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Have you heard about Medium yet? This free online publishing platform was developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and launched in August 2012, and it’s really taken off! In fact, according to Alexa, it’s now one of the top 200 sites in the U.S. Medium is an amazing resource for content marketers, with elements of a social media network, blogging platform
On a different note, while many content marketers think of Medium as a place to only promote their own content, it’s also an amazing place to get insights from other content marketers. Read on to learn more about what makes Medium so important - as well as tips for using this platform for business and personal branding.
Why is Medium So Popular?
Brands love Medium because they can sponsor stories written by influencers and post their own content on popular topics. Marketers love Medium because they can amplify their content and reach a bigger audience. Readers love Medium because it provides a simple interface for them to read about topics in which they’re interested.
Medium has succeeded because its primary focus is readers. Unlike the clickbait articles we’re all growing immune to, Medium’s algorithm can’t be manipulated by clicks, shares, or likes. It focuses solely on reading time - showing authors how engaged their audience really is. Posts gain visibility based on the number of reads, reads to views ratio, views, and recommendations. It’s an ideal platform for in-depth advice on just about any topic. Readers can follow authors or publications they like and share, comment on, recommend, bookmark, or write responses to their posts. Those who prefer to take a more laid-back approach and simply observe can do that, as well.
How Do Medium Publications Work?
Medium Publications are curated collections of stories around a particular topic. They can be created by anyone using the platform, as well as by Medium itself. Publications may have a collection of regular contributors, or the editor(s) of the publications may simply reshare stories from a wide variety of individuals. Anyone can submit a publication on Medium, but it may or may not be accepted by the editorial team. FInd the submission guidelines for publications here.
How to Create Stories on Medium
As mentioned, Medium’s Stories are organized into Collections, which are created by both users and Medium itself. Stories are not dated and are not organized by publish date. In addition to following the Collections they like, users can also “Recommend” particular Stories to others. This action influences how often a Story is shown throughout the platform. Medium’s Top 100 list hosts the month’s best content, as determined by Medium’s editors and algorithms.
To create your own content, click “New Story” and begin writing directly into the platform’s text editor. You can copy and paste an existing post into Medium’s text editor and republish it if it’s yours to do so (i.e. your blog content or Linkedin posts). Don’t worry about Google’s duplicate content rules. The search engine is now intelligent enough to understand content promotion across different channels. One you publish and people start seeing your posts, you can see analytics, including views (how many people have seen your story), read ratio (the percentage of a post that the users actually read), reads (whether or not the story was read), and recs (how many times the story was recommended).
Reading for Content Marketers - Medium Publications
Here are two Publications by Medium and Bloglovin’ that you may want to follow.
Strategic Content Marketing brings together different types of marketers and creatives to discuss content marketing strategy. Topics range from “Why Storytelling is Your Best Content Marketing Strategy to “How to Build Quality Backlinks to Boost Your Online Profile.”
Influence is a publication by Bloglovin’, a blog influencer community composed of 8 million users. The publication focuses on social media and influencer marketing, providing tips for influencers and brands. Followers can also download research and white papers and RSVP to upcoming marketing events.
In addition to these publications, there are tons of content marketing thought leaders on the platform. If you’re looking for the best and brightest experts and advice on content marketing, click the “follow” button.
Jay Baer is one of the biggest names in content marketing and the founder of Convince & Convert. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author and global keynote speaker.
Jeff is regularly cited as one of content marketing’s “top influencers.” He’s a classic example of someone who’s grown successful sharing his expertise on content marketing and social media through his personal blog and a great promotion strategy.
The founder of Wordstream, Larry King talks about topics ranging from entrepreneurship to social media advertising. There are lots of great posts with practical tips for content marketers, including recent post titles such as “The Content Types that are NOT a Waste of Your Time” and “27 Great Content Marketing Tips According to Hard Data.”
What Content Marketers Can Learn from Medium?
There are probably hundreds of takeaways content marketers can learn from Medium, but here are three to get you started.
1. Take Risks. Try new platforms, and find new ways to use existing ones. Great storytellers with excel on any platform with the right promotion. Find what works best for you.
2. Invest in Long-Form Content--if you haven’t done so already. Content that educates and inspires is not going away; it’s becoming more popular than ever. Try your best to provide information customers can’t find anywhere else.
3. Focus on Great Ideas. Ideas are becoming more important than authority. On Medium, great content is recognized for its popularity, not who wrote it or how many dollars have been spent on promotion. Cite references, add illustrations, and write amazing copy to get your content on top.
Tips for Succeeding on Medium
Now you know what Medium can teach you outside of the platform, here’s what you need to know about optimizing your presence on the platform.
1. Don’t Forget About CTAs. Calls-to-actions are important on any piece of content, but especially so on Medium when it’s all about the reader. Try creating an image-based footer than links back to your website to drive traffic. And don’t forget to add CTAs to your content outside of Medium, as well.
2. Build Your on Publication. Publications offer your brand more customization options. Focus on a specific niche, and create a custom url that fits your brand. Choose custom logos and a bold header image to make a strong impression.
3. Don’t Miss Out on the Formatting Options. Medium offers many “hidden” formatting options that you may not see when you only use the popup toolbar. Blockquotes are a great option to catch the reader’s attention, and make sure any code is formatted correctly.
4. Share Medium Content on Other Platforms. Don’t rely on Medium’s algorithm alone to get your content in front of new readers. You should also share your Medium content on your established social media channels. Eventually, you may see the majority of your content views coming directly from the platform, but an initial nudge will be extremely helpful.
5. Work with External Writers. There are tons of great writers on Medium that push on excellent content on a consistent basis. If you’re stretch for resources (or even if you aren’t!), reach out to writers in your industry and ask them to contribute to your publication. This type of symbiotic relationship will be extremely beneficial for your brand.
Have you posted any content on Medium? If so, what kind of results did you see? Comment with your takeaways and tips for other readers!