Depending on how fast you write, it can take months or even years to complete a manuscript. While you’re working on your book, you need a way to connect with your followers and keep them engaged. Blogging is a great solution because it doesn’t take too long to type up a short post and interact with readers in the comments section. But if you don’t have time to create new content from scratch, you can easily repurpose excerpts from previous books and turn them into engaging blog posts with minimal effort.
Whether you’re working on your first manuscript or fifth, blogging can also help you promote your book before and after it launches. You can build buzz around your book by documenting the writing process and posting exciting project updates like a cover design reveal. Once your book is published, you can link to it at the end of each post and encourage readers to purchase it if they enjoy your content.
But before you can start blogging, you need to find a place to publish your articles. Some authors choose to build their own website from the ground up, while others use an existing platform like Medium.
Below are some of the pros and cons of posting on Medium compared to blogging on your own website. We’ll also share content ideas to help you figure out what to post on Medium and share tips and advice to help you succeed on the platform.
Medium Pros and Cons
Medium is an online publishing platform that gets millions of visitors every month. Here are some of the pros and cons of building your author brand on Medium instead of starting your own website.
Medium Makes it Easy to Start Blogging
Medium is a great platform for authors who are new to online blogging because it has a low barrier to entry and a large built-in audience. All you have to do to begin posting is sign up for a free Medium account, which only takes a few minutes. Then you can draft your first post in Medium’s easy-to-use text editor and publish it to your blog to spread your message to the platform’s 100 million monthly readers.
Creating your own website from scratch requires more tech skills because you have to customize your site’s layout on your own. Although drag-and-drop website builders like Squarespace can help make the design process easier, they usually cost money. You’ll also have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for website hosting and domain registration. If you’re not sure how often you’ll be able to blog and don’t want to pay website maintenance fees, Medium is a great option.
Medium Gives You Limited Control of Your Blog’s Design
Although it takes some time and money to build an author website from scratch, you’ll have more control over the final product. On Medium, everyone’s blog looks identical and has the same limited features. Medium only gives you space for your blog posts, a short author bio, a comment section, and a few social media sharing buttons.
Medium’s lack of customization options means you can’t add pop-ups to your posts to encourage readers to subscribe to your email list or buy your book. You can’t even customize the colors and fonts used on your Medium page, which makes it harder to create a strong author brand on the platform.
However, you can get the best of both worlds by blogging on your own author website and importing the posts to Medium. The platform has a tool that allows you to import a blog from your website to your Medium profile without hurting the original post’s SEO ranking. Although this adds an extra step to the blog publishing process, it allows you to build your online presence through an author website while still reaching Medium’s large audience.
There’s an Active Writing Community on Medium
Medium has one of the most active communities of writers and book lovers on the internet. As a result, it’s a great place to network with other authors and promote your book to a new audience.
Interacting with fellow writers by commenting on their posts will help boost your reputation and follower count on Medium. The comments you leave will appear on your profile alongside your blog posts. Your responses can even earn claps (Medium’s version of likes) from other readers and become popular, giving you another way to spread your ideas and get noticed on the platform.
To make your writing more discoverable, Medium also allows you to choose up to five topics that describe each blog post, such as “writing” and “books.” Tagging your posts with relevant topics will help ensure your message reaches your target readers.
Medium Prevents You From Capitalizing on Ads
Another potential downside of Medium is that you won’t be able to add retargeting pixels to your blog posts. This means that you won’t be able to advertise your book to your Medium readers using Google Ads. However, you can still promote your book on Medium in more subtle ways, such as linking to your book’s sales page in your posts and author bio.
Something else to keep in mind is that you can’t earn ad revenue by displaying ads on your Medium blog like you can on your own website. Although Medium has a partner program that allows you to potentially earn money from your posts, you’ll only collect revenue on blogs that you put behind Medium’s subscriber paywall. Doing this will limit the number of eyeballs on your blogs, so you probably shouldn’t become a Medium partner if you’re trying to use the platform to promote your book to a wider audience.
Your Medium Posts Could Disappear
Just like any other social media site, Medium could shut down, causing all of your posts, followers, and hard work to disappear. Plus, if you violate Medium’s terms of service, they could take down your blogs at any time. When you own a website, you don’t have to worry as much about your content getting removed.
Overall, Medium is a great option if you’re looking for a fuss-free blogging platform that you don’t have to pay to use or maintain. Read on to learn what kind of content you should post to succeed on the platform.
What Should You Post on Medium?
Just like Google, Medium has its own unique algorithm that determines which posts rise to the top of the search results and readers’ news feeds. The Medium team says blogs that take about seven minutes to read usually perform the best, so you should aim to make each post about 1,600 words long.
Another factor that affects the popularity of your posts is how many people recommend your blogs by clapping for them. Readers can clap for each post up to fifty times depending on how much they enjoyed it, so it’s important to create content that resonates with Medium’s members.
In keeping with Medium’s tagline “where good ideas find you,” readers on the platform are usually looking for thought-provoking content. They aren’t interested in fluffy Buzzfeed-style listicles. An analysis of Medium’s 50 most popular posts found that self-improvement content and personal stories get the most engagement, which is why Medium is such a good place for nonfiction authors to share their message and expertise.
