pawan@prepawan.com

Medium: The Definitive Guide

medium guide

“What is Medium?”

“How do I use Medium?”

“Why should I use Medium (isn’t it just another platform like Facebook and Twitter)?”

These are the questions that I’m getting from the last few days from my readers and fellow writers.

And I decided to write a step-by-step guide to Medium that helps beginners to use this beautiful platform (I love this platform more than my ex).

What you’ll discover in this story:

  • What is Medium?
  • How to use Medium to write and publish a story (that get real views)
  • How can you use it as a marketing tool?

So Let’s start…

What Is Medium?

Before you dive into using Medium, you should understand it. Every time when someone asks me what is medium?

I simply say: It’s a beautiful place to read and write. Period.

This platform is launched by Ev Williams (Twitter Co-founder) in 2012. Read what he said when he launched this platform:

Medium is a beautiful space for reading and writing — and little else. On Medium, you’re not alone. You write beside and with other people. Medium is not about who you are or whom you know, but about what you have to say.

Medium gives you an opportunity to reach a new audience with your amazing stories.

And the best part?

You don’t need to be a great writer to use Medium effectively. Just set up an account and start exploring this amazing platform. Read what fellow writers are sharing and write your story.

Put your writing in front of Medium’s 60 million monthly readers. That’s crazy number!

Let’s move to the next section where we’ll learn how to use medium rightly.

Beginner’s Guide to Write and Publish

A. Create Your Account

If you’re new to medium then first create an account. It merely takes a minute to create one.

Just go to medium.com and click on “Get Started or Sign In” button. After clicking the button, you’ll see a page where four sign in options are there: Twitter, Facebook, Google and Email. See the screenshot below:

Medium account

I recommend signing up with your existing Facebook or Twitter account. WHY?

That way you won’t need to create your medium audience from scratch. All your social media connections who are on Medium will automatically become your followers.

Sounds Amazing, isn’t?

What If I sign up with an email?

I hear you ask…

You can go with this option and connect your social media accounts later under settings menu. See Here:

setting

Now it’s time to add your Medium profile pic and write a short bio (Max. 160 characters). In setting menu you can select your preferences and change your profile URL. I recommend to customize your profile URL.

profile URL

Now it’s time to follow relevant publications, tags and people. Publications are collections of theme based stories and you can also create your own publication here. Tags are like hashtags that help you to organize and discover content on Medium. When you write a story, you can add up to five tags.

customize interest

Once you’re set with customizing your profile, it’s time to create your first story.

B. Writing Your First Medium Story

Click on your top right corner picture and select “New Story” from the drop down menu.

new story

A beautiful formatting of your story can help you to bring success on Medium. Medium’s editor is neat and simple. Ample whitespaces to make the reading experience more pleasant. No fancy fonts and color.

Text Formatting

When you highlight the text, you’ll see different formatting options: Bold, Italic and Hyperlink. You can perform any of these options on your text.

text format

You can also make your text BIG T (Like H1)…

BIG text

Or Small T (Like H2)

small Text

And editor offers two different styles of blockquote. First one is:

blockquote

And second one:

blockquote-2

Medium’s drop cap feature let you get little fancy. The best time to use this option is when you start a new point.

dropcap

You can add a private note by selecting the lock icon. Like this:

private notes

Want to separate different sections of your story? Medium provides separator option. Just click on the “+” icon:

separator

And select that “two little line” icon:

separator icon

Adding Media

You can easily insert images, videos or other media into your medium story. Just click on the plus icon and you’ll see four options there: Upload an image, directly search an image on Unsplash (Free image source), insert a video URL, or insert the embed code of media.

media icons

When you upload an image, editor will provide you four different image display options (depends upon the size of your image): Left aligned, center aligned, wide, and full width.

image formatting

C. Publish Your Story (and Share Draft)

Are you done with editing and ready to publish?

Awesome!

On the right top corner, you’ll see two options: Share and Publish.

When you click on share button, it will generate a link to your draft and you can share this link with your friend or someone else to proofread it.

The best part?

They can also leave their suggestions or thoughts as private notes.

share draft

Clicking the publish button will open a menu where you can select up to five relevant tags to your story. Medium recommends tags by default but you can also create your own new tags.

publish-button

Now you can hit the publish button to show your story to the world.

But wait, there’s more…

Want to publish your story in the evening while you’re watching a movie with friends?

