Please Don’t Beg for Claps or Reads
I know the title is direct and perhaps rude to some. But we need to straighten this out. I was compelled to write on this topic after seeing series of posts on multiple Facebook groups (for Medium writers) suggesting ‘Clap for Clap’ or ‘Share your articles, and I will read them all’ or ‘Can you please check out my article and clap for it?’
I am sure you would have seen them too or participated in a few yourself. Ok honesty, I am guilty of entertaining a couple of them myself. But it’s cringe-worthy and needs to be called out. I have decided — I am not going to get into this rabbit hole.
You are paid for reading minutes and not for claps.
Thirty people clapping on your story doesn’t translate into 30 people reading it. If they are not reading it or benefitting from your article, think again, what was the entire point of publishing that article.
Your focus shifts from writing to marketing
I understand the pain of drafting a 1000 word article and getting less than 50 views sometimes. But, this process of socialising with a hundred people might earn you a few hundred claps but at what cost — you are not helping yourself or your readers or the writer’s community. When you do your bit to appreciate quality when you find it, trust in the process that people will do the same. I bet you won’t find a single article with more than 2k claps that doesn’t have great content.
It is not sustainable. You need a long-term view.
If you want to develop astounding writing skills, then focus on the process. Fall in love with the entire process of content creation rather than those green notifications. Understand that seeing those notifications have a similar effect on your mind that casino players have when they start seeing money on their bets. When you get instant rewards, your brain releases the hormone ‘dopamine’ giving us this momentary pleasure leaving you asking for more. But it shifts your focus from the actual reason you started blogging. Maybe money for a few or a passion for others. Whatever be the reason, by employing these cheap tactics, you can never be a top blogger. You can have a few hundred followers but never reach the scales.
Mediocrity breeds mediocrity.
Lastly, if we all start scratching each other’s back, soon the platform would be promoting mediocre content shooing away active readers who buy the subscription. And with fewer subscribers, there’s lesser revenue to share. It would only mean the pie gets smaller for all of us. And that’s a lose-lose game. I am sure we don’t want that. So, let’s value the reader and promote articles that you have genuinely found interesting.
What’s the alternative then?
We all want our articles to be accepted by big publications, curated by Medium and to reach a wider audience. The only way to do that is by building more quality content. That’s all there is to it. I must have read a million writing advice and trust me; they are all tactical — ‘Focus on your title.’ ‘Your first few opening sentences should be strong.’ ‘Use images.’ Don’t get me wrong — they are all good advice to upskill in writing, but they won’t make you a top writer. You need to be You.
Focus on your story and content, don’t bother if you didn’t use a fancy image or your title didn’t score a perfect 75 on the headline app. If your story is powerful, no one can stop you from succeeding. They will find the value sooner or later.