- What are my content marketing goals?
- How do Medium stats serve my content marketing goals?
- What would be the ideal Medium stats?
- How can I track extra Medium stats?
- How could I use the extra Medium stats to optimize my content marketing goals?
Medium Stats vs Overall Content Marketing Goals
In the last two weeks, I analyzed my Medium stats and wrote a series of posts about the lessons I learned from them.
Medium provides us with three stats: views, reads, and fans. This is a limited data set. I could make use of more stats.
I want to determine which stats would be useful for my online content marketing business. In order to do that, I need to write down my content marketing goals first.
The Pitfalls of Optimizing Your Stats
It is possible to optimize a stat at the expense of others. This can happen on different levels.
- You can optimize the number of views at the expense of fans. This can happen if you write a clickbait headline and the content of the post doesn’t satisfy the readers.
- You can optimize the number of Medium followers at the expense of the email newsletter subscriptions.
- You can optimize the email newsletter subscriptions at the expense of annual revenue.
- You can optimize the annual revenue at the expense of lifetime revenue.
What is my ultimate business goal?
My ultimate business goal is to optimize the lifetime revenue. Now, let’s look at a possible roadmap to realize that goal.
The typical online content marketer offers products and services at different price levels. For example:
- $10K+ USD
- $1K – $10K USD
- $100 – $1K USD
- $10 – $100 USD
- $1 – $10 USD
They offer free content to promote their paid products and services.
- Online course
- Email newsletter
- Social Media
It’s relatively easy to build an audience and create customers at the lower levels. It gets harder to build an audience and create customers at the higher levels.
For example, it’s easier to get followers on social media than converting them to email newsletter subscribers.
The followers and customers at the higher levels have greater value for the business compared to the ones at the lower levels.
The goal is to get the attention of the people at the lower levels and move them to the higher levels.
Tiered Approach vs. Ultra-Premium Approach
Some online marketers, like Dan Peña, give away everything for free except for the top tier products and services. They advertise their top tier products and services in all of their communications.
Other online marketers have offers at each level. They advertise only their free and introductory products to the public.
They advertise the top tier products and services to the customers that already bought the introductory products. They look at the customers at each level as prospects for the next higher level.
Both models have their merits. Both models take time to build.
Starting from the Bottom of the Pyramid
At this moment, my focus is on the bottom of the pyramid. This can also be considered as the foundation of the business.
I’m working on growing the audience of my blog and email newsletter. My goal is to grow both numbers 10% every week for the next 14 months. That makes 100K Medium followers and 20K email newsletter subscribers.
Too Early for Paid Product Offers
At this moment, I don’t expect to make a living with paid products such as a $29 USD ebook. Therefore, I don’t create paid products now.
It takes time
- To learn copywriting for web and mobile,
- To find the right niche,
- To build an audience,
- To build a stack of products and services,
- And to monetize that stack.
Still a Lot to Learn
I restarted my blog in November 2017. I published a blog post per day in the first five months. It was overwhelming to publish a post per day and I’m glad I did it.
I learned a lot and I’m still learning about copywriting for web and mobile, finding the right niche, and building an audience.
Medium is a great social media channel for bloggers. Medium’s visitors want to read blog posts. That’s not the case with other major social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
You can import your blog posts to Medium and learn from the feedback you receive from Medium in the form of stats and responses.
The Value of the Lower Levels
As I figure out the lower levels of the stack, I’ll move to the higher levels.
The lower levels are not only valuable to build an audience. They also serve as the foundation of the products and services on the higher levels.
The ideas developed on the lower levels will serve as the foundation for the products and services on the higher levels.
Now that we have the big picture of the business, let’s get into how the Medium stats serve it.
How Do My Medium Stats Serve My Content Marketing Goals?
It doesn’t make sense to optimize the Medium stats, if they don’t serve the overall business. The connection between the Medium stats and the content marketing goals is the Medium followers and email newsletter subscribers.
I need people to view my Medium posts, read them, clap for them, AND follow me on Medium and subscribe to my email newsletter.
Medium provides me with the stats of views, reads, and fans. They don’t provide me with the contribution of each post to the Medium followers and email newsletter subscribers.
What Would Be the Ideal Medium Stats?
The conversion of a Medium reader to a newsletter subscriber is unclear to me.
I’d like to know the chain of events between a Medium visitor clicking the first post of mine and following me on Medium and signing up to the email newsletter.
- Which posts did they view?
- How did they react to those posts?
- Which posts did they read, clap for, highlight, and bookmark?
- Which post caused them to break the chain?
If you know a way of tracking that information, please let me know in the comments. That might be possible via embedding some tracking code in the Medium posts. I’m not sure if Medium allows that though.
If I had that information,
- I’d write more posts like the ones that resulted in new followers and subscribers.
- I’d promote the high performing posts in other social media channels.
- I’d remove the posts that broke the chain.
- I’d stop writing posts like the ones that broke the chain.
What Medium Does
Medium gives me some hints about how people followed me in their weekly stats emails. They give the top 3 locations people followed me that week.
That list usually includes my profile page and two posts. This information is helpful, but it doesn’t provide the whole picture. It only provides the final step in a chain of events.
What Medium Could Do
As an alternative, Medium could provide that information as a paid extra. That would be a way of making money for Medium.
At the moment, I try to derive this information from my weekly Medium stats. Needless to say, I don’t think that this method is accurate.
What I Could Do
One improvement, I could do is to use customized links from Medium to my blog. At the moment, I use standard links to my blog posts and newsletter subscription form.
I could customize those links so that I know from which Medium post a visitor came to my blog. That could give me an idea about the following.
- Should I link to my blog posts or to my Medium posts in my Medium posts?
- Which Medium posts perform better?
The stats provided by Medium give limited information about how people follow me on Medium and sign up to my email newsletter.
There are some questions I’d like to have answered. Some of those questions could be answered easily by customizing the links that I use.
I don’t have clear answers to others such as tracking the Medium post views that lead to Medium follows and newsletter subscriptions.
- Use customized links in Medium posts.
- Measure the impact of each link.
- Find ways of answering the open questions.
- Do you know a way to measure Medium stats on individual user level? For example, the posts consumed before a reader decides to follow a writer?
- Do you use other stats than the ones provided by Medium?
- If so, how do you track and use those stats?
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.