When I was a kid, my uncle used to do magic. The best was when he’d pull coins out of our ears.
He’d open his hands and make a big production of turning his pockets inside out so we could be sure he wasn’t hiding coins.
Then he’d wave his hands and voila — he’d pull coins out of our ears.
He’d look at Mom with a mock frown and ask why there’s coins growing in our ears. We’d laugh and ask how he did it but he wouldn’t tell.
He’d just wink and say magic.
Sometimes, that’s how I felt reading posts here. I see people doing stuff and have no idea how they did that. Like the first time I saw a table of contents on a long article. Man, wish I’d known that on some of my long “how to” posts.
I looked in the help files and didn’t find anything.
Same first time I saw the bigwigs adding audio to their posts. But I couldn’t find anything, so I shrugged and figured it was the publication.
Nope. It’s not. It’s just a Chrome extension. Which means you don’t even have to remember anything. lol.
So, here’s some cool stuff I didn’t know I could do on Medium.
Maybe you didn’t know, either. Thought I’d share.
1. Make a table of contents
Wish I’d known about this one when I wrote some of my long writing help posts. Sure would have been helpful to the poor readers’ eyes.
How it works
Super simple. After you add (and activate) the Chrome plugin, a new option will appear when you click the plus sign you’d use to add an image or video on Medium. It looks like this:
→ Get the Chrome Table of Contents plugin here
2. Post an audio of your story…
This plugin, created by Play.ht allows Medium writers to add audio to their articles. And nope — you don’t have to read them. Play.ht uses the best in class Text-to-Speech voices to convert your story to audio.
According to their stats, over 3,000 writers are using the plugin, and they say it improves read-time by up to 30%. Plus, they offer stats so you can see how many people are choosing to listen instead of read.
You’ll want to watch this…(maybe open it in a new tab?)
→ Get the Chrome Audio plugin here
3. See story level engagement in stats…
The little black dots on the chart show you the days you published. Plus, there’s additional columns added to the end of your stats, where you can see story level engagement.
Medium’s running totals are for the past 30 days. So I know my “Einstein” post has received 311 views since it went up. But with the enhanced stats, I know it got 127 views and 65 reads just today.
Here’s the benefit. If you scroll down the list, you can see which of your stories are trending right now (they’ll have more views) and you can promote those on social or at the bottom of new posts to fan the views while it’s doing well.
Honestly, this plugin tends to get the hiccups sometimes, and I have to click refresh a couple of times before they load. Once they do — it’s nice to have the additional info Medium doesn’t give us.
→ Get the enhanced stats plugin here
4. See weekly, daily and hourly stats…
Have you ever wondered what the best time is to post? Well, the answer is easy. It depends. We don’t all publish in the same publications and we don’t all have the same audience. So the best time for you to publish might not be the best time for me.
Thanks to a little Chrome plugin called Better Medium Stats, you can now see how your traffic and visits play out by the week, day and even hourly.
You can sort your articles by several different metrics, and you can also see follower trends. Plus, you can export all your stats as a CSV file.
→ Get the Better Medium Stats plugin here
5. See stats on articles & publications…
Next Gen is another stats enhancement, but this one lets you see your top articles and top publications. You’ll get to see which articles/pubs get most read, most viewed, most clapped and which earn you the most.
It also gives a larger time range, daily/weekly/monthly for reads, views and claps and tells you which articles were view in which period. One you download and activate the plugin, there’s nothing else to do. It just adds the additional info to your current stats.
How to manage your Chrome plugins…
Just in case you’re not familiar with Chrome extensions, this might help. And yes, you have to have Chrome. They don’t work without Chrome.
How to install an extension.
On any extension page, you’ll see a blue “Add to Chrome” button. Just click that and the plugin (extension) will be added for you. Nice and simple.
How to manage extensions
Nice and simple, too. You can turn them on/off anytime. Use them when you want, turn off if you don’t want to see all the extra info.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click 3 dots > More tools > Extensions.
A page will open up showing your extensions.
You can toggle on/off anytime without uninstalling. Can’t hurt to check the “details” button in case there are additional setting you can play with.
Hope you find it helpful. Happy writing!
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle
— Father John Keller
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