Medium Success: How To Start and Grow A Following | Amardeep Parmar | Skillshare

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Medium Success: How To Start and Grow A Following

teacher avatar Amardeep Parmar, Founder of Mindful & Driven

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:50
    • 2. Setting Up

      7:11
    • 3. Expectations

      3:00
    • 4. Why People Should Follow You

      1:16
    • 5. How Monetization Works

      1:55
    • 6. Topics & Curation

      3:00
    • 7. Tags

      2:12
    • 8. Publications

      3:36
    • 9. Headlines, Cover Images & Subheadlines

      4:16
    • 10. Introductions

      2:41
    • 11. Write Your First Story

      11:41
    • 12. Call To Actions

      2:06
    • 13. Making Your Plan

      3:41
    • 14. Reaching Out

      3:26
    • 15. Useful Websites

      3:21
    • 16. Final Thoughts

      1:58
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About This Class

Learn how to get started on Medium and how to grow a following with Amardeep Parmar who went from 0 to full-time writer in just over a year.

Medium is like the YouTube of writing where you can share your message with the world and get paid for doing so. Growing on the platform allows you to connect with people from all over the world based on your ideas.

Though most people don't make it and it can be intimidating to get started. Amar shares his journey as one of the breakout stars of the platform in 2020 with 37k+ followers and millions of views. He has the additional perspective of being an editor of one of the largest publications on the platform, Entrepreneur's Handbook.

Amar had no idea what he was doing at the beginning but learned fast and found himself improving constantly all whilst working a full-time job.

You'll learn how to:

  • Create your account
  • Understand all the key cogs of the Medium platform
  • Write your first story
  • Engage with the community
  • Build the right mindset to succeed

It's not easy on Medium but it can be incredibly satisfying especially once you have all the foundational knowledge. 

Resources:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Amardeep Parmar

Founder of Mindful & Driven

Teacher

Amardeep Parmar is a writer who recently quit his corporate job at a world-leading technology consultancy firm. His writing is centered around how to find the balance between being driven to achieve whilst not losing sight of what's really important. It's a problem he's struggled with for much of his life and he wants to share what he's learned.

His main platform is on Medium where he has millions of views. He's been featured in places such as Thought Catalog, Morning Brew, and Elephant Journal. He's an editor and producer for Entrepreneur's Handbook on top of his writing.

