Where Do You Fit on Medium?
The first few months of writing on Medium are usually the hardest, because it’s nearly impossible to know where you fit.
Everyone spends a period of time treading water while they write what they know and figure out what sticks.
If you’re like me, you spent your first few months tracking everything. You overanalyzed every success and picked apart every article that failed.
If even one article in a genre received above-average attention, a feeling of purpose came upon you as if from on high.
It was your purpose to dominate that genre, and dominate it you shall.
But genre-slotting isn’t enough, a writer on a platform such as this has to know where they fit amongst the other content.
You have to figure out who you are and what type of voice is going to resonate with readers.
I’ve gone through a lot of trial-and-error in my writing style, and some types of writing just fall flat on their face when sprung from my fingers.
You can’t fake an authentic voice, so it’s best to find which style suits you as soon as you can.
Once something feels right and resonates with readers, start supplying the world with content as regularly as you can.
The world is waiting to hear what you have to say, so now it’s time to decide how you want to say it.
The Bleeding Heart.
Writers who can authentically use this voice are rare because it takes a level of vulnerability that most people aren’t ready to share with the world.
In my experience, a person has to have hit rock bottom at least once in their life before having the right “I’ve got nothing left to lose” attitude.
Audiences will be able to tell if you’re not giving your entire soul when writing about emotional and raw subjects, and may be offended that you’re even tackling something so personal.
If you’re getting pushback when writing about a sensitive topic, it’s probably not the topic itself; it’s probably you.
Inauthenticity has a strong odor that readers can’t stand to be around, so make sure you’re 100% open and vulnerable before touching a topic that requires this level of sensitivity.
Competition is fierce, and most writers are faking it. So if you’re one of the genuine ones, this could be a goldmine.
This writer has found a way to weaponize anger and uses it to milk royalties from unsuspecting readers.
Since Medium changed its payment structure to reflect reading time rather than expressions of appreciation (in the form of claps), everyone has had to adapt how they produce content.
Writers who could once rely on their loving fans have found that they need to appeal to a lot more people than just their supporters.
While others who never had supporters have found that piquing the interest of random people is a lot more valuable than it used to be.
Getting a lot of attention with an upsettingly titled article use to bring no financial gain, because no one would clap for something upsetting. But people will read something upsetting until the end, and will even share it with friends.
Humanity has a twisted love of pain, and this shows itself whenever readers keep reading something that upsets them.
They feel angry as they read, and that anger compels them to keep reading. They then comment on the article, pushing it further into view for other readers as the algorithm calculates this interaction as value.
Some readers will even share it with friends to pass on the outrage…
“Can you believe what this guy said?”
The new system is where the griefer shines, so watch out because they’re everywhere and they’re making a profit off your anger.
The Self-Party Planner
This writer is desperate for you to know how awesome he is, and he’s got a million ways of making you believe it.
This is the writer with something to prove. He’s always sharing his massive success on Medium and promises he’ll teach you how it’s done.
Unfortunately, he’s plagued with self-doubt and imposter syndrome, so his advice is about as deep as his self-esteem.
This writer makes his royalties with pure volume. There’s no limit to his energy, so he can produce unbelievable amounts of content. Each of these articles will attract and disappoint at least a few people, and each one of them is unknowingly paying for the privilege.
There’s no wrong way to turn out a royalty, so more power to you. But if your self-esteem improves and your energy for massive amounts of content diminishes, you may need to find another style.
The 1990’s Blogger
This person can come from anywhere and doesn’t necessarily need to be someone who was alive during the 1990s.
It could be someone who’s developed a misplaced nostalgia for a decade they weren’t alive to see, or it could be someone who was there and can’t let it go.
Regardless of why they’re replicating the decade, this blogger is strait-laced and uses their Medium profile like its a Blogger account.
This writer’s posts read like diary entries, and if read back to back could narrate a life.
This writer isn’t going to see any success for several months and may drop the platform if they can’t hold on through the disappointment. However, if their posts are genuine and their insights honest, eventually they’ll grow a sizeable following.
This following will read everything this person writes and will feel invested in their lives. This writer can expect mostly positive comments (unlike the griefer who should never check their comments). Readers will be loyal but could be lured away if posts become too infrequent, too ingenuine, or a better blogger comes to town.
Once this writer has roughly 300 posts they should choose the best ones and turn them into a ‘best of’ book. It will sell.
This writer is a lover of random and unnecessary pieces of information and trivia.
Articles written by this person are usually the result of ideas that have sprung from something the writer has read, possibly the morning newspaper.
A unique combination of life experience and education informs this persons opinion. This opinion then serves to flesh out the writers idea and the resulting tornado of inspiration eventually results in a unique article that informs the reader and passes on the inspiration and knowledge.
This writer usually has to write the post soon after generating the idea to avoid losing passion.
This writer finds it hard to plan ahead, as new articles require unique inspiration every time. Unfortunately though, this personality type usually comes with the desire to plan and be prepared.
This writer isn’t likely to gain a following because all of their articles are so different that no-one will ever expect a repeat of a subject they enjoyed reading.
However, this reader will enjoy the attention of tourist readers who will stop by, appreciate, then move on.
Luckily there’s a lot of readers who enjoy random pieces of inspiration every day, so this writer won’t go hungry as long as they watch their spelling.
This writer has actually been paid to write in a formal setting.
This might be a previously published author, a journalist, or a copyeditor. This writer is the most likely to become frustrated as they watch less talented writers with no training and no experience overtake them in reads and royalties.
To this writer I say hurry up and find your niche, you’re never going to be successful on the back of your talents alone.
Medium is unfair, just like everything else. But more than anything else, success comes with time.
I believe there’s a reader out there for every writer, you just have to write long enough for them to find you.
So which type are you?