How following tips might be a débacle
Do you want a tip for extra visibility? Don’t follow any tips.
Here is my story: as many, if not all, writers on Medium I tried to get many views and hunt the unicorn of “finding organic followers”.
It’s not only a matter of feeling like a popular influencer. I am perfectly aware no one becomes an influencer by writing, especially if not well gifted by nature. It is not even a matter of money, despite all those articles stating how much money it is possible to earn on Medium are quite challenging. Besides, at present, I do not have any newsletter to subscribe to, nor a website promoting any affiliate marketing.
The matter is I just wanted to test myself: I wanted to try and get, if not a viral article, at least 500 views. I was just curious to understand if all those suggested tips about creating the proper layout of the article could give me visibility. Besides, I was trying to understand how much the famous and wonderful sentence by Robert Kiyosaki could suit me. Which sentence? This one:
“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.”Robert Kiyosaki
So, I was just curious to understand if I am able to sell an article, getting more visibility than my previous ones.
That is why I wrote an article following all the tips I have been reading about for months:
- Choose a popular topic
- Choose a nice picture. (Well, to me it was nice).
- Boost your traffic by SEO
This was the result:
When the article was published, on the first day, I got 4 views, and …1 clapping, by my son (by the way, thank you dear)
After 8 days I can say I learned an important lesson: you cannot cheat on Medium. Even more important, do not choose to write something too popular, especially if you do not really feel it is worthwhile.
The topic I chose was something I am really interested in, but it is worn-out. The word “resilience” is indeed on top of researches in SEO tools, but maybe it is too much on top! People are tired to read about it, and they are right. It is time to read about something else, or it is time to get a new, fresher perspective about what the new year will bring us.
The picture I chose was not perfectly related to the title. I liked it because I shot it (being the picture of a duck, I can assure you I only shot the picture, not the duck) But I was the only one who found a link between a duck swimming under the snow and the idea of resilience. Now, looking at that picture again, I only see what many other people are probably looking at: an animal in an almost wild environment. It is much more related to nature than to human behavior.
The SEO suggestions were honestly highlighting that the words “resilience” and “pandemic” and all the vocabulary related to the past two years’ disaster were on top of research. I wrongly thought that this popularity could be a plus. On the contrary, I forgot one of the most important rules about SEO: overrating is not a plus, it just means that those words are “burnt” and no one is any more interested in searching them.
Besides, I finally recall one of the most important lessons about writing: be yourself. That’s all. If you want to write about a tired topic, you can do it, as your friends-followers might be interested in your thoughts about it. But remember always whom you are writing for: your friends, or a top-notched group of other writers. These ones are not going to read anything that is not coming from your true self.