WRITING ABOUT WRITING

Guiding articles to writers

In this collection, I share some of my useful and practical articles guiding writers to become successful on Medium and other content platforms. They are not in any particular order.

Many of these stories reflect hard lessons learned on this platform.

Enjoy, get inspired, and share with those who may need these ideas.

Essential Checklist for Writers

Improve quality and readability of your stories

I prepared this checklist for writers planning to submit to ILLUMINATION-Curated publication. However, these points can be used for any publication on Medium or other content platforms on the web. I prepared this article to serve as a giveback to the writers’ community. Many thanks for the feedback provided to the story raising quality bars of ILLUMINATION. Our readers are impressed and delighted by the improvement. Please review our position as we will implement the rules in these guidelines.

Essential Checklist for Writers
Improve quality and readability of your storiesmedium.com

How to Survive and Thrive on Medium

Essential guide to new writers

Writing in a content platform can be a rewarding activity, but it poses many challenges too. As writers, we need to be conscious of dynamics and politics in the content platforms. There will be supporters but also critics who manifest as dream killers, noisemakers, attention seekers, and wearing many more destructive hats targeting creativity. As long as people are not toxic, you should learn how to deal with these challenges. You need to improve your adversity quotient and remain unflappable. This approach can be applied to many other facets of life. While critics play a role in the polarity of life, we need to develop a thick skin to survive and thrive. We exist with our antagonists. Stay optimistic. Critics can be a blessing in disguise. To be a successful writer in a content platform, you need to understand the rules of engagement and comply with the policies. The aim of this post is to introduce two critical resources and how to use them effectively to survive and thrive as a writer on this platform. I structured this story under two major themes to improve readability.

How to Survive and Thrive on Medium
Essential guide to new writersmedium.com

How Can Writers Use Social Media Productively?

A six minute investment to productivity and desired outcomes using social media mindfully and meaningfully

Welcome to my six-minute proposal. Improper use of any tool can hurt and even be harmful. If we don’t use a knife or a stove correctly, we can cause damage. There is no point in blaming the knife or the stove in this case. The problem is the way we use them. It is up to us how to use the tool for efficiency and productivity. I won’t characterize social media as good or bad. Like any other productivity and business tools, we should neutrally view social media as a tool. With an initial neutral view, we can give the meaning we want to add to it. Social media poses connotations. A lot has been said about this contemporary and controversial topic as it became an embedded part of our lives. Like medicine, it comes with side effects. Who hasn’t read hundreds of articles discussing the disadvantages of social media especially for wasting time and increasing anxiety? Some of those articles propose social media cleansing. And some even suggest refraining from the use of social media. All those articles have a valid point in the right context. However, instead of creating arguments for those points, as most of them are contextual, my main point is re-framing social media for productivity and reaching desired outcomes intentionally, mindfully and meaningfully. What we need is to develop hygiene in the form of good habits. The effective use of social media requires discipline. In this post, my purpose is to re-frame social media use as a serendipity tool to enhance the visibility of writers’ content.

How Can Writers Use Social Media Productively?
A six minute investment to productivity and desired outcomes using social media mindfully and meaningfullymedium.com

Five Questions To Increase Curation Chance and Reading Fans

Critical questions serving as a self-editing checklist for writers

Do you want to increase reading times for your stories?

Do you want to convert your followers to fans?

Do you want more readers?

If your answers are yes to these questions, you found the right resource to inform, educate, and motivate you.

In this story, I share my reading, writing, and editing experience by simplifying the critical factors under five main headings. I converted these headings into questions so that you can use them as a checklist while self-editing and before submitting your articles for curation purpose.

When developing these questions, I wore my reader, writer, and editor hats.

Five Questions To Increase Curation Chance and Reading Fans
Critical questions serving as a self-editing checklist for writersmedium.com

Join Us On Goodreads

Inviting writers to collaborate with published authors and millions of readers

Writers need readers. And readers need writers. Goodreads is an ideal place to bring readers and writers into one place. The purpose of this post is to introduce Goodreads and an initiative I created to support our writers to collaborate on Goodreads. First, let me give you a brief background of this reputable online organization. Goodreads is one of the biggest platforms bringing published authors and avid readers in an interactive platform. Since 2006, Goodreads is serving thousands of writers and readers. It has currently around 20 million members. Amazon owns this sizeable social cataloging site as a community organization. There are many sub-communities created by writers and readers. It is an active and energetic place. You can feel the virtual smell of books in this gigantic library. The primary function of the Goodreads site is providing a database of books, reviews, quotes, and blogs. Members need to sign up with an email address.

Join Us On Goodreads
Inviting writers to collaborate with published authors and millions of readers on Goodreadsmedium.com

How to Create Viral Stories on Medium

Patterns and Lessons learned from content of successful writers on ILLUMINATION.

