How to change your sleepy Medium headline into a killer

The subconscious is a strange place. Well, mine is. I write erotica for pocket money, and I very rarely have to work at thinking up story ideas. They just bubble up from the basement. I have no control.

Neither do you, I’m guessing. How often have you written a story for Medium, you are 100% happy with it, you hit the “Publish” button, and an instant later you think of a better choice of words?

Not just in the story body, but the headline, the very bit you depend on to snag interest and have readers come flocking in?

Oh, mind!” you chide your thinking bits, “Why didn’t you tell me that a moment earlier?”

Not the first time you’ve done this, I reckon. How many times has an email written in emotion or stress turned into a hasty word you can't recall? I can’t remember, but for me, it’s a lot.

But. Medium allows you to edit the story. Make it better. The six thousand dollar manuscript.

You simply pull up the published story — it’s probably still right there on your screen, after all, under the box with the sharing links — hit the gearwheel symbol in the top left-hand corner, and select the “Edit story” option from the drop-down menu.

Quickly swap out the old boring headline for your new killer wording, mash the “Save and publish” button and you’re done.

But. The story has the bold new headline, and yet nothing else does. On your stats the old title is baked-in. On every listing, on every preview, on every screen in Medium, the old wording is lying back, dozing, defying the reader for a languid click. No! You want them fired up and eager to read your sparkling words.

If your story hits the curator’s button, they’ll bump it up into featured status. With the old title. If it’s in a publication, it still has the sleepy old headline, even though you have changed it in the actual story. Noooo!

Here’s the answer:

  1. Bring up your story.
  2. Click the gearwheel in the top-right corner.
  3. Select the “Edit story” option in the drop-down list.
  4. In edit mode, click the “…” menu icon in the top-right corner.
  5. From the drop-down list, click the “Change display title / subtitle” item.
  6. Now you get a pop-up box with a number of fields: Title, subtitle, and description. Simply whack your killer wording into the fields and click “Done”.
  7. This doesn’t change the actual wording in the actual story, though. You still have to change that on the page.
  8. Click the “Save and publish” button

This puts the new title into the Medium ecosystem. It will appear everywhere. Even in social media share posts.

Sit back, watch your stats, the readers will come flooding in.

What’s that? You want pointers on how to write headlines? Hmmm. I’ll have to ask my subconscious about that. Check back soon, won’t you?


Just enter the good stuff here. This is a screenshot from my actual article. The previous title was sooo boring, and I wanted one that would pull readers in, and not just backpackers.

Britni Pepper writes erotica for Kindle Direct Publishing. She runs a blog where she reviews erotica, and rambles on about this and that. She may be reached on Twitter and Facebook.

Image credits: Burning newspaper by Danya Gutan from Pexels. Sleepy bed from Pixabay.

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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