He's got a varied background and has been able to achieve high levels of performance in multiple fields. Amardeep was a former member of the national karate squad, has been to nearly 50 countries, and da... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: If you want to learn how to write online and grow a following on medium.com, then you're in the right place. Medium is like the YouTube of writing, where you can share your message and earn money while doing so, this class will teach you how to get started. And then thrive on the platform, I'm Amar, your teacher and I go by the name of Amardeep Parmar on medium. I only started in January 2020. I already have 37 thousand followers and millions of views. Of the 65000 writers he joined in 2020, This makes me one of the fastest growing. I'm also an editor of The Entrepreneur's handbook, which has ever 200,000 followers, and is one of the fastest-growing publications on the platform. I was a complete beginner and have now quit my job to go full-time into writing. So I'm proof that anything is possible. Anyone can get started on medium for free but it's much harder than simply pressing publish and hoping for the best. It takes time to figure out how things work, learn the rules, then apply the lessons consistently until you see the results that you want. There is so much noise and conspiracy theories, it can be hard to know what advice to trust. I explain the key terms you need to know and provide information to the best of my knowledge, I'm not promising you that you can make 1000s in your first month because it's very unlikely. But what I can do is to give you a booster at the beginning to get you along your way. If you put in the work and create content readers love, it's a great way to earn some money on the side was also itching your passion. I'm used to Skillshare but I've binged on other courses. And I love the concept of projects, So for this course, the project is simply sharing your profile once you've written a few stories. And this will allow you to get feedback from your classmates. It's also great for you as you're going through this course to have a look at some of those profiles and see what you can learn. My hope is that you can do is give feedback to others as well. To contribute a part to this little community by telling people what you like and don't like. And what I expect is that there's going to be people from all different backgrounds from all over the world taking this course. And maybe you will learn something new by reading one of the articles. If you're ready, let's get started. 2. Setting Up: If you haven't used medium yet. Itself, the first thing you need to do is set up and get your account ready. And it's a good idea to spend a bit of time as a reader first before you start writing any of your own articles. So you get a good idea of how our platform feels and what the kind of style is that works. So I'm going to show you now how to go through this. Okay, so here we are. First to start off simply medium.com. And this is where it is, like if you haven't signed up for. So you can see that tagline here, which is where good ideas find you. Then below you can see what's trending. And often you might notice these are from very big newsletters. And then here, so the more popular articles in recent times. So what we want now is to get started. So you can pick up the one I tend to just use Google or Facebook. It's probably easiest way to do it. So for this example it is make an account so I can show you is going to be. Okay. Continue. Okay. Now I'm going to open the link that was sent to me in an email. Okay, So obviously for real account, for your real full name, you can use a pen name if you want to and there are successful writers on medium who use pen names. But generally you want to use a name that at least sounds like an actual person, because that's what people can relate to. But this isn't a real person. So we're going to have Hello. See how the page changes after login, this is your top recommendations. You can connect to Twitter. I would advise doing that because then people can find you easier. And then it's going to suggest me some writers up here. And some topics. So this is the homepage and I'd advise is clicking around a bit. So at the moment we didn't actually have a membership. So as bases upgrade button here, so you can only read three articles month. , if you wanted to upgrade, I would advise doing this just said then it's easier for you to see more content or medium and that helps you get a good understanding of what does well expensive and it hopefully make more than this money anyway. So now we're going to this menu up here, shows you a few different options. We'll start off with settings. People have all different kinds of bios. What you want to do is show clearly why someone might want to follow you. And if you've got a newsletter, or a product, put it there as well. So mine at the moment is founder of mindful and driven. And that it gives people are kinda rough idea of what I'm about. You can have an links in this and a profile photo. Most people use a photo of themselves because it's kind of platform where people are following writers, it's a good idea to do that because I don't know many of the top writers who are using photos of logos or icons because can't relate, so you can change your username if you want. You can add domain. Domains generally is worth if you have it and you aren't using it. But otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. So you can see followers. So you might as well tick this which just means that people who follow you, they might be sent an e-mail to say you've just published and there's a ton of emails from medium. I tend to turn some of these off just because my inbox gets very busy. But you can go through this yourself and pick what kind of things you want to see. Yeah. So yeah, it's good to be connected to Facebook and Twitter again, just so that you can easily find people, It's important to make sure that private notes is on, especially if you want to have other writers connect with you or to submit publications. This is also useful just in case anything ever happens. You can download anything you published to medium. Next, whenever quick look at design your profile and looking into much details here, but you can just customize this a little bit, make your profile a bit more interesting. So you can change the colors, for example, is have a red background that just makes you stand out. So if you go different brand or anything like that, you can have a look, guys, if you searched my profile here, and you can just see what I've done. So I use Orange as my main brand color, which you can probably tell from this. And I've got my logo and just a bit of customization there. I use same profile photo on all of my social platform, so it just makes me easy to recognize and you can see my bio there as well. So that's my newsletter. So you can make yours look however you want. And for different font options, different types of header, whether you want to use a logo or text and just have a look at different profiles. Get good idea of what you want to do. There's no right or wrong answer. It's more about getting a feel for your personality. Next we want to look at the Medium partner program. So this is how you get paid as they say earn for your writing. So got a bit of information, here, which can help out and I recommend reading this. Just so you're comfortable. So just to answer these questions quickly. Do you need a Medium membership, no you don't. It can vary significantly and I'll go over that in a little while. You don't need to worry about publications taking your money, that isn't what happens. You can edit any story whenever you want. And with non members. You can send people, friends links and allows them to be the articles even, if they're