To Write Something Outrageous on Medium
Get lost in an ocean of words or learn to play basketball
If you have been writing for a while on Medium and you haven’t experienced getting even a single article curated, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. It only means your writing doesn’t fit the bill for the majority of the readers at present.
Last week, I saw a terrific writer express her frustration and annoyance after getting dumped by a publication and was told that it was because her writing was boring and that no one was ever going to read her work. That was harsh.
But there could be some truth in it.
Not that her work was bad, but it’s that the people reading only see three things before they dismiss our work.
- Story title
I’ve seen a lot of Medium articles whose titles are clickbait-y and those are usually the ones that are performing well. Well, they get all the clicks they need but they also usually have great content. These articles wouldn’t have done so great if all they have were catchy titles. I have to pay more attention to how I construct my story titles from here on given that I am not writing for my own consumption alone.
Of course there’s also the subtitle, but the readers won’t bother read that if the main title didn’t struck them with lightning already. It’s still a strategic offensive counterattack though. So I’ll make sure that if this Medium game is a game of basketball, and my first throw with the title didn’t make it, I’ll make a rebound with my subtitle.
2. Feature photo
Sure, I can select from a variety of wonderful photos from Unsplash for free but how is it related to the story I’m trying to tell? How does it go with the story title? If they’re a perfect match, then I am already scoring two points here. If not, I should select a more appropriate photo for the message I’m trying to convey. Pictures are eye candies to the readers. If they like what they see, they’ll think they might also like the story they are yet about to read.
I thought it’s only men that fall in love at first sight, but apparently all readers do. I probably have to show them my best foot or the side of my cheek that has the dimple. This is how I’ll be using feature photos.
Oh, come on! What if they don’t know me? Would they care reading my stories? And what can I do with my name, right? It’s not like I can change it into some popular guy’s name so people would read me. That’s so out-of-the-line, but I’m starting to wonder if somebody ever did that.
I’m not planning to.
I’m just curious.
In the game of basketball, every player gets a number. People won’t remember anybody’s number until they make their first shoot. Exception for those who are given great looks, their shirt numbers are easily remembered whether they score or not. It’s going to be the same here on Medium. If readers have never read me before, I can only score using my title and my feature photo.
My name will only start to make scores once I’ve made lots of scores with my title, subtitle, feature photo, and of course — the content I’m sharing, which only becomes relevant once they decide to read me.
I thought this was about writing something outrageous, but nothing from all the things mentioned above is outrageous at all.
Do I need to write an outrageous title? Use an outrageous photo? Have an outrageous name? And finally create content that is outrageous?
How outrageous can we get?
No, we don’t. Outrageous is for those who wanna play loud. They might even get a red card after three fouls.
I believe for now we just have to write and score.
If you scored in one game, that’s good. If you missed and lost one game, don’t sulk but get ready for the next game.