My story got "boosted" on Medium. It know it should make me happy, but it made me sad
Here's what happened. With screencaps.
Monday evening, I got an email from Medium saying my story How To Use ChatGPT To Turn Terrible Titles Into Awesome Headlines was selected for a Boost.
It was like, 7:30 in the evening here. 9:30 Eastern time. Which seemed like a weird time to get an email saying my story got boosted, but sure. I’ll take it. lol.
That’s when I realized how instantly I think of you.
Not even kidding.
My first thought when I got the email was that I had to run screencap where the story was “before” the boost so I can share before and after pics with y’all on Substack. lol.
Here’s what my stats looked like before the boost…
Which is honestly, kind of pathetic. The story had already been up 3 days and only had 567 views and 203 reads.
I was hoping for a “big” boost…
When Tony first introduced the new “boost,” he said boosted stories will get anywhere from 500 extra views to 100,000 extra views.
“How big is the Boost? We had a soft launch for the Boost for a few weeks, so we could test the algorithmic changes. In that period, we’ve seen boosts between 500 views and 100,000 views. Our goal is that every Boosted story should get at least 500 extra views within the first week.” — Tony Stubblebine (source)
So I crossed my fingers and watched.
Turned out, it was not a big boost…
I know he said “within the first week” but 48 hours later, it nosedived again. See?
Here’s the result on Thursday night…
I don’t know who’s seen 100K extra views with a boost, but not me. lol.
My story went from 567 views before the boost to 2K after. Some of those are views I’d have gotten anyway, so I figure the boost probably sent about 1000 views, give or take.
But also? Read rates suck. Sure, I got a thousand or so more views, but only an extra 350 reads. And the read rate dropped from 36% before the boost to 28% after.
Can I show you something?
Here’s my stories last July. Ignore the one that’s a note to the editors of my pub.
Here’s last May…
And last April… almost a year ago…
I know I should be happy I was chosen for a boost, but honestly, it just makes me sad…
Tony said boosts are selective. He explained that the problem with curation in the past was that too much was curated so curation didn’t really make a difference.
That’s why getting a “boost” is going to be selective. At least that’s what he said.
I know I should be happy one of my stories was chosen for a boost. But when I saw the little spike, followed by the nosedive?
It just made me sad.
Once upon a time, I didn’t need a “boost” to get a thousand views. I could do that all by myself. Write something people want to read and hit publish. Voila. Done.
Doesn’t seem to work that way anymore. Now I need a “boost” to get a fraction of the views I used to get before boosting was a thing.
It feels a lot like the writing on the wall. You know?
Have you been boosted? If yes, how did it go?
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Linda, I get your disappointment and it makes complete sense, and anyway a big part of Tony is that 1) he's a salesman 2) he's delusional and 3) he's hoping for the best. So take what he says with a grain of salt or the extra pennies you might earn.
But my other reaction is that I would kill for your stats. You've spent years developing your following and even more years developing your trade. You are one of the finest writers I routinely read. I, on the other had, am early on in my writing journey (let's forget that I am 65). So kudos to you for being able to post those numbers. You are in a rarified group and I tip my cap... or my pen... or my laptop.
Comments here remind me of what my mom used to say: "Nobody feels sorry for a girl on a yacht." But I get it. For you, all this is a big dip in income. For most of us, it's the difference between McDonald's or a coffee.