What is Digital Publishing?

What is Digital Publishing?

What is Digital Publishing?

Written by Casey Botticello

Digital publishing includes the digital publication of e-books, digital magazines, and the development of digital libraries and catalogues. It also includes an editorial aspect, that consists of editing books, journals or magazines that are mostly destined to be read on a screen (computer, e-reader, tablet, smartphone).

Amazon.com’s E-reader, Kindle, and their self- publishing platform, Kindle Direct Publishing, are part of digital publishing. People create games and apps and have them published in the Google Play Store. Musicians record their music into MP3 files and upload them to iTunes which will digitally publish their music and make it available to iPods, iPhones, and other players. When you listen to Pandora, Spotify, or any other online music service, you take advantage of their distribution network which is a form of digital publishing. When you look at digital images created in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop, you see artwork that has been digitally published.

Blog platforms like WordPress or social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram make available to everyone the necessary tools for digital publishing. Each time someone posts a picture to Instagram or Snapchat, publish a tweet or share your thoughts on Medium, they are engaging in an act of digital publishing. And they are doing it in large numbers: each day, 95 million pictures and videos are shared in Instagram, and 500 million tweets are sent.

The medium of digital publishing is different than conventional forms of publishing, but that isn’t where the differences end. In digital publishing ebooks, you aren’t restricted by the length of the work as you would in conventional publishing. Conventional novels can be anywhere from 50,000 words to more than 300,000. Ebooks, however, can be any length the author feels is appropriate. 

In newspapers and magazines, the concern used to be about how many inches the article can be in order to fit in advertisers. Digital publishing is the new freedom has encouraged experimentation with new story formats.

They also don’t have the constraint of having to fill a determinate number of pages. From a digital newspaper site, you can access all the articles ever published on their print edition. The same can be said for music and videos released on the Internet.

At the same time, publication time has been slashed to almost nothing. Publishers no longer have to wait for production lag times. Because of this, digital media can be published quickly, usually with no more delay than one or two days once the production editing is completed.

In this way, digital publishing continues to expand and grow. 25% of all book sales in 2018 were for ebooks, up from 12% in 2013. Streaming music represents 75% of the music industry revenue. Three-quarters of subscribers to newspapers like the Financial Times and the New York Times are paying for digital-only subscriptions, and even local newspapers like the Boston Globe have more digital than print subscribers.

The growing market for digital publishing is showing no signs of slowing down. New writers are discovering an organic and accessible publishing power with a near unlimited audience. Amazon, e-books and applications like Create Space have opened up fresh avenues for authors to gain recognition for their work.

Digital technological innovations and changes have created favorable circumstances for online publication improvement, such as the possibility of diversifying content streams and revenue sources.

The industry is now entering Self-Publishing 3.0. This phase will be direct sales from author to reader by way of subscription models, crowdsourced funding, and other income streams.”

Digital technologies gave self-publishers opportunities to build their businesses and careers on an unprecedented scale. This path is the best choice for aspiring authors, writers and storytellers – their options to independently create and distribute the publications are virtually limitless, no matter what they want to publish. It is possible because technology companies which build digital publishing platforms continue to improve their online newsstands features and aim to extend beyond publishing services by offering e.g. SEO audit.

Familiar with the book “50 Shades of Grey”? The author, E.L. James self-published the story first on fanfiction sites and then on her website before switching to a self-published ebook and print-on-demand physical edition. You probably know what happened next. A similar path to success was taken by “The Martian” written by Andy Weir – a computer programmer who originally self-published this novel, selling a version of the book on Kindle in 2012. “The Martian” achieved great popularity online, what led to producing a movie based on the book in 2015. It was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture of the year.

But saying that self-publishing will be a trend is only half of the truth – along with this, the subscription model of selling books will enjoy a significant growth in 2020.

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7 Useful Tips to Help Remote Workers Cope

7 Useful Tips to Help Remote Workers Cope

7 Useful Tips to Help Remote Workers Cope

Written by Casey Botticello

September 23, 2020

Remote work is not a new concept. Data from the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that, in 2019, about 3.4% of the U.S. workforce was already taking part in fulltime or partial remote work.

Since the COVID-19 breakout, however, a whopping 88% of organizations around the world made it mandatory or optional for employees to work from home (WFH), according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. This means millions of people who usually traveled to their employers’ workspaces have had to quickly adjust their professional lives in order to work from home. If you are among those who have had to ditch the company cubicle for a home office or cozy corner in your home, it is possible you may feel out of sorts.

