Vocal media and Medium writers should stop reading how to write articles
By listening to “make money writing” gurus we as writers become part of problem when it comes to our earning potential on revenue share sites.
You know the drill. You join a new revenue share site and you become keen to find out just how can you earn from this site? What does it take? Have others been successful before you? So you read articles that promise to explain to you topics like “how to be a successful writer”; “how to make “x” amount” whilst expecting to get some wisdom from a peers and successful writers who gain an income by writing. What do you get? Well... usually I find that what you get is some condescending dribble explaining just why you aren’t good enough; why you need to be writing “x” amount every single day; how after 2 years or however many years of writing their earnings have just taken off and how you are the problem. I myself was reading one such article today on medium and it struck me that yes I am part of the problem but the problem isn’t what I write it’s what I read.
I’m going to have to back track a little for some context. In the last few days I have been working on uploading many of the blog posts from my main blog to a site called Medium. Medium is a site which curently costs $5 a month in order to have full access to all the articles published on the site. You can publish to the site for free but to read and engage with others (which is something I find as a blogger to be extremely useful) requires a subscription. That subscription is how writers for the site get paid because you get a percentage of someone’s subscription depending on what percentage of their reading time was spent reading your article. The idea is that readers will pay the subscription to gain access to quality advert free articles but the reality is that many of those with a subscrition also write. I was spending a lot of time as a writer reading about how I could become successful whilst paying a subscritiption fee and so paying a huge chuck of my subscrition fee to writers to tell me how to be successful. Therefore it’s easy to see how a writer could go about making a slight success and so share that success with the world by publishing an article to find that “actually wow there’s more money in this article than my previous ones...”. It’s easy to see how this could steer writers into the direction of writing mostly “how to be a successful writer on...” articles. Whilst it’s nice to gain some useful tips and a feel for a particular site from more experienced writers; should our goals as writers really be “I just want to write enough until I can earn by bragging about my earnings?”.
What does this mean?
I think it’s really easy to forget as a writer that if you are paying a subscription fee for a site like Medium or engaging with articles in sites like Vocal then you are playing just as valueable a part as someone who does’t write when it comes to how much a someone earns. You have control over who gets paid by choosing what you read and therefore have just as much say over the type of content that you personally want to see more of as well as what type of writing that you want to see succeed in revenue share websites that you write for. If we continuously read the same type of “how to make money articles” then what we do is increase the popularity of these articles. This means that more and more people will turn to writing this same sort of article. I feel like this makes sites more focused on redistributing fees from writers rather than attracting new readers. It’s almost like we are feeding, encouraging and creating some kinda weird reverse Robin Hood system. This deranged guru pleasing Robin Hood doesn’t have any traction or earning potential if you just chose to ignore it through.
What we want is to provide engaging content for readers and support content geared towards attracting the readers that we want to attract. The point of writing for a revenue share site is that these sites have a lot of content that attracts readers not to bury good content geared towards those who came to just read stories under the spammy insights of gurus. We need to stop listening to gurus and instead direct our attention and support in the direction of content which we personally would enjoy reading and writing ourselves rather than content directed at teaching other writers how to make money; unless there’s something specific that you need to learn. Odds are reading success stories will just serve to make you feel worse about any failings that you’ve experienced and once you’ve read the first few they’ll all start to read like carbon copies of one another.
I hope that this article has been useful; let’s get out there and try creating and sharing content that we can all be proud of! If you need some tips to help you promote your articles then I recommend reading my story - “Vocal article promotion with Pinterest” which I will link below. If you wish to connect with me and grow together on Vocal then do check out my Pinterest and Twitter accounts below.