Medium, Newsbreak, And Vocal: It's Not An Us Versus Them Game. Here's Why
And the one priceless secret nobody ever shares (until now)
I write and publish on all three of these platforms.
I write and publish on all three of these platforms, and because of that, I suppose my reticular activator is in tune with articles about Medium VS. Newsbreak VS. Vocal.
Ok, wait up. I'm not really a science guy, but the "reticular activator" comment basically says that the moment you buy a red car, you suddenly notice all the red cars on the road.
And that's the wrong way to look at this.
Writing on multiple platforms, I mean.
It's almost like having three kids and then broadcasting to the literary universe, and everyone else who scrolls by, about how one rugrat is awful for these reasons, but this other moppet shines for that reason. And then doing the same for each of the other curtain climbers.
So I'm not going to share another column of pros and cons for each, because I like to think of myself as a fair, just, and noble parental unit who equally adores his love trophies…er…children.
Nah, you've read enough recycled comparison stories.
I'm going to share with you why I write on each, what I expect to accomplish by doing so and why you might want to strongly consider doing the same.
And I'm going to do it through a unique lens.
The lens of experience.
You see, most other writers will compare the three platforms based on how much you can make. Or how quickly they accept an article. Perhaps even the differing styles of writing they seek.
Gibberish, I say! (whispers the word "amateurs" under his breath).
So as you proceed to read this piece, consider these questions.
Money vs. time. Which do you have more of?
History. How long have you been writing? Like are you wet behind the ears new, or are you a been there, wrote that, experienced writer?
Growth minded. This is the place you are on your journey. Are you looking for new ways to grow as a writer or topics to explore?
Ask yourself these questions and truthfully answer them as you discover how I've chosen to slice and dice these three known and emerging platforms.
If you're serious about the craft, that is.
This is a testing ground.
A place to explore formats, your voice, and different types of content. Medium is forgiven-ly unforgiving. Meaning that you can pretty much post anything you like, and it'll either be a "swing and a miss," a base hit, or in some cases, a home run. The editors and, of course, the readers decide.
The goal, MY goal here, is to test and try various formats, subjects, styles and then let them rip.
Sometimes I will shoot for a publication, and sometimes I hit publish right on my own page. For me, it's not about the money…yet. It's about finding that groove and rhythm, getting that base hit, and then swinging for the proverbial fences.
Journalistic style of writing, plain and simple.
And they pay (as of this writing).
Newsbreak, for me, is a chance to explore a journalistic style of writing, hone it in, see if I like it, and get paid for each piece. While each submission must go through editors, the fact is there is a minimum payment to you per piece. And yes, they actually do pay you, as evidenced by the dinero they dropped into yours truly bank account the past few months.
In case you're curious, it's more than enough to make a decent mortgage payment.
Newsbreak represents a way for me to explore a new style of writing. Like a reporter. The jury is still out on how I feel, but for now, I'm digging it.
This platform reminds me of a scene from a "dark" movie (you pick which one). The detective walks into a smoky, crowded, music-thumping bar and heads straight to the back. In "the back," there's a dark corridor with doors on both sides, and as she opens each door, there's some magical, mystical, macabre, seedy, joyous, indescribable scene going on.
Ya with me so far?
Vocal is that thumping bar.
You get to pick which door to walk in and what you wanna write (or read). Some folks mosey in just to be a voyeur and take in some of the pieces that these authors have written. Either way, you get unfettered creation in a place that seems fun, and the truth is, you really want more. You just don't know what doorknob to twist.
So you try lots of them.
Right now, I'm trying different genres of writing and while Vocal.Media does have an editing filter; the sky is the limit.
Plus, a bonus not many folks mention is that the Vocal members ($5 a month) get to enter their best work in writing contests. And that, folks, fires me up.
The money vs. time thing
Some folks have more time than money.
Some have more money than time.
That plays a role in your decision-making. Meaning if your time > money, that may be reason enough to jump into new platforms and test. If your money > time, you may double down on what you love to do on the platform you choose because money is not a driver.
And then there's this
Something I cannot recall anybody ever mentioning. The thing that truly binds them. The common thread that many writers never knew existed but may one day realize its critical importance to success.
What truly binds them, the overarching pro (vs. con), is that you have the potential to garner reads, which means eyeballs, which means humans, which means interest from humans who will want to give you their email address. And that there is the beauty of diversification.
To build your list.
You see, if I really extrapolate the bigger picture, it's that each of these provides a unique mechanism, and likely a new audience, for you to build an asset.
And at the end of the day, any business worth its salt is a business with assets that nobody else has. The email list you begin to build, compile and scale is something you can take with you anywhere. And monetize.
Ahhhhh…yes. The business of writing. The operative word there is "business."
And all you gotta do is this one lil ole thang.
Because isn't that why you're in the ink slingin' game to begin with?