My very first article was published here on the 3rd November 2016. Hard to think that a year ago I started this gambit. In line with that memorial date, I’m taking a break from my more verbose output to Medium for a few months up to the end of the year. This article has been pre-written for quite some time, I’ve come back to it a few times just to add a bit more but ultimately I’ve known this time has been coming.
I will still be writing for the Becoming Human Publication, I am not sure on the frequency of that, so cannot tell you how regular that will be. All other stories will be abandoned as of today.
I may pipe up again but I am reverting to writing on my paid for, self hosted blogs in order to get my money’s worth. I am re-diverting my energies back to my old brands because my time of experiment is done.
There is a benefit to your reading of this article in that you should gain some insight into some areas that can be best avoided, or best pursued. Take my lopsided approach as a potential guide to your own fortune.
Why Did I Start With Medium?
The truth is, I saw it advertised by Pat Flynn. Pat Flynn is a living legend in terms of being an entrepreneur, public speaker, and genuinely awesome individual. He lives over at SmartPassiveIncome.com, and his podcast is a definite must. I like following Pat because I know he holds very little back and goes at projects full throttle. He is honest about how difficult it can be to be successful but also on tips you might need to be ‘next level’. Pat gives you an insight into ‘what’s next’ which maynot necessarily be helpful to ‘what’s now’ but at least he knows efficient ways of doing things. Inspiration wise and by means of positive mental attitude, Pat can give you a boost. But this article is not about Pat Flynn. Don’t want to give him too big a head.
Pat is not perfect. Occasionally I feel at a stage where I feel inadequate and a lot of the ‘shovel’ that he dishes out furthers his aim of collecting the loot. You have to bear this in mind with all entrepreneurs. They are all about loot under that kind and caring exterior (and to be fair, they are doing this for a business so would you expect any less?). A lot of time you might think; ‘Pat, that method to get Z is frickin’ awesome but I haven’t achieved the basic numbers for A, B or C yet. Thanks but no thanks, you high-falutin’ bum. By the time I get to point Z, all of your musings on the best way to go about it will be potentially irrelevant.’ And you wouldn’t be far wrong. Regardless of this, if you study Pat’s info long enough, some of the good ideas just pour off his work for free, and you can make use of them. I call it ‘success sweat’, you collect it in a jar then dab some on your neck when you need a hit.
The Smart Passive Income Blog
Smart Passive Income is a resource run by me, Pat Flynn, to teach you proven strategies for running an online business…
My first blog, a self-hosted Wordpress Blog, brought me into contact with Pat Flynn. Medium was a place he mentioned as a good area to get writing practice up.
Welcome to Blog Prefect
Blog Prefect is a Blog specifically for Bloggers and those who use Social Media and Analytics. The art of blogging The…
During 2016, and the previous year, my writing had sagged like a tit. Sorry to put that so bluntly, but it really had. There were a number of contributing factors but the largest part of this fugue that I had was my poor numbers. As it happens Blog Prefect is 4 years old, It’s birthday on the 14th June this year.
I was at a stage where I just needed to get writing and have no worries about any specific rules. The fact that I could jest and jape, talk about anything I want, and generally be free, was exciting.
So on Medium, I have no specific niche. I covered a number of areas, anywhere I enjoyed writing.
I was out of gas for blogging as an activity. This place reawakened that need to create.
Why I Never Moved to Be A Paid Member
A number of simple reasons;
- 1: I didn’t feel that what Medium had offered as premium options was what I wanted to engage with. They didn’t dangle the right carrots.
- 2: I wanted to do as much as I could, free. Embracing free. Freedom. Home of the bold, home of the free. Free.
- 3: I didn’t want another American pay centre charging my visa for a foreign money exchange. For all Americans; you pay one price, for everybody else; we pay your price, a fixed monetary exchange fee, and a variable exchange percentage. It pisses me off. By virtue of the fact that I am not American, essentially being cast into the ranks of the ROTW (rest of the world), I must pay more. I had written more here, containing swear words but I decided to quit while I was ahead. What You See Is Not What You Pay.
