The Curation Dilemma: One of the Secrets Is in The title.
To write is human. To be curated, divine.
It’s the question of questions.
How do I get curated on Medium? When does it happen? Why does it happen? And if it doesn’t happen, What am I doing wrong?
Not a day goes by where there isn’t a comment or question on curation. There’s a curation epidemic out there and like any epidemic, it’s contagious.
Some writers are baffled as to why some of their articles are curated and why others are not. They have a difficult time predicting which way it will go.
I feel your pain, temporarily anyway.
The situation that, to me, is most telling is when a writer sends a link of their previously published/uncurated article to the Medium Editors and voila! it’s curated. And that’s great!
What does this tell you?
Is your title boring?
To me, it says that maybe it’s not the writing itself, but the title. That’s good news, isn’t it?
You’ve got to grab the curator’s attention.
If it’s bland and boring, curators may overlook your article. A boring title is not always an indication of boring writing, but with all the stories out there, aren’t you drawn to ones that sound more enticing? That promise a little bit of intrigue or controversy?
Think of your title as a window display to a clothing store, a sample of what you’re selling. The clothes that are going to grab your attention and stand out as unique are bright, a different cut, and unlike the ones in the other windows.
There are thousands of creative works uploaded every day in the Medium community. Thousands. You need to be jumping up and down waving your arms, not shyly raising your hand. Your title can do this for you.
Lastly, put your title into title case.
Do you stick with the subject?
Okay, you’ve grabbed the curator’s attention, but you go off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the title.
If your title is about writing, then write about writing.
If you’re writing about your horrendous summer vacation, then start with the first horrendous incident. Don’t describe packing your suitcase. No one really cares.
Pretend you’re on the phone with someone who has three to four minutes to listen to your story.
Where would you begin?
What’s in a word?
Well, it depends on the word.
Strong words elicit strong reactions. And that’s what you want.
Go with the superlatives. Here are a few examples to get you going.
Inexpensive: cheap, miserly
Crazy: zany, psycho
Banned: forbidden, taboo
Huge: whopping, massive
You get the picture. The words grab your attention and hint that your story is worth a second look. And that might be all you need.
More than anything, enjoy the process and have fun writing and publishing.
Why did you begin doing this anyway? Before you discovered Medium and joined the Partnership Program, which I highly recommend, your goal was simply to put your words to paper and get your ideas and emotions out there.
You’re doing it and in the process, you’ve discovered a great community with people who read your stuff and offer feedback. That’s my experience anyway.
Sometimes I get curated and sometimes I do not. It’s encouraging to be recognized out of thousands, but I’m not addicted to it. Don’t let it diminish the joy of hitting that Publish button.
And remember, getting curated doesn’t guarantee a dollar sign with a lot of numbers after it at the end of the month.
Don’t sweat it.
Just keep writing!