15 Not-So-Obvious Ideas to Make Your Medium Articles Go Viral
Please steal them.
The most advice you get on how to promote your Medium writing is pretty basic: do some keyword research, watch your SEO, share on social media, approach big publications, build an e-mail list, be consistent, be helpful …
Don’t get me wrong: Those tactics work. However, there are more original ideas. I totally made up that list, but I will try all those ideas with my next articles and update you on how they worked out for me.
So here they are:
1. Share quotes and bits of your writing on Twitter and Instagram. For Instagram turn them into pictures and expand on them in your caption. Use tools like LinkTree to link each picture back to the corresponding Medium article. You can also feature other writers you admire. There are enough readers for all of us.
2. Team up with other writers to share each others content (and I mean, every single piece of content) when- and wherever you can. Once you built such a community, mastermind-group, or whatever you wanna call it, you can also give each other tips for improvement, share content ideas and hold each other accountable.
3. Turn your posts into videos for YouTube, TikTok, IGTV, Facebook stories …
4. Create ideas for people, brands, etc that you admire and write an article about those ideas. Share it with them.
5. At the end of each blog post, write a teaser for another of your articles, that you think, would help your reader with the next step. Create a little cliffhanger, then link to this post.
6. Write round-up posts. While this is a pretty basic tactic for „regular“ blogs and websites, I haven’t seen many round-up posts on Medium. You can make round-up posts for your own articles, to link them together and get people to read a bunch of them.
Obviously, you can also write a curated round-up post of other people’s content, text / tweet them about it, and send out the link. Some of them will most likely share it with their audience.
7. Write about popular people or brands, with a big social following. Write about their accomplishments or tell a story about how they overcame some obstacles and reached success. Make them look good. Then share it with them. To increase the chances of them seeing it, encourage others to share it with them as well.
8. Share 1–3 articles each day with your social following and/or e-mail list. People can enter the „giveaway“ for these shoutouts by sharing your articles, commenting on them, etc. You can use this in two different ways:
- Use a point system such as: for each platform you share this on and each helpful comment you write (not just: „great work“ — make sure, they actually read your writing), you earn one entry into the giveaway. Then you draw the winners by chance.
- Whoever shares your content the most and comments on it the most, wins. No luck involved.
9. Coin a new phrase. If you define a new phrase for the concepts and ideas you talk about, people can’t help but link back to the post, in which you defined it, whenever they talk about this idea. Some famous examples include Emilie Wapnick, who coined the phrase „multipotentialite“ and built a business around it, or James Altucher and his „Idea Machine“ practice.
10. Publish every day at the same time (and tell people about that) to create a habit for your readers.
11. Do you have something valuable, that you can give away for free? Good. Add a line at the end of your post saying: „If this article makes it to the front page of Medium (either in Trending or Editor’s picks), everybody who clapped for it or left a comment, gets a free e-book (or whatever you offer). There are different ways to use this tactic. Another example could be: „If I become a top-writer in the XYZ category, each of my followers gets a free e-book.“ Or „If I reach 1000 e-mail subscribers by the end of the month, every subscriber gets XYZ for free. Help spread the word.“
12. Help other Medium writers:
- Leave thoughtful comments.
- Offer them your help. (What are you good at? What can you do for them?)
- Give them un-asked-for advice such as ideas for their next article or product.
13. Create infographics for your articles. This will help you show up on Google image search. Plus, whenever someone wants to use your infographic for their post or website, they’ll link back to your post. (This technique is even more powerful when you have your own website and you can use the backlinks to increase your domain authority, but it can also help you get more eyes on your Medium articles.)
14. Steal like an artist. Check out popular blog posts and pay special attention to the Top Highlights. Don’t just copy the highlight straight away, but try to emulate them. Make people want to highlight your whole article.
15. (This one is my favorite!) Include a peeper-paragraph. People on Medium love learning everything about how other people write (on Medium). Reality TV also taught us, that all of us have voyeuristic tendencies. Let’s combine those things and include a peeper-paragraph at the end of each Medium article. This contains:
- Word count: How many words has your article? (Without the peeker)
- Writing time: How long did it take you to write it
- Additional time: How long did it take you to research, outline, edit, format, find the pictures, etc?
- Inspiration: Where did you get the idea for the article?
- Place + Time: When + Where did you write it? (optional)
- Declined by: Which publications declined your article? (Fun!)
The peeper paragraph also helps you to keep track of your writing process. This allows you to tweak and optimize it.
Now, it’s your turn! Do you have any more ideas for not-so-obvious ways to promote your Medium article? Or have you tried any of my suggestions already, and can tell us something about the results?
Let me know in the comments!
Word Count: 1042 words
Writing time: 55 min
Additional time: 35 min
Inspiration: I don’t think, I had a real inspiration for this. The idea came to me last evening while scrolling through Medium. I wrote the headline down in my journal, got ready for bed, and scribbled down those ideas in bed, right before sleeping (because I couldn’t stop thinking about it).
Place + Time: On my desk on Thursday evening (between 5 and 6 p.m.)
Declined by: None. (Didn’t submit it to any publications yet)