So true. I think about all those years I wrote for free — just happy to see my name in print — until a friend pointed out the obvious: I was being played, used.
One Chicago newspaper actually featured my stuff in a regular column alongside their paid staffers and columnists, which would sometimes get “syndicated” to other papers they were affiliated with — meaning the paper was getting paid for my writing, but not me! Whenever I brought up payment, they always pleaded poverty. Yet their circulation numbers and ad revenue never seemed to diminish, and because of my writing, I just know their readership increased. So I finally stopped sending them stuff. I never heard from them again.
And then after being paid fairly well for a few years by another “citizen journalist” site (now defunct) that’s a lot like Medium , I have flatly refused to write for free again.
But, you consistently clear up a lot of concerns I had about Medium. Getting paid, even a pittance, as my father used to say, “beats a blank.” And I just know it will get better!
Thanks. Your advice is appreciated.