You can read this article on Medium too.
Spoiler. It’s 30k lifetime views (around 90 daily views) and the article has not been curated nor featured by Medium. No authoritative referrals too. And it would surprise me if they were there.
Well, let’s start from the beginning.
I know there’s a clear distinction between articles appealing to readers, articles appealing to Medium, and articles appealing to Google. Actually, Medium and Google mean real readers, after all, but they are all looking elsewhere.
An article appealing to readers have to appeal, well, to your audience, actual or potential. You write what you want to write – maybe inside a writing strategy –, trying to address a human being.
With Medium it’s different. Either you address a human being or you address the Medium editors. You can’t do both at the same time. Occasionally, Medium picks articles addressed to reasoning people only to stay low.
With Google is yet another story. You compete for keywords. Between you and a human being there are Google and SEO manners. Fail the audition, and your story won’t see the human.
Now, I’m perfectly aware of those three categories, when I start writing. So, usually, my writing falls in none of them.
However, I occasionally decide that an idea is a good fit for Google.
This would require keyword analysis in the first place. But, since I’m an engineer, I don’t like pseudo-scientific approaches. So, I go with pseudo.
My pseudo-approach is quite elaborated. Sunk in my chair, observing the display but not actually staring at anything in particular, I wonder if the article can address some searches, not too popular, not too niche. That’s all.
Now that all the SEO experts stopped reading, with a grimace, I can continue.
The question is the same since ages: Why do you write?
It’s a rhetoric question, no need to answer here. If you have a thoughtful answer, just reply “Hi!” in the comments.
Back to the why, if money is your only end game, keyword analysis helps. However, sending to hell keyword analysis and bombing Medium twice per day helps more.
If you have a nicely tuned funnel, keyword analysis helps. However, sending to hell keyword analysis and understanding where your customers are helps more.
But, usually, you primarily want a human to connect with your writing. And you don’t want the thing to stop there. You want them to appreciate. And maybe to do something. And maybe also remember you, which we all know it’s impossible, but hope is the last to die.
So, as many other good writers said better than me, the reader comes first.
Yet, you need Google to appreciate, but we no longer live in the Triassic. Nowadays, Google can detect hacking. You don’t impress Google that much because you scientifically stuffed your article with crap.
Sure, you have to know what Google rewards. Keywords must be there, synonyms must be there, correspondence between title and content must be there, you need some idea of what must be there. In short, you have to answer a question, because googlers have a question in mind.
Apart that general knowledge, you just have to do one single thing: address an interested human being without boring him or her to death. I’d want to say that you need your best production, but good enough will work.
And, of course, a second thing, that I poorly did here, because… oh, mind your business! Well, that thing is backlinks from quality sources. That is the Web gold that doesn’t lose value across the Web ages.
And one last thing. You have to let your article be public. None of my “locked” articles got Google blessing. When I asked tech details to Medium, about locked content being perfectly visible to Google, they mumbled something that sounded like “We have no fucking idea. But be happy, we also have no fucking idea of the contrary.”
Does my approach work? Not always, as you may have guessed, but on Medium I wrote only a few posts with Google in mind, and most of them are over 1k views, and in the top positions of my stats. With “usual” content, I want to send Medium a T-shirt when they channel more than 100 views to my articles, despite my 1.5k followers. When they curate my content, it can be even more invisible. Maybe it’s the totally random topics they throw my articles into, I don’t know.
Anyway, my third most viewed article on Medium (7.3k views, 61% read ratio, 134 fans) is:
My second most viewed article on Medium (12.3k view, 31% read ratio, 31 fans) is:
Of, course, you can’t expect a lot of fans, unless the article is not specifically about Medium. Googlers usually are not Medium users. Yet, I’m not dissatisfied of how my 5-7 min “Google” articles performed.
So, what’s my most viewed article on Medium (30k views, 45% read ratio, 22 fans)? This one:
Yeah, you expected an in-depth analysis of Hamlet, I know. Yet, it’s not a totally casual article. I can do worse.
We all know that the first rule to be popular it’s not speaking about rocket science. Elon Musk is the only exception. Don’t try to emulate him.
Or you can. If you have some billion dollars and a working rocket.