My penny turned into 4,706 pennies.
I’ve learned a lot this past month on Medium. I’ve seen some stories do well and others not so well. I’ve written about various topics — leadership, personal growth, relationships and travel. I even wrote my first fiction story. I am trying new things and seeing how they work. I still very much enjoy the platform, enjoy what I’m reading and enjoy being able to write stories people read.
Of the 34 stories I’ve written, 10 have been curated. The story with the most fans was not curated. It was also featured on my profile for the longest. Over the past month, I have learned what results in a somewhat successful story. I’m still learning. I’m still trying new things. My writing is evolving. And so is my style.
Here is what I’ve learned.
Follow, follow, and follow some more.
While following others for the sake of growing your followers is frowned upon, it is a good way for you to be exposed to different styles of writing and topics. Yes, it also grows your followers. But it’s a win win.
I search for topics I like to read about and if I like the story I’m reading, I clap. I look at the other people who shared my thoughts and clapped and follow them. It helps to find like minded people who share similar interests. I enjoy reading what they write and my followers grow as well.
Curation doesn’t equal success but it helps.
In lessons from month 1, I mentioned curation doesn’t equal success. While this remained true for month 2 due to my most fans being on an article that wasn’t curated, curation definitely helped increase my views. I also feel satisfaction when stories are curated. The thought that someone actually liked my writing enough to recommend it as a topic is very satisfying. It’s a good feeling. So while you shouldn’t solely focus on curation, you should be aware that it helps increase your views and following.
With the new Medium Partner Program, I suspect curation will be especially important. Since we are now paid on time spent reading and not on claps, you can reach a wider audience by being curated which will result in more time spent reading.
Focus on topics you are passionate about.
I have realized there is a pattern to the articles that get curated. Every time I have written about a topic I am passionate about — leadership, relationships and personal development, it is likely the story will get curated. Readers can sense passion. It is evident in your writing. If you focus on topics you’re passionate about, you’re more likely to get curated. And if you’re passionate about a topic, you want to write about it. This means you’ll write more often. The more you write, the better your writing, the more chances you have at curation, the more views you’ll get and the more people will be able to read your work. So write. Write often. And write about topics you care about.
Month 2 was surprising for me. I didn’t expect to increase my earnings that quickly. I went from earning a penny to $47.06. I made a commitment to write everyday and I missed close to 5 days during month 2. Committing to writing every day definitely helped my earnings.
I’m now working on doubling my earnings this month. I will continue to write about topics I’m passionate about and try new things. My first fiction story didn’t do that well but maybe the second will be better. Let’s see how it goes. On to month 3!