5 Ugly Truths Why You’re Not Getting More Claps on Medium

The spirit of entrepreneurship is still alive today and continues to thrive with lots of potentials. From bloggers selling online courses and making money from advertising to social media influencers raking in cash from huge followership and sponsorships, today’s culture is creating a more level playing field for anyone with the determination and drive to succeed.

This isn’t to say risks aren’t involved and there are no guarantees anyone will be successful. According to Forbes, “8 out of 10 businesses fail every year” while Inc.com states “96% of businesses fail within 10 years”.

“80% of business fail every year”

So how does one ensure the survival of their business model or how does one launch such a career to start a “money-making platform”? First, you must determine “What value you are intending to create and for whom”. If you do not understand your customers and what they are looking for, then it is a difficult uphill battle for success.

In the early 2000s, PC’s were expensive and many households found difficulties affording one for their families. Michael Dell understood what the customers were asking for — a low priced PC. They wanted a computer that they could comfortably afford. Mr. Dell’s understanding and acknowledging the market paid off big. He built affordable PCs and laptops that quickly gave rise to his billion dollar business.

By translating this business lesson over to writing, you can increase your audience and participation to achieve more earnings through Medium, blogging, or other thriving platforms.

More writers are turning to the online environment. But is this online market flooded with talented writers? As a believer in the free market, if you deliver quality content that delivers value, then you can break through this tough market.

With a platform like Medium, it isn’t a “be all, end all” but a starting point. It provides everyone a platform to write with the potential of being recognized. Also, it gives you a chance to work on your craft of becoming a stronger and better writer.

Below, you will learn several steps to be successful in writing online so you can earn an income.

Step 1: Grab the audiences’ attention

You can have the best quality research and superb photography skills, but if you are not creating an eye-grabbing title, the audience will skim over your material and your article will be blurred out with the others.

Neil Patel, as SEO mogul, writes “8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 people will read your post. By crafting a magnetic headline, you’ll increase the number of people that will actually read your content”. (Source: https://www.quicksprout.com/2014/07/03/the-formula-for-a-perfect-headline/)

So what makes a great headline? Research and statistics show that by starting your headline with an odd number versus an even number, it is 20% more likely to be clicked on by readers. Starting your headline with a number helps the reader to visualize a list for quick scanning and reading.

CoSchedule completed some additional research which determined most titles with approximately 6 words, competed better than more or fewer words. The reasoning is still unclear but the statistics reflect readers prefer to read an article with this many words in the title.

Following the title number, you will need to include a Superlative word such as “Incredible, Best, etc” as 51% of respondents prefer this format, according to Conductor. (https://www.conductor.com/) Also, consider using negative Superlatives as a study conducted by Outbrain showed the audience selected negative superlatives headlines outperformed positive headlines by 30%. (sour https://www.outbrain.com/blog/

Step 2: Post High-Quality Content

Now that you have attracted your audience, you don’t want to chase them off. You need to have the readers engage with your material. It is my opinion that if you deliver quality content to your readers, then the viewers will reward you with a clap. These claps turn into money so obviously, the more claps you can achieve, the higher your earnings.

This is why just writing content to write content usually fails to reach a wider audience. Anyone can post articles. Where the real “value” comes into play, is when your audience is captured by your content and you have them wanting to read more.

To add value to your material, you need to build trust with your audience. This is why many well-known publishers have done so well over the years. They have built a strong following because their readers have learned the author’s style and feel they can trust him or her. This is what can build you up as an expert author.

This is extremely difficult if you are a new author/writer. In the beginning, you must demonstrate such trust, as well as, reflect your expertise and knowledge in a subject. Show your readers that you have a deep understanding of a particular niche and be genuine.

Step 3: Know Your Niche

Let’s face it…not all subjects are exciting to read about. While you may be an expert in a particular field, is it something that thousands or millions of readers will be interested in? This isn’t to hurt your feelings but to write about the truth. It will be very difficult to make money from writing if you are writing about a boring topic because readers may be looking for something exciting.

There are two great sources to turn too to discover what is trending and what is the latest fad: Google Trends and Buzzsumo. Google Trends highlights the top trending web searches based on the data you ask it to provide. Buzzsumo helps content writers perform their best because it will analyze content on the web and then deliver high-quality data for you to examine.

For instance, when I browse for blogging, I received over 76,000 results. I take this data and learn as much as I can about the top 20 results.

Using these results, try to determine a trend or similarities. This will guide you to your next step in research.

Step 4: Build a Competitive Edge

Your content matters, as we mentioned above. Planning your content strategically from your competitors will set you apart and help you stand out. By over-delivering value, you are not only building trust with your readers, but it will have them coming back for more because they know they can get outstanding and helpful content from you.

This will position you as the leading authority, expert, or specialist in your determined subject-matter. Take a look at Pat Flynn. If you haven’t heard of him, be sure to search his name on the web. He has earned millions from his online businesses because he has built trust with his followers and he delivers above-and-beyond content that not only helps his readers but has positioned him as a leading authority in blogging.

Next, make it clear what your mission is about. Think about Geico’s motto “15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more…” or Disney’s plan to make “Dreams come true”.

Step 5: Build a Raving Fan Base

To build a large following and fan base, your approach must be similar to your high-quality content. You must over-deliver! Exceed your customer’s expectations and consistently deliver.

Take a look at popular YouTube Channels, Instagram moguls, etc. The reason many of these online entrepreneurs have large followings is that they are delivering something that inspires the audience. When you inspire, your fans will follow.

Creating wealth online has never been easier but is latent with land mines. With the ever-changing online landscape, it is possible for anyone to become a success and earn money online if one is willing to do the steps outlined above. Give your readers a reason to WANT to come back.