The Art of a Medium Article
A New Writer’s Guide to Writing Articles on Medium
You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say — F. Scott Fitzgerald
Writing on Medium is different from writing a blog post, writing an article for a newspaper, and writing an essay for a traditional media outlet. In the three months that I started to write on Medium, I came to appreciate that a Medium article is actually all of the above.
To be successful on Medium, it is important to appreciate the below formula:
(a blog post + a personal essay + references+photo+headline+voice)* inspiration = Medium Article
I’m not talking about writing fiction, poetry or other types of creative writing on Medium. I’m talking about articles in such tags as: Mental Health, Self, Self Improvement, Food, This Happened To Me, Parenting, Writing, Technology. Even though, writing in certain tags require more of personal touch, I have not deviated far from the above formula.
Writing voice is really important. It also takes time to develop.
Some of the best writers on Medium have amazing writing voices that make you want to read their articles over and over again. A good writing voice speaks to the audience in a unique way. The writer’s personality comes through a good writing voice. A good writing voice establishes trust between the readers and the writer. A good writing voice is personal. It incites dialogue between friends.
The intersection between a blog post and personal essay is where the gold is at.
A blog post is informative. It contains very clear short paragraphs broken down into sizable pieces. It contains headlines for smaller sections within the article. It also contains clear and concise writing to keep the reader engaged.
A personal essay tugs at the heart strings. It provides personal experiences of the writer to give the reader proof in the form of experience for the topic discussed. It also highlights the inspirational elements within the article.
I personally love the marriage of a blog post and a personal essay. This marriage gives the reader an “experience” when reading the article. This “experience” keeps the reader’s attention. This “experience” draws the reader in to read your other articles. This “experience” also brands you to your readers.
When the marriage is complete, it’s important to package the article up well with a bow and a ribbon. Packaging is not putting on makeup to embellish your article. Packaging is putting clothes on the naked body of your article. You want the packaging to inform and reflect your article.
This is when the headline, the photo and references come into play.
The packaging is where you give the credit where the credit is due.
The headline is what will draw your readers in to click on your article link. This headline should reflect what the article is about. It should also point to the most poignant piece of information in your article. The most poignant part of your article can be a personal detail or the central theme.
The photo is what will draw your readers in on social media outlets to share your link or click on your article. Ideally the photo should convey the central theme of the article. But, it could convey it in a unique way. For example, I used a photo of “lightening” for my article titled “Five Different Kinds of Pain”. Photos from Pixabay and Unsplash do well on Medium. Make sure to credit the photographer in the caption.
References are evidence for your statements in your technical articles. When you are not an expert in a certain field, it’s important to link to your sources. You can put links to sources inside your article. You can also put a references section at the end of article. I usually do links to specific detailed information inside my article. Then, I put references at the end of my article for general ideas.
Once you have your article all packaged up, you can read through your draft. This is the best time to inject a dose of inspiration if you haven’t already done it. I use this time to make sure that my article flows correctly by reading the article out loud to myself. I also use this time to check my grammar. But, most importantly, I read through the article and mentally highlight the doses of inspiration that I have injected into the article.
For the finishing touch, add a call to action for yourself below your article. It could be an invitation to signup for your mailing list. It could be an invitation to read another article by you. It could be an invitation to follow you on social media. You just spent all that time writing a wonderful article, you deserve the opportunity to direct your readers where you want them to go next.
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About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her parenting website: wellplayedchild.com