Writers create content to be read by many readers. Many writers dream for their content to go viral and read by a broad audience. Even though every story has a chance to go viral, the likelihood is low. From my experience, the desired outcome can be influenced by awareness, skills, and diligent effort. The purpose of this article is to describe the key components and elements of successful content reaching viral state. I focus on the following points: introduce common patterns, provide samples from our top writers whose stories have already reached viral state and some stories which are trending for the potential viral state, and make recommendations based on my observations and findings via engagement with writers and readers. My primary focus is to share my observations, findings, and interactions with writers whose stories trended and went viral recently. Based on these points, I aim to give practical guidance and make some tangible recommendations to our writers.I introduce our successful writers briefly and provide some sample articles which are trending and going to viral state. I provide supplemental materials based on my previous analysis of specific viral stories under some sample profiles. Therefore I did not go into details for each component. Some details are captured in previous stories.

How to Create Viral Stories on Medium
Patterns and Lessons learned from content of successful writers on ILLUMINATION. How to increase the chance of your…medium.com

How To Earn Good Money On Medium

Answering a frequently asked question by new writers

I designed this post to cater to the needs of beginners on Medium. In this post, my goal is to answer a frequently asked question by new writers on Medium who have little or no experience. Since I established ILLUMINATION, I met around 6,000 writers on Medium. Over 500 writers asked me: “WHAT IS THE EASY AND BEST WAY OF MAKING MONEY ON MEDIUM?” I waited for a while to answer this frequently asked question to gain more insights and validate my findings. I recorded my observations, analyzed them, and created interesting patterns. I simplified those patterns to make practical and useful for Medium writers. My purpose is to inform our writers based on facts rather than opinions. Before providing my observations, findings, and experience on how to make money on Medium, I want to point out two caveats.

How To Earn Good Money On Medium
Answering a frequently asked question by new writers with realistic findings articulated in 10 proven and critical…medium.com

Can You Make $10,000 On Medium In A Month?

Yes, it is possible but you must have a clear strategy, persistence, and effort.

I am inspired to write this story after reading an insightful story by Sinem Günel who is one of the top writers of Medium, who also contributes to ILLUMINATION and many other publications generously. Attached is the article turned out to be a source of inspiration for our writers and readers. I featured this article on my publication and received fantastic feedback from our readers and writers. This is not an ordinary story; therefore, I am leveraging it to convey important messages for the success of our writers. Modelling success can be effective learning and skill-building exercise.

Can you make $10,000 on Medium in a month?
Yes, it is possible but you must have a clear strategy, persistence, and effort.medium.com

Writers Invited to Promote Their Publications

A give back and collaboration initiative of ILLUMINATION to support visibility of writers

I invite writers to introduce their publications .Being a writer on Medium is rewarding and requires entrepreneurial skills to succeed. New writers face loneliness and isolation due to the size and complexity of the platform. Besides, rejections that writers encounter in displaying their materials in popular publications create unnecessary anxiety and disappointment. I designed ILLUMINATION to address these concerns and help suffering writers to find their voice without worrying about rejection and censorship. I am pleased that we achieved our diversity and inclusiveness goals based on the excellent feedback obtained from our writers. We started with 100 writers four months ago, and now 6,000 writers are contributing to our publication. Creating visibility to profiles and content is a critical success factor for writers. Unless we take personal responsibility to promote our profile and work, it can be challenging to gain visibility and recognition in large content platforms. One of the proven ways to create visibility as a writer is engaging with readers and other writers actively in the platform. I want our writers to further enhance visibility by leveraging the cross-pollination capabilities of ILLUMINATION.

Writers Invited to Promote Their Publications
A give back and collaboration initiative of ILLUMINATION to support visibility of writersmedium.com

Publications Owned By Illumination Writers

Introducing eclectic and specialized publications created by writers contributing to ILLUMINATION.

My proposal was each publication owner to write and submit a story introducing the vision, goals, and objectives of the publication. I have already received several stories about the publications of our writers. I am proud of our writers who created fascinating publications covering diverse topics in various domains. To show my care and interest, I choose to use the metaphor of a baby. These excellent publications are like babies of ILLUMINATION. Each one of them is invaluable. We will give them the necessary support and nurturing for their growth. There is a chance of missing your introduction due to high volume submissions to our publication. Please leave a comment with the links so that I can include your publications to this list. You can also tag me so that I can be notified when you submit stories about your publications. This is the first cut based on received submissions so far. I believe this list will increase, considering over 6,000 passionate and prolific writers contributing to ILLUMINATION. Please review, follow, and participate in these fantastic publications if they are relevant to your writing and reading goals. The more options we have, the better for realizing our writing and reading goals.

