Everyone is “the new guy” or gal at one time in their lives. This last month was my first thirty days publishing on Medium. I’ve fought the learning curve and absorbed some best practices. I’ve taken advantage of a few free courses and done my research. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and gotten a good idea of what subjects get attention and what doesn’t.
I’ve learned there is a good and a bad side to Medium.
On one side you have those who believe that the people who run this platform can do no wrong. Many have courses that teach people how to make money on Medium, others have been on other platforms and seen what a truly bad experience it is.
On the other side, you have people who curse Medium for its commercialism, even though it is above all a business and must make money to be viable.
I’m not saying which side is better. I fall somewhere in the middle. I know that Medium is here to make money. It must, after all, have something to pay us with if we participate in the Partner Program. Maybe they are a little evil for going against their original mission, but I can’t fault them for featuring well-known writers and people who will generate enough income to keep the lights on.
I love Medium so far, even more so than blogging and writing guest posts. In one month, I’ve had more people reading my work than the past five years combined! People here will clap when you write well, and comment about what influenced them or made them smile.
I’ve grown my followers and found a place where I can indulge in reading great work by people much like myself. I’ve learned much about the art of writing from people who do it every day and make a good living doing what they love.
I know what it’s like to try to make a go at writing alone, without the benefit of a platform like Medium.
I’ve been blogging for a long time. Over the years, I’ve had at least twenty of my own blogs and have written for a hundred more. I know what a battle it is to generate interest, drive traffic and eyeballs, and make anything resembling a living. Maybe I never stuck with it long enough to see it bear fruit. Maybe blogging is not what I am supposed to be doing.
I’ve also been writing freelance for about ten years, and before that designed websites. It’s a very tough, competitive, and thankless business trying to please clients who won’t even recognize your value. I’ve done it enough to know that trading time for money with never get me anywhere and only do it now to keep food on the table.
One day soon there will come a time when the other things I’ve been building will start to make money, and I can truly say I am doing what I love. What I love is creating things that make people happy, and I know that there is money to be made doing it.
I am convinced that Medium is the vehicle that will get me there. I am going all-in, creating loads of content to find out what people want to read. I am making friends with people who are not only trying to get to the same places I am but are willing to help others along as they go.
I love every minute of what I am doing, but writing is a difficult business.
We have to deal with people who don’t take what we do seriously and don’t assign any value to our work. When I tell people I’m a writer, I am often met with blank stares and the inevitable follow-up question: “But how do you make money?”
A quick look at the freelance forums and job websites will tell you how little business people think of writers. It’s beyond me how someone can even think that $1.00 is okay to offer somebody for an hour of their time. People flipping burgers are making $12.00 an hour. Do we not provide more value than that?
I thank Medium for being a place that values the work of writers.
First, they provide access to great writers like Zat Rana, August Birch, Ayodeji Awosika, Jeff Goins, Tim Denning, Tom Kuegler, John Gorman, and Niklas Göke. My daily habit of waking up and priming my brain for writing by reading for an hour is satisfied by the talent here on this platform.
Second, Medium provides us a means to make money with the Partner Program. It’s a given that the exposure we get will reap dividends, but to pay us for the privilege of people appreciating our work is awesome! Sure, no one will ever get rich from it, but at least the opportunity is there to make money.
Lastly, the networking opportunities are second only to LinkedIn. I’ve met more quality writers, editors, coaches, and entrepreneurs in one month than I have in the last two years in other places.
It’s up to us to look for the good with the bad, and yes there is bad.
Like you, I’ve read the disgruntled people who have an ax to sharpen. I don’t dismiss anyone’s experience because it is uniquely their own and it is their right to talk about it. Some might say they must expose the dirty underbelly that others overlook.
Maybe Medium is just a corporation trying to make money. Aren’t we all trying to make money? What would you do if Medium wasn’t here? Blog? Freelance? Write books? All these options have a downside. Some have many. Medium provides the platform, and they should make a profit.
I guess I have a way of even trying to turn all the bad into positives.
With the help of Medium, my future path looks bright. Along with writing here both for exposure and money, I plan to write books and self-publish on Amazon. Along with my other streams of income, I should do very well in the long run.
I thank Medium for opening my eyes to other ways to succeed that doesn’t involve the grind of blogging or the disappointing returns from freelancing.
I’ll say again: The future looks bright for me.