Saturday, January 16, 2021

Curious: Is Anyone Reading Medium?

As usual, I am a little late to the party, but this week I decided to start writing on Medium

Medium is basically a blogging platform, but it seems to be a decent place to post from time to time because of the built in audience.  Launched in August 2012 by Evan Williams, one of the co-founders of Twitter, Medium has a pretty solid following. It's not clear how many subscribers have signed up for the $5 monthly subscription fee, but estimates range from 200,000 to 400,000. 

While one can read for free on Medium, some articles are behind a paywall. You can read three free articles a month on the site, but if you pony up the $5 a month, you're supporting independent journalism because the writers get paid. We don't get paid for the three free articles. 

I kind of stumbled on Medium this spring when this article by Tomas Pueyo went viral and was popping up all over the place. I thought the article was a really well done piece and if that was any indicator of what kind of work was on Medium, I wanted to know more. I've been reading there ever since, and at some point I subscribed. 

On Medium you can tailor your home screen to the types of articles you want to see by simply following categories. I've set mine to coronavirus articles, culture, history, humor, environment...that kind of thing. I like a mix of things. There's a category for writing, too, but I'm getting a lot of articles about how to write on Medium that are weighing my feed down. I might take that one off.

The site hosts professional and amateur writers and so again, pick and choose. Authors seem to be paid by views and engagement: how long someone spends on your article, claps (which is similar to the "like" button), and shares. It's all about exposure and building a following. 

I have concerns about spreading myself too thin: I blog here, at Datechguy blog, and now on Medium as well as working on my second book. But, I'm curious to see if I can spark up a following on Medium which would then develop into a little extra cash in my pocket, which is always a good thing. As my retirement date draws closer, I know that I will have more free time for writing, and so for the moment, I think I can handle three blogging platforms. My posts at each will be quite different because the audience for each is different.

We shall see.

I'm curious if any of you are Medium readers? If not, check the site out and let me know honestly what you think about it. Like I said, you get three free articles per month. Give it a shot and get back to me.

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