Image for post
Image for post
Illustration by author

Create Questionable Content That Keeps People Glued to the Page

Keep up with Medium changes and make lots of cash while doing it.

Medium has decided that reading time is now king. There are lots of ways we can respond to this change. I initially considered taking Ev out of my will, but then I realized that might be a little harsh. Billionaires need stuffed otters and lovingly thrifted 80s windbreakers, too.

As a writer, it’s my job to adapt as the world changes, otherwise I might end up as that dirty-haired, crazy dude sitting in a bunker, complaining about how young kids are stealing all the weed and trying to blow up the moon.

I didn’t write this article to complain about all the money I’m missing out on. As someone who spent the majority of my life trying to be a professional dancer, I’m used to constructing Bandaids out of lint and meals out of stray ketchup packets. I’ve developed the tools to get myself through these difficult times.

Instead, I wrote this article to share some ideas I’ve come up with to keep people from skimming my writing or clicking away too soon. After all, if we’re not metaphorically holding our readers upside down and shaking the change out of their pockets, then are we really living up to our potential as writers?

Intersperse inexplicable stock photography throughout your posts

When people are confused, they take a little longer to figure out what’s going on. For example, suppose I write a paragraph about how cool horses are.

Then I post a photo of a spaceship.

What? That doesn’t make sense! The typical reader will pause for a moment and try to figure out what’s going on. That pause could be worth 0.002 cents!

Image for post
Image for post
“Get that money, baby!” Photo by Judeus Samson on Unsplash

Literally glue people to the page

This would work better if we were writing physical books, because glue tends to adhere better to those. Sadly, Medium does not come in book format, so we’ll have to splurge a little on fancy glue.

The good news is, you can probably claim that on your taxes at the end of the year.

Don’t write more, write smarter

Some people think the changes mean they should write longer articles. But the thing about long articles is that no one has time for that shit. No one reads my long articles. A few very kind people open them, highlight some random words to make me think they’ve read them, then clap politely at the end.

That’s very nice of them, but nice doesn’t pay anymore.

I need your eyeballs, not your hands.

See what I’m doing here?

Line breaks.

Line breaks are the secret.

They take longer to skim.

Plus your post still says 3 minutes at the beginning, which means it won’t scare people off.

Maybe some folks will even read a few of your carefully crafted sentences along the way.

Oooga beluga, baby shark shark shark.

Get a little sexy with it

Not me, of course. God no! My freak flag shall remain happily buried beneath the radishes and carrots in someone else’s garden. It’s the American way, after all, and I’m nothing if not a devotee of Sam the Eagle. But if you think writing about seductive Fallopian tubes, or alluring elbows could be interesting, there’s no better time to try it!

Make your stuff really, really good

Ha ha! I guess we could try this. I dunno. It seems hard. Maybe we should leave it to the intense people. Without any guarantee that quality will bring in big piles of money, I’ll work my way through the other options first, thank you very much.

After all, I still haven’t written anything about how funny snails look in hats. It would be interesting to write a post where someone’s burps sound like farts and their farts sound like burps. Even if it doesn’t make scents, it might make a few cents.

So, I wouldn’t expect any really, really good posts around these parts anytime soon.

But there might be a few other changes.

After all, a writer’s gotta eat. And those ketchup packets are a little low in protein.

Image for post
Image for post
“What’s going on here? Hard to say. Let’s all stare at it a little longer.” Photo by Buzz Andersen on Unsplash

Written by

Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts. http://sarahlofgren.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store