If there are kids or other family members around, it can be even more difficult to keep focused and maintain creativity. Yes, remote work does come with its challenges, but there are obvious benefits to look forward to. Not sure how to make the most of it? In this article, you will learn seven remote working tips to help you make a seamless transition from the corporate office to a fruitful WFH experience.

Since the COVID-19 breakout, however, a whopping 88% of organizations around the world made it mandatory or optional for employees to work from home.

1. Pick a suitable workspace

Whether you are confined to your small apartment or have several rooms at your disposal, the spot you pick for remote work can affect how well you do. You need a cool spot in your home where you feel comfortable and that is not cluttered. Try not to work from your bed or sofa. Have a suitable work desk and chair in place that you can set up to feel like a small home office if you don’t already have one. Also, ensure there is adequate ventilation and that the lighting is suitable for reading and virtual meetings.

2. Keep the communication going with the team

Now that you are working from home, you won’t have the opportunity to sit in a staff meeting and hash out ideas for a new campaign or discuss strategies with staff. But this is not the time to slack off on communication. Instead, you need to communicate with the team even more. Check in with team leaders and managers to go over tasks assigned to you. If you are in charge of a project, provide regular status updates on the progress being made. Provide additional information to team members when and where necessary. Take time out to say “Hi” to co-workers over Skype, Zoom, etc. Share new ideas with the team and ask for feedback. The more you communicate with your team, the more seamless it will be working from home.

 communicate, blogging guide, remote work, casey botticello, casey botticello medium, medium course, substack, substack writing, medium blogging guide

3. Invest in suitable WFH tech

Working from home can be frustrating at times when the technology fails. From the internet signal being low to having a slow computer, remote work can easily be plagued by tech problems that make it impossible to get work done. There are quite a few apps and websites that can test your internet speed to see if you need to upgrade to a faster service. You should also audit your devices’ capabilities in terms of processor speed, RAM size, and storage. Does your laptop have a high-quality HD webcam suitable for video calls? Would having a second screen make it easier for you to carry out certain tasks? Is your keyboard and mouse comfortable enough for daily work? These are all important considerations that can affect your ability to work remotely. Another good investment for remote work is a noise-cancelling headphone, which helps to block out background noises when you are on important calls or need to listen intently to work-related aucommunication work from home, stay in touch, work from home technology, blogging guide, medium writing

4. Take regular breaks

It is easy to get caught up in a task that has you stuck to one spot in front of the computer for hours. This can have negative effects on your physical health. In addition, 37% of remote workers responding to a survey said taking regular breaks helped to boost productivity. It is a good idea to take breaks once per hour to stretch the legs, get fresh hair, and redirect focus. Setting an alarm on your phone or clock will help to remind you every hour to take a break.

taking breaks at work

5. Set boundaries

Because you are now at home, friends and family members may feel they can now pop up anytime they please. People living with you might also think you can give them attention whenever they need it. If you allow either scenario to play out every day, it will certainly affect your ability to be productive and do your work properly. It is important to let the people in your life know that you are still at work even though you are at home, so your time and space still need to be observed and respected. If you have kids, talk to them about why you can’t be available all the time and why they need to keep things down. Hire a babysitter to help you out if you have to. Let friends know when are suitable times to come see you. Setting these boundaries will enable you to do your job just as well as you would in the office, or maybe even better.

set work boundaries

6. Take care of yourself

Working from home can quickly blur the line between working time and leisure time. The way to combat this is to maintain your usual leisure and self-care activities that you practiced before you started working from home. If you used to meditate/do Yoga in the mornings, go to the gym after work, relax in front of the TV after dinner, etc., when you used to go out to work, you can set aside the corresponding periods of time for the same activities. In addition, you should make time for social interaction, which is also important to your mental wellbeing. The point is, self-care should not be compromised now that you are working from home. Schedule your work day to ensure you are also paying attention to your body and mind.

taking breaks, blogging guide, casey botticello, wfh take breaks, how to work from home, work from home technology

7. Focus on the benefits

Remote work can feel strange, especially for the first month or so. Moreover, it is easy to feel isolated if you are used to being around plenty of people in an office environment, but now have to be cooped up at home, alone, or with people who can’t relate to your work activities. However, there are many positives to working from home that you can focus on. These include the huge savings from not having to take public transportation or purchase fuel for your car, or buying your daily dose of coffee from Starbucks. Not having to prepare professional attire for daily wear can also save money and time. If you have a spouse and/or family, remote work also allows you to spend more time with them. By focusing on these perks of remote work, it will become easier to cope with the change.