Publications Owned by ILLUMINATION Writers
Introducing eclectic and specialized publications created by writers contributing to ILLUMINATION.medium.com

Six Reasons Writers Need Bios

The most compelling one is visibility.

Writers need visibility, recognition, and appreciation. As a published author, I know the pain of writers in the market and want to transfer my knowledge to fellow writers. We may be the most creative writer with brilliant ideas and enticing writing styles. It doesn’t matter if we are not visible to our readers. Our talent and materials do not add much value to society. Whether we like it or not, this is reality. Our success as writers depends on our visibility to readers. Writers need visibility for success. Simply put, no visibility, no readability! We may be writers with substantial and high-quality content, however, more specifically, if our profile and content are not visible to our readers, our creativity does not bring much value to us and our target audience. We must be visible to be discovered as a writer on the market unless we only write for ourselves. Marketing and entrepreneurial skills have become mandatory for writers.

Six Reasons Writers Need Bios
The most compelling one is visibility.medium.com

Discover ILLUMINATION Writers

Writer profiles: BIOs of writers from their pen

The purpose of this article is to introduce our writers and editors from their pen on ILLUMINATION. We have a diverse set of writers and editors reflecting insights from various domains and disciplines. They share and engage. Meeting them can give you new perspectives. Their bios also have some sample articles to taste. This is an opportunity to explore their content and connect with them. Our writers are source of knowledge and inspiration who can amaze you and provide you insights from a diverse range of topics and subjects. I feel privileged to have these great minds and creative professionals in our community. We will add more and more writers to this document so you may save this article as a reference. If you want to join our growing and supportive community as a writer, please leave a message via this link..We curate and amplify your valuable content to create awareness and visibility to a wider audience in creative and innovate ways.

Discover ILLUMINATION Writers
BIOs of writers from their penmedium.com

Meet Top Writers on ILLUMINATION

Featuring writers with top writer status writing for ILLUMINATION

Medium has a useful feature to recognize top writers. The status can be seen on our profile pages. There are some benefits of having a top writer status. In my opinion, this status can give an idea to our readers the focus areas in our writing practice. The primary motivation for me is to help our readers to discover our top writers over 70 tags. I will share my views on other benefits of having a top writer status on Medium in another article based on discussions with our top writers. I started this initiative to feature our top writers, as outlined in the attached story published yesterday. Most of our writers did not have a chance to find this story to respond back. If you have top writer status and want your profile to be added in this list, please leave a message in the attached article.

Meet Top Writers on ILLUMINATION
Featuring writers with top writer status writing for ILLUMINATIONmedium.com

Meet Editors of ILLUMINATION

The powerful minds & leaders behind the success of a large publication on

As we embark on the next phase of our journey here at ILLUMINATION, I thought it a fitting time to introduce our editors, the key stakeholders and champions of our publication. Our editors support ILLUMINATION writers and readers. They develop our processes and procedures, and adopt technology for the betterment of our publication. Our editors come from different professional backgrounds and have extensive writing, editing, and leadership skills. They bring expertise from multiple disciplines and enrich our diversity goal. Even though each editor is unique with different skill sets, one common attribute among them all is how keen they are to support the success of our writers. As you know, publications on Medium do not generate income, hence all of our editors provide their services on a volunteer basis. I admire the altruistic contributions of our editors. Without further ado, I will introduce my role, and in no particular order, I will introduce a brief background and role of each editor on ILLUMINATION. I have provided some additional links for the further exploration of their backgrounds.

Meet Editors of ILLUMINATION
The powerful minds & leaders behind the success of a large publication on Mediummedium.com

Interviews with Writers

Featuring inspiring writers of ILLUMINATION

Visibility is critical for writers. I enjoy featuring our writers and help them reach out to a broader audience. The purpose of this article is to keep all interviews with ILLUMINATION writers in a single document so that our readers can learn about them. Please explore fascinating worlds of our creative writers from these interviews, connect with them, and build collaborative relationship. If you want to be interviewed, please send a request via this link.

Interviews with Writers
Featuring inspiring writers of ILLUMINATIONmedium.com

ILLUMINATION Process & Procedures

Answers to frequently asked question for writers and editors of ILLUMINATION publication

ILLUMINATION aims to create a novel collaborative content culture with cross-pollination among the writers. We aim to bring writers, editors, and readers to create a social circle of content development, dissemination, and consumption with joint effort. Our aim is to empower our writers to improve their skills and connections which can enable them gain visibility to their content. Our publication aims to amplify the messages of our writers. Our focus is on success of our writers and giving excellent reading experience to our readers. This articles answers frequently asked questions about ILLUMINATION. Explore.