behind a paywall. Just with rules about no advertising, and quality over clickbait. So I want to join the partner program. Okay, so we're going to. It tells you what you're going to do here I'm not going to set this up again because mine is already connected. You can see connect your bank account or debit card. Agree. It's going to ask you to use stripe. So stripe isn't currently available. For all countries, if your're not from one of the stripe supported countries. I believe there is support To allow you to do this, I think the best way is to Google To make sure that you're meeting the laws and requirements of your country. Okay, So I can give you a quick sneak behind what it looks like for my partner program. So once you've signed up, so you can change your stripe dashboard, you can update your tax information. So again, this really depends on the country are coming from, from, for me, from the UK. I have to fill out a W8-BEN-E for my company and use that. So here you can see, so my status, this is where I started back in January, in 2020. So these stats also Jose includes use of comments which makes a little bit confusing and harder. So you can see like I started up here and in that first month asking 1000 views, a day towards the end. And the next one we see is massive spikes and that's like newsletters and other things like that. And see it goes up and down. And you can see bumper months like that. 3. Expectations: What you might have gathered from the stats in the last video, is that this really isn't a get rich quick scheme. The majority of writers don't make much money at all. And the last time that Medium shared numbers, there were 95 percent earning less than a $100. Now I've been earning four figures a month for over a year. But that puts me well within the top 1%. But even above me, there's people earning five acres every month and able to do say consistently, but these people are the exceptions, not the average. Most people earning the top amounts have built their audiences up over time. So if you're only writing to add money, you're going to probably give up quite quickly and be disappointed. You need to find other motivation factors as well. Hopefully you enjoy writing itself. Maybe you enjoy sharing your work, maybe you enjoy getting involved in the community. All of these different factors can keep going even if you're not earning money. And I hope you stay to do that regardless, people come to medium, to read a wide variety of topics. Tech and self-help are sometimes considered the main subjects you need to write about to make money. But this isn't true. There are people writing about other topics and they're also doing very well. It might be less visible because they're less engaged in the community. So don't let those kind of things for you. I'd really advise, don't write about them just because you think it's going to make you money even if you're not interested in it. Because otherwise, what's the point? You might hear some people say that you can only do well a medium if you're XY or Z, because they think the Medium writer needs to fit a specific mold. And this isn't true at all. If you haven't noticed, I'm of Indian ethnicity. And there are people from all over the world from all different backgrounds doing well. You don't even need English as your first language. A plenty of amazing writers who have English as a second language or even the third language. And there you need to on the language and the way that they craft their words can be an advantage for them. You're only limited by your ability to connect to the audience. Another key point is earnings go up and down, and you can see significant volatility. You don't have consistency in how your stories do. And you can have one takeoff and the next one a dud. And it can be all over the place. But what you generally see is actually getting more followers than the duds aren't so bad and you can get greater highs. It's not uncommon for my income to swing by thousands every month. And both up and down, so my best month, that was a few months ago. And that have had bad months and I've had good monthsand it kinda goes up and down. You never know quite what's going to happen as you start this journey. Please don't expect to safety net because it can go all over the place. I was lucky that one of my early pieces went viral. But this is very much an anomaly and I'm very aware how lucky I was. It took me six months to recreate another viral article. And since I've been able to do it more regularly, is a tough process. And you've got to be in for the long haul and focusing on quality, so learn to ride the ups and downs. 4. Why People Should Follow You: This book here is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. And what makes it so amazing is that was a journal he wrote himself and he never expected it to be published. But there's a reason that most books aren't like that. And this is because people want to know what's in it for them. They want to necessarily know what's inside our heads. They want to know how was inside our heads can help them. So you're probably not Marcus Aurelius and you can't use medium is your personal January expect to see huge results. You need to be thinking of the reader and what value you can have a lab. And this can come in different ways. You can entertain them, you can give them information. You can make them feel something. To grant a fall in the medium. You need to understand that there's a reason why people signed up for medium rather than the Wolf Street Journal, New York Times, they didn't necessarily want journalistic pieces. What they want is real life, personal experiences, and medium is the home of the indie writer. So the case is finding your voice and writing in a way with the reader through your talking to them directly is very difficult to have a unique selling point, a medium based on a content alone, she got very unique life experiences. But what you can do is have a common thread where people want to hear what you have to say about that rather than somebody else has to say. And this is what can she follows in the long run. 5. How Monetization Works: While this course isn't around making money on medium, it's obviously a question people find pretty important. And one of the first ones people ask me is how does the monetization system actually work on Medium? And is little bit complicated. But I will walk you through it. So Medium members pay you $5 a month or $50 a year. And parts of that money goes to the writers. And the way splits up by medium is based on member read time. So let's say I've read 100 minutes of paywalled articles on Medium this month. And let's say I only read two authors and I read 50 minutes. So each of those authors that means that they're both get half of my money for that month each. Now obviously it's more complicated than this because you get some people who had hundreds of articles a month. So if they read your article but read hundred of others, then you don't get very much money from their reading. But if it's a more niche topic, let's say, where the person who is reading only reads three or four articles a month, then just by that one read, you could get quite a lot of income. So you can either go for really popular topics and hope you just get enough people or in a more niche. And the people you get there are each worth more per view. That's how it works in a nutshell. So the idea is to make sure that you're keeping people in your articles because if you've got a clickbait headline, they might click and not actually spend any time reading. And that's no use to you. You to make it. A strong article with high-quality that keeps people reading to the end. And then you get more reward for that. And obviously, it takes a while to get to a level where we're getting so many member read minutes that you're earning a significant income. So don't worry too much about that. And there's also no general rule of one hour of read time is this amount of money, it all varies. So it's best not to worry about it too much. But all you need to remember is make high-quality and the money will follow. 