How to Use Medium: A First timers Guide to Writing, Submitting & Promoting for the Platform

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What do the White House, Sports Highlighted , and our cousin Jimmy every have in common?

They all publish articles on Medium.

For the White Home, that content consists of State of the Union addresses and plan announcements. Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, manages a sports news syndication called The Cauldron. The cousin Jimmy? He publishes an ongoing collection on advanced cat grooming techniques.

And that, my friends, is definitely Medium in microcosm.

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What is Medium?

Medium is a interpersonal publishing platform which is open to all plus home to a diverse array of stories, suggestions, and perspectives. Anybody can be an individual contributor, and popular topics on Medium vary from mental health in order to social media, and through world affairs plus trending news in order to productivity hacks.  

As Medium founder (and Blogger creator/Twitter co-founder) Ev Williams wrote whenever he first launched the platform in 2012:

“Medium is not about you or whom you know, but about what you need to say. ”

To help emphasize the significance of what it is you’re stating, the overall design of Moderate is minimalistic, offering lots of white room and limited format options. Want to replace the header typeface in order to Comic Sans? On the phone to. Medium won’t permit such atrocities associated with design.

Yet that’s just one of a lot of little nuances that include the territory intended for Medium users. In fact , if you’re just starting out on the platform, there’s a fair amount to understand before you hit release. Let’s get into it…

Composing for Medium

Anyone who has the Medium account may write for Medium — there’s no additional vetting process included. To get started, simply subscribe to a free Medium account (or upgrade fully $5/month membership with regard to unlimited access), plus you’re ready to begin writing from there.

However , your publish needs to adhere to Medium’s content guidelines and rules. For instance, on the phone to promote controversial or even extreme content on the Medium account. Weight loss facilitate buying or selling social media marketing interactions, including off-platform. And you can’t publish anything considered internet affiliate marketing content.  

For the full listing of rules in regards to content, take a look at this post on Medium Rules.  

As a marketer, Medium presents an opportunity for you yourself to reach a new audience with your content. The platform is geared toward sharing longer-form, more well-thought-out content. (But of course, given the open-to-all nature of Medium, that isn’t the sole type of content you will find there. )

Whether you’re looking in to Medium for its publishing capabilities or you simply want to learn more about the platform before you set up an account and commence exploring, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Use Medium

Getting Started With Medium

1 . Creating an Account

While it’s true that anyone can view Medium content (regardless of whether or not they have a Medium account), to be able to publish and connect to folks on the platform, you need to have an account and be logged in.

Fortunately, you are able to create an account within just a minute by going to Medium. com and clicking the “Get started” button in the center of the page (or the “Sign in / Sign up” link at the top of the page). From there you will have three different sign-up options to choose from: Google, Facebook, and email.

Join Medium sign-up page My recommendation: Sign up for Medium using Facebook. This way all of your existing connections from Facebook who are on Medium will automatically be following your account once it’s created. This saves you the difficulty of having to build up a fresh audience entirely from scratch.

Whatever the option you choose to start, you can always link your Twitter or Facebook to your Medium account later via the “Connections” tab in the Settings menu:

Connecting your Medium account to social pages

The Settings menu is also where you can update your username/profile page URL. If you register with Twitter, your profile page URL, by default, will be medium. com/@YourTwitterHandle. But you’re free to change it. From the Settings menu you can also control what email notifications you obtain from Medium. (You’ll learn about what triggers these notifications in the sections to check out. )

The other main what to remember when it comes to setup? Adding a profile photo  and writing up a short (160-character max) bio for the Medium profile page. (Note: If you sign up using Twitter, your Twitter profile photo and bio will undoubtedly be automatically synced to your Medium account. )

repayments Following People, Publications, & Tags

With a Twitter feed, the content that’s surfaced comes primarily from the accounts of the people and organizations you follow.

With a Medium feed, the information that’s surfaced comes not only from the accounts of the people and organizations you follow, but also from the publications and tags you follow. What’s more, when you look for content on Medium, people, publications, and tags all appear in the results.

Searching Medium by relevant tags

Medium publications are collections of stories based around a common theme. Anyone can create them — yourself included — and how they work is fairly straightforward.

