Sunday 8 August 2021

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: Musings On Medium (and Blogging in General)


In March I started – tentatively – sticking some of my blog archive onto Medium.

Medium is kind of a weird-a** combo of blogging, freelance journalism, and social networking. And it pays.

Don’t ask me the ins-and-outs of how it pays – it uses some form of occult ceremony to distribute the tithes paid by the ardent congregation (only they call it Medium membership, but meh.)

'The Writer Diaries' written on a notebook, with the title 'Musings on Medium (and Blogging In General)' on the right-hand side

But anywho, it pays.

And since I lost my Amazon UK Associateship (which is a long story which you can read on Dora Reads here, or on Medium here,) I need to work on other modes of monetisation.

Because one of these days I would like to hit an income bracket above ‘Starving Artist™’ – but that’s enough about that.

And Medium is… OK.

It’s not bad. It’s not earth-shatteringly good (as many people would have you believe.)

It’s a useful way of getting more mileage out of my blogpost archives, and taking advantage of the proverbial ‘low-hanging fruit’ for a few pennies.

Although the exchange rate ($ to £) reduces the quantity of my already meagre earnings, and the 30% fee for international writers cuts it down further.

Still, I went for like 2 years on Google Adsense with something like £0.08 earnings, and I still haven’t reached the payment threshold for Adsense to this day. (Yet! It’ll happen. I’ll make it happen.)

So I’m used to playing the long-game. You know I don’t give up easy, dearest nerdlets!

It’s been really interesting (...and maybe more than a little frustrating at times,) to see the way that popular posts from right here on Dora Reads aren’t always the posts people read on Medium.

Part of that is because of the difference in audience – my dearest darling nerdlets right here on Dora Reads know what you like, and whether I actually succeed in providing it or not, you’re willing to give me the chance to try! (Love ya!)

Whereas on Medium very few people know and/or will put up with yours truly (not yet anyway… dun-dun-duuun!)

What’s been even more surprising, though, is which posts are easy to format, and which ones are not-so-easy.

Due to the fact that I’m trying not to do that whole Puritanical-work-ethic-leading-to-burnout thing that I have a nasty habit of falling back on, I’m trying to work with the easier formatting where possible.

It’s only low-hanging fruit if the fruit is actually low-hanging, y’know?

Honestly, sometimes I’m like – ‘I could totally format this post for Medium – easy!’

And then you actually look at the thing, and… nope. Actually super-difficult.

Plus some of my posts turn out to be too topical to the time that I wrote them. Even the ones which I didn’t think were topical.

And some of them were written at such different times of my life that they don’t really reflect me – or at least, not where my life is right now – any more.

Medium has a lot of the exact same benefits and pitfalls as blogging in general – the main difference being a ‘captive’ (metaphorically – I hope,) audience and an algorithm that makes Google look transparent.

It also has the exact same arguments that the blogging community were having when I was a newbie-blogger.

And as, in internet terms, I am ancient (6+ years blogging! Woo!,) and people were probably having these same arguments and discussions before I stumbled along, I think it’s safe to say that there’s nothing new to a lot of the stuff being imparted like some kinda holy revelation.

If you’ve been around the content creation sphere, you’ll be aware of the following debates, which are all alive and well on Medium:

  • How long should your post be?

  • How much do headlines matter?

  • Are stats important?

  • What’s more important – followers or reads?

  • Should you go for quality or quantity?

  • Do you need a niche?

  • Should you try for long-term success, or try to make your content go viral?

  • How much do you need to tailor to X algorithm?

  • How important is socials?

  • Should you reply to comments? Should you leave comments on other people’s posts?

  • To lists or not to lists? (Yes, this is still an argument *face palms* - USE LISTS WHEN IT'S AN APPROPRIATE FORMAT FOR WHAT YOU'RE WRITING! It's not that hard, people!)

I could go on, but if you have any experience in blogging and/or social media, you can probably imagine it.

What is quite amusing to yours truly is that a lot of Medium writers seem to think that they’re the first people to ever consider these questions.

There are some writers who genuinely give the impression that they’ve discovered these questions all on their lonesome. A lot of people seem to think these conversations are new.

And of course, there’s the typical rafts of people who think they have all the answers.

Don’t get me wrong, there are people with legitimately helpful tips and tricks out there.

At least a few of them had/have their own personal blogs, and are imparting years of internet-based experience.

Some others are just naturally good at this, and/or are actually several of those typewriter-monkeys from the infinite monkey theorem, in a trench-coat. 

(Never underestimate the importance of the trench-coat as a disguise mechanism. #JustSaying)

A lot of people, though, are the same type as I’ve seen time and time again – those who write on Medium about people who write on Medium about writing on Medium…

...They get so meta, that it makes my head hurt.

And they don’t even seem to know that they've got their metaphorical knickers in a twist.

But what do I know? I’m still striving away, trying to ‘make it’ – whatever the hell that even means – and attempting to please my biggest critic: me.

So whatever works for you, dearest nerdlets, go for it.

Just don't expect to roll out of bed, and straight into blogging and/or Medium success. Unless you're some monkeys in a trenchcoat 😉

What do you think?

Are these Medium debates familiar to my fellow 'traditional' bloggers?

Have you tried Medium?

Talk to me! 😀💬

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

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  1. I've never tried Medium, but I've seen it poking around in the blogisphere. I suppose with a lot of these sites that help you to gain some traffic and money for your blog, there are clear benefits, and some disadvantages. I long for the day when there is a perfect solution. I know on booktok if you live in the States you can easily gain money just from posting videos. I hope one day blogging gets that same element of ease. Bloggers do hard work!

    1. Ha, I think we'd all love a perfect solution. The thing is that I'm not sure there's ever gonna be a perfect solution for everyone - there's a lot of bloggers out there and what works for one rarely works for all! <3

  2. I’ve never heard of Medium. I’ll have to look into it. I think it took me 3 years to hit the earnings threshold for AdSense. Now I get paid a few times a year. I’m still firmly in the “starving” category, though!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Oh cool! You're the first person I've heard who *has* reached the threshold, lol. As long as they don't have an Amazon UK moment on me when I start earning regularly, then I'm happy to keep plugging away!

      Medium had a mahoosive boost in exposure last year, cos a lot of people took up blogging there during various lockdowns. It's got its issues (don't they all?) but it seems to be holding on to most of the growth it saw in 2020, so that's good <3

  3. I've been thinking of posting on Medium. This is good to know! /

    And oh wow- yes those are some familiar debates. :)

    1. Oh cool. If you decide to go for it, let me know your profile details & I'll give you a follow :)

      I know, right? So ground-breaking, nobody has ever considered them before /s ;)


Comments? I love comments! Talk to me nerdlets!