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You Know You’ve Made It On Medium When People Start Copying, ehem Borrowing Your Headlines

The power of the right words


I’ve been noticing a few familiar headlines over the past weeks on this platform. It’s not a coincidence. Some people like to borrow. It was Steve Jobs who kind of (mis)quoted Picasso when he said:

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

To tell you the truth, I’ve also copied my headlines from time to time. There’s a time and place for everything. It’s humbling, really, because it might mean that I made it on Medium.


A noteworthy headline

What I see here and there is a variation of the headline from my most-read story on this platform. Over the weeks, this post has amassed more than 190K views, 55K reads, 1.6K fans, and 7.5K claps.

It’s been around the Medium block a few times.

Naturally, this inspires other writers. It does inspire me as well. A headline that generated a huge amount of views must be a good.

It’s this one: $400 for 15 Minutes Of (Easy) Work.

It’s catchy, short, promises something, makes you wonder, and yes, has a clickbaity touch to it.


Borrowing is fine

I don’t blame people for copying and adapting this headline. It works for a lot of cases. I’ve seen more of these lately.

Image created by author

If you look closely, you see my name there, by the way.

I said it. I like to steal from me. And why not? This type of headline has worked before, why wouldn’t it again?


The bottom line

I hope you have noticed that this is a humorous post.

I’m grateful for the amount of reads and fans my post has gained since I published it. Seeing similar headlines in my feed puts a smile on my face. I always end up reading these stories.

The headline is just a string of words, but it’s powerful.

To be honest, I have copied successful headline types in the past. There’s a reason why they’re successful. Short, on point, intriguing. Clickworthy.

Want to steal from me? Go ahead 😉

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