this blog and that thrills me to no end! :)
But, being that we're all busy people, it's not always possible to wade through the archives. So I've done it for you in a slightly atypical fashion.
What I mean by that is there is a lot of commentary and a bit of info about the future (such as a possible product launch) below. Specific traffic stats, most popular and least popular articles, and other fun stuff like that is also included.
This is, by far, the longest article I have posted. Over 2,600 words. I obviously decided not to edit for brevity as I usually do.
Oh, if you have your own blog and have done a Best Of post please comment with a link to it.
(Note: all links open in a new window/tab.)
Top Post Of The YearThat award goes to...you ready?
That's in terms of visitors: 9,371. And there's a very good reason that particular article had more visitors than any other.
It's linked to on my ZenHabits article: The Beginner's Guide To Minimalist Travel
In terms of activity though, the top post goes to:
It has almost 100 comments (granted, about half are mine) and, with 6,972, just a couple thousand visitors shy of the How To Wash Your Clothes article.
I fully expected my light packing list to be my most popular article. I'm a big fan of reading packing lists and I know other travelers love reading packing lists too. Light packers are a passionate bunch. :)
This Article Can Change Your LifeThe first article on Ridiculously Extraordinary that got any traction (i.e. links, comments, and e-mails) was:
It's one of my favorite articles and also in the top 5 (in terms of visitors) on this site.
Most Likely To Help With Your New Year's ResolutionIf that Resolution has anything to do with weight loss or exercise that is. :)
After I wrote this article I felt like "Wow, this is gonna be huge."
I was dead wrong. It's one of the least popular articles I've written. 503 visitors, 7 comments, and 0 links. wonk wonk
That's OK though. Maybe this mention will give it new life. ;)
While we're on the subject of unpopular articles. How is just 194 visitors (the least of any article on this site) and 0 comments?
I had an idea about doing Field Reports while traveling, but after Australia Field Report: Sandboarding The Stockton Sand Dunes bombed I decided against it.
Eventually I did something similar with my Friday Updates, which have been a little bit more successful, although I've only written a few thus far. :)
Most Search Engine TrafficBased on comments and e-mails I've received on this article, it seems like I could also call this one Most Helpful.
I think the reason it has helped so many people is because, as far as action steps, it's the easiest to accomplish. There are no costs or barriers to entry.
My Favorite ArticleSimilar to the Get Fit In 1 Minute article, after I wrote this one, I thought it was going to be huge. It's still my favorite article, if only because it helped me personally clear things up in my own head.
"Go into my head and come back out and tell me I'm wrong." - Mitch Hedberg
Part of the reason it's not popular may be because I posted it, oh, 3 days ago. :)
That article is, of course, How To Achieve Perfection.
I Almost Didn't Post This OneBeing that my goal here is radical honesty, and as much as possible, transparency, I'm glad I posted this:
Being young and dumb is no excuse, but it's my excuse.
I left that article off with a cliffhanger:
I did procure another eBay account so I could continue selling strictly legal items, but I was out of the copyright violations business for good. That is, until 4 years later when I became a search engine spammer…Nobody has asked about that and I haven't posted it, but the story starts off with a death threat.
Sometimes my life has been like what you'd read about in a novel or watch in a movie. Usually it's not, but sometimes ...
I'll Post This One SoonIn keeping with the novel/movie theme: I caught on fire once.
If you've never felt the pain of melting flesh you're in good company. Just not my company. :)
The reason I haven't posted it is because there aren't really any lessons to be learned and it's a fairly long story.
But sometimes a blog can be pure entertainment. So I'm posting it on January 20, 2010 which will be the 2 year anniversary of my first real brush with death.
But I digress, this is about the archives, not the soon-to-be archives. :)
How To Get Started With The Freedom MindsetGet rid of stuff. Plain and simple.
Give it away. Sell it.
While we're too attached to material possessions we can never be free.
But I'm no monk. I do own "things."
Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom means I can lose everything and still come out on top. I mean that. I can lose every. Single. Material. Possession. Including money.
None of it matters.
The only possession that matters is what is in our heads.
I've invested countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars (not University, that was free) into acquiring knowledge and that's more important than anything else.
You will never regret getting rid of stuff and investing that extra time and money into knowledge acquisition. I promise.
This Article Needs A New HeadlineHow I Cured Years Of Excruciating Stomach Pains Without Doctors Or Medicines
This article should be more successful. But I think since the title talks only about stomach pain it keeps people from reading it. The article will actually teach you how to figure out how to deal with almost anything that ails you.
If I had to change the title today I might call it "How To Use The Elimination Diet To Cure Virtually Any Health Problem" or something along those lines.
The Rest of the BunchIf you haven't read through my archives, following are links to every article on this site with commentary, and in order of popularity (in terms of visitors).
About Karol Gajda and RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com - This is actually the 3rd most popular page on this site. At first that surprised me, but after analyzing my own blog surfing habits, it makes complete sense.
On Achieving Goals (or “Just Fucking Write”) - I'm a little bit surprised that an article with the word "Fucking" in the headline is the 4th most popular on this site, but you can't fight with facts.
The Iron Mind - If somebody were to ask me "What is your life's philosophy?" I'd point them to this article. I see The Iron Mind shine through in a lot of my writing. It has enveloped every fiber of my being.
How I Cured My Seasonal Allergies Forever - After the How To Stop Dandruff article I linked to earlier I think this one, based on e-mails/comments, has been most helpful. Much like the dandruff article, I believe it's because the action steps are easy. And the barrier to entry is ~$15.
The Persistent Shower Companion (or Early Mornings At The Munich Airport) - Your guess is as good as mine as to why this is one of the most popular articles on this site.
