How To Grow Your Audience On Medium
Build An Audience From Zero To Over 2,000 In just 1 Week
Build An Audience From Zero To Over 2,000 In just 1 Week
Just one week after joining Medium, I decided to do an intensive review of how my content performed, to draw out the secret sauce and sprinkle it all over my fries for years to come.
But I’m not selfish, everything I’ve concluded in the very early stages of this platform, I’m willing to share with YOU. No charge.
I’ll be covering:
What to focus on? Views, reads or fans.
What length title works best?
The style of title that wins most often.
The length of article/post you should aim for.
Being bold to win fans.
The ‘self-featuring’ prophecy and what that means.
Where to post your content
What Medium itself provided me in terms of new readers.
& much much more.
P.s. maybe we’ll put some jokes in here to make this less serious.
What did the polar bear say to the barman? On second thoughts, we don’t have time for jokes… let’s get into it.
#1. WHAT TO FOCUS ON? VIEWS, FANS OR READS
Views = People who have clicked into your article.
Reads = An estimate of how many people read the entire thing.
Fans = The number of unique claps on that article.
ANSWER = Concentrate on read ratio. That means you’re finding the right people to view your content and they’re enjoying it. Fans will come eventually. Even a leaky hose will fill a pool, over time.
This is a chicken and egg style question though…
You can’t have readers without getting people to initially view your article, and you can’t have fans without readers falling in love with your writing style.
Take it from me, a man who specialises in digital marketing, that online consumption has its casualties.
People will fall off the wagon, no matter how fast you’re going.
Through no fault of your own, not all readers will become fans. People could have really enjoyed your article from a social media link, not knowing to clap to show appreciation.
IMPORTANT: As you will see later on here, my highest read ratio article was also the one with the highest number of Medium readers viewing it. Read ratio must play a massive role in where/when Medium recommends your posts.
#2. WHAT LENGTH TITLE WORKS BEST?
Answer = Between 4 to 7 words.
Polling all of my content the posts that seemed to perform the best had short titles.
Even pieces I was immensely proud of like The #1 PROBLEM With Your Career Path… and how to fix it’ didn’t deliver as well. The content is perhaps better, or seemed to be more useful, but the title didn’t grab people.
Without that initial pique of interest, you’ll never have a reader.
#3. HOW LONG SHOULD YOUR ARTICLE BE?
ANSWER = Between 4 to 7 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for a higher read ratio.
Now those free-thinking individuals might disagree and say “let it be as long as it wants to be man… don’t restrict your creativity.”
It’s important to note that my shortest article (4 mins) got the highest read ratio as well as the highest number of referrals from Medium viewers (aka traffic given to me by this platform). While the longest article (9 mins) had the lowest read ratio.
If your goal with your content is to reach/touch/inspire people and not to go ignored, then it’s worth getting on the field to play by their rules.
#4. BEING BOLD TO WIN FANS
ANSWER = My most clapped article of the week had 116 claps. It was a harsh opinion piece on social media posers that fake their wealth.
It’s okay trying to cater to everyone, but there isn’t a catch-all rule to content. Some people will hate what you’ve written, even if it’s good. So it’s worth being authentic and going for gold.
I’ve learned that a salad is fine, but a meat feast pizza with a Pepsi Max on the side (and a Daim cheesecake for dessert) is divine.
Don’t make your work a boring opportunity for sustenance. Make it a feast.
#.6 SELF-FEATURING PROPHECY
ANSWER = Don’t forget to rotate your featured article for more eyes on it.
Have you ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecy? Self-fulfilling prophecy are effects in behavioral confirmation, in which behavior, influenced by expectations, causes those expectations to come true.
By featuring an article you’re showing new viewers what to read. Thus ensuring that it’s the most read.
I’m calling this ‘Self-featuring prophecy’… it won’t catch on. :P
My article ‘THE FAKE WEALTH EPIDEMIC’ was featured and received the most claps of all my content.
I then changed that featured article after 4 or 5 days to be my article ‘You probably DON’T have depression’ and it got a lot more attention… a lot.
Don’t blindly assume your featured article is doing well and always will. Rotate your articles into the featured spot to give them all their 15 minutes of fame.
#7. WHAT AMOUNT OF READERS DID MEDIUM GIVE ME?
ANSWER = 23% or 552 Readers came from Medium.com themselves.
This means that 77% (I think that Math is correct) of views came from my mailing list and social media referrals.
I’m pretty overwhelmed by this. To think within the first week of putting out content you get over 500 strangers to see your stuff… that’s incredible.
QUICKFIRE TIPS… LET’S FINISH STRONG!
(I mean we do need to keep this under an 8 minute read right?)
Post everywhere you think you can reach the right people. I posted out to my mailing list subscribers, as well as my social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. . Most of the traffic came from Facebook. Which makes sense. Twitter was useless, but perhaps it’s because I’ve not nurtured an audience there like I have on Instagram and Facebook.
“How” or “How to” in the title really works.
Following Medium readers to follow you back does not work. Follow for Follow is dead. #RIP
Frequency is important. I noticed a decline in engagement daily on my Instagram when posting about new blog entries every day. A few times per week might be the sweet spot to ensure readers don’t get sick of you. If social media is your main source of readership, make sure you don’t bore them this early in the game.
Sink to swim. Having video content at the bottom of an article really helped to drive read ratios. You don’t give a dog a treat before it performs the behaviour, so why have the juicy audio or video content at the top of your post? It’s giving someone the prize before they agree to play.
EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS?
But a quick glance on the screenshot from my stats above, you’ll notice something very important. My highest read ratio article (HOW I GET FREE INTERNET) is also the one that brought in the most Medium-generated traffic.
Short title? Check.
‘How’ in the title? Check.
Between 4 and 7 minute read? Check.
Converted Fans? Yes. Joint place for second highest fan conversion.
Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose… and passionate readers to gain.
Subscribe to mailing list if you enjoyed reading this and want to read others: http://eepurl.com/cyB_2v — It’s FREE.
DISCLAIMER: I posted one blog post on Medium in October 2017 from my personal blog. I forgot it was here and didn’t push it. All results featured above are from my first week, starting fresh on this platform. That original post had 6 views at the time I began this journey, so it’s completely negligible and not included in the graph.