While overall a reliable platform with a welcoming community, it has had some issues, but I'm not going to be discussing that. Instead, I'll be talking about my journey with Vocal.
Why I Went on Vocal
It was the first online writing platform I started to use. I first discovered it in December 2020 while scrolling through my Facebook feed.
It advertised that you could make up to $500 a week, along with its various challenges. Of course, I was on board with it. Who wouldn't want to be paid for writing stories?
And I'd already self-published on Amazon, so I figured this would be another way to put my creativity out into the world without needing to write a full-length novel.
It didn't take me long to sign up and start writing stories. And I've been writing on here ever since.
The Different Features of Vocal Media
Like any other online writing platform, Vocal has plenty of cool aspects that make it stand out.
- Views=Money- Like Medium, Vocal gives you money for stories, but unlike Medium, the views don't have to be from the platform. So if you share a story on Facebook or Twitter, no matter who reads it, you'll earn money.
- Required Word Count- I know many people hate this, but this pushes writers to dig deeper and create higher-quality pieces. And it's made me a better writer.
- Contests- While there are many writing contests out there, there's something about Vocal's that are appealing and fun. And without the pressure.
- Word Bank- Many writing platforms don't let you easily see how many words you've written, but Vocal has recently put a word bank for each draft, which makes meeting their required word counts much easier.
- Fiction Love- While Medium and others favor non-fiction stories, Vocal supports anything fiction, so you can let your creative flag fly.
- Communities- Vocal has different groups where you can place your stories in. But you can only pick one.
Changes I Would Make on Vocal
Of course, despite its continuous progress, Vocal has many ways it can improve user experience. So here are a few ways I think it could be better.
One way is that they should allow writers to import stories from other platforms and documents from Google docs, Microsoft Word, etc.
I mean, wouldn't it be nice not having to copy and paste from places like Word onto Vocal? Because while I write my drafts here, I know many writers don't, which I understand.
And the ability to import links from other platforms (which Medium lets you do) would do Vocal good. After all, we want as many people to see our stories as possible.
Another thing I think would be awesome is allowing writers to move their stories from one community to another.
When I first started, there weren't a lot of options as to placing fiction stories. The Science Fiction and Humans communities were the main ones, which wasn't helpful since fantasy is my main thing.
So when the Fiction community was released, I was happy, along with everybody else, I assume. And I would love the ability to move all of my fiction pieces into that community, but I can't.
It would also be neat to be able to put stories in more than one community, considering many stories are more than one thing.
So, Vocal, please fix that.
Full Editing Control
Wouldn't it be awesome if you could move paragraphs or sections around without needing to copy, paste, and delete all the time?
Well, I think Vocal should let you move paragraphs around like WordPress or Squarespace.
I've worked on posts on both platforms, as my blog editing job is on WP, and my site uses SS. And I have to tell you it's one of the smartest things ever done for online writing.
It would also be nice to have full access to editing software like Grammarly or ProWriting Aid. Because we all make technical mistakes that we don't always catch.
And on Vocal, Grammarly only shows you the error; you can't correct it with the software extension, so you have to do it manually. And while the quick edit feature is great, it can't replace a second set of eyes.
Was Vocal a Good Decision for Me?
Overall, I know joining Vocal was one of the best decisions I've made regarding my writing career.
Before I joined the platform, I only wrote fiction stories, which were all within the same universe.
But when I joined Vocal and discovered the contests, it made me want to start pushing and expanding my boundaries as a writer. And even more so as I read other people's stories.
I'm pretty sure much of what I've written wouldn't have happened otherwise, such as The Deviants set, which was created for the apocalyptic challenge but became its own thing and now has a second story, The Defiants.
Or most of my poems, something I swore I wouldn't try to write after my creative writing class in college. But here I am, writing poems every once in a while.
And if I hadn't joined Vocal, I probably wouldn't have even found Medium, which has also helped me improve.
So yes, I have no regrets about joining and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. After all, I'm one of the people who got Vocal+ free for a year for entering the fiction challenge for my story, The Owl and Me.
Wouldn't want to waste that now. And I don't like to be wasteful.
Is Vocal Right for You?
Well, that depends on your writing goals.
If you're looking for a place to share your creativity and grow as a writer while earning some money, then yes, this is an awesome place for you.
Vocal is great if your primary focus is fiction, poems, or anything on the more creative and whimsical side of writing.
But if you just wanna earn money or treat your writing as more of a business, then you would probably benefit better from platforms like Medium.
However, there's nothing with being on both. I am, and it's interesting to see which stories do better on which site. And I know you'll be surprised if you decide to do both.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the best of luck. But keep on writing!
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Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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