5 Tips for Attention-Grabbing Medium Posts


The Comms Planning team at BBDO has been writing Medium posts for the last 6 months and are seeing encouraging results. As part of our mission of “sharing knowledge through collective experience from the BBDO New York Communications Planning team,” this meta post will share what we’ve learned this far in hopes of being useful for anyone writing a strategy, marketing, or agency Medium post.

Stats From The Last 90 Days

  • 12,712 Views (up 163% from the previous 90 days)
  • 12,459 Minutes Read (up 79% )
  • 83 Average Unique Daily Visitors (up 255%)

Now that we have a wealth of writing, and a small sample size of Medium Blog posts, we set out to answer the following questions.

  • Is there an optimal headline length for Medium Posts?
  • Which words appear in the headlines of the most viewed Medium Posts
  • Does including numbers in your Medium Post headline help view count?
  • What is the optimal Medium Posts length (”Minutes to Read”)?
  • What is the best way to format a Medium Post introduction?

Is there an optimal headline length for Medium Posts?

It appears that there is not.

Our posts averaged 54 characters in their headlines. When Medium posts were sorted based on the number of views (which would theoretically make for “good” headlines), there were no major variations in headline character count.


Which words appear in the headlines of the most viewed Medium Posts?

It should come as no shock that our top viewed content used words like comms, advertising, creative, work, and planning. Those words uniquely appeared in our top 20 most viewed posts, but not our middle 20 or bottom 20.

Common unique words in our lesser viewed posts related, unexpectedly, to Facebook, or social media. Are people tired of social media posts, or perhaps, is there too much competition in that space?

In looking at the unique pairs of words that appear in our top 20 blog posts, what stands out are the phrases “Guide to” and “Examples of.” Conversely, the middle and bottom 20 posts use the phrase “How to” instead.


Does including numbers in your Medium Post headline help view count?

The title of this articles gives away the answer! It appears that, yes, including numbers in our headlines attracted more views, based on our current top viewed posts.

4 of our top 10 most viewed Medium blog post articles had headlines that included a number, while most other posts did not.


What is the optimal Medium Posts length (“Minutes to Read”)?

Average Read Time for our posts is 3.2 minutes, but our top 10 posts are an entire minute shorter at 2.2 minutes.

In this case, posts were viewed by Read Ratio, indicating that people who saw the content read it through. Here, it appears that shorter is absolutely better.

It should be noted, and perhaps surprisingly, that the post with the top view count also had the lowest read ratio: Brand Actions Library — 75 Examples for Creative Inspiration. Knowing this, I feel less distressed writing a long post right now.


What is the best way to format a Medium Post introduction?

All signs seem to point to starting with an introductory paragraph, not an image! Looking at posts with the top Read Ratio, 4 of 5 used an introductory paragraph first.

There were multiple ways that people have formatted their posts, for example, with a subhead, a link then a paragraph, or most commonly, with a photo first. In fact, the majority of our posts were formatted to be photo-first and the introductory paragraphs seemed to be a rarity. Our sample size for this question was the smallest of the set, so this is an area to explore in the future, for sure.