ILLUMINATION Process & Procedures
Answers to frequently asked question for writers and editors of ILLUMINATION publicationmedium.com

My Belated Writer Bio for ILLUMINATION

I encouraged hundreds of writers to submit a bio story but neglected it myself.

Many writers asked where my writer bio was. They couldn’t find it. I felt ashamed for the delay. They couldn’t find it because there was none. Some said “no more excuses” in a friendly yet firm tone. They were right. A kind of excuse caused this delay. It was something hidden created in my subconscious. The inner critic was too loud but was told to shut up today. Writing about myself is a daunting task. Writing about others can be easy, joyful, and rewarding. I encouraged hundreds of writers to submit stories introducing themselves. Now it was the time for me to move out of my comfort zone and take the challenge. But, I don’t know where to begin or how to frame it. Perhaps, I should start highlighting the importance of writer bios.Yes, every writer needs a bio for many compelling reasons. Whilst critics see writer bios as self-promotion, biographies are connection tools between writers and their readers. Reading the background of the writers from their pens adds exceptional value to readers.

My Belated Writer Bio for ILLUMINATION
I encouraged hundreds of writers to submit a bio story but neglected it myself. This is the hardest story for me to…medium.com

Couldn’t Resist More; I Finally Took The Plunge

And answered writing challenge called “The Proust Questionnaire”

I love writing prompts and challenges. We have been challenged by Tree Langdon to complete this questionnaire. As it is fun, several writers took the challenge and invited me to answer these questions. I read several of these stories and enjoyed the responses. It is great to know more about other writers. Writing challenges are popular among writers contributing to ILLUMINATION. The challenges help us get to know about each other better and open paths to collaboration and synergy. Participating in these challenges and prompts makes us a joyful writing community. Never dull moments! Without further ado, here are my responses to the Proust challenge.

Couldn’t Resist More; I Finally Took The Plunge
And answered writing challenge called “The Proust Questionnaire”medium.com

Testimonials about ILLUMINATION

Thoughts and sentiments of ILLUMINATION writers

The purpose of this article is to compile stories written about or related to ILLUMINATION created by our writers. These stories can help the new writers to understand the value of our publication and what it means for writers. Many of these stories are testimonials on our publication. If there are other articles that I missed in this first attempt, please let me know so that I can add them to this list as a reference.

Testimonials for ILLUMINATION
Thoughts and sentiments of ILLUMINATION writersmedium.com

Invitation to ILLUMINATION YouTube Channel

Writers need visibility

I have the same vision and approach to YouTube. We started with ten followers today, but within a few years, my goal is to have 1 Million followers. Is it possible? Yes, everything is possible when we develop a vision, strategy, plan, passion — and more importantly — action to grow. Writers need visibility for success. Simply put, no visibility, no readability! Period. As second largest search engine, YouTube is an excellent opportunity to create visibility to your profile and content. We have an advantages position because of our supportive and collaborative writers and readers as part of our publication. We have a motivating and uplifting culture. Let’s it take leverage of this wonderful capability. Here are a few practical tips to get you started with YouTube promotion.

Invitation to ILLUMINATION YouTube Channel
Writers need visibilitymedium.com

ILLUMINATION Fiction Club

An invitation to fiction writers to unite and collaborate for productive fun

Dear Fiction Writer, How are you today? Are you feeling lonely? No intention to disturb your creative moments but let’s have a quick chat. Is there a problem for visibility and readability of your fiction pieces on Medium? Do you have difficulty in reaching out to your desired audience? Do your stats suck recently like mine? These questions did not come out of blue. And the answers to these questions appear to be a definite “yes” from many fiction writers. Does the situation hurt the fiction writers? Yes, it indeed does. Do we have to suffer from the current situation? No, we don’t have to suffer. There are always options to stop suffering in life. As Murakami articulates pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. What can we do right now to relieve pain and get rid of suffering? There are three viable options. We need to acknowledge the issue, unite, and create synergy. I am hearing your initial reaction. Easier said than done! But how? Every venture starts with a thought, open mind, and taking the first step. Nothing can manifest without this fundamental approach. The root causes of failed initiatives are missing one or more of these foundational points. Most of the time, the culprit is closed mind or skepticism triggered by the primitive brain region to keep us in the comfort zone.

