There are lots of ways to be successful on Medium.
You’ll see lots and lots of articles about it. So many different strategies. Some will work for you and some won’t. I’ve talked in previous months about the need to write three stories a day, and engage with and support other writers. Every bit you do really does help.
But one of the best things you can do if you want to be successful on Medium? You need to show up every day.
Yes, I do mean every day. Seven days a week. That includes busy days, not just the quiet days when you have more time. That includes Saturdays and Sundays, when you might not want to write a word of anything.
And yes, it includes vacations too. I’m in an especially unique scenario (especially this time of year) where I just returned from a Thanksgiving vacation and am about to embark on another one. Working on Medium is hard when you’re on vacation, there’s no doubt about that.
But did I take a long break from Medium while on my recent vacation? No, I didn’t. I still showed up every day.
Vacations can be especially hard when everyone else isn’t doing any work at all and is only having fun.
I experienced this last week. I went on a short vacation with my family, including my two younger brothers. Both my brothers make a hell of a lot more money than I do. Both are way more successful in their fields.
To my knowledge neither one spent a single minute doing any work at all for their jobs while on this vacation, while I worked at least one hour every single day on my writing.
My younger brother was watching me work one of the mornings and he asked, “Jeez, you must be making a lot of money on there if you feel you have to write every day.” And when I told him I was averaging 20 dollars a day on Medium at the moment, he got confused. “So… it’s just a hobby then.”
A hobby? Uhh, no. This site has never been a mere hobby. It’s been a place of ideas, of passion, of teaching, of inspiration. Since March 1 I’ve treated this site like a part-time job, and that paid off big time in June when I made $1076 in a single month. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach that number again, but there’s still hope.
The one surefire way I know to fail at Medium? To take a week off. To go all of December and just throw in the towel. If I want to try to find success on the site again, I need to continue showing up every day. I need to do my best.
I understand it can be hard to do this if you’re struggling on the site. If the income isn’t high.
If you’re making $5,000 or more a month, then yes, you’re going to have more incentive to show up every day. If you’re making $10 a month, $100 a month? You might feel like nobody’s going to miss you if you don’t write for a week. Sure, that partly might even be true.
My income has been slowly dropping since I entered curation jail in mid-October. I’m not sure if it will rise again in the coming weeks or if it will continue to go down, down, down. Part of this is frustrating, sure. And part of me has thought in terms of these two vacation trips to just abandon Medium, take a break, come back in January afresh. I did something similar actually last December.
But at the end of the day, it’s my firm belief that to have success on Medium, to have success in writing in general, you need to show up every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot of your time. It can be twenty minutes, thirty minutes. It doesn’t have to be all morning or all night.
While out of town the past few days with my family, we generally didn’t do anything before 9am. Therefore, every morning I woke up by 7am, then ate breakfast and worked on Medium for 90 minutes on average.
A couple days it was an hour. A couple days it was two hours. I published a new story, promoted it, then wrote my next story for the following morning. It was a schedule I kept to each day of the vacation, even on the days I was traveling.
Trust me, It’s not hard to show up every day if you love to write.
If you have things to say that might entertain, inform, inspire other people. I always have new things to talk about, and I enjoy the work that I do.
You do have to enjoy it and want to show up, or yes, eventually you’re going to burn out and abandon the site for a long while, possibly forever. If you’re forcing yourself to write a new Medium article every day, if this place feels like work more than anything else, it’s going to be a long road ahead.
But even if you treat Medium like a part-time job, try not to think of it as a job. Think of it as pure joy. As a place to express yourself, try new things, take chances, fail sometimes, succeed often.
If you want to find success on Medium in 2020, one of the very best things you’re going to want to do is show up every single day. You’ll be glad you did!
Brian Rowe is a writer, teacher, and constant dreamer. He received his MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his BA in Film from Loyola Marymount University. He’s on Facebook and Twitter, and you can read more of his work at brianrowebooks.com.