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The Most Valuable Stat Is Missing On Medium

Insights into our readers

Looking at stats is addictive. Once they go up, you keep checking. When they fall, you can’t stop looking.

As much as I love to check my Medium stats, I’ve been a little frustrated with one missing stat (or group of stats) in particular that would give us, writers so much insight into reading behavior, marketing strategy, and areas to focus on.

What’s that group of stats, you ask?

The source of the views/reads.

See, looking at growing or declining view and read numbers is nice, so is checking individual posts for external views, spikes, reader’s interests, and more, but the really valuable statistics are missing.

I want to know where the readers of my stories come from.

That’s a meaningful marketing insight. Are they coming from recommended stories on people’s home feeds, are they coming from my profile, from backlinks within my other stories, or even from links in other writers’ posts?

These are the things, I’d love to know.

For external views, we get some info about the sources, things like Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.

Benefits of knowing the sources

For internal views, there’s no distinction. We only get the number of views, reads, reading time, read ratio, claps, and earnings.

With the sources of internal views, however, we could target readers much better. For example:

  1. If views mainly come from recommendations, we might want to take a closer look at our tags usage.
  2. If views came from our profile, we might want to put more effort into structuring our profiles with lists, pinned posts, links, etc.
  3. If views came from within our stories via backlinks and crosslinks, we know that we should keep up and expand on using links within new posts and even add fitting links to older articles.
  4. If views came from other people’s stories via mentions or links, we might want to build upon that by mentioning and linking more writers within our own stories to reciprocate.

The bottom line

Medium is a great platform. The built-in audience is the biggest advantage over most other platforms. It’s time to take this to the next level with deep insights into readers’ statistics. These are actionable stats for writers.

There are many more stats, I’d love to see, for example, an overall picture of external views, not only on a story basis, to get a feel for the rate of external visitors, or non-member reading time, as well as daily trends for posts to see which posts do well any given day.

Overall though, I believe that stats on internal view sources would be the most valuable to us, writers. What do you think?

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