6 Things That Are Wrong With Medium (From a Former Journalist)
Unlike many writers on Medium, I didn’t start my writing career by writing on Medium.
I contributed to magazines, companies, and more for almost a decade before joining the platform, yet when I first started, I actually struggled to adjust because it was so different than anything I did before.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for Medium in many ways. I’ve been able to build an audience, showcase my ideas, meet amazing fellow writers, and help people live better lives. (That’s what motivated me to join Medium in the first place.)
But as with all things, it’s not without its faults.
So in this article, I want to share some brutally honest problems I’ve discovered about Medium after writing on it for over two years. While many people don’t want you to know “how the hot dogs are made,” I want to reveal what it’s like behind the scenes.
I believe it’s going to make you a more-informed reader so you can get the best advice, support, and lessons possible to help you in your journey (whether that’s reading me or anyone else).
It Encourages Simplistic Articles
The problem with Medium’s Partner Program is that it incentivizes viral articles only. Less than 5% of all the articles you ever write lead to more than 95% of your earnings. (This isn’t hyperbole; this is based on all my earnings as well as conversations with many other writers.)
So, in a way, everyone is incentivized to write really trivial articles like “7 things to change your life” (and three of them are, like, drinking water, sleeping eight hours a day, and basic stuff any six-year-old knows is good for you).
Because that shit goes viral.
For example, some authors on Medium find a sexy title formula that works (AND WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER), rinse, repeat, and grow their audience with just that.
Meanwhile, articles that are super high-quality often don’t go viral because maybe they didn’t have the sexiest headline or image…