One of the most difficult parts of starting a blog is building your audience.
But, what if you could start writing and immediately reach over 170 million people?
That’s the power of writing on Medium, a free online publishing platform where bloggers, journalists, and entire publications share their work.
It also doesn’t matter if you currently have a blog or are brand new to blogging; there are numerous benefits to publishing on Medium that can help grow your online presence and even make money. You can write unique content for Medium or you can syndicate your blog content there.
What Is Medium?
Medium.com is a free online publishing platform that began in 2012.
Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, is actually the founder of Medium. With the slogan “Where good ideas find you,” Medium is all about sharing ideas and giving writers a place to share their expertise.
You can basically write about anything on Medium, although its homepage highlights popular topics like:
- Personal development
- Social justice
With over 170 million readers, there’s also plenty of room for you to start writing on Medium and grow a following.
How To Use Medium For Blogging
If you’re wondering how to use Medium for blogging, the process is actually incredibly simple. However, there are some tips that can help you consistently write great content and reach a wider audience.
1. Sign Up
Medium is free to use, and you sign up with Google, Facebook, or email.
Once you sign up, you enter the username you want to write under. You can change your username later on, so don’t worry if you can’t think of one right away.
2. Follow Writers and Publications
Your Medium account is a blank canvas when you first sign up. But Medium encourages you to follow different writers, publications, and topics so your homepage features content you care about.
It's a good idea to follow writers and publications that cover the niches you write about. This is because one of the best ways to become a better writer is to read work from successful writers in your niche.
3. Set Up Your Medium Profile
Once you follow relevant writers, publications, and topics, it’s time to finish setting up your Medium writer profile.
You have 160 characters for your Medium bio. This is where you can plug your blog or website if you own one and describe the type of content you’re creating. You can also link your social media accounts to your profile so people can follow you elsewhere.
You also upload a profile picture, so pick one that clearly shows who you are. You don’t need to go LinkedIn-level professional, but on Medium, people generally upload photos of themselves so readers can put a face to an article.
4. Publish Your First Medium Post
If you’re wondering how to publish a Medium article, don’t fret; Medium makes the entire process beginner friendly.
Once you log in you'll be either to write a unique article from scratch or import an article — which is how you can syndicate your existing blog posts on Medium.
Importing an Existing Article
To import an article click on your profile image and then select “Stories”.
Then select “Import” at the top of the screen.
This will take you to a screen that will allow you to import a published article from your blog using the URL.
It will automatically import the text and images from your site and you can make any changes you want before publishing it on Medium.
This does not count as duplicate content because Medium uses a canonical tag which tells Google that their version s is not the original.
Writing a Unique Article
To start writing your first Medium blog post, click the green “Write” button in the top corner. This brings you to Medium’s online writing editor, and your work automatically saves as a draft so you can chip away at articles over several days.
Medium is very aesthetically pleasing, and as you write, you can click the “+” icon to:
- Add your own images
- Search for Unsplash images to add
- Add videos
- Embed links from other sites
- Add a page break
For readability, break your content into short paragraphs; no walls of text allowed!
Another popular Medium formatting trick is to also insert an eye-catching image right after your title and headline. This post from Niklas Goke, a Medium writer with over 80,000 followers, is the perfect example:
Familiarize yourself with the other formatting tools as well. Medium lets you bold or italicize text, play with header sizes, and link out to other content.
5. Publish Your Story
Once your first Medium blog post is done and you’ve given it some edits, you’re ready to hit publish.
To publish a story, click the green “Publish” button. Medium then lets you edit the story preview image, title, and subtitle. This is what readers on Medium see while browsing, so write captivating headlines and use eye-catching images to encourage people to read.
Medium also lets you add up to five tags before publishing. Tags inform readers and Medium what your story is about, and if people follow certain topics, using related tags increases the chance those readers find your story while searching on Medium.
Tags have numbers in brackets that represent how many people follow that tag. Popular tags include:
- Life – 547,000
- Startup – 497,000
- Poetry – 480,000
- Life Lessons – 472,000
- Health – 389,000
- Love – 367,000
- Cryptocurrency – 350,000
- Business – 322,000
- Social Media – 250,000
- Productivity – 190,000
Pick popular tags that are relevant to your article. Once you have five, you can publish.
6. Track Your Stats
After you publish your first Medium blog post, you can track:
- Views: How many people see your Medium article somewhere on Medium
- Reads: How many people actually read your article
- Fans: How many people clap for your article, which is like giving a thumbs up
Medium breaks down stats by story, and you can click on a specific story to view lifetime views, average reading time, earnings, and where your traffic is coming from.