Refine Your Signal (or Fuck The Fluff) - 2 of my top 10 articles have the word "Fuck" in the title. I'm not stupid though, it's not a formula that will consistently work. The reason it does work is for the very fact that it's inconsistent.
How To Travel Anywhere In The World, Live With Locals, and Enjoy Outstanding Experiences By CouchSurfing! - My first Black Book. I spent more time on this than anything else on this site. In terms of traffic, links, and other quantitative measures it wasn't worth it. In terms of exposing CouchSurfing to just one more passionate person (which I know I accomplished!) it was a tremendous success. I owe a lot to CouchSurfing and will never stop extolling the benefits of being a CSer.
Accountability Statement #1 - The effects of this article is probably why you're reading this site right now. Thank you for reading. :)
How To Be Socially Unacceptable (or Why I Quit Drinking) - Still going strong. I hope this article will help people for years to come.
Mind Control For Fun and Profit! (or How To Brainwash Yourself) - The day I posted this article I purchased MindControlMethod.org. I'm considering making it my first "big" product. I don't know that I will, because I haven't asked you yet to find out what you really want. But you can see where my head is at. I believe a fully fleshed out Mind Control Method course will help a lot of people get into a Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom state of mind.
Needs vs. Wants or My Mom Thinks I’m Crazy or How To Be Congruent - I don't have much commentary about this, but I think, if you haven't read it yet, you should. :) I'm proud of this article. Biggest takeaway: Wants are dictated by outside influences. Needs are dictated by biology.
F!&k “Doing It While You Can” (or How To Make Things Happen) - It's OK to be a follower (sometimes).
Steal This Blog! - Not an actual article, but an important part of this site. Feel free to steal whatever you want from it. :)
Permission To Do Nothing - Sometimes the best course of action is no action.
Enjoy The Process - Is it all worth it? Are you on the right path in your life? Here's how to know if you are.
Why I Quit Traveling - I had a feeling this one would get a bunch of comments after I posted it. And it did. Sometimes my gut is correct. :)
How To Procrastinate Like A Bad Ass (or How To Overcome Writer’s Block) - I've used this writer's block cure at least once since I posted this. It works so well.
Announcing Ridiculously Extraordinary Black Book #001! - OK, I shouldn't even post this here because it's really just a post linking to Black Book #001. But it's here and it's more popular than a lot of other articles! WTF! :)
Why We Do What We Do (or How To Be Present) - A recent article that had good comments, even if the visitor count may not be high. I'm proud of this one. The original version of this article was written in June '09 prior to the launch of this site. By the time I posted this version it was a completely new article and about 1,000 words shorter. Tangent: I spent the 30 days before launching RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com writing over 30,000 words of content. About half of that content has seen the light of day. I don't know how much of the rest will ever make it.
Powder Is For Babies (or How I Keep My Only Pair Of Shoes From Smelling Like Boiled Rat Piss On Extended Trips) - I use Gold Bond instead of Baby Powder now. Maybe I should update this article?
Zero The Hero or How To Pay 0% Credit Card Transaction Fees When Traveling Outside The US - Must read if you live in the US and are planning on spending time anywhere else. It includes info on banks in addition to credit cards.
An Unlikely First Post: Notes From How To Build A High-TrafficBlog Without Killing Yourself - Useful notes from Tim Ferriss's presentation.
I Love My Mom So There Is No Cursing In This Article (or Why Cursing Is Good) - Lively comments, even if the visitor count isn't exceptionally high. Censorship gets people talking. :)
I Spent A Night In Jail + L.A. meetup soon! - A Friday Update with video from the Jailhouse hostel in Christchurch, NZ.
90 Second Smoothie To Kickstart Your Day - Mmmmm...the tastiest article I've written. :)
What It’s Like To Tour With A Rock Band – The Swellers Record Release Edition - If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to spend 24 hours/day for 3 weeks in a van with 4 other guys this one's for you.
How To Pay $82/month For Health Insurance (For The Self-Employed or Uninsured) - I thought this one would get a lot more traffic. I guess people don't want to pay a penny for health insurance. That's cool and maybe it'll happen some day soon. Moving on...
How To Quickly and Easily Clean A Blender - I had one of those "aha" moments when I figured this out.
Friday Update: Thank You Edition #1 + RE Black Book #001 - Yes, thank you!
9 Essential Books For Bloggers and Freedom Seekers (or How To Save $50,000 On An MBA) - Considering this was posted on Christmas Eve I think it has been fairly successful in terms of traffic.
Jumping Into Canyons + Go Go Goa, India - A Friday Update with some awesome videos. :)
How To Drive 1,802 Kilometers With A Cat In Tow (or How To Pull Kitty From A Thorn Bush) - I still have daymares (nightmare while awake) about this. I can deal with Jessie dying in the natural course of life (which I hope won't be for a while!). But losing her like this would have devastated me. None of these comments make sense unless you read the story.
I Make You Wanna Jump, Jump + Being Vulgar - Oh wow, do not watch this karaoke video. :)
How To Get Lost In Notoriously Dangerous South Central LA (or How To Get A Free Ride From The Police) - Good times in Watts almost 10 years ago.
End of the Road + Extreme Ziplining - A Friday Update with video from the free public zip line in Auckland, NZ!
The EndThere we go. Every article from 2009.
Tonight I'm going to party it up (sans alcohol) at my friend's 3rd annual NYE party. Lots of my favorite people will be there along with a few guitars. That means there may very well be video of me singing Creedence Clearwater Revival songs in the near future. ha!
In that regard...
When it's time to party we will party hard. - Andrew W.K.But more importantly...
We do what we like, and we like what we do. - Andrew W.K.