I’ve Been Writing On Medium For A Year: Here Are the 6 Things I’ve Learned
Those who sell you “overnight success stories” are lying (or deliberately omitting parts of the truth)
One of the best ways to get results faster is to learn from others.
So if you’ve been thinking about starting your journey on Medium or are stuck being consistent, this article will help.
Today I’m blowing out the first candle on my writing-on-Medium birthday cake.
Here are the lessons learned.
How I got started
I’m not new to creating content online.
In fact, I created my first niche website back in 2011. Since then, I’ve dipped my toes into many online businesses. But the only thing that stuck with me was this: Writing. Creating. Sharing.
I heard about Medium years ago, but who knows why it took me so long to jump on board?
After launching an unsuccessful Youtube channel, I started writing on Medium with one simple idea: repurposing my content.
In short, I took ideas from my second brain and simply turned them into articles.
I didn’t cheat.
I started with zero followers, like anyone else. I didn’t bring any outside traffic, nor did I tell my audience about it.
I just started from scratch.
Lesson #1: You’re nobody
When you start a new account on any platform, understand this: you’re a nobody. And nobody cares about you.
Yes, your ego may cringe. But that’s the harsh truth.
The quicker you embrace it, the faster you’ll grow.
I started here on Medium as a nobody, like everyone else who starts writing with a fresh and pristine account.
If you look for fame from day one, you’re screwed. Spit on the vanity metrics. Instead, look toward practicing and honing your skills and understanding your market. You do this by writing one article at a time.
Consistency helps you build credibility.
Lesson #2: Fasten your seatbelt for the rollercoaster
Algorithms get updated constantly. Not only on Medium. But everywhere else on the Internet.
And sometimes, the updates can hurt. Badly.
I had this bitter experience back when Google released its Penguin update in 2012. While it tanked my business, I learned a lot from it.
Play by the rules, don’t try to trick the algorithms, and always think long-term.
The only constant you can plan for is this one: change.
Publishing on platforms is always a love-hate relationship. When things go well, awesome. But when they don’t, you just think about quitting.
I noticed huge drops in traffic to my articles during 2 long months (April/May 2022), which, frankly speaking, demotivated me quite a bit.
Fortunately, Medium fixed their algo issue.
But all this is to say that no matter where you publish, you have to be prepared.
Lesson #3: Stop chasing followers
One of the best-performing articles on Medium was my rant about chasing followers..
Truth is, most writers only look for followers. I can’t blame them. The need for social approval is real.
But when you chase followers, you optimize for the wrong metric. You don’t want a bunch of people. You want the right people.
Some niches are limited by nature. If you optimize your content to reach more and more people, you’ll hurt your core audience.
Know your market, and know who you’re writing for.
Lesson #4: Build your list
Fortunately, I got this one right.
Since my early days in Internet marketing, I’ve learned the golden adage: “Money is in the list.”
The folks at Medium are my list-building buddies. Unlike other social media platforms, adding a link to your email opt-in page doesn’t reduce your reach.
Heck, people can even subscribe to get your emails directly within Medium.
I built an email list of over 4,000 subscribers, created 14 online courses, and built a 5-figure income with the subscribers I gathered on Medium. Obviously, I monetized my list by offering my products and services.
So yes, it’s still possible to get outrageous results if you simply do things right.
So my next piece of advice is: start building your email list right off the bat. Don’t wait to reach a specific follower milestone.
Build your list from day 1.
Lesson #5: You’ll never know where’s the gold
Assumptions are mental lies.
And the worst thing you could do as a creator is to make decisions based on assumptions. Assumptions are the devil. They make you procrastinate, overthink, and keep playing small.
Assumptions aren’t reality. They’re an idea of reality.
Truth is, you’ll never know which of your pieces of content will perform the best. I had surprising results. My most profitable articles weren’t the most popular. And that my most popular articles weren’t the most profitable. I was able to spot this using a custom-made tracking system.
Stop thinking about what could work. Start writing, publishing, and gathering market feedback.
You’ll never know until you try.
Lesson #6: Dealing with Trolls
Did I get nasty comments on some of my stories? You bet!
If you’re an extra-sensible person like me, comments can hurt. It took me years to understand how to get over them. Today, nasty comments make me chuckle, and I use them to create more content and make fun of them. That’s a lesson I learned from the great Ben Settle.
Compared to other social media platforms, people aren’t that nasty on Medium. Yet, as a newbie writer, a bad comment can make your day go to hell.
Don’t read the comments. Instead, write stories.
After writing on Medium for one year, here’s what I achieved:
- Email list of over 4,000 subscribers
- Shipped 88 stories
- 4,791 followers
- 179,370 views
- 81,050 reads
Last but not least: I had fun along the journey.
Medium helped me get my name out there and start a new business from scratch.
People on Medium read while most people on social media scroll. In a world with declining attention spans, this matters.
Should you write on Medium?
Okay, this article was all about me.
But you may be asking: Should you write on Medium? Should you invest one year of your life writing on this platform?
The answer is (as it is 99% of the time in life): it depends.
Medium works if you want to write. If you’re willing to put in the work and improve your writing skills one article at a time.
Obviously, you also need to be writing about interests that Medium readers share. A simple Google search with “most popular Medium topics” will do the trick.
I’m grateful for what I achieved in 12 months of writing on this platform.
Now, I can’t wait to see the great things you’ll achieve.
Want to build your business as a creator? Check out my free 7-day email bootcamp here. (Safe link to my website)