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what makes an instructable fly or die? Answered

I recently published 2 instructables one I'm really excited about "Vintage tin and timber signs" And one I think is a bit lame "CNC cut Paper Rack" that  i just made cause i was bored and wanted to enter a contest.
Strange thing is, the paper rack is the instructable that has been featured and is getting all the views but only has 4 favourites ,were as the signs instructable  has 11 favourites but only 200 views.
Did I tag it wrong? or is it just not that interesting? any feedback is welcome,



Best Answer 5 years ago

There have been a number of "formulas" suggested. Kiteman has a good one on how to get featured. But in reality while those things help I don't think there is any one sure way and I myself have been pretty puzzled a few times. For example, I recently published two instructables. One was entered into the Fix and improve it contest. It was a pretty big project that was well documented and had all the points they say will get it featured. A number of people left comments to that fact. It went on to win a first place in the contest, yet it was never featured. It views have been sporadic and pretty low and since the contest has ended it has faded away. I was pretty surprised, good enough to win but not good enough to get featured.
A second instructable was entered into 2 contests, one being the Gorilla glue contest. It didn't get featured either, until the contest was over. Many weeks after the contest was over it was first featured and then put on the home page and got all kinds of attention . Its views now are triple what the one that won the other contest are. So it was not good enough to even merit getting me a glue prize package but after a second look someone decided it was pretty good after all.

So, I don't get it. Some of the ones I think are pretty good go nowhere while others that I did just for fun, take off. There is no discernible pattern that I have noticed --- except --- the ones that do get featured are usually pretty good, but being good will not necessarily get it featured. And view counts don't seem to count for anything other than the satisfaction of the author knowing that people are at least looking at it, but not necessarily reading it. They should have a new category besides View. They should have a "read" category to indicate how many people went through all or most of the pages because that is the true indicator of weather someone is just looking or actually learning from what you publish.

By the way, you are one of the ones that left favorable comments on the first place winner.

thank Vyger nice to know Im not the only one that has had that experience

Demographics. Look at the age profile of 'Iblers and see what would excite your target audience.

Criticisms of the signs ible ? Too many pictures - the stupid new format makes detailed ibles TL:DR

Grammar and spelling are off too.

Where does one find the age profile of iblers?

Wow! I had no idea of the numbers. Thanks!

Scary, when you think that everything you write could be seen by the entire population of a small country...

I cant see how spelling grammar or too many pictures would prevent people from viewing the 'ible, the few people who have seen it seem to like it.
I have noticed that my Instructables that have cnc machines and DXF files seem to get featured no matter how good or bad they are.

If you make it harder read, because it needs decoding, then you find people switch off.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

The title of the sign instructable gives no indication of what the instructable is about. Vintage Tin and Timber signs doesn't really protray what you'll be covering in the instructable. The intro pages isn't very clear either. But it seems its an instructable to teach you how to transfer prints from paper to a tin or wood backing. You need to word the intro better and rename it so people understand what the instructable is about. Also your using a lot of trade marked and copy write images in this which may prevent the admins from featuring it.

thanks mpilchfamily I will give some thought into renaming it, as with the copyright every where in the world, except the US, copyright runs out after 50-70 years the US however was changed by G.W. Bush to 90 to 120 years. Both Indian and Terrot on longer exist, strange thing copyright.

Not true. In the UK for a start, its life of the author +50 years - NOT from the creation date.

Copyright can be as short as 25 years:

The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act states the duration of copyright as;

    For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works

    70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies.

    If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, although if it is made available to the public during that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), then the duration will be 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available.

    Sound Recordings and broadcasts

    50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or,

    if the work is released within that time: 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first released.


    70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last principal director, author or composer dies.

    If the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the calendar year of creation, or if made available to the public in that time, 70 years from the end of the year the film was first made available.

    Typographical arrangement of published editions

    25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published.

    Broadcasts and cable programmes

    50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the broadcast was made.

    Crown Copyright

    Crown copyright will exist in works made by an officer of the Crown, this includes items such as legislation and documents and reports produced by government bodies.

    Crown Copyright will last for a period of 125 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.

    If the work was commercially published within 75 years of the end of the calendar year in which it was made, Crown copyright will last for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it was published.

    Parliamentary Copyright

    Parliamentary Copyright will apply to work that is made by or under the direction or control of the House of Commons or the House of Lords and will last until 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.


I have to say I love your 'ible about the signs I've seen similar things in the past but had forgotten all about them.

I guess first of all it should be relevant to as many readers as possible. It should be broken into simple easy to understand steps, illustrated with good clear photographs, tell the development story.

It should be made from materials and processes easilly available.