A quick assessment of Vocal compared to Medium based on recent experience in both platforms
I admire both Medium and Vocal serving different audiences and offering valuable features to writers and readers. I also contribute to NewsBreak, which is very different from Medium and Vocal Media. I cover it in another article.
Considering my engagement in various content development platforms, some writers asked me about other writing platforms for potential publishing opportunities. You can publish your stories both on Medium and Vocal and earn income based on reading times. I provide details below.
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 interesting 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 of 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 the Vocal platform, you are welcome to enhance my messages to be informative to the writing community.
My reason for joining Vocal
Let me explain first why I chose Vocal+ to share my stories.
The first compelling point, compared to other platforms, Vocal+ is the closest to Medium from writing experience and operational model perspectives. It was a gentle learning curve compared to other platforms and posed a steep learning curve for me.
Several other programs that I tried had no similarity with Medium. Some of them were extremely difficult to use and too restrictive for creative professionals like writers. I enjoy the flexibility and having options to play with.
The most compelling part of this platform is that it brings creative professionals under an umbrella. I saw great potential for collaboration therefore, I invested my time in writing this article.
My initial findings
Vocal uses the term “creator” rather than writer.
The purpose of this platform is to provide storytelling tools and processes to creative professionals such as writers, filmmakers, musicians, and painters.
Prerequisites to Join
The minimum age limit to participate in Vocal as a writer is 13.
There are no other requirements.
Anyone from any country can join as a writer. To be paid, you need to have a Stripe account.
How to sign up
To sign up, you can go to Vocal.media site on your web browser.
You can sign up using Facebook, Google, or Twitter accounts.
Account Subscription and Payment Model
Similar to Medium, Vocal has a free account option as well as a paid option called Vocal+.
Vocal+ subscription price is USD 9.99, almost double the price of Medium.
Contributors keep all the rights to their published stories.
I liked the strong confirmation about copyright for writers documented on the Vocal website:
“For all content published on our platform, Vocal also gets a limited license to do things like promote your story or share it on our social media, commonly known as “Universal Rights.” We’ll never share your story without crediting you properly, and we’ll never sell your work, or share the rights with anyone else, without your explicit written permission to do so.”
The payment method for Vocal is different from Medium. There are two payment models. Here are the specifics:
For the free account, they pay $3.80 per 1000 reads.
For the paid version (Vocal+), they pay $6.00 per 1000 reads.
Vocal calculates reading times using its proprietary algorithm. The critical point for reading time is based on actual time spent on the page. Their document highlights that just scrolling the page would not count as “read”.
What is creative about Vocal is the concept of tipping.
Readers can give tips using their credit cards, which can be paid to the writers via a Stripe account.
Tips range between $1 and $20.
The tipping frame in the following screen capture is embedded in each story for the writers.
There are no claps which did not bother me. However, there is a heart button to show your appreciation. The heart button is anonymous, so you don’t know who liked your story.
For me, the missing point was the comments. There is no comment feature.
I am surprised with the no comment option as all other content platforms I used before had some feedback mechanism for the content creators. Maybe Vocal has a reason for not adding this feature, so I keep an open mind about this.
Vocal accepts non-fiction and fiction as long as the content fits into the communities listed on their front page.
The following screen capture shows the communities.
There are also many topics under the communities.
As I mentioned, I am a new contributor to Vocal. I have published a few stories so far. Moderators placed all of them in the community called Journal.
These three articles are related to different topics. I copy the links and the topics to give you an idea. Even though each story touches on multiple topics, they assign the story to only one topic. There are no five tags like Medium.
This story about Design Thinking was categorized under the “Career”.
This story about Leadership was categorized under “Advice”.
This story about Quora collaboration was categorized under “Social Media”.
Editors versus Moderators
What we call editors in Medium publications are called “moderators” in the Vocal platform. The role of a moderator is to ensure submissions meet the community guidelines.
The moderators perform the role of an editor by fixing formatting and language issues. If the content requires change and further information, moderators send the draft back to the writer requesting updates per guidelines.
One interesting criterion is Vocal does not accept stories under 600 words. I didn’t know about this rule, and my first story was under 600 words, so they returned it with clear guidance.
Moderators don’t keep drafts too long. They respond within 24 hours. I found this reasonable compared to the response times of some large publications on Medium. There were times I had to wait for 10 days to receive a response from a Medium publication. As a new writer on Vocal, I received a response from the moderators within 24 hours.
If there are issues with submissions, the only mechanism to get in touch with the moderators is via email. The email address is email@example.com. There is no private message or chat option.
As a responsible writer, one downside for me is I cannot edit my story after publishing. From another angle, this restriction can be considered a good thing because it aims to prevent the addition of potentially harmful content without the knowledge of the moderator.
Unfortunately, wearing my publication editor hat on Medium, I know that changing content by writers after publishing can be problematic. It happened numerous times in my publication.
Collaboration with Vocal writers
I noticed that many Medium writers also write on Vocal.
To establish a bridge and a collaboration opportunity, I created a Quora Space for Vocal Writers.
If you are contributing to Vocal as a writer, you are welcome to join my Quora Space. I can make you a moderator so that you can add links of your stories to the Quora Space.
I invited Vocal writers and provided instructions on this new Quora Space.
Here is the link to my Quora Space.
This is a preliminary review of the Vocal content platform based on my limited experience. I compared some key features of Vocal with Medium.
My initial impression is excellent.
The learning curve for Medium writers is minimal.
Vocal is a relatively smaller platform; however, the coverage of communities is substantial. There appears to be something for everyone.
The most innovative aspect of Vocal is the tipping opportunity for writers.
The key missing feature is the ability to leave comments for stories.
This is all I can offer now. As I learn more, I will share my specific experience in upcoming stories.
In the meantime, if you are a writer for Vocal, please leave a comment with your Vocal account link so that I can add you to my network, enjoy your stories, and amplify them through my social media tools.
You can access my Vocal account at this link
Let’s stay in touch.
Thank you for reading my perspective.
You can join Vocal as a creator using this link.
Thank you for reading my perspective. Here are my thoughts about my first tip.
Here is the link to join Vocal+
Disclaimer: This post includes a referral link.
Selected articles on Vocal Media
Here are some eclectic stories I published on Vocal Media. I hope you find some useful stories.
Sample Health Improvement Articles for New Readers
I also write about valuable nutrients. Here are the links for easy access:
Boron,Urolithin, taurine, citrulline malate, biotin, lithium orotate, alpha-lipoic acid, n-acetyl-cysteine, acetyl-l-carnitine, CoQ10, PQQ, NADH, TMG, creatine, choline, digestive enzymes, magnesium, hydrolyzed collagen, nootropics, pure nicotine, activated charcoal, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B1, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and other nutrients that might help to improve metabolism and mental health.
About the Author
Invitation to New Writers
If you are a writer, you can join Medium, Vocal Media, and NewsBreak as a writer and monetize your content while inspiring a large audience. Repurposing your content on these platforms can save you time and increase your income. You can join my six publications on Medium, contributed by 16K+ writers, as a writer requesting access via this weblink.