It’s easy. Give it a try, Buffer.
Pull out your highlighter pen
Hitting like, heart or recommend on any social network could mean all sorts of things. It could mean sympathy, amusement, a waive, a high-five or any other sort of non-specific approval. The highlight on Medium is different. It means, this sentence resonated with me. It’s an engagement level somewhere between a like and a comment.
But it doesn’t just benefit the other person. It also becomes part of your own profile. Others can see what you’ve highlighted by typing /highlights after your Medium URL like this.
Treat responses like a conversation
If you want to go beyond the highlight and add your own thoughts, you can click on the bubble and write a response to highlighted text. Obviously you can write a response to the entire article (like this post) but responding to an individual sentence or section can provide a closer connection. It feels more like a conversation, and not just like your posting a full manifesto as a response.
Pitch a publication
I’ve found that being included in a publication usually doesn’t increase the number of reads all that much. But it does improve engagement dramatically. People who follow publciation on Medium tend to be power users, and are more likely to read your piece closely as well as highlight, recommend and respond.
Being included recently in the Personal Growth publication, for instance, doesn’t look all that impressive with number of reads, which just shy of 300. But the 32 recommends and number of highlights were much greater than any stand-alone Medium article.
Pitching publications reminds me of the early days of guest blogging on someone else’s website. It benefits everyone. The publication gets the content, and you get in front of their audience.
I pitch a publication first by searching for keywords relevant to my writing and finding a good fit. Look through the different publications and see which ones are active and fit your topic and tone.
Sometimes you can find the curator of the collection in the “about” section, and other times you have to click on “more info” to find the editor. Then it’s just a matter of sending a tweet to the publication editor and asking if they’d like to include your work.
If they’re receptive, they’ll add you as a writer, and then you have to submit the work to be accepted into publication.
Write about Medium
The first rule of Medium is you don’t write about… wait, sorry wrong club. Sometimes it seems that the ONLY thing people talk about on Medium is Medium. At least it’s the most surefire way to get attention. And that’s OK. It’s much like the early days of Twitter when all people talked about was Twitter. The community members are actively figuring out and discussing what the platform means for them. When you write about Medium, its strength, its shortcomings and even if you have no idea what you’re doing on Medium, it shows that we’re all part of this club together.