Every New Medium Writer Will Eventually Run Into This Dilemma
Sorry for playing the meta game but bear with me for a minute.
The other day I had a Zoom chat with a brand new Medium member. She’s so new she doesn’t even have her profile set up yet so she reached out for advice on the best way to get started here.
One of her newbie questions was something that’s been bothering me for many months now.
“Should I start out with my BEST content first, as an effective way to attract new followers?”
I hate this question because that’s what I did over three years ago. The first few stories I published were ones I thought would be life-changers. When I hit ‘publish’ it felt like bursting through the door with a megaphone shouting, “I’m HEEEERRRE!!”
But then? Nobody saw them because I was fresh in the game and completely unknown here.
Now, three years later it ticks me off that those stories were tumbleweeds because if I were to publish them today they’d be epic. Lots of stories turn out epic when you have three years and thousands of followers under your belt.
But not when you have zero followers.
So what are we to do with our epic stories from beginner-hood once we’ve finally got a following?
My answer used to be delete and republish them but then Medium hit us with the duplicate content rule. No deleting and republishing the same content into a new post.
It’s difficult to answer this particular newbie question. What should she lead with? Her best stuff that may never be seen or mediocre content that may not be the best for building an audience?
I’ll tell you what I’ve done a few times since the duplicate content rule came out.
I still choose the occasional old post, copy and paste it into a new draft, delete the old post, then sit on it for months. Medium can’t possibly track duplicate content THAT long.
Once the old content is inside a new draft I change the title, change the image, then significantly rework and tighten up the story.
It’s definitely a long game waiting months to republish but for the most part it has worked for me. I’ve yet to be penalized with duplicate content and 95% of the time, the new version gets a ton more eyeballs on it.
I dunno guys. It’s a slippery slope but if any of your old stories feel worth it to you, why not? If you’re here for the long haul you’ve obviously got time on your hands.
How about a tip for a tip? Just the tip? Tip for tat?