Conclusion

Remaining productive in a home environment where there are distractions such as Netflix – and no supervisor looking over your shoulder – can seem unlikely. However, putting the tips above into practice can lead to a successful experience when working remotely.

And who knows? You may even find new opportunities to make money online and generate new sources of passive income.

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How to Start Writing on Medium

How to Start Writing on Medium

How to Start Writing on Medium

Written by Casey Botticello

September 22, 2020

Medium is one of the better known free blogging platforms. The site features amateur writers alongside well known writers for major media publications. Medium writers are paid through the platform’s Partner Program, which distributes money based on total article read time. The site is popular among bloggers because it is free for writers, requires no web design or technical expertise, and its posts are beautifully formatted.

Medium allows anyone to easily create and publish a blog post, with a sleek and minimalist design. Medium is popular among writers because of its Partner Program which allows writers to get paid for articles that are posted on the platform.”

What is Medium?

Medium is a digital publishing platform, which allows anyone to easily create blog posts. Medium was founded in 2012 by Twitter and Blogger founder Ev Williams.

Medium is unique because it allows anyone to create blog posts for free, which are then shared with Medium’s audience of over 100 million monthly readers. Additionally, Medium has its own staff of content curators who review articles and feature select content in the site’s in house publications.

Some of the other major benefits of publishing on Medium:

  • Medium has extremely high Domain Authority (DA). This means that your content on Medium typically will rank higher in search engine results.
  • Medium has a built-in monetization system. Many writers struggle to monetize their writing, traditionally relying upon advertising revenue for income. Medium pays writers based on their article reading time, which allows writers to focus on writing as opposed to marketing their content or dealing with the technical infrastructure needed for their own website.
  • Medium has a WYSIWYG editor which allows writers to produce stylish posts which are easily readable on any device and look professional. Creating a slick, minimalist blog is challenging for many writers, and Medium offers its platform for free to all writers.

Reasons to Write on Medium

1. Design / Aesthetic

Medium’s layout is simple, clean, and allows anyone to create a stylish post or publication with minimal technical expertise.

Medium’s engineers and designers have spent a lot of time developing fonts, page layouts, and formatting features which all display beautifully, on any size screen.

Unless you are quite tech savvy, this is surprisingly hard to replicate on your own self hosted blog.

Clean design is not only reassuring to writers who are investing their time in the platform, but readers who are confronted with a deluge of websites, blogs, and articles on a daily basis.

This concept, that clean and simple design attracts more readers is backed by actual scientific studies.

A study by Google had two key findings:

  • Users will judge websites as beautiful or not within 1/50th to 1/20th of a second.
  • “Visually complex” websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts.

Moreover, highly prototypical sites—those with layouts commonly associated with sites of their category—that also had a simple website design were rated the most beautiful.

In other words, the study found that the simpler the design, the better.

Medium makes this process seamless for writers, allowing them to focus on writing as opposed to mastering WordPress.

Related Article: Medium vs. WordPress

2. Massive Built In Audience

Medium has nearly 100 million unique monthly readers. It also has somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 paying subscribers.

For a new writer, Medium has an unparalleled built in audience.

While there is plenty of competition among writers, you can gain a following and earn money for your articles, due to this built in audience, in a relatively short period of time.

It would take years to replicate even a fraction of this traffic on a new self hosted blog.

3. Free for Medium Writers

A common misconception is that Medium is expensive to write for. This is completely false.

Medium is absolutely free for writers.

While many writers become paying readers to help support fellow content creators, this is by no means required.

4. Pre-Monetized Structure

After finishing an article on Medium, you have the opportunity to check the box to be eligible for curation review and distribution across Medium.

Checking this box means that your story is also eligible to be part of Medium’s metered paywall, and can earn money if you are in the Medium Partner Program.

You don’t need to install on page advertisements, use affiliate links, or promote products (which is how you would typically monetize a self hosted blog).

Medium’s Partner Program allows you to instantly monetize your content.

You are paid based on the member reading time of paying Medium subscribers. While the payment calculation is somewhat opaque, it is simple.

Write. Publish. Earn.

Every month, without fail you will be paid through Stripe for your writing.

5. Compatible With Many Embedded Functions

Embeds on Medium are handled through Embed.ly, a dedicated embedding service.

Embedly currently offers over 600 supported embed providers, which have been directly integrated with the Embedly service. Content from those services can be embedded on Medium.

