Medium Story Curation Checklist

Double check this handy guide before hitting publish!

Casey Botticello
Nov 20, 2019 · 7 min read

Importance of Medium Curation/Role of Curators

Medium’s editorial curation team is tasked with reviewing thousands of stories every day. They have 30–50 curators with a diverse set of interests and experiences. Some come from writing and editing backgrounds, while others have specific expertise in fields that are popular on Medium.

The curators look for quality stories on Medium. When they select a story, they then add it to topics, which makes those stories eligible for personalized distribution and promotion across Medium — on the homepage, on topic pages, in our app, in our Daily Digest newsletter, and in other emails.

Below is a job listing that was posted by Medium awhile back, that may offer some insight into the curators role:

medium curator, medium curation, how to get curated on medium, medium article curated, medium story curation, medium curate
medium curator, medium curation, how to get curated on medium, medium article curated, medium story curation, medium curate

Is Having Your Story Distributed by Medium’s Curators Essential to Success on Medium?

Yes and no. If you have no following, are writing fiction or poetry, or have no experience with SEO — it is going to be very hard to receive views and gain traction on Medium.

Curators have a lot of say in selecting “the best writing.” Curators are the gate keepers of Medium’s coveted homepage, topic pages/top writers, the Daily Digest newsletter, and other emails that millions receive.

Before I explain how you can succeed without being curated, it’s worth reviewing the list of Medium’s topics. These represent all the categories that your article can be curated in. While many other tags exist, these are the topics that your article must be relevant to.

Medium Article Curation Checklist

Below are 5 key article requirements for Medium article curation. While these are not all hard and fast rules, following these guidelines will optimize your chances of being curated.

Curators use the editorial standards listed below as well as their own assessment of quality to determine whether to recommend a story to readers. Curators are looking for stories that are insightful and well-written. However, I can personally attest that many of my best articles are never selected for curation. So don’t take it too hard if they don’t select your article.

This article can be a guide to getting your article curated on Medium, but it can also be a literal checklist. Beneath each requirement is a button you can check:

Requirement 1 — Article Title Format & Style

  • While not required, standard headline styling for Medium is title case for the headline and sentence case for the subtitle.

Standard headline styling is title case for the headline and sentence case for the subtitle.

Title Case

In general, the following capitalization rules apply across the four styles in title case:

  • Capitalize the first word in the title
  • Capitalize the last word in the title
  • Capitalize the important words in the title

Important words in that last bullet generally refer to:

  • Adjectives (tiny, large, etc.)
  • Adverbs (quietly, smoothly, etc.)
  • Nouns (tablet, kitchen, book)
  • Pronouns (they, she, he)
  • Subordinating conjunctions (when fewer than 5 letters)
  • Verbs (write, type, create)

When multiple letters in a title need to be capitalized, use title case capitalization.

Words Not Capitalized in Title Case

While the above words are generally capitalized in titles regardless of style, there are some words that are generally not capitalized when using title case. These include short words and conjunctions:

  • Articles (a, an, the)
  • Coordinating Conjunctions (and, but, for)
  • Short (fewer than 5 letters)
  • Prepositions (at, by, from, etc.)

Correct

Do These Three Things and Be Successful Forever

Incorrect

Do this one thing and be successful forever

Sentence Case

Sentence case is the conventional way of using capital letters in a sentence or capitalizing only the first word and any proper nouns.

Correct

Effects of prescribed fire timing on vigor of sericea lespedeza in the Kansas Flint Hills

Incorrect

Effects of Prescribed Fire Timing on Vigor of Sericea Lespedeza in the Kansas Flint Hills

If you’re not sure when to capitalize a certain word, there are conversion tools online, that can automatically format your titles for you:

  • Do not use the word “Medium” in your article title. This will almost guarantee that you will not be curated (this article will not be curated because of this). Medium does not want to appear to be pushing content about themselves.
  • Write a clear and descriptive title and subtitle for your story. Headlines should accurately reflect what your story is about. Medium seems to be increasing scrutiny of blatant clickbait articles.

Requirement 2— Article Image

  • You need to include a featured image with your story. Size of the image can vary, but generally medium or large images seem to be preferred. If you want to learn more about choosing the perfect image for your Medium article, check out my previous post specifically on this topic:
  • Most importantly though, for curation purposes, make sure you are using an image that you have the rights to use! This is true for all the images you use in your article!

Free-use resources like Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash, and the Gender Spectrum Collection are great for sourcing Creative Commons-licensed images. You can also purchase stock photography from micro stock photography sites like Shutterstock:

Requirement 3— Article Proofreading / Formatting

  • Avoid major typos, errors, or formatting quirks in your story so readers can focus on the piece itself. While articles with typos do get curated, this is an easy way for a curator to eliminate your article.You also need to proofread your article to make sure there are no broken links and that the functional links link to the correct article.
  • Similarly, if you are citing facts, quotes, or excerpts, make sure you include a link to the source.
  • Stories that are split into multiple posts are unlikely to be curated unless each post works on its own without additional context.
  • At this time, Medium will only review English-language stories for curation.

Requirement 4— Avoid Advertisements or Requesting Money

  • Medium is meant to be ad-free. You may not include advertising for third-party products, services, or brands, in general. But this will also obviously disqualify your article from being eligible for curation.
  • Do not include requests for money, claps, reads, or for personal information from readers. Mailing lists are fine, but it is generally advisable to make them as unobtrusive as possible.

Requirement 5—Avoid Content Violations

Medium will not distribute stories that breach their rules, including stories that:

Advocate or promote intolerance or prejudice against individuals or groups, including the use of scientific or pseudoscientific claims to pathologize, dehumanize, or disempower others.

Glorify, celebrate, downplay, or trivialize violence, suffering, abuse, or deaths.

Exist mainly to target, shame, intimidate, or harass identified, identifiable, or anonymous people.

Dox someone, including by exposing personal information or aggregating of public information.

Consist of unsubstantiated, unverified, or misleading claims and reporting.

Source: Medium

I hope you found this checklist useful! Keep in mind that these are factors that frequently disqualify writers from curation. Meeting these five points will not guarantee curation. Curated content is still largely determined by article quality (relative to other articles a curator is evaluating, at a given time).


Casey Botticello

medium blogging guide, blogging guide, blogging guide publication, medium writer publication, new medium writers, medium post
medium blogging guide, blogging guide, blogging guide publication, medium writer publication, new medium writers, medium post

Thanks for reading this article! Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Be sure to sign up for the Blogging Guide newsletter, to get the latest tips, tricks, and news about writing on Medium and to join our Facebook group, Medium Writing, to share your latest Medium posts and connect with other writers.

Casey Botticello is a partner at Black Edge Consulting. Black Edge Consulting is a strategic communications firm, specializing in online reputation management, digital marketing, and crisis management. Prior to founding Black Edge Consulting, he worked for BGR Group, a bipartisan lobbying and strategic communications firm.

Casey is the founder of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, a Super PAC dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in Urban Studies.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or by following his Medium publication, Blogging Guide.

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Entrepreneur & Top Writer—5M+ Views! Learn How to Make Money Writing on Medium, Substack, and WordPress with Blogging Guide ➜ https://bloggingguide.substack.com

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