I agree with Charles O'Meara that depending on memes and not fully developing thoughts is a problem.

But I think the biggest issue with these kind of articles is there is almost no original thought. Every data driven content marketer on the internet is repeating the same things about the advantages of click bait headlines and the reading level of most adults.

Look at the only text that was highlighted in your article—it’s a quote from Teddy Roosevelt. You would have written a much better (and certainly more personal) article if you talked solely about vulnerability and quoted the great T.R., instead of wrapping the idea inside a bunch of memes and common information.

Jon Westenberg wrote an article on how to get 500,000 views in one month, which could serve as the bible for content marketers, but he also got parodied mercilessly for raising data driven content marketing to the same level as good writing.

Similarly, Ryan McCready‘s article about writing popular articles on Medium, tried to equate popularity with writing strength — something that was contradicted by Medium’s own product science team. I wrote a parody post that followed every recommendation, along with the added innovation of publishing the same basic article three times, but scheduling it to publish for Australia/Europe, the East Coast and then the West Coast.

If you think writing listicles is one of the steps necessary to become a best selling author, maybe you’re right. Here’s an article from 2008 that discusses the idea of developing a core of 1,000 true fans who will buy your work. So who knows? You’ve got over 5,000 followers. Maybe some of them will become your core group of 1,000 true fans.

Personally, I prefer to have a small group of friends on Medium who respond to articles and have meaningful interactions. I learned so much from Kel Campbell, I wrote a modern fable about sexism. While I wrote it specifically to address my own learning process, the article has gotten (at least for me) an incredible response rate in less than 24 hours, with a recommendation rate of over 21% on just over 300 views, and sparked an interesting discussion with some men who didn’t agree with me.

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