Thursday, March 15, 2018

Medium Has A New Platform For Writers, But This Jury Is Still Out...

I am trying out Medium's new platform. If you haven't heard, they are taking a different approach to pay-for-performance writing. Creatives can either post articles for the general public in exchange for building a following or post content exclusively for Medium's paid members and earn based on your article's popularity.

It's too soon for me to tell how lucrative it might be, but I have been able to import evergreen articles from my portfolio. This platform seems to be a pretty cool way to hone your skills, test out your content, and build your following.

Yesterday I posted a long-form personal essay that wasn't "quite the right fit" for the publication I pitched entitled, "Milroy was here: The story of how my cankles drove me to otherwise become an overachiever." Thought I would share an excerpt of it here.

If it catches your fancy, consider reading the entire post on Medium. If you don't want to join Medium, let me know in the comments below. If I get 25 or more requests, I'll post the essay in its entirety here. Either way, I appreciate your continued support!

Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...

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"Out of nowhere, when I was 10 years old, my left foot ballooned. It wasn’t the result of an allergy attack or a sports injury and I didn’t have a known chronic ailment as a precursor. For reasons unknown, I had developed this swollen foot and calf and nobody could tell me why.

"This would be the beginning of a journey into endless prodding, needle pricks, and blood tests which yielded very little in the way of a reason why it happened. What I did know was that on top of being the tallest and thinnest Black girl in my class, I was now also the weirdest.

"Being deformed all of a sudden immediately began to shape my self-worth. There was something wrong with me and maybe I wouldn’t be accepted for who I was when people found out. Dressing the way normal people do in shorts, dresses, sandals, and flats put my feet on front street. I had to find a way to compensate for my flaw.

"I was well into my adult years before I could give my condition a name. Doctors scratched their heads trying to figure out how I could be on the planet for over 10 years before it manifested itself. They called it lymphedema, which is just swelling due to a blockage in my lymphatic system.

"Trying to explain my diagnosis to the average person, especially fifth and sixth-graders, only caused me more angst and frustration. Now I know that what I have is called Milroy’s disease. It is a congenital defect and if anyone wants to know more, I can just tell them to Google it..."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How My Article On Terry Crews Became A Top News Story

Our success as writers is rooted in creating strong content. But how good is a story if nobody reads it?

In the digital world, if Google or Bing doesn't pick up your story then your readership will be significantly lower. And let's face it--we live in a world where news has to be delivered quickly and concisely.

After all, the news cycle waits for no one. If writers can't boast authorship of a couple of viral clips, then the chances of getting more work are reduced significantly.

I recently completed a writer's internship at the Inquisitr and became a regular contributor. Compensation for freelance contributors is based solely on article performance. In other words, the more folks read and share your work, the more you get paid.

The good news is that there are residual earnings for every news story you write. So as long as you are active on the site and a minimum number of people click through and read your stories, you can make money.

I was excited today to do a quick Google search on Terry Crews just to see if there were any updates to the story I wrote on March 12 entitled, "The Criminal Complaint Terry Crews Filed Against Adam Venit Has Been Tossed By The LA County District Attorney." To my surprise, my article appeared in the search engine results as a top story.

Giving credit where credit is due, the Inquisitr does a really good job of teaching its writers SEO strategies and social media promotion that will help give articles more reach. It makes me feel pretty good to see my efforts paying off.

A few tips to try include strong use of keywords in titles, subtitles, and article text; appropriate tags; a great lead image that is properly sourced and captioned; appropriate article length for your targeted audience; and, as always, writing a great story.

Once you publish the story and editing is complete, start sharing to your social sites and groups wherever appropriate.

Know that this kind of writing platform is a marathon, not a sprint. If you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, this ain't it. However, the Inquisitr has been a great place to hone my skills as a news writer and learn some best practices on promoting my work. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

In the meantime, feel free to get caught up on my musings over there by following this link to my author page. If you see something that interests you, give it a read. If you have a friend or two who might want to read it, feel free to share. Thanks in advance!

Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...