As someone who’s suffered through many a stats class, from the bottom of my heart: I appreciate the work you put into this.
As a beginner, I too fell for most of this crap. Now that I’ve been doing this for a while, some much less statistically verified inclinations:
- If your article is great, the title doesn’t matter. On Medium, good writing will always spread.
- If your article is crap, the title doesn’t matter. On Medium, bad writing almost never spreads.
Most people obsess about the words in the title and their arrangement. I now only obsess about the reaction the title as a whole triggers in the reader’s head.
I try to make my titles concepts, not statements.
Example: “Self-Improvement Has Made Me Worse.” The whole point of self-improvement is to get better, that the activity itself could actually make us worse people is not something that’s at the top of people’s minds. If you can get something to float from their subconscious to the top, that’s good.
With Member-posts, there is now one distinction I still know little about: Should you give away the punchline in the title or not?
Members seem to prefer posts with descriptive titles, rather than the more clickbait-y ones and telling them straight up what they’ll get sometimes helps.
I only started paying attention to this recently, but if I ever rack up enough data, maybe I can run some analysis on it so we can all once again find out that, probably, it doesn’t matter.
Thank you for putting this together!