As a new Medium writer, don’t worry about your stats too much. Just keep an eye on this page to see where your readers come from.
Tips For Growing Your Medium Blog
The first step to growing your Medium blog is simply to write consistently. Medium is competitive, and despite its massive readership, you need to regularly publish content to learn what works and to reach more people.
But, there are several other Medium writing tricks you should use to expand your reach.
1. Join The Medium Partner Program
The Medium Partner Program is a free program that lets you make money writing on Medium.
Medium is free for readers, but only up to five articles per month. Afterward, readers pay $5 per month to read content that’s locked behind the Medium Partner Program.
When you publish a story, you can choose to make it eligible for the Medium Partner Program. This is how you get paid for your Medium writing.
According to Medium: “Partner Program writers are paid monthly based on how much time Medium members spend reading their stories. The longer members read, the more writers earn.”
The top Medium writers earn thousands of dollars per month, and a semi-viral story can easily earn hundreds or thousands of dollars.
There’s really no downside to joining the Medium Partner Program, and if you aren’t making money blogging, this is an excellent alternative to get paid to write.
2. Submit Articles To Publications
Medium is home to thousands of publications, which are essentially larger Medium blogs where one or several authors contribute to.
And, since people can follow publications, getting your story published in a leading Medium publication often means a surge in views and cash.
For starters, view a list of the top Medium publications so you know what’s out there. You should follow the ones in your niche, and many publications have a “Write For Us” section that explains how to submit articles for consideration.
This might sound tedious, and it honestly is. But again, getting a story in a large publication is the fastest way to get noticed on Medium and to grow your following.
3. Craft Compelling Headlines
Once you follow several writers, publications, and topics on Medium, take a look at your homepage. You should also check out Medium’s trending section.
One common theme of successful Medium writers is that they write great titles. These are titles that shock, intrigue, or inform the reader about how the article will help them. Here are some of my favorite examples:
- Four Signs a Person Is Secretly Unhappy with Their Life
- How Britain Is Destroying Itself
- A Simple Workout That Makes a Huge Difference
All of these stories are trending, and all of these headlines tease you with some information but make you click to discover answers.
4. Engage With Other Writers
Another reliable way to grow your Medium following is to engage with writers in your niche and readers who comment on your stories.
Medium lets you do this by commenting on other people’s stories or highlighting parts of an article that stand out to you.
The highlighting feature is particularly useful since highlighting notifies the author someone highlighted a part of their article. Readers can also comment on highlights, so it’s another way to encourage discussion.
Pros & Cons Of Writing On Medium
Now that you know how to start blogging on Medium, let’s cover the pros and cons of this platform so you can decide if it’s right for you.
- Articles can go viral
- Earn money with the Medium Partner Program
- Free to use
- Funnel traffic back to your blog
- Massive starting audience
- Medium is getting more competitive
- You don’t own the platform you’re writing on unlike a blog
- You have fewer monetization options than blogging
Medium is one of the fastest ways to make money blogging since you don’t have to build an audience. But, capturing a significant audience still takes work and practice.
Plus, as a Medium blogger, you never own the platform you’re writing on, which is perhaps the greatest difference between starting your own blog and writing on Medium.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I Write On Medium For Free?
Medium is completely free to write on. However, if you want to read more than five stories per month to see what other Medium authors are publishing, you need to pay $5 per month for a Medium membership.
2. Is Medium.com Legit?
Medium is legit and has been paying writers for years. The platform even regularly pays out author bonuses, and thousands of writers make money on Medium.
3. What Medium Publications Accept Submissions?
Getting a story into a Medium publication is one of the best ways to get more views on Medium and to earn more. Some Medium publications that accept submissions you can pitch include:
- BetterHumans – Self-Improvement
- Elemental – Health and Wellness
- Forge – Personal Development
- OneZero – Technology and People
- Start it up – Entrepreneurship
- The Writing Cooperative – Writing
- Towards Data Science – Data and Coding
There are dozens of other large Medium publications that accept writers, and you can often find a “Write For Us” section or pitching guideline on a publication’s about page.
Starting a Medium blog is truly one of the fastest ways to get your writing in front of a large audience. When you factor in the Medium Partner Program and the opportunity to write for publications with hundreds of thousands of readers, nothing really comes close to Medium.
So, if you just want to write, grow an audience, and make money blogging without worrying about any technical stuff, Medium is for you.
Just remember: you will always have more control and actual ownership over your own blog. If you want the best of both worlds, you can always start your own blog and syndicate your best content to Medium.