ILLUMINATION Fiction Club
An invitation to fiction writers to unite and collaborate for productive funmedium.com

ILLUMINATION Poetry Club

An invitation to poets to collaborate for productive fun

In this post, I want to extend the same approach to poetry. Poetry is a particular interest to me. For example, I read hundreds of poems at the weekend and created a list for our poetry readers upon their request. They loved this collection. ILLUMINATION hosts thousands of poems contributed by hundreds of poets. Poetry shines on our publication. At least 30% of ILLUMINATION and ILLUMINATION-Curated contributors submit poetry pieces. This is a large number considering we have over 6,000 contributing writers. There are contributing poets at all levels from aspiring to the most accomplished ones. For example, some of our poets published poetry books, and some even won poetry awards. My understanding from the poets, the main concern about the poetry performance is that since the content is short, the profiles of the poets show the whole content and system does not register the reading times. The common belief is that poetry does not bring expected income to the poets on Medium. To find a solution to this issue from a publication perspective is not feasible. I assume Medium will find a solution to this concern. We cannot do much about it now. However, our publication can help with the second concern, which is about the visibility of poetry on Medium. Some writers mention that their poetry pieces are not getting the expected number of views. They say that this is a platform with thousands of members, but their stories are getting only a few views. The common belief is the poetry is not well received on Medium.

ILLUMINATION Poetry Club
An invitation to poets to collaborate for productive funmedium.com

Fiction and Poetry Bios of ILLUMINATION Writers

Fiction and Poetry Bios of ILLUMINATION Writers
Introducing fiction and poetry writers from their penmedium.com

Mentoring on ILLUMINATION

Peer support is essential for success.

One of the distinguishing factors for our publication is ongoing cross-pollination among writers. Our writers strive for giving and sharing. We have mainly accomplished writers, experienced writers in multiple domains, talented beginners, and a few aspiring writers just starting to write on Medium with expertise in various disciplines. We work in harmony by learning from each other, supporting each other, and extending our content for better meaning and greater insights for our readers. Our publication challenges our writers to progress iteratively. Several of our writers successfully completed 30-day writing challenges and several other improvement initiatives to level up. These diligent writers made substantial improvement in their articulation, reader engagement, and writing styles. Several writers went outside of their comfort zone and created stories in various domains beyond their expertise. Some writers shared their results using various metrics and measurement systems. To continue the cross-pollination, I want to start a mentoring initiative among the writers. From my professional experience, I know that mentoring is one of the best tools for growth. It is beneficial for both mentors and proteges for various reasons. We have many published authors and experienced editors in multiple disciplines. There is a wonderful opportunity to leverage experience of these inspiring writers and editors. To this end, I want to introduce mentoring program on ILLUMINATION.

Mentoring on ILLUMINATION
Peer support is essential for success.medium.com

An Introduction to ILLUMINATION Slack Workspace

No more solo riding: Join Slack group, collaborate with your fellow writers and enjoy the vitality of our joyful publication

Some writers and readers say that ILLUMINATION is growing with the speed of light. This statement is not an exaggeration. Within less than nine months, 6,000+ writers and 52,000 readers support this publication. With the addition of new services such as special collection ILLUMINATION-Curated and technology collection called Technology Hits, the growth turned into an exponential state. Our special collection of ILLUMINATION-Curated is also rapidly growing. To adapt this fast growth, we need to improve our services and make them more efficient to serve thousands of writers contributing to these publications serving thousands of readers. We upgraded our Slack infrastructure, capability and processes. I invited all applicants who are interested in contributing to our publications. Around 5,000 Medium writers have already joined and are collaborating joyfully. In this post, my goal is to introduce Slack workspace briefly, how writers can benefit it and use it efficiently to achieve their writing and reading goals. I will also introduce other resources that can help you learn Slack quickly and easily. For the beginners, let me introduce what Slack is.

An Introduction to ILLUMINATION Slack Workspace
No more solo riding: Join Slack group, collaborate with your fellow writers and enjoy the vitality of our joyful…medium.com

Yes, We Accept Short-Form Stories

Answering questions from hundreds of writers about new short-form story format on Medium

The purpose of this post is to answer one of the most frequently asked questions within the last two weeks. I received hundreds of inquires from writers of ILLUMINATION, ILLUMINATION-Curated, and Technology Hits. It is not possible to answer each inquiry which came to me in email format. The best way is to outline my answers in this short story. I am not expert on this approach but read many stories in multiple publications. Some writers love it but some don’t. With a growth mindset, I want to experiment it. Otherwise, it is not possible to know without trying. Before explaining what it is, I confirm that our writers can submit short-form stories to ILLUMINATION, ILLUMINATION-Curated, and Technology Hits. Some of our editors and writers have already tried it. You too can try.

Yes, We Accept Short-Form Stories
Answering questions from hundreds of writers about new short-form story format on Mediummedium.com

How About Templates and Wizards?

Two easy profile improvement ideas for Medium. We need urgent solution.

My follow-up to my previous story inspired me to write this piece. Since Medium introduced the new profile format, many of us are affected by the changes adversely. I did not like the new profile format and still don’t like the lack of functionality. A substantial drop in my stats coincides with the profile change hence it is a concern to me. I was not the only one. Many writers reported that November yielded as the lowest income they received on Medium this year. This claim resonated with me as I experienced a substantial drop in my November payment. However, this is not the point of my story. My point is related to new and problematic writer profiles. I attempted to design my profile as offered by Medium via an email. The outcome was not desirable as pointed out in this story.

