Over the last ten years I have written a LOT. Two books (well three, but the third one isn’t published yet), plus hundreds of blogs and articles on my own site, on LinkedIn, in actual newspapers and magazines and a ton of other places.
A couple of years ago, I started playing with Medium and then, recently, Medium changed the way it worked, with the paid for ‘Members’ as well as the completely freely available content. And it made me think. The open paywall appealed to me a lot as I had never seen anything like that before.
So recently, I’ve started writing exclusive content for Medium members, which I share elsewhere of course. The content can still be read by non members, as they get to choose a certain number of articles they can read for free every month. Here are my thoughts on what I love about the platform, and some bits and bobs which you might need to know if you’re not familiar with Medium.
It is a community for writers. I love how, over the last ten years or so, the internet has enabled all of us to join, create, be part of, observe and however else we want to engage in communities based around every interest, every subject, every reason to be connected. Medium gives me a place to connect to other writers. People like me. People who write professionally, people who write blogs and articles and, at the heart of it, people who write because they enjoy writing. As well as writing on Medium I also enjoy reading other contributors’ stuff too. Content I haven’t seen anywhere else on the web. Medium recommends stuff for me to read and often it is content I wouldn’t have sought out, but find that it expands my knowledge or helps me with a different way of thinking when I do read it.
You get to see how popular your stuff is. Medium provides me with constantly updated stats. I get to see which of my articles get the most interaction, not just from the people who take the time to clap, applaud and respond (and these people are truly wonderful and walk around with smiles on their faces and a warm glow in their hearts) but the silent audience as well, the people who read and don’t engage.
This gives me two opportunities. Firstly to constantly improve my writing, so more of my stuff gets significant engagement. I look at what ‘works’ and what doesn’t. What titles give the best conversion between views and reads, whether the picture makes a difference and which types of articles are most popular, for example.
Secondly, I write books. So I use these stats to also look at what would be great titles or chapters for forthcoming books, videos and podcasts. This feedback allows me to choose what content I can repurpose, and where I can do it.
My following elsewhere is growing. At the end of my articles I often pop a cheeky link where people can connect with me elsewhere, my Email list (with different content to here), my Facebook Group, LinkedIn, etc etc etc. As well as my following on Medium itself expanding, I am noticing people from Medium also connecting with me elsewhere. I write about building a strong network and these connections, these micro interactions with people are a huge part of the process of building the Like and Trust that is so important in growing and nurturing your network.
Medium pay me. Not only do Medium pay me, but it is a complete meritocracy. The more effort I put into writing quality content, the more likelihood is that Medium will send me some money every month. It isn’t a lot, but it is SO interesting to see which articles earn a decent amount.
The way it works is this. Anyone can choose to be a paid member of Medium, it costs $5 a month and means you can read unlimited content here. Free membership is also cool, and allows you to read a limited number of articles per month. To join, you just go here — https://medium.com/membership
Now, and here is what I love. If you write, and choose to join the Medium Partner Program, you get paid a proportion of that $5 per month every time a paid member interacts with your content by reading, clapping, applauding or responding to it. No matter how much or how little you write, you get paid on what other people like. The cream, as they say, rises to the top. You can join the Medium Partner Program right here — https://medium.com/creators. Just so you know, I get nothing for recommending other people join, I only get rewarded if people engage with my content.
You may have been writing for twenty years, or you may be itching to publish your first article. On Medium it doesn’t matter, you can start writing right now, and every article starts from the same starting line. You can follow other members on Medium just as you can on other social platforms, but even though my following has grown significantly recently, some of my most popular articles are the ones I wrote months ago when I had an insignificant following.
I choose to pay the $5 a month as I am happy to support the other writers on here too. Thus far, Medium have always paid me far more than the $5 per month I spend here.
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, if you want to write, write.
If you want to write, write. If you want to speak, speak. Stop waiting to be invited.
Very often, at least once a week someone asks me how they can get their book published, or who they need to be in touch…
Medium is instilling in me a discipline to write more often. It is weird, but I feel more inspired to write, with the engagement and interaction which the platform brings. Medium has gone to the trouble of putting together an audience for me, I now need to write stuff which this audience likes and responds to. I am finding that a really compelling reason to write more and more.
I know that there are hugely compelling reasons to write content on my own site, and I continue to do that too. The amount of content I am creating has increased overall since I became active on here which I believe is a good thing.
I’m a relative newbie and haven’t even got stuck into publications on here yet, although I intend to. I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface of Medium and the potential it offers to me, but will continue to do so.
If you fancy giving it a go, register either as a free member or join for $5 a month, read some of the other stuff on here, give me a follow (obvs) and then, when you’re ready click on the ‘New Story’ button — or click here — https://medium.com/new-story — and start typing. If you do that as a result of reading this article, make sure you tag me elsewhere when you share your article and I’ll be sure to read it and, if I like it, clap and respond.