Monthly Updates from ILLUMINATION Editorial Team: February 2023
Essential information summarizing achievements and plans for writers and readers
Here is the link to apply for ILLUMINATION as a writer. All writers registered to Medium at all levels are welcome. Our publications are diverse and inclusive.
Dear Writers and Readers,
Thanks for reading ILLUMINATION’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.
We had an excellent start to the new year with an even busier schedule. Since last month over 500 new writers have joined Illumination Integrated Publications. We now support 18K+ writers. We are grateful for the engaging stories submitted by writers daily. And the satisfaction of readers delights us.
The only problem is juggling the workload with a restricted number of editors imposed by Medium for reasons we don’t understand. Managing the workload of a significant publication like Illumination with 30 editors is a massive challenge keeping our volunteer editors extremely busy.
Therefore, we had to put some rigor and workarounds in internal processes to speed up the publishing process. Volunteer editors do their best, but we can no longer meet the 48-hour delivery window for Illumination.
The critical point is editors prioritize well-written articles with no language errors or image issues. Those writers who don’t follow the publication rules must wait longer until the issues are resolved in their stories. We also accept only one story per writer within 24 hours.
You can submit additional stories to our smaller publications.
In addition to publishing, some volunteer editors compile curated collections to increase reading times. We are grateful for the contributions of our writers and readers who support their content.
By using these collections, we aim to help the writers build a larger audience by creating visibility for their profiles and stories.
We also encourage collaboration by cross-pollinating all levels of writers. Therefore, these collections include stories of accomplished writers and beginners.
Adding writers, informing them, and responding to their inquiries takes significant time for our editors. To reduce the administrative workload, we add a short editorial bulletin in curated lists by our ILLUMINATION Amplifier account to introduce new writers joining our publications.
New writers, please check the master copy of the onboarding pack. We can no longer create individual packs weekly. Instead, we add your accounts to the pack and tag your profile.
We respond to writer inquiries on the Slack workspace. Joining Slack is an optional tool for our contributors. All writers are welcome to join. This complimentary service can be helpful, especially for easy access to the editorial team, collaboration with other writers, and promotion of your stories in several channels.
Improving Front Pages and New Look of Publication Banners and Logos
We improved the ILLUMINATION front page based on feedback from readers and writers. We removed publication-related articles and transferred them to the ILLUMINATION Blog pub.
In addition, we created several featured pages for readers. Featured pages show stories to readers interested in specific topics. We continue improving our front page to create more visibility for stories to readers.
Our volunteer editor Gareth Willey updated the banners and logos of our integrated publications using his impressive design skills. You may provide your feedback to Gareth on our Slack workspace.
Gareth introduced his design considerations in a recent story titled Behind the Scenes: Rebranding All 10 ILLUMINATION Publications.
Update on Stats
Overall stats slightly dropped in December, but they started increasing again. Many writers had a significant drop in last September when Medium made some changes to the distribution system, but we noticed some improvements in October, as we noted in this story.
Here are our 90-day stats covering reading times, visitors, and views.
Reading time performance for 90 days is over six million minutes. This is our gold standard for writers’ income. Last month it was over 1.8 million averaging around 60,000 minutes of daily reading time.
The average of unique daily visitors
The average of unique visitors is 43,851 daily.
We don’t pay much attention to views as they are not as important as reading times. However, they indicate new traffic; hence it is still a useful metric. Illumination stories received over six million views in the last three months.
We are pleased followers from last month’s 64,176 changed to 65,873.
Our publications need more volunteer editors.
Our editorial team constantly needs more volunteer editors as our publications keep growing. Some volunteer editors go on vacation, need a break, or sometimes get unwell.
If you have time and are interested in supporting our publications as an editor, you may contact Dr Mehmet Yildiz on our Slack workspace.
You may find the eligibility criteria to serve as an editor for our publications outlined in this article.
Our Slack group is open to all our contributors. We have 14,200 members on Slack. If you don’t have access to Slack or haven’t received the previous invitation, you can request it via this online web form.
It is a valuable tool to communicate and collaborate comfortably and safely as a moderated platform. It is open to all contributors as a free service.
Editors play an essential role in the success of our writers. They review your content, publish them in a timely, and promote your stories to our readers using various methods.
These volunteer editors are also writers. Therefore, they understand the needs of writers. Currently, 115 volunteer editors support our 17K+ writers using the Slack workspace. This is a massive workload for them.