Just click on publish and you’ll see scheduling option there. See here:

scheduling

And select the date and time when you want to publish your story.

scheduling time

There’s one more secret…

Medium creates an automatic URL to your story but if you don’t like it then you can customize your story URL.

That’s a great deal, right?

Just click on the three dotted line right after the publish button and select “Customize Link”

customize link

And create your own link…

create link

D. Track Your Story Stats

Medium allows you to track how your stories are performing. Just click on your profile photo and select ‘Stats” from the drop down menu.

stats

When you land on the “stats” page, you’ll see the average number of views and reads you have received over the last 30 days.

medium stats

You can also track the individual stats for your each story.

story stats

Here you can track four different metrics:

  • Views (People who visited your story)
  • Reads (A number of people read your story)
  • Read Ratio (The difference between views and reads)
  • Fans (A number of people clap for your story)

From where my audience is coming – Did you ask this question?

Well, Medium allows you to see referral channels. Just click on the “Referrers” and you’ll land on the page where you can check the sources.

traffic source

How to Use Medium As a Marketing Channel

Are you a business or a blog owner?

If your answer is affirmative to this question, then medium offers you some great opportunities. Let’s look at some marketing tactics

A. Re-publish Your Content On Medium

Medium allows you to republish articles from your blog or your guest posts (I recommend taking permission first from the publication where you wrote the guest post).

Tim Denning, Buffer, and Hubspot all do this successfully and their articles are popular on Medium.

The good news?

You don’t need to write new content, just show your evergreen old content to Medium audience.

How can you do the same?

Just select the “stories” from the drop down menu.

stories

Then, click on Import a story

import story

Enter link to your published blog post and edit it on Medium. I recommend tweaking your article title to make it more compelling and add some high quality images.

story link

Medium automatically added a note at the end of post to the original article link. See this:

B. Re-purpose Your Text Article Into Visual Content

Don’t just post text content. Re-purpose your old blog post into a comic, illustration, or infographic. And see how audience reacts to visual content.

I published an illustrated form of one of my old articles and It received really a good engagement. See the image below:

visual content

C. Get Some Subscribers

Medium is a great channel to get some potential subscribers to you. How?

Just enter one or two sentences at the end of your post and link back to your blog/website or your ebook landing page (As a Call to Action). See how I do this:

call to action

Or you can also build a beautiful sign up form and embed it into your medium story. Upscribe is a great platform to build forms and grow your mailing list.

sign up form

My Medium Tips and Hacks for You

I believe now you have a good idea of using Medium, here are my personal advice and hacks that I follow.

1. Write Consistently

Nothing can beat the consistency. You must hangout with consistency. Medium readers like consistency. Try to publish 3 articles in a week. Always remember practice makes you better writer. Develop writing habit. And stop worrying about a great writer, Just write. Everyday!

When I first started using the Medium, my stories got almost zero views.

Crickets.

But I started writing (and publishing) every day and it helped me to grow my viewership and followers. Now my stories get more than 10 K views average in a month. It’s just a starting.

2. Brainstorm Ideas

I hear people saying, “I don’t know what to write or I don’t have writing ideas.”

Just a blank paper.

If you’re experiencing this. Here are some brainstorming tips that I use.

brainstorming hacks

3. Write for a Reputed Medium Publication

I recommend you write on popular medium publications like The Mission, The Startup, Personal Growth, and The Writing Cooperative. You can find the top medium publications here.

medium publications

These publications will help you to find a great number of readers for your story and build followers and subscribers.

4. Write Responses on Other Writers’ Stories

Medium responses are not like traditional comments that appear at the bottom of an article.

When you write a response on Medium, it treated as a story where you can add tags. And it will be shown on your profile page.

Additional, It can also help to build relationship with writers when you’re new to this platform.

responses

Now It’s Your Turn

Now you have an idea on how to use Medium. What are you waiting for? Just go to the Medium and draft your first story and you’ll get to know many things in your journey.

Do you have any query about Medium? Or do you want to share any medium tips that I’ve missed here? I’d love to hear your experiences. Drop your thoughts in the comment section below!

Thanks for listening!

 

4 Comments

  1. That was an elaborate and neatly described way for beginners to get accustomed to medium! Very helpful 🙂 I am sure many writers would sign up as soon as they check this article! Congratulations! Keep them coming.

    1. First off, thanks for reading and sharing your amazing thoughts here Mohitha 😀 Glad to hear you find it helpful. You rock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *