This game is unpredictable.
By “Top Performing” I mean top earners.
I decided to measure the performance of a story on Medium based on the revenue it generates and not the views or reads it gets since this criterion seems to better connect to the idea of publishing on a subscription-based platform.
Worth mentioning that top reads are not necessarily top earners, which is why you cannot predict a story’s success based on these metrics.
The reason I decided to track both categories of content on Medium is to better understand the specific of the platform and its audience. This will allow me to assess my content’s link to the platform better and decide the next steps.
What I discovered in the process:
- Out of the 35 stories I posted in May, only a few gained traction. This is not to say that they will stay like this forever, I’ve seen posts pick up weeks after being published.
- None of the top-performing stories were curated.
- None of the stories were published in a Medium publication other than my own. I never submit my articles to publications.
- Stories that received the most engagement — views, reads, claps, even member reading time— were not necessarily among the top earners. Or, to be more specific, these metrics do not directly determine which stories will perform best.
- Stories centered around the topic I decided to focus on in May performed best, cumulatively. Actually, 3 of the 5 top-performing stories belong to a single sub-niche. But, funny enough, the number 1 story is not among them.
- 60% of the cumulative revenue from the 5 stories, was generated by the top 2 stories.
- The top 5 Stories are responsible for 49% of the overall earnings from stories in May. This excludes earnings from membership referrals.
This being said, here we go.
These are my 5 Top Performing Stories for May, in reverse order of their monthly results.
Published on May 11, 2022.
Published on May 9, 2022.
Published on May 18, 2022.
Published on May 10, 2022.
Published April 7, 2022.
The Number 1 Story was also Number 1 in April. It only got a handful of claps and responses, yet subscribed members read it the most.
As I was saying earlier, these engagement metrics alone are not direct predictors of revenue on the platform, so the top-performing list is a surprise for the writer as well.
We’ll see what the future brings.
Thank you for reading.