Preach, sister. There are a lot of talented writers who are not getting ahead in this ponzi scheme better known as Medium.
Maybe a better description is a zero sum game.
Your stuff is subjectively better than 99.9% of the articles I’ve read in the writing and self improvement topics. Your writing is intelligent, self-aware and humorous — qualities sorely lacking in the meg-popular pap that dominates Medium.
But the harsh reality is that there are only a fixed number of subscribers and and therefore a fixed amount of money in the Medium Partner Program pool, and those waters are infested with the great whites of social media marketing.
It doesn’t matter how dull and tedious we might find the writing of these “content” creating behemoths. The reality is, if you have 480 followers, you would need 41.6% of them to each clap 10 times to get 2,000 claps, otherwise known as the Holy Grail of top 1% articles on Medium.
I just did the math here on your stats, and that number 41.6% jumped up at me, reminding me of something I wrote recently about the phenomenon of curation, calculating the number of times one particularly spiritual individual’s story was written about by his 12 followers:
OMG, Jesus walked on water, and he only got curated 41.6% of the time! FYI, it was Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul.
The only way an article gets put in the “Featured” section, described by Medium as “Today’s best stories, picked by our editors,”is if your article gets posted on one of the publications owned by Medium.
I love your fighting spirit and optimism, but the real keys to become a top writer and crack Medium’s algorithm, include the following:
The tags don’t lie. Write the shit people want to read about. Sex confessionals are the easiest, because you can just write down your fantasies (or the synopsis of an old porn video on VHS*), as long as you’re not embarrassed when it shows up on your mom’s feed.
Jumping in with another opinion on social justice or politics, while boring and totally unnecessary to saving the world does have its financial advantages.
Keep on mining those self help clichés. It may get old for all the people who hate their feed, but there are always enough new bright-eyed noobies who will think you’re a gosh darn guru — unless, of course, you challenge them to think for themselves, or make them uncomfortable by pointing out their limited perspective.
Don’t get old.
I’ve solved Medium’s algorithms — get ready to become rich.
Are you ready to take the plunge?
Here’s the real deal about writing:
Marketing and sales make up 50% or more of the work you must do to become a successful writer.
All the boring, but highly profitable articles about which we complain attract the greatest number of fans because the authors have figured out how to win as social media marketers.
How I Made $14.73 on One Article and Other Lessons Learned in August.
It’s time to reveal the mysteries of reader engagement, curation, and Medium’s most influential force.
I’m sorry to be such a spoil sport on a Sunday.
I suffered a similar setback to you when I finally published an article in my field of expertise.
On Quora, I am a top writer in Tennis. In a little over two years on that site, I have over 2.1 million views, and as many as 220,000 views in July, when everyone was thinking about Wimbledon.
I’ve had articles get not 1,500 claps, but 1,500 up votes, which translates to roughly 15,000 claps.
I stayed up almost all night to finish writing an in-depth, well researched article about Rafael Nadal, so it could be published this morning, before the finals of the US Open, the second most important day of the year in the tennis world.
Guess what? Since I published that article five hours ago, it has been viewed by 5 people on Medium, and read by 2.
While people on Quora comment that I should be writing for ESPN, our cultured editors at Medium decided that my analysis of an all-time great tennis champion didn’t merit being curated in Sports.
Medium has nothing to do with being a great writer, and everything to do with building a huge social media following.