How to Turn a Writer Away From Your Publication
As someone that doesn’t own or operate a publication, I am not qualified to give much advice on how to own or operate a publication. As a writer that is approached by publications every week, however, I do have something important to mention.
I became an active Medium writer back in September and have slowly been collecting wins, hitting milestones, and achieving goals ever since then. My first “win” was when a publication reached out to me asking to post my article in their publication.
As a Medium newbie, I didn’t really understand the role publications played on Medium. As I’ve gained experience, I have learned that many smaller publications will reach out to as many writers as possible (usually writers with small followings that struggle to get into bigger publications) in order to publish a lot of stories.
This system can benefit both the small publication and the small writer: the publication gets more bites at the apple to attract new readers and followers while the writer also gains access to a new, larger audience.
Often times, these publications will publish over 100 stories a day in order to build their audiences. Some have a problem with that as it shows a clear preference for quantity over quality, which goes against what Medium is supposed to represent.
Either way, it is their prerogative to behave like this and as long as the writers continue to contribute, it will remain mutually beneficial.
When this publication reached out to me back in September, I was ecstatic. It felt good to have someone value my work — even if it was simply more content for their machine, as I know now.
Recently, this same publication reached out to me to publish another story after it had been curated. Despite publishing there upwards of 10 times, the publication left me a private note saying it was adding me as a writer so I could submit the story to them.
This rubbed me the wrong way, big time. I had been a writer there for over two months. To have such little care as to even check before leaving that comment said everything about the publication: it didn’t care about the name in the byline, it cared about the words on the page.
Again, I understand what these mass-posting publications are going for. But please, for the sake of your own future, take a little bit of time to know who your writers are.
From a relationship-building standpoint, this is a terrible mistake for a publication to make. I will never publish with this publication again, simply because of that one mistake. It didn’t help build my audience much anyway.
Whether you own or operate a publication now, want to in the future, or are just another writer like me, keep things like this in mind. We’re all trying to grow here on Medium, but handling things — and people — the right way should always be the top priority.