I Quit The Partner Program Before I Got Booted And Here’s Why I Feel Like A Fool
I’m not sure what I was thinking when I metered my stories a couple of years ago but I do know I was a fool for doing so. I’ll explain.
First of all, I am a fairly new writer on Medium with a very small audience. I believe at the time I had 6 followers. So how I thought metering my stories with virtually no audience was a good idea is beyond me. Like seriously, what the hell was I thinking. Who was I to put stories behind a paywall when nobody even knows who I am.
I should have been focused on sharing my stories for free with as many people as possible BEFORE trying to earn a few pennies. And yes, when I say a few pennies, I’m talking about the grand total of 36 cents I earned as a member of the Partner Program — obviously not life-changing money.
Second, I feel like I wasted valuable time. Time that could have been spent building an audience by getting as many views as possible instead of limiting who could read my stuff.
Writers need readers and the last thing a new writer should do is limit their potential audience which is exactly what I did. Perhaps if those stories were free to read, I would be farther ahead — who knows.
Third, I was going to get kicked out anyway. I didn’t, and still don’t have enough followers to remain in the program and I refuse to do follow-for-follow as many writers have done to reach the 100 follower quota.
It is my opinion that followers should be based on merit and merit alone. A writer should have to put in the work to gain the trust of an audience and build a following. Doing follow-for-follow with other writers feels cheap, a little unethical, and is a shortcut I am unwilling to take.
You get the audience you deserve they say and I wouldn’t want an uninvolved artificial following for vanity metrics, financial gain, or any other reason besides being considered a skilled writer.
And If I’m not good enough to attract the audience I think I deserve, then it is clear I have work to do. Fudging those numbers with a follow-for-follow campaign would corrupt the feedback loop while giving me a heightened sense of competence. Something I am unwilling to do for 36 cents.
So, going forward, all of my stories will be free to read — indefinitely. I’ll probably never meter them again. And to be honest, I am okay with that. I like the Partner Program but I feel like I am heading in a better direction for now. Perhaps I’ll rejoin in the future when and if I have built a sizable readership— or perhaps not.
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