Write for your followers, not for the instant gratification of claps.
I’m sorry to say I haven’t found the magic algorithm to Mediums partner program. No one understands it, which makes it such a thing of mystic and wonder. It’s what makes it so interesting every month. I have had articles with 100 claps earn more money than articles with several hundred claps.
The constant guessing how much an article will make keeps the end of the month an exciting time. What I have noticed though is a change in the way Medium readers are clapping for articles.
A couple of months ago Medium released the update to see how many claps each person has given you. If you don’t know how to do this click on the claps and a list appears. I became obsessed with these. Stats my previous obsession, I ignore them completely now.
Every reader is as individual as their writing. Everyone has a method they use for assigning claps. There are several articles dedicated to this subject. Yet everyone has such a contrasting view on how many claps to assign it is a mystery.
How to Assign Claps
Some choose 50 claps for posts, one article suggested 7 was the magic number. I have a random plan for how I assign claps. I give one if I open the article and don’t read it. With so many articles on Medium, this helps me see which I have read and which I haven’t. Five are awarded if I read a part of the post but, wasn’t interested enough to finish. All posts I finish gets votes between 6–50 depending on how much I enjoyed them.
The Low Claps
What I have noticed over the last couple of months is a shift of all readers to lower the claps. Many readers do not give more than 10 claps per post.
With the dramatic shift on voting would it not be beneficial for Medium to lower the total claps to 10. Many new readers do not even appreciate that they can vote as many times as fifty.
This reduction in claps could result in the algorithm being easier to understand. Maybe, not but it is worth a try. I wonder if the creators can even explain how it works.
Write for Yourself, Ignore Claps
Generally, all writers should write for themselves regardless of claps or likes. A writer should measure his success against the quality of followers.
Still not convinced, what if I told you that there are Facebook groups dedicated to sharing links for claps. Many don’t even read the posts they add claps to each others count.
Makes the magic algorithm even more meaningless now.
Studying your claps and statistics can show you a lot about your writing. Through views and reads, you can see which articles were read and which were clicked on and then left. This can show which headlines worked, which first sentences hooked the reader. Which articles kept the audience entertained to the end. All valuable insights into your writing. Claps are the lowest indicator of success.
The number I am most interested in now is my follower count. Especially as I don’t advertise a follow for a follow system. I check everyone’s profile that follows me and then follow if I’m interested. With so many wonderful writers on Medium, I follow many back, but not all.
No matter what platform you are writing for. Concentrate on your followers and gaining a genuine relationship with them. Move away from worrying about the instant gratification of claps.
This outlook will reduce stress over underperforming articles. It will also increase your writing skills. You will stop writing for claps and start writing for yourself and your readers.