I’m the mentioned Coach Tony. We alternate between calling our trio of pubs Better Publishing or The Better Empire. What we realized early on is that you need to have a strategy that is focused on quality. I think the old incentive structure rewarded volume primarily.
Better Humans only publishes 4–5 articles per week, but each of those is long, in depth, and run through both an editor for content feedback and a copy editor for spelling and grammar. We’re very often thinking we’ve published the definitive article on a topic.
Better Marketing and Better Programming run much higher volumes, 10–15 articles per day. I call these categories of publications aggregators. They are essentially the community homes where anyone on Medium can get their article published (within reason). Most of the top pubs fit this model.
A lot of the aggregator pubs of old published incredibly high volumes, 50+ articles. I think this is wrong — there’s not enough curation going on at that volume. It’s the publisher’s job to provide readers confidence that the article is worthwhile.
Whether other aggregation publishers believe me about lower volume, Better Programming went from 0 to 5 million page views a month on this much lower volume. I think that’s the fastest growing publication ever on Medium, even faster than Medium’s internal pubs which have gotten a lot of extra promotion.
By publishing fewer articles we can focus a bit more on improving the articles we do choose. Both Better Programming and Better Marketing run each article through a copy editor and that copy editor does a lot of valuable work to make an article easier to read.