If you’re like most people on Medium that have an email address readily available, you’ve gotten an email from a new platform encouraging you to sign up with their creator program promising a big return on your creative writing investment. But, is it going to work for you?
I have been on Medium for over two years and it’s been a life-changing experience. I don’t mean that from a monetary standpoint. I say that from a place where I’ve learned to find my voice, hone my skills, and connect with readers and writers in a meaningful way.
I’ve been on News Break for a whole week and feel like I’ve learned completely different lessons very quickly. It’s an interesting experience in figuring out what I’m doing with my writing, what purpose it serves, and what platform is going to help me reach my goals.
It’s worth the time to do a bit of critical thinking in order to determine the best landing place for you, which may be both.
How much freedom do you want?
One of the things I love about Medium is that they have a very strong focus on curation guidelines. There are very set standards. Sure, we can all write whatever we want but that doesn’t mean it’s going to get curated and promoted to readers. This is crucial to growing our audience.
On News Break, you can publish nearly anything and they will tag it with over a dozen tags that will help it potentially get views. The views are far greater there than on Medium.
Who is your audience?
I’ve found that Medium readers are smart people looking for quality writing. Shock value may get some reading time but it’s not why people come here. They are looking to learn something, which is why many publications and the curators look for a take away at the end of the article that leaves the reader feeling satisfied.
News Break, on the other hand, has far less discerning readers who seem to be looking for content over craft. The fact that stories are not behind a paywall allows for them to spend much more time on the app. There is also a much higher volume of content that is more easily found. The opportunity for people to find your writing is much greater. If you want views, this is a solid option.
How much connection are you looking for?
One of my favorite parts of Medium has been the thoughtful responses people take the time to leave in the comments on my articles. It reminds me that, when I express my thoughts and struggles, that I’m not alone. It allows me to connect with people on a level that enriches the writing experience for me.
If you give News Break a shot, please never read the comments. Ever. I mean it. Just walk on by. People do not need to use an actual name in signing up and it is a wide pool of anonymous commenters. Use our imagination there.
How much transparency do you want?
One of the biggest complaints I hear about Medium is the lack of transparency. I don’t necessarily mind as the platform has a solid reputation and I have a certain level of trust and comfort in that.
News Break gives you analytics that tells you exactly how many times they have shown your article to viewers and how many times someone has clicked on it. You know how many times it has been shared, as well.
How motivated are you by money vs. craft?
Earning a big salary on Medium is not exactly easy. It takes a lot of hard work, high-quality writing, and a solid following of readers. The best part of this is that is it challenges us to write better each time we open a new draft. If we want to get paid, we need to put out the best work we can.
New Break will promise a flat fee for 12 articles per month as long as you just hit a few metrics. The money is good. Good enough to give us some breathing room. There is no connection to reading time. They have other incentives, as well, where you can get paid for referring readers and writers. They give you all the analytics you need to track your progress in this.
What I’ve determined is going to work for me.
I plan to do both. I actually love the idea of having two different outlets for my writing. Medium is the challenge I need in order to grow as a writer. I can’t lose that. The money isn’t going to liberate me but the creative process does. It’s why I came here. When I first joined Medium, I didn’t do it for the money. I want to keep that integrity.
I do, of course, like the income that New Break offers. They also allow us to repost articles from Medium onto the platform. With over 400 articles in my catalog, I have a lot to work with though I’ve realized not everything from here will work there. It's a good financial safety net that allows me to focus on content over there and high quality over here. There is nothing wrong with doing both.
We owe it to ourselves to figure out what combination of platforms, companies, and freelance opportunities work for us as individuals. In the end, as long as we’re growing in some way, we’re on the right track.
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you want to sign up for News Break, the links will take you to a page connect to my referrals.