3 Simple Rules Most New Medium Writers Ignore For Too Long
These are so simple, yet so powerful — please apply them.
I joined Medium back in August 2018 and published my first post a few hours after setting up my account. Now, Medium was founded in 2012, so I was indeed not one of the first writers here, but almost two years of experience have taught me quite a lot about what it needs to succeed here.
Of course, everyone’s definition of success is different, and there are a lot of different goals one can pursue on Medium, but two main achievements many people are after are building an audience and making money through their writing. Currently, my posts have been seen by more than a million people, my following is growing by around 50 gorgeous souls every day, and for the past months, I averagely made $5,000 through my writing on Medium. So I guess these numbers are good enough to share some of the lessons I learned on my journey, hoping they’ll also help you to create similar results.
To be honest, if I could start all over on Medium and do one thing differently, I’d reach out to successful writers and ask them to mentor me. Or I’d join their programs and courses. I could’ve saved so much time and energy if I knew what worked right from the beginning.
Instead, I chose the path of trial and error and wrote more than 200 posts until I understood what it really needs to make people read your posts. For me, this approach worked. And I believe that it can still work for new writers if they invest a lot of time and energy into their writing. But it’s not effective or fun.
For me, Medium has been a nice little side project for more than a year. I didn’t rely on it as an income source, and I didn’t know what to do with the email subscribers I got through my posts because my entire business was in German. So I wrote for fun without expecting too much. And if that’s what you are after, go for it!
But if you want results, readers, and an income through your writing, there are more effective ways to find out what really works here.
Now, some of the rules on Medium are quite straight forward and obvious. Some others are trickier but can be found out if you put a lot of effort, such as headlines and formatting.
But I found that there are some more critical rules most new writers simply overlook. Here are three of them:
Create An Attractive Bio
You don’t have lots of opportunities to customize your author profile. In fact, you only have 160 characters and your profile picture to impress a reader. But if designed correctly, these can be enough to impress your potential readers and gain their trust.
First things first: Your profile needs to look credible and friendly. You don’t need your CV picture, but you better take one that is not too blurry, dark, or weird.
Most authors here don’t change their profile pictures too often because it’s kind of a symbol, a logo for their writing, and people might not remember your name, but they’ll probably recall your picture because of the colors or style of it. That’s why I chose a flashy picture in red instead of a simple selfie.