Here’s some numbers to think about:
- I currently have around 1600 Medium followers
- I am a staff writer for 5 publications, including The Mission, The Startup and The Ascent, which gives me a total potential reader pool or more than 1.2 million pairs of eyeballs.
- I’ve written 61 stories on Medium since January of 2017. This being March of 2019, that works out to slightly more than 2 stories per month, on average.
Not bad, right? But here’s some other numbers to think about:
- I have roughly 1900 Twitter followers
- I have 3 separate Facebook Pages, with a combined total of 400ish Likes
- I have 3 separate Instagram profiles, too, with a combined followership of around 1,400
- I have started, or attempted to start, a leadership coaching business, a copywriting business, three online courses, two different non-Medium blogs, all in the name of “monetizing” something or other.
Final number to think about:
How big might my Medium audience be right now if I had concentrated on writing and publishing work instead of dithering around on social media trying to “promote” my work, and starting one side hustle after another, only to give up in a few months?
Medium is a brilliant platform for writers. It embraces content of all types, and it provides an outlet to connect readers and writers who might otherwise never have come across each other. It rewards consistency and quality like few other writing platforms that I’ve ever come across.
But, it’s tempting, nonetheless, to follow the advice of well-meaning folks everywhere and try to blanket the Internet with your content and message. And for some, that might be necessary. I’m well aware that Medium is only one outlet among several for a lot of writers on the site. Writing isn’t necessarily the primary goal of some of the writers here, promoting their businesses is. And that’s fantastic. But for me, personally, I have found my Medium experience to be far more enjoyable when I focus on what I’m truly passionate about — writing — and spend less time doing all the cross-promotion, and social media influencing that was the whole reason I moved onto Medium in the first place. I knew, if I wanted to have any kind of audience as a writer on the Internet, I would have to do ALL THOSE THINGS, and more, on my own, if I had my own site. But, by writing on this platform, I have a huge potential reach that I wouldn’t have had by sticking with Wordpress or one of the other site-building tools.
What I’m forced to ask myself now, looking at my numbers, is how much of my productivity and creativity has been wasted by focusing on doing the very same self-promotion that I joined Medium to avoid doing, instead of focusing on publishing stories?
What kind of reach would I have if I had a hundred and sixty-one stories on the platform, or three hundred and sixty-one? If I’ve achieved the audience that I have with less than 70 stories, what more could I do in the future if I focus on writing and publishing, writing and publishing?
It’s time for me to stop playing, and get to work. Medium is too good of an opportunity to keep wasting!