I restarted blogging in November 2017. I’ve published one post per day since then. This time, I imported every post to Medium. Medium has a great community of readers, writers, and publications. They also provide their writers with some stats.
If you have enough posts in your Medium account, you see certain trends emerging in your stats. I have already written a post about 8 blogging lessons I learned from my Medium stats. One of those lessons stand out among others.
Getting my posts published in a major Medium publication, the Startup, made a huge difference in my blog post views. That’s why I wrote the post The Only Tip You Need to Grow Your Audience as a Blogger.
In that post, I argued that commenting other people’s posts just to grow your audience wasn’t good advice. However, I still received comments about how that practice was better than getting published in a major Medium publication.
In order to settle the issue, I published a post called Is Commenting on Medium a Reliable Strategy to Grow the Audience of Your Blog?
In today’s post, I will provide the proof. I will show the difference in numbers between publishing on your own and getting published by a big publication.
What’s the Impact of Getting Published in a Major Medium Publication?
Now, let’s take a look at Table 1. In the first column, you see the publication. I have published in seven Medium publications. “No publication” refers to the posts that I published as an independent writer. Those posts are not published in any publication.
The second column refers to how many follower each publication has. In the third column, you see how many posts I published in each publication. In the fourth and fifth columns, you see the average number of views per post and average number of fans per post, respectively.
When I look at the average views and fans figures above, the difference is like day and night. As an independent author, I scored 10 views and 1 fan per post on average. My Startup Publication posts scored 640 views and 37 fans per post on average. That’s a 64X and 37X difference.
You might think that those independent posts might be from times when I didn’t have much following on Medium. In order to counter that argument, I took the stats from a recent 30 day period.
These stats are from a recent, consecutive 30 days. In that period, I published 5 posts as an independent author and 25 posts in the Startup Publication. My Startup Publication posts received 10 times more views and 4 times more fans on average.
Did I Sell Myself to Big Publications?
Believe it or not, I received that remark. Maybe, you’re thinking the same way. Let me ease your worries. You don’t need to sell yourself to big publications.
You need to become the best blogger you can be. That’s all it takes to get published in a major Medium publication.
I can hardly think about a blogger who would oppose the idea of becoming their best version.
In Table 3, you see the performance of my posts before getting published in the Startup Publication.
It took me publishing 55 blog posts to get published in the Startup Publication. 17 of those posts have 0 views to this date, 12 only 1, and 7 only 2. Nine of those posts have somewhere between 3 and 9 views. I’m talking about views, not fans.
I had to go through that period of getting little to no views for my posts. I kept writing and publishing every day. I did my best to improve my blogging skills. Then, I got accepted into the Startup Publication and you see the spikes in the graph below.
The blue columns refer to the views of individuals posts. The orange line refers to the 7 day moving average of the views of individual posts. The axis on the left belongs to the individual posts and the axis on the right to the moving average.
The graph above is worrying me a little. As you can see, my view numbers are heading down. That means I need to figure out what’s going on in there.
The average line above reminds me of another post called This Is How Your Expectations Sabotage Your Success. In that post, I argue that we expect a linear growth. In reality, growth happens in spikes after long periods of plateaus. Something like the graph below.
Don’t Let Those Long Dry Spells Discourage You
You don’t lose anything when you go through a dry spell of getting little to no views. You improve your craft with every post you publish. You learn something. You make progress. Eventually, you can go back to those posts and rewrite them with all the lessons you have learned.
Maybe the content of a post was good, but you didn’t format it well for online consumption. Maybe you didn’t come up with a relevant, strong title. Maybe you didn’t use a picture. Maybe the picture you used wasn’t interesting. Now, go ahead and rewrite that post with all the lessons you have learned.
It all comes down to this.
You need to have a portfolio of quality posts in your blog or Medium profile. Otherwise, no amount of promotion will help you to grow your audience as a blogger.
In order to build such a portfolio, you need to write quality blog posts. If you write quality blog posts, you can publish them in big publications. That will grow your audience. Then, why invest your time in something other than trying to write the best posts you can?
Work Your Way Up
Trying to get published in a major Medium publication might overwhelm you. You might wonder how to get to that level. Here are a few tips to help you with that.
- Make a list of your favorite Medium publications.
- Find and read their submission guidelines. Sometimes, these are hidden. In that case, google it.
- Write as many posts as possible paying attention to the submission guidelines.
- Read as many posts as possible in your favorite publications to understand what those publications pay attention to.
- If you can’t get into the big publications, try to get into smaller ones. You can find publications in your niche on Smedian.com.
As you see in Table 1, getting published in smaller publications provided me with additional views and fans as well. If a publication has 100 fans that don’t follow you, that’s potentially 100 extra views to your post.
By getting published in a major publication, my posts views are multiplied by 10 and fans by 4. You don’t need to sell yourself to get your posts published in big publications. All you have to do is to improve your craft and write the best blog posts you can.
Getting published in a major Medium publication can be a long journey. Your posts might get little to no attention during that period. Stick through this incubation process. Submit your posts to smaller publications to get some extra exposure.
Getting published in a big publication is not the end of the story. The views of my posts seem to have decreased lately, even though they are published in the Startup Publication.
I have to figure out why and deal with this challenge. I will write about the lessons I learn from that challenge. Sign up to my email newsletter, if you want to learn from my challenges.