Late last night, I passed the 3,000 follower mark on Medium. It’s an awesome milestone to reach, and one that I never expected when I started writing here two years ago. A huge, sincere thank you to everyone who helped me hit it.
When I began writing on Medium, I used to read endless articles about how to succeed on the platform. Some were very helpful. Most were well-intentioned but useless. But there were also many that actually did more harm than good: These argued that new Medium writers had already missed the boat.
All the way back in 2018, less than a year after Medium’s Partner Program was launched, cynics were already declaring the platform dead. I read again and again that there was no way for a new writer to possibly gain a following here, or to ever make more than a few pennies per post.
I half-believed these articles, but I stuck with Medium anyway. I kept my expectations low, never hoping for more than a few dozen followers or any significant earnings from the partner program. I figured that even if my posts only reached a handful of readers, I would still consider that a success.
So, for two years I’ve written and written, without worrying about whether I had missed the boat or not. Gradually, day by day, my followers and view counts increased. I was amazed when I reached 100 followers. Now I’ve reached a number that I never imagined.
All the while, the cynics have persisted. Every time that Medium makes the smallest change, hundreds of angry writers rush to declare that the platform is dead and that all the new users have missed the boat.
And yet, I see new writers take off every day. Medium’s user base is absolutely massive, and it just doesn’t make sense to argue that there are no opportunities here for new writers to connect with readers.
I’m not promising success. I’m not even sure what “success” means. I felt successful the first time that a stranger read my writing. For others, even hundreds of thousands of views per month might not feel like success.
I also have to acknowledge that it isn’t easy to grow a readership on Medium. Luck is a factor, as is hard work. I’ve posted literally hundreds of times over the past two years, always trying my best to write real, meaningful things, rather than empty clickbait. I put a lot of effort into what I post here.
Finally, it’s true that there are more writers than ever on this site, which means that it’s harder to stand out. Although it isn’t at all impossible for new writers to take off, it does seem to get more difficult each year.
But, with all that said, I still think that the posts telling new writers to give up are doing more harm than good. They’re really just a way for cynics to make a quick buck by playing up people’s fears. If I had listened to them and quit writing here, I never would have known the opportunity that I was throwing away.
My advice for new writers is simple: Stop worrying about whether you’ve missed the boat or not. Instead, give it a try and find out for yourself.