Why I No Longer Read Advice From Experts On Medium

My first post went viral, but the more I followed advice from Medium’s top-writers, the less success I had

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I knew nothing about Medium when I published my first post. For fun, I uploaded a story. To illustrate the story, I also put up an amateur selfie. I didn’t post the story on any social media platforms, I chose random tags, didn’t tell anyone it was there and had zero followers on Medium. After one week, the post had five views. One week later, I looked at it again and to my great surprise, the post had around 2,500 views. Within the next three weeks, it went to a little under 12,000 views and I became busy becoming a member of the partner program.

The result naturally inspired me. With my next post, I decided to study Medium a bit more. As a result, I spend many hours reading the advice of its top writers. Methodically I followed their suggestions on layout, use of images and ways to increase the chances of being curated. I also started using publications and many of the recommended tools to support my writing and generate traffic to my posts.

When I published my next two posts, I announced it to a few thousand people on my mailing list and my followers on Facebook. Neither of these posts attracted more than a few hundred views.

Using all the tips and tricks might actually prove to have little effect, and I am sure that it’s the quality of your writing and the way Medium chooses to spread your work that are the most important aspects for increasing the readership of your posts.

Today I no longer waste my time trying to follow a recipe for success. I don’t break my posts into steps or use bullet points, and I sometimes write 20-minute reads without creating breaks for the reader. I just follow my passion for telling stories that I believe create space for reflection, and I try to do so without making my work fit into a specific format.

The good news is, that my experience shows that Medium works. It is not created for people trying to figure out how to become successful, but for people who enjoy writing. So luckily, I am unable to give any advice but can say that I myself, just focus on my passion for writing. The algorithm of Medium is not accessible to the outside world, and I imagine that it is regularly being changed and adjusted in ways that make it very difficult for a system analyst to work out ways to predict it.

All the best

Carsten Graff

Reflective and true stories about the tabooed areas of sex, love, language and health. www.carstengraff.com

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