Engagement Is Key For Medium Success, But How Do You Do It?
Here are my three favorite tips that helped me go from a nobody to a nobody with 1100 followers in four months.
In early May 2019, I published my first article on Medium, arriving on the platform with no social media presence and almost zero marketing skills.
But I’m old enough to know that sex sells, so I positioned my first article for success by going for the age card and sex in the title. I’m 80 Years Old and I Fantasize About Sex. Deal With It took off.
I’m 80 and I fantasize about sex. Deal with it.
The only people who’ll be shocked by that headline are the young, smug jerkoffs who think they invented sex. The kind…
The curators put some love on it, and it went viral.
I can’t say I really knew what I was doing, but I had gained the attention of Medium’s curators. My next two pieces got curated as well. By the end of the month I was in the 7% earnings group. That gave me enough confidence to dig into Medium for real.
I began my plan to hack Medium by searching every article about how Medium works and quickly learned that engagement was king if I wanted to amass followers, fans, claps, and money.
Consider engagement another word for marketing. On Medium, it’s the way you reach out and get people to notice you and your work. You engage with them in various ways, some tried and true, some you may discover on your own through your own followers on platforms elsewhere.
What’s a follower?
A follower clicks on the box next to your name at the end of an article. They don’t guarantee anything beyond adding a number on your profile. They don’t necessarily get a link to your articles on their feed, and they may move on to other writers and forget who you are if you don’t work to keep them in your orbit.
What’s a fan?
A fan is someone who actually reads your work and gives you claps. The claps may be worthless if the fan isn’t a paying member of Medium because we are paid from Medium memberships. So you may accumulate many fans for a particular piece. But if those fans come from a source outside of Medium without paying members, the stats may boost your ego but not your earnings.
How do you engage when you’re new to Medium?
I have three methods to engage on Medium. I follow them rigorously to increase my stats. When I fall behind, it shows on my dashboard.
1. Join Facebook groups dedicated to Medium.
Each group has a different mission. Some allow daily posting of articles so the members can read your work and clap. They request that you return the favor by reading the work of other members. Some groups have active threads giving various types of Medium guidance. I’ve made many friends through these groups and continue to post there to help my own articles but also to see what others are writing. My advice is to become an active member of your group. Don’t just post and leave. You may get some engagement, but you’ll miss the true worth of getting to know other writers and making friends and receiving encouragement and support.
2. Read other writers, at least 10 new ones a day.
Early on, I read a post that advised reading twenty new writers every day. I didn’t bookmark that article, or I would link it and give thanks to that writer. I have never been able to keep up with that schedule because I have a life outside Medium. I am not a fast reader, and I don’t skim. If I choose an article to read, I go through the whole thing. But when I am searching out at least 8–10 new readers a day I still find my own followers and fans increase.
Note I said new readers. Reach outside your community of friends. Yes, of course, you want to keep up with what your peeps are doing. But you also need to cast a wide net and find new people. Medium has a wide universe of writers in many categories. Search topics, publications, and categories to find new writers and material. Don’t just stick with the feed Medium sends you.
Engage with each piece you read.
Medium checks our engagement on our articles, meaning whether a reader sticks with the piece to end (% read) and whether the reader highlights, leaves notes, comments and claps. No one knows how this all adds up to money, but it does.
You waste your time if you open an article and scroll to the end to clap, thinking that will count as a read. If you don’t spend time reading (that’s why Medium calculates the time it takes to read), it won’t count as a read.
So as long as your reading, using the highlight feature to point out to the writer and other readers lines that moved you or enlightened you. Send the writer a personal note, then at the end, leave a few claps, more if you like.
Finally, go into the message feature and leave a comment. Not a word. A verbal thumbs up. But engage. Say why you liked the piece, congratulation the writer for a milestone, or some wisdom imparted. This is your chance to connect. To engage, to likely make a friend, a follower, a fan. It’s not the reason you read the piece, but one of the benefits.
This is just a start.
You’ll find many other ways to increase your engagement and find followers and fans. E-mail lists, publications, outside platforms. Don’t stop with my go-to three, but use them as your jumping-off place.
- Join Medium Facebook groups.
- Read many NEW writers every day.
- Engage on the page with highlighting, notes and comments.
Good luck, and if you find a way to increase engagement, please share it with us here in the comments. Thank you for reading.
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I’m an editor and writer on Medium with Top Writer status in Writing, Psychology, This Happened to Me, Food and Cooking. I’m also an editor for the publication, Rogues Gallery. I’ve published 55 titles on Amazon and edit fiction and nonfiction for private clients. If you’d like to hire me as your editor, please contact me here. If you’d like to read more of my stories and tips for success on Medium, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ll make sure you don’t miss a word. Thank you for reading.