I’ve now been running this opinion-and-information site as a replacement for my WordPress divination blog for about two weeks, and I’ve been watching the “read-to-view”ratio with interest. A few things are beginning to stand out. I read on another Medium-related blog that a decent “read-to-view” ratio on this platform is anything over 30%, with an expected range from the high 20’s to the low 40’s. This projection has me really curious since it seems to reflect a low readership target, one that I’ve been meeting or exceeding with relative ease so far even if the cynic in me assumes that this data only measures whether a visitor clicked the “See more . . .” button all the way to the bottom without actually eyeballing every word.
I’m assuming that those who stumble upon my stuff while casually surfing, perhaps lured by the titles, make up most of the demographic who stick their noses in and then promptly disappear without reading more than a sentence or two (they “view” but don’t “read,” or as Sherlock Holmes was fond of saying, they “see” but they don’t “observe”). I try to let prospective readers know in my profile description, essay titles and tags that they will be encountering subjects related to various forms of divination, but it doesn’t seem to stop the fundamentally disinterested from opening the door and peeking in. On the other hand, I would think that those who are serious seekers after what I’m offering would hang around to read the essays all the way through since they took the trouble to track them down, but that doesn’t always appear to be the case.
It seems that the majority of superficial views are skewing the ratio in a negative direction and there doesn’t seem to be any help for it in such an open environment. Not that I truly care about that since I write primarily for myself as a way to organize and record my thoughts, and I’m sharing those thoughts freely with kindred spirits here because I’m not concerned about making any money at it (unless I eventually write a book around this material). I would hope that those among them whom I count as peers in the esoteric arts would do me the courtesy of at least reading the shorter articles that thus far have only garnered a readership ratio in the low teens; but, again, it’s not fatal to my self-image or my resolve to continue. I have noticed that the topic tags I’ve been using for the most part have had only a few hundred “hits,” and some far fewer, which could explain a lot. The upside is that the relative handful of Medium’s 170-milion-strong base population who do seek out those topical connections most likely read what they find.
At this point I still have many hundreds of previously-written articles that I’ve been grooming for inclusion here, many of which I’m consolidating since there was inevitably some redundancy in a population of over 2,100 posts scattered across more than three years of almost daily publishing. For the most part I was half-jokingly trying to become a “minor master of the three-paragraph essay,” so my daily written output was on the economical side as far as narrative length and scope. However, longer essays seem to be preferred here and melding previous texts into more fully-realized commentaries is turning into a fruitful endeavor from a creative standpoint. But it does seem to discourage many browsers who don’t have that much time or don’t want to think that hard — it is, in other words, a self-defeating effort on my part. I’m not giving it up, though, since the pandemic has pretty much killed my professional tarot practice and I need something intellectually stimulating to do in my retirement years. I think I’m good for another year of editorial retreads and then I’ll have to get “original” again. But I doubt anyone will notice when that happens.