I remember the first blog post I wrote. It probably took just a couple minutes to read, but it took way longer than that to write. I poured myself into it. I wrote, erased, rewrote, edited, and proofread like a fiend. Once it was ready I published it on my newly created Wordpress account and shared it on social media. I couldn’t wait to see what kind of impact it would have.
Within 24 hours reality set in. I received two, maybe three, views. No engagement. Not one share. For the last few years I have continued to write on that platform with the same disappointing experiences. It is debilitating, honestly. It is enough to make a writer think about giving up. And I did think about giving up quite often.
That is, until two weeks ago. I stumbled across Medium randomly. To be honest, I have already forgotten how it even happened. I wasn’t sure what to think about it, but I decided to try it out. So far I am loving it and I want to give you four quick reasons why.
1. Better engagement
On Medium, people actually interact with your writing. I know, it’s revolutionary! There is nothing so deflating as pouring your heart and soul into something you feel passionate about only to hear the deafening sound of internet crickets in return. Are people reading? Maybe. But no one is engaging. That is how you really know people are impacted.
On Medium, people actually use the features. They clap, highlight, and respond. This makes all the difference for a writer. It matters to know that someone was affected by your writing.
It’s amazing how much one response can lift your spirits. Vytas was the first person to respond to my work on this platform. It was the first time I had received a meaningful response to my writing and it told me something very important.
All this time the problem was not with the quality of my writing. The problem was where I was choosing to place it.
Vytas also wrote a helpful post on this. You should check it out:
2. More readers
If you want people to read your writing you should go where the readers are. It makes sense, really. If you are a hip hop artist your best venue might not be the opera. You might be really good, but not many people there are going to appreciate your work.
I realized after a while that my personal social media accounts were not the places to find readers. Sure, I know many people who read. But they are too busy reading best seller books and magazines to read what their Facebook friend posted on some obscure blog. So where are the real readers?
The readers on Medium are just that. Readers. Why are they on Medium? To read Medium writers. Many of them pay a monthly subscription for the express purpose of reading this content. That means you don’t have to go out knocking on proverbial doors and begging people to read your post. The readers are already there. You just have to give them a story to read. Within two weeks on Medium I have more views and readers than I had in two years on my old blog.
Not only did I find more readers here, but I found more writers as well. This is a good thing. A writer needs other writers. We get each other. There is a camaraderie that we enjoy. I have close friends and family that I can’t share this connection with. They have other gifts and passions. But here there are multiple other people who need no explanation when I say, “I have to write. I just can’t help it!”
This works out for the mutual benefit of all of us. I learn from your writing and you learn from mine. And, if I have accurately put my finger on the pulse of this community, we are all applauding each other.
4. The partner program
You’re not going to write on this platform and become an instant millionaire. In two weeks I have made about $2.75. But that $2.75 is precious to me. It tells me my work has value. Every penny earned tells me someone out there is investing in me. This also means I have the ability to invest in others.
Let’s put it in perspective. Someone worked hard for their money. Then they invested some of that money in me by reading and engaging on my post. It’s not just spare change. It was considered a worthy investment by that individual.
If you’re like me, you don’t write for the money. You write from the heart. There may be dollar signs in front of those numbers on the stats page, but what I primarily see is moments in time when I made a connection from my heart to someone else through my writing. And that’s a beautiful thing.
You might be stuck with me
I don’t think I will be going anywhere for a while. You’re stuck with me, I guess. So here’s what you can expect from me.
- I promise I will always write from the heart. You may like it. You may not. You may or may not always agree. But you will always know where it comes from.
- I will never write anything I do not believe. I have strong Christian beliefs and that will always come through. I can’t help it. It’s who I am.
- I will, however, read from people outside of my belief system. You won’t convince me to change my beliefs about God, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn anything from you.
- I will never take a single clap, highlight, or response for granted. The one thousandth will mean the same to me as the first.
- I will do more reading than writing. My goal is to read at least two stories for every one that I post.
- If I clap, highlight, or respond it is not just to get a follow back. I mean it.
Happy writing and reading! We will see each other again soon.