I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the way Medium works. Most of my views and reads are external to the site which means a couple of things.
- I’m being found on search engines which means Medium’s high-ranking SEO benefits me.
- External reads do not contribute to my earnings from the site in any way. One only gets paid if those with Medium memberships read the posts.
- Posts have to be read to the end to count for earnings.
- I do have about 3,000 views per month and 1,200 reads. This is about 3x what my blog posts garner on WordPress.
- Readers continue to follow me each day. I am up to 430 followers on Medium and 800+ followers on WordPress. There is not a lot of crossover between the two sites.
- Readers can only see (read) three of my posts per month unless they join Medium. This has frustrated some of my loyal readers (family and friends) who are regular readers of my blog.
- I’ve significantly decreased my postings on WordPress to post on Medium. (I don’t feel right about this. Those that follow me on WordPress have done so for the last five years.)
- Sensational articles seem to get traction on Medium. I don’t write this type of article, nor do I want to.
- It’s hard to cross-post everything between the two sites.
- The month’s earnings started strong with a book review I wrote about reading Alan Rickman’s diaries. But last week, my earnings slowed to pennies a day. Medium has real-time statistics which are different than the daily/monthly stats on WordPress. It encourages obsessing about stats. With my intense personality, obsessing is something I try hard to say away from doing.
- My earnings on Medium have been meager. They’ve been $6.00, $8.00, & $10.00 for two months now respectively. I do not think I’ll reach the $10.00 mark this month which is disappointing.
- My writing is not all that bad. I think I write as well (or better) than others on the medium site, but that fact is not a benefit. Something else, something I’m not doing, is holding back my revenue from Medium. I think it’s related to the social aspect of the site and the internal churning that goes on. I’ve never been good with that type of system.
What do I do now?
Firstly, I am not shutting down either blog. If, in the next year, Medium does not improve for me, I’ll get out. I have made some nice contacts on the site and the articles I send to publications are accepted and posted quickly. I also like that I garner a wider audience by posting there.
Secondly, I found another site called Vocal. Amethyst Qu, a medium writer whom I follow suggested I might try it. She posts to both sites, Medium and Vocal. Amethyst also writes many environmental and nature-inspired pieces as well. She told me that these types of pieces might do better on Vocal.
Over the last week, I started to investigate Vocal. And I liked what I found. Vocal pays writers for views/1,000. All views are counted not just internal site views like Medium uses. It also has less of a social media type of presence. All articles are sent to moderators who publish the piece after taking a look at it. There are categories or communities that group articles on like topics together. Also, readers can read anything they want, they do not have to join to read unlimited articles.
It’s early but I agree with Amethyst; it might be a good place for my writing. I made an account. It was easy (well, except for the Stripe account registration which was a little confusing since I already have a Stripe account for Medium payouts). And I’ll be honest here. Vocal is running a holiday special to join Vocal+. It cost me less than half as much to sign up as a creator for Vocal as it normally would. Also, I immediately got a $10.00 reward just for joining!
I can share my Medium articles and the articles on this blog to vocal without problems. One just has to make a disclaimer that they are pieces that belong to you and that you’ve published them before on another site. I did that with three articles and my first read was an article from 2017 that I reposted on Leadership.
Yesterday, I posted the first article to Vocal that I wrote on the Vocal platform. It is a book review of the novel, Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris. You can check it out here. (Clicking here will link you to my Vocal page with my articles).
In the Long Run
We’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to write for all three blogs, but as long as I can share my work between the three, I’ll try it. I think in the long run, Vocal will be a better choice for me. But time will tell. I hope that Medium makes some changes to benefit writers with a lot of external views because that’s what I am for them right now. Thank you for your support!
Do you write for more than one platform? If so, what are they, and how does that work for you?
This certainly is a problem of our times, isn’t it? Reading this brings the current Twitter situation to mind: For whatever reason, there’s a need/want to change platforms, but where to go, realizing that not everyone is going to the same place. Building community is hard, and starting over is rarely fun.
I don’t write for Medium, and I don’t have any desire to monetize my site, but I do see how the financial aspects of finding a new home can complicate the decision making process. Good luck!
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Hi, Tim. Thanks for stopping by. I’m not a huge fan of Twitter. I have an account but do not use it like I should. I’m really not good at self-promotion and could be putting my blog up there daily. I found the Medium community to be welcoming and am really there for a broader reach, although being rewarded monetarily is nice – it’s been minimal. I’m stay with it for now. You are right about building community – it is hard – especially virtually!
The Medium community looks like a good one, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. It will be interesting to see how online communities (and the way people move between them) will continue to evolve.
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Thank you Tim. Yes, we’ll see. My month ended up being the best I’ve done on the platform.
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