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Blog posts tend to follow a few familiar “shapes”—that is, the data plotted in Google Analytics tells the story of the post. You can read these shapes without knowing much about keyword volume or traffic sources. You can probably even tell if the post is going to be a hit or a dud within a few weeks of publishing. But this is all anecdotal. We wanted to find out if the patterns we see are indicative—and, more importantly, predictive—of success. So we looked very closely at a few blog posts that had been viewed more than 100,000 times to see if our observations were backed by data.

The results offer a template for success, but also a new and more scientific way to think about measuring your content.

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