Here’s How to Write Something Other Than Articles on ‘How to Write on Medium’
I don’t know whether it’s just me and the algorithm I’ve been stuck with, but everywhere I turn there’s another new article about writing on Medium. Here’s how to bring in 10,000 readers a day. Here’s how to make $10,000 a day. Here’s how to turn your Medium articles into best-selling books that would put J.K. Rowling to shame.
I may click the odd one out of interest (probably why I keep seeing them), but none of them are very unique. Then, you’ve got the people who keep publishing articles on why Medium isn’t working anymore. Why they’re going to stop publishing on Medium and go back to their personal blog. Thanks for the update, Jeff. If you’re feeling a little uninspired by all these articles, I’m going to take it back to basics for you. Here’s how to write something else. Anything else.
The truth is, if all you’re seeing in your Medium feed is articles on how to write on Medium, you’re probably going to be feeling a little uninspired. These articles, with their thousands of readers and claps may seem like the best way to make a few bucks, but there’s a problem. Medium is going to turn into some kind of Inception universe, where people only write articles about the platform. Then people will copy those articles, peppering in their own thoughts, until all that’s left on Medium is… Well, articles about Medium.
While it may seem as though the editors love boosting up these types of articles, they’re probably sick of it too. It’s just that there are so many vying for the coveted editor’s pick every day, that they can’t not put one up. It has become a numbers game and if they’re getting 20,000 “This is how I write on Medium” articles every day and a dozen of other topics, chances are they’ll need to promote some of them. Either that or they just really, really like blowing their own trumpet. I’ll let you decide.
Time to Get Inspired
If you’re following some of the Medium big-hitters and drooling over their every word on topics such as “This is how I make sooooo much money writing on Medium every day” and “Here’s how to get your article noticed by Medium editors and potentially get a few more clicks and claps” then you’re probably missing out on some of the more interesting areas of the platform. Ignore the guys I mentioned above. As far as I’m concerned, they’re an extended FAQ or Support section of the platform… They’re not what Medium is really about.
If you want to feel inspired, then it’s time to look through some of the many, many other far more interesting topics. Not only that, but pick the topics you have zero clue about. Educate yourself. Expand your mind. Read. Read. And Read again. The biggest gaps in my knowledge are in tech and science, so these are the topics I spend most of my time reading about. In fact, my last article was inspired by a scientific study I’d read about. Sure, mine was about writing whilst under the influence, but I was feeling inspired by science (ahem).
Everything is a Remix
If you haven’t seen the ‘Everything is a Remix’ series, I’d highly recommend investing a few hours of your time into watching all of the videos you can find online. They’re excellent. They also made me realise that there’s probably no chance in heck I’m ever going to come up with a totally ‘original’ idea. And do you know what? I’m okay with that. However, I also know that if I want to be the best writer I can be, I can’t just rehash what someone else has written.
The issue with the Medium platform at the moment is that everyone has become an expert on how to bring in four million readers or whatever, and those who aren’t experts are blagging it. They think if they copy what the top writers are doing, by churning out the same kind of content, they’ll ‘make it’ too.
It’s fine to accept you won’t have a completely original idea that hasn’t been done before, but at least try to think outside of the box a little bit. Turn it on its head. Tell people why you’re NOT bringing in four million readers. Tell them what you’re doing wrong. Everyone loves an underdog secretly.
Find Your Vibe, Man
When you first started on your journey to becoming an idolised, $10,000-a-day writer, what did you imagine? Did you really think you’d be sitting at your computer every day writing the same old stuff? Where’s your mojo gone? The thing is, it’s so evident when someone is writing just to bring their total word count up (and to publish something every day) and when someone is writing for passion. If you’ve fallen out of love with writing, we’ll see it oozing out of every word. Readers are smart like that.
However, if you find your vibe and start writing what you really want to write about, things start to change. The passion comes back, the words light up and, while it may be a bit slower, your audience will grow. If you have an undeniable love for pencil sharpeners, then write about the pencil sharpeners! If nothing tickles your pickle more than the health and safety implications of the use of asbestos between 1900 and 1980, then write about that. Your audience may only be a small one, but they’ll be dedicated and passionate and won’t just be clapping your articles in the hopes you’ll return the favour on their article (which reads quite a lot like your one anyway…).
I fully appreciate that this in itself is a completely hypocritical post. After all, I’m telling people not to write about ‘How to write on Medium’ whilst also writing about writing on Medium. Inception, see. I also appreciate that I have had about 1,000 views of my entire Medium back catalogue and so am in way an ‘expert’ on the platform. How dare I offer my advice?
But, I am a reader, a user of Medium, and a writer myself. I can’t stand to see the same old stuff and the lack of soul. That’s not what we became writers for, was it? Bring back the passion and let’s see some more articles on asbestos use, getting blind drunk whilst writing articles, or deepfake music (super interesting, by the way).
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.