True experiences after spending a month on Medium.
Why did I do this? Well, for all the wrong reasons. It wasn’t easy at times, especially during really low days where I just wanted to go to sleep early. But I managed to write 30 articles in 30 days.
I wanted to set the habit of writing because I’m planning on taking some upcoming projects that would require from me an interesting amount of written content. So it was important for me to be prepared for that.
But in the meantime, I realized that I didn’t need to publish everything I write, as I could’ve just saved those articles for later. Publishing them and making my goal public helped me to accomplish it, but it made it unnecessarily hard.
Based on my experience renewing a domain in Argentina, on the third day I wrote an article that was, by far, the most successful one I wrote at Medium. Hitting that milestone so early into my process deflected my attention temporarily into statistics and numbers.
I got invited to share two different articles in some publications and at the time, I rejected both of them. I thought that accepting those invitations would’ve shifted again my attention from writing into editing my articles, and now I recognized that could’ve been helpful.
Probably not many people care about Klout Score these days, at least people that are not working with online Marketing, but that Score went up drastically almost immediately since I started writing. I know it’s not entirely related to just writing, but to the fact that I became more active in social networks.
What I’ve learned
You need to title smart.
This is the greatest lesson and the most underrated reason why your content isn’t reached. I’ve written some really interesting pieces that weren’t even considered based on the awful titling choices I’ve made.
Always end up with a conclusion.
Don’t just make a point and finish your article there, or make a great analogy and assume everybody understood it. Take the last paragraphs of your article to draw your conclusions and think… if this is the most important part of your article, why have you waited until the end to include it?
Re-read your posts before hitting publish.
Nothing more unsatisfying that re-reading your article after you published it and find horrific grammatical mistakes. Medium and Google Chrome detect most of them, but not all. So I’d suggest you trying proof-reading services like Grammarly. My written English thanks me for that.
I found my own voice.
This was hard, as I wanted to write posts with content related to what happens in my line of work, but that wasn’t who I really was. I mean, I pretended to sound more serious than I actually am. So, I’ve tried to change it and the results were amazing. Find and use your own voice.
It could be a scary experience.
When my article about the Argentinian domain renewal went rogue I was ecstatic at first, seeing how some influencers in Argentina were re-posting it. But then, random people started sharing my article with “celebrities” like Lea Verou, the Argentinian Minister of Technology, and the Argentinean Domain Registrar. Obviously, nothing happened, but it was an “Oh, Fuck” moment altogether.
Traffic builds up
My first day I got the traffic from my first post. The second day, I got the traffic of my second post, plus a couple of remaining traffic from the first. By the third day traffic exploded, and so on. Traffic just starts to build on as soon as you start posting continuously. Today, I could get 200 reads on Medium without even posting. I imagine that this effect would just go away over time when I stop writing, but it’s interesting to see this effect so clearly.
What I would do differently
Get on a different schedule and writing rhythm.
I ended up writing every night as soon as my baby boy went to sleep. And the night would start losing the first two hours trying to understand what I wanted to write about, and then 20 minutes writing about it. It was frustrating as I really wanted to go to bed with my wife, and I couldn’t break this pattern. I thing that I now would stick to a morning schedule and have a couple of good brainstorming sessions beforehand.
Accept my posts into publications.
I missed the experience of editing a post with help from more seasoned writers. I would’ve learned something useful. If there's a next time I’ll just accept.
Interact with everyone that shares your content.
As people I didn’t know started sharing my content, I’d now thank them and ask them about their opinion on the piece. This would definitely engage in more interesting conversations and definitely, in better articles.
Promote my content more, on Reddit or HackerNews
I really know nothing about Reddit or HackerNews, as they’re not my usual silos of information. But I keep reading suggestions that you should submit your articles there, and if picked up, enjoy the craziness of free traffic.
This month in posts.
- Total Articles: 30
- Total Views: 6487
- Total Reads: 4254
- Average Read Ratio: 66%
- Total Recommends: 180
- Average Recommends per day: 6
The 5 most read articles.
Renewing a domain name is a fairly known and polished process, right? Well, some guys in Argentina don’t feel the same.medium.com
Dead simple. I’m going to work on a project for the coming 5 days and it could be based on your idea.medium.com
Around August 2015, I started to feel uncomfortable with my own weight. I've moved one year before to The Netherlands…medium.com
Because no one likes to see a happy, performing agile team doing their stuff.medium.com
When I finally got a job offer that allowed me to move to Europe, I thought "That's it, I've done it. This is what I…medium.com
Where to next?
Stick to a more comfortable rhythm.
I’ll try to find a more appropriate writing rhythm that allows me to generate top quality content, without compromising time with my family. Both are really important and I don’t want to miss anything.
Set up an idea validating scheme.
I’ll start working when I have a clearer idea on which topics/subjects I’ll create content about. It’s better to know from the beginning where are you trying to go and just see that content grow over time. I’m thinking also about creating a small software project where I (or any user other than me) can use it as an Idea Bank, asking for opinions to their followers. It could be easy to implement and I’ll have some fun doing it on Zend Expressive.
Connect more with people.
I will start a weekly newsletter where I’ll create, curate and share content related to the topics I care about. That’s going to be a first step also into expanding my audience consciously. I also want to start giving my thanks to people that share my content online and ask them about their opinions and motivations to share such content. I can learn a lot doing this.
It’s been an incredible and tiring month. Not necessarily because of the writing, as other parts of my life were a bit shaky lately. But I’m happy I could finish my own challenge and that I opened the door to many other projects to come.
Thank you so much for reading this article. If you enjoyed it, I’ll kindly ask you to recommend it by clicking the 💚 icon below so other Medium users could benefit from it.
If you think I have some wrong ideas, please let me know by starting a conversation in the comments area or follow me on Twitter.