Roz Warren


How to Increase Your Read Time By Padding Your Posts

Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

Now that Medium writers are being paid for the amount of time readers spend with our work rather than on how good it is, poets and other writers of pithy posts are, to employ a bit of highly technical jargon, screwed.

You can write the world’s most brilliant Haiku, but if it takes a reader just a few seconds to read it?

You’ll be paid pennies.

What can you do about that? You can pad your posts!

Charles Dickens got paid by the word. More words meant more money.

The result? Epic works like the 1,000 page long Bleak House.

If it’s good enough for Dickens? It’s good enough for Medium.

Say you’ve written a brilliant Haiku.

In the Halcyon Days of the Clap Era, you’d have posted it, readers would have applauded the BeJesus out of it and you’d be handsomely rewarded financially. Game over!

But the game has changed.

Here’s what you have to do now if you don’t want your earnings to plummet.

Leave that brilliant Haiku alone. But? Add a long and winding intro.

For instance? There’s going to be a short poem in the middle of this post. In the Clap Era, I could have just posted the poem. But now?

You had to read a nice long intro to get to it. You’ve already been reading for at least 20 seconds!

The trick is to draw out the intro for as long as you possibly can….

Like this…

Okay, here comes the poem….

Here it is:

I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as

A Mammoth Medium Partner Program Payout.

Okay. That was the poem.

(So I’m no W.H. Auden. So sue me.)

But — we’re not quite done yet!

Next, you should include at least 20 seconds worth of sincere blather about what inspired this poem.

In my case? My poem was inspired by the amount of money I am not making this week and my sincere desire to make more money on Medium, even though I write very short posts.

Perhaps, in sharing the story of how your poem came to be, you can even link to one of your prior posts, thus insidiously luring the reader into spending even more time reading your work.

Ka-ching!

Finally?

End with a bio.

A

very

long

bio.

I’ll just cut and paste my author’s bio from my website here:

Roz Warren (roswarren@gmail.com) writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times and has appeared on both the Today Show and Morning Edition. Roz is the author of OUR BODIES, OUR SHELVES; A COLLECTION OF LIBRARY HUMOR and JUST ANOTHER DAY AT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, and the editor of the ground-breaking Womens’ Glib humor collections, including titles like WHEN CATS TALK BACK and MEN ARE FROM DETROIT, WOMEN ARE FROM PARIS. She also curates the LIBRARY LAUGHS page on Facebook. Her work has been included in 10 Chicken Soup for the Soul collections.

Did you actually need to know any of that to enjoy my poem?

Hell no. But?

It added another minute of reading time to this post!

In conclusion?

You have just read a 3 line poem, with a ton of extra verbiage tacked on in order to increase this post’s Read Time.

Did you enjoy it? Did you highlight? Will you clap?

Who cares? I just got paid for 5 minutes of your life that you’re never getting back.

The takeaway for you?

It’s time to channel your inner Dickens and start adding lots and lots of extra words to your posts.

You can practice by leaving me an interminable Comment.

(If you enjoyed this post by Roz Warren, you might enjoy this one too.)



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