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Stop Looking, There’s No Better Place to Write Online Than Medium 

Not Vocal Media, not Simily, and not NewsBreak


Medium isn’t perfect. The algorithm seems to keep changing and failing many readers and writers, the distribution system has been broken for a while, and the only topic that’s trending right now is stories about Medium.

So, where’s the silver lining?


What else?

Despite the issues with Medium — and no platform will ever be perfect for each and every member/user — Medium remains the best place to write (in my humble opinion).

Where else would you go?


Vocal Media

Vocal started gaining popularity a while back and many Medium members (including myself) jumped over there to test the waters. What began with excitement, quickly turned into disappointment. Here’s why:

  1. The pay is abysmal. $3.80 for 1000 views. Nope!
  2. Vocal+ is way too expensive to make sense.
  3. The paid writing challenges are disturbingly intransparent.
  4. Worst of all, Abena Talks just posted a story detailing the way Vocal Media folks are refusing to pay her hard-earned and well-deserved money (around $400).

So, no to Vocal Media.


Simily

The new kid on the block is Simily. I have to confess, it’s always fun to try new platforms and outlets. I use Simily and I’ve written about it a few times. And why not? There’s nothing to lose, right?

There isn’t if you don’t start paying for the membership.

The facts about Simily are:

  1. It’s new and exciting
  2. It might become something in the future
  3. It’s heavily focused on fiction writing
  4. and the pay is way better than Vocal’s at $20 per 1000 views (for now)

But there are huge downsides:

  1. The site is flaky, kind of outdated, running on WordPress, and riddled with bugs
  2. Servers crash all the time. The site might not be accessible for hours
  3. We don’t know how and if they will actually pay all the new writers that jump over there from Medium right now
  4. It’s bombarded with Medium posts (and yes, I’m to blame here too, of course). That spams the fiction-centric categories with non-fiction-based stories as Alex Kade pointed out to me. That is a valid and concerning point.
  5. Simily doesn’t even state the names of their founders or any person to hold legally accountable on their website. This is fishy at best, at worst it’s illegal. Glenn Stok wrote extensively about these legal issues and more in his post “Discover the Bizarre Secrets of the Simily Content Platform”.

The verdict is still out on Simily. It could go either way.

In any case, it’s a small platform with just over 2000 members and you won’t make a lot of money there at the moment.


NewsBreak

You’re worried about spammy or disturbing comments on your Medium posts?

Well, then never, and I mean NEVER, take a look at your NewsBreak comment section. It’s ridiculous. Even worse, it’s outright racist, homophobic, sexist, and hateful.

I don’t understand how NewsBreak censors all stories in crucial detail (oftentimes falsely identifying our posts as spam, opinion-based, impartial, or whatever) but doesn’t care a bit about the comment section.

Most of the comments shouldn’t even make it onto the site. They should be filtered out by any reasonable (spam) filter. Like on YouTube, or other major sites. Honestly. WTF NewsBreak. Yes, Medium has issues with disturbing comments and spam too, but not on the same level.

You can make money on NewsBreak. And quite a lot of it if you do it right.

It’s still lightyears away from being a good platform though.

The cons:

  1. As I said, the editorial sucks. Articles get turned down for various strange reasons.
  2. Payment follows a tier system which might be okay overall, but the lowest tiers aren’t paid well at all.
  3. Obviously news-based content should be the focus on NewsBreak, but don’t try to give your opinion. They won’t like that.

The bottom line

These are the reasons why Medium is still the best place to write online. It’s not perfect. But it’s good!

Now, I haven’t touched on things like WordPress blogs or similar self-hosted systems in this post. For a couple of reasons:

  1. They can run great if you know how. In contrast to that, Medium with its built-in user base helps tremendously with gaining traction and growing your audience while avoiding all technical knowledge and skills required on other systems.
  2. You can do a lot of things wrong on WordPress-based sites. From the admin stuff to regular maintenance, to legal requirements (which is the biggest issue), and much more.

Therefore, I didn’t use these “traditional” blogging systems for comparison here.

The bottom line is: If you just want to write without the hassle of technical issues, maintenance, admin work, and more, there’s no better place to write than Medium.

I haven’t found one. You?

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