- 4: Some of Medium’s basic level features are titan level jank as they stand. Jank is a lovely word I picked up from a Jamaican gent living in America. (jank when compared to WordPress or other systems along a similar line).
- 5: I didn’t want to encourage a pay funnel or any form of elitism by supporting paid membership, even if that means that my writing circulation suffers. I’ll take free, but thank you Medium, for not going the route of adverts!
Blue Language, Name Calling and Other Flowery Effervescence
In some parts of my time with Medium, I have reverted to Anglo Saxon terminology. Sometimes it has been needed. This is not something I do on my self-hosted blogs. There I keep it classy. On Medium, whatever I like. It has been enjoyable this way and I’m unapologetic.
Fuck, shit and bollocks have a certain level of power. As does buttocks, tits and twat. Throw in a wank at least once a day and you are performing your average. But never the C bomb.
Name calling has occurred in areas but I try to keep this to a minimum as a rule. This form of bullying was something that plagued me during my teenage years at school, and I was always mindful that name calling often meant that you had lost your argument. That is a sage piece of advice, don’t call people names, it is petty (that means you; you Pantaloon wearing, clown shoe fuck :) ).
Flowery Effervescence was also used in abundance. I love the English language and like to try out all of the finicky bits from time to time, I realise this doesn’t always mean you have an “on point” post. But seeing as I was doing what ever I fancied here on Medium, that didn’t matter. It really didn’t!
8 Minutes Max
Seems to be a sweet spot.
If I wrote any article longer than this, the probability of you staying to read it would diminish quite remarkably. That’s probably a good point for you to take into account. 8 minutes max.
This article is over double.
It’s Okay To Call Me Lazy
I have been lazy. I don’t bother publishing my medium content on social media. I don’t think I’ve ever truly enjoyed that process with my self hosted blogs, so why I would learn to love it in Medium is a mystery that will never be answered.
I rely entirely on your good grace! So pony up bitch!
In the main, only those articles I submit to the Becoming Human Publication, have even the remotest chance of being read, and to some degree clapped. Everything else is enjoyable but unrewarding.
I Have Never Clapped or Hearted Myself
Because I always shout abuse at people on game shows who do the same, when they riotously applaud themselves. It is about as wrong as a fart in a lift. Many levels people, many levels! <insert groan here>
Self applause feels like cheating. Clapping yourself looks idiotic, narcissistic, uncouth, and just plain wrong.
Self shilling is wrong peeps. You know it in your heart, you have to be brave to admit it. You can do it but you’ll burn in hell. You know who you are, raise your hand if you are a cheater.
A Small But Notable Apology
I apologise that I haven’t followed back more of my followers. Following the accolade of being noted as a ‘writer’ in Artificial Intelligence, and being followed circa one of my AI articles (those two areas being my top area for new follower counts exploding especially in August), I’d like to issue an apology.
By means of explanation, I hadn’t intended to engage too deep with followers. I just wanted to concentrate on writing content. As part of my reactivation into blogging, it was important for me to get content out on a more regular basis. I had not intended to work ‘too hard’ to try and please you because I have never had that intention on this platform.
Pleasing is a symptom of the problems in our world. You can’t please everyone.
In the main, my observation was that the majority of new followers were new to Medium, therefore couldn’t be entirely reliable. I would imagine the dropout rate for Medium contributors is as high as some of the other platforms (Wordpress, blogger, etc.)because a lot of you realise that blogging, and this form of writing, just aren’t for you. Then there is the fact that actually doing this gig, takes boat loads of work, often with very little reward for your effort. It’s okay, I’ve worn that t-shirt, I know how it smells.
One big thing you have to realise as a Medium writer, is that as it goes, you are writing for fellow writers and creators on this platform. There is an element of professional one-upmanship and B2B (bizniz to bizniz, writer twat to writer twat) style interaction which you generally get with a blog audience. You can spend a lot of time wasting time writing the same thing other people have already written better, and whilst invariably that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, you probably shouldn’t try if you haven’t got something better to say.