As the creator of a publication, you’re an editor by default, which means you have the ability to a) add writers to your publication, b) edit and publish the stories that are submitted by your writers, and c) review the metrics for all of the stories that are part of your publication. As the publication’s creator, you’ll also have the ability to appoint new editors (so they can do all of that stuff I just mentioned).

Now, to tags.

Tags are sort of like the hashtags of the Medium ecosystem.   When you publish a story on Medium, you get the option to add up to three tags, which appear at the bottom of one’s story. Clicking a tag brings you to a page where you can see more stories with the same tag, as well as some suggestions for other tags you might be interested in.

The main benefit of following tags is that it can help personalize your Medium experience. In the place of surfacing content based solely on your social graph (i. e., the people/publications you follow), Medium uses tags to surface content that’s based on your specific interests aswell. For example , if you’re into baseball, you could follow the “baseball” tag. Into “small fluffy dog breeds”? Yep, there’s a tag for that (granted only 1 story has been published under it).

To date in this introduction to Medium, we’ve acted mostly as passive observers. We’ve set up an account, and started following some accounts, publications, and tags. In the next section, we’ll dive in to the more interactive aspects of Medium.

How to Interact With Medium Content

3. Recommend, share and bookmark content.

The “Recommend” is the “Like” of the Medium world. It’s really a way to show you that you appreciate the content that someone has shared.

When reading a story on Medium, there are two places where you can recommend it: At the bottom of the actual story, where you see the clapping hand symbol…

Clapping or responding to a Medium post

Or on the nav bar that appears at the left of the screen when you scroll through a story…

Clapping or responding to Medium on the left side of the page

In either case, you will need to click on the clapping hand icon you see to recommend a story. Once clicked, the hands will change from an outline to solid green. To see the full list of people who’ve recommended a story, you can click on that little number you see next to the center. (Note: You can clap up to 50 times per post, and you may clap for as many posts as you would like. )

When you recommend a story, the writer, by default, will receive an email notification. (But that’s something you can control in Settings). The more recommends a story receives, the more likely it will be to get shared around the Medium network. Stories that receive the most recommends within a given period of time get featured on Medium’s “Top stories” page.

In the same two locations where you can recommend a tale, you can also share that story to Twitter or Facebook (by clicking one of the social icons), and you can bookmark the story for later reading by clicking the bookmark icon (which turns solid once clicked).

Social icons to share a Medium post at bottom of the page

Once you bookmark a story, it will appear in your “Lists” page, which you are able to access from Medium’s homepage on the bookmark icon:  

The Lists page where you can find Medium posts you've bookmarked

4. Highlight specific words.

In addition to recommending, sharing, and bookmarking Medium stories, you can unlock a second level of interaction by selecting a section of text with your cursor. When you have highlighted some text, a pop-up menu will appear that gives you four options:

highlighting text on Medium

  1. Highlight:   Clicking the highlighter icon (pencil symbol) will put a green highlight round the text you’ve selected, which is visible to your Medium followers. By default, a story’s writer will receive a notification when a section of that story is highlighted.
  2. Response:   Clicking the speech bubble icon will allow you to write a response to the story you’re reading. The section of text you’ve highlighted will appear at the top of your response. (More on responses in a second! )
  3. Text Shot:   Clicking the Twitter icon will generate a “Text Shot, ” which is a tweet that automatically pulls in the text you’ve highlighted as a screenshot.
  4. Private Note:   Clicking the lock icon will allow you to send the writer of the story a private note. (Note: This functionality can be turned on and off in your account settings. )

5. Write responses.

Unlike traditional blog comments, Medium responses are treated as individual stories. That means in addition to appearing at the bottoms of the stories you react to, the responses you write are documented on your profile page, and have the potential to take off and get highly  circulated exactly like traditional stories.

responding to a Medium post

As a newcomer to Medium, writing responses can be a great way to activate with people on the platform without having to commit to writing a full-blown story. Additionally, it may help you come up with some ideas for your first story when you do choose to write it.

How to Write and Publish on Medium

6. Format text in your posts.

From the Medium homepage, you can access the Medium editor and begin writing or laying out a story by hitting your profile icon at the top-right of the Medium page, and then selecting “Write a story”:  

Writing a story on Medium

As you will probably discover, writing in Medium’s editor is highly intuitive and — from a stylistic perspective — extremely difficult to screw up.

