How to Succeed on Medium

Nicholas Smith
12 min readOct 3, 2023

In today’s world of online content creation, Medium stands out as a special place where writers, bloggers, and thinkers can connect with a vibrant community. It offers an exciting opportunity for people who want to share their knowledge, stories, and ideas with a wide audience. This guide is here to help you understand how to succeed on Medium.

Why is Medium important?

Well, it’s like a bridge between traditional publishing and the modern digital age. It lets writers express themselves, find people who share their interests, and even make some money through the Medium Partner Program. But here’s the thing: success on Medium doesn’t come easy. It takes effort, skill, and a good plan.

This guide will be your roadmap, taking you through everything you need to know. We’ll start by explaining how Medium works, then dive into creating great content, building your audience, and even making some money along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, we’ve got you covered.

So, if you’re excited to make the most of Medium and start your journey as a writer or blogger, let’s get started with the tips and tricks that will help you succeed on this platform.

Understanding Medium’s Ecosystem

Medium is more than just a place to write; it’s a dynamic ecosystem with its own unique features and dynamics. In this section, we’ll explore the inner workings of Medium’s ecosystem to help you navigate it effectively.

Medium’s Platform and Features:

Medium serves as a blogging platform that provides writers with a user-friendly interface for crafting and publishing their articles. It offers various features to enhance your writing experience, including formatting tools and customization options for your profile.

The Medium Membership Program:

Medium offers a Membership program that provides readers with ad-free access to content and exclusive stories. As a writer, understanding the benefits of this program is crucial because it directly affects your earnings through the Medium Partner Program.

Publications on Medium:

Publications are curated collections of articles on specific topics or themes. They play a significant role in Medium’s ecosystem by giving writers a platform to showcase their work to a wider audience. Discovering and collaborating with publications can boost your visibility and credibility on Medium.

Niche and Audience:

Choosing your niche or specific topic to write about is key to success on Medium. It helps you attract a dedicated audience that shares your interests. Understanding your target audience and tailoring your content to their preferences is equally important. Consistency in your niche and audience engagement helps you build a personal brand on Medium.

Creating High-Quality Content

Crafting content that resonates with your audience is at the heart of succeeding on Medium. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Choosing the Right Topics:

When you sit down to write on Medium, it’s essential to start by selecting the right topics. This involves a dual approach. First, keeping an eye on trending subjects can help you tap into current discussions and attract a larger audience. Second, don’t underestimate the value of evergreen content. These are topics that remain relevant over time and can continue to draw readers long after they’re published.

Identifying Your Unique Perspective:

One of the most powerful aspects of writing on Medium is the ability to infuse your unique perspective into your articles. Readers come to Medium not just for information but for the personal touch that writers bring. Share your experiences, insights, and opinions. Consider how your personal anecdotes can add depth and relatability to your content.

Crafting Compelling Headlines and Subheadings:

The first thing readers see is your headline. Crafting a compelling headline is crucial to grabbing their attention. It should be clear, concise, and intriguing. In addition to headlines, subheadings play a vital role in breaking up your content and making it more scannable. This improves the overall readability of your article.

Structuring Your Articles for Readability:

A well-structured article is a joy to read. Start with a clear introduction that sets the stage for what readers can expect. Organize your body content logically, using paragraphs and headings to guide the reader through your ideas. Good formatting, bullet points, and lists can also make your content more accessible and digestible.

Utilizing Multimedia Elements Effectively:

Sometimes, words alone don’t do justice to your message. Multimedia elements like images, videos, and infographics can enhance your content. They break up the text and provide visual appeal. However, it’s important to source and credit multimedia content properly to maintain professionalism.

The Art of Storytelling in Medium Articles:

One of the most potent tools in your content creation arsenal is storytelling. Readers connect with stories, and personal anecdotes can make your articles relatable and memorable. Craft your articles in a way that takes your readers on a journey, involving them emotionally in your narrative. This can be a powerful way to engage and retain your audience on Medium.

Mastering Medium’s Writing Style

Medium is not just a platform for sharing content; it’s a community of readers and writers who appreciate high-quality, engaging, and well-crafted articles. To succeed on Medium, it’s essential to master the platform’s distinct writing style and guidelines. In this section, we will delve into the specifics of crafting your articles to resonate with Medium’s audience and algorithms.

Following Medium’s Editorial Guidelines:

  1. Adherence to Medium’s Policies: Begin by familiarizing yourself with Medium’s content policies and guidelines. These rules cover everything from prohibited content to proper attribution and copyright compliance.
  2. Clarity and Honesty: Ensure your articles are clear, honest, and accurately represent your ideas. Avoid using deceptive headlines or clickbait tactics, as Medium values transparency.
  3. Respect Copyright: Always give credit where credit is due. If you include images, quotes, or references from other sources, provide proper attribution and respect copyright laws.
  4. Avoid Plagiarism: Plagiarism is strictly prohibited on Medium. Create original content, and if you use quotes or references, make sure they are properly cited.

