What I've Learned From My Two Years Writing on Vocal
Two years in and I'm just getting started!
Since I was a kid, I've always known that I wanted to be a writer of some sort. It began as the ramblings of a teenage girl, and eventually grew to a slam poetry interest in high school which then grew into an essay and article interest now in my early 20’s. When I decided to take my writing from my laptop to the world wide web, I wasn’t sure how to begin. I tried building a blog, but with little to no social media presence, it was difficult to get people to the page. I tried entering contests and pitching ideas to publications, but again, with no experience and no college degree, I was left in the dust. That is until I found Vocal!
How I found Vocal.
I discovered Vocal through an ad, it was either Instagram or Facebook. I was skeptical at first, as anyone would rightfully be. I published my first article just about two years ago, and since then I’ve written on and off on Vocal. Most of my articles from that time were centered around my mental health struggle and my poetry, and while the pieces were meaningful, they’re mostly off my page now, given how much I’ve grown in my interests and writing since then. One of my first articles is actually my most read, still to this day! Dear Mr. Trump - An Open Letter on Behalf of My All-American Family served as an expression of my hurt towards the state of American politics.
How Vocal Has Helped Me!
I started publishing my writing on Vocal when I was 20-years-old. Two years doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but in the realm of your 20’s, two years makes all the difference. Most of my old stories and poetry have since been deleted, for the sake of moving on from my past and refining my personal profile. I’ve grown as a writer in the two years, writing on and off. But most of my progress has been made in the last three months. During quarantine I told myself that I was going to better myself through my writing, and I like to think I’ve done just that. One of my first articles from that time actually made staff picks. It was Hulu Horror Movies: 3 Do’s and Don’ts.
This article was also what began my path down the paranormal and cryptozoology rabbit hole. I had always had an interest in these fields, but was always too terrified to share about them, given my friends and families stark opposition. But my interest has grown over my lifetime, and to my surprise, I’m not the only one who is genuinely interested! I would say 8 out of 10 articles I write fall into the Horror Community here on Vocal, and in just the past 30 days my articles have gotten over 400 reads! My most read horror community article is Why Try? - A Take On The Modern Obsession With The Paranormal. It is, arguably, the piece on Vocal I’m the most proud of and is the most personal, based on my own interests and experiences.
The freedom to write what I’m passionate about and share it with a community who finds interest in similar subjects has been a breakthrough in my creative and personal life. Through my community on Vocal I’ve grown more confident in my abilities and secure in my interests and hobbies. Things like graveyard photography, which I’ve shared several articles about, is not something I would normally share with others, but I’ve found so much support and understanding from people on this platform.
Would I Recommend Vocal?
In short - absolutely! But I’ll go into more detail. I would recommend Vocal for anyone looking to put themselves out there and explore their interests and niches as a writer. The different communities on Vocal help narrow down other creators and pieces that fall within someone's particular interests. The ability to be seen through means such as Staff Picks and contests also help you put yourself out there as a writer and be seen by others in the community.
If you are starting Vocal for the money, hoping to make a quick buck, I do have some bad news for you. Unless you hit the holy grail and have mastered SEO and write broad and highly sought after articles - making money isn’t going to happen overnight. From all of my articles (40 currently active) I’ve made just about $6.00. In the month of November, I saw my most views and added $2.12 to my wallet. Tips do help, I have received a few amounting from $1 - $10. But the likelihood of making a living off of Vocal or it drastically changing your life financially is slim.
But if you are truly passionate about writing and want a community to share it with, Vocal is absolutely the place for you!
Tips For Succeeding On Vocal
I wouldn’t consider myself the most successful creator on this platform, but I’ve been doing it long enough to have some tips! First, I would say to change up the format you write in. I mostly write informational articles, with the occasional creative piece. But recently I've been trying to expand my horizons. I even tried my hand at a quiz! It was a fun project and did a good job at expanding my confidence in my abilities and opening my eyes to the many formats that have the ability to succeed on Vocal.
Probably my top piece of advice would be, if you want to achieve success on Vocal, to try your best to make it on Staff Picks. Now, I will say, there isn’t an exact science to being placed on Staff Picks, but there are things you can do that will improve your chances. First, I recommend broadening your horizons. I like to write mostly within my niche, but if you want to be noticed, you are probably going to have to broaden the topics and communities you write within. Also try playing with your titles and images you use for your articles. Intriguing titles and pictures are the most likely to capture the eye of staff. One of my Staff Pick articles was 6 Reasons Why I Would be Accused of Being a Witch, which covered the Salem Witch Trials and bizarre reasons women were accused. The topic was a bit different than my normal niche and the title definitely helped pull people in.
Another tip for success on Vocals lays in the challenges. I’ve entered my fair share and so far haven’t won any. But the exposure from being placed in the challenge has helped my stats for some of my stories. Since others who want to enter like to go through previous submissions and read them for inspiration (or to size up the competition), your story is much more likely to be seen by others. My most recent contest submission - The Classic Horror Fanatics Guide to Wine Pairing has been a very well-performing story, due in part to the exposure from the challenge!
Another article with good tips for succeeding on Vocal was written by Kathryn Milewski and is called I Reached My $20 Vocal + Payout! The article is full of awesome information from Kathryn, who is also a multi-contest winner here on Vocal!
Vocal has been a saving grace for me while I navigate my skills and desire to be a writer. As a beginner, having this platform to share my skill set and my personal interests has shown me how much I’m capable of and given me room to grow. It isn’t perfect - nobody is, but the constant innovation and growth of Vocal makes it a great place to post your content. Two years in and I’m just getting started!