8 Tips for Using Medium Effectively

8 Tips for Using Medium Effectively


Hey, the folks at Medium do good work, and it's a pretty effective platform (it was founded by the founders of Twitter, and is really connected to Twitter). It's still relatively new for lots of people, but simple to understand.

Medium describes themselves as:

A different kind of place to read and write on the internet. A place where the measure of success isn’t views, but viewpoints. Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications. A place where conversation pushes ideas forward and words still matter.

Kissmetrics also did a good job describing the platform:

The ethos of Medium is inherently democratic; it seeks to give a voice to people who have something interesting to say, even if they don’t have thousands of Twitter followers, an active blog or friends in the right places. Medium is built to reward content for its quality, not for the pedigree or popularity of the author.

My team talks with Medium from time to time, and have passed along some useful information. We figure that we'd share what we've learned to path the way for those who are new to the platform, whether you're a curious individual or an innovative nonprofit who's on top of their social media game.


Here are 8 tips for using Medium effectively:

  1. Follow people, publications, and orgs that share similar interests as you. This way, you'll get a chance to read a wider variety of stuff and comment/highlight on other people's content. Once you're engaging with others, they'll start following you and engaging back.
  2. Actually leave comments and engage. Medium encourages people to write responses and quote responses – each piece of content, whether long or short (i.e. stories and comments) live as responses, and every response is its own post. They live at their own URL and can have responses and all the other features of posts on their own. This means, when someone replies they're on an equal playing field, which Medium's seen encourage substantive discourse.
    Be sure, though, to engage only when it really makes sense, maybe be sure to speak only when you have something to say. As always, "brevity's the soul of wit."
  3. Start writing. You don't have to be an expert writer to put your thoughts out there. Like they say, it's the quality of the idea, not your qualifications (though, they tend to help, too). I'm a big advocate for knowing how to do everything on your phone, and with the Medium app, you can seamlessly switch between your computer and the app, and the entire experience goes with you.
  4. Medium is no Twitter, but it's not necessarily a novel, either. While there's no designated word count for any post on Medium, posts of about 400 words and up have generally been the most popular, according to Medium's best practices.
  5. People love photos, so use 'em. Study after study has shown that people tend to engage more if there's a picture included in an article, plus then folks can share it and it'll be visually appealing. Choose a high-quality photo (minimum 900 pixels, or 900×900) for the top of the story. Horizontal images work better than vertical. (They even shared a list of Stock Photos That Don't Suck…)
  6. Repurpose content. Not everything you write needs to be original Medium content. You can repurpose what you're already writing on your own blog. If you're worried about SEO best practices, you can change the title and alter some of the wording.
  7. Intentionally choose your tags. You can use 3 tags per post, make 'em count. The tags should be relevant to the post, and also tags that are popular across Medium. The more often people utilize the same tags you're using, the better chance you have of your blog post being seen.
  8. Check out Medium's Publications. Formerly known as Collections, Publications can be started by anyone. A Publication a collection of posts. They’re treated like magazines- you can invite people to write, and have them act as a guest blogger for your Publication. You can also share your posts with the owners of related Publications in an attempt to have them include your article in their Publication.

Are you on Medium? If so, make sure to follow me, and please share your best content.



One Comment

Tom Foremski

Great tips Craig. Number 3 is the most important: Start writing! Often people will tell me they want to start a blog but they want to build a perfect blog site first and they never get around to writing. Start writing and the rest will take care of itself :)

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