I’m a late starter to the idea of blogging on Medium but I’ve been thinking a lot about it for some time. In part this has been prompted by finding writers, whose posts (called “Stories” on Medium) I’ve enjoyed reading recently, such as Zulie Rane and Tom Kuegler.
Since it’s the start of a new year, I thought it would be interesting to start a new sub-project for SideGains and document the experience for others to see what blogging on Medium as a beginner might look like for them, based upon my activity.
In this post I’m going to explain:
- What Medium is.
- Why I’m testing it.
- The precise steps I’m taking.
- What I hope to achieve.
I intend to make this post a work in progress and add to it as my Medium blogging project develops, hence I hope to update it at least weekly… and even possibly daily if it’s warranted.
I suspect this project may also require separate posts that delve into specific detail about aspects of the project.
What is Medium?
Medium is a free community blogging tool. It’s like having your posts feature in an online magazine rather than on your own blog. Wikipedia references Medium as a “social journalism” site where amateur writers, professional journalists and established publications have accounts through which they publish content.
Many people use Medium simply as a free blogging platform in itself, like Blogger for example. They may not have their own domain and self hosted blog and prefer the idea of keeping things simple.
There are some advantages to this.
I’ve mentioned cost already but you can add the technical aspects of maintaining a self-hosted blog into the mix too, which can involve a lot of setup time and ongoing tweaks.
There’s nothing much to set up if you’re considering blogging on Medium, other than creating an account and publishing content… that’s really pretty much it.
Of course you’ll need some sort of strategy or plan to grow your following and get eyes on your stories, but perhaps this post might offer some insight on that front.
The other thing that Medium offers is the ability to monetize the content you publish through the Medium Partner Program. This is a scheme that pays writers a small sum based upon the engagement their posts have from paying Medium subscribers.
Some people like Zulie and Tom make a full-time income from blogging on Medium alone!
The downside of Medium is you’re not in control of your posts in the same way you are when you self-host. If something happens that knocks Medium off the face of the earth, or there’s an internal algorithm change, it may wipe out all your hard work.
This isn’t something specific to blogging on Medium though (think Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc) so for me I’m not sure I’d ever want to throw all of my eggs into someone else’s basket: more on this later.
Why Am I Blogging on Medium?
As I said in my introduction, I began reading articles by Zulie Rane and Tom Kuegler several months ago. Zulie and Tom are both actively blogging on Medium on a regular basis.
I signed up to their newsletters and began to learn more about them and how they’ve built an income from Medium.
For me, of course I love the sound of making a side income from any source. However, I suspect it takes time to make money blogging on Medium just as it takes time to make money from your own blog.
I’m more interested in seeing if and how running a blog on Medium increases reach for SideGains and whether it will help to bring in visits.
If I can make some money on the side from my blogging activity on Medium, then so be it… but this is not my primary goal.
Tom Kuegler receives a very healthy income most months simply by blogging on Medium. However, Medium appears to be more of an important entry point into his funnel for selling courses…
Medium Article > Call To Action at the end > 5 Day Email Course > Webinar > Sell Online Course
Tom makes a good kickback from the Medium Partner Program, but he openly admits that he makes most of his income selling courses on his own platform (he uses Medium to help him do so):
Email subscribers are the lifeblood of online courses and, really, selling anything online. Without my Medium articles and presence, I would be making maybe $5,000 per year with online courses.Source: Tom Kuegler
In 2019 he made over $52k selling his courses online.
So maybe I can use Medium in a similar way: create content people enjoy reading and use blogging on Medium as a way to take people into my funnel.
As I say, I’m not looking to make a vast amount of money with a Medium blog here… I’m just trying to see if and how SideGains might benefit from additional exposure.
So What’s My Strategy for Blogging on Medium?
I’m basically going to follow Tom Kuegler’s 5 day email course to see how it works out and I’ll try to adhere to his strategy as closely as possible. You can sign up to this yourself here if you’re interested.
