I Have Written 500 Articles, This Is What I Learned So Far

Mindsmatter

Learn. Earn and avoid my mistakes.

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The road has been steep and slippery, but this is all I learned 500 articles later…

7months ago I started this journey as a hobby and today it’s the most important project of my life. At first, I thought that writing on Medium couldn’t be very different from writing on other platforms, so I decided to just follow my gut. 499 posts later and here I am, seeing how wrong I was back then.

You see, being a Medium writer isn’t rocket science, but it is an art. There’s no other platform for writers and readers like this on the Internet, it’s like it had a life of its own, and there are tips that can help you. I wish someone had told me in my article 20, but what the hell, it was a great trip.

Disclaimer:

I’m not a millionaire writer who found the glitch in the system and has it all figured out, I’m just someone who has written A LOT and learned even more. The following tips will not ensure you gain thousands of followers in days or increase your earnings by 1000%, I already had to write clickbaity articles once, but not anymore *fingers crossed*.

But maybe this will help you to get used to and better understand how Medium works in a faster way and you will be able to find the middle ground between adapting to the algorithm and writing freely. I have discovered that this may be the key to being successful here since yes, it is something that I enjoy but it’s also my job and pure art does not pay my bills.

If you are a veteran writer on Medium please let me know what other things you have learned on your journey!

This time it’s personal

At first, I thought too much about topics to write about, and sometimes I chose to write a generic story about something trending to attract new readers. Most of the time this is not bad, but it is a formula to fail if you don’t change the strategy quickly.

Over time I realized that for each topic 1000 articles are covering different perspectives on it. How could you come up with an original idea? In essence, you don’t. Think of it this way: everything is already invented, what you can do is give a twist to something that already exists. The easiest and most natural way to do this is to write about personal things, write your own story.

I found that readers interacted and enjoyed stories more in which I was more open and personal. Maybe because they found a few of their own experiences in my writing, I don’t know. It can be a bit challenging at first because it leads to exposing yourself to a bunch of strangers and you have to be ready to show vulnerability.

The result is worth it, not only because others will find authentic and sincere content, but because writing about personal things, I feel closer to what I write. I’m no longer a ghostwriter, I’m myself, hear me roar!

Find a way to give a personal touch to any topic or trend that everyone is talking about, make it unique and you will feel better not writing robotic and generic posts.

Find your own rhythm

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Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash

Marketers and social media gurus have led us to believe that to tame algorithms we must post non-stop. YouTube ignores your videos if you only post once a week, TikTok ghost bans you if you go two weeks without new videos, etc.

This has made us obsessed with creating as much content as we can, and the truth is that on Medium at least, it’s quality over quantity. Buuut… don’t relax too much, it is very difficult to create a community with two articles a month. I’m not going to throw a number like one daily article, but you do need to stay consistent.

I’ve posted every day for a month, and my blog has seemed like a ghost town for weeks, the numbers have gone up and down. It’s all about balance.

The rhythm only you know, publish as often as you can without suffering burnout. The moment you feel like you’re writing junk content just to meet a quota stop.

Don’t be obsessed with numbers

Graphs and analytics are your worst enemies. Don’t feel like a bad writer for not relentlessly reviewing the data looking for the best time to post, I’ll tell you: it doesn’t exist. No matter what time you post your articles, there will always be someone waking up and someone looking for something to read before going to bed.

Don’t pay too much attention to the numbers, don’t change your strategy every week just because you haven’t gained any new followers.

If you want to become obsessed with something, let it be to write more and better. If you are starting, I advise you to never look at views, claps, or likes, checking them will not make them grow, writing will. Most of the writers on Medium give up weeks after starting because they didn’t find the massive community they were promised, they are there but you have to build it.

Every new article you write can be your best article. You never know when a new post is going to blow up. My first article that had thousands of views came after months, and if I had not written the previous 100 articles, I would not have made it.

My biggest advice? If it’s not something you have fun and are passionate about then it won’t work. First focus on making the trip pleasant, then you can look at how to get there faster.

Readers know when you are forcing things and when you write from the heart, so don’t even try to fool them. Once you feel like sitting down to write without looking at success and fame, you can look at strategies and methods. A little help never hurts, but no one is going to teach you to be passionate about your job.

It’s all about writing, so enjoy it. Success will come in a little while.

Happy writing!

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Mindsmatter is written by Bola Kwame, Jack Graves and Emma Buryd. De-stigmatizing mental illness one day at a time. www.linktr.ee/Mindsmatter

New York, NY
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