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How to Create a Medium Publication That Gets You More Readers

Author’s note: All information has been updated to reflect Medium (Dec 16, 2016).

NOT every publication hits it off with 100+ followers on day 1. And that’s because they…

  • just started.
  • lack good stories.
  • only have one writer (normally the creator of the publication himself/herself).
  • have a vague or no bio, which doesn’t provide much value for readers.

But more than that, they…

  • don’t have a strong purpose as to why people should join.

I know this, because I’ve browsed through dozens of publications and seen these guys plateau to 100–200 followers since a year ago — around the time I started writing on Medium.

What I’ll show you today is how to create a publication that will instantly drive people to join and read the stories you’ll publish there. This is all based on how I got 250+ followers in 4 days for Great Writers Under the Medium Sea (now MEDIUM’s Field Guide).

First things first,

Theme | The bread and butter of your publication

People don’t just join ANY school club or social event. They think about what they can get out from it, and if it ties in with their passion or interest. Publications are no different.

What makes one publication shine out from others is its theme. So before you push out your publication, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • What do I want from this publication?
  • What do readers expect to get from of this publication?
  • What’s one value that separates my publication from others?

What I wanted from Great Writers Under the Medium Sea?
To gather talented writers who could offer more than what people get from the top stories on Medium.

What my readers would expect?
To see that there’s more amazing writers and great stories.

What’s one value that separates my publication from others?
I didn’t make this publication just to get the best writers in the group. It’s to help them get their stories noticed, improve their writing, and teach them what writing works. Every writer has strengths and weaknesses, and it helps to see what part of their writing works.

Once I had my answers for my publication theme, I came up with this:

Great Writers Under The Sea publication profile

Here are a few good examples from publications who’s been growing at an exponential speed.

Special gift: How about a free list of blogging tools to help you work smarter, write faster and become more irresistible to your readers? Sign up here, and I'll send it to your inbox within a week.

Name | The first & last impression

Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people come up with unmemorable names for their publication. Ideally, you want one that’s:

  • Unique, but fits snugly like a puzzle piece.
  • Short and concise
  • Gives people great value

I decided to go for ‘unique,’ because it ties very well with my original post: Great Writers Buried Under the Medium Sea.

Writers, more writers

Which place do you find more attractive — one that’s bustling with more people, or one where you see a lonely couple strolling down the street? The former, right? Publications are the same way. They’re nothing without writers, and it’s extremely unattractive when readers come expecting great stories when all they see is a (close-to) blank feed.

Bring on a crew of writers who are passionate about your main theme. After all, they’re the ones with the ability to magically attract more readers to your publication through their words.

You might flock to the “search” bar of Medium and start typing in keywords to find your potential candidate. Stop. There’s a better method to finding your key writers.

Write a compelling story that unmasks your main intent for even creating a new publication. Then leave an email contact if they’d like to join your publication. This is what I’ve done in my Hidden Writers on Medium, It’s Time to Unite post:

How I get writers to email me to join my publication

Pro-tip: Don’t give your real email address. Use an email alias, so your inbox doesn’t get flooded with spam.

TAGS

A MUST-DO in my book. I mean, how else are people going to find your publication if you don’t choose the right tags?

The closer your tags and publication theme is, the easier people can spot your stories when they type in your topic/theme.

For Great Writers Medium Sea, we chose:

Our chosen GWMS tags

Note: As of 2016, you can choose 5 tags.

Now that we got the main game plan set up, let’s figure out how to create a publication on Medium.

Create your publication

1. Log into your Medium.

2. Click your profile image => Publications => New Publication

3. Fill in the details.

Note: Make sure you choose a unique image for ‘publication avatar.’ This will be the logo of your publication, which is displayed at the top of your feed and in your bio.

4. Scroll up to the top, and click the right tab =>homepage layout.

5. This will let you organize how you want your stories to be displayed.

Pro-tip: The grid is the popular layout choice, where most publications feature 1 to 2 ‘latest’ or ‘trending’ stories.

6. Hit create, and voila! Your publication is live. Watch those followers start enlisting to your publication.


Tiffany is the creator & marketer of Rabbut — a writer’s best friend for collecting emails for Medium, Linkedin, and personal sites. Top Medium writer for life hacks, productivity, startups and relationships.

Keep up with MEDIUM’s Field Guide for the latest tips and tricks on growing your Medium influence. You can also follow us, Tiffany and Kate, as we’re always experimenting with new Medium projects.

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Originally written on Rabbut.