Some people are just not going to like you, no matter how hard you try. You need to realise this fact. The largest proportion of individual readers don’t know you from Adam (and even if they knew Adam, they would pass by him like a leper in the street). There are a small proportion of those who will like your work and vice versa there will be a small proportion who hate your work. Otherwise, if you have not been able to attain the necessary ‘gravity’, nobody will give two shits.
As a Medium contributor we are all clamouring for attention. We are performing that act of ‘clamouring for attention’ in a sea of self-centred writers. What do you think the ultimate outcome will be? Hint: It doesn’t involve a bunch of roses and an award on the mantle piece.
Politics (UK & World)
Is one area I revealed about myself that I’ve never publicly revealed before. I wrote a number of articles based upon this because 2017 was an insanely rich year of topic worthy points. I wrote 15 articles total. As you can see from top to bottom (newest to oldest), I had movement in the early days but dick all in the later period. There was no sense flogging a dead horse, proverbially speaking.
- How to Solve the Irish Border — 0 views 0 reads 0 fans
- Macron’s Battle Chariot — 2 views 0 reads 0 fans
- Bored With BBC July 2017 Edition — 1st Half — 1 views 0 reads 0 fans
- The BBC’s Pre-Check Check List — 3 views 3 reads 0 fans
- The Conservative Gamble Failed — 1 view 0 reads 0 fans
- How UK.ISideWith.Com Got Me Wrong for the 2017 General Election — 0 views 0 reads 0 fans
- All Theresa May Had To Do Was Stay Quiet — 1 view 0 reads 0 fans
- UK Snap GE 2017 Crap Choices — 3 views 1 read 0 fans
- Is it Curtains for UKIP on the 8th June? — 1 view 1 read 0 fans
- Mugwump International Outcry at Being Likened … — 7 views 6 reads 1 fan
- New Concept for the French Ballot Paper for … — 0 views 0 reads 1 fan
- Why the UK Green Party is a Grass Stain That needs … — 1 view 0 reads 0 fans
- There is so much hope that Macron Will Win — 7 views 4 reads 1 fan
- The Conservative Gamble In The UK — 25 views 12 reads 1 fan
- A Statistical Analysis of ‘Brexit’ Leanings — 3 views 0 reads 1 fan
My gambit with the politics was normally as response to something. I used the play of being bored with politics as a link between each article. This meant pictures of yawning cats.
By August of 2017 I stopped. Mostly due to the dreadful outcome of the General Election in the UK (dreadful in that Theresa May done fucked it up with her idiot manifesto), and because the overall appetite for politics had all but dried up. A lot of the articles I poured time into were not read, indicative of the fact that for the largest part, what I was writing isn’t compatible with the vast majority of liberals who frequent Medium. Let’s just say it wasn’t going to rise to the top. Let’s just say the vegetarians would view it the same way they’d view a freshly cooked lamb kebab.
This didn’t stop me commenting on other politics based articles and the ‘responses’ are some of my more read material overall.
The particular core flavour is always Trump, and people losing their shit with Trump. If Donald copyrighted his surname for the rights of collecting on the royalties, he’d be a multi trillionaire by now. (that’s not a suggestion Don). I am personally sick of hearing about Trump. I’m sick of people whinging about what happened. I’m sick of the butt hurt. A lot of people crying foul, making a lot of noise, either voted for Trump or didn’t vote. This is why you have the outcome you had. The truth is, even if you manage to remove Trump, what douchebag do you replace him with? Starting to get me angry already…. The one thing I can say is that WalMart will never lose custom as long as they continue to stock tin foil, and guides on how to make hats out of said material.
