a complete guide on how to use this platform in your strategy – WAU
In the same shot, Medium became an incredible app for combining several unusual features. The first is the opportunity to create a blog without a headache, with an incredible design and customizable interface. In addition, this blogging platform itself is in charge of finding and distributing its content through […]
In the same shot, Medium became an incredible app for combining several unusual features.
The first is the opportunity to create a blog without a headache, with an incredible design and customizable interface. In addition, this blogging platform itself is in charge of finding and distributing its content through a vast network of readers and writers, such as a social network.
Added these and some other factors, posts on Medium have an immense potential for viralization.
Invented by the same creator of Blogger and Twitter, Medium is a very valid platform for Marketing professionals, bloggers and millions of readers avid for honest thoughts, tips and content.
Since mid-2017 I have been writing for Medium, particularly for the publication of Websites Are Us – Marketing Hackers – and I came here to share the lessons I learned along the way.
What is Medium?
Medium is nothing more than an amazing place to write and publish content.
The question that arises, in fact, is whether Medium was made for fast texts, thoughts or complex and extensive content.
In fact, I don’t think even the creators are concerned about that. His focus seems more on the writers than on the audience.
You don’t need skills in design, development, SEO etc. Just written.
How does Medium work?
If you are a person or a company, just create your account and start writing.
First, let’s have a conceptual change in terms that we’re used to. This is worth taking note of, as we will use this language going forward.
In Medium, what we know as an article, is called story.
And what we call a blog, is called publication.
A post on Medium – a story – is that piece of content written by anyone (be it a blogger, writer, journalist or influencer), and can vary in size and complexity.
Here are some of my favorite Medium posts.
And finally, there are Publications, which are like collections of articles, a curation of posts that are relevant to that topic. Its interface is exactly the same as a blog.
And how does this curation work? It’s simple: an author writes a post and that post can be included in a particular publication.
In addition to Marketing Hackers (I’m suspicious, but it’s my favorite!), Browse through some of the publications I like on Medium:
How to read an article on Medium?
As I said, Medium’s interface is very close to that of a blog. Within a story, you have the option of comment, like and share your favorite posts.
In addition, one of Medium’s biggest secrets is its ability to deliver relevant content. Want to know how this is done?
It is at this moment that his social media traits appear. That’s because you can follow users and publications on the network, in addition to stating your preference for certain subjects.
So, in addition to your homepage showing articles that have to do with your preferences, you still receive personalized lists of suggestions for content in your email, as a digestive.
But does not stop there. One of the most interesting features is in the interaction of the reader with the publisher.
The first one is to be able to highlight the excerpts that you liked most in a text. This, in itself, is already very cool and, for me, it should draw more attention from marketers outside Medium!
And that’s not just about highlighting your favorite stretch, but also leaving notes in the form of comments on the highlighted stretch and start a discussion from that markup!
This type of markup can be used in several ways:
- Before a story is published, you can ask for help from others to help review your content. Thus, users invited by you can leave notes on excerpts of your text, to suggest edits. This will not be seen by other users. This functionality is incredible, as it facilitates the creation of collaborative content – and Medium himself takes care of giving the credits to his reviewing friends, by means of a footnote.
- In addition, you as an author can mark specific excerpts from what you have written and create a comment from them, functioning as a footnote. It’s an interesting way to complement your content or add information when the context doesn’t help much.
The likes on Medium are measured in claps, and you can send as many claps as you like for the articles you like. It’s like you could clap your hands for something you liked very much.
Another interesting option is to save texts to read later, using a bookmark. This functionality is very similar to Pocket, but it is restricted to Medium articles.
And finally, the option to respond. Going far beyond a simple comment, it is possible to write an entire post in response to a story you read!
How to format text in Medium?
Medium, since its creation, seems to have a focus on excellence in design and UX. Nothing is ugly in this place!
Thus, it provides an intuitive experience for both readers and writers. There are many elements that can be explored to create flashy content and boost the format of your post.
See what the most formatting publications on Medium do:
When creating a post, there are dozens of elements for you to add to your format and create a design with your identity!
For example, you can use heading tags in different ways, each of which has a different size and volume.
In addition, when uploading photos, you can insert images in various types of size. You can adjust them to be from thumbnails to full-width images.
Another very interesting point of Medium is the option of inserting different formatting for quotes. With two types of different sizes, you can control the tracking of your reader’s eyes, whether for quick and discreet quotes or impact phrases, which go beyond the limits of the text margin. Interesting, isn’t it?
Now, if you want to add even more complex elements to your post, the option to embed is perfect. It allows videos, images and even slide shows to compose your article. All without using programming!
How to measure statistics and metrics on Medium?
First, let’s consider a fact: posts on Medium are found by users who browse it. That is why it has several mechanisms for curating and recommending content to users.