How About Templates and Wizards?
Two easy profile improvement ideas for Medium. We need urgent solution.medium.com

What Am I Missing, Really?

I attempted to design my profile but couldn’t find any greatness.

My stats have been bothering me. It is not exclusive to me as many writers raised concerns similar to mine. I shared my sentiment by saying “You are not the only one”. This situation coincided with the changes in profiles. Several writers raised concerns since then. Like many writers, I also asked myself: did the quality of my writing decrease? This was the first question coming to minds of many top writers like Helen Cassidy Page,Julia E Hubbel, and Tree Langdon. Many of us thought our fans did not want to read our content anymore. I requested feedback from my loyal readers, and they kindly confirmed that nothing was wrong about my writing. The critical issue appeared to be missing notifications. I also believe that new readers cannot see my eclectic articles because there is no scrolling feature to see more than eight articles. Several of us thought perhaps new readers were seeing a few stories on the first page and forgetting to click on the “read more” button to see other stories. Or they may be satisfied with a few paragraphs and do not want to open the rest of the story. Some new writers, especially new Medium members, mentioned that they thought it was the whole article on the screen. Some even commented that my pieces were concise. I had to explain to them that it was the new page design and they need to click on the more button. I shared my concerns in a story, so I will not repeat all those concerns. You can check the details from this story.

What Am I Missing, Really?
I attempted to design my profile but couldn’t find any greatness.medium.com

No, You Are Not The Only One!

Many writers ask why stats declined substantially. I reflect upon my perspective.

Like many of these writers, I noticed a decline in my stats too. The most significant adverse impact on my stats was reduced reading time. I caught a typical pattern from my stats. To test my hypothesis, I checked the specific type of stories which attract the most views, reading times, and substantial engagement. They are my leadership articles followed and enjoyed by many readers. My leadership articles used to average around two minutes of reading time. However, the latest story in this topic published within the last two weeks, even though it had considerable engagement rate such as 3,3K claps and 30 comments, shows only 34 seconds of average reading time. This reflects an unusual average reading time for me. Considering the engagement on this particular story, the decline in reading times concerns me because it does not align with my history and does not seem to reflect the reality. I sensed something wrong with stats. To validate this initial observation, I reviewed around 100 articles from top writers in my publication and noticed that there was a massive decline in reading times. The average reading times that I sampled was a decline of about 80%. I don’t want to bore you with details of analysis but want to point out the key pattern with an example. Here is a sample entry in my analysis notebook.

No, You Are Not The Only One!
Many writers ask why stats declined substantially. I reflect upon my perspective.medium.com

The Real Meaning of $1 Tip

How small awards can motivate writers

I received the first tip of my life. Coming from a country where the tipping system does not exist and receiving my first tip as a writer has a special meaning for me. We don’t do tips in Australia. I gave tips to services provided to me while working in the United States and some Asian countries. But I have never received a tip in my life until now. However, I received several awards, recognition, and bonus schemes rewarded with considerable financial compensations for going above and beyond in my professional life spanning across almost four decades. Each award meant a lot and motivated me to produce more and better. Let me get back to the story for my first tip because it is important. An anonymous reader sent me a $1 tip from my Vocal Media account.https://vocal.media/authors/dr-mehmet-yildiz

The Real Meaning of $1 Tip
How small awards can motivate writersmedium.com

Vocal vs Medium for Freelancers

A preliminary assessment of Vocal compared to Medium based on recent experience in both platforms

Considering my engagement in various content development platforms, some writers asked me about other writing platforms for potential publishing opportunities. As you may know there are many writing and content development platforms on the market. I agree to provide my initial experience as both platforms are interest to me. Based on recommendations from other fellow writers and my mentors, I recently joined the Vocal Media writing program, which is called Vocal+. It is similar to Medium Partnership Program. However, there are some differences. In this story, I want to introduce my findings and initial impression on Vocal+. I believe my experience can be informative and useful for you to understand this content development platform especially for freelance writers. If you are experienced in Vocal platform, you are welcome to enhance my messages to be informative to the writing community.

Vocal vs Medium for Freelancers
A preliminary assessment of Vocal compared to Medium based on recent experience in both platformsmedium.com

I Published Six Articles on Vocal

This is what I learned.

My purpose was to introduce my findings and initial impression on Vocal+. I mentioned the basics and provided adequate information to get you started writing for Vocal. Many writers found Vocal useful as a freelance opportunity. Several writers enhanced my messages. From your comments, I learned about new features. Thank you all for your excellent input. Through this initiative, I met new writers and started collaborating. One simple story can open new communication path. I am grateful for the outcome.

