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social media how to Have you considered publishing your content on Medium?

Are you looking for a way to distribute your ideas to a larger audience?

In this post you’ll discover what marketers think about Medium, along with a step-by-step guide to using Medium.

guide to medium for business

Discover a marketer’s guide to using Medium for business.

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Why Medium?

Jay Baer, a New York Times bestselling author and well-known keynote speaker, has been posting on Medium for over a year. He uses Medium for “…posts (sometimes original, sometimes repurposed) that are more opinion-based or take a stronger stand.” He defines Medium as “…LinkedIn’s cool younger brother who wears concert T-shirts all the time, but also checks the Dow Jones average on his iPhone.”

jay baer on medium

Best-selling author and speaker Jay Baer has been posting on Medium for over a year.

Who can be successful on Medium? Baer explains, “I think businesses can have success on Medium, but perhaps more so as individuals rather than as businesses per se. In essence, what I do there is on behalf of Convince & Convert, through me. The same can work for other companies who have ‘thought leaders’ willing and able to take the time to post content on Medium that solicits a response.”

Mitch Joel, president of Mirum Agency, also adds, “It’s not just a place to publish, but an impressive platform for content distribution. As an infovore, it’s also an amazing place to discover new voices and content — probably more powerful than just picking up a link from Facebook or Twitter.” He plans to add Medium to his publishing schedule soon.

With those things in mind, here are some of the benefits of using Medium as your platform for publishing insightful content:

  • Medium received an estimated 35 million visitors in November 2015, with 36.78% from the United States, according to SimilarWeb. When new users join, they automatically follow Medium’s account. Their current number of followers is 726K, so there are at least 726K users on Medium.
  • Medium allows you and your readers to focus on one thing: the content you create.
  • When you join Medium with your Twitter or Facebook account, you get a built-in audience because all of your Twitter followers and Facebook friends who use Medium will automatically become followers of your Medium account. As your Twitter followers and Facebook friends join Medium, they will automatically follow you as well.

  • Medium users receive an email digest with the latest stories (posts) by the people and publications they follow delivered to their inbox. Thus, all of your followers from Twitter on Medium will get notified of your latest stories (based on their settings).
  • If your stories are recommended by Medium users who have large followings, your stories will be shown to their followers on the Medium homepage as well as in their followers’ email digest (based on their settings).
  • If your stories become popular, they have the chance of being featured as a Top Story to the entire Medium community or as a Medium Staff Pick sent in the email digest.

Those are some pretty exciting stats and benefits for marketers looking to reach new audiences through content.

What results can you expect? Kiki Schirr, co-founder of Fittr, posts to her Medium regularly.

kiki schirr on medium

Kiki Schirr shares her results from using Medium regularly.

She has found that “The great thing about using Medium is also its biggest downside: Medium comes with an automatic audience that is easily tapped, but difficult to transfer. If you’re writing a post that needs 10,000 views, Medium is by far the best tool for capturing them. However, if your goal is to build an audience or brand, you should at the very least be cross-posting your content to a private domain. By posting a small piece each day I was able to reach 10,000 subscribers to my publication in 66 days. I think that’s an exciting prospect for marketers.”

Now, let’s look at how to use Medium.

#1: Sign Up for Your Medium Account

To get started, you’ll need to sign up for a Medium account using Twitter, Facebook, Google or your email address.

medium sign up

Sign up for your Medium account.

If you sign up with Twitter, Facebook or Google, you’ll be asked to provide your name, email address and desired username (http://medium.com/@username).

medium username

Type in your email address, name and desired username.

From here, you’ll be asked to choose your interests and follow some top Medium users and publications.

custom reading list

Start a custom reading list.

Then you’ll be taken to your homepage.

#2: Edit Your Profile

At the top right of your homepage, click on your profile photo to find the link to go to your profile.

profile photo

Click your profile photo.

Click on the Edit link to edit your name, bio and profile photo. Note that URLs will be automatically hyperlinked.

edit profile

Edit your name, bio and profile photo.