6. Topics & Curation: Topics or medium, or basically high-level categories with a top articles in different subjects. These are handpicked by human curators who will go for a read articles and allocate them to certain topics if they believe that it met certain distribution standards. These topics are felt by many readers. So it's a good idea for any new writer to aim to get the articles distributed in this way, meeting or your articles in front of a way more eyeballs, then the small amount of polish will have rather star. So let's have a quick look at mediums distribution standards. And this is what everybody needs to know. This is loss of dated December 9th, 2020. They could be updated again, and by the time you watch this, so please do tag. You can just google medium distribution standards and you'll find that clearly the looking for consent that is high-quality. They go like this is all things you should expect, but you'd be surprised how many people don't expect this and we'll make small mistakes. When you're writing, you should go through these questions. Doesn't mean it's worse than that, does add value to the reader. Kristin, for the reader, is it complete? Is a rigorous, is an honest, and also things which you should avoid. And I'm hoping nobody reading this was planning on doing plagiarism will duplicate content because this isn't the right place for you who's ethical standards about anything to do a Boolean go anyway, that's trivializing or hurting other people. Clickbait is emotive topic of medium because it's so difficult to understand what exactly it is. So what I've tried to do here is really break this down by Arjun. Different questions is quite clear that there are articles I do this and had been successful in the past and medium British, France stamp this out. So don't for example, say this one book will change your life forever. Maybe you could say this book will make you change the way you think about a certain thing. And really crucial as this bit here, the reader has a good idea of what they're clicking on and the story delivers on its premise. Contrary to popular belief, you can't write about medium on medium and make a lot of money. So just check this out and see if there's anything that you're worried about. As a read on the homepage, you can see the topics. Have it here. So if you click on see more, you can see the full list here is a wide variety. So again, check it out for yourself. And you can see equality health industry related. There is something for everybody or medium. Now if I just click on any random one here, Let's see. Let's go for space as not so quick I write about myself. But you can see that all of these stories in here have met certain standard and medium consider is good enough for distribution. So anybody is following the space topic is likely to see on their homepage or maybe in the mouse. And you can see here some of the most popular articles in this area. 7. Tags: Tags and topics are easy to get mixed up. And some people writing on the platform for years still don't quite understand the difference. Topics are what we covered in the previous lesson, where it is picked by a human curator who is employed by medium to decide whether some articles are good quality or not and put into certain subject areas. Tagged on the other hand, are much more like any other social media, like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, where the user adds themselves and they can pick this when they publish their articles. Okay, so he can see a story I've just recently published. And you can see the tags at the bottom here. So you can pick up to five or any story. And if you click down on one, you see this page here. So medium of recently revamped this page, which implies they're going to make it more important going forward in the future. You can see here it has been 490 thousand stories published in this area. And they were a 179 thousand rights as a publisher story. On the side here you can see other tags that people tend to use in the area, the startup tag and top writers on the platform. And you can see me there at number 4. So this isn't necessarily based on views is some algorithm going on here which I didn't fully understand. What you've noticed is that Tim Denning is the most followed writer on the platform. And then some of the other rights that I work with as well. Now, popular, again is algorithm driven. So these aren't necessarily the most read stories. But if you go to the top here you can see some more. So this is the publication I help run. You can go and see all time this year. Will be careful about is if you go to all time, is that the rules are medium of changed consistently over time. Which means that and also they did well three or four years ago might be highly saturated by now, or it wouldn't quite meet the new distribution standards. So don't try and copy articles that you see in this list because it might have been a different set of standards at that time. 8. Publications: Another piece of the puzzle, our publications. And these are like online magazines where you can submit your work to be published to a wider audience is a very good islets may use these, but the structuredness is changing every time. I'm in it itself, a publication called The Entrepreneur's handbook, which has over 200 thousand followers. And this way you can see says, you can see there's our schools by multiple different writers. And it says how in a way where if somebody specifically interested in entrepreneurship, then they can find articles about this and take my lack house style the way we edit pieces and what we added in that regard. What most publications to have is a submissions page. And this will tell you what they're looking for and what kinda standard needs meet. Every publication will have different standards for what they want. Entrepreneurs hamburgers, particularly high standards because he published before articles a day. But other publications will publish dozens or even more than that. So generally the harder publications to get in, the more worthwhile is, but you can look at different things, understandable 70 publications, right for you. One thing you can do is have a look at the Archives. So if you just add, That's the end of the URL. So in here, you can just get a basic idea of how well was the top articles during the publication. So if once was humbly can see I 4040 thousand clap sixteen thousand, seventeen thousand and twenty eight thousand. You can see there you pretty well. Essentially. This just helps give you a baseline if you're trans, compare the publications of why you want to publish. And those are good ideas if we read the publication itself and see if it's something that fits what you're meaningful. Because if it's not, then you're wasting people's time. Generally, I'd advise you not start your own publication. And there's a few reasons for this. One is that it's very difficult to grow publication. And for most people, that beginning is just a distraction. You want to focus on writing and gaining momentum then improving your craft. Rather than looking all these other things on the side. Most writers who are successful don't have their own publications. So I tend to like you need to do at all. What you said you can do is sum, it's other people's publications have already built up the audiences that you want to reach. The exception I make for this is if somebody's got a business that they want to promote, the say for example, Coinbase. They've got their own publication. Different people from their business can publish that. And it serves as a hub for all of their