EVER BEEN STUCK FOR BLOG POST IDEAS? MEDIUM IS AN EXCELLENT PLATFORM TO SHARE, ENGAGE & REACH A DIVERSE AUDIENCE BUT THERE ARE SOME VERY SPECIFIC KINDS OF POSTS THAT WORK REALLY WELL ON THE PLATFORM AND HERE ARE TEN OF THEM OUTLINED WITH PRO-TIPS FOR EACH OF THEM TO GET YOU STARTED
Medium is beautiful but it doesn't mean you can rest back and hope the design substitutes for your writing. In fact I am much more weary of my content on Medium because I want it to complement the beautiful structure that Medium allows.
I'd like to think that we're way past the age of listicles and how-to guides, ironically I say this while writing about what to write on Medium. This isn't your regular how-to guide and I'll tell you why; I'm not going to be instructing you on the perfect post or outlining how all your content should look because frankly, no one wants factory produced writing anymore and it couldn't be more true in a space like Medium. If not the lists and guides, there are the interviews & reviews which are somewhat of a rave in the blogging world at the moment but I've found they're not ideal for Medium audience either.
What's so Special about Medium audiences?
I wrote an entire blog post on what makes Medium unique and how it's changing the content marketing game which you're welcome to read so I won't go into it again here. But in brief, unlike most blogging platforms Medium is also a social space which means you need to give just as much attention to interactions as you would on Twitter or Facebook, as you intentionally pen down your thoughts.
I've come up with ten different kinds of articles for you to get started on Medium which should be enough resource to figure out what works best for you.
1. Repurposing Content
This is one of the most popular ways to utilise Medium as its a social platform. It breaks down barriers of going to your blog, I mean let's face it not everyone's sites are optimised across all devices and even if they are the unfamiliarity of figuring out a new space can put many people off plus no one seems to complain of cross-posting from your personal blog.
Pro-Tip: ALWAYS link back to your original article that way, if someone likes your article they can find out more about you. This is something you probably won't have heard but don't copy-paste your original article, always add a new element that contextualises the piece within Medium; it can be slightly changing the title or even starting/ending it with a snippet that introduces you and your work to someone who might have never heard of you before.
2. Cataloging your interests
Medium allows you to create & curate your own writings into publications. Ever had the problem of too many diverse interests to make your blog look cohesive enough for public consumption? You can have publications on coffee alongside business ethics or video games sitting next to meditation, anything you want really. It allows you to showcase yourself as a human with contradictions and curiosity that expands beyond one genre.
Pro-Tip: It's not just in publications that you can catalogue your interest but also make good use of the three tags that Medium allows you to have for each article. I've written comprehensive about using features of Medium in this article here.
3. Current Topics
Unlike your normal blog which might be about food or fashion or personal musings, Medium is a social platform which means you can create content much like you'd share something on Facebook or Twitter so what are your interests and what's trending about your interest? You could be a designer with an interest in a new video game or you can be a fashion blogger with a serious political mind, Medium IS the place for you to not just showcase but also leverage what's trending at the moment.
Pro-Tip: You can choose from the Featured Tags section on your homepage on what's trending and what's not to better guide you in helping to decide what to write about that people want to read right now.
Most of us are overwhelmed at the thought of even beginning to write a blog post. For all those who consider yourselves "not-writers" I have some news for you, even professional writers struggle with writing - that's just a part of being a writer. Medium just makes things a little easier for us all, it would look a bit bare if you published a blog post of 100 words on your website it is going to look out of place whereas Medium is designed for quick & easy consumption as well as long-reads so you needn't feel restricted by lack of content before hitting the publish button.
In fact, Medium prioritises time more than words. In every article you can find out how long it'll take you to read before actually reading it so by writing snippets you are actually catering to the ones who fancy a quick read while they are on the move.
Pro-Tip: Take a look at this handy post by Mike Sall where he goes in detail on optimum time-limits while writing your Medium article if you're looking to invest more time into maintaining your profile.
