I’ve been on Medium since at least 2016. As a seasoned writer on this platform, I’d like to share some of my expertise, especially with those who are new to this online publication.
Harking back to the times when claps were the way to earn a pretty penny around here (and if that doesn’t make me a veteran, I don’t know what will), I have seen enough changes on Medium to convince myself that the way to achieve your first four-figure article is… by not attempting to write a four-figure article.
The more popular posts in Medium these days are the “How to write a/an (insert four- of five-figure here+currency) story” type. They don’t work. Believe me, guys. Don’t pin your hopes on these clickbait-rich, time-wasting features.
I’m not denying that occasionally someone strikes lucky and pens a 10K viral post. But the chances of that happening to you are the same as Donald Trump apologising for the mess he made in those four years when he was in power. Zero.
What really works on Medium is graft. Graft away and you will eventually land the golden-egg-laying goose. Roll up your sleeves and get down to business. The business of writing. Or writing as a business. Even if it’s just a side hustle.
Also network. Oh, yes, network your pretty arses off, my darlings. Read other users’ articles. Leave comments, engage with them. Build, build, build. Build a following. Build a profile. Build your edifice. Your writing edifice.
If you take away the nastiness and macho posturing, Alec Baldwin’s Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross could be a good template for wannabe Medium writers. Apply his AIDA (Attention, Interest, Decision, and Action) and see where it takes you. Hell, even nick his ABC and turn it into an ABW (Always Be Writing). But let’s stick to his AIDA for a moment.
I bet I got your attention when you read the title of my piece. Sure, it was a bit devious of me, to lure you into the rabbit hole with false promises, but, come to think of it, am I really fooling you? Of course not! We’re in this together, mate! This writing malarkey. That’s why attention comes first. And I got yours.
Next up, interest. If you’ve read this far, it’s because you’re either keen on my message or you’re bored to death. I know which answer I prefer. Please, don’t hurt my feelings.
Decision follows after. Decision time for both the writer and the reader. What’s it going to take for you to write that six-hundred-word article? As for you reader, what will make you read it? Writer and reader, you have one of the most beautiful, synergetic relationships ever. Don’t spoil it. Get those fingers on that keyboard, writer! Get scrolling, reader! You know you both want to.
Action is the last element. It’s the hardest. It means not only that you, writer, have to get off your arse and do some work. But also, that you will have to do it again, again and again. Because as that great poet and philosopher, Mike Skinner, once said: “A grand don’t come for free!” Do you want to land your first 4K write-up? Work for it.
So there you have it. In plain English. Pull up your socks and work them off and eventually you’ll see the pennies rolling in. Whether the end product will be in the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of pounds/dollars/euros/insert currency, who knows? But at least you’re having a proper go at it.
One last thing, though. What’s that you’re drinking? Coffee? Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers. If you don’t believe me, ask Mr. Baldwin.
How to Stick It Out as a Writer on Medium in the Long-Term
Clue: the solution is neither frequency nor click-bait posts
How to Find the Inspiration to Write When Nothing’s Inspiring Enough
Clue: there’s always something to write about