Keri this is perfect timing, as I was going to write something similar myself today. I have noticed a sharp and sudden decline in views for all of my recent stories, ever since Medium started pushing for everything to me member-only, and stopped promoting any content that was free.
The one or two stories I’ve had gain some traction recently have all been from external traffic. Within Medium they still get almost no eyeballs.
This also coincides with Medium putting more emphasis on their own new publications, which take emphasis away from all the great independent publications I’ve been submitting my stories to.
I’m not a professional writer. I’m a designer who writes as a side project. My goal here isn’t to make money, it’s to share knowledge. So I don’t get any benefit at all from making my stories members-only. Yet now members-only stories and Medium’s high-profile publications are the ONLY things that get seen around here, while everything else languishes with about 100 views.
Medium obviously wants to be the home of professional journalism and writers here with the express purpose to earn money from their stories, at the expense of cutting out any small independent writers that have previously thrived here. It’s value to me has suddenly gone down the toilet.
And I’m a paid member because I wanted to support what I thought was a great platform. But now that Medium’s value to me has decreased dramatically, I don’t have much incentive to stay loyal.