To frame my political stance, I’m a right centrist. I both dislike Socialism (and Communism in its greater form) and the return of the Nazis in equal measure. I don’t want big brother or big government. I’m not a huge fan of corporate interference or the overwhelming drive of capitalism because it will destroy us. I do have a certain underlying want to become ‘greener’ but don’t feel that the leftist greens represent the method in which that ‘green’ agenda should be moved forwards. In my country, there is 1 green MP and she represents all the shades of covert liberalism that I hate. Under that green hat she wears, there is a dash of liberal yellow that signals her as the illiberal scrotum she is. I strongly believe and attest to the notion that ‘you can’t make everyone happy’ nor should you try. Don’t be one of these detestable ‘pleasers’.
The “Man by the Name of Rubic” Mini-Series
I had enjoyed writing a science fiction short. It didn’t get much in the way of views during the time that it has been up but regardless, I enjoyed writing every word. I would imagine this would have done better if I had joined one of the pay for publications to push my stories harder, but for many reasons I won’t join ‘pay for publications’ so I accept what I received.
Whilst I can continue to keep on writing, there is zero demand so I’m not sure of the overall benefit to doing so. Ultimately if I had kept this going for years, I might have been able to fashion a book out of it. I don’t have the viewing numbers though, and just doing it for fun isn’t quite enough.
It is not, what you the audience, want. I dig that. I did what I enjoyed. Huzzah for me! Petition me for more and I will happily continue.
Wrong Area, Wrong Format, No Interest
Perhaps the article that I’d poured the most time into, was an article entirely based on the Sims 4, and what was wrong with it. Unfortunately this article received no views.
In some ways I am happy about this despite the time I poured in. Mostly because sensible people probably have already come to the same conclusion I have. The conclusion that EA has decided to destroy all of its cash cows without any consideration. This is why EA has twice won the title of worst company.
We’ve collectively had enough.
That’s just me projecting.
Sadly that article wasn’t the only one I spent a long time on to have no return.
The next one was an entirely personal one, but one I’d hope might garner some interest. Sadly it didn’t, despite best intentions, it fell on deaf ears, closed eyes, sealed sniffers. It explains the reason why I’ve had so much time to write. So much time whilst at work in a company I’ve come to hate and a situation I see no joy from.
I expect these two articles would have been better as vids but I just don’t have time to edit at the moment. It takes too long with even less potential viewers than I have here. It is best just to leave it.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel however but it means that for a short period in 2018, possibly the end of this year, I will put myself in a short term period of jeopardy until I am re-established doing something I enjoy, and where I am respected. It does mean that I will be quitting my job and starting something new. That is a bit scary for me but I’m of an age where I cannot remain in the status quo any more. It is important to be moving forwards while I still have time and worth. Where I am now, only engenders stagnation, losing value and ultimately; losing respect. I know what I need to do. I’m just nervous about it, nervous because I need to pull it off or my savings will dwindle, where my pension won’t get paid and where I will be under pressure to continue maintaining momentum. Rather than continue my comfortable uncomfortable, I just need to be bold and get going. It’s hard though, and I’m generally risk averse, but on the other hand, I know I am not held in a high enough regard for that second rung, I cannot have ‘bottom rung monkey’ chiseled on my grave stone. There are too many young guns joining the company making me feel inadequate.
My Stat Peak
Was felt in August of 2017. I had a particularly popular article that boosted my numbers dramatically. The image depicted below was the highest area where all 3 stats were high. I have had higher viewers than depicted below but the reads were much lower. I’ve also had more fans at one point but the image below is the best median of all three (and even then it is skewed by that big bar to the left).
What I liked about this was that I knew that this was all through my own hard work and effort. Rather than a bot latching itself to my site, or somebody selling some kind of data service, performing a data burst on my system (what I call the rattle test).
What made me sad was the realisation that whilst a fair amount of these numbers were through articles, there was also a large clustering of responses that made up this total. Responses pollute these stats, they are skew. Not that responses aren’t valuable, they just aren’t reading miles. Readers is what I need. Not for ego, not for anything more than a sense that what I’m cooking is good (because I enjoy cooking).
