Whether it is my Medium profile or my website, I do not pin articles to the top of my feed.
I am going to say something controversial now and disagree with many writers that I admire.
I don’t believe that pinning a post to the top of your profile is a good idea. I understand the logic behind it, but I believe that it could lose your readers, rather than gain them.
It is worth mentioning that I have no statistical proof for this.
It is a feeling based on my activity as a reader. If I behave a certain way as a reader, then it is fair to think others will.
The argument for pinning a post is strong
With a pinned post you can introduce yourself to the reader and signpost them to your most successful articles. With many blogging systems of continual scrolling, older articles become lost. Very few of my older articles are viewed.
Writers will argue that without a pinned post how will older articles get views. Well, I have a solution to that as well.
So why am I not pinning posts?
As a reader, this is my process I get a notification to say that a writer or website I follow has published a new article. Whether this is through email or Medium’s handy little bubble system.
I click to find the post and what do I see first, the pinned post, not their latest published piece. I scroll down, but at that point, I no longer know what is pinned and what is a new post. I miss the article.
The other way I may find a new post from a writer is that they comment on my latest post. Under this comment is the article at the top of their profile. If this is their latest article I have a read. If this is the same pinned post I have seen every day, I don’t.
What is more important new readers or existing readers.
A pinned post is a brilliant way to attract new readers to your material, especially your most popular posts. Does there however need to be a consideration for your loyal readers? Those that read your work every day, when they see your notification come up. Should you not make it as easy as possible for them to find the new article rather than them always seeing the same thing.
You might think, but if they like me that much they will scroll down. On many occasions I do, but not always. The question we need to ask is which is more important, new followers that pop onto your profile, or loyal followers. I know where my priorities lie.
The solution to this problem is simple. Don’t pin an article to the best work on your profile, but drop it as a link at the bottom of all your articles. New followers may click on it and loyal followers will be able to find your new work, ignoring the link. That is what I am going to work on over the next week for my website.