We thought that meeting our editors could be valuable for writers. Therefore, we started an initiative to introduce our editors’ backgrounds and writing styles. We add new editor profiles as our time allows. They usually use the same account on Slack, so you can contact them directly.
Writer Introductions, Featuring, and Interviews
We introduce writers by creating profiles or interviewing them to create visibility for their profiles and content.
Last month Dr. Yildiz interviewed several writers. You can read these exciting interviews from the attached links.
An Interview with Yogesh Haribhau Kulkarni (PhD)
An Interview with Author Raymond M.E. Aguirre
Interview with Dr. ADAM TABRIZ
An Interview with Ayodeji Awosika
We also started a new initiative titled make invisible stories visible to increase our contributors’ views and read times. Here are some samples:
Meet Mark Sanford, Ph.D. Mark Sanford, Ph.D.
Meet Psychologist Cedric Johnson, Ph.D. on ILLUMINATION Cedric Johnson, PhD
Chosen Stories from Melinda Blau’s Unique Collection Melinda Blau
Chosen Stories from Sufyan Maan’s Collection Sufyan Maan, M.Eng
We feature our writers’ profiles via the Illumination YouTube channel and blog the transcripts. For example, our volunteer YouTube coordinator Aiden (Illumination Gaming), features writers on our channel. Contact him on our Slack workspace if you want to be featured.
You might find some sample YouTube videos featuring our top writers in this collection titled Meet Top Writers of Medium on YouTube.
Photo Handling Policy Update
Handling photos is still a concerning issue in our publications. We updated our image copyrights policy, adding clarity to the fair use issue. Our purpose is to protect our writers from breaching copyright rules on Medium articles.
You may check our updated policy from this post titled: Why Image Copyrights Matter for Writers and Editors: Update to handling story photos policy for Illumination Integrated Publications on Medium.
We also added extra steps to improve image handling as documented in the attached editor bulletin: Not Captioning and Using Copyright Photos Will Lead to Rejection of Stories: If writers, after rejection, continue breaking photo handing rules, we will remove them from our publications. It is their choice. Our editors do their duty of call.
We started a new hand-picked series for 2023. So far, we have posted 16 collections. Here is the latest collection.
Hand-Picked Articles — 2023 #16: Chosen by the content curators of ILLUMINATION Integrated Publications on Medium for avid readers
Last year we posted 280 collections from the ILLUMINATION Amplifier account. The Illumination team posted 138 collections, and ILLUMINATION-Curator posted around ten collections featuring outstanding stories from experienced writers.
We curated and distributed thousands of well-written pieces to our readers via blogs and social media. Our repository reached nearly half a million published stories on Illumination and sister publications.
We are grateful for valuable feedback from readers and writers on the value of featuring stories that create visibility for the content of our writers and provide curated content to our readers.
Even though we value every story and don’t censor content, readers desire stories on specific topics written with reasonable standards.
We compile featured stories in a master collection to make it easy for readers. Bookmark this Meta Collection of Featured Stories: Easy access to daily selected stories from engaging writers of ILLUMINATION: Volume 3–2022. We will update this collection and index 2023 collections for easy access.
Introduction to New Publications
We added two new publications to our integrated portfolio in 2022. They are ILLUMINATION Videos and Podcasts and ILLUMINATION Gaming.
Our volunteer editor Aiden (Illumination Gaming), coordinates these publications. These publications accept both regular and short-form stories.
Update on ILLUMINATION-Curated Publication
Experienced and accomplished writers have contributed to Illumination-Curated publications and gained several benefits.
To create a better bridge among our publications, we assigned ILLUMINATION-Curated editors to select outstanding stories. This approach allows content published in our other publications to find a new audience.
All experienced writers now directly submit their stories to ILLUMINATION-Curated. Details are in the attached link.
You Can Directly Write For ILLUMINATION-Curated.
We also created a reading club on our Slack workspace. Details are on this post. ILLUMINATION-Curator coordinates these activities.
Writer Biographies in a Collection
Our readers asked to learn about writers’ backgrounds. We encouraged our writers to submit a bio to Illumination. The ILLUMINATION Amplifier team volunteered to maintain this collection titled Curated Writer Bios. Dr Mehmet Yildiz articulated why writers need bios in an article titled: Six Reasons Writers Need Bios.
Update on the Progress of Writers
Many new writers gained over 100 followers and became eligible for Medium Partner Program (MPP).
