My Medium Journey: Episode 5

Reality check

Eric J. Kort MD


An actual photo of the author this month. (Not really. Illustration created with Midjourney.)

This is a monthly feature in which I document my solopreneur journey from start to … uh … whatever comes after the start. Fail or flop, I hope we can all learn something from my experience.

After a great month in September, things fell back to earth in October. I came out of the gates with a story that I thought would do well. It did poorly. Like really poorly. I don’t know why, but I can speculate about a couple of factors.

First, the article was published just as Kevin McCarthy got the boot as speaker of the House of Representatives and horrifying events in the Middle East began to unfold. Clearly there were more pressing things demanding people’s attention than my article. (Although, for the record, the article was about mindfulness and compassion, which the world seems to need now more than ever.)

Second, in late September became aware of some sort of fraudulent “manufactured engagement” going on that they have (at least in theory) rectified. I wonder to what extent this sucked attention from the rest of us — both in terms of readers and also in terms of the ability of Medium staff to promote our work.

Finally, I suspect the most important factor is…the fact that sometimes stories just fail to take off for reasons that are inscrutable. As my editor says, “move on.”

The saving grace for October is that someone starting up a new wellness portal noticed my writing and I got a freelance gig creating blog posts for that platform. This is a great example of the benefits of keeping at it on Medium. Not only does it generate (a little) revenue, but it also builds audience and serves as our portfolio to attract clients.

What I seemed to do right

Um. This month I am not sure honestly. I did dust myself off after my story failure at the beginning of the month and kept moving forward. Seizing the opportunity to do freelance work that grew out of my writing here was also a win.

What I seemed to do wrong

As noted above, I am not sure what I did wrong with my first story this month. At the end of the day, probably nothing.

Also, I only published two stories this month (aside from my monthly Medium update and a monthly round up of mindfulness stories I have starting putting out). I am not even sure how that happened, but I need to be more consistent.

Just the stats, ma’am

In September I gained 53 followers, for a total of 676. I added 1 person (!) to my email list, for a total of 42. I earned $142 for the month.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print this month. See you next month!

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