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Here’s Why I Rejoined Vocal Media

I’ve been doing Vocal Media wrong in the past

I’ve been doing Vocal Media wrong. And from what I can tell, I’m not the only one. Let’s deep dive into my thoughts about Vocal Media and why I think it’s still worth a shot.

I arrived when everybody left

I just read two stories on Vocal Media. The first by Laquesha Bailey is called “Why I Finally Cancelled My Vocal Media Subscription After 7 Months”. The second one “Goodbye Vocal Media” was written by Shamar M.

As you might guess from these two headlines, they’re not satisfied with Vocal Media. Nor should they be. In comparison to this platform here, Vocal has quite a few glaring gaps. Some of those were correctly pointed out in both posts.

  1. Pay is low: 3.80$ per 1000 reads is not much. Vocal+ with 6$ per 1000 reads is a little better, but it cost $9,95 a month to be a member. 10 bucks that most writers don’t even make per month.
  2. It lacks basic functionality: No following, no comments, no editing (unless you’re Vocal+ and only want to quick-edit a few things). For a platform that has been up and running for a few years, that’s just weird.
  3. The editor is clunky: The Vocal Media story editor is clunky and lacks features like auto-save.
  4. Moderation takes time. Every Vocal story is reviewed by Vocal editors before they go live.
  5. Promotion is hard… or not existent basically. You need to self-promote.
  6. Communities are wishy-washy and too few. Sometimes, I’m not sure where to submit my post to.

So, why am I still joining Vocal Media

These 6 reasons above might seem like a no-go. But I still joined Vocal recently. Well, that’s not completely true. I rejoined. I had been trying out Vocal Media various times in the past. I always neglected it and ended up deleting my account. Now I think I might have been too quick with that. I’d been doing Vocal Media wrong back then. I missed a few key points. Let me show you two of them.

1. A dumping ground for duplicate content

A major problem for Vocal Media is its lack of a canonical link feature. What’s this? A canonical link will tell search engines which post is the original source of content. Meaning, if you publish a story of yours in two different places, for example on your own blog and on Vocal Media, you’ll have to tell Google what the original post is. Otherwise, Google might penalize the second post (or both posts) as duplicate content.

Since Vocal Media doesn’t offer this functionality but many writers still republish their existing content on Vocal — yes even the “big” writers do — it is prone to duplicate content violations. That sucks for both, Vocal and the author.

The fix

Now bear with me, the fix for this might be controversial. But instead of reposting content without canonical links on Vocal, you could actually make your Vocal story the original source and add a canonical link to it from your own blog post. This has two advantages.

  1. It obviously prevents duplicate content.
  2. It drives more organic external traffic to your Vocal post. External traffic is paid by Vocal. That’s the difference from other platforms. Vocal pays 3.80$ per 1000 reads no matter if they’re internal or external views.

If one of your stories does well through external traffic, this might lead to a nice paycheck on Vocal whereas it wouldn’t have been earning you anything on your own blog, or maybe just a few cents through Adsense ads on your site.

This is important for writers that do not make a lot with ads on their blog. It’s less ideal for bloggers that already earn substantially with Adsense or other ad platforms.

2. Vocal is growing

The second big reason why I think you shouldn’t quit too early on Vocal is its present stage. Vocal is a rapidly growing writing platform. It hasn’t hit the ceiling yet. The stock is doing good. They’ve also just announced a big milestone with over 30000 Vocal+ members. Yes, the ones that pay 9,99$ a month for it. Additionally, Vocal has over 1 million readers and writers.

I can only suspect that this growth will be reflected in their future platform upgrades, feature additions, and payments for members, mainly in form of more and higher prized challenges, but maybe also with other opportunities to earn as a creator. They already give out multiple bonus payments for numerous achievements, like 5$ for your 5th Vocal post or 50$ for your 50th. Small but welcomed gestures.

In essence, I think it’s worth keeping your posts on Vocal Media and see what comes next. I do believe, however, that the Vocal+ membership isn’t a great deal just yet. Unless you’re earning considerably more than the 9,99$ per month that Vocal+ costs, it’s not worth it in my opinion. After all, you can read every story for free on Vocal. Unlike on platforms with paywalls.

Closing words

Despite the negativity around Vocal, I think it’s still a good platform for writers to branch out. If you keep duplicate content in check, posting your stuff in multiple places is not a bad idea. It doesn’t decrease your reach. It might increase your views over time.

Don’t get me wrong. You won’t get rich on Vocal. You won’t earn a lot for that matter. But the same is true for almost any form of blogging. Especially blogging with WordPress. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who get a great amount of traffic very early on which then increases ad revenue substantially, you will more likely never make any huge amount of money with personal blogging. At least I didn’t. I’ve made more on this platform here in 5 months than I had made in 13 years with WordPress.

If you haven’t tried Vocal Media, check it out. Don’t become a Vocal+ member, just start with writing a few stories or with reusing existent content in the correct manner (with canonical links) and see where it takes you.

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