I’ve always considered myself more of a blogger than a writer.
I do believe, though, bloggers are absolutely writers.
I will admit, of course, there are differences.
Blogging is definitely one type of writing, but to find success as a writer, on platforms other than blogs, you do have to switch your focus and technique a bit.
I’ve been blogging for about a decade, and have had my blogs monetized for about eight years. Monetization comes in the form of two major categories: ads and sponsored posts.
Very recently, I joined Medium and decided to see how and if those blogging skills would translate to success on this platform. I had no expectations, but was willing to give it a shot.
The Blogging Benefit
Turns out, the very skills you utilize as a blogger are the building blocks for success here on Medium.
There are some small adjustments I’ve found to be necessary, though. Here are some easy ways to take your blogging experience and use it to become an exceptional writer, both on this platform, and beyond.
Publish over perfect
As a blogger, you need to know how to create quality pieces, in not a lot of time. I do this all the time as a blogger, and it’s definitely helping me achieve success here on Medium.
Obviously, an edit is necessary for all your stories, but spending days editing a four-minute-read just isn’t going to get you very far on here. For comparison, I can complete a 1000-word story in about an hour and a half or so.
Some pieces, of course, necessitate longer. There’s research to undertake and you want to make sure everything is perfect before you hit publish.
For me, that’s the exception rather than the rule.
Currently here on Medium, I post between 1–2 stories per day, in a variety of publications. They range in reading time from 3–5 minutes. So far, this is a happy medium for me.
Learning how to draft, edit and publish those stories quickly, while also paying attention to quality, grammar and spelling, is a blogging skill I’m happy to carry over into the Medium realm.
In blogging, community is incredibly important. The same goes for being an exceptional writer.
My blog comments, email exchanges, and social media interactions are based on the knowledge that my readers are important. They want to feel heard, and developing a strong community with them is crucial to blogging success.
It is just as true here on Medium.
Replying thoughtfully to comments, engaging with other writers’ stories, and simply being an involved member of the writing community is an integral part of anyone’s success as a writer.
If I spend three hours writing stories a day, I probably spend another hour or two engaging with readers and other writers. It’s time consuming, yes, but dropping stories and not returning until you have another to publish just isn’t going to benefit you in the long run.
Community counts in blogging, and it counts for your writing success, as well.
Explore a range of topics
On my blog, I’m constantly surprised at which topics do well…and which don’t.
One thing I’ve learned, though, is this: people and their interests can be surprising, and I’m not necessarily my target audience. You just never really know what’s going to hit a nerve with readers.
This attitude has served me well in blogging, and it’s served me well outside of blogging, too.
Blogging has taught me to explore a range of topics with my writing. Those topics I enjoy writing about and know will do well, as well as those I’m less confident in. I often find myself surprised at what does well, and what doesn’t.
This ability to take risks I learned directly from blogging, and it’s helping me become a much better writer, all around.
Write for your audience
Going hand-in-hand with the last tip is this: always keep your audience in mind when you’re writing.
When I complete a sponsored post for my blog, I’m expected to pay very close attention to my target audience and what the brand wants to convey.
When I send out a newsletter, I keep my readers at the forefront of my mind, because those are the ones I want my content to resonate with.
When I write here on Medium, or anywhere outside of my blog, I do the same.
As a blogger, it’s important to consider your readers. Exceptional writers do, this too.
They keep their audience in the back of their mind, and write with them clearly in mind.