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How To Make Medium’s Algorithm Go “Hmmm!” and Get Distributed Beyond Your Following

  • 4 min read

This is super simple and so important to know.

It’s not really a secret that algorithms love engagement.

My husband participated in a training on “machine learning” this spring for his full-time job.

It was mind-blowing.

One of the things that stuck in my head was how important engagement is.

In the past Medium writers were paid based on the number of claps.

Since a lot of people tried to game the system by clapping for each other without really reading the work, Medium changed its system.

Now we get paid for reading time.

Did you know that increasing the time people actually spend reading your stories, claps, comments, and mentions is crucial?

The more people clap and comment, the more relevant is your post for Medium’s machine learning algorithms!

This means you don’t have to build up a bunch of subscribers for years as some Top Writers did.

When you’re just starting out with 100 followers, that’s totally fine.

The most important thing is to have real followers. Followers who like your content.

Because if ten people click on your story and read almost the whole thing, Medium’s algorithm goes…

“Hmmmm! Nice average reading time! We should show this to people who aren’t following this person!”

When those people see it on their feed under “For you”

…and they read a lot of the story (clap and comment)….

Medium’s algorithm goes:

“Hmmm! We should show it to even more people in our network!”

Things that make Medium’s algorithm go “Hmmmm!”

Since the algorithm biases for engagement, it’s crucial to write stories that really add value so that people read them.

When people read it, this tells Medium’s algorithm it’s worth reading.

Since Medium has a “reader-first approach” and the platform exists to make the reader happy (as Tony Stubblebine said), it’s all about how they interact with your content.

First and foremost it’s about read ratio (which you can check on your stats page):

and (paying) Member reading time:

Then, if ten people clap, you’ll get a specific notification via email:

Congrats, this notification is powerful. Let’s celebrate!

It helps you to get distributed further… and further …. and further.

Medium’s Help Desk shared with me

“Stories that have high-level engagement do have a greater change of increased distribution to readers who have shown interest in similar stories and topics.”

So when you receive an email notification about 10, 50, 100, or 1,000 raving fans, this is AMAZING and will boost the visibility of your story.

For more in-depth insights and tips to get distributed beyond your following check out this new story:

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