Your Medium profile bio will also be used as the author bio at the end of your stories on Medium and in other areas throughout Medium.

#3: Connect Your Social Accounts

As mentioned earlier, you can build your Medium audience by connecting your Twitter and Facebook accounts so your Twitter followers and Facebook friends who are using Medium will automatically follow you. To do this, click on the Settings link in the menu at the top right under your profile photo.

Scroll down to the Connections section and connect to Twitter and Facebook if you haven’t already. Then choose whether you want those social profile links to show up on your Medium profile.

connect social accounts

Connect your social accounts.

You’ll also want to check your other settings to configure email and other notifications.

#4: Engage With Other Stories

Your Medium profile is composed of your latest stories and your engagement with other stories. Before you write your own story on Medium, you should get to know how it works by engaging with other stories.

To find stories to engage with, review your email digest with stories from people and publications you follow. Alternatively go to your homepage to see stories that are trending and those recommended to you by people you follow or click on the tags in the right sidebar to find stories on a specific topic. You can also use the search box at the top right to find stories by keyword.

medium tags

Click the tags in the right sidebar to find stories.

To engage with a story, you can start by highlighting a favorite quote or phrase. Popular stories will often have the most popular highlights annotated.

highlight quote

Highlight a quote or phrase.

Click the pencil icon to add the phrase you’ve selected to your profile’s highlights. The comment icon allows you to respond (comment) on the story at that location. The Twitter icon allows you to share that quote as a tweet along with a link to the post. The private comment icon lets you leave a private note that only the author(s) of the story can see.

story comment

Comment on a story.

At the end of the story, you’ll have the option to engage with the post further. You can recommend it using the heart icon, leave a public response using the comment icon, share it on social networks using the share icon, save it to your bookmarks using the bookmark icon or click the three dots for more actions like embedding the story on your website.

click more options

Click the three dots for more options.

These actions (highlighting, recommending and responding) will all appear on your profile after your latest stories.

profile actions

Your actions appear on your profile after your latest stories.

Note that you can remove highlights and recommendations by revisiting the stories. But you can’t delete responses.

#5: Write Your Own Stories

Once you’ve perused the top content on Medium and have a good idea what Medium users consider great content (based on highlights, recommendations and responses), you’ll be ready to write your own stories on Medium. To do so, click on the Write a Story button at the top right of the Medium homepage.

The interface for writing a story on Medium is minimalistic to help you focus on one thing only: your content.

profile actions

Write your story.

To start, simply enter your title. When you do, you’ll be able to access the menu items under the three dots next to the Publish button.

access menu items

After you enter your title, you can access these menu items.

The editor hints and shortcuts will reveal the basic keyboard shortcuts you can use on Medium when writing a story.

keyboard shortcuts

You can use these keyboard shortcuts.

There are also advanced keyboard shortcuts you can use on Medium when writing a story.

advanced keyboard shortcuts

These are the advanced keyboard shortcuts.

You’ll also get some tips on editing your text.

editing text

View tips for editing your text.

Plus there are tips on how to add media to your story.

adding media

See tips for adding media.

And you’ll find tips on how to add links to your story.

discovering tips

Discover tips for adding links.

You can even add mentions of other Medium users in your post so they get notified (based on their settings).

mention other users

Mention other Medium users.

Sharing Drafts

Your draft is automatically saved periodically when you make changes. You can click the Share button to send a private link to your draft to others. They can use that link to add notes to your story so you can revise it before publishing.

private link

Get a private link to your draft.

You’ll get a notification when someone you’ve invited to your draft leaves a note.

comment notifications

You’ll receive a notification if someone leaves a comment.

You can find your Drafts and Stories by clicking on your profile icon at the top right and selecting that option.

see stories

To see your stories, click your profile icon and select Drafts and Stories.

Publishing Drafts

When you’re ready to publish your draft, click on the drop-down arrow next to Publish. This will give you the option to add tags to your story and edit its privacy and licensing.

publish your draft

Click Publish when you’re ready to publish your draft.

