3 Easy to Fix Mistakes Medium Newbie Writers Make (Avoid At All Costs)
I get it. All of this is so new to you. There’s so much to learn, so many blog posts to write, and so much work ahead of you.
And blogging advice is plentiful, isn’t it?
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen an article on Medium success.
Hell, I can’t even count how times I’ve seen a green Medium writer have a tiny flash of success and have a How to be Successful on Medium guide pop up the next day.
Look, I’m not knocking anyone’s hustle, but when it comes to taking advice, ask yourself — who has the receipts?
Who has the proof? Who can back up their words with actions?
Take a look at my work and judge for yourself. I waited a long time before I gave writing advice because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about.
Becoming successful on Medium takes time. It took me 19 months on the Medium Partner Program— daily articles — to be able to quit my job. I wrote for three years, basically for free, before the program even came out.
Don’t tell me you’re tired yet, buddy. Don’t tell me you’ve been working hard. Nope. Kill that noise.
You’ll find no dreams to be sold here — only the truth.
If you want to build a successful writing career long-term, you must avoid these mistakes newbie writers make at all costs.
They Curse Themselves to Remain Broke Writers Forever
If you want to stand even the slightest chance of making a living, not just on Medium, but as a writer, period, you have to take your focus off of money for a while.
Calculating your earnings using the mindset of an employee will discourage you. $2.46 on an article doesn’t seem like a hell of a lot, does it?
Well, the effort you put into that article matters a lot because you’re building the path to exponential growth in the future.
Mind you, I wrote on Medium when the Partner Program didn’t exist. I wrote hundreds of articles for zero dollars. I used those free articles to develop my writing skills, which paved the path to being able to make much more money in the future for the same level of effort.
How do you get to the level where you can make $1,000 for writing a single article? Write a ton of articles for little to no money.
Is this jump in earnings guaranteed? Absolutely not.
Am I an anomaly when it comes to succeeding on Medium? Hell yeah.
Will the average writer ever scratch the surface of what I’ve been able to do? No. Not even close.
But I’m not focused on people who want to become average writers.
I’m not focused on people who want to be average period.
A few years into my writing career when I wasn’t making all that much money, I made up my mind that I was going to make it happen eventually.
You’re forgiven for procrastinating before you start, but once you start, don’t stop.
And take your focus off of your Medium earnings for a while until…you’re a good writer. If I was a brand new writer to Medium and posted some of my early work here, it would flop too.
Yes, it’s unfair that you have a steeper hill to climb than the early adopters of Medium, but so what? You can whine about it and not have a writing career at all or you can try.
They Use the Wrong Source of Information
Would you take financial advice from one of your broke friends? Would you take fitness advice from someone who’s out of shape? Would you get surgery from a butcher? No.
Then why would you look to other newbie writers for advice?
I see this strange phenomenon where a bunch of new writers will congregate with other new writers in places like Facebook groups and proceed to give each other bad advice based on little no to experience.
I don’t get it.
Look, I’m all for having a like-minded peer group, but be careful with “writing groups” because they usually have some people with toxic mindsets. If you’re surrounded by other frustrated writers who are complaining all the time, how are you going to stay motivated to succeed?
These groups are like a glass of water filled with a single drop of poison — it doesn’t take much to contaminate everything.
So where should you go to get advice?
Go straight to the top for your information. Reverse engineer the strategies of people who’ve already done what you want to do. I can tell when certain writers swipe a little bit of my swag and I absolutely love it because that’s what I did, too.
Swipe my headline structures and model them to your niche. If my writing connects with you ask yourself why. Don’t just follow me, follow any top writer who stands out to you, and model yourself after them. Don’t plagiarize — model.
Modeling means you observe techniques, e.g., you notice a certain writer structures their articles with three-word sentences, uses quotes strategically, has little persuasive hooks and tricks they use, etc. You can write in your voice about your subject while swiping these techniques.
Invest in your blogging education. Buy my Medium course. Get a coach. Work with someone at the top of the game. I didn’t see leaps in my writing skills until I took programs from smart teachers.
See, when you don’t go to the top for your information, you’re subconsciously telling yourself you’re not worthy of success. You’re secretly sabotaging yourself because you don’t yet believe in your writing career. Until you take serious steps to understand how success works, you’ll never be successful, period.
They Make The Mistake Most Humans Tend to Make in General
This isn’t just a problem I see with newbie writers, but people in general. For whatever reason, aspiring writers tend to be extremely hard-headed. They won’t follow directions and they won’t get out of their own way.
They have this “build it and they will come mentality” and even though they don’t yet have the success they want, they’ll twist advice from others into a form that doesn’t even resemble the advice given.
They’ll skip steps. They’ll have useful information in front of them and ignore it.
I’m not an all-knowing blogging expert. I have a specific style and methodology for writing that isn’t necessarily a fit for everyone.
But you should at least consider what I have to say, shouldn’t you?
If not me, you should find someone who has a style you like and listen to them, right?
You know who you probably shouldn’t listen to all that much right now? Yourself. Why? Because you don’t know what you’re doing.
I see this happen all the time. Writers will get into blogging and they have a specific view of how blogging should work.
They don’t take the audience or the market into account.
They feel that poetry should get as much traffic as self-improvement — even though it objectively doesn’t.
Instead of finding the intersection between the topics that interest them and the topics that interest an audience, they’re uncompromising because of “their art.”
You don’t have to aim for commercial success with your writing. But if you want to achieve it, there are certain rules to the game to understand.
Honestly, I don’t think everyone should aim for commercial success. It’s not the only way to go. Me, though? I wanted to write and get paid.
Do you want to write literally whatever you want? Or do you want to have a career?
Up to you.
Want to become a top writer on Medium? Get exclusive access to your free 5-day jumpstart Medium e-mail course here.