Get your poetry noticed

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Feel like you are standing out in the middle of a desert when you publish your poetry? Never quite sure whether your pieces are getting read because no one claps for them? I’ve learned a lot about getting noticed during my years in social media. I have shared these tips privately with friends, now I am sharing them with you.

Putting your poetry out on Medium can be either frustrating or rewarding. It all depends on how you put the poems out there. No matter where or when or what you publish, I have found that doing these nine things can get your work noticed.

  1. Tag your stories
    Pick a theme or two from the poem. Make sure the overall tone of the piece matches one of the tags you use. If you write Resistance Poetry, always tag it with “resist” or “resistance poetry”.
  2. Always add a picture
    It doesn’t matter how small or how large your piece, an image will get it noticed. Try to always use an image that is at least 900 pixels on at least one side — those pictures look better on your page and on the page of any publication you submit your piece to. Be sure to attribute the photo to the person who took it. It’s also a good idea to make sure the image is shareable before you use it. (Looking for photo resources? I have a list of free image sources that I will be sharing soon. Watch for it!)
  3. Watch for prompts
    We do a one line poetry prompt on Chalkboard every Wednesday. Even if you aren’t inspired to write every week, you will be exposed to some great poetry in the prompt pieces and in the responses. Sign up to get notified of the new prompts here.
    Jake over at The Creative Cafe does prompts most Thursdays. Follow the publication and you will get weekly letters with the prompts. Not all of Jake’s prompts are for poetry, but I have found them to be great inspiration for new poems even when he asks for something else. 
    alto over at Crossin(g)enres has a fairly consistent prompt called “The Tuesday Quotable” — This is also a genre neutral prompt that works well for both stories and poems. 
    Tre L. Loadholt does writer challenges on a frequent basis. (The one liner project on Chalkboard grew out of Tre’s great challenges.) Tre’s prompts will always make you think. Her’s are always limited as to the number of words, which helps all of us work on being concise. 
    S Lynn Knight over at Haiku Hub does a weekly prompt for haiku writers. These are super structured pieces with both word and syllable limits. As with the other prompts, even if you don’t find yourself able to write haikus, you will find the prompts very inspiring.
    Know of other regular prompters? Share them in the comments, please!
  4. Submit your poems to publications
    Yes, you can publish on your profile. But your poem won’t get noticed nearly as well there as it will in a publication. The more you are published by any given publication, the more the publication’s readers will search you out for new pieces. The larger the range of publications you write for, the more readers and followers you will get.
  5. Read and comment on other poets
    There’s a much bigger group of poets here on Medium than you might think. The more of their stuff you read, the more inspired you will get. Commenting and clapping on their stuff is good manners. Luckily for us, good manners also pays off in readers of your stuff.
  6. Tweet your pieces once they are published
    Remove the “I just published” — it makes it less likely to be retweeted. Add the tags from the poem. (It would be nice if Medium carried your tags over to your tweets… Maybe someday.)
  7. Follow Adam, SneakerWonk on Twitter
    He shares some of the best poems and other works from Medium. If he likes your stuff, he’ll tweet it.
  8. Share your pieces on Facebook after they are published
    Just as Tweeting your pieces will get them noticed, sharing your poems on your facebook profile will get them noticed as well. Don’t discount the value of your friends — they know you and will read your stuff. If they like it, they will even share it!
  9. Write! Write more! Even more!
    The more you write, the better you will get. The better you get, the more people will read your stuff. The more people read your stuff, the more they will share your stuff.

What tips have I forgotten? Share yours in the comments!

Why only nine things on my list? Because nine isn’t ten! The uniqueness will stick in your head. Just like good poetry!