How to Write and Publish Articles That Get Noticed
Simple techniques for creating content that’s easy to find and exciting to read
I get almost no views here on Medium. Close to 5,000 every 30 days. I’ve been writing for a little over two years three to five articles each day.
It’s pretty exciting to think about how much time I have wasted.
(Update: Thanks to all of you amazing human beings, gluttons for punishment, riff-raff and assorted na’er do wells who actually find what I write interesting and/or humorous and/or intellectually stimulating. Also, all the sickos who find it stimulating in other, gross ways, I reached 5K readers this month!)
Everyone wants to know how they can get their articles noticed in the endless expanse that is the internet. Whether you’re running a business, launching a new product, or putting everything you have into a blog, you want your content seen. Or, if you’re like me you don’t really give a shit and do this as a fun hobby on the side or to kill time while waiting in the Arby’s drive thru.
Most people think that there must be some kind of trick to it. There isn’t! There are a ton of simple and free things that you can do right now to make your content stand out and get noticed. But I am not going to talk about those, instead I want to focus on the opposite of that. How to make content that is really very dull and will be read by at most thirty people plus your mom if you are lucky (or unlucky). I call it Bizarro world content. Get it? Probably not right? If you are like 99.9% of people you have zero idea wtf that means and that brings me to your first lesson.
Liberally pepper your writings with references that only you or a very small subset of the ultra geek nerd subpopulation understand or would find funny
Just remember that you need to do what works for you! My posts might be different than yours (they are) and my goals might be different than yours (do yours involve piles of cocaine and endless hooker blowjobs, if not, they are!). The joy for me is in sharing the cool stuff I know with as many people out in the world as possible. You might want something different (e.g. bj’s and hookers are not everyone’s cup of tea).
Now forget that you just read that. Do what I tell you to do dammit. By continuing to read on you are surrendering what little free will you may have left to me. You are now mine, welcome to the Danimaniacs, population you + two or three other people maybe, on a good day.
The internet is full of some “common knowledge” information that people swear by. These include things like:
- Write shorter articles. Ones that take 6–8 minutes to read are ideal.
- Publish frequently.
- Publish on weekdays.
- Find a great featured image.
- Keep your paragraphs short.
These tips fucking suck! But as you try what “everyone” says is effective, remember that paying attention to what works best is hard so don’t bother. Just do what feels right.
You might be surprised, but probably not.
And now for the rest of the tips and stuff….
Publish on Medium
There’s a good chance that if you’re here, you’re already doing this. But if you’re out there blogging all alone and wondering if anyone will ever notice your amazing work you can stop wondering, they won’t! Medium has somewhere in the neighborhood of millions of views every month. Don’t ask for too many details about the actual size of this mysterious “neighborhood”, Medium does not like too many questions about that. Take advantage of this! You can easily import your content from your existing blog or website and Google will not punish you for it. Medium, on the other hand will, if you ask about the neighborhood thing.
Importing your content is incredibly simple. Just zzzzz, zzzzzz. Sorry, what was I saying, I fell asleep there for a second because whatever the fuck it was was so very boring. This brings me to advice 2 and this is critical. I know everybody always says this part, but it’s important and I’m saying again.
The things you find interesting most people find boring and/or stupid. That’s OK, remember we are in Bizarro content world so write something that you care about but do it quickly. The faster you crap something out the better.
Put your heart and soul into it and then load it up with fun visuals.Then prepare for your readers to load up their drawers with something else.
Now spend as much time editing that thing as you did writing it. I probably should edit out that thing about loading up your drawers, but I won’t because I thought it was pretty funny even though I am quite certain almost no one else will. See, my system works!
Fuck Grammarly. The free version blows but its free! It will edit as you go, saving you hours of effort and anxiety. The Hemingway App can eat me too. If you are worried about what grade level your articles read at, you probably mostly tested below grade level your entire life. You want to write at 8th-grade level or below. 6th grade seems to be the sweet spot for most articles. Therefore, in bizarro content world you would want to write at the opposite of that. What is the opposite of 6th grade? An article exploring that very question would be a perfect example of what I mean. This is not about artificially intellectualizing your pieces. I’m an almost never read writer in artificial intelligence and technology and write articles at the opposite of 6th-grade reading level all the time.
Now don’t spend very much time working on the title of your post. If you are anything like me (I assure you, you are not) then you will spend as little time on your title as you as you did writing and editing your post. Seriously. The title can make or break you, but fuck it. You can look at headline analyzers (people seem to like CoSchedule, then again what do people know) or just pay attention to which articles you actually click and read throughout your day, or just take the title of an existing article and wackify it somehow. For an example of this look no further then the title of the the very post you are reading. Clever, right? Seriously? am I right? No? Whatever. My genius is lost on you.
Don’t ever hit that “Ready to publish?” button at the top of your screen to see what your article will look like before publishing as it ruins the surprise. Would you click on that? Does it say what you want it to say? Does it accurately represent your content? (You’d be surprised at how many people care about this shit. In bizarro content world you do not. So forget about being funny, clever, and/or attention-grabbing. Your article title will be none of the above.) Did you include a power word? Who cares? Did you go too far and turn it into clickbait? Lucky son of a bitch.
How does your featured image look? Is it interesting and exciting? or does it look like the below?
While it does make sense to use a featured image that works with your article, you don’t need to find an image that literally represents the content that you’ve written. Find an image that evokes an emotion that works with what you’ve written. Find an engaging image that makes someone want to get more information. That can be even more powerful than a literal representation of your content. Check out the featured image of this very article for a great example of how to do the opposite of this for bizarro world content.
Images, images, images. And GIFs Oh My!
Whitespace is your friend. You want short paragraphs with lots of whitespace. Yes I know it sounds racist but I promise you it is not. You want visuals. Get some good pictures! is what I would be saying if I were some asshole who was trying to tell you how to get more page views on Medium. Fortunately for you I am not that asshole, I am a different one. This asshole says one picture per article max, don’t ever spend more then 2 minutes thinking about it. Go to some royalty free website (or not), search for something or other, take whatever crap result it spits out, done. GIFs are gay. Do not ever use them. Unless you want to be gay. Do you? Are you?
(Note to my many homosexual readers: We have had this very conversation on a number of occasions but it has been a while so probably a good time for a quick refresher. You know that I love you guys and gals. Only in a platonic way of course, none of that gay stuff. In fact I think if more people were gay the world would be a better place for everyone. Not that I am gay, I’m just saying. In any event I use the term gay in a derogatory manner because that is how it was used by my peer-group as a youngster growing up. I recognize that many of you find the term offensive and you should when other people use it. When I use it you should recognize it as hilarious and awesome. Thx for continuing to not kill me or banning me from your gay functions or areas, etc.)
Finally, when you get tired of something you are working on just freakin end it already and hit publish. In closing some more stupid shit you should do the opposite of are listed below.
Link to yourself
Choose your tags wisely
Thanks for reading! You suck!