So, you’ve got a great concept for your blog and you know you have something important to say. The next big question is: How are you going to get your message out there? How will the people most interested in your particular area of expertise ever know your blog exists?
With literally hundreds of different blogging platforms to choose from, it can be tough for newbie (and even not-so-newbie) bloggers to figure out which one will give their message maximum impact. Fortunately, there are publishing platforms such as Medium that work to get your content read by as large and targeted an audience as possible. Even if you have next to no techie skills.
What makes Medium different from other blog hosting sites?
Medium has been getting a lot of attention lately, with many claiming it’s transformed their content strategy. Like other hosting platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr, Medium is a place to publish your blog.
But it’s more than just a blog hosting site.
In order to use Medium for maximum effect, you should know about some of the features that make it stand out from the crowd:
It attracts readers, not just writers
One of the things that's special about Medium is that it doesn't just facilitate the publishing of your blog, it connects you to a whole community of people interested in what you have to say.
Medium pitches itself to readers, not just to writers. This is reflected in the site's tagline: 'A place to read and write big ideas and important stories.'
When you open Medium's homepage, you don't see details of hosting packages or blogging tools. Instead, you see an array of well-organized articles presented in a clean and professional way with interesting titles that make you want to read more. You can easily get lost clicking on articles and reading novel ideas even if you only came to the site looking to start a blog, with no intention of reading anything at all!
Medium is any curious reader's dream, and that's what makes it such a powerful platform for bloggers.
When you have an account with Medium, the site will use your reading history and your interactions with articles to determine your interests and preferences and to display articles that are relevant to you. As a blogger, your articles are shown to people who are interested in your topic without you having to search them out.
It has a simple editing interface
Medium is designed with non-technical folks in mind. That is to say, people who are expert in their field and know how to write about it, but don't necessarily have coding and web development skills. The whole idea is to get professional-looking, great quality content out there without complicating things with lots of plug-ins and gimmicks.
The editing interface is far simpler than most blogging platforms and has fewer customizable elements.
This may be frustrating for those who like adding extra code and functionality to their site. It also makes Medium less attractive to bloggers who require components such as e-commerce and advanced audio-visual.
But for writers who want to focus on content rather than code, this is a dream come true!
Quality writing gets profiled
A major incentive for bloggers to publish on Medium is the exposure that great content gets.
Articles are reviewed by Medium's team of editors (called 'curators') and the best ones are featured on the homepage, app and in the daily Digest emails.
This can attract hundreds of new followers you never would have connected with otherwise. What's more, some big-name publishers are known to skim through Medium articles scouting out new talent.
How to get your writing noticed on Medium
So, what do Medium's curators looking for when they read articles, and what can you do to achieve the holy grail of Medium blogging: a spot at the top of the homepage and a feature in its email Digest?
Produce high quality content
By far the most important thing you can do if you’re looking for favor with Medium's editorial team is to write truly amazing articles.
This means good English without typos and grammatical mistakes. It means clear, well-researched and thought-provoking text. If your article has factual errors, sounds too much like a sales-pitch or is obviously a reworded version of some other article, it will immediately get the thumbs down.
Write about something you're passionate and knowledgeable about and try to find an unusual angle or some sort of twist that will make it unique.
Use pictures to maximum effect
Medium's editing platform makes it very easy to incorporate images into your blog.
Choosing the right pictures is key to bringing the text to life and enticing your followers to read more. When you're choosing pictures, think about the look and feel of the whole article. You don't want to pack the page with so many images that it disturbs the reading experience, but on the other hand, well-placed, relevant pictures can make a long piece of text look more inviting. Go for pictures that complement each other with their themes and color schemes.
Most importantly of all, make sure you have the correct permissions for any images you use. That's something that Medium's curators check.
Take a look at this article where a few well-chosen photos bring life and depth to the text.
Come up with an awesome title
When you visit the Medium homepage, you see a selection of article titles with their main image and half a line of text. That title is all you really have to make people want to click.
You need to think hard and choose those few title words very carefully. Try to come up with an unusual headline - something thought-provoking and surprising, something that poses a question that just burns for an answer.
Enjoy the journey
Don't look at Medium at an algorithm to solve or a set of rules to follow. If you are genuinely excited about your topic and love what you're writing, it will show!
While you can always pick up helpful tips about writing styles or blog design, there's nothing more powerful when it comes to engaging followers and building a community of readers than your own enthusiasm.
Blog about something you really enjoy and let your own personality shine!