If you have been doing content marketing or blogging for a while, you might have heard of this little thing called Medium.
But what exactly is Medium?
In a nutshell, Medium kind of like a mix between Twitter and blogging. But what makes Medium special is its algorithmic timeline that curates exciting stories for the readers.
Since Medium’s algorithm prioritises quality over recency, the site actually rewards excellent content, no matter how old it is.
It’s not uncommon to see high-quality content featured at the top, even though it is relatively old.
This is great for readers because the most prominent content that they see may not be the most recent, but it is almost always the cream of the crop.
And then there’s the interface and look. No matter how bad a piece of writing is, it’s virtually impossible to make it look horrible on Medium.
All text and image formatting is carefully controlled to make publishers who aren’t great in design the ability to produce beautiful articles without sacrificing individuality.
Together, these elements make Medium an enjoyable experience for anyone who likes to read.
Why should you choose to publish on Medium, when you already have your own blog?
There are several benefits, but these are some of the biggest perks:
Reaching New Audiences
Medium's key feature for marketers is its algorithmic timeline. This exposes your content to different audiences would have heard of you.
Essentially, Medium builds you a new audience for you, whether you already have a big following or not.
The key is getting other people (readers or other writers) to recommend your posts. On Medium, it's all about claps.
If you can get 200 claps within the first 24 hours after publishing, you will land yourself among the top stories of the day – and be featured prominently on the website and in the app.
Be discovered and featured on big publication sites
Due to the overwhelming number of guest posting email requests they get, most of the large publishers no accept guest posts from bloggers.
However, these guys are still continually hunting for new content and contributors for their sites. And Medium is one of the few places they are looking at.
If you're consistently publishing interesting posts, and getting people’s attention, eventually you'll strike gold eventually.
So why would anyone want to be featured on a big publisher?
Other than social proof for you and your business, having a site like Business Insider, Huffington Post, or New York Observer linking back to your site can give your SEO a significant boost.
It saves you time
Medium has a ton of features that are really great for the modern content marketer.
From importing existing blog articles to connecting Facebook followers, and metrics tracking, any blogger, will be pleased to find a whole slew of time-saving options at their disposal.
And don’t forget the design of Medium is clean and modern, which saves you time from building up a good looking blog website from scratch.
Tips to Growing Your Medium Page
Medium is a different beast from other social media platforms. While anyone can quickly get 150+ followers on Instagram, not everyone can easily achieve 100 followers on Medium.
The general idea of using Medium as a marketing tool is to build up traffic and followers with great content, then direct the traffic to your business and convert your traffic into customers.
While these sound like a simple strategy, growing a Medium page requires a mix of effort and quality.
These are some practical methods you can use to grow your Medium page.
Publish often and stay active.
You will not achieve amazing results on this Medium if you’re just around to check for notifications and leave. You need to dedicate time to spend on the platform.
The good news about Medium is that you don’t need any new content to start publishing. If you’re already a blogger, you can easily import your existing content onto Medium and have a ton of content at your disposal.
Once you’ve got things started, be willing to write at least one article per week if you’re genuinely looking to grow on Medium.
Doing so will help your SEO as you are not just depending on your duplicate content, but using new original content too.
Medium is a community-based platform, so outreach is a highly recommended activity.
Go read other people’s articles and giving them feedback. Look through hashtags of topics that are related to your niche, finding some articles and really read through them.
Don’t just skim and leave a “nice article” comment. Remember, Medium isn’t like Instagram. Ask questions. Engage the writer. Provide valuable feedback.
Try to work Medium time into your daily schedule and spend time interacting with the community. When you put in the effort, you’ll find that this is all it takes to get the ball rolling on Medium.
Publish quality content and aim to get featured in publications.
As mentioned earlier, publication sites like Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post are huge.
When your article gets featured on a site with over 100k followers, you can expect to get in front of 40k people or more potentially.
And the backlinks that these sites give is going to boost your SEO and put you high on the radar as a recognised authority for your potential customers.
This is why you should aim to get noticed by publishers. Always try to write a better article than your last.
Understand what people want to read about, and what are the questions that are still unanswered in your niche.
For example, if you are in the business of selling vehicles, you can find an interesting topic to write about. Do red cars cost more to insure than any other coloured cars? Do furry dice cause your car to fail MOT inspection?
Cover a wide variety of topics related to your niche when you are just getting started and see which ones are getting a good response from readers. Don’t be afraid to diversify your writing.
One way to help you get published is to see what type of material these publications are running. You’re not going to see gossip news on Forbes.
And don’t forget the use of proper hashtags. In Medium, they are highly essential to let publications find you or your content easily.
