Important note if you're on Medium

Did you know curation can break? Or about the IRS email?

Hi again!

Do you write on Medium? If you do, a couple things I ran across yesterday.

1) Did you know curation can break?

Apparently, people have had a story curated, and then the curation broke. First it was curated, then it wasn't. Apparently, if you keep the curation notices they send when the story got curated, you can forward it back to them and they'll fix it. Who knew? Good grief, now I need a folder to save those, I guess.

2) If you’re not in the USA, did you get that IRS email?

Some Medium writers who aren’t in the USA got an email saying they have to pay the IRS 30% on Medium royalties. It was poor wording. Many countries have tax treaties with the USA, and you can fill in the W8-BEN form to invoke the treaty.

I’ll post this at Medium, too, and see if I can find the list of countries. Don’t do what one lady did and delete your account. And if you’re not in the USA, but haven’t received that email, don’t freak out too quickly. More to come.

5 reads from this week I hope you’ll enjoy…

Thanks so much if you clicked and read a post last week.
You are why I keep writing. :)

For writers…

Should you write for your reader, or write for yourself?
This question itself is a big misunderstanding…

The first sentence from 10 Pulitzer winners
Excellent examples of how to start a story with a bang.

10 reasons people won’t buy your book.
I promise your book isn't the problem. Here's why...

5 Unwritten Rules for tagging people
When to tag people and when tagging is a bad idea.


I wrote a personal piece this week, but submitted to a pub and it hasn’t been posted yet. So I’m sharing one of my most popular posts ever. The photos are incredible…

A magical town where there are no roads and ducks are the loudest sound you’ll hear

Have a great weekend.


Have you heard of curation jail?

Boy does it make me crumpy.

Hi, howdy and happy Friday…

Have you heard of curation jail? It’s a term that seems to be picking up traction on Medium (and Facebook) and boy does it make me crumpy.

Curation isn’t a strategy any more than winning the lottery is a financial strategy. I don’t know how many writers there are on Medium, but I’ve heard it’s over 200K. Everyone can’t get curated. End of story. The math doesn’t work.

I know, you don’t care about “everyone” — you just care that you get curated. Right? The problem is that it’s not about curation, it’s about reach.

Curation is a short cut that can (maybe) give people a little more reach. And don’t we already have too many people peddling shortcuts on the internet?

For people who are in curation jail, there’s a get out of jail free card. I’m going to write about it next week.

Thought I’d tell you in advance—so if you have any curation questions or thoughts, please do feel welcome to email. Maybe we can work together and create something really great. Hope to hear from you. :)

Thanks for reading — I appreciate you.

On writing…

Getting Personal…

  • A special place in heaven (2 min. read)
    We are all broken. That’s how the light gets it. It’s been almost a year since I lost my Mom. Thank you if you’ve already put your heart on that page along with mine.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you.


Medium topics and tags aren't the same

Plus, writing tips you can safely ignore and an ode to hot chocolate. :)

Good morning,

If you write on Medium, have you noticed that topics and tags aren’t always the same?

Topics are how stories get curated. If an editor chooses your story to be curated, it’s based on a topic. You can find all the curation topics, here.

Tags are how you earn top writer status. Tags appear at and some tags (not all) have top writer lists. Like so:

Tags and topics are sometimes the same, but not always.

For example, Feminism is a tag, but not a topic. Women is the related topic, and it’s also a tag. So if you’re writing about feminism, you’ll get better mileage if you tag your story with women and feminism. Make sense?

There’s a fair number of those. Like, LGBTQIA is the curation topic, but the top writer tag is LGBTQ. Same with movies/film, economy/economics and a handful of others.

Are you interested in that kind of info? I’ll be expanding on this and publishing more of Medium tips to Write Before Lunch — why not click over and follow?

Weekly Word Buffet…

Good grief, writers. Cite!
Credible links make your story credible

Reading style affects reading time
A reading style you’ve never heard of makes a difference in reading time and earnings.

Are you tired of writing for peanuts?
Peanuts are for squirrels. They don’t have utility bills.

8 writing tips you can safely ignore.
A lot of writing tips are personal experience, not tips for everyone

And this one’s a personal memory…

Ode to Hot Chocolate

Have a great weekend.


Weird math and marketing with heart

xo Linda; Friday November 15, 2019

Good morning!

Everyone thinks getting views (traffic, readers) is the hard part. It’s not. Yesterday I posted on Medium. An hour later, I yanked it. Man, I hate that.

Weird math. Did you know the response you get from 10 people will be the same response you get from 1000 people, with a 30% margin of error?

So if 10 people see your post (or web page) and only 2 stick around, the response isn’t going to be stunningly different if 1000 people do. Even with the 30% margin of error.

If the response is middling, a 30% margin of error could swing in your favor. But if it’s pathetic out of the gate? Maybe worth reworking. Which is why I yank posts.

I do it with my site, too. If I create a new page and it’s bouncing like a trampoline, I pull it down and rework. No point prolonging the agony.

Because if you have a site (or Medium profile) full of stuff that doesn’t retain, eventually it costs. To new people, it’s like looking in an empty cupboard.

Getting views isn’t the hard part. Retaining them is.

Here’s what I wrote this week…

On Medium:
Medium promises poets won’t be penalized
The part of the Medium change everyone seems to have missed

On Marketing:
I tested the headlines of the top 20 stories. Only 4 passed.
5 places to build a mailing list, free

On Self Growth
How to tap into your second brain to make better decisions
The only book that ever changed my life

On Feminism:
Ladies, feminism isn’t man bashing
Retired women should get more pension

Thinking out loud…

I created a new publication called Marketing With Heart. My bright idea is to share stories from 23 years in digital marketing. (How is it that long?!) If there’s some part of marketing you’re struggling with, I’d love the writing inspiration.

Grandpapa used to say you scratch my back an’ I’ll scratch yours. Maybe we can use this pub to do some of that. I’m going to post an invite for questions. If you struggle with marketing, you can follow along here: Marketing with Heart

Have a great weekend!


xo Linda

I just don't think you can stand out from the crowd doing exactly what everyone else does.

Oh, you’re here!

Let me tell you a bit about me. Can we talk? I’ve worked in marketing and design for over 20 years. Plus, I write. I’m a copywriter, seo writer and I write on Medium.

There’s so much bad advice out there, sometimes it makes me a little sick. If I followed half the advice I’ve read, I’d have gone out of business years ago. So what do you do? Me, I write. Mostly about marketing and writing, but other stuff, too.

If you’re looking for same old, same old — you won’t find it here.

I don’t email to sell you stuff and you won’t find affiliate links disguised as content. There’s enough people doing that. I write to connect and inspire. To make you think about how we’re doing things and how we can do them better. Hope you’ll join.

If you enjoy it, why not tell your friends!

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