Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Maybe Don't Use The Word "Die" In A Book Review Title

I am sure you're all wondering how things are going with my writing on the Medium platform. Last month, I wrote that Slow Down, You Write Too Fast was my least successful piece there. That still seems to be the case, though I thought my most recent publication there, Book Review: We Are All Going To Die, In Case You Weren't Feeling Enough Time Pressure at Feedium was going to beat it. And maybe it has.

How Do You Define Success At Medium?

When you're a small player at Medium, it's hard to define success. Anyone reading a Medium article can see how immediately popular it was with Medium's subscribed readers, because there's a little icon down at the bottom of the screen with clapping hands indicating applause and a number. (Only Medium subscribers can applaud.) We Are All Going To Die has received 2 claps, and those came 10 days after publication. So my first thought is that that review tanked.

However, if I look at my statistics, I see that Slow Down has a 25% read ratio while We Are All Going To Die has 35%. Thirty-five is more than 25. Does that mean that We Are All Going To Die is doing better? (Though probably still tanking.) Not necessarily, because We Are All Going To Die has made 9 cents while Slow Down has made 12. Twelve cents is more than 9 cents, if you follow me.

I have only the vaguest idea how payment is determined at Medium. It may have something to do with the amount of time people stay at the article, suggesting they're reading it, and not just the number of views. Slow Down, which has made more money (12 cents!!!), has had 16 views while We Are All Going To Die, which has made less money (9 cents!!!), has had 20 views. It's a mystery.

What Have You Learned From This Experience, Gail?

I've come away with two things from these latest experiences.

  1. Don't bother repurposing material from Original Content into articles for Medium. Both these articles did just that. Reworking material or research in different ways is supposed to be a classic way for freelance writers to generate income and broaden their reach. It didn't work for me in these cases. (Though, of course, I have made 21 cents between the two of them.) I know I'll be tempted to do this again, but I'm going to try to stick to using my time to create new work.
  2. Be more upbeat. Self-help is supposed to be the most popular writing on Medium. While I thought both these articles were self-help-ish, with one being about writing and one about a time management book, self-help may require a rah-rah attitude that my titles weren't conveying. As I've said before, a lot of Medium writers are interested in writing and publishing more, and suggesting in the writing article that they slow down may have seemed as if they were going to be told to write less. And telling everyone they are going to die in that book review title probably could be perceived as not being upbeat. Though when I came up with that title, I thought it was gold. If I break down and write an article for Medium using material I first worked with here, I must be cheery about it. 😀 

I made a submission to another Medium publication today, so I should soon have more to report, one way or another.


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