Creators Hub
Tips and writing advice from Medium

Find Your Reader

Some tactical advice on tough lede image decisions

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Though “header” art is often the last item on a writer’s checklist when producing an article, it’s a vitally important piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting people to engage with a story. On many social platforms, in fact, this top image takes up the most real estate out of any element of an article’s packaging.

Many creators want the best, most beautiful lede image for every article, but you’re not always going to have original illustrations or photography for every piece. This is where you have to get creative.

As an audience development editor, I know that…


It grows as you use it, so don’t worry

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When I first started writing, I imagined that I was dipping my pen into a finite pool of creative ink. I thought creativity — in my case, writing — was something akin to a natural resource like petroleum: Limited, precious, unrenewable. It made me nervous. I sized up every assignment I was offered with that scarcity in mind. Was doing this story worth depleting my supply of creative juice? Would it be a net gain, considering that I would be spending a rare commodity on it?

I’m not sure where I got this notion. I suspect that it was partly…


Why you should forget follower count and focus on joy, instead

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A while ago, a good friend and fellow writer, Curtis texted me. “Well, it’s happening,” he wrote. “They’re making me do PLATFORM.”

Curtis and I share a kick-ass editor at a major house, an intuitive woman who tries to let her writers concentrate on art instead of brand. But Curtis’ second book wasn’t getting the pre-pub attention that the publisher had hoped for, and they feared it was because Curtis was totally offline. Curtis was a standout humor writer, a very funny person! The time had come for him to Tweet.

Our editor held out for as long as she…


Writing

The gloves are off, where do you stand?

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We asked two editors from Medium, Amy Shearn and Matthew Savener, to debate both sides of the Oxford comma conundrum. Here’s what happened:

The Oxford comma. There may be no single stylistic choice that causes such a wide rift between those of us who work with language. It divides us — writers, editors, and grammarians. Or is it writers, editors and grammarians?

If you’re not a huge word nerd, there’s a chance you’re not familiar with this stuffy-sounding piece of punctuation, so first let’s define it. …


Find Your Reader

Be your own audience editor

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Medium is equipped with the tools to help you express yourself and connect with your audience here on this platform, but you exist in so many other places on the Internet.

Whether your work reflects your personality, your hobbies, your journalistic capabilities or a combination of these, readers will respond to it when they feel like they know the person behind it. Your unique point of view can help you craft social media posts that act as extensions of your brilliant writing.

Maintaining a personal brand doesn’t have to be cringey

In the age of working from home, life seems to bleed into work more than ever before. And…


Writing Prompt: Pandemic Reflections

It’s been quite a year — tell us your story

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On Leap Day last year, I went to my friend Matt’s ninth birthday party. (To be clear, Matt is a full-blown 36-year-old, but because he was born on February 29, he’s only had nine actual birthdays. I find this terribly funny, and he’s a good sport about it.) I still remember standing in a warm, crowded bar that afternoon with Matt’s friends and family, sharing bowls of potato chips and chatting about the sinister virus making its way through Asia and Europe and how it was affecting our travel plans and grocery lists.

Suddenly, I found myself having a strange…


Story Spotlight

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Over the past year, many of us have been forced to reckon with unexpected shifts in our personal and professional lives. As we hunker down at home, Zooming in pajamas with children bickering in the background, it’s not surprising that we may begin to question our career choices and wonder “what if?”

In “5 Questions That Will Help You Figure Out What You Actually Want to Do With Your Life,” Julia Blum explores what it would be like if we could create our perfect day, in a comfortable “flow,” making enough money to satisfy our lifestyle choices.

Blum begins with…


The Top Edit, a newsletter for Medium Creators

A call for submissions, and more updates for Medium writers this month

Hi there​,

Last month we started a discussion on building a writing habit. We loved your responses, and spotlighted a few great ones in “10 Ways to Support Your Writing Habit.” If you’re writing consistently, a common tension that may arise is figuring out what to do when you get stuck. For this month’s discussion, we ask: What’s the best advice you’ve found for writer’s block? Let us know what’s worked for you! Share in the responses, where you’ll find a few tips from Medium editors too.

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This month we have two calls for submissions on Medium, both inviting stories…


Find Your Reader

A quick exercise to help you identify your ‘ideal reader’

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“Who is this for?”

This is a question you should ask yourself with every piece you write — on Medium or elsewhere. By defining your audience and your ideal reader, you’ll be able to sharpen the focus of your writing and your publication, and you’ll have a clear sell to new readers on why they should follow your work.

Developing an audience from scratch is hard work, and there is a lot involved. The first thing to do, though, is build the persona of the “ideal reader.” This reader is informed by everything from the voice and style of writing…

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