Ali Mese is one of the most successful writers on Medium. He has 38 thousand followers and his articles have received millions of page views.
The best thing about Medium is that you can do the same from your desk, that big companies do with an army of experts. And you can do this without budgeting $1000/month for your content marketing strategy.
But, before you start, there are certain rules you need to follow.
1. Write a story that is inspiring
Your article must provide value to the reader. If they spend a few valuable minutes of their life on what you write, what do they get out of it? Does it inspire them to do better in life? If so, then you’re on the right track.
If not, then you need to find ways to write a story that is inspiring. Inspirational content is the kind of content that attracts readers. It is the kind of content that people will share with their friends.
Some of the best viral marketing campaigns use this rule to their advantage. They write positive and uplifting stories. “A bonus if it is about a life hack,” argues CamMi Pham, “If your 5 year old child and your grandmother can both enjoy the post, you hit the sweet spot.”
2. Study what does well on Medium
The most important thing you need to know about going viral on Medium is that it’s not easy. It’s not a shot in the dark. It’s not like throwing everything against a wall to see what sticks. It takes a great deal of observation.
You need to know what constitutes going viral. And, specifically, the kind of stories that do well. Why people choose one story over another. Why people share a story. What makes good content stand out. To create winning content, you must first know what it takes.
I did my own research and made my own observations on the matter. I spent hours, days, even months, on Medium, reading absolutely everything, devouring all kinds of content. After a thorough breakdown of the best articles, here’s what I found.
The best articles on Medium:
- Tell a story.
- Don’t use complex language.
- Elicit emotions.
- Are relatable.
- Provide value to the readers.
- Take a unique stance on a matter.
These are just some of my observations. You can follow these or you can set out to make your own. Remember, the more you read, the better you write.
3. Write a short headline that grabs attention
“Titles (and images) on Medium stories are your first and best chance to entice readers to click through and read your whole piece – so choose wisely.” Elizabeth Tobey (Head of Community Engagement at Medium).
Clickability is the key to creating viral content. How can people read and share your article if they don’t click on it? And how can people click on an article if it doesn’t have an attractive headline?
These are critical questions you need to answer if you need to make your content go viral. What makes a good headline? Why are some headlines better than others?
In my search for answers, I went through the Medium Top 100 list and analyzed all the headlines.
Here are the two things that they all had in common:
- They were short.
- They were captivating.
When it comes to Medium, you need to frame your headline in a way that gets your message across in the fewest words. It’s like composing a tweet. You shorten your message again and again until you’re left with the bare essence of it.
- “how to get a picture to go viral” is a title that is short, attractive and gets its point across.
- “How-To” headlines work best.
- “Why” headlines are also popular.
- “List” headlines never fail.
Other than that, it’s up to you how to make the title catchy and appealing.
Here’s an example of a headline that’s attractive and to-the-point:
4. Find the right publication
Viral content marketing is all about targeting the right audience. If you pour your heart out in an article but fail to reach the people who are interested in your story, your efforts will be wasted. Thankfully, there is a way out.
The easiest way to trend your article on Medium is to find the right publication. Either your content must be good enough to get picked by a publication or you must submit to one. But why?
Most publications on Medium have a certain number of followers. These are people who are interested enough in the topic to stay updated. A lot of them also subscribe to email newsletters.
What better way to reach all of those people than to submit to a publication?
Here’s how you do that:
5. Get people to read your article within the first hour
The first hour is critical. It’s the time when Medium decides how popular your article is and how to promote it. If you can, somehow, get a lot of people to read your article within the first hour of publishing, it’s a guaranteed hit.
But how do you do that?
It’s not easy, I understand. But there are certain things you can do to ensure getting at least a hundred recommendations in the first hour. The first of these is having Medium followers. You can build a following even before you submit an article by recommending other’s articles.
Being active on Twitter also helps. If you have enough followers on Twitter, you can generate enough traffic within the first hour to build momentum. If you don’t have followers, you can ask some of your popular friends to share.
And while we are on the topic, don’t forget to share this article to help a friend in need.
Guest Author: Bill Achola is a phenomenal blogger specializing in content writing and marketing at Billacholla.com. He works closely with B2B and B2C companies providing the right content that generates social shares, comments, and traffic back to their business blogs.