company related things on medium, it makes it easier to discover. So if you're working for a company and using medium for that aspect, then he might be a good idea if you've got multiple it looking right for you. Of course, if you really want to, you can. But this is about writing grind your audience. And publications aren't necessarily the best way to do that if you make one yourself instead tries to engage with others and tries to grow by using their audiences. If you, Devin Smith publications is perfectly okay to self-publish as well. It's still made you can benefit from the tags and the topics we've seen in the other areas. And to sit here and followers, a lot of people prefer to do this because it, I wanted to go through the editorial process and that's absolutely fine. It's up to you. I pass it with a publishing publications just for the actual post. But as non strategy that I'm wedded to. So experiment and find out what's right for you. 9. Headlines, Cover Images & Subheadlines: You can't gain a following if nobody kicks in your article and you've got free tools in order to get people to click. That's the headline, the cover image, and the sub-headline. In that order of importance, lots of people will tell you that x headline does well a medium that you need to write list causing he's right how to say you need to write toxic habits or whatever. But what people don't see is that another 100 people have written an article that has flopped for everyone that does well. So you can't just write these massive headlines and expect them to do well. It comes down to human psychology at the end, where if somebody clicks on a headline and they felt misled and the kickback and straight away, that's a data point for the algorithm. So don't use headlines that you can't live up to. You really don't want do reputation for medium. Because it will just mean that wouldn't be able to see your story. The Pepsi don't click on it because they've seen your name. So try good headline. Think about human psychology. Think about what your stories about was interesting parts. Now, what value can offer somebody and craft the headline based on that? Say don't do this will change your life and it will make you ever. I've done that before and I've regretted it. So think about what tangible benefits you can add to somebody's life. And if you're making fill in a certain way, then hinterlands in the title, people use a wide variety of images for their colors. And again, relevance is crucial here. This is in YouTube's that input words in your cover images as you put people off, because that's not what medium is about. You can use websites on Unsplash, pixels or Pexels a, for your images for free as long as you cite them properly, Unsplash is built into medium. So you'll see that most people tend to use that. But there's gonna be some silly oversight traces. So if you can try out Pexels or Pixabay, you're probably likely to find an image that's going to be less overused on the platform, you can create your own images. And I do this myself and try and keep a style between my articles that people recognize that imagery and know that it's me, which hopefully gets them to click. But you don't need to do this. And most successful rights and the platform Don't do it. I've got a design background and UX. So for me, there's some fun for me to do that takes me about five to ten minutes per image. And I enjoy is quite therapeutic. There are other people like me who've done it and been successful. One example is darkness. So you can see here is used this style. Watch them. Drawings quite often. Like this with a stick man. There you go. There's some more examples as another one, cool khaki, OK. And you can see that she's a very talented artist. So she draws their own images herself like that. So people know and recognize their style. So the subtypes is complimentary to headline, but as you can see, it's not always shown. So the soap articles here, you can't see that sub-headline nor can you see in the trending, but you can't see on this side. So that's why the subheading isn't as important as the headline or the cover image because the other two are shown more frequently. Why tend to notice in new writers is that their sub-headline is actually better than their article headline. So really think about this. When you write yours, initially, try and flip it and see if your subheadings actually best in your headline. There is a fourth thing you can add, which is a kicker. But as you can see on this page here, most articles don't use it as me. So generally I say it's not worth it. You've already got the three main data points. And you want to use those the best way you can kick it would just be a line at the top, which doesn't add much value. And it might just mean that people spend less time in other parts of the skull. So just to wrap up there, think of the Trinity as your headline or sub-headline and recover image. And this is the book cover to see whether or not people are going to click. Because if they don't click, you can read the best article in the world than ever going to know. 10. Introductions: If your headline, cover image and sub-headline is like the book cover, they knew introduction, It's like the blurb. So somebody who would he picked up the book, have interests in it. But read the blurb and this isn't me. Thus we introduction is because when somebody first books in your school, they tried to be impressed. They're trying to understand, could they click the Back button and go to the previous art school or should they carry on reading? If you can get them through the first part, you can probably keep him much longer. Let's have a look at one of my examples. So this is not quite recently, which I liked. So there's different approaches you can take of the introduction. You want to grab their attention straightway. They need to have a reason to continue reading. So in this article here, I've got very short sentences which are one after the other, and it creates a sense of action. Now I would always recommend this, but for this story in particular, it worked because I was trying to make a point about breaking the rules. So you've got flying from kick Perry, dummy jab in front of the eyes, hook it to the side of the head, front legs, EEPROM, the way down, victory. You can read that very fast. What's just happened? And then I continue to say the crowd was stunned by my instructor, Jeremy. This wasn't the defense best approach. They have been drilled live by some opening took it I broke off is rules, but the audience loved it and wanted more on through wise karate, martial law. You can't be creative every now and again. And watch it is the seat, right? Because I've done something which has broken the rules that my shocks it in life. But the crowded OT and I think that's what many craters also thinking he might be what you're thinking right now you're reading this and as you're going on your journey is that you don't want to follow, but he's always, you want to do your own thing. It's tough when you eat all these rules about what you should do, what you shouldn't do. So I've created that connection there, and there's other ways what you can do it. So some people use a star that's shocking at the beginning. For example, they might say you something from the story of their life experiences. Dashes so out there that people want to kind of understand what's happened. But it's always a good idea to frontload the information to put some of the most exciting stuff, right, the very beginning. Because there's no point if paragraph 5 is amazing. If nobody makes that far, this saves me a time and it's a challenge and I've got better at it over time. And what I would do is I wouldn't write an article. And so I've got a good idea of how good of an introduction engaging. So I might have an idea that's in my drafts and it will stay there. And so I can think, how am I going to make this exciting? And we're going to make this something which people want to continue reading. And that's a key challenge, is part of the fun. Enjoy it. Creates these scenes, create these images in people's minds where they want to find out more from the article. 