Medium is possibly the best blogging platforms out there right now which offer free blogging. Here’s a run-through on Medium on how to start a blog on the platform and ensure you’re using it like a pro.
What is Medium?
Medium is a wonderful content discovery platform that helps you discover the musings and thoughts of intellectuals from across the globe. Medium bills itself as a platform for people and not advertisers. Its thankfully ad-free.
What are the membership options available?
Medium has two kinds of memberships – Free and Paid.
Free membership allows you to read through any number of general articles (probably 90% of Medium) and read up to 3 expert stories every month.
The paid membership costs $5 per month and here you can read any number of expert stories. Expert stories are in depth articles from bestselling authors, top journalists and the thinkers who are paid a percentage of your membership money every time their article is read.
How can I sign up?
Sign up is super easy. Just log on to Medium.com and sign in via Google or Facebook. I personally recommend that you create Medium profiles based on your Facebook or Twitter logins. All your friends who are on your list from these channels will automatically become your followers on Medium and you will get the initial momentum.
If you’ve created an account earlier and just forgotten about it, chances are you signed up from Twitter or email like I did last year.
How to publish an article on Medium?
Well the design on Medium is super intuitive so the publishing part is super easy
Click on your image on the top right corner and then click on New Story
Once clicked, you will see the following screen where you can type your brain and heart out.
Will share some specific curated tips on these at the end of this article.
Write and format as per your wish and when done, hit the green “Publish” button on the top right of the screen. It will now prompt you to add “Tags.”
Do not forget to tag your content wisely and well.
Tags are like bookmarks based on which readers across the globe find new content to read.
Once you’ve figured out Medium to an extent and written a few articles, you can go for creating a publication. This one is most relevant for businesses who want to focus on a core metric to be associated with it but is equally important as a way to cement your personal branding. A publication is like a virtual magazine that you read articles from.
For e.g., my company Alore CRM is a software platform which includes a CRM, email finder, DRIP campaign scheduler, calendar and sales calls tracker. Everything that helps a sales team save time and money and become more productive. So what we themed our publication around was productivity.
Now note, we have our publication themed around Productivity and we write articles on various aspects of business that thrives or dwells in productive environments – entrepreneurship, productivity, leadership, personal development etc.
Now note, articles published here bolster your personal brand as much as your publication.
A cool thing about having your own publication is the feature of “Letters”
Letters allows you to write a newsletter or note to all the followers of your publication and share your new articles or updates etc. So your followers always have the latest news from you.
If this looks too much, you can also choose to write as a guest contributor for other publications. Eg Our Hustler-in-chief Vikas Jha writes for HackerNoon which is a popular publication on technology and growth hacking.
Writing in publications is a symbiotic relationship. The publication gains from showing your thoughts and benefitting from the website traffic you drew in. You gain from larger exposure than you could have got of you published on your own.
Medium analytics and Stats:
Medium also allows you to see what content from you is working well and what not with the option to monitor stats.
The following is the performance stats of an article we wrote two years ago but still has regular viewers in-spite of no distribution efforts for this article. This indicates people are interested in it.
Medium also doesn’t count the number of reads that come in via RSS and has a very interesting metric called the Read Ratio – It means what is the average percentage of the article people read before they abandon the page. Higher the reader ratio better is the article engagement.
A minus on stats On Medium that I’ve found mildly irritating is that it doesn’t allow you to see a geographic spread of those who read. This might be useful feature to see which part of the world finds this most valuable. (Peeps at medium are you listening?)
In case you have bene blogging regularly but just on another platform, Medium allows you to re-publish the articles on Medium (Content syndication). It forms a canonical backlink to your original article and hence Goggle doesn’t punish you for the duplicate content but treats it as a backlink improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Here is the link to import your articles : https://medium.com/p/import
Some pro tips on Medium to ace it from Day 1:
For the Title:
1. The average headline length was found to be 42 characters after analysing top 100 performing articles.
2. Brand well. Writing on Medium is an excellent way for personal branding. Try to have a good cover image and stylise it to make yourself stand out.
3. In the title, articles featuring sentence case rather than Title case performed better with about 20% more recommends.
4. Use of power words in title increases recommends by 21% . eg Challenge, revolutionary, actionable, Top etc.
For the content body
5. Place backlinks or CTAs across your article to lead prospects to what you would like them to see. Use the free Google UTM tool to better track what interested the prospects most.
6. Use an email capture tool like Upscribe for collecting emails from your articles on Medium. You can create your personal following based on this list.
7. You can create a photo grid by selecting multiple images simultaneously as well. Medium shows up to 3 in a single row.
8. Short posts with about 400 words i.e. 3-minute reads, were most popular.
9. Currently for long posts, about 1800 words i.e. read time of 8 minutes is considered the best and shared most if written well. (Used to 7 mins back in 2016)
10. On Medium you can also link the images. Use it well to direct people to what you want them to see next.
11. Best Days to publish on Medium – Tuesday Or Saturday mornings. Seen to increase recommends by up to 33%. Source: Ryan McCready
12. Worst day to publish new content on Medium – Monday
13. To see the top publications to follow and engage with on Medium Check out – https://toppub.xyz/
Happy writing !!
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