The Tel Aviv Jerusalem Ad Girl Affect
You always get an outrider. That rare post that box ticks. I have one that skews my stats quite dramatically. I love these posts. They rock. I know why the work as I’ve studied one on my own site before but in some ways I wish that this wasn’t the reason they come in their droves. I’ll take it, I’ll be grateful, but underneath I’ll be raving that I’ve not produced more high brow content that did this well.
This topic worked because of the following reasons (and some of them are deeply cynical);
Timely — the advert was on television and the Internet for quite some time and I take it was a successful advert campaign as it has run for a long time.
Involves a very seductive woman — and men lose their shit for beautiful women. This particular ad is ultra provocative in that regard. Mrs Cohen is a babe, sorry feminists. Sometimes it sucks that sex sells, but sex sells.
Has a royal flush of images — and let me just say that Mrs Cohen stars in almost all of them.
Hinges on a relatable story — One that I’ve been through but most guys know pretty well by now. Also somewhat on topic with undertones of the MGTOW movement (another topic that might get the feminists and gold-diggers hissing).
Contains a critical piece of information that is not commonly disclosed — Namely that the woman in this advert’s name is Shir Elmaliach-Cohen. A name they can punch into google images. It also informs that she is Mrs Shir Elmaliach-Cohen, in that she is married, which may pour salt into some men’s fantasy that they have a chance with this woman, or possibly sugar, if they are evil that way. (I’ve forgotten all the women of course, maybe you bisexuals and lesbians find this woman birdtastic, worth a plunge? Good taste. But I digress…)
Has a slug that gets searched a lot in the search terms — because I went with the obvious choice and that proved to be highly effective as a search term. Google and the other search engines have thusly rewarded me for being epic (‘Boss like’).
Has a high image to word ratio — because these kinds of posts do better for the net.
Has an audience resonance — whilst no comments exist on this article, it hit the spot for many. Whether it was my personal story, or just the images, it worked. It not only ‘worked’ past tense, it continues to work. It is a ‘driver’ article, has a life of its own. They are what I’ve referred to before as an article with a long half life. This article will endure for at least one reason before it eventually expires a long time forwards. Google has bookmarked it.
These are the stats as taken from the 23rd October. Since then the snowball keeps on becoming boulder shaped.
Medium Was a Slow Burn
But it did pick up. It took me a while to tap into what I enjoyed writing about most and it was nice to get my article featured in a publication. It put a smile on my face and then I felt bold enough to start to put more articles together that had a specific directive.
I recommend that rather than wasting time if you have no exposure from your own minimal traffic, you try and appeal to a publication that has an established audience. You feel so much better when you are writing work that people are reading.
Blogging can be a slow burn, so as advice to any noob, you need to dedicate some time to this activity to get results. The amount of writers who struck it lucky out of the gate is distinctly uncommon. Hone your skill, enjoy the process, and you’ll get there. It is better to understand how you work the magic, rather than being an idiot savant, because if you ever lose the knack you’ve got nothing to fall back on, no means of recovery. The stage can change over time, new backdrops, new audience. You need to evolve to keep up.
The Smörgåsbord Approach
You’ve got to whack in a scandi term every so often, all those extra wibbly bits on the letters just seems so right.
So a Swedish Buffet (Smörgåsbord) is essentially what I’ve been writing for the past year of Medium. This ignored all of the niche concepts that I was trying to maintain in my standard blogs.
All of the noticeable things that I expected came to pass. These were phenomena such as weird outrider posts that got picked up by Google; like my Tel Aviv Jerusalem Ad Girl article. It has been very freeing being all over the shop — enjoyable, rewarding, fulfilling even. The more I write, the more I enjoy it, despite negligible returns.
Medium is Still a Testbed
So expect to potentially see some more weird shit from me in the future. I like a bit of strange, to be truthful, and there are many of you who of similar thought. We should all get along famously (as long as you are not the type that brings the supposedly ‘illegal’ chair into the wrestling ring).
If you are a genuine follower, or a passing well-wisher, I’d appreciate some ideas for articles to try out. My email is jackson@Jackowrites.com
Keep on trucking! Keep on writing! Keep on Clapping (or rolling your eyes)!