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Is it Time to Tidy Your Medium Presence?

CTOs, backlinks, and messy organization

Tiny man sweeping dandelion seeds.
Photo by Pixabay

Are you a bit of a procrastinator and have been writing on Medium for six months or more? Do you use your stories to direct readers to your work on or off the Medium platform? Have you added “calls to action” in any of your posts?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then taking time to tidy up will improve your reader’s experience of your Medium oeuvre. It might even increase your followership and readership.

This post will give you a roadmap for that process. Wherever I can, I’ve linked to a Creator’s Hub or Medium Creator’s article for expert advice on making the most of that particular section of your Medium presence. That way, you don’t have to trust me — a writer with fewer than 1000 followers — to give you advice on the Medium platform.

Revisit your Short Bio

Your Short Bio is the first thing people see about you when they read a story you’ve written. You want to let people know who you are, what kinds of things you write, and where readers can find you. I like to give my website address, hoping to encourage business there, but you’ll want your Twitter handle or LinkedIn page if that’s where you hang out most.

According to Nate Goldman (see below), adding between one and four keywords in your bio helps your discoverability.

Write or revise your About page

In February, Medium rolled out the About page, designed to give more background than the Short Bio allows. If you haven’t crafted an attractive and inviting page, take time now to do it.

Since I have had an “About Me” article pinned to the top of my profile, I had neglected to put together a great page. I have been revising that article from time to time with new information, but I think it’s outlived its purpose with these platform changes.

Creator’s hub suggests that the About page is the place to “build your credibility” and the article below offers great examples. Adding images can make the page more inviting, and you can format the page much like you do a regular story.

Review your referral and subscribe pages

Tucked under “Audience Development” in your settings, Medium membership and email subscription pages should be personalized and welcoming. Your email subscription list helps you find your serious followers, and gives you access to their inbox — a great gift, in my book. Membership referrals can significantly increase your income when/if anyone subscribes using your link. Make sure you look at how the shortened form shows up when you embed the link in an article.

Update your lists

Do you use Medium’s lists as a promotional tool? If not, you are missing out on one more way to drive traffic to your articles. I set up lists to categorize my own articles months ago, but have not been great about adding every article I write to the appropriate list, and I haven’t highlighted them as tables of contents anywhere. My list names are also pretty bland, but I’m struggling to find inspiration for better titles when my brain is in cleaning mode. Please check out my lists here and share any suggestions in the comments.

Check your CTAs and other links

As I updated my lists, I looked at every single article I have written on Medium, and checked to make sure that they all have appropriate Calls to Action or links that still make sense. You can add links to your lists, referral, and subscribe pages, and link new articles in older ones to cross-reference your work for readers. As I write this, I’m still in the middle of that work. It is taking a significant amount of time, but I have identified an email automation that was broken, and some really terrible first attempts at writing CTAs. The process also gave me a better sense of the scope of my writing on Medium and some ideas for new directions to take in the future.

Here’s your checklist

If you’ve been a bit messy about how you organize your Medium writing, this whole process is going to take more than one sitting. For an old school paper to-do list, you can print this out for future reference:

☐ Short Bio: Who you are and what you write, using keywords

☐ About Page: Lots of room there to be creative and expand on your Bio

☐ Referral & Subscribe Pages: Are you selling it well? Do they reflect who you are?

☐ Medium Lists: Update them and use them for promotions

☐ CTAs and other links: Check for broken or outdated links. Add new promos on old articles. Link between articles, as needed.

As I did my digital spring cleaning, I created wallpapers that can be used to organize files and apps. You can get them at messydesk.podia.com.

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Marie Jones

Marie Jones

Librarian. Curious human. Writes about inconsistent organization, messy productivity, random thoughts, and living a happy life. messydeskconsulting.com