I Totally SUCK At Getting Claps

Only one of my 800 articles has a good conversion rate

If I were a terrible person, this article would be called “One WEIRD TRICK to getting clappers on Medium!,” but I don’t actually have any secret knowledge.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

I’m terrible at converting “readers” to “fans.” I’m pretty happy with my overall viewership month-to-month, which has stabilized just north of 120,000 people. And I’m pretty happy that a little over half of them consistently read to the end of the story.

But only about .2% actually click the clapping button when they get there. That’s not even an underestimate…that’s the actual number.

I average about 120 clapping button clicks off of 60,000 readers.

If I were relying entirely on Medium as my sole source of income…I’d be in serious trouble, because clapping ties directly into revenue off of paywalled stories, and clapping on my free stories helps drive more traffic to the rest of my content.

Even my most popular articles are stuck in this dark clapping hole, so there’s no easy way to discern what I’m doing “wrong” other than having conversations with myself where I talk about how hard engagement is, and how I too sometimes feel too lazy to click a button.

And then there’s this hilarious outlier that haunts my dreams.

My best clap converter is a story called “The One Exception to the Apple Clicks Rule.” A full 60 percent of the people who read it decided to click the clapping button! That’s 58.8 percent more than the average!

Of course, only 25 people read it….

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But still!!! Most of those people decided it was worth clicking the button!

The article isn’t anything special, as its overall low traffic and average full read rate show. It’s just a rambling thing where I give some insight into my numbers…much like this very article.

I’ve written several of these, and for whatever reason, this single one about Apple articles struck just the right chord to get a lot of people to click that clapping button, relatively.

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Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

I don’t know what to do with this information.

This one outlier is nothing but frustration given human form. Or digital form, I guess.

Medium articles aren’t people.

Either this particular article is a fluke, and I’m just lost in a sea of hopeless non-engagement, or I did some mysterious thing “right” in this one, and I need to distill that magical formula into everything else I write.

I don’t actually care about clapping numbers. Except I totally do.

It would be much easier to let this all go if the Apple clicks article had completely fallen on its face, instead of just mostly falling on its face and then randomly outperforming my entire catalog in one specific statistical way.

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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

What follows is a new take on my typical article footer. And then there’s a clapping button at the bottom you can use, if you want. But there’s a 99 percent chance that you don’t!

You can find that catalog of other Medium writing that no one claps for here, my Twitter here, and my personal site here.

The odds are good that if you click on one of those, you’re going to want to ask me a random question about headphones at some point. I only reply to Medium comments on Fridays now, so Twitter and my personal site are the best ways to ask me things if you need an answer yesterday.

Written by

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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