Psst! Want to know a secret?
If I said you could get read and retweeted globally, find a whole new audience for your work and increase your published clips by doing nothing would you believe me?
I thought not. But you can.
Being published on a globally read blog can take some effort. Pitch after pitch, ideas lost in the ether, courting editors, seeking approval — it’s a hard slog. But we do it to build an audience, showcase authority and make the world know we’re here, right?
Let me share with you something that happened to me this month, and what I learned about going viral without the legwork.
Here’s what happened
Medium is the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and is, frankly, beautiful to write on. The CMS is intuitive, simple, text led and really lovely to “get your blog on” with.
As you would expect from someone who had a hand in Twitter, simplicity and content are the main themes on the platform.
Stories are decentralised from the writer, and are instead browseable by theme, collections, and suggested reads.
Although I already run my own blog, I’ve begun spending a little time over on Medium of late. As a blogger and blog coach I stay up to date with changes in the industry, and when a new platform arrives I like to test drive it, hang out there a bit and make sure I know what’s what.
Takeaway #1: Keep learning new platforms in our industry
Understand new content management system (CMS) concepts and keep an eye on trends as they gain traction. In the new media world the market changes rapidly and you don’t want to be left behind.
There I was, writing away on Medium about staying productive in Winter. As this post was away from my usual audience and blog readers I just let myself go for it, enjoy the post and the concept, and pressed the publish button when I was happy.
Takeaway #2: Blog like no-one is listening, but make it good
Going back to the content as king mindset is no bad thing. When the confines of your usual blog home and safety net are gone, it’s really just about the words.
A few days later an email arrived in my inbox from an editor at Lifehacker asking if my new post could be featured on the site. Naturally, I said yes.
Takeaway #3: Make it easy to contact you via your website
I’ve had enquiries from TV shows, PRs, joint venture partners and editors via the pop-up contact form on my site. I use vCita but there are a range of great options and alternatives.
A mere 6 hours later, my post was live on Lifehacker. I knew this before I heard it from the editor, as people had begun tweeting me and mentioning the piece.
The post continues to circulate around social media, and has made a fabulous addition to my portfolio.
Takeaway #4: Develop a strong portfolio and links to your site
This guest post was one I didn’t pitch for, didn’t ask for, and hadn’t planned out, but it has been a significant driver of visitors to my own site this month. Not only that, but I’m guesting here too to tell you all about it!
Takeaway #5: Retell your story with a new spin
That one post now has 3 outcomes; the original, the Lifehacker post, and now this one as I tell you all about it. Spin, baby, spin!
Maybe I just got lucky. I totally get that reaction. But Medium is still new enough to be edgy, still interesting enough to be where the early adopters hang out, and where people go to find great content. Maybe that’s where they will find you.
As freelance bloggers, finding new ways to showcase our writing skills and make them shine is always on our agenda. So, get writing on a new platform and use it to showcase your writing and build your portfolio.
How to get read on Medium
- Add your story to some of the “Collections” run by Medium’s editors.
- Take part in it all! Read stories by others and recommend ones that you like.
- Include a call to action after your post, telling readers to contact you for content creation, to recommend the post, or to share on social media.
- Keep at it! Keep adding your stories, make them great, and market them as published clips for future clients.
Have you checked out Medium yet? Have you been “found” without meaning to be? I’d love to hear your stories.