Can You Succeed on Medium Without Being in Publications?

Depends on your vision of success.

I have seen this question asked on multiple platforms, including Quora and Twitter, as well as in Facebook groups dedicated to Medium writers.

It’s usually phrased similarly to “Do I have to submit my work to publications to succeed on Medium?”

Here are my thoughts on this.

First of all, it depends on what you mean by “success,” whether that is your number of followers, how much money you earn, how often you post, etc.

Once you know what the idea of being successful on Medium means to you, then you can figure out how to make it happen.

I do earn money every month on Medium and have over 6.2k followers. In my first year or two on Medium, I definitely regularly submitted to and had pieces in publications like Better Marketing, Writing Cooperative, Thrive Global, and The Startup. I do think being in publications is a great way to expand your audience.

As time has gone on, I’ve made it a point to publish articles under my name only and tag them appropriately. I have continued to gain followers and my writing has evolved and refined over time.

Nowadays I never submit to publications before publishing. I do sometimes get a note on an already-published piece that a publication would like it and about half the time I decide to throw it up in their publication. Because why not?

I finally recently finally created my own Medium publication called Write Out Loud to have one central place to house specifically my writing, freelancing, and business-related content (as opposed to having everything on my page with all other topics and having to scroll endlessly to find the specific thing you want).

I hadn’t really planned to have my own publication, but not only does it serve as a central landing page for specific content, but it also allows readers to follow that content and publication instead of me personally, giving them options.

It mostly comes down to personal preference.

The main pro of being in Medium publications is the potential new audience your work will be exposed to.

The main con is that you have less control — the publication editor can add paid ads to it, change the photo, reformat it, etc, to fit their brand.

Personally, I like Medium publications and have been in a bunch over the last few years. Over time, I have simply come to prefer keeping it all under my own name only.

But that is my choice, and being in publications DID help me on my path to “success” on Medium as a platform.

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Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.”

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