I’ve been a member of Medium since November 2016 just to try out the platform. I wanted to see how the platform functioned from a Blogger’s perspective and whether it could be a viable outlet. Come June 2017 I decided to write this article to inform as to why I’ve been absent over the months. Medium has been one of my creative bolt holes for a little while now.
7 Months of Medium and My Thoughts on Medium As a Writer
- In the time of being a member, I have penned 23 stories.
Medium calculates a story by how long it is in terms of an average read.
- My longest story is 18 minutes long, my shortest is 1 minute.
- My more successful stories tend to run in the range of 5-8 minute reads.
Some of my posts have been controversial or abrasive in nature, unlike the kind of posts I have written on my own personal blogs. I have pretty much thrown caution to the wind and in doing so have upset some people.
The Best Thing About Medium
Medium is very simple to use as a blogger. I appreciate the ‘simple’ element because I can have a post crafted very quickly. It is very intuitive but gives you just enough to operate at a suitable level without overwhelming you.
Writing wise it is distraction free by default and autosaves as you go along. All you could need.
The Worst Thing About Medium
Unfortunate to report this but the worst thing is the internal paywalls in Medium. There are certain ‘publications’ which give you prime access to the kind of readers you might want but it comes at a cost.
That age old problem of Bring Your Own Traffic is ever present, BYOT as I like to call it. You do get a little interaction from the Medium population as a whole but only when your stories become inflated with importance.
I feel a little rubbed the wrong way with Medium on two points.
- A paid for membership was introduced and feels like it has driven a two-tier divide into the current writing talent. Those who pay and those who don’t. I can understand that Medium wants to earn money in order to keep the platform advert free but my next point leads into why that idea is flawed.
- The writers prevalent on this site are the kind that I don’t agree with politically. There is clearly no balance to be had here. Whilst I have made it a point not to discuss politics on my main blogs, I have done so on medium. I don’t receive scorn in abundance but I do feel that the wrong voices are always catapulted to the top because they are ‘approved’ by the thought police. That may sound like I’m thinking along the 1984 lines but I do feel there is an issue with Medium’s clientele and it is causing me problems. It causes me problems more for the reading than the writing, based on that kind of audience, I’m never going to get the right reception.
In addition to this, one of my posts was approved for a publication but when the individual read it properly the binned it from the publication. That annoyed me. I felt like I had been put on the naughty step and nobody likes that.
My Plans for Medium
I am going to keep going until November 2017 and then quit. I want to have tried it for a year and see what I can see. The biggest issue I have is a lack of true audience there. It makes my written work futile and a waste of time. Nobody likes to waste their time.
Don’t get me wrong though. Every piece of writing I perform moves me closer to the perfection I seek.
Medium for some individuals is a very positive output and I’ve enjoyed some of the fellow writer’s items immensely.
Medium is not for me in the long term. I am already frustrated by the Bring Your Own Traffic element. The growing pay walls are now also annoying me no end.
As a blogger, many people might understand that frustrating ‘statistics watch’ where you put out a lengthy piece which had you poured your heart into, but are left unrewarded. When you do that enough times it dampens your mood.
I am always bemused and disappointed that my best ranking articles are always the items I never thought were particularly that special. The most popular article I have written to date on Medium had a tone more of the personal from me alongside what many class as comedy. I believe it did well because of the images rather than the words and has been referred to from outside far more times than anything else I created. That to me feels like a failure because it wasn’t my words that pushed people over the view wall.
The winning article so far is this one;
I enjoyed the writing part of it and putting the images together. The Israeli Ad Girl is a peach too, I think you’ll agree (even potentially if you are a lady reading this).
The article has grossed 44 views which sounds pretty weak sauce compared to some of the more prolific writers on Medium. A lot of my articles haven’t grossed any views.