Supercharge Your Medium Stats Page
The Need for Better Stats
There are some amazing people on the planet. This is one of the reasons I spend too much time on Medium. I can get lost reading what others wrote, delving into stories, and crafting my own. It’s an amazing platform that brings many benefits over traditional blogging.
Yet, the stats page leaves me with more questions than it answers. Which stories brought in those views today? How many total reads do I have since I’ve been writing on Medium? How many articles have I actually published? How’s my publication doing? Why am I still sitting on the toilet refreshing my stats page when I finished pooping 5 minutes ago?
Thankfully, two brilliant people Guilherme “Virgs” Moraes and Tomas Trajan have created some free resources to answer those questions. These come in the form of browser extensions and when combined, offer you a plethora of information about your stories and the summation of your work on Medium.
Tomas Trajan covers how to install and use Medium Enhanced Stats in his article. If you want an instant overview of your life of Medium, stop reading this article and install it already. For the true nerd, it offers a CSV download option of your stats so you can perform your own calculations. It even offers “goals” to help move you to reach your next stage in the Medium stratosphere. Here are some things I love about this extension:
- Precise Numbers. You can see precisely how many followers you have, even after you cross 1,000. I have always been frustrated with Medium’s estimation of things after 1,000 because stats and followers seemed to hang forever at 1.2k or 1.4k. This adds an extra decimal to any numbers above 1k. You can also see your follower count in the top right corner.
- Total Reach. This is a unique stat which combines the total views of your stories and responses. It’s an interesting number that I never gave any thought to until this extension.
- Claps and Ratios. There’s a new column in your stats page where you can see the number of claps for all your stories. Pay attention to the clap/fan ratio. I’m spit-balling here, but I think C/F stands for “claps per fan.” Yep, let’s go with that. This is an interesting number. I’d be curious to know some other Medium writers’ ‘clap to fan’ ratio.
- Article and Response Numbers. We all know that responses are not stories, yet Medium treats them as such. When I look at my stats page and see 294 articles, I often wonder how many of those are actual stories. With Enhanced Stats, wondering, my friends, is a thing of the past.
- Stats for Your Publications. If there’s anything worse than your personal stats, it’s trying to gather stats for your publications. I run a few publications here on Medium. One for Sci-Fi, one for Fantasy, one for Stupid Poetry, and one for Interactive Fiction (which is terribly complicated on Medium). I have ideas for at least a dozen more, but with the limit of 7, I have yet to decide which ones will make the cut. The amazing thing with this extension is, it shows you your publication’s stats by clicking on your profile pic. You don’t even have to visit the publication!
Here are a few pics that show what you can do with this extension:
Next Generation Stats
Guilherme “Virgs” Moraes details how he built Medium Next Generation Stats using an open source code in this article. I think he might be considering a premium version in the future, which I’d gladly purchase. I’ve found this extension to be incredibly helpful in a myriad of ways. So helpful in fact, I made a donation. If you use it, you should too. Here’s a few of the things I love about it:
- Identifying trends in your stories. Before this extension, some days my stats would spike and I had no idea why. I could sometimes piece it together based on notifications—as long as the notifications were mostly around one article. But the more articles you publish, the more obscure things become. Now I can see exactly which articles have caused those spikes. These spikes likely happen because a link went out in an email blast from a publication or from Medium’s recommended reads. Seeing these random boosts reminds me that Medium is a long-term game. You really have no idea when one of your stories will shoot up and rake in some reads. This stat gives you insight into which articles that happens to. It can also be a good reminder to shoot out a tweet about that piece on that particular day.
- Story history. One of the things I LOVE about this extension is how you can highlight certain stories, tracing their views and reads over the past year. My story, How to Expose Telling in Your Writing got more views on a random day 3 months after its original publishing date than it did the week of its release. I would never have known this without this extension.
- Alternate Views. The pie chart view is fantastic and is arranged by descending number of reads or views (whichever you select). If you mouse over the parts of the pie chart, a pop-up gives you more detailed info for that particular story.
- Longer Time Ranges. You can select up to 360 days to see the breadth of your views, reads and effectiveness. Even in that view, you can select if you want to see daily, weekly, or monthly stats. The ability to get the statistical information in the format you want is unprecedented.
- Earnings. I like this idea, but sometimes this one is a bit flaky for me. When the amount shows, it doesn’t seem to match what I’ve actually been paid. Fortunately, it is always less, so I don’t come away feeling cheated! I’m not going to be critical here because this feature just popped in about a week ago, and I love active development.
“Virgs” seems very open to suggestions, even putting a small form on his website for feature requests.
Here are a few screenshots to give you an idea of some things you can do with this extension:
A Final Note
Each of these extensions offers unique data, but since both run on Google Chrome (and one will work with Opera), you may find them competing when viewing your stats page. A simple solution for this is to right-click on the extension button in Chrome, Select, “This Can Read and Change Site Data,” and choose, “When You Click the Extension.” This will let you load your stats page and enable which extension you’d like to use.
Now, you should be clearly equipped to know what’s happening with all the work you’ve put into Medium. So download the extensions already, write some stories, post some responses and go spread that reach!
If you’d like to read some of my other work, here’s a categorical index to all of my writing on Medium. If you want to read more about Medium stats and hacks, you can find those articles under the Work / Hacks category.