11. Write Your First Story: Okay, Now it's time to write your first story. You see here on the homepage there's this big button here, right? And now we're in the editor. So we've mentioned before about the title, the subtitle on the cover image. So let's get a title here and it's tight. We're just going to be how I made Skillshare course. It's not the most exciting title, but this isn't a real story. Now underneath you put the subtitles. This could be, say, the tips and tricks I did to make it. Okay, so again, not very exciting, but we'll go back to that later on. Now, you can double-click on it and press this little T button. And I got subtitle. So you've got two other free. And now we can add an image. So if you want to just use Unsplash, you just click this. We're gonna have an image of, let's say teacher, press Enter. And I can then, let's say pick this one. So if all you've got something looking how you see other stories and medium, then we're going to put some contents. You're gonna go blah, blah, blah. You've got your first story. Now, there's lots of other options we have. So if you highlight some text, you can see bold, which is fairly self-explanatory. It's Alix, again, self-explanatory link. So you can type a link and paste in there. Generally you don't want to select a large paragraph, choose but Lincoln it, because it can be quite distracting to read when you've got somebody reading on their phone. Okay, so we're gonna cross that off now into a proper structure. So let's say we've got a title, we've got some texture underneath it. And now we want to have a different section. So you can use a separator which is hit this button here. And that just quite nicely put psi different sections of our text. So if we go here, but they're similar to make this title again, make this title. I've got Frechet and we've got three sections to our story. Now the other options you have, so you can also use subtitled generally, you don't need to use this very often, but let's say HIV, you instruct your article, you might have sub headlines underneath headlines. If you've got particularly long article that might be useful, there's also different quotes styles. So I'm just gonna grab some text from my profile that copy it and paste it in here. If you're not me, you, what you can do is you can go to this and you can press that button. So this is generally useful if you're quoting a piece of text and then you'd probably end who it's bind. In this case. I tend to use quotation marks around this as well. Just make it clear that it's somebody else's work. So this can be useful to break out the piece of text, but try not to get too often because otherwise it becomes a bit too much for the reader. There's another style, a quote as well, which is a large crowd like this. Again, use this sparingly because if there's a very large quote like this, it just makes it harder for the reader to actually read it. So majority of your text should be just the plain texts and the titles. One of the mistakes a lot of writers make is Bolding too much of the text. And if everything is bold, then nothing is bold. So really think about what I want to emphasize and only bowed that if you're doing it too much, it just becomes distracting. And then the other option we have here is leave a private note. So now that I've done that, if somebody else is going to read this draft, they can see my note. But if other people are reading your draft, then only you can see their notes. And the person who's editing your piece, if it's sent to a proper publication case, I can dismiss that. Nope. So there we have some of the basics. Let's look at the other options we have. So you can upload an image from your machine. You can add a video. So you can link to UTP January. This isn't very common, and I'd advise you if you're a YouTuber, if you've got some other account to try not to overwhelm readers with this because they come to meet him to read, not to watch videos. So it'd be conscious of that where don't say you need to watch this video to understand what I'm writing here, because if it wants to do that, they go to YouTube. And the other option we have is adding code. And the other option we have here is to embed content from another side. So let's say if we go to my Twitter, so let's say I want to copy that code. And I go back to here. And then the other option we have here is to embed. So the example he uses Twitter or LinkedIn or Twitter first center. And you can see it appears on the page like this, some other useful tips. If you press Asterix, then space. You get bullet points. If you press one, that space type, then you get a numbered list. Men other thing you can do is if you press this button three times, you can then type in code. This can be quite use if you wanted to, table of contents for instance. Okay, so now let's look at the options up here. So you can add it to a publication. So he can see the publications and parts of so you need to look for the submission guidelines. Notice be added to them. Share draft link. So this is if you want somebody to redraw school before it's been published, they can take this link and they can add private notes to share to Twitter oversee you don't do that before it's published. Manage our listings, manage unlisted setting. So this is if you don't want to publish in your profile, so say you want to publish on the show. It's certain people you can press, yes. And then you can only send them that link, change the featured image generally, this is the one at the front. If you've got multiple images and you want it to be one lower down, you can change it here. So this is just what you see there. If you want this to be different, which identity, why you would? Then you can change up their change the tags. So this is a tags you mentioned in the other section. So let's say I went outside entrepreneurship, startup. I want to add something else, completely online courses. So you can do that today and you'll add up to five C revision history. So if you've been changing this new ones, get back to version you had before. You can click on this and you can reverse it and go backwards and forwards. Okay? If like working with keyboard shortcuts, it's gotten useful. Sit down here where you can change your thing up there. If you can use this ellipse makes things much faster. So you can see c k's and could she didn't mentioned the TK stops you from publishing something that you didn't mean to. And you can use this to just go through everything just to make sure that ethnic case an Azure expect. Okay, so we've covered all of that. Okay? And then finally you've got more settings. And you can just see a bit of the integral. Say you got a taxi called the SEO. Generally for meeting me, don't need to worry too much about SEO because you're using the internal distribution system. If you are somebody who knows I see already or was taken out the course, you can try to optimize it here as well. Medium generators, pretty wild SEO. So for example, if I Google and what's one that I know Japanese concepts. And let's say for the mind. And up there, that's me who's number one. Okay, so now that we can do is press publish up here. And you've got this moment where you can pause it and its worry about pressing it and it's gonna go live to everybody. So if you didn't add tags you another opportunity to do that. You want to have this text so you can add money from the story. You can choose to publish now scheduled for later. So if you wanted to, I live at a certain time. Let's say you've got other continents coming