Clickbaity titles only earn you $0. With it, what else can earn you $$$ in Medium

Clickbait won’t work out? Then what will?

Photo by Mael BALLAND on Unsplash

Very very long story short…

Initially Medium calculated the author’s earning based on the number of claps the story gets. Now, Claps doesn’t matter (So many writers wrote about this. 1, 2, 3 ) as it is not the primary metric to calculate your revenue on Medium.

Later Medium used ‘Curation’ to filter out noise from good stories so that quality story gets the deserved credit. Curation is manual work, which means prone to more error and bias. So Medium dumped curation (Robert Ralph wrote, “Curation is dead, distribution is born) and opens the market to all writers.

Medium dumped Curation because it has a better way to measure the quality of a story. Read time.

You need to understand the difference between view and read. A reader opens a story by clicking its title, then it is counted as a ‘view’. If he/she reads it to the end, then it is considered as ‘read’.

Then, how Medium finds whether a reader read the story fully? I am not sure. But I suspect Medium tracks the scrolling activity (like Google Analytics do) and some elements at the end of your articles that triggers when the reader reaches the end of the story. Again I am not sure of it. But it has to be something like that.


The ratio between view and read tells how good your article is. ( view : read ). 1:0.7 or above is a good ratio in my opinion to prove your story as a high-quality piece.

For example, if 100 people viewed your story, at the least 70 people should have read your story before closing it and bouncing to another story.

Most of my short-form stories have a better view-read ratio compared to long-form stories. I said “Most of my short-form stories”, not all of my short-form stories. But the read-time, that is the total duration of reader stays inside your story (actively participating, like scrolling, including highlighting etc) will play a crucial role and affects significantly in calculating the quality (earning) of the story.

So in my opinion short-form doesn’t have a good advantage over long-form articles. I may be wrong because the dataset I used to conclude this is only based on my stories’ ‘stats’. (Tell us what your stats says in the comments.)

Point is…

Medium is not entirely relying on how many people viewed your story. Reading matters. Time spent on your story matters. So does the engagements like highlighting and commenting (as it significantly increases the time spent on your story page).

Clickbait titles

Clickbait titles make readers jump into your story. Yeah!. It gets you ‘views’. In Medium, Views are not money. At least not entirely. But, the ‘Read’ (count) is.

No, No. I didn’t say anything like that (even in the title of this story). Clickbait titles bring views. Views mean ‘potential readers’. When reading happens, ‘potential readers’ become ‘actual readers’ (if the content is good and engaging/entertaining). This conversion is measured as ‘read’ count in Medium stats.

So, Clickbait titles bring readers. Readers read. You make money. Clickbaity titles alone won’t make any difference in your revenue in Meidum.

Clickbaity titles along with good, quality, engaging, entertaining, useful (add adjectives like these here as much as you want…) content will help you to make those $$$.

For writers to make money (in Medium), Clickbait-y title is a necessary evil”.

- Someone on Medium. (Sorry I forget where I read this)

Using the word ‘clickbait’ feels a little be shameful as it implies the reader is prey. But in meaning, it is equivalent to a strong ‘Call to action’ to read the story. So, no offence to any of your readers, bait as much as you want if you have the plan to deal with your preys to make them love your content (something like Stockholm syndrome?).

Remember. Medium will not punish you for keeping clickbaity titles for crappy stories. But your followers will.

If the title is baity, make sure the content is feasty.

I hope this piece helped you. Share it with other readers if you find it useful to you. Don’t forget to ‘follow’ me (and I will try my level best to keep my story titles less clickbaity for you).

Professor, Freelance Consultant, Academic Researcher, [[Knowledge Hoarder]], Philosophical, Digital Productivity Enthusiast. 🔗