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Which Writing Platform Is Right For You?

A Few Pros & Cons Between Vocal, Medium & Simily

By Mel E. FurnishPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 7 min read
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I have been on Vocal since 2018 and Medium since 2019. When I first started on Medium, I ended up walking away from it for several months and more recently started posting there again. There has been a lot of frustration towards Vocal in multiple groups on Facebook. I have a few problems myself, but I still lean toward posting here and competing in the challenges.

On Medium, I read an article about someone moving all their work to Simily, so I decided to check it out. A newer site, this one has its unique flare.

Pros and Cons - Vocal, Medium & Simily

Payment:

Vocal - every two views is about $0.01. Vocal allows visitors to tip you and pledge which means they will pay a subscription to help support you.

Medium - strange uncertainty, but the main overall idea makes sense; they want to pay you for reader engagement, rather than just visits - however, sometimes it is slightly off like Vocal when they fall behind.

Simily - they don't pay for anything else that I have noticed yet - like Vocal - they only pay for visits/reads. However, they pay more than Vocal - Simily pays $0.02 for every view.

So far, Medium seems to have the right idea, paying for engagement rather than just views, but the system they use seems odd. Some of my stories have had decent interactions, yet nothing has shown up for them, and a story that has had less interaction than the other has made $0.03 just doesn't make a lot of sense to me personally.

A few days later, though, a few updated on how I believed they would be based on what I've read on their policy. At this point, I've witnessed others and myself making more on Medium and Simily sooner than I did on Vocal.

If Vocal paid more for the other interactions they offer readers to do, then they would most likely rank higher than the other platforms in the minds of many.

Simily maybe should also offer a few more ways for readers to engage with our stories. I recently noticed they added a way for them to "like" the post like Vocal with the heart or cheer them on as Medium offers "claps." Simily updated a feature for "snapping," which likes the post and recommends it to others. This action prompts a feed post on your timeline that you suggested that story.

Withdrawing Your Earnings

With Vocal you need a Stripe account and you must earn $35 before you can withdraw unless you have a Vocal+ account. If you upgrade you can withdraw at $20.

Simily requires you to hit $10 before withdrawing. The money you earn rolls over to the next month like Vocal.

Medium pays you what you earned at the end of the month through Stripe.

Comments - Feedback

~ Simily does offer comments.

~ Medium's responses are a neat concept.

~ Vocal has been pending a comment feature for a while, but hopefully, it'll be added soon!

Reader Experience

I like that Vocal doesn't have limited access to reading stories for free, but I understand what the platforms are doing trying to encourage ways to make more money flow in for creators. I like having a free option for my readers and still make a little, so I do prefer Vocal in this regard.

Simily offers a free plan where the visitor can get five free stories to read per month.

On Medium, with the free option, the reader only has access to a few stories for free, unless they have a friend link that Medium allows writers to give. Medium offers a monthly $5 and an annual option for $50 to save $10.

Content

When I visit my feed for Medium, I get bombarded with clickbait articles of people trying to advertise get-rich-quick posts. There are options to adjust the type of feed for me to scroll through, but I still see a lot of the same generic theme. There seems to be an oversaturation of the Fiction community, and the site lacks support for those writers. You can join Publications on Medium and potentially make more.

Vocal seems a bit packed at times with the contests, but it is still full of decent communities. They tend to prefer more SEO-favored posts rather than poetry and fiction, but they pick top stories to help creators within the community. They could still improve their system to push more, but we'll see what they come up with in time.

Simily is still relatively new and seems to have a bit of an echo at times with how quiet some spaces are there, but hopefully, that'll change as more writers join as they leave Vocal or Medium.

Publishing

Simily and Medium allow their creators to publish stories immediately, whereas Vocal doesn't, and sometimes you get stuck waiting for days to share your work if it gets published.

Simily seems to not load videos very well into their stories to publish, but images seem to have no issues so far.

Vocal can handle many YouTube videos embedded within a post, and so can Medium.

With Vocal, I've struggled to get some posts to update after a quick edit, I get error messages, and sometimes I can delete some extra spaces or various extra things, and sometimes it will go through but not all the time.

I started seeing ads on YouTube for Vocal now. I can't help but feel like what some people have said might be right about them taking advantage of their writers in a way, but I believe if they offered a bit more forms of paying for our work, that would go a long way in helping them pullback in many who have left the platform.

I've been on Vocal since 2018, and it's changed a lot. I joined Medium in 2019 but wasn't active until now, and I joined Simily about a week ago. So far, I still like Vocal, and I am enjoying Simily so far. Medium is great, but I still don't know how I feel about the platform altogether. On Simily, I've already gained followers faster than on the other platforms.

I have loved that Vocal gives bonuses for interaction, giving incentives for more hearts and subscribers to creators. The encouragement to grow the community's support from within helps create a well-connected group. I would suggest offering more bonuses for "milestones," but I know some would take advantage of this and not read, but it would still generate engagement on your site.

The challenges maybe offer more in rewards and, from what I've read in the groups on Facebook, disapproval of not encouraging emerging writers if most of the winners are going to be more often than not established names that aren't exactly prolific on Vocal.

Most winners earn their rewards. However, several challenges stirred up discouragement and disdain for Vocal throughout the past year due to the decision of the money-making posts. A winner who only joined to enter and then never posted again, others that have several errors within, there's been many complaints.

Sometimes, it isn't easy to judge, and you can't make everyone happy. Maybe it's time to experiment with ways to reward the creators better as they compete. They eagerly wait for the results to get their spirits crushed, and they want to give up on writing and leave; it's disheartening to see, and I hope there comes something better around the corner.

For better environments for writers and readers, Vocal should start allowing their creators to publish sooner and pay more for the other engagement on stories! Simily would benefit from offering more interactions and paying for those. Medium maybe should provide something for views rather than just being picky with engagement. Vocal offers tips and bonuses sometimes; if you don't get it, just email them about the issue!

So far from Vocal, I've collected:

$5 bonus for five stories

$10 - post ten stories

$50 - post 50 stories

$15 when you like 15 stories of others

$5 bonus for participating in the Summer Fiction Series.

$10 for a survey

If there is more to add, please let me know; thank you! [email protected].

All in all, I still like Vocal, but there is room for improvement on all of the platforms. I will most likely be posting to Simily more, but I intend to keep participating in the challenges on Vocal. Medium, I believe, is best for articles and reviews with powerful SEO features. Currently, on Medium, my best organic traffic is on a recipe that has performed far better than the other posts I've published there.

I highly recommend Simily for emerging writers, Medium for reviews and articles, and Vocal for those who benefit from challenges and actively target essential audiences. Each of these sites has its pros and cons, but ultimately it's up to you and how active you're willing to be to pursue sharpening these skills and earning more based on what you provide and push.

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About the Creator

Mel E. Furnish

I'm a self-published author, raised on a family farm in Indiana.

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