About a year ago, I began regularly writing on Medium. I didn’t know a huge amount about the platform when I made my commitment. I learned as I went along. Committing to a weekly article for Medium when my week is already full of website content writing, blogging for clients, and creating other sales and marketing assets, hasn’t always been easy.
But it has been worth it.
Fortunately, I didn’t walk into Medium with my eyes closed. I know what it takes to create a good piece of writing. Nor did I expect to get rich quick. In fact, I wasn’t sure I’d make any money writing here. What I did hope to get out of it were two things, that are just as important to me as money, if not more so.
Those two things soon became three after I signed up to the partner program.
Finding a voice
As a copywriter, I’m fairly good with words. I can adopt a number of different ‘voices’ in order to write for a wide range of clients. And that’s great, it earns me my bread and some butter too.
What it doesn’t help with is that slippery thing that writers talk about, a lot.
Knowing what your voice is and blazing a trail with that singular style isn’t particularly helpful as a copywriter. Being adaptable and knowing how to fit into a brand’s style and tone is. So that’s what I do on a daily basis.
Neither does it always help to settle into a specific niche. There are lots of businesses across all verticals that need the help of someone who’s good at articulating.
Someone who can wield words to create email templates that people actually read or website content that gets found will do well as a writer. And so, that’s my ‘niche’ — content writer of websites, blogs, email templates, and more. I’m a flexible and adaptable wordsmith, willing to try almost anything at least once.
I’ve worked with digital marketing agencies, providers of elderly aids, building management software providers and more. I’ve written blogs, website content, brochure copy and even product descriptions for sex toys.
None of these jobs has really helped me find my voice. But, the client has always been happy that I found their voice.
Writing on Medium has given me the chance to explore what my voice is. By choosing the topics I write about, I get to play with how I approach them. It lets me delve into each for my own interest and with that I’m developing my voice. You can see over the past year that my writing covered some fairly varied stuff.
Mostly, I seem to be settling into a wellbeing and marketing groove. There’s the occasional dalliance with other topics, like foraging, but these two seem to hold my interest the most. My own unique the way of writing about them is also starting to shine through. The feedback from publications and readers helps immensely. Without Medium, that wouldn’t be so easy.
Creating my own marketing assets
Of course, I have an online portfolio. That’s great for showing clients what I can do. As for having things to post on social media and maintain active profiles on various platforms, it’s not.
Keeping up with a marketing plan is important for any writer. It keeps the work rolling in and lets people become aware of what you do. There are various ways to do this, some are more complicated than others. Whichever you choose, consistency is part of the deal. Having assets to support your plans, is one of the other parts of the same deal.
Despite creating sales and marketing assets for others on a regular basis, it’s not something I’m overly smitten about doing for myself. But I understand the importance of marketing for writers. So, I’m not about to exclude myself from the game just because I don’t like doing it for myself.
That’s the second problem Medium solves for me. I get to write on here and then share my articles as part of my writerly marketing plan. It puts a bit of the joy back into the process for me.
I love creating stuff for others — the feedback and seeing how I can boost a clients’ engagement results is a buzz. For whatever reason, it’s not quite as exciting when I do it for myself. However, writing on Medium makes it a little more fun.
By doing the fun bit — writing — I also get stuff to fill my LinkedIn, Facebook and other social channels with. When it comes to pitching or responding to a request for a proposal, I have another source of writing I can plumb that’s a little different from the usual copywriting portfolio.
Paying for my addiction
The third problem that quickly became the final big reason to write here was my addiction. I love reading. I’ve written about this before. But reading is something I can’t really stop myself from doing. Even when I’m really tired and just want to chill on the couch, I find myself reaching for my phone to read another Medium article. Or else I’m picking up a book. It really is compulsive behaviour.
Fortunately, it’s not a hugely destructive one. Although it can have its downsides — particularly if it holds me in its clutches while I’m cooking dinner. More than once I’ve had to clean our saucepans with a circular abrasive brush attached to a drill.
When I opened my account on Medium I realised that my writing could pay for my reading addiction. I cannot impress upon you how much of a boon this is for me.
I got tired of getting the ‘You read a lot and we like it’ message Medium gives you when you’ve been devouring all the great writer’s articles on this platform. And to be frank, there are quite a lot of them.
I make enough on Medium to cover my monthly reader’s membership and a few coffees at my favoured café. Then again, I don’t write a huge amount here like some of the big earners.
I do seem to make a reasonable amount in what I’d call ‘secondary’ income from Medium. Referencing my work here for prospective clients makes my pitches and enquiries a little more interesting and personable. It gives a little taste of who I am as a writer. Probably because I’ve found my voice, at last.
I believe it’s helped me win some jobs in the past year that otherwise wouldn’t have come my way.
Writing on Medium has been a fun ride. I promised myself I’d try it for a year and then review the situation. Turns out I like it. I like getting to write about the things that interest me. I like sharing those things with others — you the reader and also potential clients. I like that my reading addiction isn’t putting such a strain on my purse either. There are lots of reasons people write here and it’s a great platform because of that. Using it as a resource for the continual development of my writing skills and career are two reasons I’ll stick around a little longer.