How many blogs have you built, filled with content, and monetized, only to stop publishing a few months later? You start with your hair on fire, but life gets in the way, and before long, the blog seems like the last thing you want to deal with.
I went back over the last 20+ years of blogging and made a count of the blogs I let go fallow, and die on the vine.
It was 27.
I spent the time to purchase hosting, set up my WordPress installation, write content, design logos and social media graphics, monetize, and promote only to lose interest and shut it down in disgust.
But, my past is not all bad.
I’ve created successful blogs, and one, which I cannot name, I even sold for a tidy sum of money. I’ve built blogs for others that went on to do very well and contributed my expertise for free to startups who went on to be the talk of the town.
And then there is Medium, my biggest success story.
Doing the Work for Two Years
Considering the amount of failure I’ve experienced, you might think I would have started publishing on Medium with low expectations.
I joined Medium intending to be the number one earning writer on the platform.
Is it confidence or an inflated ego? Both. I overestimated my writing skill when I started and had to learn some tough lessons about what makes a good writer. I had to learn there was more to writing than saying what you think people want to hear. I had to learn that even though my mom thought I was a good writer, no one else did, and I had to put in the work to make sure that people would, in fact, come to read what I write.
So I’ve been writing every day and publishing as often as I have a quality piece to release. I have been reading and learning. I have been searching for a voice. I have been doing whatever I have to do to put my best work out for people to read.
And, I’ve done one other thing that is totally responsible for any success up until this point.
I’ve been consistent.
I committed to writing and publishing, and in the almost two years I’ve been writing on Medium I haven’t taken my foot off the gas pedal.
Why now, and why Medium?
Another Stake in the Ground
- I am a poser in the worst way possible, and I have been for all my adult life. I get interested in something and announce to everyone that I will be the most successful (fill in the blank) ever! But I never finish anything.
- I am a multipotentialite who constantly picks up and discards hobbies and projects as I walk the path of my life.
- I am a wantrepreneur who starts and fails at businesses as smoothly as most people change their clothes.
- I am like the Japanese idiom, mikka bouzo, which translates literally as: ‘three-day monk’. It refers to a person who easily gives up after starting something new.
- I am ineffectual and feckless.
Most of the time.
But I’ve stuck with Medium. I am consistent to a fault. Even the times in my life when my mental illness gets the best of me, I recover and get right back to work where I left off.
Even when my son was born last year, when I wasn’t able to publish near as much as I wanted, I still wrote every day and created some fantastic pieces.
I’ve been consistent because I don’t gauge my success by a yardstick the others use. I’ve stayed on the path even though doubt creeps in, and I start thinking I am moving too slow.
I’ve followed through even after becoming discouraged by my stats and my curation percentage.
I decided that if I couldn’t be consistent, I would just quit blogging and writing on Medium and retire my laptop.
For me, it’s all or nothing.
I am far from financial success, but I still feel successful because more than anything else in my life, I have stuck with Medium.
I am going to see this thing through to the end.
Don’t Do Anything Halfway
What is the lesson here?
Even if you are a multipod like me, and jump from thing to thing, there comes a time in life when you have to put a stake in the ground and decide once and for all that you will succeed at something.
If Medium isn’t the thing for you, pick one other thing. Maybe it’s a blog or a newsletter. Perhaps it’s not writing at all but vlogging or streaming. Maybe it’s an offline business.
Find your thing and follow through. Be consistent and do whatever it takes to get to the point where you feel you are a success, whether that be at 1 million dollars or 100 articles published.
If you find something you enjoy doing, put all your effort into doing it.
Because, if you aren’t consistent, be it with blogging, or life, you might as well just quit.