Why I Keep My Medium Articles Free to Read
I don’t want to deny access to encouraging content!
When I first became a writer on Medium, I nonchalantly navigated this deceivingly simplistic interface of article publication channel without any guides, so I may fully appreciate the nuances of this community of writers that are by the people and for the people, people from all ages, backgrounds, professions, and hopes and dreams.
The channel seemed intuitive at first, but as I engaged further, I noticed a few things that I didn’t know or misunderstood. For example, simple things like the Green arcs (imaged above) highlighting some of the user’s profile image actually meant a member of the Medium family, which I mistook as an “online” status bar, a similar feature that many messengers seemed to use in my experience. Another more beneficial discovery that I made was the choice of publishing articles to different publication journals within Medium, as a way to gain exposure as a writer as well as to the articles themselves to gain traction and more reads. Before that, I’ve just been publishing “independently”, which seems to have limited outreaching power.
What struck me the most is the restriction on the number of member-only articles one can access without being a member themselves. I fully understand the necessity and benefits of becoming a Medium member, I have since become one myself, but I couldn’t help feeling concerned for those who aren’t, or couldn’t afford the membership, and that they are greatly limited by the articles that they can freely access. Without that access, one misses out on a world of great content, interactions, and engagements with other writers.
This is exacerbated by two more factors: 1) Most of us metered our articles (absolutely nothing wrong with that), but it also means only Medium members can access, and non-members who used up their monthly free access quota wouldn't be able to; and 2) A sizable medium writers aren’t members, this can be easily surveyed by the Green Circle bar on their profile. And my quick cursory survey on member followers confirms this observation.
In realizing this, I’ve decided to unmetered all of my articles. And I did so for the following reasons. The strongest motivation is that I want my content to be shared. Because the purpose of my writing is to inspire and uplift others, I want that to be the priority, even when that means no tangible stream of monetary appreciation from Medium. I don’t recommend this for everyone, because I know we are all here on Medium with different purposes and expectations, and I know wholeheartedly that many depend on Medium as a source of income. I am grateful and blessed to have this option here today.
My Intentions with my unmetered articles:
- To Inspire and Be Inspired — As someone who has taken on many roles in life, a scientist, engineer, a father, a husband, etc., I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself, to live a joyful and purposeful life. So this has become a source of motivation for me to join Medium, rather than keep my discoveries to myself, I want to share them with you, in the hope that what I learned can uplift you in some way, broaden your knowledge about useful things, to bring out the best in you, and to help you live a fuller and happier life. None of us have everything figured out, we are all works in progress, and I believe there is much we can learn from each other through sharing and mutual influence here on Medium.
- Mutual Engagement — Medium is a diverse and welcoming community, but it is also vast and unstructured. Even within this digitized Medium platform and its sub-groups, I believe we are all searching for like-minded folks, to cultivate a “family” of our own or a sense of belonging through the creative writing and sharing of worldly writers. I want to find or build such a group, where we can engage with one another, build each other up, navigate through the storms together, and appreciate the beauties of life that we have been graciously given.
- Building An Audience — Many of us have probably learned that without a following, it may not bode well with some of Medium’s operation policies. (i.e. the 100 follower requirement). With open access, I hope I can reach out to more of you, and through my writings, you may find my aspirations identify with yours, and so we may collaboratively work on the same endeavors.
- A Hopeful Future — I believe in time, writers on Medium will grow at an exponential rate, and as more people come to appreciate the many benefits of this talent-laden, community-driven digital platform, more will join the Medium membership and contribute to the curation of awesome contents, leading to the natural growth and support of metered articles and the improved generation of monetary incomes for everyone from contributing members.
I hope we can connect, and start building each other towards our goals together. Please reach out and follow, and I will certainly do the same. If you find my articles engaging, please leave a comment and I will likewise do the same. I look forward to interacting with you. Cheers.