Why I deleted my account in less than a week.
There’s no comparison between Vocal Media and Medium.
That “platform” is even worse than Simily, and if you’ve followed me for a while, you know how that test ended.
I decided to try Vocal Media since the platform’s name keeps popping up in Medium stories — in both good and bad ways — and I wanted to see for myself what the deal was with that website.
Went there and saw more than I needed to see, in less than a week.
I now have an account deletion request pending in their inbox.
But let’s rewind a little bit and let me tell you how my experience went.
- I decided to make an account even though I disliked the look of the website from the very first second. But hey, I like trying and reviewing things, so click-click-click, account connected to Stripe created.
- Since this whole experiment was only focused on seeing what the platform is about, I was going to re-publish three Medium stories, in slightly different niches.
- First platform shock — you don’t publish the story yourself, they’re all going through a review phase and the reviewer hits the final “publish”.
- Second shock on the platform — there’s a limited amount of main subjects that you can write about, all clustered in some sort of platform-curated publications that look atrocious and the titles of which make no sense when considered cumulatively — some things are too broad, some too vague, some sound pretentious, some make no sense at all. I have no idea what the criteria were behind their creation. Spaghetti on the wall, I guess.
- OK, I managed to choose the creepy categories to host each of my reposted articles, quickly moved past the sudden realization that one of them was definitely going to be rejected due to word count — they want each post to have 600 words or more —, and submitted the drafts for review.
- Then the really stupid part started. It took them more than 24 hours to review my posts — their support files say that the review process can last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, which I find incredibly idiotic.
- Finally, the moderators got to my articles and, as expected, decided to publish the two stories that hit the word count criterion, and to reject and return to drafts the shorter piece.
- Now, since this was a test, I wasn’t going to re-edit and re-submit the rejected story. So I just let it sit there in draft mode while I waited to see what the platform’s influence is really all about.
- I also wasn’t going to market my posts — at all —, nor buy the Plus Subscription that’s supposed to bring a better pay rate and other perks, some better promo even — the last bit of info, according to other writers on the platform. I was only interested in what the platform can bring to this collaboration, if anything at all.
- Side note. For those of you who read a post of mine for the first time, here’s why I usually do not market the content I license to platforms I do not own: For the collaboration to be worthy of the name, both parties need to participate in the final result. Writers bring the content, the platform should bring the audience and do the marketing. I’ve successfully experienced this with both marketplaces where I host my online courses and Medium. I don’t pay for exposure either. I only promote and work toward building an audience on the websites that I own and control content-wise. If I can bring people to my content, then I don’t need to share the results — read money — with another party.
- While I waited to see what happens with my newly published posts, I realized two more idiotic things regarding the way the platform works: 1. You cannot edit your stories unless you send the moderators an email and ask them to return the story to drafts. I understand paying members get a “Quick edit” feature but it’s beyond stupid to have to pay to be able to fix a typo or something similar. 2. Also, you cannot delete your posts. Again, you’d have to ask the moderators to “assist” you with that. WTF? If it’s my content, I should modify it as I please, when I please.
- Oh, and they only work Monday to Friday, so good luck if you decide you posted a story that you really, really need to get rid of quickly. A rant for example. Or maybe you misunderstand a subject and want to re-write a part. Nope, can’t do that on Vocal Media. Facepalm after facepalm.
- By this time, I was already sure I was going to delete my account as soon as possible, but I gave it a few more days to see if anything happens.
- Nothing happened. Like, nothing. Zero views. Zero.
- Now, these are stories that had decent results on Medium, so I don’t think it’s me this time.
- Vocal Media is supposed to pay even reads from non-members, so who says it’s below them to doctor stats? There are so many stories from writers who say the platform refused to pay them when they reached higher-value payment marks, or from those who say they were paid only if they maintained the pro subscription. Some even claim that once they got their first payment, their views quickly dropped right after, thus not reaching the payment threshold for the next month.
- Less than a week into my experiment, with absolutely nothing to attract and keep me on the platform — by the way, they try so hard to make you pay for a subscription right after you start publishing with them — I decided I’ve seen enough and wanted out.
- You guessed it, I couldn’t delete the account myself either. So I wrote them the freaking “Account Removal Request” email, and I am still waiting for a reply.
- Meanwhile, my content is still there because I can’t delete it, remember?
- Avoid this website like the plague.
- It’s a scam, in my opinion. They only want people to buy the subscription thingie and would use that very money to pay a few writers and make the thing seem legit, and finance the projects that keep them on the online publishing map — their writing contests and challenges, with thousands of dollars in prizes.
- They even made the subscription an eligibility criterion for participating in their challenges and contests.
- It screams pyramid scheme.
- Any platform that asks users to pay money for the alleged opportunity to make money with them or have access to gigs on their website is, most likely, a scam.
If I were you, I would focus on building my own platform, while experiencing the fun stuff other websites have to offer — Medium is such an option— and would never link any professional hopes to so-called collaborators that only profit from the connection while bringing absolutely nothing of value to the table.
I like debunking and I do this in various ways on my websites.
In my view, Vocal Media should be reported, and definitely not joined.
Thanks for reading.