9 steps to get into the best and biggest

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The quickest way to earn any (real) money and grow your audience on Medium is to get published in one of the top publications. I should know. After slogging away in obscurity for a few months with mostly self-published pieces, I took a chance and submitted to some of Medium’s most popular publications including:

It’s so simple I didn’t even realize I was doing it

how to writer better headlines in one easy step
how to writer better headlines in one easy step
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

It’s tough to write a great title. I get it. But the sad truth is the handful of words at the top of the page are probably the most important thing you’re going to write today. So it’s worth taking a minute to triple-check that your headline is as good as it can possibly get.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to write snappy engaging titles that will bring all the readers to the yard (you’re here, aren’t you?). And the good news is that you’re probably already doing it. Or at least, you should be.

Because the “secret” to writing…

That’s what she said

Writing advice from The Office
Writing advice from The Office
Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

You have less than five months to binge-watch The Office before it moves to NBC’s streaming platform, “The Peacock” on Jan 1, 2021. So before it’s (basically) gone forever, let’s take a look at some of the best quotes from The Office. Because for a show about running out the clock at a traditional 9–5 desk job, The Office is packed with a surprising amount of advice for freelance writers.

And if you don’t believe me, you can take it up with corporate.

Just start writing

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I…

Which of the Greek Muses actually inspires your writing?

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“Find your muse.”

If you’re anything like me, you hate this kind of writing advice. Sure, it sounds inspirational, but it’s really just vague nonsense. And that makes it useless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for “seeking inspiration.” I’m just saying that empty phrases like that aren’t going to make you a better writer. How do I know? Because it just happened again.

Beware of writing advice

When someone tells you to “follow your passion” it doesn’t really mean anything—at least, not anything specific. And specificity is a writer’s life-blood. Platitudes aren’t actionable advice. They’re just fortune-telling disguised as wisdom. And that isn’t…

My lifetime earnings show residual income works

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Ignore the success stories. Yes, some writers earn thousands of dollars on Medium with a handful of articles. And yes, Medium is still one of the best places for freelance writers to build an audience and earn money online.

But it’s not magic.

The rules of content marketing still apply. Like it or not, the simple, boring, painful truth is that Medium is a long game. Or to be more accurate, it’s a long tail game.

Once you understand that the lifetime earnings of your articles are more important than that initial endorphin hit you get from claps and comments…


Start with his autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood

Roald Dahl is the best writer
Roald Dahl is the best writer
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Roald Dahl is an incredible writer. Obviously.

Most of us have read—and cherished—at least one of his timeless classics. He’s a master of compelling and complex character development, vivid, unique world-building, and rewarding, memorable storytelling.

But if all you know of Roald Dahl is Willy Wonka and a giant peach, you’re missing out. Especially if you’re a writer.

Dahl’s two-part biography, Boy: Tales of Childhood and Going Solo — should be required reading for anyone that wants to become a writer. …

A poem about sun tea
A poem about sun tea
Illustration by Shawn Forno for the poem “Sun Tea”

I like my poems like my tea, sweet…


Why is that bug limping?

Photo by David Maltais on Unsplash

I watch a bubbly brown beetle
army crawl
– — — — –– a
– — — — — — — — — — — — –weaving
– — — winding
– — — — — —– — — — course
across the patio
as I sip and slurp
my morning coffee.

The beetle’s arched and angled legs
a bassoon staccato


This beetle has a limp!

Every fourth step
heavy yet hurried,
a stumble,
a hitch,
interrupting his smooth robotic march
like an aging high-school letterman
ignoring an old hamstring injury.

The beetle scuttles on,


Because your personal freedom is the only thing that matters

(Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash)

I’ve got just the thing for you.

Because now there’s a better way to get people to do the literal bare minimum to slow the spread of the pandemic

Shawn Forno

A very left-handed writer | The Startup, Writer’s Cooperative, PS I Love You, Better Marketing | newsletter: |

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