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Got $22 For A Post: Here’s What I Learned

The Daily Grind #74

This morning I decided to look at my payment progress. It’s not often that I look at it, especially since recently, my earnings have dropped to laughably low levels.

It can be a bit discouraging — like you don’t want to open your bank account or credit card statement just because you might disappoint yourself.

But today, I was a little more excited especially since one of my more recent posts did particularly well. In a sense, it went a little more viral.

Here’s the post.

I looked at the payment and noticed it’s made $22 so far, elevenfold my second highest earning article this month thus far.

Needless to say, I’m impressed and happy. But as a writer, it’s also important to look at that growth and figure out one thing:

Why did this happen?

Was It The Title And Picture?

Judging by the fact it’s gotten a decent amount of views it goes to show that people are actually clicking on the article. Views on Medium aren’t the impressions but people actually clicking through, even if they immediately exit the article.

The title itself posed a question and the picture of me I think does count for something.

After all, writers like Tiffany Sun and Nicolas Cole, have a brand around taking pictures of themselves. It’s something I too want to be getting into more and more as I grow.

But going back to the title the biggest thing is that it raises an air of curiosity. It stirs a much deeper emotion than feelings of happiness and sadness. Over this past week, I’ve been reading a few articles and I can’t say for certain every time that there was much emotion on my end. While the information is good, on a first impression, there may not be something as captivating as some of Tiffany or Nicolas’s posts that I’ve read in the past.

How you can achieve this I believe comes down to asking two simple questions:

How do I feel when I write this headline?


If I read this title, would I read this?

Our emotions are pulled into the writing and the title that we create. If we focus purely on spitting out piece after piece, then we’re not human, we become machines. Simple. Dull.

While some industries prefer that in some cases, that’s not really good on a creative standpoint.

So Was It The Content?

The content delivered.

Judging by the fact that over 50% of the people who clicked through actually read the entire post.

That’s impressive by my standards as the last viral post I had had a much smaller readership (about 30–40%).

The content obviously feeds into the title, so clearly, the title I wrote was on a subject that people wanted to read. In this case, it revolved around sleep and why so many people are obsessed with living the #entrepreneurlife when the reality is drastically different.

I also took some time to do research. Mind you not a lot, but a few links here and there seem to go a long way. And despite having links there, people were still committed to reading the entire thing and listening to what I had to write.

Of course, our content has to deliver. But it has to do that in a certain way. I enjoyed that style of writing for that particular article.

It allowed me to look at something that may be common or at least on peoples minds, and present something that made more sense.

I don’t believe in every person waking up at 5 am as “winning”. As I outline in the post, that reality can be quite harsh if you push yourself through that. It’s obtainable for sure, but for many people, it makes no sense to do this.

It put me in a state where I was brushing against the grain, which is what I want to be doing as a writer. I want to be questioning a number of things. And I think my writing is evolving into this.

Mainly because I feel so compelled to write about something else in this manner.

This is key because again, our emotions feed into the writing. If I’m having fun writing, then that’ll be conveyed in my care for the content and what I choose to type and present.

Or Maybe It’s To Do With Presentation?

After all, from the 309 people that read, I’ve got 30 fans, about 10% of those who read. That’s impressive and quite typical for a post I find. But then that raises the question of why did they clap?

Perhaps it was that humour or little witty quips I made?

Perhaps it was how I presented everything?

Maybe some of those people clapped because they saw the headline, clapped, and then left?

Either way, it’s hard to tell what compels people to clap. Unless they actually tell you. But who does that?

Instead, I like to look at it more so as overall presentation. I was able to convey my points in a clear way and keep the conversation going. Because of this, people were able to read through word by word and a good portion of them agreed with the points made. So much so, that they clapped and thus paid me for publishing my thoughts.

Or Maybe I’m Reading Too Much Into This?

I’m not doubting myself and taking a step back. I know that doesn’t work.

Instead, it’s important to muddle this over since this is a massive outlier for me. But at the same time, the post I made has gotten clearer for me what I need to do in the future.

Writing is an experiment for those who are looking to make a living with it. It is certainly possible to make it as a writer today. But it’s seriously difficult. It takes a lot of experimentation.

And that’s something I’m willing to do.

To your growth!

Eric S Burdon

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