How I Pick The Articles I Read

and how YOU can get me to click on yours…

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I am strategic when it comes to reading articles on Medium.

Mostly, because I read for two specific reasons. Reason number 1 is for pleasure, (duh) and reason number 2 is because I want to get something out of it.

We’re all busy people here, some of us are working multiple jobs, some of us have kids, families, etc. Of course, nobody wants to waste their time on things that won’t do them any good. Time is precious. Time is money. Have you watched the film, ‘In Time’ with Justin Timberlake? Think of life similar to that, time is extremely valuable and I don’t waste it, I make sure my minutes count. Which is why I don’t mindlessly scroll through Medium. I go to Medium with the intention of finding something valuable.

With that being said, I created a process for myself to find what I am looking for on Medium, quicker. The most important thing I look for on Medium is the title.

If you think about it, the general purpose of writing and reading is what?

To inform

To persuade

To entertain

When I am looking to be entertained, I will look for stories, I will look for fiction pieces, for personal life stories, etc. When I am looking to be persuaded about something, typically it will be because I am researching something. When I am looking to be informed, I am seeking knowledge. I am wanting to get something out of whatever it is that I am reading.

With that being said, the title is key for me. If you have a title that outright starts with, ‘How to…’ I am intrigued. You can have a crappy photo, but my curiosity will still be spiked because you have just told me that you want to inform me of something. If you have a crappy photo AND a crappy title, chances are I won’t look. If you have a crappy title and a snazzy photo, it’s 50/50. It’ll depend on the time, do I have the time to see if this article is something I want to look into?

The same goes for books. Self-help books? Title is key. Spike my curiosity. Compliment me, for instance, Jen Sincero has a fantastic self-help book titled, ‘You are a Badass. How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.’

First off, she just called me a badass. If I’m feeling down in the dumps and I’m looking for a self-help book, my immediate thought is, ‘Yes! You’re right. I am a badass.’ Then she follows it with, ‘how to stop doubting your greatness…’ and now I am officially hooked.

I’m writing this not to be harsh but to inform you that books are indeed judged by their covers. In Medium’s case, the title is often the cover.

As a writer, I often struggle with the titles for novels I’ve started before. Despite what people would say, I think the title is extremely important. The title is what you will be known for. The title is often what will get someone to pick up your book and flip through the pages.

So there you have it, quick mini-lesson. When writing, think about what your general purpose is and match a solid title to it!

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