The simple decision that helped me grow my blog audience.
The Speaking Bipolar blog has not been getting the love it deserves for some time now. Today, I’m going to tell you a bit about what’s been going on.
This blog started in March 2018. For the next 14 months or so, I poured a lot of time, money, and sweat equity into the words, graphics, printables, etc. that make up the site and its online presence.
Things were moving along fairly well. Though nothing super impressive, page views and likes were climbing each month.
Then hit the middle of July 2019. With no rhyme or reason, blog traffic suddenly plummeted from 900 views per day down to 50. Yes, that’s an 850 view drop per day.
My first thought was that something was broken or that it was a rare anomaly. However, now three months later, traffic is still not there.
What is Medium?
Medium is, to me, the ultimate writer community. It’s a place where authors can go to write about any topic that they find interesting. In turn, it’s also a readers paradise because there is an insane amount of content from a very diverse group of writers.
There are no statistics I could easily find, but inside the Medium community, it’s frequently believed that there may be as many as 200,000 writers on the platform. The diversity ranges from household names, such as Wil Wheaton, to the unknowns, like this quiet writer from southeast Tennessee.
One of the biggest draws to Medium is the fact that they don’t allow advertising in their stories. Stories are what they call their posts and articles.
No advertising means that you’re not being bombarded with pop-ups, banners, or in-text ads. Yes, this site has ads, but it was a necessity to help pay to keep the blog running.
How does Medium survive without ads? It’s simple. Everyone can visit the site and read up to five stories for free each month. If you don’t like to read a lot, the free option may be perfect for you.
If you are a more voracious reader, like I am, then you can subscribe for just $5.00/month and read an unlimited number of stories. I’ve been blown away and humbled by the quality of the essays, short stories, and poetry I have read in the last three months on the site.
Don’t let the awful days get you down. Read: Learn To Embrace the Bad Days
The option of getting paid
Another draw to Medium for me was the possibility of getting paid. You’re not going to get rich overnight, but you can make a few extra bucks.
I signed up for Medium at the end of July and made $2.18, August was $14.62, and September $27.52. Yes, I know that’s just pocket change, but if you take out the $5/month membership fee, I’ve made a profit of $29.32.
Do you know how long it took me to make a profit with this blog? I’ll let you know if I ever get there. Truth be told, I have invested thousands into blogging courses, Canva, Tailwind, ads, etc. With traffic tanking, it’s feeling more and more unlikely that I will ever break even.
Is Speaking Bipolar going away?
For now, no. Everything is paid for up through the end of February. That means I need to make some serious decisions between now and then. If the blog is capable of producing the funds needed to cover the hosting and other necessary fees, then it will continue.
Creating Speaking Bipolar was an act of love. It felt like a mission I needed to pursue to add my voice to the world to help start more conversation about mental health and chronic illness.
That said, I can’t keep pouring money into a bucket full of holes. At some point, the bleeding will have to stop. So, for the next few months, I will be writing for both the blog and on Medium.
Writing whatever I want
The last thing that made me a Medium believer was that the platform lets you write about pretty much anything you want. As long as your stories aren’t racist or inspiring hate or violence, most topics are wide open.
During the time I’ve had Speaking Bipolar, there’s been a lot of writing that I have never shared on the blog. Most articles on the blog are about mental health, bipolar disorder, chronic illness, and personal development. The articles I’ve written outside of those categories didn’t feel like they fit.
On Medium, there are thousands of publications you can submit to. Additionally, there’s also the opportunity to create publications of your own. For now, Speaking Bipolar has its own publication on Medium where I’ve reposted many articles that first appeared here.
The best part is that the little bit of money I’ve made on Medium has come almost entirely from posts that were already on the blog. Medium even has an easy tool to help you to import blog posts. The import process creates a link back to the blog, thereby removing any risk of search engine repercussions.
Growing an Audience
The best part of writing on Medium is how it has grown my audience. Medium receives millions of visitors each month. By consistently writing there, many of those eyes will see your content. Those who like your writing can then follow a profile link to your blog.
Since I started writing on Medium, my email subscribers have more than doubled. Of course, it’s important to keep producing quality content for you blog, Medium will open new doors to you.
What I’ve Written
Here are a few of the articles I’ve written recently specifically for Medium. Each link is a friend link, meaning that you can click through and read all the posts in their entirety without having to be a member. I hope you enjoy.
Click on any title to read.
This story is about the inspiration I received from Anna Nalick’s popular song.
A think piece, this story supposes that maybe evil isn’t necessary.
You don’t have to be an expert to help others. This article shows the only thing you need to be of help to someone else.
This is a short and silly little rhyme about a mouse.
Gilmore Girls just celebrated their 19th anniversary from when the show first aired. This story is my tribute to that wonderful show.
This story is the one I am most proud of in regard to anything I’ve written recently. It’s a letter from me now at 47 to me at 20 and the things I wish could tell that young man.
A quick poem of hope before you go.