How to Actually Grow on Medium

There are two paths to ‘success’ on here, and only one is under your control.

Dewi Hargreaves 🏹

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Image from pixabay

When I first found Medium, I was bemused. I scrolled for a little while, passing post after post that promised to teach me ‘how to be successful on Medium.’ Interspersed were some overly optimistic articles about freelancing and self-employment, and some tech and crypto stuff that, honestly, goes right over my head.

“Where is the meaningful writing I was promised?” I thought. “Where are the interesting people?”

Yes, deep down, we’d all like to find more Medium readers. We all want our words to be heard, after all. And a bit of pocket change would be nice, wouldn’t it?

So how do we grow our platforms? Easy. Find people who want to read what we’re writing.

How do we do that?

I think I have an answer, but you might not like it.

Look internally. What do you like to look at on Medium? What do you actually read?

I imagine you’ve read a fair few ‘how to find an audience on Medium’-style posts — you wouldn’t be reading this right now otherwise. Maybe you’ve read a couple of viral posts about people’s personal life experiences. What else?

A few posts by people who’ve actually interacted with your writing, I’d be willing to bet. A couple of smaller writers who caught your eye, were nice to you, and, when you went to their page, you found you enjoy their perspectives.

Extrapolate this data. Every other reader on here is pretty much the same as you. Which means you have two routes to growing your audience.

  1. You can write in a super-hot niche. You can write about how to be successful on Medium, or, if you’re new, what you’ve learned about it in your short time here. You can write about tech, or health, or crypto, because people seem to like that stuff. I can’t write about those things. They bore me to tears. If you write articles like these, you might have one curated, it might go viral, and you can make it that way — but don’t count on it. You’re at the mercy of Lady Luck.
  2. Or you can engage with people, read their stuff, and make friends. This is the long road. You have to be…

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Dewi Hargreaves 🏹

I draw maps of places that don’t exist ✨ I write about publishing ✨ words in Noctivagant, Lost Boys, Etherea Magazine✨ editor at Lost Boys Press.