First-Person: The Best Writing Advice Ever

I recently received the best writing advice from a friend and fellow writer on Medium. It turned out to be the most valuable advice ever.

Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

I received the best writing advice recently, and it came from my fellow Medium writer and friend, Har Narayan —I will share this in a moment.

The Context

Here is the context.

I’ve been publishing articles regularly on Medium since 2021. Writing is a hobby for me. It is not my full-time job. This means, I write when I can, but not every day.

Just from reading articles on Medium, you learn quickly what types of articles are being published and read.

I’m sorry Medium, but I don’t brag about earning money and I could care less about what other writers are earning.

If you are eligible to join the Medium Partnership Program (MPP), then your article goal is probably to get the most views from other Medium subscribers.

While I want people to read my content, you will not find me writing articles like “How Much Money I Made in my First Month on Medium” — sorry, but I don’t care about this topic. Not now, or ever.

Are My Niches Reaching the Right Audience?

I have established three niches on Medium:

  • Writing about Celebrity news (i.e. Elon Musk)
  • Writing about Scams
  • Writing about Medical or Science news

On Medium, I continue to write and learn about what works, and what isn’t working. It is possible to have great content, but it isn’t reaching the right audience.

Writers, find your audience.

Talking to Har, he brought up a great point. Maybe I am not reaching the right audience on Medium. I don’t plan to leave Medium. It has great things going for it. But perhaps one of the niches I am writing in is not reaching its full potential audience on Medium.

The Best Writing Advice Ever

I advise all writers on Medium to find a friend, a mentor, or even a consultant so you can get advice and learn.

My friend Har gave me a recommendation that is invaluable. Based on my niches and content, he recommended that I diversify to a platform where my content reaches a larger audience that wants content from my niches.

I took his advice and it looks very promising as I diversify to Newsbreak.

Thank you, Har Narayan!

Image by Har Narayan

A complete list of everything my friend Har is doing is available here.

He gives expert advice. I am not paid to say this. It is the truth. His writing stats on Medium prove that he knows what he is talking about.

Previous Writing Sites

I have been writing on other writing websites over the last 15 years, and each one has its own quirks and audiences.

For the purposes of this article, I will not get into freelance writing gig work for clients. I have a writing resume with this info., but I am not currently seeking out this work. I will also not go into my two personal blogs that together have over 600,000 views combined.

A few of these details were in my earlier article, “Write Now, Don’t Waste Your Time” but with some new promising details.

1. Yahoo! Voices

I got my start writing for Yahoo! Voices. This one is no longer open to the public. After announcing to the writers on July 2, 2014, it completely shut down on July 31, 2014. I had less than 30 days to back up my articles, and the truth is, I didn’t. I only have evidence from a few of my articles. I published over 100 articles.

I took on editorial assignments. This means you were paid upfront for your articles — like $15 or $20, in addition to getting paid per view. Some were published on the global websites, Yahoo!, Yahoo! News, and Yahoo! Sports. I should have backed up these articles.

Potential good news: It may be possible to recover some of my old content. 😁👌

Wikipedia posted, “The Internet Archive is integrating deleted Yahoo! Voices content into the Wayback Machine.” I don’t really know all of the details, but it sounds promising.

After that, I joined Hubpages.

2. Hubpages

There is a community aspect of this site, but nowhere near the level on Medium. The pay-per-view aspect is very weak, almost none existent without outside promotion. I still have my account on Hubpages, but I am not currently publishing new content on there.

My two evergreen articles:

My #1 Article: “5 Signs You Are Being Spied On” received 15,121 views (and continues to gain views).

My #2 Article: “What You Should Do If You Find Money Lying On the Ground” received 11,585 views (and continues to gain views).

3. Wikinut

I published over 100 articles on Wikinut. The same applied to this site: small community and not much pay. My creative, avant-garde articles did really great on this site.

This writing site also shut down and I again lost all my articles. 😒

4. Vocal

Recently I decided to post one article on Vocal to test the waters. I posted it, but it seems to be that you have to generate your own traffic on Vocal from your social media. Not impressed yet.

5. Newsbreak

I just started posting content on Newsbreak, and it seems very promising.

In less than one week, I have some nice stats for the one article published and starting to publish more.

For my first article, I received over 17,000 impressions, over 600 page views, and 9 shares so far. Two articles I published on Newsbreak have both received over 31,000 views.

Monetization: A contributor has to successfully publish 10 articles, and have 100 followers before they can monetize articles. I am not yet eligible at the time of publishing this article.

Two Downsides on Newsbreak:

  1. The editors must review and approve your articles. The articles must be within their community guidelines — this is not a bad thing as far as maintaining quality content. However, this part of the process sometimes takes days to get my article approved.
  2. Content in one of my niches is already covered. The “scam” niche is heavily covered by journalists from news stations across the U.S. So I have to get more creative to share something fresh in this category. Challenge accepted.
  3. Sept. 1, 2022 update: I published 10 articles on Newsbreak and I am waiting to see if I am accepted into their monetization program.

Final Thoughts

Every writing site has strengths and weaknesses.

I really love the user interface on Medium for publishing and the community found within. I plan to continue publishing articles on Medium while considering all of the options as a writer.

If you are hitting a wall as a writer, seek out ways to learn and grow as a writer. Talking to other writers can produce fresh new ideas you may not have previously considered.

And as always, keep writing!

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Zack Love

Zack Love

Zack has been published on Newsbreak, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports. Follow me for news and true stories.