Part 2 of 5: Creating a Medium Writing Schedule
5-part cash course for early Medium success.
Hello! Welcome to the five-part series and a full-blown introduction to the Medium platform. In this crash course, we will look at various parts of the Medium equation. Then, we will figure out how you can jump-start your success on the platform.
- Part 1: Intro & Familiarizing Yourself with the Platform
- Part 2 (You are here): Creating a Writing Schedule
- Part 3: Publications
- Part 4: Building your Medium Clan
- Part 5: Promoting Yourself & the Secret to Real Monetization
The secret writing formula on Medium
When I first started on Medium, I scoured the internet for best practices. I wanted to make sure everything was right the first time, as I imagine you do too.
I researched relentlessly. And, trust me, there are thousands of writers on Medium boasting of profits within X amount of days/months. Through reading a good portion of those, I came to one key conclusion:
There is no magic formula on Medium.
What works for one writer might not work for the next. For example, writers like Sinem Gunel and Zulie Rane got their success started by publishing relentlessly — sometimes more than once per day. I believe Sinem published like this for nine months straight!
While others, like Michael Thompson, with a busier schedule, took a more strategic approach. He studied other successful writers until he understood what it took to reach a wide audience. With a calculated strategy and excellent writing, he published only once or twice a week.
The point I’m trying to make is there is no one-size-fits-all advice for publishing on Medium.
So, what’s my strategy?
Without a better way to go about this, I’ll be transparent in explaining my strategy at the beginning of my Medium journey. This is how I grew to an audience of 1,000 views in my first month.
Note: If you’re a new writer, feel free to skip to the next section “What if I’m a new writer?” as this is for those with a library of content already written.
. . .
I’ll admit, I was quite fortunate when starting on Medium. Having been a content writer for nearly a decade before finding Medium, I built up a huge catalog of content. Some of it unpublished — most of it published already.
Luckily, there’s a great secret about Medium that allows for republished content. Without Google flagging it as duplicate content. In fact, Medium wants you to republish old content.
By adding a canonical link, you can tell Google where the article was originally published. It’s that easy, no harm done! Then, you’re free to republish any content you’ve ever written on Medium.
This was huge for me. As someone with a previous catalog of over 250 articles to my name, I had a gold mine of usable writings. My plan was to publish every day for a year.
Here’s my everyday process:
1. Track down old content
I spent an entire night going through my entire history as a content writer. Old hard drives, old blogs, cloud storage, eBooks — they were all accounted for. I even reached out to former clients to ask if I could publish content from their blog which I did as a ghostwriter.
Here’s a template for how to email that old client about the possibility:
I wanted to propose to you an idea. I’m trying to build a portfolio on Medium as it has strong domain authority and is good for showing published work to prospective clients.
As far as my research goes, Medium promotes a way to import content from a blog to a Medium profile that ensures there is no duplicate content flag from Google.
As per our agreement, I know you hired me as a ghostwriter for most pieces and I shouldn’t be recognized for the writing. Therefore, I wanted to see how you felt about importing some pieces from your blog(s) to my profile.
I would (obviously) do this for free and there can be great benefits for you (including the high domain authority, 95, meaning a longer reach for your CTA’s). However, as you can read in this piece, it is not 100% without risk.
I have asked several clients about it in the past few days and a couple responded positively. My idea is to start slow with underperforming pieces. To see if being re-published on Medium can kick-start some traction.
Think about it and let me know what you think. Just thought there was a potential win-win for both of us.
You may even decide to include less in your email depending on how well you know the client. But that’s a good place to start. Make sure you point out how it could benefit them by bringing more visitors to their website.
Medium is the 7th largest website on the internet and has a massive built-in audience. That’s why so many bloggers are happy to make the switch from their blog to Medium.
On my WordPress blog, it took me two years to amass the monthly views that I received in my first month on Medium. Hello, blogger hack!
2. Run the content through editing tools
The Hemingway app is a great editor to increase the readability of your writing. I suggest everyone runs every piece through Hemingway, especially when getting started.
After that, I fix what is left in Grammarly — a grammar editor. Both programs are free to use!
3. Publish on my own website.
If the content is previously unpublished, I first publish it on my own website. If I publish it on my own website before Medium and add a canonical link, I won’t get flagged for duplicate content.
That way, my article can be found by readers on two platforms instead of one. This step takes an extra 5–10 minutes and I believe pays off in big ways.
Note: If you’re going to republish old content on Medium, make sure the article has been published at the original source for at least two weeks. This is best practice.
After that, draft and publish on Medium.
In two weeks, that article is ready to publish on Medium’s platform. Well done!
What if I’m a new writer?
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the new writers out there. It’s just as easy to get started as a new writer as it is a content writer with a decade of experience.
Here’s my best advice.
Just. Start. Writing.
The best way to become a professional at anything is to first get started. In the beginning, it may be hard to find your voice. I remember when I first started blogging, I felt I had nothing important to say.
To solve that, I started writing a blog post every time I found an answer to one of my personal problems in life.
For example, I remember in one blog post that did well, I explained my solution to having no mustard on the island I was living on at the time. Even information that isn’t important is still information to somebody.
Here’s an idea from Top Writer Ayodeji Awosika: Every morning, wake up and write 10 headlines. About anything on your mind. Keep a running list of these headlines, but make sure to keep adding to it every day.
Each day, pick your favorite headline and write a story.
Over time, you will form a voice. You’ll find your niche. You might even develop a tight community of like-minded people who read your work.
Once you start to get comfortable with those aspects of writing, the words will come more naturally.
How often should I publish?
Let’s get one thing clear: Medium is not a diary. There’s no need to turn out words and articles for the simple fact of satisfying some algorithm. Medium is about quality.
There are no shortcuts to quality.
To build an audience, you have to start writing early and often.
That is how I came up with the writing challeng/ strategy below.
The 30-day, 30 articles challenge.
You must be a prolific writer in your first month on Medium. Show the curators of the platform that you’re serious about growing your audience.
My challenge for you is to write one article every day for the first month you start publishing on Medium.
Don’t look at your stats. Don’t mind your follower count. Don’t pay attention to the number of claps you’re getting. All those numbers are negligible — especially in your first month. All you should worry about is the quality of your work.
If you’re serious about this, turn that 30-day challenge into a 90-day challenge. That will certainly put you on the map.
The problem with new writers on Medium is very few are willing to put in the work. It’s a grind. You must stay dedicated. If you can do that for 30 days (or 90 days), you’ve already outshined 95% of your competition.
Here’s a Daily Medium Checklist to follow during your first 30 days and beyond. This is the daily to-do list I created in my first month on Medium. Just worry about step 1 for now, we will get to the rest in later lessons.
1. Draft an article
2. Read, genuinely interact with 3 articles you find on Medium
3. Promote your article on LinkedIn (Learn how in lesson 5)
4. Promote your article on Quora (Learn how in lesson 5)
5. Follow 10 active writers on Medium
6. Add 1 new writer to your Medium ‘clan’
Good luck! In our next lesson, we will review the only magic secret (if you can consider it that) on Medium; publications. Read the next lesson in the “Read More” section below. See you then!
If you found this article engaging, please hit the clapper button to help me out!
- Part 1: Intro and Familiarizing Yourself with Medium
- Part 3: Publications
- Part 4: Build Your Medium Clan
- Part 5: Self Promotion and Email List