Medium Forced Me To Be A Better Writer By Doing These Things
I got off a call yesterday from my accountability partner and one big thing that stuck out to me was something he said near the end:
“Seriously though, you’ve become an amazing writer.”
Not to inflate my own ego, but I believe it. He’s been with me from the very start and has seen some of the work that I’ve produced. I’ve also looked back and have seen the unusual pieces that I’ve created and the content I create today.
Some of that growth has stemmed from my own personal discovery of writing. A desire to improve and take my writing career seriously.
But if I had to guess where most of my growth stems from I have to point to the platform that I’m writing this on: Medium.
Over the nearly 2 years I’ve been on this platform, Medium has forced me to be critical of my writing and bring it up from the scattered mess that it was. It’s taught me to weave stories and to speak in a way that inspires and emboldens myself as I write. It’s given me a deeper personal meaning while writing and it’s also encouraged me to do my own research and back up claims.
While these are all simple tools for writers, even the most basic things can improve a craft. Like a chef returning to familiar recipes, people can be innovative of the most basic things with their new knowledge. They can develop a skill or a craft in a different more refined way and create their own style.
I owe a lot to Medium for doing this and it boils down to a few decisions that I made and what Medium has done as well.
Medium Encourages Us To Write
When I first joined the platform, what encouraged me to write on here the most was the opportunity for my work and myself to be exposed. Much like with guest blogging, when it’s done right it can work wonderfully for you.
Even before everything that Medium has now, the fact that people could run a blog through here for free was an incredible idea. The overall layout and what you can do on this platform is incredible to the point this site is a great alternative if one can’t get a website of their own right now.
But as Medium grew, the encouragement began to shift.
The introduction of the MPP.
From there, the exposure was an added benefit to the main attraction of getting paid. Even today I see the MPP as a huge selling point to grow on Medium.
Even in situations where someone isn’t earning a lot of money or as much as they want, the idea behind this program encourages consistency and habit building.
For sure there are many sites that pay people to write posts, but it doesn’t always encourage consistency. While the pay is a higher rate (with some sites paying upwards of $100 for one post) the amount of editing, and pitching required is steep.
Medium is the first platform that allows us to post practically anything we like and get paid for doing it.
It’s simply unheard of.
Medium provides a platform for us to continuously write and be rewarded for doing so and that’s the best kind of practice. After all, how the MPP is structured can be a good way to gauge your growth as a writer. Not to point of obsessing over stats, but it can be clear what one must do to earn more money.
Medium Then Demanded Higher Quality
Not to the point where we are expected to be journalists, but as the MPP grew traction, Medium was looking for better quality work. In the beginning, the program was rewarding bonuses handpicked by editors of pieces that editors enjoyed.
This was the basis for the curation system we have today where editors pick and boost the tag of particular articles.
But to receive those rewards articles need to be written a certain way. They need to be researched or discussed based on personal feelings. Not only that, but Tom Kuegler suggests that the tags we use for our stories fit the overarching theme of those tags.
In short, Medium is expecting us to do some level of homework in order to get curated in the first place. As for what kind of homework we don’t know.
But the potential for that reward and receiving that reward leaves behind a sense of satisfaction. It’s an injection of dopamine which makes us want to do more of it.
To some, this can be seen as manipulation, we’re chasing after a carrot on a stick and are hooked to writing on Medium and getting our posts curated. But taking a step back from that view can show growth potential.
In order for people to grow, there needs to be some level of incentive. As much as people are kind and supportive of others, we are always doing something for our benefit or satisfaction. There has never been a case where we have done something for someone for no reason whatsoever.
Medium provides that incentive not only for us to write, but to write well. And they do that well by providing these rewards to those who devote their time to this. This provides another layer for us to look at our writing and everything that we do before hitting the publish button. And it’s these actions that matter the most and define us as writers.
Medium Brought In Readers
The final thing that Medium did was bringing in readers. As I’ve said a couple of times, Medium’s entire strategy right now is bringing in readers. This action alone further emphasizes the previous two points.
There are more and more readers coming and looking for content. The fact that Medium encourages us to write means that we are getting rewarded by a steady stream of readers who will follow and enjoy our content. After all, we don’t need to be mass following people to grow our content.
We merely need to write.
But these rewards are further boosted when we write well and begin to hone and develop our craft. This is how I’ve been able to grow as a writer and to grow my earnings to a point where I’m making almost as much money as my freelance work is earning me.
And while that may not be much, the fact that Medium provides a platform for us to grow is encouraging and empowering.
It allows us to look at our work subjectively and critically and ask the questions that really matter.
Not to point where we are obsessing over stats, but the stats can prompt us to make experiments. This month I earned more money because I pushed myself to write more and to push for posts to get curated. I didn’t spend several hours researching these pieces mind you, but I’m giving them the care that they deserve. I’m not posting for the sake of posting but rather to post what I believe is important for myself. This leads to posts being more genuine which is what I’m all about.
And this process was only discovered by my activity on the Medium platform.