What I Learned on my way to 1,000 Followers on Medium

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Why I Choose to Write on Medium

I began writing on Medium in May 2018. I wanted to start a side hustle doing something I really enjoy. I’ve always been quite obsessed with personal finance so I decided a personal finance blog would be a good choice as a side hustle.

If you have never read any of my work, may I suggest you start with what I think are the 10 best articles I wrote in 2018?

When I first started writing I had a fork in the road moment where I needed to decide if I was going to create my own self-hosted Wordpress website or write on Medium. I chose to write on Medium, for one simple reason, All I wanted to do was write.

I have no experience and no desire to learn how to create a great looking website on WordPress. I know there are tons of YouTube tutorials that can easily walk me through the process but I did not want to spend a lot of time doing anything but writing.

Between my job and personal life, I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to my side hustle. I want to spend all of that time doing what I like, writing about personal finance.

I also had no experience in digital marketing, monetizing a blog or running an e-mail list. That made the Medium partner program extremely appealing to me. I get paid if people read and enjoy what I write.

Simple, clean and fair. Exactly what I was looking for.

Last week I crossed the 1,000 follower milestone on Medium. 1,000 is an arbitrary round number, but we live in a society that celebrates arbitrary round numbers so I thought it’s worth taking a few moments to share what I’ve learned in my first 7 months writing on Medium.

The Most Important Factor for Success

Start writing.

More specifically, start writing about something you give a damn about. Your writing won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. I think the most important thing is that you just start publishing.

If you have passion and an interesting perspective on what you are writing about, that will draw people in who also care about your topic, even if your writing is rough around the edges.

While my writing is still far from perfect, I recently took a look back at my first few articles and was blown away by how bad they are. It took me two to three months of writing consistently before I really began to feel comfortable.

Consider Starting a Publication

If you plan on consistently writing about a particular topic, I would recommend you start your own publication. You can become a writer for other publications and that can help you gain a following on Medium, but if you are in it for the long haul, you might as well start writing under your own publication.

That is what I did my starting “Making of a Millionaire”.

I plan on writing about personal finance for the next ten years so I thought it’s best if I control my own branding and have a place where readers can find all my stories in one place. Needless to say, I’m thinking long-term.

Who I Choose to Follow

I choose two follow two types of people on Medium.

  1. People who write great articles
  2. People who consistently interact and contribute to my writing

People I don’t follow; everyone else.

Obviously, if people are writing content you enjoy you should follow them.

I also tend to follow people that I notice are consistently interacting with my articles through highlights, claps, and comments. It’s my small way of saying

“Thanks for supporting my writing, I notice it and appreciate it”.

Writing will make you more Knowledgable

Since I started writing about personal finance, I’ve learned an incredible amount about the subject for two reasons.

  1. I’ve begun reading about personal finance ALL THE TIME and;
  2. I’ve had fantastic interactions with readers who have challenged my writing.

As soon as I started writing I began reading more articles and books on personal finance than ever before. I’ve absorbed so much knowledge in the past 7 months and that has been very cool.

Even better has been what I have learned from my readers. I’ve been blown away about how many 500 plus word comments I’ve received on my articles.

Sure, there is the odd “crazy internet commenter” who would like to broadcast their conspiracy theories. But mostly, the comments I’ve received (even the critical comments) have been thoughtful, measured and thought-provoking.

While I don’t agree with every critical comment (sometimes people are simply wrong) but it keeps me constantly reevaluating my thought process which I think has made me a better writer.

It’s been a fantastic ride the past 7 months, and I am excited to see how this side-hustle grows as I approach my 1-year writing anniversary in May.

Thanks to everyone who has read my stories so far and stay tuned. 2019 is going to be a good year.

Economic policy wonk by day. Personal finance writer by night. I write about investing, debt, and all things related to money. Editor of Making of a Millionaire

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