Medium Experiments

Cracking the Medium Code — Final Results

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Before going into my full two weeks vacation, I did an experiment on Medium to see how being consistent with user engagements and publishing, affects your total views. The hypothesis that I had is that by just being consistent with engagements and publishing you can get your view count increased.

Experiment Setup

The experiment setup that I used is fairly simple. To be consistent with engagements, I chose to find 10 new people to follow every day based on the criteria that their content interests me. I would read one article by them which interest me, highlight, clap and comment if I had anything to say. The candidates for the following came from the people who follow me, authors of the stories that Medium suggests under the “Recommended” tab and from publications I follow. To finish it off, I would also read 10 stories from the “Following” tab. Then I will write and publish a story summing up the progress so far. I did this from the 13th of October to the 19th.

Then on the 20th, I went on a vacation for two weeks which meant, I didn’t publish any articles or engage with other stories in the medium for two whole weeks. This part was originally unplanned. But I thought this will make sure that the results of the experiment will stand out.

Results

Screenshot of author's stat page by the author

Even without any explanation, you can see the results themselves on the above screenshot of my stats page. It is fairly evident that my stat count declined to a daily average of 0–10 views during the time I was on my vacation where I didn’t publish or engage.

But let’s focus on the days I did the experiment. I got the highest views ( 44 ) on the 13th and the lowest ( 16) on the 19th. Within the experiment time, I got a total of 198 views for the 7 days which is averaging 28 views for the day.

Analysis

Before starting the experiment, my view count was averaging 10–20 views for a day. Considering this, the 28 average is an improvement. However, when I started the experiment, I set my success criteria so high where I expected my view count to increase up to 40–50 daily average. So based on that, the experiment didn’t deliver.

Lessons Learned

Based on the view count during and after the experiment, we can see that the engagement and publishing on a consistent schedule do increase your views. However, for that to be significant, you have to publish content worthy of reading. For example, when I published my experiment progress reports, I knew even I wouldn’t read them if I saw similar content published by another author. But I did it to alleviate the content from the controlling parameters.

On the other hand, since I was deliberately looking for new authors, I found quite a lot of authors who have a smaller following but with amazing content. This itself, I would call a success.

What’s next

One challenge I had during the experiment was being consistent. There are some days, I just don’t want to turn on my laptop and browse medium and there are days that I would be more than happy to do so. I just want my reading and writing to be a hobby, not a second job.

I did enjoy my engagements with other authors. I used to be a reader who just read an article and keep my thoughts and questions to myself. But now, I have gotten used to actively reading by highlighting, clapping and commenting. I believe these engagements are important if we want to grow Medium to be the community it is supposed to be.

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Sri Lankan expat living in the UK

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Expat in UK

Expat in UK

Sri Lankan expat living in the UK

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