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New Writers, Why You Should Forget About Long Form Stories

  • 8 min read

and increase your earnings with short form writing.

I know the advice about writing on Medium is booming.

And yes, I’m guilty.

I’m also one of them who share their tips and tricks.

But I’m also a 20x Top Writer on Medium, belong to the Top 1,000 writers, host a successful Boot Camp where I help writers to gain fantastic results on Medium.

I’m also an experienced marketer and brand manager…. I have a stamp of credibility, don’t you think?

So please hear me out!

Is it true that if you want to make good dollars, you need to make your articles a 5 min. read?

This is what Mark Kleimann asked me yesterday when I shared a piece about Medium’s updated Code of Curation.

This story is my answer to it because so many new writers ask me this.

Recently, I earned around $80 with one story.

I know, for new writers, this amount of money from writing online really is BANANAS!

But hey…

this story wasn’t a 5 min. long form story.

It was a short form piece I’ve written for my favorite short form publication The Shortform.

Here’s the proof:

I’ve become a master in the art of short form writing

All of you who have been following me for a while know, that I’ve become a short form advocate and (as Hudson Rennie recently called me) a master in the art of short form.

Within the last past 16 months on Medium, I’ve written over 650 stories.

  • 400 short form pieces — 150 words or less
  • around 250 long form stories — 700 words or more

With my short form pieces I’ve earned pennies but also $1, $5, $10 articles, and several times $20+.

My $80 story has been the best so far.

Here’s another one from January 2022:

Plus: All those pennies you can make with short form writing add up.

Let’s go back in time

Would you mind coming with me on a little time travel?



So come with me…

Before discovering short form, I pressured myself to write long form stories.

In the evening, after I put my baby to bed I put pen to paper until my eyes droop.

I’ll be honest.

It took me hours and days to finish my long form stories.

I felt frustrated and often I didn’t hit publish at all.

And I’m not alone. Be smart, new writers.

  • You don’t need to try to reach a certain text length and write long form articles.
  • Better practice the concept of short form writing to build a writing habit.

Follow my lead and become a writer for the following Medium pubs that can help you build a daily writing habit:

4 short form pubs for newbies

1 — Shorties but Goodies by Liberty Forrest, Author

It’s loaded with only positive, uplifting, inspiring content to brighten your day, lighten your load and make you smile so much your face hurts! Warning: Happy stuff is highly addictive. Buckle up and have fun!

  • 💳Submission Guidelines to become a writer and submit your stories (articles with fewer than 150 words including title and subtitle)

2— The Daily Cuppa by Katie Michaelson

We like nature, food, pets, plants, people, and all things simple — or complex that can enrich our lives.

  • 💳Submission Guidelines to become a writer and submit your stories (150 words incl. source citation and link texts)

3— The Brain is a Noodle by Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她)

A place for all things bite-sized! A collection of poetry and shortform pieces! 🧠🍜 We have daily poetry prompts (…) monthly essay prompts!

4 — Coffee Times by Winston

(…) is not just a publication, but a movement to build a mutually supportive community that encourage active reading and better writings.

  • 💳Submission Guidelines to become a writer and submit your stories (with at least one mention of another writer’s work) with the tag #CoffeeTimesMovement

6 Powerful Reasons why short form writing is best for newbies

Short form writing is definitely a handy tool to build a (daily) writing habit and to improve your writing skills. 🤗

  1. You can give a second life to your long form story
  2. It helps you build a regular habit of posting
  3. It keeps you in the habit of writing.
  4. You can find new readers.
  5. It’s a good way to experiment with different (niche) topics and headlines.
  6. It’s an easily accessible goal.

Yes! You even can get curated with short form stories.

Although in its official guidelines Medium says short form articles won’t get curated, yesterday I shared that I’ve discovered that 1% of short form stories get curated.

Gerald Sturgill commented:

I thought only stories from 4–7 minutes long were preferred for curation…

Here’s the proof that bigger isn’t always better:

Melissa Marietta’s short form article got distributed!

She was part of my Medium Kickstarter Bootcamp 2 where we practice short form writing.

Don’t focus primarily on short form writing.

In March, Nora (as a busy mom and entrepreneur) decided to give short form writing a go.

She pumped out 26 articles. (In February, it was just 4 articles.)

With short form writing Nora achieved her goal of writing consistently!

That’s the awesome news.

Don’t go all-in at once.

Nevertheless, here are her main takeaways:

– When you are starting something new, for experimental purposes, don’t go all-in at once. Try writing a few and see how you go.

– Focusing purely on short-form articles and not attempting to write more in-depth pieces to balance out the month. Nora

Here you can learn about Nora’s mistake:

I couldn't agree more.

There definitely needs to be a balance between short and long stories (No, it doesn’t have to be a 5 min. read. 3 min is fine too)

🧠 Pro tips

Here are two special pro tip for all those of you who read the whole story:

  • Promote your long form stories with short form stories!
  • Have you heard of Midform? It’s Shortform’s 3-minute sister at 700 words or less, always with a key message at the end. So when you start writing and can’t help but write more than 150 words… no worries! Just write 700 words and publish it with Midform from Megan Llorente. Co-editor is my wonderful boot camper Kylie van Gelder.

Final Takeaways

Yes! You can increase your views, reads, and earnings with short form writing.

It feels good to actually get paid for writing online and sharing what you love.

Instead of languishing, procrastinating, and racking your brain in frustration on your laptop to finally finish a long story….

Keep your posts short and sweet!

Dare to write short form posts with 150 words.

A short form post can just be as good as a long one.

If you understand this simple rule of online writing, you’ll go crazy over its use.

You won’t regret it…

© Kristina God — ‘addicted to short form writing’

Kristina is one of Medium’s Top 1,000 writers. She is a trained journalist and marketing specialist. Medium is her home. She teaches others the game of online writing, how to earn money, and build a writing habit. As a prolific writer, she has written over 650 stories within 16 months on Medium. Her motto: I teach everything I know!

👉 New to Medium? Become a Medium member and support Kristina!
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