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MEDIUM BASICS

5 Underrated Pointers to Keep in Mind to Get a Head-Start in Your Medium Journey

From basics to advanced, let’s cover some unexplored lands

Photo by Morgan Sessions on Unsplash

Medium is a challenging nut to crack. No matter if you are completely new to the platform or have been writing here for years, you can learn something new every day.

And that’s the beauty — you discover something new every time you think you have gotten everything figured out.

I have been writing on this platform for over a year now (on and off). And in this brief period of time, I have learned a lot of things. And through this article, I want to share the 5 most important.

Keep in mind that these pointers are not talked about enough, so it becomes important to shed some light on them.

So, let’s get started.

1. Familiarize yourself with the editing and formatting tools of Medium’s editor

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Of all the platforms I’ve tried writing on, I found Medium’s editor to be the best.

It’s simple, clean and simply wonderful.

If you are new to Medium, you should first get familiar with the tools of the editor. There are many articles on Medium itself about the same. Go read a couple of those.

Or, you can get a basic idea in the Medium editor itself.

Just click on the 3 dots on the right-hand side of the screen and select “Hints and keyboard shortcuts”.

Screenshot by me

And you can get to know how basic formatting works on Medium by following the instructions they show.

Example of the screen that will appear after you click the option.

2. Don’t use “too many” CTAs. Medium’s algorithm definitely doesn’t like that

For that matter, no platform likes that.

Have you used Twitter? If you have, you might know that when you tweet with an external link, a link that takes you out of the platform, you get a lot fewer views than your normal tweet.

Why is that so? Because Twitter—again, for that matter, no other platform—wants you to leave their platform. And this sounds logical, right? Yet we keep on adding external links after links (in the form of CTAs or click-to-actions).

So, to put it short: don’t overuse too many CTAs in your article. Apart from ruining your reader’s experience, it also sometimes angers the algorithm.

To know in detail what CTAs are, read this article.

3. Don’t try to mass-tag people. But in case you want/have to, try to do it in a fun and interactive way

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

Mass-tagging is common on many platforms. Medium is no exception. You can mass-tag your followers, thanking them, for example. Avoid mass-tagging as much as you can because you don’t know who among them doesn't want to be tagged and it may annoy them.

It has personally happened to me. One person commented under one of my mass-tagged stories, criticizing that this type of gimmick to increase followers doesn’t suit me. S/he didn’t expect this from me and I think it probably annoyed him. So be careful.

In case you’re doing or planning to do, make sure to not make it “boring.” Throw some interesting games, as I had in this mass-tagged story, or try to be creative in any other way. And wish no one feels bad!

4. Top writer batch and distribution/curation of your story does not matter much, but it’s never a bad idea to try to earn it

I’ve got many Top-Writer badges in topics like Writing, This Happened To Me, etc. They don’t make a lot of difference on your stats page, I assure you. But at the same time, the emotions they bring with them motivate you a lot—and we cannot factor that out of the equation.

We all seek social validation, don’t we?

So, however, earning a top-writer tag doesn’t make any practical difference—or if they do, that’s quite negligible, I think.

But they surely help in combating that inferiority complex or imposter syndrome inside of your head and sometimes bring about a change in your mindset by validating your talent/skill for writing.

5. The importance of tags is increasing exponentially. Right tags can help you get more views

The rise of tags’ importance is new to no one. But choosing the right tags continues to be a chore for many—including me.

I still sometimes dedicate a couple of minutes to finding that best tag… and it’s okay! It all comes with practice and experience, right? So don’t over-stress yourself with choosing the “best” tags. Take it easy!

But at the same time, you should have a broad understanding of what tags to use in your story. And a great place to get started is by having the knowledge of “top-writer eligible tags”.

Here, I have got an article for you:

I hope these pointers help you in upping your Medium game.

You can read more stories in this list. Happy Mediuming!

MEDIUM BASICS

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