Small Details That Make a Big Difference: Medium Best Practices

by Anneliese Herbosa

Small Details That Make a Big Difference: Medium Best Practices

On a scale from Twitter to Blogger, Medium comes in the middle. From the folks who brought you both Twitter and Blogger, this publishing platform that bodes well with both shortform and longform content caters to a wide range of users—from the least experienced aspiring writers to the most reputable of publishers.

It’s been seen as a powerful storytelling space, inviting just about anyone to share their stories (hence their tagline). Medium’s sleek design makes it super easy for newcomers to the craft of blogging to dive right in. As for seasoned bloggers who are more accustomed to navigating clunky and complex CMSs, its minimalist yet full-text editor is a sigh of relief (and really pretty to look at). Here are some Medium best practices any blogger—from amateur to pro—can follow to master this powerful publishing…medium.

Caters to Various Writer Personas

Your best friend’s younger brother or aunt aren’t the only ones who can do cool things on the Medium. Since it does act as a nice place to showcase longform pieces, thought leaders and industry experts are increasingly taking to Medium to extend their reach and demonstrate their knowledge on a niche topic.

There are a few options you have to control how your content is published and distributed, depending on what kind of a writer you are:

  • For blogging newbies: if you have written a piece that you prefer didn’t show up in search results (say you’re just looking for a space to host your articles), you can keep them unlisted.
  • For bloggers looking for feedback: Send your piece to a friend on Medium for review. They’ll be able to add comments known as ‘notes’ straight within Medium. If it’s intended to be a collaborative effort between you and other co-authors, attribution will be given.
  • For independent writers pt. 1: If you want to piggyback on the eyeballs of tailored distribution channels, consider submitting your work to a Medium publication. More on the benefits of this later.
  • For independent writers pt. 2: If you choose to treat Medium as simply an additional writing portfolio where you host your articles without having to worry about which sub-publications they are a part of, that’s fine too.
  • For marketers and brands: If you are a brand (or represent one by being, say, a content marketer), a rising trend within Medium is to publish original or repurposed branded content.

Analytics for Every User: Reading Completion Rate, Referral Sources, Shareability Stats

Read ratio

When it comes to success metrics within the scope of digital publishing, here at Quietly, we’ve mentioned before that zooming in on session duration and the factors that surround longer time spent on sites (as opposed to looking at pageviews or impressions) alone can offer more value. Medium understands this and this is demonstrated by the Stats page which all users have access to. Users are able to see which of their stories readers read all the way through and can compare those stats with the total amount of views.

Referrers

Medium also shows you where your readers are coming from and offers a list of referral sources. This can give you an idea of where your story performed well when shared on social channels, or cross-promoted on other sites.

Recommends

On top of seeing which of your posts received increased exposure due to external promotion, you are able to see which of your Medium followers showed affinity for your piece. The reach and power behind a single Recommendation on Medium is touched on later.

Publications Tailored to You, Your Expertise and Your Content

Publishers can also benefit from the participation in or creation of publications. Here’s how you can leverage Medium publications:

Contributing to a publication

There are many established Medium publications that writers can choose from to submit their content to. To note, the submission policies would vary from one publication to the other depending on the editors overseeing those respective publications. If your content does end up on a publication, it would help your literary work surface the feeds of subscribers to that publication.

Editing a theme- or topic-specific publication

From an editorial standpoint, Medium also puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to play the role of Editor. Curate a publication focused on whatever topics you are an expert in. This appeals to both individual influencers looking to step up their thought leadership game on a personal level, as well as brands who want to position themselves as thought leaders in a specific topic or industry.

Here are the publications related to marketing.

Managing a branded publication

Brands are able to take it a step further and create a branded publication specific to only their brand. This allows brands to take ownership of their brand name and voice within Medium while providing tailored content to their loyal audiences. Tesla‘s presence on Medium is a great example of this. A recent update to Medium allows custom domains for publications. Brands, you’re welcome.

Further Distribution and Targeted Reach

Medium doesn’t serve as yet another distribution channel that reaches random masses, but as a channel that permeates a set of already niche audiences, doing the heavy lifting for you when it comes to targeted distribution. Here’s a closer look at the possibilities for content discovery either natively within their app or through their external communications.

There are a few different places right within Medium where readers can discover content that interests them:

  • Comprehensive homepage: Not only does Medium show you an activity feed of what your personal network is up to, but trending tags and articles are displayed once you enter the app. Here, you can also easily access articles which you have bookmarked for later.
  • Robust native search engine: When you plug in a search query, it allows you to sift through relevant stories, tags, people, or publications.

Here’s what comes up when you search for ‘content marketing’.

  • In-app notifications: Any new content that is published by writers you follow appears here. When people interact with pieces that you have written, you get notified of this as well.

In turn, certain actions in-app trigger relevant notifications outside of Medium:

  • Email digests: These emails summarize the content produced by your first degree networks, in case you miss them in-app.
  • Recommended articles: These suggested reads are from your second degree network based on what your friends are showing affinity for.

Now you know a little more about what this platform can afford on a macro level. Looking specifically at stories and what users can do to ensure their next Medium post performs well, here are some more Medium best practices straight from the folks at Medium:

How to make your next post on Medium perform well

By Anneliese Herbosa

  • How to get read on Medium

    By Anneliese Herbosa

    The folks at Medium offer [four pro tips](https://medium.com/the-story/how-to-get-read-on-medium-aa88e30495a?source=1) to make sure your post looks its best, grabs people’s attention, holds it, and encourages them to pass it on.

  • Using the editor (the basics)

    By Anneliese Herbosa

    Beneath the simplicity of their Post Editor's design lies many, many [useful features and functionalities](https://medium.com/the-story/tips-and-tricks-for-medium-writers-1d79498101c3?source=latest#8bc8). Here's what you need to know to let you hit the ground running.

  • Using the editor (advanced tips)

    By Anneliese Herbosa

    So you've mastered Medium's post editor? Here are [four ways](https://medium.com/the-story/four-simple-ways-to-give-your-medium-post-some-bite-598f60323ef7?source=1) to take things up a notch. #nextlevel

  • Feature your best work on your Profile

    By Anneliese Herbosa

    Are you treating Medium as your writing portfolio? Here's how to put your best foot forward by selecting which pieces you want to be [featured on your Medium profile](https://medium.com/the-story/feature-a-story-on-your-medium-profile-83645843a050?source=1).

  • Publications: do your research & take the plunge

    By Anneliese Herbosa

    [Find a publication](https://medium.com/the-story/medium-publications-8f086f8f282c?source=1) where you think your piece could thrive, and get in touch with the editor. If/when your piece gets that boost of exposure, you'll capture all the right eyeballs.

  • Use Tags to optimize discovery

    By Anneliese Herbosa

    Ensure your post gets discovered organically by [using strategic Tags](https://medium.com/the-story/introducing-tags-to-medium-1b6182fd3dbd).

Featured image via The Physical Educator.

Understand how Quietly can help play a role in your content marketing efforts.

Speak to a Strategist Today

Get a free consultation for your content marketing strategy.

Speak to a Strategist Today