out around the same time you want them to all be aligned. You can use a schedule and 2. Now I'm not going to publish this right now. But what I'll give you guys a little challenge to start off with is mimic what I've done. So if you go to my profile, you can see that I've got this post here which is locked my profile and little bit of a introduction to who I am. So there's no reason why you can't do this on your first day. Soon as you've started your account. Make this and press the Publish button for the first time and just get your first story out there so that it doesn't feel like such a big deal. Not many people are going to see it. And that's not a problem. But especially for about post like this. We want to do is have it for about his ideas, then put behind a paywall so that anybody who comes to your profile can easily read it and see what's happening. What you'll notice is I've kept my content under about a 150 characters. And by doing that, you can see that the entire posters on my profile. So people need to click through. Whereas for my other posts you can see It's a cutoff and you can see this is six minutes or however long it is. So that's your challenge now is write your first story. Press, publish. Make it a short, simple introduction about who you are and you can edit it anytime. So any sorts already been published. You can just go onto it like this. Click on the three dots and edit story and there's no problem with editing a story off it's been published. If you spot a typo, If anything like that, just come there. You can also view the starts for your stories. So here's an example. Once it's been published and you to see how much is earned, you can see how he views it, Scott. And this one has been distributed. We'll read his interests are and where the external factors are. Now, I don't tend to like my stats very much at all. And I do some purpose because if you get lost in the statute, forget the core purpose of what we're trying to do, which is create good content that people want to read. So don't get sucked in by the stats because one day it could be that it was raining or it was a big football match. So some people watched it and some people didn't. And this meant LSP per medium. It doesn't necessarily mean that your store is better or worse. It's really quite dangerous to go and see this data-driven approach with such a small sample size. 12. Call To Actions: One of the incredible things like Medium is a pays you for your content because there's so many blogs online and other places where you publish for free. Or even Peter publish because people want to dr their audience other places. It make sure that you have a CCA in your article, a call to action, where Shiva takes you to your email list or takes people to Instagram, LinkedIn wherever you want, just so that you have on another platform as well. For if for any reason something goes wrong with medium or where your account reaches less people than you want to. It gives you another way to contact the people who have decided that they're interested in what you have to say. Okay, so here you can see my CTA, which is quite simple right at the bottom here, which is just driven but we're stressed out. My weekly newsletter will help you calm down without ruining your ambition. So if somebody likes that and they resonate with my writing, they can click on that. And they'll be taken by Substack where they can sign up. And so what this does is allows me to have another way to contact people who enjoy my articles. And if I'm doing the content, say for example, like this course, I can also email them to let them know that I've done it. And I tried to be not to push him myself. But it allows people who said that they are interested to learn a bit more about me. So I can't use Substack my newsletter and that's because it's free, and that makes things a lot easier. But if you really want to scale and you've got a product that you want to sell or a book or wherever kind of online course, then it might be better to have something like convert kit and convert it gets paid that allows you to suppress that was 50. And that's beyond the scope of this course, but there's plenty of other places where you can learn about that. It's important to try to get email, to try and get people somewhere else so you can reach them as you please. And if many other writers what their ending the medium is any small percentage of what their articles actually worth because they're directing people as their online courses and getting sign-ups of hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars even. So think about that as well because for some people you didn't necessarily need to make much money on medium itself. But because you're driving people, you're creating new customers and finding people who like what you have to say. 13. Making Your Plan: So now you've done your first post and we're going to look at how we continue on medium and how to plan going forwards. The first thing is that the posting schedule doesn't need to be strict. People tell you all kinds of regimes for medium that tell you that you need to publish every day or even more than once per day to be successful. I have published one or two articles per week in the last year and a half. And it even skipped weeks because I've been busy. This isn't like YouTube where consistency and timing is of critical importance. I've had stories go viral that are published in any day of the week. And with my large sample size from the entrepeneurs handbook, I can see that there isn't a clear pattern of you need to publish on this day or at this time, the timing does matter a little bit, but generally you just want people in America and Europe. to both be awake when you post. Because if it gets a little bit more views that beginning, this can help with the algorithm and to be pushed more people but medium compared to some other places, is that the views often spread out over time rather than just in the first day it is posted. So I often have some of the peak views, weeks or even months of the articles actually posted. So don't get too bummed out. If you don't get any views on the first day, it's not the end of the world. One important thing is to track all of your ideas for potential articles in one place. And for me this has changed over time. I started off using the spreadsheet than used air table. I've used Notion, I've used notebook, I've used my phone. It's not too important exactly where you store that. Just in a place where you can easily see it and be able to rank which ones you went through next. What I would suggest is tracking all ideas, even if you didn't think that they are very good. Because later on you might see the idea and it will trigger something else in your mind, and that would be a great idea. I personally have hundreds of ideas of articles which I wanted to write. And when I'm about to write an article next, what I would do is look down this list and see which one really stands out to me as something which I feel I'm passionate about and can writes about. Another useful tip is to tracks on the short stories or different concepts which aren't necessarily article ideas, but could be woven into different articles. Say for example, let's say you've read a book and select a few ideas. And that book was about psychological biases. So whenever you're writing an article about that kind of a topic, you might be able to introduce that concept. Also keep track of the different stories from your own life where you think there's a meaning behind it. And that could then be a part of another article somewhere down the line. Another important thing is that you don't need to know exactly what you want to do right at the very beginning. So you can get a basic idea of things you want to try out, experiment with. And later on, keep reflecting to understand if that still where