Stop chasing vanity metrics.
Do you want to be a “writer” or a “writer on Medium”?
While the two are not mutually exclusive, the difference matters in how you approach content writing in particular, and writing in general.
“Top Writer” is a label one can get on Medium when their articles make a splash in a certain category.
I think the platform differentiates between Top Writers on a subject that is also a topic and those that are considered just tags.
I remember being featured in the “Top Writers” sidebar block for the tag “Simily” when my article on that subject became somewhat popular but I did not receive a label, nor an email to announce the incredible achievement, as I understand happens for topics.
Now, “Top Writer” or not, the thing is meaningless outside Medium.
I see tons of individuals attempting to use the label as leverage on their Medium profile but this authority trick would only impress the incredibly new and/or naive users.
“Top Writer” is on the same level of social proof as follower count and likes, or claps.
None of these metrics speaks about an individual’s ability to write well or produce quality content.
Popular content is not always good content.
When you’re liked by many individuals, you’re not necessarily an authoritative voice in a relevant field.
Vanity metrics only make you feel good about yourself.
They’re a nice boost, here and there, but in the real world, none of these elements signals a professional in a field.
Most of the time, they’re meaningless outside the environment that produced them.
If you want to understand just how ridiculous the same principle would seem in real life — imagine what would happen if you’d be choosing your doctor based on how many likes their posts get on social media.
“But this is different”, you may say. “People on Medium get likes and follows for their craft, which is writing. Here, this is relevant.”
I invite you to check profiles of people with less than 100 followers — the subjective eligibility criterion for Medium’s Partner Program — and discover just how many of them have been writing amazing pieces for quite a while now. Somehow, their work wasn’t discovered by that many people. Or they didn’t convince enough individuals to follow them… or maybe neither the readers nor the writers in that niche play the followers game.
Or you can go on Amazon and check out Best Sellers in various book categories. How many of those books you’ve never heard of and seem really good books? And still, those authors have readers and make sales with their work.
Bottom line, they’re writers.
That’s what makes them writers — they practice their craft and an audience consumes that content. That’s what makes someone relevant in a field, even if none of their content’s gone “viral” and they have no random label attached to their name.
People read, use, and enjoy their content.
You don’t need a tag for that to know that in the professional game, you’re winning.
This article was originally published on an external platform on June 3, 2022.