If you’re a Medium writer, you might take the “Field of Dreams” approach. Remember that movie from the 80s? The main message was: “if you build it, they will come”. A lot of writers take the same approach with their writing. They assume that if they publish an article on Medium it will immediately start to get views. Really, it’s much more effective if you promote your Medium articles yourself, as well as letting Medium do some of the promotion for you.
Will Medium promote my articles for me?
Yes, one of the cool things about Medium is that they will promote your articles for you. If your article meets their standards and is a good fit for their audience, Medium will promote it to their members. There are hundreds of thousands of members, so this can be an amazing way to get readership.
If your article is especially good, Medium might tweet about it to their audience of over 2 million followers. A single tweet from Medium‘s main Twitter account can bring in hundreds of readers. This has happened to me dozens of times and it’s a great way to get tons of interest.
There are also ways that Medium will promote your article indirectly. Many medium publications are monitored by aggregator services like Flipboard and Smart News. These aggregators will automatically pull in stories on big publications like OneZeo or Elemental. If you get an article into one of these publications, aggregators can bring in thousands of external views to your piece. There are tons of ways you can monetize these views, even if they’re not from Medium members.
In short, one of the best ways to promote your Medium article is simply to publish on Medium. That will get you a lot of the way towards building an audience.
That said, you shouldn’t rely on Medium alone. Especially if you’re just starting out as a writer, it’s important to promote your articles through a variety of sources. For one thing, Medium is more likely to promote articles that are already gaining traction.
If you want to take advantage of Medium‘s promotion of your articles, it pays to promote them elsewhere, too. And even if Medium is promoting your articles to their own audience or external audiences, you can add even more views and interest by doing some promotion yourself.
Post your article to social media
If you already have a social media following, it’s a great idea to post your article on social media after you publish it. Some social networks do better than others when it comes to Medium articles. The two best networks to use are Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter and Medium are closely integrated, and they share a similar audience. Tweeting about your Medium article can easily reach a lot of interested viewers.
Especially if you’re publishing professional content on Medium, LinkedIn is also a great place to post your articles. You can take advantage of your own professional network, sharing useful information with them and also promoting your writing.
Facebook can be a good place to promote your Medium articles too, but only for a certain type of article. Facebook does less well for technical articles, political articles, health articles, and the like. Their algorithms are trained to filter out many of these articles to avoid the risk of misinformation. Personal essays, food reviews, and relationship or parenting advice can do well if you post them to Facebook. Stories can also do great if you post them to a relevant Facebook group.
If you write technical articles on Medium, or articles about tech topics, two places to consider are Hacker News and Reddit. Both cater to a technical audience, and a post on either can bring in hundreds of users to a Medium article.
Tread carefully, though. Both sides are extremely sensitive to spammy posts, and you can easily get yourself banned if you’re too self promotional. A good rule is to post 10 unrelated, valuable things to these networks for every one post about your own article.
That said, if your article genuinely develop delivers value to these communities, it can get a lot of traction. I wrote a technical article about OpenAI’s GPT-3, and people on both sites loved it, bringing in over 975 views from Reddit alone.
Your email signature
How many emails do you send per day? Probably at least 10, and maybe over 100. Every one of those emails can potentially be an opportunity to let people know about your writing on Medium. Include a link to your Medium profile in your email signature. I do this, and it could be a great way to spread the word about your newest articles to your existing network.
Post the Article to Nextdoor
This is an overlooked and extremely powerful strategy for promoting local articles. NextDoor is a local social media network where you have to prove you live in a particular neighborhood to join it. The network specializes in hyper-local posts.
If you write stories about your local area on Medium, try posting them to NextDoor. People there are very passionate about anything having to do with their own cities. Even though you’ll be limited by geography, you can still get hundreds of views from a NextDoor post.
When I post, I find that it’s important to deliver some value to the community beyond the article you’re sharing. I’ll write a little summary of my article in my post, include a photo, or ask a question.
For example, I might post a review that I wrote of a local restaurant, and then ask people if they agree with my review. People love to chime in and share their own opinions, which creates dialogue and also helps to promote the story.
Remember, when your posting from NextDoor, you’re communicating to your actual neighbors. You’ll probably see these people on the streets, and they may recognize you by your writing. Make sure that the things you post there are articles that you would want everyone in your neighborhood to see.
Create Content on Other Platforms
Medium is a wonderful platform for written content. But there are plenty of platforms out there for other types of content, too.
YouTube is great for video, and so are TickTock and Instagram. Many Medium writers also write on Newsbreak. Some write on Vocal. Still others contribute articles to other publications or blogs.
If you do any of these things, you can link back to your Medium profile at the end of your content on other platforms. For example, I often link my YouTube videos to my Medium publications in the YouTube description section. Likewise, if I contribute an article to a local newspaper, I’ll ask if they can put a link to my Medium profile at the end of the story. All of these things help to send viewers to Medium from your other content.
Medium’s built-in audience is one of the best things about the platform. Distinguish yourself on Medium, and they’ll promote your stories far and wide.
You can give yourself a leg up, however, by doing some of the promotion yourself. Try the strategies and see if it brings in more views to your Medium articles. Over time, you should get a double bonus. You’ll get views directly from the strategies, and the influx of views will also potentially cause Medium to promote your story to more of their own islands. It’s a win-win!
The Field of Dreams approach is tempting because it’s hands off. But if you put just a little time into promoting your own Medium articles, the payoffs can be big.