What Does 2500+ Popular Article’s Historical Data Teach Us?

What Does 2500+ Popular Article’s Historical Data Teach Us?

Data analysis on popular articles from Medium using python. In this article, we will try to find answers to a few important questions that every writer will have in mind.

Back Drop:

A few days back when I wrote my second article on Medium, I gave it to my friends for review. One of them immediately told me that the title is very captive and that can pull the readers, I didn’t take his words seriously and thought he was just encouraging me. I finally published it on a Saturday afternoon. It reached 70 views that day.

The next morning when I woke up to check if I had done any better than my first blog, my blog managed to reach 120 views. I was slightly disappointed, not because of the views but it didn’t get the attention it deserved. I stopped checking it and indulged myself in my other works. Later that day when I had a peek, I was awestruck, the article had got more than 10K views with 50% reads. My first article only managed to make 1k in 20 days and this one had already reached more than ten times that number.

I checked for one last time before I headed to sleep that day and it had hit the 25K mark. I could see my blog on the Medium’s homepage, where it started trending as popular. I was already on cloud nine and couldn’t fall asleep that day. Though this might not sound like a great achievement for some but for someone like me who just started writing, this sure is a great milestone. The next day, it had managed to add another 37k taking it to a total of 62K. My LinkedIn profile was flooded with messages from numerous people appreciating my work. Some of them even offered me a few freelancing opportunities. All this felt like a dream, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. It all happened in a flash.

After a couple of days when I was back to my senses, I started analyzing the reason for all of this. Though I have written both the blogs with the same efforts, there were a couple of minute differences, the publication was different and the read time was a little less than my previous one. Of course, the main difference could be that my second article was curated by Medium. We never know if our blog is going to get curated or not. There are instances where blogs without curation also managed to become popular and blogs with curation failed too.

That’s when I remembered my friend’s words, maybe he was right. It doesn’t matter how good you write if your title doesn’t sound interesting, chances are that your blog gets unnoticed. It doesn’t matter how good your article is if nobody opens it they would never read it. It doesn’t mean you need to concentrate only on the title it’s just that a good title can grab your reader’s attention and you definitely need quality content to make your reader read further.

This made me realize that leaving the main content aside there are many other minute factors that might impact the article to a great extent which are most often overlooked by beginners. Today we will try to focus in that area.

When we are unaware of something we can ask for help from the experts in the field or we can also learn it ourselves the hard way. Well, there is another option which is my favorite, to check if there is any open-sourced data readily available. If yes, all we got to do is: scrape it, clean it and understand it visually and learn from it. I’ve applied the same method here wherein I have scraped around 2700+ popular articles from Medium using python.

Disclaimer:_ The Scraping is done purely for education purposes only and not used for any commercial use._

In this article, we will try to find answers to a few important questions that every writer will have in mind.

  • How lengthy your blog should be? What is the ideal read time?
  • Does the day of publishing the article have any effect?
  • Does publishing via a publication helps?
  • What makes a great Title?
  • ‘Top authors’ to look out for?
  • ‘Top tags’ to be used for an article?

nlp medium writing data-analytics data-analysis data-science

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