In 7 Days, I Left 100 Comments on Medium Stories, and This Is What Happened to My Views

My experiment with comments & its impact

Image source: Canva Pro

I read 100 stories in just one week and sprinkled a thoughtful comment on each.

But what’s the real impact?

Let’s dive into the stats to uncover the magic behind the madness.

Let the experiment begin!

The case study covers 7 days, but you’ll be surprised by the result.

For comparison, here’s what I started with.

Views May 2023 — screenshot by the author
Views June 2023 — screenshot by the author
Views July 2023 — screenshot by the author

Around 3000 people view my stories in a month. It’s probably not the highest number, given I have about 60 stories. If we put it differently, one story averages ~50 views a month.

At the start of the experiment (12 August 2023), I had 553 fans on Medium (followers, but I prefer the word fan).

Audience stats at the beginning of the experiment — screenshot by the author

Number of comments I made each day, and the conclusion

This is how I tracked the number of comments on stories — Image by the author
  • 12 Aug: 12
  • 13 Aug: 10
  • 14 Aug: 18
  • 15 Aug: 10
  • 16 Aug: 11
  • 17 Aug: 10
  • 18 Aug: 30 (yeah, I did have a sprint here)

At the start of the experiment, I decided to read at least 10 articles and leave comments on the ones that resonated with me.

Most days, I needed to read more than 10 stories to be able to leave 10 comments. My trusted writers always inspire me (more about them later), so adding comments to their articles was easy.

Every day I ventured into new territories, writers unknown to me, and I found some gems. Sometimes I didn’t know what to say, so I spent 5 minutes reading the article and couldn’t make a single comment, so I had to move on to reading another one.

Slowly I got better at ascertaining after reading the introduction if the story was worth a read.

I loved seeing the little green badge on the bell icon every morning.

I was trying to find a correlation between the number of comments I made daily and the number on the badge the following day.

If you look at the badge numbers above and consult with the comments I made each day, there may be a slight correlation.

However, when I went into the details of the notifications (which is another story itself), they were mostly coming from comments I left on either a story:

  • Written by a writer with a massive number of followers
  • Recently published stories in a popular niche, e.g. writing or side hustle

Of course, these numbers also include the notifications I received on my articles, so I need to employ a spreadsheet to track them separately if I do this experiment again. Otherwise, we can call this the fault of the experiment.

Key learnings

I found only 2 things contributed to my increased engagement.

  1. Commenting on large accounts.
  2. Commenting on recently published stories.

The comments I added on ‘smaller’ writers’ stories did receive engagement from the writers. However, those didn’t contribute to my views a whole lot.

I also realized commenting on older articles (over a week old) results in crickets. They rarely receive any acknowledgement (not even claps) from the author. A few exceptions exist, such as Sinem, Kristen, and Robin.

Sinem always claps — doesn’t reply, though.

Kristen always claps, and sometimes she even replies. What that girl (we’re the same age, so I hope I can girl her) writes resonates with me so much. I feel that Kristen and I could be besties. I know, this fangirling stuff is odd. I’m surprised too! I just can’t have enough of her writing.

Robin claps, replies, checks out your stories, and even leaves comments. She’s the real deal! Also, I’m 100% convinced she’s the most hilarious person on Medium.

These writers are the ones I’d read, even if they didn’t clap my comments.

After 100 comments

You’re here for the stats, I know!

Here’s my profile after a week. I ended up with 595 followers!

Audience stats at the end of the experiment — screenshot by the author

That is 42 new fans in a week! For me, it’s an incredible result.

If you think about it, August alone has drawn more people in than my previous 4 months together — and still counting!

And my views nearly doubled too!

Views Aug 2023 — screenshot by the author


Would I do it again?

Yes, absolutely!

Will I do it again?

Not in the foreseeable future, no.

You see, reading articles and posting valuable comments that expand or add to the conversation is time-consuming. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without being on staycation. I can’t justify the extra 2 hours to do this every day.

What did I learn?

After a week, I was exhausted!

Being present and paying attention to others’ writing takes so much effort.

When I started this challenge, I planned to continue it for 2 weeks. But I had to finish it after a week. I was on holiday, after all. I didn’t want to be chained to a screen, and I didn’t want to run myself to burnout.


I love gamification.

When I see numbers go up, it makes my heart beat a little bit faster.

I chose Medium as my primary writing platform. I’m super curious about how much I can grow this account by playing by Medium’s rules and leveraging its social aspect.

I absolutely enjoy the connections and conversations with other writers and readers. I regularly read Medium articles (or listen to them), and if something speaks to or resonates with me, I want to let the writer know, so I leave a thoughtful comment.

This has been my strategy from the get-go. But I never gamified it, not until last week.

Moving forward, I can’t justify carving out hours from my day, but I’ll keep reading stories and leaving comments. I’ll limit myself to 30 minutes a day.

Why this short?

Because I listen to stories, and if an article speaks to me, I can quickly write a few sentences — which I usually dictate. Easy.

Planning in a spreadsheet

Marie A. Rebelle just recently finished a similar experiment.

But she took it to the next level!

Marie tracked the reciprocal interactions, the articles she commented on and the writers who reciprocated and in what way. It’s a great story; take a look at it here.

What’s the logic?

We all know how Medium changed its rulebook on the 1st of August 2023, right?

Claps and highlights don’t matter that much. But comments do.

Why is that?

Clapping is the cheapest form of interaction. It’s a ‘clap and run,’ as Marie calls it.

I would say clapping is not even an interaction. I can spend 2 seconds on a Medium story without reading it. I can clap once because if you clap more, that doesn’t matter either. Then I’m out.

Comments are important, though. Because if you write a thoughtful comment, you spend at least 30 seconds on the article.

Comments have become the gold standard in Medium, as they’re directly linked to reading time. They’re not just words but valuable currency.

If you want to support your fellow writers, add comments.

If something resonates, let the writer know!

I appreciate it when people leave me a comment, even if it’s a short one. I love reading your comments! I love engaging with others. Because comments are the only way to know my writing is valuable to you.

Moving forward

We all have a limited amount of time in a day, and I want to use it wisely, but I also want to give back.

I have my favourite writers that I check out every week. And I love reading stories from new writers.

You might only see me clapping a little. But I will comment, for sure. Also, if someone comments on mine, I’ll comment on theirs because I like to return the favour.

It’s reciprocity.

It’s an exchange.

It’s community building.

Isn’t that what Medium is about?

If you liked this article, you’d enjoy this other one as well.