Photo Credit: Tim Gouw — https://unsplash.com/photos/NSFG5sJYZgQ

How I hit 500,000 views on Medium in 30 days.

These are my Medium stats for the past 30 days. I initially set out with a 30 day goal of breaking 120,000 views and 50,000 complete reads. I felt that was a pretty lofty goal, but I was confident that I could make it happen.

30 days later, I’m past 500,000 views and over 200,000 reads and I’m incredibly happy with how the last month as gone.

I’m proud and humbled by the impact my posts have been getting, and I want to thank every single one of my readers.

I also want to talk about how I’ve hit this milestone. I know for a lot of writers, getting to the point where you have a regular audience is tough. In fact, it’s fucking depressing. You can slog away consistently, and never feel like you’re making progress.

So this is how I hit the 500,000 view milestone in 30 days. I hope it’s useful.

When I talk about how I write, I like to start with the tools.

Note — I’m not affiliated with the following apps in any way, I’m just a massive fan & would probably be lost without ’em.

I’ve recently been invited by The Todoist Team to try their app, and I’m excited to give it a shot.

1. I prepared ahead of time.

You won’t hit the goals you don’t prepare for. If you’re working on any project, the most important phase is always the pre-game. If you start out on the wrong foot, in the wrong way, with no plan, you are not going to succeed.

My preparation was largely around designing processes. I’ve spoken before about the way I schedule writing into my life and ensure that I’ve got a system in place. I went through a process of refining that system to support publishing 5–6 times a week.

I knew that was going to be a crazy schedule, and without a plan in place it wouldn’t work out. I also knew that breaking my previous month’s record of 116,000 views was going to be hard, and that a high output of great writing was the only way to do it.

The system is explained pretty well here:

Beyond that, I settled on some templates early on, working out a frame for each post that would allow me to include a solid intro, a series of points, and an outro. The templates included where I would insert the images as well.

2. I researched my posts.

The topics I worked on in the past month were ones I knew my readers wanted to see. I researched my previous work thoroughly, read the feedback and examined what posts struck a cord — and why.

With that research in hand, I’ve been talking one-on-one with my readers to learn more about their interests, what they enjoy about my writing, and what they’re looking for more of.

Knowing that they wanted to learn, they wanted posts that cut through the bullshit and offered practicalities and they wanted posts that kept to around the 5–8 minute mark was useful. I then had to ask if I could write posts that would meet that criteria without selling myself and my own interests out.

The short answer? I could. As long as the topics were personal, real, and directly represented what I believe, I knew I’d be okay trying to offer my audience what they wanted and needed.

I started the month with a list of 30 posts, scheduled well in advance.

3. I wrote consistently.

Publishing the number of posts I reached in the past month was about making the writing a number one priority. It was the first thing I did when I woke up, and the last thing I did before I hit the sack. That’s a tough regimen to maintain, but it did ensure consistency.

Quality control was a pretty big priority too. You can’t have a well received story if you’re publishing total crap, and readers are always smart enough to know when you’re phoning it in.

I’m pretty harsh on myself. If I feel a piece is not up to my standard, I will not release it. I will delete the entire thing and start again. That’s happened about 5–10 times in the past month. It hurts, but you have to set and keep standards.

Note — in no way was I chasing perfection. That’s a pointless goal. Perfection doesn’t exist. All you can do is make sure you hit your own standards.

4. I used support.

I can’t hire people to write these posts for me. Largely because the whole point of my writing is that I love doing it. I genuinely love writing. What I can do is ask people to make the processes behind it a little easier.

I have some incredible people who are happy to help me out, and their roles are quite simple. They find the right images to accompany each piece, format my writing where it needs a tweak, and call me out when my work sucks.

They take the work that is normally written in markdown and make sure it looks good on the page.

Giving me back that time is invaluable, and it makes it a lot easier to stay productive. It also keeps me going on the writing side, without having to become caught in the technical aspects.


If you enjoyed this article, please click that little green heart below. That would be incredible.

You can also read this. It’s about sexism. And how it’s total bullshit.

I’m Jon Westenberg. I’m passionate about writing, marketing, business and creativity. You can ask me to work with you, invite me to speak at your event, or set up a conversation on your podcast. I’m excited to hear from you!

www.jonwestenberg.com

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jon@jonwestenberg.com