An honest opinion of a medium-sized publication owner
If you are looking to start a publication given how Medium paid members are allowed to start one, my recommendation, is DON’T.
If you don’t know about me. Hi, my name is Edmund, I started a publication on Medium back in January 2023 named after my business HustleVentureSG. Over the last 5 months, the publication has grown to over 200 writers and 300 followers on the publication. While growing a publication does sound like a lot of fun, the truth is that there is a lot of work needed to be done behind the scene.
As a publication owner, I can share with you the full-on struggle and the REAL pain it takes to grow a publication on Medium. Of course, this content wouldn’t be one-sided, I will also share with you the joy of starting a publication.
The Reality of Starting a Publication on Medium
Unlike creating newsletters on other publications, Medium doesn’t actually pay its editors. While they “say” they would be rolling out with the idea after years of not doing it. My thought was “Nah, they don’t have enough capital to do that.”
Heck, Medium is already not paying writers well enough. Who do you think is their priority in getting more writers?
If you plan to start a publication, you are simply doing charity work for Medium to curate content for them. If you are a small publication, it’s easy to curate 1~3 article per day. However, once you start managing more writers and have more articles needed to be curated. Things get a bit dicey.
Struggles of Running a Big Publication
Most large publications have already moved out of Medium, the ones that are left are usually junk or newbie editors trying to cling to hopes that Medium might start paying their editors. LOL😅
You can check out this video by Zulie Rane where she breakdown the actions of Medium, how publication owners felt that they had to leave, and the result it has caused.
If you are like me who loves to support my writers on the publication and give them feedback, it takes a while to push out content. I spend about an hour a day publishing 5 to 8 content ranging from 3 to 7-minute long content. This effort seems to be forgotten or tossed aside by Medium which is the big reason why editors left Medium for good.
If your publication grows big enough like ILLUMINATION with over 20,000 writers. Curation can be a tough nut to crack. With AI content becoming a popular means to earn “easy money”, Medium is currently facing a lack of creativity in its content.
The widespread plague of AI content is so severe that even large publications are currently facing a curation tight line issue where there is simply too much content to curate and work with.
With no income to curate, a lack of creativity in content, and the large amount of work required on one end, it’s no wonder many large publications have moved out of Medium and gone to Substack where content is more targeted to their specific audience.
Drains your Passion
I have to be honest. Running a publication as a writer does drain up the passion for good quality writing.
The reality is that many writers on Medium aren’t on JK Rowling‘s level. Most writers here are still figuring out what they want and are usually writing personal blog stories on Medium.
With tools like ChatGPT being released to the public and writers deliberately publishing more content in the name of “posting content daily”. The quality of writers on Medium isn’t the best and I myself struggle to help these types of writers.
If you are an experienced writer or trying to start a publication business, the amount of poor content flooding into your publication might get the best of you.
Why are you Writing?
This post is by no means a deterrent for you to start your own publication. Heck, I honestly think it is the best and cheapest way to “start a business” for just $5 a month.
Ask yourself, do I need money? I started HustleVentureSG because I am passionate to helps writers make more money. And the reality is that most writers here write in order to make some side income to live off of.
If you are a student, passionate to help others individually, or just a retiree looking to provide value. Starting a publication is probably the best thing ever!
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Growing on Medium is the fastest way to build traffic
Apart from the opportunity to help other writers, Medium is one of the best traffic sources for your external website. HustleVentureSG has grown over 3,300% thanks to Medium and other platforms.
While Medium can be an effective way to build traffic, it’s important to note that success on the platform depends on various factors such as the quality of your content, consistency in publishing, and engagement with the Medium community.
It’s also recommended to promote your articles through other channels, such as social media or email newsletters, to further maximize your reach and traffic. That said, growing a publication takes time and effort, don’t forget to grind hard during the early phases of your side hustle.