I forced myself to write everyday, for 30 days. Here’s what happened.
Note: I wrote this post last year, but didn’t finish it because I was overburdened with projects. But here it is!
I didn’t think Medium would expand into a super writing platform. But after seeing ordinary people like Benjamin P. Hardy and Todd Brison grow their Medium following to the thousands in just weeks, I wanted to jump in.
The only problem was, I write SLOW. One post would (literally) take me 12+ hours in the span of one week.
At this rate, I wouldn’t get far. So to push myself and my limits, I forced myself to write everyday, for 30 days.
This is what I got.
More than 80,000 views in one month.
This. Broke. My. Record.
Usually I’d get a little over 10,000 views a month (~333 views a day). But after publishing more content in August-September, I started getting over 1,500 views a day! As you can see in my stats chart, my views kept climbing higher and higher the more content I pushed out.
More than 1,400 followers in one month.
I was pretty shocked. Normally, I’d get 400 followers for writing 4x a month. But after pushing out content, everyday, in big publications like Coffeelicious, The Startup Grind and Be Yourself, my following rate more than tripled.
3.5x more to be exact.
This made me realize that if you want to grow your readership FAST, you NEED to expose your content through a high-following publication. Because they have 50,000+ followers vs whatever you have.
Flipboard featured me!
This…was totally unexpected. I had no email or word that Flipboard republished my post until I saw my stats shoot up like crazy.
I didn’t do any extra promoting (besides sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin). But this told me that Medium seemed to be a good place for publishers to find your work.
7 publishers asked me to republish my posts.
One of them was HuffingtonPost — and boy did I almost fall off my chair. Because for the longest time, I kept submitting my stories through their online form but never got a response.
I also got requests from Thought Catalog, Necole, The Daily Muse, Impact Founder Project, Mend and Self-Projections to republish my posts — as they were.
It’s really nice. Because if you focus on writing for yourself on a consistent basis, you’ll eventually catch these publishers’ attention to mass-spread your influenc…*ahem* content. 😉
One publisher offered $50 for my post.
If you’re lucky, some publishers will offer you money for your post.
I added 175 new subscribers to my email list.
As most writers know, email subscribers are your vessel to internet fame.
So I used Rabbut, a form on Medium to collect emails.
Unfortunately, Rabbut will no longer be in service. But there’s a better version I’m building with Heeyy. It’s not live yet, but if you’re interested in trying out this new email-collecting form for Medium, just signup here.
I ran an experiment mimicking popular posts.
I should probably be banned as a writer for committing such a sin. But I figured it’d make an interesting experiment.
Basically, I dug through Medium’s most recommended posts — anything with 100+ recommends. And rewrote it, using my own ideas and words but following the same topic.
I was curious to see if I’d get the same results — recommends & responses — as the original piece.
Not too shabby in my attempt, but still couldn’t quite match up to the original. And I think it’s because my writing + the tips I shared weren’t as well-written as Josh’s. Or maybe people like less tips (easier to remember). Or perhaps Josh has a couple thousand more followers than I do.
Either way, I realized if you want to “score” high on Medium, you need to write something no one has done, something that revolves around life lessons (that readers can apply to their lives), and is formatted as a listicle.
I spent 60+ mins on my titles and realized clickbait works.
Besides writing my content, I spend the 2nd most time on my titles.
The reason is because, titles are half the battle to getting people to read your content. If you can’t attract people to even click your post, you wasted your whole time writing a piece nobody wants to read. It’s the same as if you never wrote anything at all.
So I tested two posts — same content, different titles, for one week. And the results blew my mind.
If you want to know my thought process for writing powerful headlines, I made a 6-step guide.
What these 30 days of writing have taught me
That writing everyday is a pain in the neck. Especially when you gotta push through throbbing headaches and 6-hour sleeps a night.
But if you keep going, you keep ignoring those little voices telling you to stop, and you keep publishing new content everyday, it’ll all pay off.
So stay consistent. Work harder than everybody else. And eventually, you’ll grow your Medium blog like no other.