The Secret to Medium? There’s No Fast-Track to Success

This not-so-secret advice might not be what you want to hear. But it’s the truth.

Image by composita from Pixabay

We are a society that loves hacks and tricks and shortcuts to get to our end-game: success and comfort and fulfillment.

I’m part of several Facebook groups dedicated to Medium engagement and writing, and I am constantly seeing questions from users asking for the “tricks and tips” to making it big on Medium “as fast as possible”.

I can’t blame anyone for asking these questions and being curious for the answers when asked — but I also feel conflicted with these questions.

Because while I look for the most effective avenue towards getting further ahead through my online writing, I’m not looking for shortcuts, exactly.

I believe in building a solid and dependable foundation, and laying one brick at a time.

Shortcuts, to me, are hacks made of shoddy materials which could crumble to pieces as soon as a gust of wind picks up.

Medium is not in an alternate universe— success still takes hard work here.

All standard rules of life still apply in this sphere — it’s going to take a lot of hard work to make it.

An incomprehensible amount of hard work.

I’ve been averaging about 170 hours per month on Medium (on top of my full-time job!) for over two months, posting multiple times a day, to get to the point where I have over 1,000 followers and 10+ Top Writer badges.

I cannot stress enough that I have never worked so hard for something in my life (well, maybe aside from starting my social media and copywriting company).

There have been sleepless nights. There are hundreds of ideas in my “Drafts” folder. I’ve had dozens of moments when I simply feel burnt out from all of the writing that I do.

I frequently feel exhausted and tired and yet I continue to move forward — because if you’re not giving it your 110%, then that’s the first step to change if you’re looking to figure out how you can get even just a little bit close to success on this platform.

Like most things, consistency is key.

Something a lot of the most active and successful writers on this platform do (apart from a very, very few exceptions) is they show up every day, multiple times a day, and treat Medium like a job.

Even on weekends, we’re grinding our way along.

Because when it comes to Medium, you have to be consistent in putting out new and fresh content.

Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the shuffle of other writers and be forgotten in the crowd.

Failure is part of the deal. It just is.

I was on an upward climb, watching my stats stack higher and higher, until all of a sudden last week Medium had a glitchy few days of maintenance (the theory now is that they’ve changed up their algorithm again), and I watched in horror as my stats just plummeted to the ground

While it’s certainly disconcerting, I’m not really letting it faze me.

I’m not lessening the work I do. I’m not even pushing myself all that much harder (seriously, I can’t deal with daily burn-out).

Instead, I’m having faith in the quality of my carefully-laid foundation and continuing on my way with the tools and habits which got me to my highest peak to begin with.

Whether that slip is on me, or a new algorithm which means I have to hustle harder than before, I’m not throwing myself a pity party. I’m not playing the victim.

I’m going to continue on forward because I’ve been anticipating that this day would eventually come and some sort of “failure” would smack me in the face.

This is just part of the deal — writing is full of ups and downs!

Rather than abandoning ship, we ride out the wave and wait for the storm to pass. If we just give up, we’re giving in to the storm and going down with the ship.

Medium is, in its essence, a social media platform.

Take it from me, a social media strategist, success on Medium requires a consistent commitment to engagement and regular activity.

That is quite literally the only way you can stand out a social platform which is flooded with users, making it very difficult to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re not reading the work of other writers, clapping, highlighting or commenting, then you are slowing down your growth potential on this platform.

There’s a reason there are active Facebook groups built around writers supporting other writers on here. We all know that this is a difficult road, and if you’re not an active participant of support while still trying to benefit, that behaviour sticks out to other writers — and not in a good way.

Final word.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many times again — Medium is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Consistently stacking content increases your chances to grow views and reads and possible income.

Adjusting your craft along the way, tweaking and fixing and modifying for your best possible outcome take place throughout the marathon, not only at the beginning and the end.

There is no definite end — writing on Medium is in no way a passive form of income. It is absolutely, unquestionably active.

You must continue to be active in order to continue to grow.

That’s the name of the game on here. The question is — do you really want to play?