FCuK — I Didn’t Know I Was a Top Writer!
What Now, What Worked, & a Doubt, please
I have a problem.
I want to try different things and try my hand at everything I am interested. The problem is that I do them all at the same time.
As a result, some things get pushed down the long to-do list.
One among them was — writing the About page on Medium.
Today I promised myself I would start from the bottom of the list, so I opened my profile to update the About page.
And what do I see!
Top Writer in Writing
When did this happen? I did not get any notification, nor a mail!
(Not that I am complaining, but it is a suggestion, Medium Gods. Next time, please keep this in mind. It would help...hehe)
What changes now?
My bio, for starters.
With no delay, I put the badge on display.
And also, the fact that I am not in the elite MPP club, my Medium earnings remain the same — zilch.
Nothing much in that area — directly. Indirectly? Well, that’s another story.
But with a top writer tag comes an amount of credibility. It’s Medium’s way of saying:
“Okay, so we have watched this writer for some time, and we can say that this person persistently comes up with engaging stories that benefit readers.”
Sort of ‘Quality check’ stamp. Someone else has done the vetting for you. It brings in a by-default advantage.
The gestation period to decide whether to ‘earmark’ the writer is less, resulting in faster growth of the writer’s own reading community.
3. Indirect earnings
Yes, you can earn indirectly by writing on Medium.
Despite Earning $0 on Medium, I Show Up for Work Each Day
Because I earn in three other ways
The three things I have mentioned in the above article are — selling digital products, getting clients, and building an email list.
And with more people keeping a tab on you, it becomes easier to present your products. It is like a ready and interested audience.
[I am not very comfortable with the word ‘follow’; hence I use round-about phrases to say that. I would prefer terms like ‘track’ or ‘interested’ — another suggestion]
It was already there. Now, it went one notch up.
And obviously, I still need to maintain the momentum. I cannot hang everything on this one hook — it will not withstand.
What worked for me?
I don’t know how the algorithms work or what boxes a writer needs to tick before Medium awards this medallion.
But I can confidently put my fingers on some things that must have benefited me in this direction. And they are fairly simple.
Anyone can achieve this feat with a little conscious effort.
1. The C word
Stop thinking naughty — I am talking about consistency.
And I will spare you the drudgery of emphasizing this point. Algorithm or not, this always works.
But one thing — consistency is NOT publishing daily. So do not fall into that trap and hurry into publishing half-baked stories. It is okay to publish well-rounded articles every 2–3 days.
- People want to engage with someone who is there, not with someone who makes special appearances once in a while.
- It is like meeting someone again and again in the lift; after 3–4 times, you smile and become friends. The law of familiarity.
- Consistency is nothing but a routine. Practise. When you keep at something, you can only get better at it.
2. Value for readers
I think this one should have topped the list.
I always had my reader in my mind when I wrote something. Some questions that help frame my work.
- How is the reader going to benefit from this?
- Am I putting it in a way that is easy for them to understand?
- Am I coming to the point quickly? Or talking in circles?
- Have I made this about me with no takeaway for the reader?
- Would I want to read something like this?
If you have that respect for your reader, you will never go wrong.
3. Making headlines
No, maybe this one should have topped the list.
I have worked really hard on headlines. I impart a solid amount of time deciding on my headline. Because if you don’t make it interesting for the reader, they will not click on it, and your story is dead.
A good headline does justice to the body below — the latter depends on it.
Wait, I think this one should move to the top.
This one is crucial. One might think that when you write great content, that should do. But sadly, it is not the case. Good solid writing is a must, but making it consumable goes hand in hand.
Just like the headline, it ensures that the reader reads the story. With the significant chunk of content being consumed digitally (mostly phone), formatting is a crucial step that one cannot afford to neglect.
Here is a detailed story on formatting if you are interested.
5 Snackable Ways to Boost Readability & Make Your Readers Stay
Add some punch to your story. Don’t miss 3 & 4 — new in town.
And one doubt, please
In fact, two.
Feeling a tad shy about it, but I will ask anyway.
— Is there a way to know when I became a top writer?
I do not have any reference date for now. However, it would be great to have it as a milestone day.
— How does one keep count of the number of times they become TW?
Just for the number's sake.
Frankly, being a top writer or not being one is not the aim. To love the writing process and grow in the art matters more.
Yes, I am happy about it. But as they say — miles to go before I sleep. There is so much to learn and do.
It is a pat on the back.
N.B: The About page is still not done. Come on. I wanted to, but I had to write this story. I promise I will do it.