What Sells On News Break

Photo by bennett tobias on Unsplash

For months I’ve been putting off posting content on News Break. The pages of this content platform are plastered with celebrities, sex, violence, sex and violence involving celebrities, political scandal stories. My bittersweet parenting pieces aren’t exactly News Break’s bread and butter.

But ever since my first/only viral story, I’ve made less and less money each month on Medium. And so I decided to give it a go. I had been approved months earlier, probably because of that first viral story. And thank you Christina M. Ward for your News Break advice!

I picked a handful of my Medium stories that best matched the News Break audience, i.e., none of my parenting stuff, but rather a couple of TikTok stories, one about making money on Instagram, and another about creeps on social media.

I changed titles. “Does TikTok Know More About My Kid Than I Do?” became “Is TikTok Stalking Our Kids?

I posted them and waited.

Two days later, I discovered I’d earned base rates of $25 each for three of the stories and $60 for the Instagram one. (Small amounts but better than nothing, and good for stories I simply grabbed from Medium). Still, I had very few readers and zero comments. Only the TikTok stalking one had more than 1,000 impressions.

Encouraged by that one story — which presumably attracted attention because of the title — I posted a funny parenting piece about longing for a best mom friend. I had just one thought in mind: Clickbait.

I changed “‘Picking Up’ Isn’t What it Used to Be” to “Picking Up Other Moms at the Park” and voila!

The next day I looked to see I had 57K impressions on that one story. The day later it was 146K. But really it’s the comments that tell you everything you need to know about your News Break readers and what it takes to sell stories there…

From my News Break comments page.

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.

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