I Published Six Articles on Vocal
This is what I learned.medium.com

Introduce Your Newsletters and Grow Your Mailing Lists

Let’s collaborate to enhance our networks, gain new customers, and delight them sustainably

I keep highlighting that writers need visibility to survive and thrive. We must take personal responsibility to create our followers and convert them into our fans. No one else would do this job for us. It is in our capable hands. Writing and blogging platforms are under constant change. They are unpredictable. No one knows what may happen tomorrow. Online ventures are fragile. They may disappear out of nowhere. We cannot trust and rely on platforms owned by others. They may change their rules anytime. Even as a loyal customer, you have no rights to change their practices. This not something good or bad, but a fact of life. We all know that many online ventures, even the sizeable ones, disappeared in the past. The customers faced shocks and disappointments, but it was too late for them to recover from the situations. I am not making these comments to scare you. Instead, I aim to prepare you for imminent and potential risks by creating fall-back positions. We need to mitigate risks by undertaking preventive measures. One of the measures can be to create our client base and access them easily. How can we do this? Our mailing list is the only thing that we own to sustain our services.

Introduce Your Newsletters and Grow Your Mailing Lists
Let’s collaborate to enhance our networks, gain new customers, and delight them sustainablymedium.com

How to Turn Cold Calls to Warm Outcomes

Create meaningful and sustainable connections and grow with courage, growth mindset, and serendipity

As leaders, we need to be bold, determined, and persistent to achieve our goals. Instead of focusing on what others think about us -which we cannot control- we must focus on the importance and value that we can create for society which we can control. There is a distinction between being persistent and being pushy. We confidently persist to achieve our goals but don’t pest people with arrogance and ignorance. Our emotional intelligence and maturity can guide us to maintain the right balance in our approach. Persistence, determination, and commitment are critical leadership attributes based on respect, courtesy, empathy, compassion, kindness, reciprocity, and care principles. In this article, I want to highlight the importance of a cold calling technique in content marketing as a growth strategy on Medium.

How to Turn Cold Calls to Warm Outcomes
Create meaningful and sustainable connections and grow with courage, growth mindset, and serendipitymedium.com

Publication Conduct Guidelines

Rules of engagement and cross-pollination at three levels

If you want to be a successful writer, you need to understand the rules of engagement for our publication and the overall platform. The purpose of this post is to make our publication guidelines crystal clear so that writers can get the best out of our services. ILLUMINATION is rapidly growing. 6,000+ writers are contributing to our publication now. We are delighted by the contributions of so many writers. This is an excellent position for us to serve our readers better. The critical success factors for this desired position are diversity, inclusiveness, and service excellence. Diversity and inclusiveness come with a cost. With growth comes new challenges. In this post, I want to address these challenges and provide clear guidance to our writers at three levels. Let’s start with the first level as it reflects most of the challenges.

Publication Conduct Guidelines
Rules of engagement and cross-pollination at three levelsmedium.com

One Core Leadership Capability To Empower Writers

How three essential points can get you started, increase your confidence, and sustain your motivation

This story reflects hard-learned and practical lessons. The opening statement does not intend to convey a message of regret or boasting. Its purpose is to highlight the validity and relevance of content reflecting practical experience rather than pure theory. I want to share a useful learning construct from my leadership experience, which may be a useful tool for writers. My approach may not gel initially or may even conflict with common beliefs on motivation because even I wouldn’t believe what I said now if I read it 30 years ago. I encapsulated a broad topic to make it digestible, but it is not an oversimplification, and the construct is solid. No rush to react promptly as your feedback after trying it is what I want to obtain. My point is that motivation may not be what you think; therefore, it may not serve your needs. Consequently, I take the liberty of explaining it from hard-learned lessons. This story’s premise is you may need to revisit the motivation factor and correct your perceptions about commonly promoted motivation factors such as getting ready and gaining external inspiration. You may unlearn and relearn things as I did.

One Core Leadership Capability To Empower Writers
How three essential points can get you started, increase your confidence, and sustain your motivation for any…medium.com

Challenges of Publications

Publications are not the police officers of Medium

Unnecessary drama in the form of storms in a teacup can risk the peace of a beautiful collaboration on this platform. Medium is a unique platform giving voice to thousands of writers and opportunity to readers to consume fresh content. My aim in this post is to reset the expectations from publications by providing a straight and transparent message to readers and writers. These are practical points based on real life experience operating a significant publication on Medium. For example, yesterday, I wasted several hours of my precious time from a drama created by a single reader who has no idea of the challenges that publications face on Medium demanding unrealistic and selfish outcome. Publications may not be exactly what you think. They don’t run ideal operations. They have many challenges that you may not be aware of; therefore, I want to create awareness based on reality rather than the perceptions and tenuous understanding of the situations. We need to understand and accept the challenges that private Medium publications face every day. Writers and readers need to reset their expectations, considering the constraints of publications on Medium. I want to point out several facts for those who don’t know much about publications causing drama with unrealistic demands.