This means that much of the engagement and traffic generated is not related to SEO as we are used to.
Medium posts earn Google rankings? Yes. Do the stories have alt attributes and prominent images? Also!
However, the network’s algorithm is so good at recommending content to users that, if your goal is to generate traffic and engagement, winning the search engine war is a complement – not the main one.
And this has a direct impact on the most relevant metrics.
If, when creating a story on Medium, the interface is geared towards the editor, its analysis system is geared to the reader’s experience.
That is, if your post receives many clicks but few readings, this is not a relevant metric.
Thus, there are incentives for a good quality of content for the network as a whole, as it encourages its publishers to avoid click baits and sensational titles (which disappoint the reader in the first few lines of reading).
Focus on satisfied and engaged readers
Less focus on generating indiscriminate traffic. Clearly, this is the intention of the Medium algorithm.
The blogosphere today is full of very interesting places with rich content. However, in search of an increasing volume of traffic, blogs are often planned based on keywords, and not on specific and real questions from readers.
That is why, for most blogs, more visitors means better results. Even though people are spending less time there.
When writing on Medium, the richest metrics are related to reading, not necessarily to the number of views, sessions and visits. Thus, your post is more likely to be recommended to other users if the rate of reading the text per visit is high.
An interesting indicator of this writing culture Medium is the nomenclature used. That is why blogs on Medium are called publications and articles are called stories.
The public is looking for something inspiring, preferably that has already been experienced by the author, as a true story.
Want to write on Medium and be successful? Have a good story to tell!
When viewing your analytics screen, you can analyze the performance of your publication in the last 30 or 90 days. In addition, you can get information about each post.
A post on Medium can be analyzed by:
- Views – the number of views of your story.
- Readings – how many times your text has been read in full.
- Reading ratio – the relationship between the number of views and the number of complete readings.
- Recommendations (claps) – it is the like button on Medium, which can be clicked several times by the same user, as explained above.
The better the quality of your post in relation to these metrics, the more likely Medium’s algorithm will recommend it to people who are interested in this type of subject.
Thus, your post can appear on more home pages and qualify for the Daily Digest (a compilation of stories of the day) by email.
It is possible to incorporate third party service links into a story on Medium. That way, you can display media services within your post!
It is very simple: if it is a URL supported by Medium, an incorporation will automatically be made and a nice snippet with the desired content will appear. Another option is to use the “embed” button when writing, located to the left of the beginning of a blank line.
Now, you can add media from Instagram, Youtube, SlideShare, Vimeo, Twitter, Upscribe, SoundCloud, GitHub, Rdio and even crowdfunding services like Kickstarter!
What do I need to know before writing for Medium?
Over time, Medium was attracting and creating its own community of writers. And they played a very important role in defining a style preferred by readers of that network.
Relevant publications on the network have created style guides for this medium. Of course, all this based on data on the performance of all publications that circulate there.
In addition, in 2016, one of the most popular publications, that of FreeCodeCamp, collected statistics on what are the best posts on Medium. Know them below:
- The most accessed channels are those that talk about life hacks (organization, productivity, etc.), design, programming and technology.
- The most used tags in stories have to do with startups, technology, life hacks, design and entrepreneurship.
- Stories with a first-person narrative, sharing real subjects, are the most widely read.
- List-type posts (example: 25 tips for winning in life), so popular in the blogosphere, are not the type of content preferred by Medium readers.
- The best stories have an average reading time of 7 minutes, which gives about 600 words.
- Apparently, images never hurt. The top posts in performance, in general, have a large number of images, starting with a good prominent figure.
- Medium was characterized by being, in addition to being a good place to publish content, a means of direct, public contact with its favorite author. In addition to impressing readers, all comments are recorded in your personal feed, increasing the reach and view by others. That is, comments on Medium are an excellent way to attract readers!
In addition, you may want to use all the features that this platform offers when creating posts. Whenever it makes sense, format your footnotes, hyperlinks, quotes, etc.
And, when appropriate, send your story to a publication, the reach will be added to the number of followers of the publication.
I already have a blog, should I migrate to Medium?
It depends. However, even if you don’t transfer your blog to Medium, it is possible to use it as a remail strategy, which we will talk about later.
Medium’s advantage, in fact, is that it already has an extensive built-in audience. In 2016 alone, 60 million readers were registered per month.
Therefore, you do not need to set up and maintain your own blog. Using Medium, you already have the means to produce viral content with all viable resources. Just create an account!
So, if you’re new to blogging, this platform is a great way to get started.
However, if you already have a functioning blog and some online presence, this may not even be the best option.
If you have your own blog – and a consolidated audience – no matter how good Medium’s resources are, they will not replace a blog that already has its own 100% identity, its name and details that are attractive to your audience.
