Curation: Try This Technique to Get Your Article Curated the Next Day
If there are any secrets to getting curated, I might have discovered one
Is there a secret to faster curation? There might be. Maybe there are lots of things curators look for and I think I've discovered one of those things. And keeping such a thing to myself would be no fun at all.
If you've been following me for a while, you know I don't hoard knowledge, so I share it as soon as I learn it. And besides, knowledge is energy which wants to move and reach as many people as possible, so here goes.
Are there Enough Curators?
I will share an analysis I have done over the past months. But first check this, according to JJ Pryor’s calculations, there are 1,385,000 new articles posted on Medium every month! Let's break it down. That is 47,000 posts every day. 1,958 new posts every hour. Holy shift! That’s insane.
I don't know how many curators Medium has, but from an article I read somewhere (I can't find that article), there are 85 employees at Medium. That is not enough people for the number of articles published a day.
They would not be able to go through all these articles on time. That explains why articles “hang tight” for so long! There are too many articles written every month, which is a good thing because many people are working so hard on what they love.
But the truth is, half of that number of articles won't be read by the curator. They will decide not to even open it just by looking at the title. Others won't be thoroughly read.
I’m just being honest because I have written some articles that were trash and probably never even got looked at by curators.
My Analysis on Curation
For the past 3 months, I’ve written 29 articles for Better Marketing. 24 of those articles were accepted and curated right away. Those are not the ones I will discuss in this article because the editors are curators (edit-curators) so it makes curation less of a hassle.
For this article, I will talk about those articles that got curated on their own. Those I self-published, submitted to my publication and the Ascent.
The Ascent might have edit-curators too but I don't know for sure so I won't say they do. It is very possible because everything I publish with them gets curated. Not as fast as Better Marketing, but they eventually get curated.
What do These Stories Have in Common?
I analyzed by comparing all the articles I've written that got curated on its own to find something they all had in common. Here is what I discovered:
I found that all the articles that had a personal life story told were curated the next day.
Those were the stories I shared a life story at the beginning of the article and then turned the story into something the reader could apply to their life. Check them out:
The Common Thing is Personalization.
There is one thing all the stories above have in common. I told shared a personal story in every one of them. Articles that were personalized did better than that with general and abstract ideas.
Most of the stories were told in the introduction or very early on into the article. Some stories I told in the first-person point of view. Others were told from the third-person point of view.
But that’s beside the point. The point is, I made those stories personal. And the pieces were curated right away or the day after. None of them hanged tight for more than 3 days.
The reason those stories were curated faster is probably that I captured the curator's attention right away. Knowing how the curators have millions of articles to go through every month, they probably won't have the time to sit through each article until the end.
The same way we have to capture the reader's attention, we also have to capture the curator's attention right away.
Even if a story gets very interesting towards the end of the story, the reader or curator might not stay around too long to find out. They will move on to the next one.
Plenty of successful writers use personal life storytelling in their pieces. Tim Denning is one writer great at telling personal stories. He seems to pour his heart out in every story and share intimate details of his life, but this might not be for everyone.
What About High-Quality Non-personal Stories?
This is not to say that pieces that aren't told from personal experience don't stand a chance of getting curated. They do. I have some stories that have been curated, and they were general and abstract ideas.
Thomas Oppong, for example, is a successful writer that almost never writes personal things or reveals anything about himself, but he self-publishes and writes quality content that gets curated.
You can see a self-published article is curated when you see the topic in which it was distributed at the top of the article.
“We are Processing This Story. Hang Tight”
I confirmed the theory of personal stories getting curated faster. I wrote a story on Sept 16th without telling any personal stories. The story did well in my publication; it got a lot of reads and engagements, but it hasn't gotten curated, yet. It’s still hanging tight. Here is that story:
I wrote another one with a personal story at the beginning. I published it on Sept 18th at 7:30 pm. I woke up the next morning with an email saying it was curated. Here is that story:
The Best Way to Retain Knowledge is to Teach it. And that proved my theory.
An article with a personal story told early on that is relatable, inspiring and captures attention is one secret to faster curation.
Will it Guarantee Next Day Curation?
Once you know there are 1,958 new articles posted on Medium every hour, you have to stand out and get yours seen.
If it takes a little personal story to make that possible, well then that's what you try to do even if sharing personal details about yourself is hard. Being vulnerable isn't a simple thing to do. But you can share without revealing too much. That's the art of writing.
Now keep in mind, all of my stories were real-life stories. Made up stories may do well too, but I can’t guarantee it. Whatever approach you take, the curator and reader should be able to relate and find it useful or inspiring.
If the curator can relate, they assume the reader will too. I don't believe this will work if you tell any story just to tell it. If you do it solely for curation, it will not be genuine enough and your curator and reader will see through it.
I can’t guarantee your story will get curated the very next day. Maybe I've gotten lucky. For you, it might take 2 days, 3 days, or 1 week. That's the mystery of the algorithm. But if you write high-quality useful articles with a touch of personalization and you follow all the guidelines, then you definitely stand a chance of getting curated.
Real and true stories will always do better, but so will high-quality, informative, and inspiring stories. And it is your desire to truly make a difference that matters the most. That will always be felt in an article.
If you try all of this and still aren't happy with your curation rate, then there may be deeper issues. In that case, check this out: Curation: Why Your Story Never Stood a Chance.
If you try these things, apply this personal storytelling technique and it works, please come back to this article's comments section and let us all know it worked for you so we know for sure this really works. If you already knew this, I’d like to know more about your experience. I am eager to know what's working for everybody.
I can’t teach you anything. I can only make you think deeply about the topic.
For further reading:
This story with a third person POV story was curated and selected for further distribution.