A few high achievers gained 1000+ followers after a month. We congratulate their outstanding achievement. The critical point is converting followers to fans with meaningful engagement with readers.
You may check these guiding articles if you are a new writer on Medium and want to increase your followers, subscribers, and fans meaningfully.
8 Proven Tips to Build a Rock-Solid Reading Audience
6 Easy & Proven Tips to Increase Followers
How To Become A Top Writer In Three Months
Subscribers Can Produce 50 Times Better Results Than Followers for Freelance Writers
Writing Challenges and Prompts
Several writers completed writing challenges. The 100-Day Writing Challenge is a popular one among writers. Some writers attempted to 1000 short forms in 100 days too.
Participating in these writing challenges for new MPP contributors might be valuable for progress. You may consider sharing your story links, concerns, and aspirations in this unique challenge. And many readers enjoyed the Challenge called “The Proust Questionnaire.”
These challenges might bring new readers to your stories. We look forward to reading your stories about these challenges. We also feature those who complete challenges in our curated collections, such as hand-picked article series.
Guidance on Writing Viral Stories
One of the best ways to gain more readers and income on Medium is to create viral stories. It has a substantial luck factor, but it seems possible to increase the chance.
Dr Mehmet Yildiz compiled a post with critical items for creating viral stories based on my experience, observations, and reviews of over 100 viral stories in 2021. What I Learned by Reviewing 100+ Viral Articles in 2021.
Dr. Yildiz is currently analyzing the 2022 viral stories and will post a new article summarizing his findings. We had many viral stories last year. We hope some of your stories go viral soon. Keep posting high-quality, informative, and engaging stories.
Essential Resources for New Writers
We compiled our essential guides in a post titled Starter Kit for Writers of ILLUMINATION Integrated Publications. This collection might serve as a one-stop shop for new writers to learn more about writing on this platform.
Please also review these guiding policies before submitting their stories. We are tolerant, but these are non-negotiable rules.
Zero tolerance to plagiarism on ILLUMINATION
No Defamation, Discrimination, and Hate Speech Published
Access to archived onboarding packs for new writers
New writers want to connect with previous writers. We provide links to only recent onboarding packs to easily find registered writers, follow them, and explore their content to achieve this goal.
If you need to access old bulletins, you may search for ILLUMINATION and ILLUMINATION Amplifier accounts for older versions of onboarding packs. It is only possible to link some of them here. Here are a few samples:
Introduction to New Writers, Welcome: New Writers Introduction, Onboarding Pack for New Writers, Welcome New Writers, Welcome New Writers, Onboarding New Writers, Welcome New Writers, Onboarding New Writers, Welcome New Writers, Onboarding New Writers.
Members can follow up to 150 accounts on Medium within 24 hours.
New writer accounts are kept for a week in the master copy of the onboarding pack. So, you may check and follow news writers weekly through the onboarding pack.
Summary of Our Publications
1 — ILLUMINATION
ILLUMINATION is followed by 65,000+ readers and visited by around 43,000 unique members daily. As a generic publication, we accept every ethical topic meeting Medium’s guidelines.
2 — ILLUMINATION’S MIRROR
This pub is for prolific writers who need to submit multiple stories in a day. You can submit up to three stories to ILLUMINATION’S MIRROR within 24 hours.
3 — ILLUMINATION-Curated
This unique publication is for experienced and accomplished writers. Senior editors select the contributors for this publication using stringent criteria. If you are an experienced writer, we allow you to write for this publication upon your request directly. Link to publication
4 — Technology Hits
We designed this publication for writers and readers interested in technical topics and tech-related stories. You can also submit science fiction in this pub. More info about Technology Hits Value Propositions of Technology Hits. Introduction to Technology Hits. Inviting Storytellers From All Aspects of Technology. Here is a collection including some sample stories from this publication.
5 — SYNERGY
This specialized publication serves freelance writers who want to share writing, blogging, and editing content. It connects writers, editors, and bloggers through their stories. We invite freelance writers from other platforms, such as Vocal Media. Here is the purpose of Synergy. Besides, you may find a sample collection to get an idea of the type of stories we publish on Synergy.
6 — ILLUMINATION Book Chapters
This pub is for published and indie authors. We help new writers to get published and become authors. Details about this publication are in this story: ILLUMINATION Book Chapters. The following articles provide additional information about ILLUMINATION Book Chapters: How Can Published Authors Create Visibility? Here is a sample editorial bulletin to promote ILLUMINATION Book Chapters to readers. And here is the Index of Published Book Chapters. You can find some sample book chapters in this collection.
