Lately I’ve been obsessed with Medium.com.
I’ve written before about the difference between blogging and writing, if not explicitly, then at least alluding to it. Medium is a blogging platform at its core, but it has an artsier feel. It was founded by the guy who started Twitter. You can comment on certain sections of posts rather than just leave comments at the end, and the “recommendations” feature helps your work get more visibility— Medium sends out a digest of work that compiles the recommendations of people you follow, so you get a boost of publicity that other blogs don’t offer. Want to know something else? You retain the rights to all your work, and they let you cross-post from your personal blog.
Personally, I've been happy with my ability to get posted in collections. Collections are places where you can post your thoughts on certain topics of interest, like “Writers on Writing,” or “Life and Philosophy.” Medium used to let you submit your work even if you weren't an approved writer in a collection, but that recently changed in order to level the playing field. I don’t quite get how that makes sense, but I will say that collections make a difference, but they don’t guarantee that your work is read. One of my pieces that was accepted to a collection with over 9K followers got 200 or so reads and 27 recommendations. Another post that was accepted to a collection with 600 followers or so got over 1.1K reads and 37 recommendations. Recommendations are what make the difference. Submit your work to the collections that fit the bill topic-wise and make a good home.
Oh, and don’t get obsessed over your number of reads or recommendations (like I did). It can get a bit heartachey (I know that’s not a word). A piece to which I gave my heart and soul only got 34 reads— there really is no formula for what people will read and share. Just do what you do.
Blogging isn’t the only thing you should be doing as a writer, but it certainly helps— not only with publicity, but also with establishing a routine. The best advice I can give is to write what you write and don’t overthink it. I still struggle with taking my own advice, but that really is the best you can do. In the meantime, I’ll remain obsessed with Medium and encourage you to give it a shot, too.