Some of the Embeds You May Have Noticed:

  • Upscribethe form many Medium writers put at the bottom of their articles to collect reader information and build email lists.
  • Play.ht — Used to create audio narrations of Medium articles.
  • Smedian — Used by writers to submit their articles to publications.

 

6. Domain Authority

Medium has extremely high Domain Authority (DA):

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

Medium’s 96 Domain authority makes it a force to be reckoned with when it comes to competition among otherwise equal pages in search engines.

7. Platform Stability / Longevity

Medium is an online publishing platform developed by Evan Williams and launched in August 2012. This 8 year track record is pretty solid in the high turnover world of tech startups and online news media. Williams also previously co-founder of Blogger and Twitter.

Why does this matter?

If you are going to invest your time and energy into a third party publishing platform (like Medium), you want to pick a winner.

Moreover, you want the platform you choose to actually exist in the next few years.

Medium is Ev Williams’ main project. The company has received $132 million in funding. Ev Williams himself is a billionaire. And a longtime player in this industry.

While nobody can guarantee Medium’s long term structure or payment methodology, it is probably safe to assume it won’t disappear overnight.

That said, it never hurts to use Medium’s Backup Tool to export your articles and save them offsite.

8. Allows Reposting of Content

Medium allows you to repost content that you originally wrote elsewhere (such as your blog) and share it on their platform.

There is a pervasive myth that:

“reposting content from your personal website on Medium will harm the SEO/domain authority of your site.”

This is totally false. This is addressed directly by Medium:

“Medium’s publication and cross-posting pathways automatically add canonical links to protect your original content posted offsite. This means that Medium can only boost — not cannibalize — your SEO.”

Medium

A more nuanced response:

The SEO impact depends on the timing of when you publish the post and how they interlink.

When Google encounters two pieces of content that are substantially similar, the algorithm has to decide which one was the “original” or “canonical” version and which ones are the duplicate versions.

The best practice is to always post on your own website first, and then submit the page for indexation to Google.

After the page is indexed by Google, then it’s a much safer bet to cross post it to other places.

If you publish to Medium or first (before your own site), Google might consider the LinkedIn or Medium version to be the canonical. That means: from now on Google will show the Medium page instead of your own site when people search for your blog post on Google.

  • Post your content on your own website first;
  • Make sure this content is indexed before reposting it on another platform like Medium;
  • Allow several days (ideally 2 weeks) between your original post and the reposted version.

9. Import Content with Relative Ease

If you have a story published elsewhere and would like to import it to Medium, you can use Medium’s handy import tool.

 medium import article tool

 Using the import tool will automatically backdate the post to the original date, as well as add a canonical link to make sure your SEO won’t be penalized.

10. Medium SEO

Medium allows writers to easily customize the basic on page SEO factors that many other platforms do not. These include:

11. Medium Publications

Medium allows writers to add their articles to existing publications (which greatly amplifies your content as an author) or to create their own publication.

Either way, publications are probably one of the best features on Medium. They allow:

Related Article: 5 Reasons to Create Your Own Medium Publication (And 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t)

12. Medium Allows Article CTAs

Although they may lower your odds of curation, Medium does allow you to include Call to Action (CTA) sections and links which link back to your other websites.

This can be a very powerful tool for developing a mailing list or boosting traffic on your existing sites.


Creating Your Medium Account

Medium makes it easy to create an account and start writing.

Note: You do not need to pay for a membership to Medium to become a writer! While it is a nice way of supporting other authors, and it allows you to read more than 3 articles per month, it is by no means required.

If you go to the Medium website, you will see several buttons asking you to create an account or write for Medium:

medium sign up, get started on medium, medium wirting, how to start medium writing

The total process of creating a writer account only takes a few minutes.

The main steps are:

  1. Registering your account / verifying email.
  2. Connecting your existing Stripe account (or creating a new one) to your Medium writer profile (this is how you will get paid).
  3. Filling out your writer profile.

In summary, Medium is a fantastic blogging platform that allows anyone to easily write, publish, and monetize a blog post, of any length.

While Medium is not perfect, it only takes a few minutes to sign up. Unlike many other platforms (such as Amazon KDP), Medium allows writers to actually receive their earnings without a 60 or 90 day delay, and without any minimum payout threshold.

 

I’ve personally had a lot of success on Medium, so feel free to check out my Medium publication, Medium Blogging Guide, for the latest tips and tricks for writing on Medium. Also, if you really want to learn the tips that top medium writers are using, check out my newly released Medium Writing Course.

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