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I hear from people all the time who think that WordPress is too hard to work with as a platform for their blog/website. If you’re one of those people, Medium could be an alternative.

Laura Hazard Owen of the Nieman Journalism Labs interviewed some top web publishers who moved their sites from an independent platform, with good results. Thanks to Andy Bull for pointing this article out.

I will say this: The platform is incredibly easy to work with, and the traffic on the site is heavy. The setup is pretty much this:

  1. Create an account
  2. Click Write a Story

Medium claims that its publishing tools work just as well for one-writer blogs as these larger players. While I maintain that it’s important for writers to have a place on the web to call their own, the site says your content remains in your control. That’s a plus. I have also been considering re-posting some of my writing there. Last year, I posted a news story on an Internet history panel with some good effects.

I’d love to hear more experiences with Medium. Let me know…

Pamela K. Johnson, who edits the NWUsletter of the National Writers Union (USA), asked me for some words of wisdom on building a writer platform. As a member since 2000, I was happy to oblige. You can find the story here.

National Writers Union

The NWU, an affiliate of the United Auto Workers, offers freelance writers of all genres a way to band together in this ever-changing world of publishing. Members receive contract advice, help with missing payments from clients, magazines, websites and traditional publishers. Go check it out!

Dirty secret: It wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t know what an “indie writer” was. That’s changed in the last year or so, in part thanks to IndieReCon, a free online conference that I first “attended” last year.

This three-day conference is back for a third year, and it’s just as great as I remember last year’s was. It’s a shame I didn’t blog about last year’s event, but I’ll try to make up for it.

What is IndieReCon?

IndieReCon is organized by and mostly for writers interested in, or actively involved with independent self-publishing. That said, there’s a ton of information and inspiration available to traditionally-published and as-yet-unpublished writers.

The conference delivers a variety of speakers in a variety of methods to accommodate the variety of writers (and Internet connection speeds). Consider what I watched on today’s schedule:

Self-Promotion Discouraged

Most sessions last an hour, and several have giveaways associated with the speaker. Now some of you might think that each session is more about marketing the speaker and accompanying products and services. I’ve been through a few of those types of webinar series, and really appreciate that the organizers (this year led by the British-based Alliance for Independent Authors) put an emphasis on the value for the audience. The de-emphasis of self-promotion is so strong, you have to hunt for the sponsor’s website (down at the bottom of the About page, if you want to know)!

Coming Attractions, and Reviewing the Archives

Thursday offers a bunch of practical sessions on self-publishing and reviews of the state of the international self-publishing scene. Here are some of the sessions that I’ll be checking into:

Friday features more “state of the scene” sessions, using Pinterest and live coverage of the London Book Fair Fringe Fest.

Miss an event? It’s all recorded and available to you. You can even access past years’ content under All Events > Archive.

I’ll say it again: If you are considering self-publishing, you’ve got to check this out. If you expect to make a living as a writer, you’ll learn a lot of great stuff. See you over there!