Medium Trends for August
As some of you know, I absolutely love my numbers.
Boiling my stories down into spreadsheets is as wonderful to me as it is to the great Liz Lemon.
Oh Liz. I can only hope to be more like pathetic ol’ you.
But… Mental Health?
If the numbers stressed me out or made me obsessive, I absolutely wouldn’t do it.
I’ll admit, I did turn off my Medium notifications to protect myself from my own craziness. In spite of that, my spreadsheets provide me only joy!
Last month I wrote a story about what I learned from July’s numbers.
I promised that I’d apply my predictions to what I chose to write about in the coming month.
Thanks to the numbers, I turned 250 fans in the month of July to 600 fans for August! While still modest, this spike exceeded my targets. So yay!
Numbers are magic! They tell us what works, and help us identify trends so we can ride them like waves.
So why write stories at random when you can predict the future?
Creative expression you say? Inspiration you scream? Ok I hear you.
I also write from my heart sometimes, but I mix those up with stories from my crystal ball.
It’s working so far, so let’s crunch the numbers for August!
My Top 9
Every month I break down my best 9 performing genres for the past month.
These 9 genres represent the stories that made me the most money consistently over the month.
Here they are in reverse order, leading up to the champion.
8. This Happened to Me
7. Self Control
3. Researched Information
What the What?
Writing being #2 on the list actually flies in the face of what I predicted last month!
If memory serves me, I predicted writing being a subject that would lose steam, and personal experiences gain momentum.
Well, I guess it goes to show that my crystal ball still needs some polishing.
I’d say about 2 weeks into the month I saw the wind blowing in the wrong direction. This was the final confirmation I needed to start my second publication.
I had been inspired by what I saw as lacking on Medium, and inspired by some of the feelings of other writers.
All I needed was a sign from Numbers-Jesus, and once I got it “praise the lord!” Overlords was born!
I feel like a lot of new writers joined us in the last month, and those writers are looking for inspiration.
So this month I predict an increase in stories that teach how to write and how to Medium better.
I say that with a tight clause…
I have a feeling that the stories that teach from an angle of ‘This Happened to Me’ are losing steam. Because while ‘Writing’ manages to stay strong in the numbers, ‘This Happened to Me’ is losing its foothold.
So while personal stories of past success may dwindle, stories that have actionable steps and can be bookmarked for future use are the ones I see having legs and gaining legacy.
Last month I saw a steep decline in popularity in ‘Travel’ pieces. Despite this, I’m going to keep writing travel pieces both for my publication and for others. Travel writing means a lot to me, and it will never die completely.
The X Factor
The big shift I see in Medium over the coming month is a cooling in readership tolerance for ‘single draft writing’.
Stories like these make up the bulk of Medium and most other blog sites. (And Amazon to be honest).
I’m referring to stories that are written on a single draft, proof-read once and slapped online.
There was actually a time when this kind of writing was trending.
The big content push of 2011 saw writers being advised to write and push a book a day onto Amazon.
The logic at the time was that there had to be some readers out there for literally every book. If only even one!
So if you had hundreds of books out there, it stood to reason that you’d have hundreds of readers.
I see that mindset on Medium.
Clog up the site and sooner or later someone has to notice you.
I see the sun setting on those days.
In a previous story I pledged to have some of my stories professionally edited this month, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Starting today, I’m going to begin my search for a professional editor on Fiverr.
Once I’ve found this person, I’m going to interview him or her and publish it on Overlords as a story.
I believe that we as writers have a lot to learn from professional editors. There’s a lot to be gained from professional collaborations between great writers and great editors. The beneficiary of these partnerships being the reader. The interests of whom we all too often forget.
I believe that the readership collective of Medium are getting pickier.
Some believe the readers aren’t here, and that’s why numbers are going down all over the site.
I believe they are here, they’re just ignoring us. They’re waiting for something better to read.
The plan begins now
Starting soon, I’ll write several stories that I suspect will be well received.
I’ll then do several re-writes before giving them off to my editor and having them properly painted. (I’ll make sure to let you know within each story if it’s a pro edited one).
So stay tuned! In a month, another trend report will be published with the results of my pledge.
Until then, enjoy your September!