You can use those options to make your story publicly visible or unlisted. Unlisted stories will be visible to anyone who has the URL to them, but will not be listed on your profile. Note that people can still create public responses to unlisted stories. With licensing, you can choose to copyright your content or share it with Creative Commons licensing.

If you chose public visibility for your story, your followers on Medium will be notified in their digest (based on your settings) that you have recently published a story. You can also share the link to your story and promote it like any other piece of content.

To feature your new story on your profile, go to the story on your profile and click on the drop-down arrow.

featured story

Click the drop-down arrow to feature your story on your profile.

This will move your story to the top of your profile until you use the same arrow to unfeature it or feature another story.

#6: Import a Story

When you click on Drafts and Stories in the menu under your profile icon, you’ll notice the option to import a story. Click Import to import articles and posts you’ve written on other sites to your Medium account.

import articles

Import your articles and posts from other sites.

Note that Medium’s terms of service specifically say that “If you own the content, you’re welcome to copy it from other places and publish it on Medium (and vice versa) as long as you didn’t give exclusive rights to other platforms or publishers.”

When you enter the URL of an article or post you’ve authored on another site, you’ll be given advice on how to edit it for Medium.

editing an article

See tips for editing an article or post from another site.

From there, you’ll be able to edit the draft of your imported story before publishing. Note that a lot of styling elements from other websites won’t carry over to Medium, so things like tables and columns will need to be adjusted accordingly.

#7: Create Publications

In addition to creating stories on Medium, you can also create publications. Think of publications like Google+ collections or Paper.li newspapers. They allow you to group your content in a specific way and allow people to subscribe specifically to the stories you add to those publications.

The biggest advantages of using publications are:

  • Send letters to your publication’s followers. Letters are stories that are added to your publication and emailed directly to your followers (based on their settings).
  • Invite other Medium users to be writers and editors of your publications. Writers can submit stories to the publication and editors can submit and approve stories to the publication. If you don’t invite other writers and/or editors to your publication, you can only add your own stories and responses to other stories to the publication.

Click on the publications link in the menu under your profile icon to create a publication. There, you’ll see the publications you’ve created, the publications you follow and the button to create a new publication.

see publications

See the publications you’ve created and those that you follow.

After you click on the New Publication button, click on the arrow at the top right of the page to reveal the main publication settings.

main publication settings

Click on the arrow at the top right to see the main publication settings.

In the Info section of your publication settings, add details about your publication: an avatar (image), name, description, contact information, tags and logo.

publication details

Add details about your publication.

In the People section, you can invite writers and editors to your publication.

invite writers

Invite writers and editors.

Once you edit the settings of your publication, you’re able to edit the layout and design. You can add new sections by clicking the plus icon and change the layout of each section using the icons at the top right of the section.

edit layout

Edit the layout and design of your publication.

Use the Stories drop-down menu to determine what stories will appear in your publication.

decide stories

Decide what stories will appear in your publication.

Once you’re finished designing your publication, click on the arrow at the top right of the screen again and click the Create button. Whenever you need to edit your publication again, visit the publication and click the drop-down arrow to find the Edit link.

edit stories

Click the drop-down arrow and choose Edit.

Once you finish your edits, click on the arrow at the top right of the screen and click the Save button.

To add stories to your publication that you’ve already published on your Medium profile, click on the story’s timestamp.

timestamp

Click on the timestamp to add stories to your publication.

Next, click on the three dots at the bottom of your story, and select the option to add it to your publication.

add publication

Click the three dots and select Add to Publication.

Once added, you’ll be able to see it in your publication.

view publication

View your publication.

Also note that the link to any publications you create or contribute to will be linked on your profile.

publication links

Your profile links to any publications you’ve created or contribute to.

To send letters to your publication’s followers, click on the drop-down arrow at the top of your publication and then click on Letters.

send letters followers

Send letters to your publication’s followers.

On the next screen is an editor similar to the one you use to publish new stories, with a few features specific to email.

email-specific features

This editor contains email-specific features.

Click the Email Preview button to send a test email to yourself. When ready, you can send it to your followers.

