This year I took the leap and started my own business. Tutoring young people who struggle in mainstream education. It has been a steep learning curve which has taken up most of my time. However, like many of us at heart, I am a writer. Writing is my profession everything else supports my writing.
The premise of the new business is to allow me to pick my hours, to fit in with my writing. As mentioned on my goals for the year post I am also determined to finish my manuscript this year. So for me, writing has to take the priority in everything I do.
To keep this level of productivity, I needed to streamline my approach. For years I have been guilty of throwing everything at every platform to see what sticks. As new writers, this is an important approach, only when we experiment can we see what works and what doesn’t. New writers need to have the confidence to try many approaches. Those that work you can keep working with, those that don’t then streamline.
One niche per blog
Many writers talk about the importance of having a set niche for your blog. Whereas I don’t believe this is important for Medium, it is when you are creating a personal website.
A website needs to be somewhere a reader comes to find specific information. Make this too broad and people will stop visiting, make this too narrow and people will never visit. My website is dedicated to writing tips. Since making the niche more defined, I have been approached by a company to do some sponsored work for them. Having a specific niche works well to encourage sponsored posts.
Keep a portfolio of your work.
Medium is the area where I write a range of topics. Medium embraces the different genres and allows you to create a range of content. Medium for me has become my portfolio of work.
This will work if you provide readers and potential work sources with the friends link to your post. I also believe that a small number of posts should be unlocked so anyone can have access to your work. Readers are more likely to join Medium if they can see a selection of work.
As a writer on Medium, you can use publications to keep your niche topics together. These publications can become your websites. Dedicate these to various niche topics you writer often in.
What to do with fiction.
Fiction is an area that causes many writers to scratch their head. Where do you market your fiction work? Historically, fiction performs badly on Medium. Through studying my stats it also does not perform much better on my website either. So I am, in the process, of removing it from both of these platforms.
I have decided to place my short stories on Patreon. Fans can pay a monthly subscription of $2 and will get 2 stories a week for this.
As a writer, I value my fiction work and believe people should be paying for it, no matter how small.
Other platforms you could consider for your fiction work is Vocal Media and Wattpad. A word of warning, Wattpad has been criticised for not protecting the work of their writers. There have been several examples of writers having their work plagiarized on there. The team are not responsive when you report this.
I have been experimenting on Vocal Media recently and it seems to be a good platform, run on a similar vein to Medium. My first impression is that poetry performs better there, fiction is still underrepresented.
Recently I was introduced to a new platform called 99circles. 99Circles is a platform where you charge subscribers to access your best content. It is a cross between Patreon and Substack if you are familiar with these platforms. Here I am considering starting a subscription newsletter, where you can receive fiction straight to your inbox.
You can also market your work on Amazon, by producing short stories in eBook format. You may choose to market your fiction work by entering writing competitions. Both are areas I am eager to explore this year.
Writing is personal to the writer. Many of us will use various platforms differently. There is no right and wrong answer to where to place your work.
Experimentation will tell you what works and what doesn’t. Changing and adapting is a must for any writer. Studying your stats and feedback will enable a writer to make the best use of the sources they have open to them.
Personally, having a clear plan of where my work is going has given me clarity and peace of mind. After six months I will re-evaluate and change things if needed. Writing has become so much more than putting ideas on paper. It has to be about marketing and progressing our work.
Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and mentor. To support her writing and read her fiction work join Patreon. To follow all her work find her on Facebook. To receive regular writing tips join her Email List or join Poetry Paradise for a weekly poetry newsletter. © Sam H Arnold 2020