Understanding the Use of Tags and Categories:

  1. Relevant Tags: Choose tags that are relevant to your article’s content. Tags help categorize your work and make it discoverable to readers interested in those topics.
  2. Selecting Categories: Assign your article to appropriate Medium categories. This helps it appear in relevant category feeds, increasing its visibility.

Optimizing Readability with Proper Formatting:

  1. Subheadings: Break your article into sections with descriptive subheadings. This improves readability and helps readers skim for information.
  2. Short Paragraphs: Medium readers prefer shorter paragraphs. Aim for 2–4 sentences per paragraph to make your text more digestible.
  3. Bulleted Lists and Numbered Lists: Use lists to organize information and make it easier for readers to follow your points.
  4. Bold and Italics: Emphasize key words or phrases with bold or italics, but use them sparingly to avoid clutter.
  5. Blockquotes: Use blockquotes to highlight important quotes or excerpts within your text.
  6. White Space: Ensure there is adequate white space in your article to prevent overwhelming readers with dense text.

Word Count Considerations:

  1. Ideal Length: While there is no strict word limit on Medium, articles in the 600–1,500 word range tend to perform well. Longer pieces should be well-structured and engaging.
  2. Value over Length: Focus on delivering value to your readers. Don’t pad your articles with unnecessary content to meet a word count.

Engaging with Your Audience Through Comments:

  1. Responding to Comments: Engage with readers who comment on your articles. Answer questions, thank them for their feedback, and foster a sense of community.
  2. Encourage Discussion: Encourage thoughtful discussion by asking questions or prompting readers to share their opinions in the comments.

Mastering Medium’s writing style is essential for capturing the attention of readers and gaining visibility on the platform. By adhering to Medium’s guidelines and optimizing your content for readability, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful Medium writer.

Monetization and Earning on Medium

Exploring the Medium Partner Program

Medium offers a unique monetization avenue through its Partner Program. By becoming a Medium Partner, writers can earn money based on the engagement their stories receive. This program allows readers to subscribe to a monthly membership, and a portion of their subscription fee goes to the writers they engage with the most. To join the Medium Partner Program, writers need to apply and be accepted, after which they can start earning revenue from their content.

Understanding the Role of Claps and Reads

Claps and reads play a crucial role in determining a writer’s earnings on Medium. Claps represent the applause or appreciation readers give to an article, and reads indicate the number of times an article is viewed. The more claps and reads an article receives, the higher the potential for earnings. However, it’s essential to focus not just on quantity but also on the quality of engagement to maximize the impact on earnings.

Strategies for Maximizing Earnings

To optimize earnings on Medium, writers should focus on several key strategies. First, consistency is vital — regularly publishing high-quality content keeps readers engaged and increases the chances of earning through the Medium Partner Program. Additionally, understanding the preferences of your target audience and crafting content that resonates with them can lead to higher claps, reads, and, consequently, increased earnings. Experimenting with different topics, formats, and writing styles can help identify what works best for your audience.

Tips for Gaining More Subscribers

Building a loyal subscriber base is a cornerstone of success on Medium. Writers can attract and retain subscribers by consistently delivering valuable and relevant content. Encouraging readers to follow and subscribe to your profile ensures that they receive notifications about your latest articles. Engaging with your audience through responses to comments and participating in Medium’s social features can also foster a sense of community, encouraging more readers to become subscribers. Collaborating with other writers and promoting each other’s work can further expand your reach and subscriber base.

Analytics and Performance Tracking

In your journey to succeed on Medium, understanding the performance of your articles is paramount. This section delves into the crucial aspects of analytics and performance tracking, helping you make informed decisions to boost your reach and engagement.

Utilizing Medium’s Analytics Tools

Medium provides writers with valuable insights into their article performance. These analytics tools offer a wealth of data to help you assess how your content is resonating with your audience. Here’s how to make the most of them:

  1. Views and Reads: Monitor the number of views and reads for each of your articles. Analyze which topics or writing styles attract more readers.
  2. Read Ratio: Assess the read ratio, which shows what percentage of readers finished your article. A higher read ratio indicates that your content is engaging and holds readers’ attention.
  3. Referral Sources: Identify where your readers are coming from. Are they finding your articles through Medium’s recommendations, social media shares, or external links?
  4. Follower Growth: Keep an eye on your follower count and track how it correlates with your publishing frequency and content quality.
  5. Claps and Responses: Measure the claps (Medium’s equivalent of likes) and the number of responses (comments) on your articles. Engage with your readers by responding to comments and thanking them for claps.

Measuring Article Performance

  1. Identify Top Performers: Determine which of your articles are performing exceptionally well in terms of views, reads, and engagement. Analyze what made these articles stand out.
  2. Conversion Rates: Track the conversion rates for your Medium stories. Are readers subscribing to your profile or publications after reading your content? Experiment with different calls to action to improve conversion.
  3. Time Analysis: Understand the timing of your article’s performance. Do certain days or times of the week yield better results? Adjust your publishing schedule accordingly.
  4. A/B Testing: Experiment with different headlines, cover images, and introductions to see what resonates best with your audience. Medium allows you to publish under different titles and analyze their performance.