7 — Reader’s Hope
This publication serves absolute beginners. You may submit raw content to this new pub. We don’t edit content submitted to Readers Hope. But, our editors provide valuable and helpful guidance via private notes or in our Slack workspace to members. Here is a story introducing the purpose of Readers Hope. Here is the Vision and Mission of “Readers Hope”.
8 — ILLUMINATION Gaming
This new publication aims to bring gamers to one place, inspire them, and create collaboration among gamers. Invitation: Join ILLUMINATION Gaming Publication as a Writer: Your gaming stories have a new home on Medium now.
9 — ILLUMINATION Videos and Podcasts
Our new publication is introduced in this article. You can submit your YouTube videos in long or short-form stories.
10 — ILLUMINATION Blog and Euphoria
We keep all publications-related stories in separate publications called ILLUMINATION’s Blog. This publication can be helpful for new writers to find guiding articles. This publication is not for writers. It is for editorial purposes.
Dr Mehmet Yildiz hosts his personal stories in his publication called Euphoria. If you enjoy health and fitness stories, you may check his publication. Link to publication.
Dr. Yildiz helped several writers to create their publications and gain visibility. Publication owners made significant progress in gaining loyal readers. Here is a guiding story: Compelling Benefits of Personal Publications on Medium.
ILLUMINATION collected the publications of our contributors in a post titled: Why Writers Need Personal Publications: Invitation to introduce your own publication to the audience of Illumination Integrated Publications.
Diversify Content on Vocal Media, Simily, or NewsBreak
Diversifying content can bring more readers and income to freelance writers. We introduce three options in this post. We keep our writers updated with new writing challenges introduced by Vocal Media. If you are not a writer with Vocal Media yet, you can join at the link in this article.
In addition, repurposing your Medium articles on Vocal may bring additional income to freelance writers. Aiden introduced Vocal recently in a story titled I Finally Joined Vocal+ and Reaped Immediate Benefits.
We also introduced another writing platform, Simily. What Is Simily and How Can Writers Benefit from This New Writing Platform?
Some of our new writers also contribute to NewsBreak. Our editors informed us that this platform has strict rules and doesn’t allow self-publishing like Medium. If you are interested in joining NewsBreak, you can access the application form via this referral link.
All writers can create referral links on NewsBreak and Vocal, similar to Medium as affiliate links. You can add them to the end of your stories to bring new readers to these platforms.
Topic Collections of Stories
We create collections selecting exciting stories from many writers who write on popular topics. Here are some examples compiled by our chief editor.
The Power of Freelancing for Writers
Business Collection: A Mini MBA Bundle
Do You Want to Become an Entrepreneur?
The World Needs Passionate & Compassionate Leaders
Education and Learning From Many Aspects
Featured Stories About “Writing” From The Top Writers of SYNERGY
NFT Story Collection on ILLUMINATION Integrated Publications
How Storytellers Articulate Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
Top Stories About Artificial Intelligence
Top AI Stories on Technology Hits
Collection of Featured Stories
Stories on ILLUMINATION-Curated — All Volumes
Technology, Business, Leadership, & Self-Improvement Stories
Reading List #3 — Technology Hits
Top 100 Trending Stories: at ILLUMINATION-Curated
Sample Book Chapters: Discover 70+ published authors on ILLUMINATION Book Chapters
Invitation to Potential Writers and Members
To join our vibrant publications, please send a request via this link. We will help you gain visibility and succeed as a writer on Medium. Please mention the publication name with your Medium account ID in the request.
If you are new to Medium, you can join via this link. Readers can read thousands of stories, and writers can monetize self-published content.
You can subscribe to our editorial team to receive newsletters and curated lists. Here is the link https://medium.com/subscribe/@illumination
Thank you for your support and contributions.
Writers can contact Dr. Yildiz and other editors directly on the ILLUMINATION Slack workspace when they need help.
To join our vibrant publications, please send a request via this link.
ILLUMINATION Integrated Publications include:
ILLUMINATION’ S MIRROR
ILLUMINATION Book Chapters
Illumination on YouTube
EUPHORIA by Dr Mehmet Yildiz
Get an email whenever ILLUMINATION publishes.
You may join Medium with our referral link — ILLUMINATION.
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