So, you have a friend or family member who wants to be a writer (let’s call them your writer). You want to be supportive, but you don’t know the best way to do that. Here’s a guide to maximize your support with little effort and no cost to you.
When a new writer is building their audience, the thing that helps them the most is exposure. Now, the writer’s audience shouldn’t be their friends and family. They need to write for their tribe or fan base. But, in order to establish that tribe, it helps to have friends and family show their support! Not just for the exposure, also for the emotional support to keep your writer motivated.
The ideal way to show your writer that you support them is to share(!) share(!!) share(!!!) their stories! And the best part? You don’t have to spend any money or contribute to someone’s crowdfunding page.
Exposure comes in several forms:
- Claps & comments on Medium
- Shares on social media/email
- Word of mouth
Claps & Comments on Medium
First of all, it’s easiest to use Medium if you have an account. But if you don’t want to create one for whatever reason, that’s no problem. Move on to the next section.
It’s super easy to create a Medium account. Click here to start the process (it’ll open in a new window). Click “Get Started” at the top right, and sign up with Google or Facebook.
Great! Now that you have a Medium account, you can show your writer support by “clapping” for their stories and writing “responses” about how much you just loved what they wrote!
To clap, simply scroll to the bottom of the story (preferably after reading it) and click the button that looks like little hands. You can hold this down and clap (silently) up to fifty times! I honestly have no idea if the number of claps from one user effects your writer’s Medium standing. So for now, clap however many times you want!
If you feel so inclined, write a response about any thoughts or questions you had during the story. A nice, audience-building writer will reply or at the very least clap for your response!
Now, if you notice a typo in the story that your Type A writer would want to fix, DON’T mention that in the comments!
You can send your writer a private note with ease. Simply highlight the typo and a bar with a few options shows up. Click the icon that looks like a thought bubble with a padlock inside of it, and a little text box will pop up. Type your edit suggestion there and click Send.
With your new Medium account, you can now read and clap for other writers too! You don’t have to limit yourself to the contents of your writer’s profile. Feel free to read some other stories. Just don’t forget the reason you’re on Medium in the first place — to be a fan for your writer. If your writer notices that you’re championing someone else more than them, there’s a distinct chance that you might be featured in your writer’s next story in a less-than-flattering light…
Social Media Shares (and Email)
Second, it’s easiest to maximize shares through social media. Read on to learn how to best share your writer’s work using your favorite platform. But if you don’t use any social media for whatever reason, that’s no problem. Move on to the next section.
If you enjoyed your writer’s latest story, share their work on your Facebook page (or a friend’s page)! If you’re willing to share the cute video about the dog snowblowing his own driveway, then you should be willing to share a story that you enjoyed reading. You never know who in your friends list might stumble on it and become a fan.
If you use Twitter, Medium makes it super easy to tweet quotes or passages from your favorite Medium stories using your phone or computer. Simply highlight the quote or passage you want to share and a bar with a few options shows up. Click the Twitter bird icon. Medium auto-generates an image with the quote for your Tweeting pleasure. Click Tweet, and you’re done!
Now, Instagram is a little trickier because Medium doesn’t work directly with them. If you want to shout out your writer on Instagram, it’s probably easiest if your writer already uses it to share their own stories. If they don’t, this is probably too much hassle (unless you’re a Gram wiz).
If your writer does use Instagram to share their stories, they should have a link to their Medium account in their Instagram bio. In which case, it’s easy to share. When your writer posts about a story, you can either re-post their post OR you can shout your writer out in your Instagram story. Either way, make sure to tag them with @[your writer] to direct any interested traffic to their page.
If there’s another form of social media that you like to use, get creative with how you can show support! There’s no wrong way to get the word out (except for vandalism — don’t go spray painting buildings or underpasses to get your writer more views).
If you like email (the snail mail of the 21st century, am I right? Just kidding, email is cool), then email links to your writer’s stories to friends or co-workers that might enjoy them too.
Word of Mouth
Third, it’s easiest to relate to someone on a human level by talking to them. If you are taking a vow of silence, that’s no problem. Move on to the next section. Oh wait…there isn’t one.
When you have a conversation with someone who expresses interest in a topic that your writer has published a story about, tell that someone about your writer! Just don’t forget how to find your writer on Medium (hopefully it’s just a matter of searching for their name, but that depends on what your writer put in their profile).
Nine times out of ten, nothing will come of your mentioning your writer. But the one time, that someone will check out your writer’s work. They could even become a fan and also start sharing your writer’s work.
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If your writer gets a fan from your efforts, it will all be thanks to you (and your writer’s skill, but this guide isn’t about that, it’s about you)! This process is like a pyramid scheme of fan-building credit. Your writer will be indebted to you for telling that guy in line at the grocery store about that one story. Seriously, you could be earning some major IOUs with this referral program.
Thanks for reading! I post stories about unconventional travel, green living, writing tips, and other goodies each week! Follow along to read about living with strangers in foreign lands, herding sheep on horseback, and living for five months off of a mere $2,750 in some of the most expensive countries in the world.