If there's anything I've learned from my year and a half at Her Campus, it's that I love writing way more than I ever thought I would. Now that I'm approaching graduation, I've been thinking about where I might want to publish my writing once I leave Her Campus. Here's a short review of three different online writing platforms that I've tried out in the past few months.
- The Personal Blog
Having a personal blog gives you one central place to put all of your writing. You can use website builders like Squarespace or Wix to make your blog look just the way you want it. Plus, something is exciting about having a personal .com address.
The main downside of the personal blog is that promoting it requires a lot of work. I tried to use Instagram to promote my writing to readers, but I found that it was more work to maintain than the blog itself. My writing wasn't reaching as many readers as I wanted, so I decided to let it go.
Creating and maintaining a personal website can also cost a good amount of money. If you're not willing to invest in this hobby, the personal blog might not be the right option for you.
I give the personal blog two stars.
Medium is a free online writing platform where anyone can make an account and start earning money from their writing. It's kind of like the Japanese blogging platform Note. Its design is less flexible than a personal blog, but you can still create an appealing profile with Medium's built-in tools. People who like your writing can follow your profile and stay up to date on your new work. You can also gain exposure by submitting your articles to publications on different topics.
Unfortunately, you need to commit to Medium and post regularly to make good money from it. The amount you earn is determined by how many people read your articles, so you need to build your audience before making a real income. There's also a chance that your writing will be rejected from popular publications. This can get discouraging, but if you're looking to become a better writer, Medium is a great place to learn.
Even with those cons, I think this is a four-star platform.
Substack is a free platform where you can create your own email newsletter on whatever topic your heart desires. Your posts will be sent directly to your subscribers' inboxes and published to your Substack site. The newsletter format gives you a direct line of communication with your audience, increasing the likelihood that they'll read your work. You can also charge a monthly or annual subscription fee for your newsletter.
The downside of this platform is similar to that of the personal blog. There's no built-in algorithm that will help people find your Substack newsletter, so you'll have to seek out an audience through other means. Also, the design functionality is minimal, so you won't get as much creative freedom in making your newsletter look the way you want it to.
This lies somewhere between the personal blog and Medium, so I'll give it three stars.
None of these platforms are perfect, but they each have their pros and cons. I'm still not committed to writing on any of them after graduation, but fingers crossed I'll find the perfect place to keep putting my ideas out there!