Writing a story that keeps your readers on the edge of their seats isn’t easy. It’s intense work.
3 Powerful Ways to Insanely Improve Your Medium Stories.
Great Article = Great Content + Targeted Outreach + Added Benefit.
How many times have you closed an article because it wasn’t what you thought it would be? Maybe you left because it was boring.
Now view this action from the writer’s point of view. It would be the last thing he would want readers to do it to him.
If you are a writer, your goal is probably for your work to be consumed by an interested audience who will rave about it to their friends. Yet, if you write the most insightful, thought-provoking, earth-shattering article — and no one reads it — it’s not very likely that your writing will resonate with a wide audience. It is like the giant tree, which falls, in the forest and nobody is around to hear its resounding sound.
Feels bad, isn’t it?
I know this because it happened to me many times. And it is not only heartbreaking, but it is also frustrating.
And after a lot of disappointment, I decided to change this situation for the better. I started doing a lot of research on articles on Medium that did really well and blew up. And I discovered there are indeed some elements that can make an article blow up, while the rest perish in the endless dust of the web.
In this article, I will show you the 3 elements that can take your Medium posts to the next level and get you more views, claps and of course money.
Create A Story Arc.
Pay close attention to any of the popular posts on Medium and you will find a unique phenomenon in most of the cases. I call this as the story arc.
A story arc has only 3 elements.
· Hook: Tell them what their life is like now.
· Storytelling: Tell them how you are going to help them with your article.
· Payoff: Tell them what their life is going to be after reading your article.
This is what we have been conditioned to expect from online posts now, along with bullet points and bolded sentence fragments for people who do not have time to read. And like Pavlovian dogs, readers skim through this setup of hook-storytelling-payoff over and over and over again, without even noticing it.
That is not your fault. Or mine. It is the fault of the perfect blog structure expected in this online era, perpetuated by busy readers who would rather skim through the content than read it.
You might argue here.
“I cannot create a long story that distracts the readers from the main theme”
“My story is short. I cannot push it into three buckets.”
Point taken. That is where buyer personas come in the picture.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of an ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. To create these personas you need to dig on your reader’s needs, problems, demographic data, and more.
The idea is to create a profile of your ideal reader as if he or she were a real person, so you can craft targeted messages to them. These messages should use the right tone of voice and address the specific needs and desires of your audience.
And since different groups of people may read for different reasons, you will probably need to create more than one buyer persona. Each persona should include basic demographic details, behaviors, goals, pain points, and expectation patterns.
You cannot get to know every reader individually. However, you can create a persona to represent each general segment of your reader base. With this data in hand, you can start creating your story arc.
Create A Magnetic Headline.
All popular articles in Medium have a magnetic headline that entices you to jump right inside. Clickbait, click-worthy, whatever you call it, headlines are a necessary evil.
According to Brian Clark, one of the foremost experts in copywriting, headlines, subheads and bullets should:
· Be useful to the reader,
· Provide him with a sense of urgency,
· Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow unique; and
· Do all of the above in an ultra-specific way.
If you look around for headlines in some of the biggest publications on online, you will see most headlines have similar structures.
Some examples of headlines that convey benefit can be.
· How To + [Benefit]: How to Insanely Improve Your Medium Stories
· X Ways to + [Benefit]: 5 Ways to Insanely Improve Your Medium Stories
· X Steps to + [Benefit]: 5 Steps to Insanely Improve Your Medium Stories
· The Ultimate Guide to + [Benefit]: The Ultimate Guide to Insanely Improve Your Medium Stories
· Why You Should + [Main Idea]: Why You Should Improve Your Medium Stories Before hitting Publish
Always remember the more the reader can take away from the headline (read benefit), the more the headline resonates with him. Simple as that!
Finally, End with a Bang.
Most of the popular stories in Medium compel you to think long after the story has ended.
That is why noted copywriter Sugarman rightly says.
“Your reader should be so compelled to read your copy,” writes Sugarman, “that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slide.”
You do not need to revisit every point in your conclusion like you would for a college essay, but it is nice to have some sort of closing statement.
Here is an example:
Now that you understand the basics of improving your Medium post, get out there and write a great one!
It is simple but does the job; it gives the piece a wrapped-up feeling, so you do not leave the reader hanging. Do not tack on the story’s meaning. Do not moralize at the end. Do not preach that final hallelujah.
And have faith that your reader has already gone with you on a long journey. They know where they have been. They know what they have learned. They know already that life is dark. You do not have to flood it with last-minute light.
And if you want to encourage further engagement, why not ask people to leave a comment and share their own thoughts on your article? It is a great way to get your audience talking, and feeling as though they are part of the conversation. Even better, it is all part of your relationship building and might mean they come back for more.
In a nutshell, the formula for any popular post on Medium is
Great Article = Great content + Targeted outreach + Added Benefit.
As Ben Franklin has rightly said.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”