As writers, we must use all the tools available to use to improve our writing.
A couple of days ago I was reading an article and I came across a quote from Michael Jackson. It put me off the post so much, I couldn’t read on.
This lead me to start thinking, what if other people had the same opinion as me. Did we all stop reading at the same point? If this is the case the writer could look at the read time for the post. The time in the post where the reader stopped reading would show them, when people were put off by one quote.
Analysing our Average Read Time.
So can we all use this method to analyse our work? The short answer is yes. We could all look at our read time for articles and see if it was a specific area where readers stopped reading.
This is, however, one conclusion we can draw from analysing our read time. There are many other conclusions you can draw from your read time.
Average time of 28 seconds most likely means no one read your article, they just clapped. If you are using Facebook groups, dropping links and running after offering a few claps this is the cause.
Facebook groups are brilliant for getting eyes onto your work. However, their disadvantage is you don’t always get genuine reads from others. I have tried to change this in my group, but it is a logistical nightmare.
If you have a read time of over a minute. Have you listed your points with flashy sub-headings? If so people have skim read your piece looking at the headings. One way around this is to make the headings less obvious so people are encouraged to read. I say encouraging because there are no guarantees with any writing.
If as a writer you consistently get a low read average, then look at your writing. I would suggest looking at whether you are engaging the reader with your content. Look at the work of others, how do they engage their readers. Do they use mystery and intrigue to keep the reader, reading until the end?
With the new metrics that Medium have, we can further analyse our writing. Use all the tools you are provided to reflect on your writing and strive for improvement.
Although there was controversy surrounding the new system on Medium, I for one welcome it. Anything that provides a writer with a further way to analyse their work should be seen as a good thing.
Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and mentor. To support her writing and read her fiction work join Patreon. To follow all her work find her on Facebook. To receive regular writing tips join her Email List or join Poetry Paradise for a weekly poetry newsletter. © Sam H Arnold 2020