Shaunta: Many thanks for your astute analysis about publishing on Medium. You make many excellent points. It strikes me that the bottom line is that the more one writes on a regular basis, ideally daily, the more success will be achieved in the shortest amount of time — in terms of engagement, pay and being named a top writer. I think you and Shannon are prime examples.
The problem for many of us is that we are overwhelmed with our day jobs and the general work/life/family balance. This may not leave much time to carve out for writing on a daily or weekly basis. I suppose the other argument is that there are always ways to find more time, like less sleep, etc.
During my first year in the partner program (2018) I wrote more frequently, was designated a top writer for several topics, and made more money. However, due to the aforementioned factors above, I’ve had to limit my writing here in 2019 to roughly once a month. The other complicating factor is that I’m a ghostwriter, which is what really helps pay the bills — and they don’t call it “ghost” for nothing. Thus I shy away from over exposure. Medium is more of a hobby. I used to write primarily on LinkedIn and other platforms prior to joining the partner program.
Lastly, below are two articles on this subject matter which may be of interest to you and others. The first one is about my initial experience on Medium. The second is about what you highlighted: leveraging social media marketing to reach a broader audience and amplify your message.
Again, thanks for sharing your excellent observations, and thanks for being a writing role model here.