How To Do So-So on Medium
It seems like a lot of people who write about Medium are writing about how to be successful and make a good income. I’m not particularly successful nor do I make very much on Medium, but I can’t be the only one doing so-so, so I thought I’d share my own journey and observations.
I’ve been on Medium for almost 2 years, but only started putting a lot of effort in quite recently. I’m learning as I go along, but I still don’t feel entirely at home here.
Most of my writing and engagement efforts have gone into my Wordpress blog. When I start using Medium, I was only republishing content from my blog, and the reading I did was limited to the content on the mental health topic page (mental health is my blogging niche). It was a pretty wham, bam, thank you ma’am kind of approach.
It didn’t help that I found the Medium platform not particularly intuitive. I’ve gotten more comfortable with it, but still don’t feel like I’ve got it entirely figured out.
I signed up for the Medium Partner Program late last year, and that was when I started writing articles specifically to publish on Medium. I also started stepping outside of my little box and submitting to publications, which helped me to feel a bit more like was a part of Medium.
It was when I signed up for the Partner Program that I found out about curation. Looking back, I’d actually had a few articles curated before, but Medium didn’t notify me. It was only in March of this year that I actually started getting emails every time one of my articles were curated.
I was a bit surprised by how hard it can be to get noticed even if an article is curated and in a large publication. Granted, I was comparing this to my experience on Wordpress, where I’ve found it much easier to get my writing in front of eyeballs. But still, I think it’s useful to assume going in that curation or being in a publication are no guarantee of a post doing well. Personally I’d prefer to expect low and be pleasantly surprised rather than expect a lot and be disappointed.
I started noticing hints that Medium writers were communicating with each other somewhere other than on Medium. Then I discovered there were Facebook groups. I’m pretty anti-Facebook, but I started to think maybe I should create an account just for that purpose. Reluctantly I decided to try it out, but I guess Facebook thought I wasn’t an actual human being and they immediately disabled the account. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
One thing that I’ve really changed recently in terms of how I read Medium articles is highlighting points I find particularly meaningful. I knew that this feature existed, but I just hadn’t thought to use it.
The more people I follow on Medium, the more publications I’ve discovered that I see they’ve written in. I’ve become a writer for a number of publications, and I’ve found it it makes it a little easier to feel part of a community.
I tend to have mixed views on people posting about their stats, whether that’s earnings, views, or what have you, and whether it’s on Medium or on Wordpress. There’s the reasonable side of me that thinks it’s wonderful that some people are doing really well.
There’s also the less reasonable side that wishes they wouldn’t provide specific numbers. They’ve certainly worked to earn those numbers, but I feel with specific numbers it gets really easy for readers to fall into an “I suck” trap. While that’s not the intent of the writer, I think it’s a downside inherent in giving specific numbers. Does that mean I don’t think people should be doing posts like that? Of course not; they’re free to write whatever they wish — these are just my thoughts.
So, there it is, folks. My tale of doing so-so on Medium. And I’m okay with that. I’m comfortable with where my journey as a writer has taken me, and I look forward to discovering where it will take me. It’s that journey that really matters, not the story that stats tell.
My advice to anyone else doing so-so? Keep writing, and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.