How to Promote Your Stories Within Medium
You don't need social media to gain views and followers
We know it by now. Great writing is not enough in today's online world. With a mindblowing 7.5 million blog posts published each day, it's basically impossible to be discovered through great writing only. That leaves us writers with three other options to get views.
- Perfecting SEO techniques. I'm NOT going to talk about those today
- Consistency. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Promoting your work. On social media, if you like, but also within Medium.
I will focus on the third option here.
I've been writing on Medium for about 6 months now. So, I'm still a newbie. I managed to get a fairly decent viewership, read ratio, two bonuses, and 2200 followers in that time, however. Let me shed some light on how I did that and how I think promoting on Medium gives you good results. I'll also give you the perfect example of these tips at the end of my post.
1. Write great stuff and refer back to it
The first two steps don't contain much promoting at all. Still, they're vital for success on Medium and elsewhere because they pull together all three points I made at the beginning of my post: SEO, consistency, and promotion.
The first step - not surprisingly - is writing great stuff. The news here is that you don't have to knock it out of the park with every single post. Unless you're an absolute writing genius, this will only lead you to failure or burnout. Writing something good consistently will work just as well - if not better - than writing something great every once in a while. Consistent output will do a lot in terms of promoting because your followers will find you more often on the Medium homepage.
The next step is linking. When you write a lot, you have a lot to refer back to. Backlinking and crosslinking between posts are vital for SEO and promotion. It keeps your readers on your profile longer.
2. Get into publications
Tip number 2 is again no active promotion on your part. Get your stories into fitting publications on Medium. No need to shoot for the biggest ones all the time. Smaller publications with a fitting niche will work just as well. It's a good idea to try several publications. To see which fits you best. Remember to read their guides on how to submit and what to write. Many publications will also do their part in promoting your articles on social media and beyond.
An underappreciated part of success on Medium is commenting, I think. This is a community - much like a social media platform. But with long-form content. Nevertheless, engaging and commenting are at the heart of every online community.
I read a lot here. I comment quite often. I do think that this has a lot to do with my follower count. I also like to follow people that leave helpful comments on my posts. But please no follow for a follow mentality. I found some of my favorite writers through their comments.
4. Tagging other writers
Another tip to promote your writing a well as other great authors is by tagging them within your post. I've done that on multiple occasions. Most notably in my post on "5 Top Writers in 10 Seriously Trending Tags on Medium" 2021. I got responses from quite a few of them on this post. I highly appreciate that.
Now, a disclaimer: It won't help to mention the biggest Medium names in your stories all the time. These writers - as lovely and good-hearted as they are - receive thousands of notifications each day. They can't possibly get to every single one. So, don't be mad that they don't react. Instead, focus on tagging a couple of "smaller" names. They'll likely respond. And you might build a great new connection.
5. Use shortform content
You may or may not know that Medium offers a format they call "shortform". It's basically what it sounds like. A short article, around or under 150 words. Think of it as Twitter for Medium.
This short format allows you to improve on all the three points I made in the beginning. SEO through backlinking, consistency through more output, and promotion.
Let's dive deeper into this. The perfect use case for shortform posts, in my opinion, is promoting your long-form articles. By summing them up or giving details about the long-form story. Then you link to that long-form post in your shortform story and voilà. SEO, consistency, promoting.
The perfect example
I'll give you a perfect example of these tips: Kristina God. She's doing fantastic on Medium. I love her stories. She offers a range of topics and perspectives. And she does all the things on my list here to perfection. That led to several viral articles and over 600 followers in 6 months. Let's see how.
- Writing great stuff: ✔ check! Just take a look at her profile to see the range of topics she covers.
- Getting into publications: ✔ check! Kristina writes for Modern Parent, she's been featured in Feedium, The Motherload, In Fitness And In Health, Illumination, and more.
- Commenting: ✔ check! I found Kristina through a lovely comment she left on one of my stories. I started following her. And I have read a lot since. See how these tips work ;-)
- Tagging other writers: ✔ check! Kristina consistently tags other Medium writers. In this post, she mentions multiple people who in turn responded to her in the comments.
- Use shortform: ✔ check! Kristina is a pro here. I learned this from her. She extensively uses shortform posts - often published in "The Shortform" by Tom Fenske - to accompany her long-form stories. I love it. I have found several of her longer posts through these shortforms.
With these 5 tips, you will be able to promote your work on Medium without the hassle of consistently venturing to social media. Because let's be real: Social media promotion is not fun. It has its advantages, no doubt, but I think you don't need to rely on that. It's more important to use Medium to its full potential. Take a look at Kristina God to get a feel on how to use Medium the right way.
If you like to experience Medium yourself, consider supporting me and thousands of other writers by signing up for a membership. It only costs $5 per month, it supports us, writers, greatly, and you have the chance to make money with your writing as well. Of course, you can cancel the membership anytime. By signing up with this link, you'll support me directly with a portion of your fee, it won't cost you more. If you do so, thank you a million times!