I started my journey in Medium three months ago. In the first month, I had published 16 stories, only 2 of them got curated. Last month I had published 11 pieces, 8 of them got chosen for distribution.
Within two months, my curation ratio went up by 72.3% compared to the underwhelming 12.5%.
No, I am trying to boast about my Medium success here. I am yet to taste any form of success here. Instead, I am trying to give you a picture of how being on Medium transformed me as a writer.
Let’s be honest when it comes to stories related to Medium; it is usually about doing well in Medium. We often ignore the influence it has outside this specific platform.
Being in Medium contributed to my life in two specific ways.
1. Reading on Medium
The quality content from writers all around the world impacted my reading habits, making for a solid groundwork to level up my writing.
1.1. Different tones and styles
If you read one article from The Startup, The Innovation, Be Yourself, Better Human, and Mind Cafe each, you will be amazed by the variety of tone, storytelling styles, and narration. Each publication features its unique formatting style and takeaways. Let’s take the writers to the account diversity goes up to the point of insanity.
Reading so many different stories is bound to make a mark on your writing style. Furthermore, you can shift between methods to be more versatile as a writer.
For example, if you read my piece on why reading is more important than you think and compare it to my recent analysis on Wolf Children 2012, you will see the vast difference in the writing techniques. Yet both of these pieces are informative and got chosen for curation.
1.2. A powerhouse of inspiration
Medium is undoubtedly the home of the likes of most creative bloggers working to date. I had a little concept on how a single fraction of an idea can evolve into a wholesome piece.
Reading people overcoming their demons, coming up with ways to skyrocket their productivity, and their creativity added a world of nuance and objectivity to my existence not only as a writer but also as an individual.
I frequently come across several Medium stories that offer newer perspectives and actionable takeaways.
1.3. One more good habit
Before I came to know about Medium, I would mostly devote my leisure time scrolling through Facebook or Insta. Frankly, none of it added much to my life. Now when I spend a sizable amount of time reading on Medium, it has improved my quality of life noticeably.
2. Writing on Medium
While reading on Medium has helped me a lot to tide up my all over the place leisure, writing here had advanced me to organize my professional life.
2.1. Keeping up with the publications
Having a few extra pairs of eyes on your work is helpful. Besides, when those eyes routinely scrutinize a perpetual lineup of content, you want their feedback on your write-ups.
The prominent publication moderators work to make a piece more readable, appealing to the readers, in addition to making it more suitable to their guidelines. Hence, their insights teach you to cut through the fluff, boiling it down the size of the content into a streamlined, focused piece.
Writing regularly for publications with clear and actionable guidelines helped me be more user friendly as a freelance writer.
2.2. Precise formatting
Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.
— William Pollard
You and I both can agree that the formatting of a piece is as important as the substance and the tone itself. It took me about a month to figure out proper formatting techniques and how to use them differently for different pieces. The guideline of Books Are Our Superpower benefited me a lot to adapt to the intricacies of the Medium format.
We all know how to format. But very few of us know how to format well.
Among the most common formatting mistake that keeps you from getting curated are:
- Confused usage of pull quotes & block quotes
- Improper practice of section headers and subheaders
- A single block of text instead of short paragraphs
- Too many images or gif’s
- Overuse of single-sentence paragraphs
- Clickbaity titles
Following proper formatting style allowed me to tide up my projects with ease and cleanliness.
2.3. Improved speed
Yes, writing on Medium makes me write faster. Following the instructions of the moderators and getting comfortable with different formatting methods restructured my writing rituals and made me produce more focused pieces of articles. And it assisted me to do it much quicker than before.
Earlier I used to write 1000 to 1500 words per day. Now, under extreme pressure, I have even written up to 4000–5000 wordcount worth of content a day.
2.4. Scoring 100 on Grammarly
No, I don’t have the premium version. I use the good old free version, same as you. The urge to get accepted in my targetted publications had put me in a desperate situation where I wanted my pieces to be free of any form of grammatical fallacies.
It is something I never felt the need to pursue before. Now I can write pieces of articles that score 100/100 on Grammarly. And I charge a premium price for it.
2.5. Crisper edit
While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions, and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.
— Tiffany Madison
Write to Express, Not to Impress is an article that supported me to get a tight hold on the tricky and ruthless task of editing. The use of strong verbs, elimination of adjoining words like “that” or “and” where possible, use of active voice instead of passive are among some editing tricks that encourage me churn out a more effective final product every time.
Moreover, I often restructure, rearrange sentences to make them more concise and substantial.
Yes, the recent changes have impacted my Medium engagement adversely. I deeply relate to the writers’ reaction to the dipping graphs and revenues. It is why I oppose the idea of being totally dependant on Medium for our monthly income. Yes, people are earning well on Medium. But most of them have invested years in building a network of followers and making places in the bigger pubs. It is heartbreaking seeing newer authors relying solely on Medium and getting disheartened due to the unforgiving initial months.
On the contrary, if you wish to use Medium as a side hustle to improve your writing skills, using it as a portfolio for external clients; it could work wonders.
Although my collective journey in Medium did not earn me more than $60, my average monthly income as a freelance writer is now between $600-$800, which used to be $150 before I joined Medium.
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