Challenges of Publications
Publications are not the police officers of Mediummedium.com

Interesting Scenario, but not Funny

Concerns on limitations put on editors to publish stories of passionate writers for a significant publication

Here is the scenario! Warning: it is not funny. An editor wakes up early morning, supports his kids and meets the demands of his family. After walking his dog, with altruistic thoughts, the editor wants to support his favorite publication. He loves volunteering to help writers and readers. He logs on his PC and checks the publication submission queue. He thinks: “ Oh my god, there are hundreds of stories. What a wonderful thing for this publication to receive so many submissions! Readers will be delighted by reading these fresh stories today”. He sips his coffee, aims to publish as many articles as possible as the kids are busy, the dog is happy, and the rest of the family is away for a birthday party. He starts reviewing a few stories starting from the bottom page, focusing on the submissions in specific order to give a fair chance to the writers who submitted their stories earlier. Many other editors are still sleeping on the other side of the globe.

Interesting Scenario, but not Funny
Concerns on limitations put on editors to publish stories of passionate writers for a significant publicationmedium.com

Confused, Yet Grateful and Flattered

“What is going on? Entire Medium is talking about ILLUMINATION” said my data.

My favorite part of the Big Data process is sentiment analysis. Data gives me insights into the feelings of people. Learning about feelings is a compelling reason for me to invest my time on sentiment analysis. My playroom, I mean my lab, is full of sophisticated tools speeding up the process. Today, I discovered something special. Descriptive data analysis indicated that ILLUMINATION is the most mentioned publication on Medium. Wow, this is a piece of fantastic news for visibility of 6,000 contributing writers. I thought. By the way, according to TopPub, Medium has 13,109 publications. When I established ILLUMINATION, TopPub was showing it on page #4557. After five months, it shows it on page #8. This piece of data helped me see how big we are now and how much progress we made within five months. This uplifting news from data made me joyful. My next highlight was a bit disappointing. A tiny bit! In data terms, only 5%. I am not upset or angry, but a little disappointed.

Confused, Yet Grateful and Flattered
“What is going on? Entire Medium is talking about ILLUMINATION” said my data.medium.com

A New Star is Born on Medium

10,000+ Followers in 75 Days

I am inspired to write this story after receiving an email notification from Medium earlier today. While ILLUMINATION is reaching to 50,000 followers shortly, our new publication ILLUMINATION-Curated hits the 10,000 followers mark today. This post provides reflections on our success and introduces our unique publication. We established clear guidelines for our Level 1, 2, and 3 writers. ILLUMINATION-Curated currently serves Level 2 and 3. We prepare our Level 1 writers by giving them a well-defined path and achievable goals. Our approach is to cross-pollinate all contributors in a community model. Diversity, inclusion, and collaboration are our core values.

A New Star is Born on Medium
10,000+ Followers in 75 Daysmedium.com

Celebrating 50,000 Followers

ILLUMINATION writers attracted 50,000+ readers in 9 months and manifested it in the top 100 list out of 14,414 publications

Congratulations all writers on this signification achievement. I am grateful. Your contributions are remarkable. We started with a small group of writers around nine months ago. ILLUMINATION was just an idea nine months ago. Starting with only 80 writers around nine months ago, now 5,900+ writers are contributing to ILLUMINATION and serving 50,000+ readers on Medium. We had a lot of challenges and still do. Instead of perfection, we focus on progress and grow iteratively. My goal for creating this publication is to bring a diverse range of writers to collaborate and create synergy. Despite challenges of the platform and adversity we get from a few jealous, mediocre, and idiotic people disguised as leaders, our followers increased substantially within the last three months. I was confused yet grateful and thanked our opponents. The stats are transparent, on July 15, we had 20K, on October 23–40K, now on December 50K followers. Readers value engaging and informative content created by our contributing writers. Our success depends on two key factors. ILLUMINATION value readers and support writers. Our readers are excited about the variety of content spanning over 100 topics. Readers find no dull moments on ILLUMINATION. We support writers at all levels: aspiring, experienced, accomplished, and influential. These writers at various levels play an essential role in this platform. Our diligent and supportive editors relentlessly work across the globe for the success of our writers and create quality materials for our readers.

Celebrating 50,000 Followers
ILLUMINATION writers attracted 50,000+ readers in 9 months and manifested it in the top 100 list out of 14,414…medium.com

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