My Most Popular and Applauded Stories

And my theory about what made them so

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Photo by Life of Wu from Pexels

First, my three stories with the most ‘Reads’:

  1. Older Dogs, New Puppy — A Tale of Jealousy, Depression and Labrador Retrievers
  2. 5 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You to Take that First Small Step
  3. Not An Overnight Success Story…

While these stories were widely read, the overwhelming number of readers were external to Medium. Therefore the above stories were not big earners. If you are interested in my best Medium earners, jump ahead to the next section (three stories with the most ‘Fans’).

People are generally finding these widely-read articles through Google, and a high percentage of people who view the article actually read it. It took me a little while to figure out what terms the third article was ranking for. I don’t know for sure, but I believe it was a combination along the lines of ‘overnight success story baby boomer.’

None of these widely-read articles was curated, and only 5 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You to Take that First Small Step was published in a publication (Small Steps).

Lesson: If your goal is to have your article widely read, use words people search for in your title. Older Dogs, New Puppy — A Tale of Jealousy, Depression and Labrador Retrievers — was written because six months earlier I had been searching for info on ‘older dog, new puppy, jealous, depressed’. Having lived through that experience, I wanted to help others going through it.

And my three stories with the most ‘Fans’ (folks clapping for them):

  1. Do You Know Who Billy Mills Is?
  2. Important Lessons I’ve Learned from Successful Writers
  3. The Three Things I Get From Running

All three of these articles were curated, so they were more widely distributed to Medium readers and therefore, potential Fans. Important Lessons I’ve Learned from Successful Writers was published in the very popular The Startup and the Billy Mills article and The Three Things I Get From Running were published in Runner’s Life.

While Medium no longer pays based on the number of claps an article receives, a much-applauded article is likely to earn well because it represents a significant number of Medium members reading your article. These articles are among my top-earners.

Final Take-Aways

It’s difficult to take satisfaction from the articles that are widely read but almost exclusively by readers who are external to Medium. Those articles receive few claps or comments. Medium has only paid me a few pennies for them. Yet, I did reach people. Isn’t that why I started out writing?

Because I like the satisfaction of interacting with readers and a larger Medium payout, I’ll continue to target medium to larger-sized publications.

Now, I’ve probably spent more than enough time looking at my stats tonight. Time to get back to writing. In addition to articles above, you might also enjoy:

A programmer by day, author by night. When I put on running tights, I like to imagine I’m a super hero. Creator of Unemploymentville.com. Follow me if you dare.

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