Keep in mind when you send the letter, it will also be published to your publication. To see your letter in your publication, you’ll need to click on the More Stories button.

If you want to remove the letter from your publication, click on the timestamp for your letter. Then click on the three dots and select the remove option. Note that this will not unsend the letter, just remove it from your publication.

access additional options

Click the three dots to access additional options.

In Conclusion

Medium is more than just a blogging platform. It’s a place where marketers can collaborate, share viewpoints and explore ideas.

Have you used Medium for yourself or your business? What has your experience been? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

how marketers can use medium for business

Tips for using Medium for business, and what expert marketers are saying about it.

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  • Thanks Kristi. Some good pointers on strategy and tips about features that I’ve been missing.

  • I’m always trying to decide should I use platforms as a person or my company. Thanks for the tips. I love Medium, and was thinking about using it for off the cuff topics that fit my message.

  • You’re welcome Jeff! 🙂

  • You’re welcome! 🙂 That’s definitely a great use for Medium.

  • Great tips, Kristi. I had no idea you could create a publication or share stories from other sites to Medium.

  • Great post Kristi. I´m a big Medium´s fan too, and like you said, I increased the total account of followers at Twitter and in my personal blog, just with three published stories at Medium

  • Great post…Kristi Hines rocks!

    I really wish that there was a way to link to your Facebook business page followers rather than your personal friends. I tried but couldn’t do it; I even went to Facebook and switched to “Posting as [business page]” and then tried to link from Medium but it wouldn’t do it.

    The thing that is amazing about the Medium editor is that you can paste your content in and it will maintain the formatting and links. I’ve never used their editor features other than for tweaks.

    Finally, as Kiki Schirr alludes to in this post, make sure that you include a nice CTA to your website, blog or app.

    Thanks Kristi.

  • treb072410

    Some great tips here Kristi.. Thanks for sharing, very informative..

  • Thanks Priya! 🙂

  • Thanks Marcos! 🙂

  • I agree Jeff. I wish you could do that with a lot of networks when you’re looking to connect your fans instead of your friends. It seems like Facebook is thinking about it when you look at things like having the option to switch to your page when commenting on sites that use the Facebook Comments Plugin. But they need to do more integration with pages.

  • You’re welcome! 🙂

  • Shlomit Shapira

    Kristi, great post! Quick question – if we like to open a Medium page for our business, and then for number of our leaders to post them on thier behalf, can we credit diffrent authors on the same profile?

  • treb072410

    Looking forward to read your next .. 🙂

  • Saurabh Gupta

    Hi Kristi, please share few examples of businesses who are using Medium effectively

  • Thanks Shlomit! Medium doesn’t have the capabilities of WordPress in the aspect of being able to feature multiple authors. You do have a couple of options. You could create a Medium account using your business Twitter profile and have your leaders create their own Medium accounts with their Twitter profiles. Then create a publication with your business Medium account and have all of your leader’s contribute to the publication using their Medium account. Like this. https://medium.com/the-coffeelicious

    Or, you could have the one Medium account for your business and, at the top of the post, include a byline that says the post is by a specific person.

  • Saurabh Gupta

    Thanks for the links. It seems few of these prefer writing stories while others prefers publications on Medium. Publications are indeed an effective way of collaborating for writing an article.

  • Hi! Thanks from #TeamTriggi for the mention of our Medium-channel. We are exploring the possibilities of Medium next to our own website and the blog we are building. We use Medium to tell the story of our startup as we grow, both in companysize as in business and culture. This can help others as they experience the same issues. I am however in doubt whether I should use a company account on Medium or use our own personal accounts and make a publication. The latter gives it a more personal touch but not everyone in our company uses Medium or is used to writing for an audience. Any thoughts or challenges on that idea are welcome!

  • David Bourke

    Great article Kristi Thank you. I have been threatening for some time to really get in and use Medium but have not done so. Based on your simplistic explanation I think you tipped me over the edge to start as soon as possible.

  • That’s great! I hope you see some results from Medium. 🙂