Hi :) love to answer your questions!
- A call to action is actually forbidden on Medium, according to the Content Guidelines. In fact asking for claps is forbidden but many people do it and I see it continously. I have no clue how they realized that I did it and mailed me!
- Publications generally favor new articles! Some didn’t accept old ones at all, others do accept but if possible I would recommend submitting unpublished stories :)
- Good question about feature pictures! Unfortunately I didn’t find out yet! I tried to create my own pictures for some time but I didn’t see the value in it. There are some stockphotos that you see over and over again, i guess that’s the worse thing you can do and I believe that creating own pictures which include the title and have a unique design might be the best to gain recognition value! I have seen some authors where you immediately recognize their work as the titles/pictures are always in the same style, that’s what I will aim for more and more in the future :)