6 Honest Truths About Writing On Medium
Every story that you write won’t always perform well because it depends on your content, luck, and exposure.
I’ve been on Medium for almost 2 months and I never thought I would accomplish the things that I’ve accomplished today.
I would have never thought that I would get a chance to get paid for my work. I’m so used to writing for free that earning a few cents actually made me feel giddy inside.
I also never thought that at least one of my stories would be published in a publication too. Most of my publication opportunities came out of the blue.
Although there’s still so much to unravel about Medium, it’s fair to say that writing on this platform isn’t as glamorous as people think it is. So, here were 6 things that I’ve learned so far from writing on Medium.
1. Advertise Your Stories Everywhere
When I say “everywhere”, what I really mean is don’t limit it to just Medium when you’re getting the word out about your stories. There’s a whole world out there that doesn’t know your story exists. In order for them to know that it exists, you have to advertise and market your work.
Sure most writers say that your work can “advertise itself”. However, that’s not always the case for new writers like me and (maybe) me. In fact, some of the most popular writers on Medium still advertise their work today.
So, you can advertise your work the “classic way” through social media or you can try an underrated approach that people don’t often do. That approach is commenting on blogs outside of Medium. You’ll be surprised that people actually click the link to your blog and/or website.
2. Don’t Give Up Too Early
I find that my best results come when I’m close to giving up. I’m sure many writers can relate to this situation too.
For example, I have days where my stories get 0 views, 0 reads, 0 claps, and $0. It’s honestly discouraging and I sometimes question if I’m wasting my time on Medium.
However, when I completely forget about the story and I step away from the platform for a few days, I magically see results. Everything that I was concerned about turned around and my hard work actually paid off.
So, the moral of the story is don’t let your stats and “failed” stories discourage you from writing. Sometimes you have to be patient and let the results come when it wants to come.
3. Not Every Story Will Perform Well
If anything, a writer will be lucky if a handful of their stories perform well on Medium. My top 3 stories have hundreds of reads and one of them almost reached a thousand views.
Although that’s exciting news that I never thought I would achieve on my own, what some people don’t know is I’ve published over 30 stories on Medium.
So if you think about it, Medium is a game of luck. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some. Realistically, you’ll have good and bad months on Medium. There’s not one month that’s going to be the same where you’ll make a ton of money.
Also I want to emphasize that Medium is an amazing platform. However, it’s not a miracle worker. Every story that you write won’t always perform well because it depends on your content, luck, and exposure.
4. Publication Isn’t Always the Answer
I had my fair share of dabbling in publications. I can honestly say that sometimes it’s just there to get the ball rolling so people know that your writing exists.
I had one publication (that’s now deleted) who reached out to me a month ago. I had a handful of my work published there and some of my stories performed really well too. However, there were a lot of stories that didn’t perform well and it barely made a cent. It didn’t gain a lot of attention either.
On a different note, my most popular stories that performed well didn’t get any form of marketing. In fact, it wasn’t published through a publication either. It was just SEO, luck, and the power of patience. Somehow they made a decent amount of money on their own with little to no effort.
So, I strongly encourage you to treat a publication as a form of exposure not as a sole money making tactic. Sure, you can have a higher chance of making money but that’s not the end all, be all route on Medium. Sometimes, your story just needs a little bit of time before it starts to see results.
However, I want to clarify that yes, some publications will perform better than others. Especially if they have thousands of followers and loyal readers. But, everything comes down to your content and if it will grasp the paid members attention.
5. Don’t Do It For the Money
Veteran Medium writers have warned newbies like me that Medium isn’t a debit card. It’s not going to give you unlimited money and make your billionaire dreams come true.
If anything, it’s hard to make a 4-6 figure salary on Medium. In fact, some people barely make hundreds of dollars on Medium. It’s not impossible to obtain but it does require work, time, and luck.
If you’re a writer who wants to make writing a full-time job (like me), please make sure that you have multiple forms of income outside of Medium. There’s a high chance that you’re not going to make bank right away.
6. Be Part of the Community
I can’t emphasize this enough that you should follow and interact with other writers on Medium. At the end of the day, Medium is a community and in order for you to succeed in a community, you have to put yourself out there into the community.
If you’re closed off and you don’t want to follow other writers, you’ll most likely get the same treatment back. So, reach out to writers, comment on their stories, and give them a few claps.
In fact, I encourage you to follow them on social media too. This is a great time for you to network and socialize with writers in your niche. Remember, if you support other writers, they will most likely support you too!
- Advertise your work on and off Medium.
- Don’t give up too early because chances are you’ll see results the moment you want to quit.
- Don’t expect every story to perform well. Everybody has their good and bad months.
- Just because your story is published through a publication, it doesn’t mean your story will perform well. Sometimes it’s just luck and patience that gives you the best results.
- Don’t write on Medium for the money because not every writer will make a ton of money on the platform.
- Be part of the community and interact with other writers. If you support them, they will support you.