Three Surefire Ways To Go Viral On Medium
Musician Elton John has an interesting take on long-standing rumors: “When a rumor doesn’t go away, it’s not a rumor.”
Persistent rumors, which remain in the public domain, might not be rumors at all. They have, at minimum, a modicum of truth.
You’ve arrived here, not in the metaphorical sense, but in the literal sense, on Medium, because of another persistent rumor.
“Writers are making thousands of dollars on Medium!”
You may have heard some version of this statement whispered in a coffee shop, social media, or an online forum; so, is it true?
Technically yes, writers are making thousands of dollars on Medium. They tend to be a select few, skilled in a number of areas — including writing — with something valuable to offer society.
Should that really stop us from trying? Yes. I mean, No!
Although we don’t have statistics on how many writers are reaching $1,000/month, we do know about 6% are surpassing $100/month.
We also know a surefire, tried and true method for crossing one thousand dollars on any given month, involves a viral article.
Having been on the platform for nearly a year now, I’ve narrowed down why a certain post was either trending or popular on Medium.
It comes down to three categories; current writer occupation, previous occupation, or offering an explanation.
There’s no way to spin this one, it will be challenging. You’ll need to write a post as President of the United States; for those who are not natural-born citizens, becoming a member of congress might also do the trick.
I know what you’re thinking, if Donald Trump can become president, I can too, and you’re not wrong. This certainly is the long game approach. A typical campaign, even a congressional one, can last more than a year, and you want that thousand dollar post now!
Well, perhaps you’ve worked for a high profile company, or person, and have some juicy details. That might work!
So you’re not Barack Obama, unless you are, in which case, thank you for reading this sir! And you’re probably not Joe Biden, unless, never mind. But, have you worked for a prominent person or company?
If so, you might just have the makings of a viral article.
It’s best if the person, company, or previous position is a polarizing one.
Are you a former Amazon or Tesla employee, did you work for Buzzfeed or The New York Times, maybe you’re from (a now disgraced) political administration or had anything to do with immigration policy. Now’s the time to throw caution to the wind, burn every bridge, and write about your experience! Pro tip, assume as little responsibility as possible, unless you’re going for the villain turned hero narrative.
If you’ve never held a high office, don’t plan on it, or only worked for your uncle (and he’s not even a little racist), there is one final approach.
Offer an explanation
People are here, literally and metaphorically, to learn.
Teach them something, feed their mind!
Spoiler alert, they’ve been fed a good amount of checklists, we’re all fed up with Medium views/statistics or ‘side hustles’, and pretty full from all the productivity hacks.
Try a straightforward approach: ‘New Developments Regarding Covid19’, ‘Microdosing (Anything) For Work, Working Out, or Working From Home’, ‘Code Using (Insert Program Language)’.
Explain something paradoxical: ‘I’m an Immigrant Against Immigration’, ‘I’m a Dog Owner, Who Hates Dogs’, ‘I Work at McDonalds, You Should Eat at Wendy’s Instead’.
Write counterintuitively: ‘Increase Intelligence by Learning Less’, ‘Make More Money, Quitting Your Job’, ‘Become Happier, Increasing Misery’.
I’ve seen variations of these approaches all go viral.
People say you shouldn’t write about your cats. But… If you’ve taught your cat how to play fetch or poop in the toilet, people might be into that!
A word of caution for men though, explaining can quickly veer into mansplaining; that happens when, you know what, never mind.
The world is a dynamic place, while more viral topics (blockchain, crypto, NFTs) may wane in popularity, some will remain tried and true.
Become a politician, public figure, or minor celebrity in any vein, do something, someone, somewhere, deems inappropriate, and proclaim your innocence through a Medium article.
Work for a large corporation or major media outlet, quit, resign, get fired, forced out, and explain what happened on Medium.
Leave Medium, start your own blogging platform, become massively wealthy and successful; write a post about how and why you did it, preferably with numbers and a catchy title, right here on Medium.
If all else fails, try making fun of serious or contentious issues; what can possibly go wrong?
Or, just write, ‘How to go Viral on Medium Without Even Trying’, even if you haven’t managed to do so quite yet.
May — only — your posts be viral!
You can find my only (inadvertently) viral article “The Only Man On The Santa Maria Who Knew The Truth”, here:
The Only Man On The Santa Maria Who Knew The Truth
And why Columbus left him for dead in the new world
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