Dear writing family,
My previous newsletter issue was all about introductions. A personal introduction of me and my work. An introduction to my writing outlets. And an introduction to this Substack newsletter which I lovingly call my writing family. I named the first issue Chapter #1.
I’m planning on keeping this nomenclature of "Chapter #” for the main issues. However, with this post, I’m introducing the second series of my newsletter, “Addendum #”. This series will go into detail about one or more aspects of the main issue.
Today, I’m going to talk about milestones, more specifically my 6 month anniversary on Medium.
Half a year on Medium
The beginnings & regrets
My journey on Medium began on February 26th this year. Surprisingly, I’ll start with regret today.
Although I began my Medium journey in February, I had already heard about it back in 2016. I stumbled upon the site while hunting down possible new blog destinations for me. At that time, I was exclusively using a self-hosted WordPress blog and I was writing in German.
Many of you might not even know that Medium had established a German community a few years ago. German editorial work, German stories, and a respectable audience. Unfortunately, this German community was dismissed a couple of years later.
Despite that German community, back in 2016, I decided against Medium as a future outlet. This might be the biggest regret of my writing journey. Had I started writing on Medium in 2016 - mind you that this was the time when high-profile names like Tom Kuegler joined the platform - and had I written in English, this could have kickstarted a career unimaginable for me at that point in time.
But I didn’t. I was looking at blogging and writing merely as a hobby rather than a possible career path. My career was starting to form elsewhere.
A lucky turn of events
This it was indeed when I finally decided to give Medium a shot 6 months ago. My self-critical mind had held me back from writing in English. Nowhere near a native level and somewhat insecure, I jumped in anyway.
If anything, I’d at least improve my English writing skills, I told myself.
I had researched quite a lot about Medium before my first story. I knew I wanted to get into a respectable publication to reach the biggest audience possible as a newbie.
In a very lucky turn of events, I managed to get 5 of my first 7 stories written in February into 3 of the greatest Medium publications, Better Marketing, The Startup, and Curious. Not just that, The Startup and Curious unexpectedly asked me to publish my stories with them. I was mind-blown. Still am.
To be honest, had I not published with these 3 and gotten tremendous results, I might have quit right there and then. But this series of publications gave me the confidence boost I needed to keep going.
Now, some numbers. I love numbers. In 6 months, I reached the following wonderful milestones:
I’ve built a community of over 2100 followers. Without playing the follow-for-a-follow game or any other funny business.
I’ve published 131 stories to date. Actually a few more, but the rest is unlisted or removed (by me).
I’ve found and engaged with a number of amazing writers, many of which I regularly read and communicate with to this day.
I’ve been featured in some of the greatest Medium publications - more than once, in most cases - like The Startup, Better Humans, Better Marketing, Curious, P.S. I Love You, The Post-Grad Survival Guide, Geek Culture, Feedium, Writers Blokke, The Shortform, Illumination, Thoughts and Ideas, and more.
I became an editor of the publication Thoughts and Ideas with over 22K followers.
I was lucky to have multiple semi-viral stories.
I’ve reached monthly views of 25K at the highest point so far.
I received 4 Medium bonus payments.
In 5 topics, I’ve reached Top Writer status.
And I made around $2700 in total.
The bottom line
It’s not too late. I could have been here 5 years ago, had I really looked into Medium in 2016. I am here now. I will stay here for as long as I can. These aforementioned milestones mean a lot to me. I’ve been blogging for more than 13 years now, but never have I reached these kinds of achievements. I didn’t treat blogging like a job. Now I do.
It sounds like a cliche - yeah, it really does - but I’ll say it nevertheless:
If I can do that, you can do it too.
If I as a non-native English speaker can do it, you can do it too.
Let me express my gratitude to all of you who read my stories, leave comments and claps, engage with me on social media, and support me. This is important to me. I’m just as much a reader as I am a writer.
To me, building a community is a crucial aspect of this journey. And it is the most rewarding factor. Because let’s be honest, the pay is not enough to view this as a career, but the support and appreciation are.
So, thank you very much for being here! It truly means the world to me.
Until next time, take care!
PS: If you like to experience Medium yourself, consider supporting me and thousands of other writers by signing up for a membership. It only costs $5 per month, it supports us, writers, greatly, and you have the chance to make money with your writing as well. Of course, you can cancel the membership anytime. By signing up with this link, you’ll support me directly with a portion of your fee, it won’t cost you more. If you do so, thank you a million times!