There are a ton of different publications in any form of niche where the owners are continually looking for hidden gems that are worth publishing.
You don’t have to always aim for Forbes or HuffPost, especially if your niche does not align with their content.
Study what does well on Medium
The most important thing you need to know to achieve marketing success on Medium is that while it’s not easy, it’s not a shot in the dark either.
It takes a fair amount of observation and research to know what sticks and what doesn’t.
You need to know what it takes to go viral. More importantly, what type of stories perform well.
Why is it that readers enjoy one story and not the other. What makes a story share-worthy. How to make good content stand out. To create winning content on Medium, you must first recognise what it takes.
Based on my research, the best articles that do well on Medium (or any other platforms, to be honest):
- Tells a good story.
- Uses simple language that everyone can understand.
- Can elicit the readers’ emotions.
- Are easily relatable.
- Provide value to the readers, whether it’s entertainment, educational, or even both.
- Takes a unique perspective on an issue.
Be seen everywhere
You will be surprised how commenting can help you create an omnipresence on Medium.
Follow some of the top performing writers that get around 3k+ claps on average for their posts. Read their articles and comment something meaningful on it.
When you comment on these type of articles, you can sometimes get more views on your comment than your best pieces.
Only when you achieve omnipresence, you can become on top of mind with the Medium audience, and start generating a following, and hopefully drive traffic towards your business.
Make judicious use of tags
You should start bookmarking articles on Medium that you’d like to reference.
If you feel there’s something relevant in your article to another writer, tag them.
An example would be to tag a quote or sentence that they have used. Or perhaps, you want to quote one of your statements against with something they said.
The idea is not to feel intimidated about tagging other writers, even the most popular ones.
Because if you’re lucky, they might stop by and see why you tagged them. If they are impressed with what you wrote, they might even do you a favour and share your article with their followers.
Start by contributing to existing Medium publications
As mentioned earlier, Medium is a community-based platform. You can ride on the wings of already successful Medium blogs to help you achieve success.
For example, if you start off by contributing to The Ascent, The Startup, Personal Growth, or the Mission, you’ll be leveraging their massive follower base.
The Startup alone has more than 350,000 followers. It’s not difficult to achieve just 1% from this group if you can get your content in front of them.
To get picked up by these prominent publications, you need to grow your presence with outreach activities, such as sending claps, commenting on other people’s content.
It will be a time-consuming process, but the rewards can be significant.
Chances are, the first 5 to 10 of your Medium articles are not going to get read by anybody. And this can be demoralising for newcomers of the platform.
This is why importing existing content is useful. You can quickly build up your library of content, then start thinking about how to create unique articles to draw more engagement.
In due course, you will build an audience if you follow the steps mentioned above - publishing frequently, interacting with other writers, tagging other writers, comment on other people’s popular pieces, and aim to get published on big sites.
Having followers is not your top priority. While it does help, and you should entirely focus on getting more followers every day.
But what matters most is the amount of engagement you achieve through your content, such as the claps you get and the comments you receive.
Medium should be a supplement, not a replacement for your blog
Some people have already shifted all their blogging directly to Medium. This is a risky move.
Here are just a few reasons why you should continue blogging on your own business blog, and use Medium as a supplementary channel for your content.
1. You wish to build the authority of your own website on Google SEO, instead of giving all the benefit to Medium with your content.
2. You have more power to convert leads for your business when you are attracting traffic towards your own site. For example, you can make full use of every email opt-in mechanisms. Everything is all under your control. You can’t add a static bar or use a popup on Medium.
3. You can use other social media to share your content except with Twitter and Facebook.
4. You don’t control the content. This can be a risky move because anything can happen. What if:
o Medium’s authority gets downgraded by Google?
o They close your account due to some violation?
o They start introducing ads (like Facebook), and user experience suffers when reading your content?
o They restrict your reach unless you pay a premium fee?
5. Medium will content from other businesses to your readers. They could be from your competitors. With your own blog, you won’t have such issues.
6. You can’t make use of specific useful Wordpress plugins that help your SEO like Yoast or even Google Analytics to help you track your engagement.
Therefore, to gain the perks of Medium without suffering from the potential drawbacks, you should just publish on both your blog and on your Medium page.
At the end of the day, Medium is all about providing quality content and engagement to readers, the more you do it, the more attention you will bring to yourself and your business.
There is an incredible community on Medium, and you should use it as an advantage to build engagement with potential customers by creating a group of followers.
Like every marketing endeavour, you will need to be patient and consistent. And you will see the payoff sooner than you think.
About Murray Dare
A digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur,
Murray runs his marketing agency Murraydare.co.uk and several online startups.
Murray has helped startups and businesses achieve online success through a considered approach to marketing.