The Benefits of Being Shadow Banned on Medium

We all want to go viral. But there are plus sides to remaining smalltime.

Crissi Langwell 🦋


Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

My first article on Medium went viral. It was an accident, really. I guess I should have known better, but honestly, I just needed an anonymous space to write my feelings.

I won’t go into detail, but it was regarding Trump and the Church, and you can read the rest here if you’re genuinely curious.

No one knew me here on Medium. I hadn’t written anything, and I didn’t know any writers here. I was more of a lurker, reading articles here and there, and wondered if this might be a place I’d like to start sharing my thoughts. So when I felt strongly enough to write my heart, Medium became the perfect place to share it.

And then the emails started. Overnight, my inbox was filled with people who had “clapped” or commented — by the hundreds and thousands. I checked the stats, and the graph was going bonkers. And each day garnered more money than I knew I could get from an article on Medium.

It also garnered a lot of hate mail. I received comments from all walks of life on that article, and I made the conscious decision to not respond to any of them, good or bad, because what I wrote was so raw to me. I stood by what I wrote, but it left me feeling too vulnerable to defend myself. And it stung when some commenters started getting personal. That anonymity I thought I had started to go away.

But eventually, the shock of going viral wore off, and I started to crave that kind of notoriety again. Rather, I craved the paycheck. Because of my early success, I figured Medium was easy money. I had visions of quitting my job and just writing here full time. Other writers already were, and I’d hit gold on my first article. Obviously, Medium and I were meant to be.

Except, Medium isn’t really easy money.

I figured out quickly that my first article was a lightning strike. I tried time and again to recreate what that first article did, and every single one fell short. Sure, I was able to ride the wave for a short while, each article providing a little bit of income. But eventually my followers realized I wasn’t going to write about Trump or the Church anymore, and my…



Crissi Langwell 🦋

Romance & women’s fiction author. I write on Medium about a variety of topics because I’m not good at staying in one lane.