In such cases, an interesting tactic is to republish these posts in the form of stories on Medium.
How to republish text on Medium?
If you have a separate channel, you can use Medium to expand the reach of your content. That is, just send a text from your blog to that place.
Wait, but can’t this be recognized as duplicate content by Google? Won’t this strategy affect my rankings or penalize my blog?
If you set it up correctly, no!
In fact, search engines don’t like duplicate publications, but if they are correctly referenced with a canonical URL, automatically crawlers will understand that it is not content theft or copyright infringement.
To do this, just use a Medium ready tool, the Import Tool.
It’s very simple:
- Access the Medium Import Tool;
- Insert the URL of your post already published on another blog;
- The algorithm will generate a story with the content of that post optimized;
- Make any necessary changes and publish.
Ready. This way, all the links in this post will be configured correctly, and you will no longer have to worry about penalties in search engines.
Is it worth republishing on Medium?
Yes! Now that I have already presented ways for you to send posts to Medium (and enjoy all its advantages) without penalties, you can now put this strategy into practice!
To illustrate, I will show an interesting case that we live in the publication of Websites Are Us, Marketing Hackers.
This article, written by Flávia Vallory, our head of HR, with hacks to pump your profile on Linkedin, is one of the most successful posts on Hackers.
However, although we like original posts very much, this was a republication of a blog post Saia do Lugar.
Apparently, this subject had so much to do with our audience on Medium that in a few days it went viral, reaching tens of thousands of views!
Thus, the repost was able to bring an audience to our content and still have means of viralization that we did not have on the other blog!
Interesting, isn’t it? For that reason, you can do the same and, I guarantee, you only stand to gain from it. Even if the performance is not very good.
How to write a title for Medium?
You probably already have an idea of how to create headlines for a post. You should also know how important the title is in any piece of content to be published.
In a normal blog, a title has two versions:
- The internal version, which will appear for readers within the blog. The internal title usually contains an unrestricted number of characters, based only on the preference of its readers and the common sense of the author.
- The external version, or SEO Title, which is suitable for search engines. If Google determines that a title will appear in full if it is less than 67 characters, so it must be an SEO title.
However, on Medium things don’t work in a similar way.
Primarily because the default setting does not differentiate the SEO Title from the internal title. You can only change this by customizing your story information.
To do this, go to your post’s menu and select the options for customizing the title and subtitle. This will change the SEO parameters and meta description of your content. This feature is important for advertising on social networks and rankings in search engines.
In addition, you can also choose a URL for your story based on the keyword you find relevant.
However, as the contents of Medium are found within the network itself, it should be optimized for SEO, but that is not the main thing.
Want to know what defines a good performance a title? The fact that the reader identifies with him.
Forget, for a moment, parameters and optimizations. The message is the most important part of your title for Medium.
For this reason, the best Medium posts have very varied titles, with different characteristics. These characteristics, in fact, correspond to the will of the target audience, and not to an optimal standard determined by search engines.
The average length of a good title for Medium, for example, is 42 characters. In addition, it contains keywords or flashy terms between the first three and the last three words.
Basically, in terms of formatting, it follows a normal scanning logic. Readers like a lot of information and tend to pay more attention at the beginning and end of a headline.
Growth Hacks for Medium
If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to create stories that will blow up on Medium!
So it is time to learn some hacks that will make this path even simpler. All of this based on what we learned from Marketing Hackers, the publication of Websites Are Us.
1. Post your articles on Medium (bonus: and Linkedin Pulse!)
Okay, we’ve talked about this here. However, as obvious as this tactic seems, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce the idea that Medium opens doors to a new audience. So, with a post, you have the chance to gain even more readers without much effort.
Remembering that just use the post import tool, but there are also other ways. You can copy and paste the content of the post by referencing the canonical URL of the original post or, also, use a WordPress plugin for cross-posts.
In the case of the post on hacks for LinkedIn’s profile, for example, we reached a much larger audience than the original. And therefore, you can and should do the same.
And now, an extra tip: the same goes for reposts on Linkedin Pulse. Linkedin’s blogging platform has mechanisms similar to Medium: no compromises with search engines, but with the internal network of readers.
To learn how to republish Medium content on Linkedin Pulse, read this article.
2. Insert conversion forms
We already talked here about integrating media services with your story on Medium through incorporations, right?
So, using services like Upscribe, you can create a form to be incorporated into your stories!
Want to create a newsletter? Do a promotion? Send exclusive materials?
Create an account on Upscribe and configure the form in the way that meets your needs. Then, select the method for saving this information.
Upscribe offers solutions from the simplest, such as a spreadsheet in Google Sheets, to the most complex, such as MailChimp and other marketing automation software.
3. Send links to your website or blog