Pouring your heart and head into your content then not posting it on Medium, is like baking a big, beautiful birthday cake, then not inviting anyone to blow out the candles; it’s sad, wasteful, and makes zero wishes come true.
You put a lot of time, energy, research, and wit into crafting an experience to share with your readers / viewers / listeners, now you must put it in front of them. But how?
Sure, your mom and the girls from Jazzercize rave about your fashion vlog, but they aren’t your target audience and they certainly don’t share your work. And while it’s cool your son and all his readers / viewers / buddies devour the tech tips you so passionately write about; if their allowance won’t cover the cost of software development, they are not your target clientele.
Growing your audience means growing your brand and growing your brand means growing your business.
Medium is an online publishing platform that boasts 60 million daily active users. Created by Twitter co-founder and former CEO, Evan Williams, the site is designed to get your work in front of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people who really want to see it! Considered a social journalism site, content is provided by both professional journalists and amateur contributors and made up of prominent outlets, republished content, exclusive blogs, and independent publications. Often considered a blog host, videos and images can be embedded on Medium.
How It Works
Anyone can view the content on Medium but only account holders can interact and publish. Creating an account is free and can be set up in minutes or you can join using your email, Google, Facebook, or Twitter account. If you have a lot of friends or followers, use that account to join as those followers will automatically become your Medium followers too.
Much like Twitter, you can follow people and publications and a tag system is used for organization, like hashtags.
When you join, Medium asks about your interests and its algorithms use your answers to tailor the content you see. Content is delivered via email and contains a mix of staff selected posts, articles from followed publications, and content most recommended by the people you follow.
The best way to discover new content on Medium is through tags. When content is published, it can carry up to three tags that appear on the bottom of the post. Clicking a tag takes you to more content with the same tags and suggests other tags you might find interesting. Using tags increases the content delivered to your email and allows you to target very specific topics.
There are four ways to interact with content on Medium:
- Recommend – Recommending content is akin to clicking the like button on social media sites, it’s a way of showing appreciation or agreement.
Tip: Getting users to recommend your work is a fantastic way to increase your audience! The more recommendations, the more shares, the more shares, the more likely your post ends up on Medium's "Top Stories" page, which is updated on an hourly basis.
- Text Shot – After highlighting a portion of the content, it’s automatically pulled into a Tweet.
Tip: If someone is so enamored with your work that they quote it in a Tweet, you can bet their followers are going to check out the piece. Another great way to boost your audience!
- Share - This option allows Medium users to share your content on their social media sites and you already know how great that is for your following!
- Response – Medium responses, (comments), are treated as their own stories instead of being relegated to the bottom of the page.
Tip: This means every time you respond to someone’s work, your response has the potential to take on a life of its own and net you some serious exposure!
What About SEO
Hold on, you’re telling me to repost content that’s already on my website to Medium?! No way! Any blogger worth their weight in bullet points knows that republishing content can result in the dreaded Duplicate Content Penalty!!!
Except…there’s no such thing. Really.
What it can do, however, is lower your search engine ranking – unless you do it correctly.
Search engines define duplicate content as that which appears on more than one URL. This confuses the crawlers as they don’t know which version is most relevant to a given search term. As a result, they don’t know to which page (or pages) to direct the metrics or how to rank the results. Since their job is to provide a positive and productive search result, they are forced to choose which version they think is the best result, thus diluting all versions including the original.
The way to avoid a duplicate content issue when republishing is to use a canonical link. Use of this link tells the search engines which the master version is and to show it in a search. Medium’s republishing tools creates this link back to your site automatically.
Medium is a targeted way to get your content in front of people who might otherwise never find your site. A bonus is big outlets like The Huffington Post and Forbes often feature contributors they’ve found on Medium through recommendations, tags, and the Top Stories page. Medium may just increase your website traffic, raise your brand awareness, add to your subscriber list, and land you a high-profile gig all in one swoop!
Worth adding to your marketing strategy, and it won’t cost you a dime!
Now go bake that beautiful birthday cake and blaze up all those candles – just remember to invite the world to be the wind beneath your wishes.