Here’s what I’m going to be doing…
1. Writing Between 1 to 3 Posts Every Week
I’m aiming to publish up to 3 posts on Medium each week. Each post will be +300 words in length, though stories of around 1,000 words take around 5 minutes to read, which apparently Medium tends to favor.
I’ll be mixing up the content topics and not just writing about the things I post here at SideGains: Life lessons, traveling, blogging and freelancing.
2. Following 50 People Each Day
Tom suggests searching for popular stories on Medium and looking at the list of people who have “clapped” (liked) them. He recommends following 50 people who have clapped the stories you’ve found, since by his reckoning it’ll result in 5 to 10 people following you back.
You need people to clap your articles to send engagement signals to Medium that may help to boost your articles on the platform and earn you money at the same time.
Your followers also get to see your new posts in their Medium feed, so the more you have the more chance you have to get reads and claps.
The idea behind this strategy is that over the course of a month you should end up with between 150 to 300 new followers.
3. Applying to Publications
Medium publications are shared spaces for stories written around a common theme or topic, usually by multiple authors.Source: Medium
Publications house articles rather like newspapers or magazines. Some publications have huge followings on Medium, so getting your posts published to them can put them under the noses of lots of people.
The bigger the publication the more people will see what you publish.
However, most publications are choosy about who they accept and what articles they approve. The posts you submit to publications are reviewed by editors and approved according to their needs and quality requirements.
4. Commenting on 3 – 5 Posts Every Day
Another way to increase visibility is to comment on Medium Stories you read. The comments you add can lead to more follows and potentially engagement on your own stories.
As with blog commenting, the discussion points you leave on Medium Stories should be thoughtful and add value to the discussion thread or the story itself. “Way to go brother” will not help in any way: let’s face it, these types of comments are plain spammy.
So that’s it for the time being.
As I say, I intend for this post to serve as the starting point for my Medium blogging project. I will likely add to this to refine the details of my approach and flesh out the details of my strategy as it evolves.
To be continued!
Thanks for reading.
Are you presently blogging on Medium or thinking of doing so? Drop a comment below to ask me a question or add your insights to this post.
Akinduyo Eniola says
Wow, seeing you add medium to your content strategy is awesome.
It’s something I also plan to try and see how it goes.
It isn’t easy creating content for multiple platforms but I hope I’ll be consistent enough to get results.
Keep up the good work on your blog.
Yes Akinduyo… it’s another platform I now have to produce content for!
It will be tough, but I’m interested to see how it goes. I’ll be documenting my results month by month so come back and check for my updates!
AP White says
“Following 50 People Each Day”
Bear in mind that according to Tom’s profile, he is only following ~1100 users since joining in 2017, meaning he is not following his own advice of following 50 people a day, as that would be over 18,000 in just one year that he would be following, which would still give him a great ratio against his 50,000 followers.
I don’t tend to follow advice from people when they aren’t bothering to even do it themselves. Be careful how much you take on board from someone like this, who as you can clearly see, is focused solely on commercial gain through the selling of ebooks, and will create whatever content he can across multiple “mediums” to make that happen.
Hi AP… and thanks for your comment.
You’ve provided fair advice for any platform… you need to be skeptical when someone has something to sell. It’s obvious to me too that Tom has a very clear commercial goal: I won’t be buying his ebooks myself.
My intention is not to regurgitate what he is doing, but to document the approach he recommends as a case study, albeit slightly modified with my own take.
In light of this, I recognize I need to update my post to explain my approach in more detail, which I’ll be doing. For example, I’m not indiscriminately following 50 accounts a day… I’m looking at each account to see whether they are active on Medium, if it seems we have something in common and whether I like what they’ve published / commented… this takes quite a bit of time.
What I’m trying to do is build connections to get me started… I don’t anticipate I’ll be following 50 accounts a day in perpetuity. I guess we also shouldn’t assume that Tom wasn’t following 50 accounts a day when he started out. As you point out, he’s clearly not doing this now based on the numbers you reference.
Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughtful comment AP… I always enjoy reading such comments and only ever publish / reply to those I feel add value or balance to the discussion.