Adjusting Your Content Strategy Based on Data

  1. Content Topics: Use analytics to identify popular topics within your niche. Tailor your content strategy to focus on subjects that resonate with your audience.
  2. Audience Insights: Gain insights into your readers’ demographics, interests, and behaviors. Use this information to create content that caters to your target audience.
  3. Optimize Length: Analyze whether longer or shorter articles perform better for your audience. Adapt your content length accordingly.
  4. Frequency and Consistency: Evaluate how your posting frequency affects engagement. Strive for a consistent publishing schedule that aligns with your audience’s preferences.

Setting and Monitoring Goals for Success

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Set specific goals for your Medium journey, such as increasing your follower count, earning a certain income, or achieving a particular read ratio.
  2. Regularly Assess Progress: Continuously monitor your analytics to gauge your progress towards your goals. Adjust your strategies as needed to stay on track.
  3. Iterate and Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches based on your data insights. Be open to refining your content strategy to optimize your results.

By harnessing the power of analytics and performance tracking on Medium, you’ll be better equipped to refine your content strategy, engage your audience effectively, and ultimately find success as a Medium writer. Remember that data-driven decisions are key to continually improving your performance on the platform.

Handling Rejections and Feedback

Receiving rejections and feedback is an inevitable part of your journey on Medium, but how you handle them can significantly impact your growth as a writer.

Coping with rejection from Medium publications:

Rejections are common, even for experienced writers. It’s crucial not to take them personally. Instead, view them as opportunities to improve. Remember that even well-known authors faced rejections before finding success.

Learning from constructive feedback:

Feedback, whether from editors or readers, can be invaluable. Embrace it as a chance to refine your skills. Analyze the feedback objectively and use it to enhance your future work.

Iterating and improving your writing skills:

Use rejection and feedback as motivation to get better. Revise your rejected articles, and consider submitting them elsewhere. The more you write and iterate, the more you’ll grow as a writer.

Rejections and feedback are not roadblocks but stepping stones on your path to success on Medium. Stay resilient and keep refining your craft.

Staying Committed and Persistent

The importance of patience and perseverance

Achieving success on Medium doesn’t typically happen overnight. It’s essential to understand that building a following and earning a substantial income can take time. Patience is your ally. Even if your initial articles don’t receive as much attention as you’d hoped, keep in mind that many successful Medium writers started with small audiences too.

Setting realistic goals for Medium success

Setting achievable milestones is crucial to staying motivated and focused. Instead of aiming for instant fame or fortune, consider setting goals like publishing a certain number of articles per month, increasing your follower count gradually, or earning a specific monthly income. These realistic objectives will help you measure your progress and stay committed.

Celebrating small victories along the way

Medium success is a journey filled with small victories. Whether it’s receiving your first clap, gaining a new follower, or having an article curated by a publication, celebrate these milestones. Recognizing and appreciating your achievements, no matter how minor they may seem, can boost your morale and keep you motivated to persevere.

Remember, the most successful Medium writers didn’t give up when faced with initial setbacks. They continued to write, engage with their audience, and refine their strategies, ultimately achieving their goals through commitment and persistence.

Takeaway

In this guide, we’ve explored the ins and outs of succeeding on Medium, a platform that’s changed the way people share their thoughts and stories. It’s been quite a journey, and here’s what you’ve learned along the way.

You now understand how Medium works, including its features, the Medium membership program, and the significance of publications. You’ve also seen the importance of choosing the right topics, crafting catchy headlines, and structuring your articles well.

Writing on Medium comes with its own style, like following their guidelines and using tags and categories effectively. Plus, you’ve seen the significance of formatting and paying attention to word counts. Engaging with readers through comments is crucial too.

Building an audience involves consistency in your posting schedule, sharing your articles on social media, and making use of Medium’s networking features. Don’t forget to interact with your readers and other writers; collaborations can be powerful.

Monetization on Medium is possible through the Partner Program, and you’ve learned how claps and reads play a role. We’ve also covered strategies for boosting your earnings and getting more subscribers.

Tracking your performance is vital. You have Medium’s analytics tools at your disposal, and they can help you see how your articles are doing. Use this data to adjust your strategy and meet your goals.

Rejections and feedback are part of the journey. Don’t be discouraged by rejections from Medium publications; learn from them. Constructive feedback can be your best teacher.

Success on Medium takes time, so patience and persistence are your best friends. Set realistic goals and celebrate every achievement, no matter how small.

We’ve also shared case studies and success stories from real Medium writers to inspire you. Their experiences can guide you on your own path.

As you keep writing on Medium, remember that it’s not just about stats — it’s about connecting with readers, sparking conversations, and growing as a writer. Success here is a journey, not a destination.

In a world where quick results are often the focus, keep in mind that good things take time. Keep refining your skills and stay committed to your craft.

Your words have the power to inform, inspire, and engage people worldwide. So, keep writing, growing, and believing in yourself. Your Medium journey is unique, and we’re excited to see where it leads you.

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Nicholas Smith

I'm Nicholas Smith, a dedicated wordsmith on a lifelong quest to breathe life into stories and ideas through the power of the pen