5. Not Just Text
Even though Medium was initially started as a space to enable long reads, it's evolved into much more than that. If you're not a writer that's absolutely fine, you don't have to be a writer to be on Medium.
Upload a video, an image or even embed the weird & wonderful things that the Internet has to offer. The possibilities are endless, literally.
Pro-Tip: Why not embed a piece of content from your own website which helps drive traffic back to your site or embed popular content of the day and give your two cents on it?
6. Respond & Engage
It annoys me how many people don't make use of this feature; every article you read whether or not someone is following you back or if you even know them you can respond o their article. Now, please don't go around responding to EVERY article that you read or start stalking an influencer at the hopes of getting noticed. Responses need to be tailored specifically to the main article and share insightful perspectives that benefits both the reader as well as appreciates the author.
Pro-Tip: Every response you write automatically opens you up to the author's audiences as well so this might be a pro-tip but it also means you shouldn't take this feature lightly!
As I keep saying this insistently; Medium is a social platform which encourages collaboration and interaction. Unlike regular blogs that you can post and bombard your social media followers with the content, the awesome way to grow your audience on Medium is to genuine engage & collaborate. There are several ways you can do this; you can respond to other people's stories as we covered in the previous point, leave comments and notes which, if approved will make your profile public to their audiences as well or even request stories that are already written to be included in your own publications.
All of these are effective ways of fostering collaboration whilst building strong partnerships that will continue to expand your audience reach and growth on Medium.
Pro-Tip: You can create a publication and include editors/writers by giving them direct access to the publication but not your entire profile. This is an indispensable tool to encourage guest blogging (which everyone is looking for) while keeping a constant stream of content flowing even if you're not the one writing it each time.
8. Process or Journaling
The increasing popularity of posts on sites like BuzzFeed and Mashable are an indication that no longer is the digital audience interested in articles edited to the T but in posts that are forever a WIP (work-in-progress). I cannot think of a better genre to flourish that benefits creatives be it writers, artists, designers or even coders & entrepreneurs. As creative people, processes are everything and some are great, others not so much. What if you could use the even not-so-great content to shed light behind your creative process?
There's no better way to come up with new ideas than everyday journaling, it's been proven time and again and the most successful entrepreneurs swear by it as a daily practice that keeps them motivated to achieve higher goals so what's stopping you?
Pro-Tip: This kind of writing not only helps build trust in your audience showing both your strong AND vulnerable sides but more important, it helps build communities around whatever you're doing. Remember, this is not another how-to guide - the aim isn't to showcase your skills but to truthfully share your experiences and bring value to the reader.
9. The Everydayness of Life
Right after or sitting beside posts that share a journey or WIP as we discussed above are the ones that you probably don't give enough attention to. Sat in a coffee shop? Have a strong opinion on traffic or curious about a topic that you know very little about? Write.
Medium celebrates articles on the everyday topics of drinking coffee or going to the gym or even just sitting in silence, let's face it we could all use that one! As I said earlier, Medium's socialness if you will urges you to create content that show off all different sides to you. Forget if you're an artist or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, we just want to hear what the first ten minutes of your day look like. Medium has made it fashionable to talk about things that weren't given any attention to before and it allows you to be a part of the conversation.
Pro-Tip: Much like the WIP post above, use these kind of posts to share an interest or hobby of yours that perhaps doesn't get much social media attention. Even though it's the everyday, these kinds of posts are often reflective to the individual writer thereby not easily replicated by following a trend.
10. Experiment Away
As much as I have been going on about the widespread reach and importance of Medium, it's still a fairly new platform which means it's evolving at a rapid pace. This doesn't mean you need to get overwhelmed by it but use this as an excuse to create your own experiments.
I've seen all sorts with a group creating a collaborative collection around a specific theme
Pro-Tip: It can be a bit daunting while venturing into a new platform to try & create something that's experimental in
nature soleverage your other platforms and share your Medium publications in those spaces where you already have a big audience to boost your engagement levels on Medium.
These are just a few to get you
Are you going to start your Medium page? Leave a comment with your link so I can check it out :)