Medium’s Time Stats Are Demoralizing

Here’s how I’m trying to keep myself from obsessing about it

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Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

Views and Reads

Total views and reads are still valuable statistics that provide feedback on how engaging my topic, title, and introduction are. If I can convert a click into a read, I feel like I’m doing a good job. To that end, the read ratio remains my favorite tool for tracking how interesting my content actually is to the people who are seeing it in emails, social media feeds, and Medium’s topics pages (when I get so lucky).

Member Reading Time

The reading time averages can be hard on the ol’ ego, but the total member reading time is the boost I need when I’m letting anxiety about how my writing is being received take over my thoughts. Sure, an average reading time of just over a minute on an essay that should theoretically take eight minutes to read stings a bit, but knowing that Medium members have spent a combined total of nearly two hours so far in the month of November reading that essay feels really good. That’s so much time that strangers are spending reading my words and it reminds me to be grateful that anyone is reading them at all.

Traffic Sources

Traffic sources are an important piece of information that let me know how well my (extremely limited) marketing and social media skills are faring in promoting my work. I know that clicks from my social media accounts are primarily from family, friends, and acquaintances who are reading to support me, and I’m eternally appreciative each time those particular numbers climb. Internal clicks are helpful in determining how effective curation is for my work, particularly as I’m still building a base of followers here. It can also be helpful to track how well stories that I link to do in terms of referral clicks.

Readers’ Interests

This statistic isn’t exactly useful in the same way the others are, but it lets me know that my writing is reaching the people I want it to be reaching. I mostly write about health and fitness, so I want those topics to be reflected in my readers’ interests. This lets me know that I’m having an impact where I most hope to have it, even if it doesn’t affect my Partner Program earnings or the number of readers who are engaging with my work directly.

Follow along on my quest to make diet culture another millennial casualty. Find me on Insta @life_after_diets

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