5 Harsh Facts Every New Writer Should Know About Medium
Lately, I have read a lot of articles from fellow writers announcing that they are leaving Medium. They claim that the platform is ruined, that something is broken, and is beyond repair. Although I cannot say that I have not thought about that, we must face a hard truth.
Medium has been around for several years and millions of writers have come and gone. So no matter how upset you are with Ev Williams, chances are Medium will do just fine.
My journey on Medium started in September 2020 and I'll clear up a few things right now: I'm not a millionaire, I've not cracked the code, I'm not an SEO guru, nor do I make a living from the Medium Partner Program. I'm just a writer who has been here for a while and learned a few things.
For all the new (and not so new) writers coming to Medium: these are 5 hard-to-hear truths that you should learn fast.
1. The start is slow
If you've already posted your first stories, you surely know how this platform works in general. In case not, I'll briefly explain:
For every paid member who reads your stories, you receive a portion of their monthly subscription. Here what counts are the readings.
That means that unless you are Obama or bring a whole community you built before with you, your first posts will not have large numbers. This of course, when you meet the criteria to be admitted to the MPP.
It took me 3 months to earn more than $ 1 in a month and 5 to see two figures. Some writers have done better at first, but others have taken longer. Be patient.
2. Networking feels like an option, but it's not
Sometimes Medium's branding can make you believe that you just have to form words with the keyboard, hit publish and the platform does the rest. It's not like that.
Although you don't have to handle the distribution, it is still vital that you connect with other creators. Even if it's not the fairest, knowing the right people can give you a boost.
Medium is not 100% about merit, although I think nothing is. The point is that you should strive to reach out to other writers and editors. If they know your name, it will be beneficial when submitting your stories to their publications.
You can receive better and detailed feedback on your work or be published even if you skip a guideline of the publication. So smile and be friendly with others.
3. It's not about luck (or algorithm)
Many writers work their butts off and then complain about not getting the results they deserve. They claim that the algorithm just hates them, and even though they meet all the criteria, their stories are not curated or distributed.
Then you see a story with many grammatical errors and violations of the guidelines go viral. That proves it, the others are lucky!
Make peace with this: it's not about luck or the algorithm. If your stories are unsuccessful, you are surely doing something wrong.
You have to follow the rules of Medium. Make sure you read the Distribution Standards and stick to them. If your story is good but you don't cite your sources or credit the images, it just won't do well.
4. Medium doesn't really care about you
During your stay here you will see hundreds of open letters addressed to Ev Williams and Medium asking them to do what people want.
Of course. I think they should listen to the creators, but you must not forget that Medium is a company with only one goal: money.
You can sit and wait for everything to be as you want it to be or you can get to work. Understand the game and learn to play it.
If you feel like Medium isn't the place for you, that's perfectly fine. Luckily for us, there are hundreds of similar platforms out there.
5. There is no secret formula
The disclaimers I made at the beginning I did for a reason. There are thousands of phonies out there claiming that they have the infallible strategy to be successful on Medium.
Conveniently at the end of their posts, there is always a paid course in which they kindly offer their knowledge.
There is no secret formula.
Be consistent, don't sacrifice quality for quantity, follow the rules and learn from mistakes.
Medium is not some mysterious invisible force that we try to understand. It is just a platform where people post their articles.
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