How? Through The Psychology of Social Proof
In the past few days I have read several articles in which the authors say that the claps you get make NO difference to the amount you earn.
I totally disagree, for two reasons.
- First of all the authors are NOT on Medium’s staff of programmers, so how do they know.
- They are guessing, but offering up PROOF with two maybe three examples of how they determined they didn’t get paid for claps. Sorry, but one example is not proof, neither is two examples. The fact is, I can find an almost exact same example in my stats, but I can also find an example that proves the exact opposite.
Claps absolutely factor into how much you get paid on Medium.
Claps may or may NOT be included in the pay algorithm.
But … and this is a honking BIG but …
Claps absolutely determine your monthly payment because they influence the number of people who are “attracted” to your articles.
Hidden under the claps, you find FANS. And hidden in each writers stats you find read ratios. Both Fans and Read Ratios ARE included in the pay algorithms.
Here is an example.
When I ask the two questions … answer off the top of your head and answer honestly.
You are bouncing around Medium, reading articles, bumping into more articles and reading the ones that interest you. You find an author you like and follow through to their profile, scrolling through the first dozen or so titles.
You see an article that “looks” interesting.
It has 50 claps. It is two months old. Are you going to open it and read it?
Below it, you see another article. It too “looks” interesting.
It has 2.5k claps. It is two months old. Are you going to open it and read it?
I’m going to “guess” that 90% of you chose to read the article with the 2500 claps. It has 2450 MORE claps than the other article, it MUST be better.
And YOU are educated readers. You already KNOW that the number of claps are not as important and the number of READERS or FANS.
Let’s look behind the scene:
The article with 50 claps? Has 50 fans, all of whom were exceedingly stingy with their claps.
The article with 2.5k (2500) claps? Has 50 fans, all of whom were exceedingly generous with their claps … all the way to 50.
The “social proof” of 50 vs 2500 is what readers see.
It is what influences them to click on an article and read it. The reality of 50 fans is what Medium sees … it takes Fans + read ratio + ??? into account to determine the pay rate for each article.
The article with 50 claps is going to die a slow horrid death.
The article with 2500 claps is probably going to keep on going. It will grow slowly or rapidly depending on what the writer does to promote it. Writers can “feature” the article, they can promote it on Twitter, Pinterest, in Facebook. They can promote it on their blog and in their own newsletters. They could get curated and featured. They could get a page one ranking on Google.
Here’s the bottom line:
They DO Make A Difference In How Much A Writer Makes
While the number of claps “may or may not” DIRECTLY factor into how much an article makes, claps definitely INFLUENCE and create momentum because of Social Proof. The higher the number of claps, the longer the article will continue to be seen, read, and clapped some more.
Further more, the more articles a writer has that are over 1000 claps, the more their work gets read. Again, this is social proof … it is an equal opportunity beast, working for or against you!
What IS Social Proof?
Social proof, a term coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book, Influence, is also known as informational social influence. It describes a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation. –Wikipedia
HOW Do You Get More Claps?
Nothing new or magical here:
1. Start with GOOD articles.
2. Post regularly. Keep on posting!
3. Blast out each new article to your audience (Twitter, FB, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blog, etc.)
4. Grow your Medium followers list.
5. Post on publications (your own or others).
6. Participate in the Medium community. (Read other writer’s posts, highlight, clap (don’t be stingy) and comment)
7. When you see an article that starts to take off with claps in the first few days … do EVERYTHING you can do to accelerate it and keep it going.
8. If your article is languishing with 50 or fewer claps. Try giving it a new title, sub-title and image. If that doesn’t work, take it down, save it and try again in a few months.
At the beginning of this article I said …
First of all the authors are NOT on Medium’s staff of programmers, so how do they know.
Well … guess what. I don’t work for Medium. However, all YOU have to do is go and look at the claps and fans of the top ten writers on Medium, to see the PROOF!
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