Have you heard of Medium? It’s been labeled the blog killer.
I’m not so sure about that, but what I do know is that it’s an effective platform to get your message out into the world, build a thriving audience, and sell like gangbusters.
With over 80 million visitors a month, there’s room for any niche you can think of.
I’ve been on the platform for a while, but have only used it sporadically. While there, I’ve watched people with no prior audience, ok writing skills, and determination build huge audiences and leverage them to successfully launch businesses, books, and online courses.
I took a deep look at the keys to the success of popular writers and found they have all have similarities.
In this post, I’m going to share what I’ve discovered so you can use it to build your platform, attract a thriving audience, and of course – sell books.
All great things start small. Your Medium profile is no exception. It’s the first thing people see when they land on your account page. It lets them know what you stand for, who you are, and what they can expect from you.
Darius Foroux is one of the most popular writers on Medium.
His profile tells you what he is/does and asks a pointed question “want to live a productive life?” To top it off, he throws in social proof about the size of his mailing list. 20,000+ is definitely a reason to take him seriously.
You don’t need to put your numbers in your profile, but you should check these boxes:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What they can expect from you.
When you supply that information, you increase the chances they’ll follow you and engage with the rest of your writing. An engaged audience is a loyal audience.
Writing that Caters to Medium
Medium, like other platforms, rewards some content more than others. Of course, you should always follow best practices when writing and cater to your audience’s needs. I know I don’t need me to remind you about how to format and edit either.
That’s not what here for.
I’m referring to the specific types of content that do well on Medium. When you incorporate these articles into your workflow, you get more traction, shares, and followers in a shorter amount of time.
Yes, the internet has made it hard to ignore them. Usually, they don’t offer much value, but I know you won’t make clickbait.
Anyways, a good listicle is informative, to the point, and easily digested.
Are there any popular topics that can tie into your writing niche? For example, maybe Drake just completed a grueling world tour; can you take lessons from that and tie it into an article on productivity? (“7 Things we can learn from Drake about Productivity”)
You take what’s already being fueled by popular media and make it your own.
How To’s / what I learned.
How to’s are like the holy grail on Medium. Coming close behind them are articles detailing a personal experience and what you learned from it. No matter whom you are, where you come from, and what you’ve done —there’s an interesting story there.
I recently read a story that highlighted the effects of blogging every day. It was a well written and engaging case study — the verdict — it doesn’t work.
Dress up your experiences and make them presentable. You are a writer aren’t you; this should be a piece of cake. The added benefit is allowing your audience to connect with the person behind the words. They get to understand you as a person apart from your work.
Publications – your secret sauce
Even if you do everything else right, your reach will be limited on Medium. The best quality — the number of users — is also the worst one. Your writing can easily be drowned by more established authors.
Medium publications will help you avoid this fate. They’re like magazines unique to the platform that help you reach their audience. Once your story is published within a publication, it shows up on the timeline of their followers which gives you massive exposure.
Each one has its own guidelines and requirements for submitting. Once you’re accepted as an author you can continue to submit every story you write without going through a formal pitching process.
To get inside the publications, you have to pitch the editors a draft of your story. The tricky part is finding the editors email address. Some of the smaller publications list it on their about page. Most don’t.
Instead, navigate to the editor’s profile, then to their social accounts, and then to their personal or business website. Most of the time, you can find an email you can use to submit your draft. Pitch it the same way you’d pitch any other work.
Target publications with at least 10,000 followers.
Medium is a huge and highly engaged platform that doesn’t take rocket science to master. The first prerequisite is to write what people want to read. After that create a strong profile, cater to your Medium audience, and get accepted to multiple publications.
Let me know your experience using Medium in the comments.