Creative control or widespread distribution? Which is best for your writing?

Euri Giles | Clareifi

I’ve jumped the fence. After writing — Every creative should have a website, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some of my writing featured in the much hyped and widely discussed alternative to Medium — News Break.

After writing on Medium for a full year, I was accepted as a creator to the News Break creator program last December.

Wary at first, as many were that it was some sort of scam. I ignored the naysayers and went all in chasing dollar signs. Even if it means changing my writing voice yet again, as News Break highly prefers “local content” and is more geared towards reporting than storytelling.

I figured, what the hell? I might as well make a few bucks for my back catalog and at the same time continue to hone my craft. Not only that, but I’ve fallen in love with writing over the past nine years and have no plans to slow down. Only recently have I been forced to make trading my words for cash. Maybe “forced” is too harsh of a word. The truth is, I have found myself to be very fortunate. I’ve gotten the opportunity to do what I love, what seems to come naturally to me all the while being compensated for my efforts.

Writing on News Break forced me into a different type of writing that I may not necessarily be passionate about. However, I value the experience, and am humbled by it. It has opened my eyes to new possibilities. As I previously wrote — I would have never found News Break without Medium.

I still believe that every creative should be able to control their content. The sheer volume of impressions, page views, and compensation that has been provided by writing for an online publication like News Break is something that doesn’t come along every day. It’s all a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

While I will always have my website — It’s forced me to rethink some of the ways that I invest in myself as a writer. I’ll stop paying so much monthly to keep a Squarespace site up, and switch back to a WordPress site. I’ll stop using the free version of Grammarly, and instead pay for Ulysses on the Mac (I’ll be able to publish directly from Ulysses to both Medium and WordPress).

I will step up my game here on Medium. While News Break has lured me in with the promise of a more robust compensation plan than what I’ve ever been able to achieve on Medium, there is nothing like the community here.

Much has been said / written lately about Medium stats and readership not being what it used to be. I’ve personally been preoccupied with publishing elsewhere.

Just as I moved back to my hometown after years away, I feel like I can always come home to Medium. Here is where I can be myself. I can write what’s on my mind without being pigeonholed into a cookie cutter version of what is expected of me. It’s not my website, but it’s comfortable. The distribution is more widespread than anything that I could dream of achieving on my website. Medium still allows me to be creative.

#What will you create today?

That was an update view to the previously published post — Every creative should have a website where I stated:

Your content is valuable no matter how many followers you currently have on a platform. Even if it feels as if no one sees, reads, shares, comments on your work. The fact that you have created something from nothing and put it out in the world is valuable.

I am an advocate of ownership for writers. That means I believe that every writer or content creator should own a website. An online presence to showcase your creative work. No matter how much customization a platform offers, there is nothing like full creative control.

Do you write for love or money?

Writing is not a get-rich-quick gig, even though many articles you read offer glimpses into the life of writers who are making $10,000 / month or more on Medium or combined through freelance and other content creation.

I need to get paid, but I love putting words to the page. I get a high from creating. Medium hooked me monetarily when I saw that I could earn any kind of money from my writing, no matter how small at first.

I'm all for creativity. I understand that those who differentiate and rise to the top of mind for their respective niche will become the most successful in terms of popularity and compensation.

When you own your website you have multiple options to monetize your work.

Loyal fans — building an email list:

Convert kit




Affiliate marketing

Amazon affiliates


You have the creative freedom to make any of these options work for you with your style remaining front and center.

I understand that for many writers and creatives building and maintaining a web presence is not what excites them about making a living independently. It becomes another task like bookkeeping, marketing, social media, networking.

Over the years, as I've been writing, reading, and creating a life online I've found that experimenting with different ways to get my content found and shared was exciting to me! I not only get a high from creating the content, but I'm also one of those weirdos that obsess over the analytics, fonts, spacing, SEO.

I branched off and started monetizing what I had learned about designing websites for small businesses as a freelance side project. There are plenty of DIY website builders available, but I found that many creatives or businesses didn't want to be bothered with putting it together themselves. They would rather focus on what drives them to be successful.

Final thought

Content creation at its core is identifying a topic you want to write about, record, paint, film, etc. Decide which form you want your content to take, formalize your strategy, and then actually taking action to produce and share it.

Maintaining control of your creative work is crucial to ensuring that you are paid what you are worth. Of course, you should leverage the most relevant platforms available to you to help spread the word about your creation(s). You've got to build up traction with an audience somewhere. The key is to treat those other platforms as secondary to your digital home. Your website where;

Your content is king!

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX

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