By highlighting text, you can unveil several basic formatting options, including bold, italics, and hyperlinking. You can also designate text as an H1 or as an H2 (using the big T or little t)…

Creating H2s on Medium And you can choose between two different styles of blockquotes. Option A:

One way to create a blockquote on Medium And Option B:

Second way to create a blockquote on Medium Of course, if you really want to get fancy, you can use Medium’s drop caps function. Know those enlarged, stylized letters you sometimes see at the beginning of sentences? Those are drop caps. According to the Medium team, they’re useful for “pacing, starting a new chapter, or just a little typographical delight. ”

Bolding first letter of your Medium story Another option for creating some separation between different sections of a story in Medium is to use a component, or separator. In order to insert one, you’ll first need to click that little plus icon that appears when you’re on an empty line of your story.


Clicking that plus icon will open up a menu with four options. Usually the one on the far right — the icon with the 2 little lines — is the separator.


  Here’s what it looks like on the page:

Adding a line break to your Medium story

7. Add images and media.

Adding images, videos, and other media (e. g., tweets) to your Medium story can be as simple as copying and pasting their URLs in to Medium’s editor. The editor, in most cases, can automatically recognize the media’s format and render it appropriately.

Alternatively, it is possible to click on the plus icon to open the same menu you used to insert the separator in the previous step. From there, you are able to upload an image from your own computer, insert a URL to a video, or insert the embed code to another type of media using the corresponding icons.

Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 10.24.00 AM-min

Depending on the specific size of the image you upload, you should have two different size options to choose from for displaying that image. These size options, which will appear in a pop-up menu after you insert an image, include left-aligned and center-aligned.

Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 10.24.29 AM-min

By default, Medium will display the formatting option that most useful fits the dimensions of the image you insert.

8. Share drafts and publish posts.

When you’ve finished your story and are happy with how everything looks, head up to the top nav where you’ll find two links: “Share” and “Publish. ”

Clicking “Share” will create a link to the draft of your story, which you can share with anybody — even if they do not have a Medium account. And individuals you share the draft with will also have the option of leaving you notes.

Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 10.25.16 AM-min Clicking the “Publish” button, meanwhile, will open a menu where you can select up to three tags for your story.

Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 10.24.44 AM-min Medium will recommend some tags by default, but you can also search for tags and create new ones by simply entering text.

Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 10.25.37 AM-min

Once you’ve selected tags for your story, you are able to hit the “Publish” button to share your story with the planet.

9. Measure your results.

To be able to see how your stories (and responses) are performing, you can go directly to the “Stats” page utilising the URL medium. com/me/stats. You can also navigate to the “Stats” page via the dropdown menu at the very top right of the Medium homepage (the bell icon).

Screen Shot 2021-07-19 at 10.26.00 AM-min When you arrive on the “Stats” page, you’ll first see the aggregate amount of views, reads, and recommends your stories and responses have received over the past 30 days. There’s also a graph that provides day-by-day granularity. By hovering over a column on the graph, you can view metrics for the specific day to which that column corresponds.


If you keep scrolling down the page, you’ll be able to view the individual stats for each of your stories. Specifically, Medium provides data on views, reads, read ratio, and recommends.


Here is a quick rundown on what those metrics mean:

    1. Views:   The amount of people who visited a story’s page.
    2. Reads:   An estimate of how many visitors read a story throughout.
    3. Read Ratio:   The percentage of visitors that ends up reading an entire story (i. e., the difference between reads and views). According to Ev Williams, this ratio is an essential aspect in determining what sort of story gets ranked/surfaced on Medium.
    4. Recommends:   The number of recommends a story receives.  

The Medium App 

If you prefer consuming and getting together with content on-the-go, consider downloading the Medium app. The app features the same stories and content you will discover on desktop, with the added bonus of a mobile-first interface.  

On the app, you can surface content related to your interests. These curated lists depend on the tags, publications, or authors you follow. You can also use the app’s Explore feature to find new, interesting content. Similarly to desktop, you can use the app to engage with fellow Medium readers and join conversations as they’re happening.  

The Medium app interface

Remember, it was just an introductory look at just how to use Medium. There are many more features and options we have not covered, but we’ll do so in future posts.

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