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I joked about Medium for a long time. This tweet from a year ago got a bit of run:
But I was wrong to sleep on a medium like… Medium.
Ever since I decided to publish weekly on Medium (since April 2022), I’ve earned over $600 — just by hitting ‘publish’ on content I was going to write anyway.
The extra $600 is nice.
But you’re not likely to earn your retirement fund on Medium.
And that's the thing: money isn’t the point.
Leveraging a platform with millions of eyeballs — that’s the point.
First, some context: Medium has gone through a constant metamorphosis since their 2012 launch, and monetization pivots in 2017 and 2021.
In July of 2022, founder Evan Williams stepped down as Medium’s CEO and was replaced by Tony Stubblebine, founder of the popular Better Humans Medium publication.
Ongoing changes will continue to be both a threat and opportunity for writers on Medium.
In 2017, Medium had over 60 million monthly readers. Some unverified stats say it currently gets over 100 million monthly readers.
Regardless, it’s a platform has a large, engaged audience. Which is the first reason you shouldn’t ignore it’s potential.
You’re writing & publishing your newsletter anyway, right?
So share it on Medium, too.
Josh Spector takes his weekly Sunday edition of his newsletter and publishes it “as is” on Medium.
You can give that a try to start and see what happens — or you can do what I do.
I don’t copy + paste my newsletter word-for-word. Instead, I take the article I’ve written for my newsletter and post it in Medium.
Like the one you're reading: Medium version.
Before I had a website, Medium acted as my “borrowed” blog page. I drove my newsletter readers to Medium directly from my newsletter to read my articles.
You can do this too, if you don’t have a website to host your articles.
And don’t worry about the paywall. Share the ‘Friend link’ like this:
If you’re posting on Medium to get newsletter subscribers… you need that call-to-action (CTA) to encourage people to subscribe.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated.
I'll often mention my newsletter in a Medium article and include the link to my sign-up page.
But at the end of every article, I will 100% always include a More Stuff From Me footer section (check out the end of this article for live example!).
Yes, I even do it on my own website.
Not everyone reads to the bottom, but those who do are more likely to be interested in more of your content. Give them a place to find it.
Why do you want Medium followers?
Like any social platform, the more followers you have, the more chances to convert followers to newsletter subscribers.
At first, it was hard getting followers on Medium.
Then I took Tom Kuegler’s free Medium email course and figured it out. It’s both obvious and super simple: just follow 50 Medium members per day. Here are the basic steps, as per Tom:
Getting your article in a larger Medium publication like Better Humans or Start It Up will help get your article and/or newsletter in front of WAY more readers.
The trick is, you have to submit your article as per their guidelines — and each has their own set of rules you need to follow.
Tom Kuegler goes into more detail with how to find publications that might fit your niche in his aforementioned free course, but you can check out some of the biggest publications in this Medium article to get an idea of what’s out there.
The main point is, if you have content that could work for a bigger publication, what have you got to lose submitting it?
I recently got 3 of my articles into Better Marketing and it’s gotten my writing in front of a lot more eyeballs than I could have on my own.
Big publications aren’t the be-all-end-all, but they can help for the right writer with the right content.
Note: I haven’t tried this.
But in theory, creating a post that features a well-aligned, high-value lead magnet to your newsletter will garner a lot more subscribers than a typical post that has a typical “Subscribe to my newsletter” CTA.
The challenge is giving enough information in your post to create interest and desire, without giving away EVERYTHING for free.
So if you have a list of 5 money-making tips in your niche, for example, give away 2 or 3 and tease the rest of the list with a free download. Link to your lead magnet’s landing page and let your conversion copywriting do the work!
To better track your efforts, create a customized landing page that’s only accessible through your Medium article. That way you can track conversions and compare its success with your other channels to see if it’s a truly viable strategy.
The long-and-short of it is this: share your content where people are already hanging out. Millions of people are hanging out on Medium.
Get their attention.
And then promote the heck out of your newsletter.
#1: Republish, republish, republish
#2: Include CTAs
#3: Get More Followers
#4: Get into Publications
#5: Tease With Lead Magnets
Yes you can make some money on Medium, but I think the bigger opportunity is using it to grow your email list.
Let me know how it’s working for you.
PS: Don’t forget to check out Tom Kuegler’s free Medium email course.
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My open rates were suffering - until I made 2 changes.