If you’re ready to start posting but aren’t sure what to write, here are some content ideas to give you some inspiration.
If you’re too busy to create new content, you can save time by publishing short excerpts from your book on Medium. However, it’s best to wait until after your book is released and the copyright is filed to share your work online. That way you’ll be protected if someone tries to pass off your writing as their own.
Although you can publish unedited book excerpts, it’s a good idea to turn them into a more readable blog format by adding bullet points, headings and subheadings, and graphs and images to break up the text. If your book has an academic tone, you may also consider adjusting the style of your writing to be more conversational and casual to appeal to an online audience.
Op-eds are another type of content that’s popular on Medium, especially if you can tie your opinion piece to a trending topic. For example, if your book is about your mental health journey, you could publish an op-ed about the lack of affordable therapy in the US during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Don’t forget to suggest your book as further reading and link to it at the end of your post.
Because Medium has a large community of authors, writing advice has become a popular niche on the platform. As an author, you have unique insights to share about the book writing process. On your Medium blog, you can discuss things you wish you would’ve done differently during your book writing and publishing journey and give aspiring authors tips and advice to help them succeed.
Tips to Help You Build a Following on Medium
Publishing great content is only part of the equation if you want to succeed on Medium. Here are our top tips to help you optimize your posts for Medium’s algorithm and attract new followers.
Publish Regularly at Optimal Times
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet when it comes to building a following on Medium. You’ll have to put in the work and post consistently in order to see results. Although it can be hard to find time to write, try to post a blog at least once a week at a peak publishing time.
The head of data science at Medium found that articles posted between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. PST on weekdays usually perform the best. However, half as many articles are published on weekends compared to weekdays. So if you post during the weekend, it may be easier to get the attention of Medium’s curators, who play a big role in deciding which posts are distributed to a wider audience. Since fewer posts go live on weekends, a curator may be more likely to stumble across your article if you publish it on Saturday or Sunday.
No matter when you decide to publish, it’s important to promote your article right away. Articles that get immediate engagement are more likely to get boosted by the algorithm, so ask your social media followers, email list, and friends and family to like and comment on your blog post. You can also post a link to your article in Medium-related Facebook groups like Medium Writers and Genuine Readers, which has a dedicated thread for writers who want to share their work.
Hone Your SEO Strategy
Medium has a huge audience of curious readers who would love to hear your story and learn from your experiences. However, if your post doesn’t get promoted by the Medium and Google algorithms, your message may get buried under the thousands of other blogs on Medium. That’s why it’s important to optimize your posts using tried-and-true SEO strategies such as keyword research.
Keywords are just phrases that you think readers who are interested in your book’s topic may search for on Medium and Google. Free keyword generator tools like Ubersuggest can help you come up with a steady stream of new keyword ideas. Try to choose one primary keyword and a few secondary keywords to use in each blog post. Make sure to include the primary keyword in the post’s title and a few of the headings and subheadings. Then sprinkle primary and secondary keywords throughout the body of the post in a natural way that doesn’t interrupt the flow of your thoughts and ideas.
You should also take the time to customize your post’s SEO title and description, which is the headline and summary that’s shown in Google search results. You can do this by navigating to the advanced settings tab in Medium’s post editor. Coming up with a catchy title and description that incorporates your article’s main keyword will help you get more views.
Submit Your Posts to Publications
Medium publications are similar to online magazines. Each publication usually covers a specific topic or theme and has a managing editor and multiple contributors. Readers can follow publications they enjoy to get notified when new posts are published. So if one of your posts gets accepted by a popular publication with lots of followers, it’s more likely to reach a significant number of readers. The Medium algorithm also seems to favor articles featured in publications and may rank them higher in the search results, which could help you gain additional exposure.
Below is a list of a few popular publications that you could consider submitting your posts to. This list isn’t exhaustive, so don’t worry if you don’t see a publication that’s related to your book’s topic. Medium has publications centered around almost every topic under the sun from politics to web design, so you’re sure to find a home for your articles.
- The Writing Cooperative is Medium’s largest writing advice publication.
- The Startup features content about entrepreneurship and has 8 million monthly readers.
- Entrepreneur’s Handbook also features business-related content and has over 200,000 readers.
- Better Humans has nearly 400,000 followers and focuses on self-improvement.
- As the name implies, Towards Data Science covers data science and machine learning and has over 600,000 followers.
- The Coil is a small, independent literary magazine that serves as a hub for authors and publishes book excerpts.
- Invisible Illness has about 50,000 followers and covers mental health.
Keep in mind that every publication has its own pitching process, so take a look at the submission guidelines before sending in your work.
Start Your Own Publication
Starting your own publication is another potential path to success on Medium. Launching a publication that focuses on your industry will help you build your brand and position you as an authority in your field. However, it will take time to grow your publication’s readership and find qualified contributors. Don’t expect your publication to be an overnight success and be prepared to put in some legwork to get your magazine off the ground.
Once your publication begins to gain a following, don’t forget to make use of the letters feature, which allows you to send a message directly to the inboxes of all your subscribers. This feature is the closest thing Medium has to an email newsletter and is only available to publications. You can use it to keep your fans updated on your current projects and promote important events like your book launch.
Don’t Go It Alone
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