5 Lessons After Going From 1,000 Monthly Views to 95,000
It Started With Launching My Own Little Publication
Since first scrawling words with crayons, I never guessed I could actually make money doing this. But I needed more than crayons to get my writing career off the ground. I thought I needed a website, right?
But after starting a website and writing for my own blog, it felt like posting billboards on a deserted island.
Throw in some crickets for sound effects.
Luckily, I found Medium. But it wasn’t easy at first, as I was trained to be a journalist. Only after I stopped writing like a traditional journalist, and started sharing personal stories from my life journey, did things happen.
Update: This article was just curated which seems to validate the tips.
#1. I Launched My Own Publications
Building something myself felt more sustainable than chasing big pubs.
The best part of doing this is that Medium likes to show readers other articles from the same publication they just read, which means they’re showing readers more of your articles.
It also gives readers twoways to follow, either the traditional route or by following your publication. Either way, you’re adding to your writing network.
While it’s true that you can reach a giant audience in a big pub, if one goes viral, then my pub gains new followers, not some big pub that may close soon.
Think of the publication as your website, you could still have other people post on it, but it’s all yours and leads people to your content.
The Road to Success Means You Must Appear to “Suck” for Awhile
#2 Stay Humble But Productive
Adding stories to my own publication with like 3 followers didn’t feel like “killing it.” But you know what, I valued each and everyone of those followers (and still do) because they’re part of my little pub.
Also, I realized this was going to be a step-by-step process.
I didn’t waste time with big pubs, as those may love me today and ghost me tomorrow. Even worse, big pubs are now closing left and right.
I quickly discovered you don’t need to publish to large pubs to get curated. Then, in August of 2021, I learned you don’t need them to go viral either. More on that later.
#3 If You’re Not Publishing Enough, Change Something Out
I’ve been writing and producing articles pretty regularly for almost a year before my articles went viral, that gave me a great backlog of stories for people to click on who found me through a viral article.
But everything went to a new level about a month before articles started going viral, when I developed a technique to publish more stories by not allowing myself to return home until I published an article.
I now give myself more flexibility as I got into a rhythm of publishing more (mainly by not worrying about outcome, claps etc.). I often write my most viral stuff from my car looking out at great scenery or a busy street.
#4 Write to Go Beyond “One-Hit Wonder”
After my first two articles went “viral” (more than 2000 views), I wrote an article about how I did it. I repeated the steps, and eleven more stories have gone viral since. The main steps are:
- Have a strong point of view on anything.
- Be excited to talk about it, with a conversational sense of playfulness.
- Build the suspense, the more the better.
- “Kill it” in your delivery.
- Leave Them Wanting More.
#5 Interact, Build up Good Karma
Just before some stories went viral, I paid tribute to two other Medium writers.
Who knows, maybe sharing the love with others brought some love back.
Since day one, I’ve interacted with other writers, commented, replied and clapped. If you want abundance, spread it, there’s enough to go around.
It’s also good karma to make your articles fully accessible, like using “alt tags” for the visually impaired as I describe here (which may help with curation).
After I regained my composure (and celebrated a bit, lol), I repeated what was working based on stats from writing for months. And each time I focused on my strengths, about a week later I saw a rise in traffic.
Keep in mind articles usually take a few days to go viral, one of them even took a month. Also going viral means you’ll get negative comments, I never got those previously so just know it’s a sign of success.
Also realize claps and comments have nothing to do with how viral an article is. They help but I believe the main factor is paid-member reading time.
But the Biggest Lesson is to Have Fun, Seriously
No matter what niche resonates with your readers, keep it funny and exciting. If you find that writing about finance makes you money, then you can still have fun with metaphors and personal stories that make the topic interesting.
Keep reading, keep writing and live a fun life as that’s what brings power to the words, and the inspiration to write them. 🙏