you're at. When I started writing, it was originally mainly about Japanese concepts and Zen but changing over time as I wanted to introduce other parts of my life, see my writing. So I don't think you need to set a niche and then stick to it rigidly. Because you can just change any kind adapt, make sure you don't choose a path and pull it out blindly in if it's not bringing you to and you don't have a passion for that subject anymore. Do mix up and do see where you're getting more traction to. So people like your thoughts on a certain topic, then maybe that's an idea that you can write a bit more about that. But also bear in mind that you want the variety don'ts be pigeonholed into one area, give yourself time. It took some of that top writers on medium several years to get to the stage where they were writing well and people follow them. So don't think that you need to get this done in the first week. It's going to take a bit of time and just settle for that. So don't rush. It's not a sprint not a marathon that even if you don't get the massive success in Medium that you want, you still learn a skill and you can still use that later on in life in other areas. The final point is have fun with it. You shouldn't be putting yourself into a schedule that you can't keep up burning out because that defeats the purpose. The money on medium can be good, but it's not so great that you need to sacrifice your relationships. So just bear that in mind and try to enjoy yourself. 14. Reaching Out: Connecting with other writers can be a really meaningful part of your Medium journey. And I made some great friends on the platform. People from all over the world, from different walks of life where it might never have met otherwise. There is something really crucial to think about when you tried to reach out to other people. And that's that you can offer something to them as well. Because all top writers would get hundreds of messages every month of people wanting free writing advice. And they've got lives too. They've got other things to do with their time. So the way I tried to explain this is let's say today I decided I want to become an actor. The first thing I do is not to try to message or Hollywood star and be like. Hi, yesterday decided I wanted to become an actor. Can you tell me what to do and can jump on a call with me? But this is what people will do to writers. And you would expect that any other profession, right? You wouldn't expect to go to Usain Bolt and be like, Hi I want to be a sprinter. Teach about the sprint as if he hasn't other things to do as time. But luckily, there are lots of places where you can get advice for free and connect to other writers. So I'm gonna show you one of these places now. So there are several Facebook groups which are pretty good. This one I think is the best and it's run by my friends Sinem Gunel, which is called Medium Writers Academy Writers Mastermind. I'm a moderator for this myself. And what it is is really helpful advice and you can see us over 6000 members. And it's people asking the questions which they're not comfortable with sharing that wins all kinds of different aspects like that. Often it's best to use this kind of community aspect or crowd sourcing your answer to your questions rather than asking an individual person. Because individual person will have other things going on, especially if they don't know, it's an extra thing that they have to do. So I know for myself, I have many messages in my inbox and it's just impossible for me to keep up with all of them. So here's the best place to go. You can be other beginners. There's also more experienced writers like myself who pop in here and offer answers where we can. Sinem is fantastic at helping writers. And she runs a course herself as well. So I strongly advise you, check that out. And even if you don't want to pay any money or anything like that, There's a great place to find a community of people in your position. When you are ready to connect with slightly bigger writers. Then really think about how you approach that. Because you didn't want to seem like you're just trying to get free advice from them. You want to try and build a connection among great way of doing this is by sharing their stories. By doing that you're giving them something. So you're showing that you're willing to help them. So if you share it on Twitter, if you share it on your LinkedIn or anything like that, doing something for them. But really do bear in mind that it's not a good idea to straightway go for the top writer. Think about people in between and who might have more time be willing to help you. Another great way is by commenting on their stories and sooner or later, they start, recognizing you who you are. Think about it in terms of if you really enjoy them and you really enjoy their work, then say that. And they don't just say because you want something back from them. And if you're doing this consistently, they might reach out to you. And that's what I've done. So many other people where I've seen they're consistently trying to help me or they're consistently and promoting my work. And that meant I wanted to talk to them myself because it means I've checked out that work and seen I think is pretty good. Whereas if somebody sends me a draft and are like please read this now, I'm unlikely to respond. So to sum up, join the Facebook groups, I've recommended one here and also connect to other writers on the platform and share their work. And by doing that, you're lifting them up, which means the more likely they want to help you too. 15. Useful Websites: I'm now going to quickly run you through some of the most useful sites you can use to help you. The first one here is coschedule.com, which has a headline analyzer. I personally, I don't use a headline analyzer anymore. But what it can do, especially if you're very new, is it just gives you a good idea of what kind of things work. I would never use it to replace a human. So if you can see that what comes out, the headline analyzer, choose a bit to clickbaity than usual and judgment too, but this can help guide you just at the beginning. Next you have smedian.com, toppubs.smedian.com. And that shows you some of the top publications in the platform. So this is good idea of where you should be aiming for in the future. So you can see the startup is the biggest, by far, growing by 500 followers a day. Some of these over now inactive. But if you scroll down you can see the Entrepreneur's Handbook, which is the publication I'm part of. Of the 10 thousand publications medium. it's in the top 20, which is quite an achievement for the guy who created it, Dave Schools. And you'll also notice some of these top publications are by companies, and this is where you won't. be able to submit them. But these companies can use medium as a way to grow that brand. So you've got Google Design here. You've got Coinbase, Washington Post, you got Twitch. Next you have the fastest growing publications. And using conjunction with the previous page, you can work out where to place the hot at the moment. So you can see Towards Data Science is growing even faster than the startup. And then you've got Human Parts, got ux collective and Entrepreneur's Handbook. So even they were 20th Overall. We're one of the fastest growing and you can see the Ascent is just slightly going faster than us there. Next you have the Hemingway editor. So you can copy and paste your stories into here. And it gives you a really useful breakdown. So it doesn't mean you need to correct everything that's highlighted here. So it's how you've used adverbs if using a passive voice, if using overly complicated words. If sentences hard to read or very hard to read. But by doing this, you can just kind of read that fluency. If your sentences too dense and you don't think it makes sense, then you can break up. So it kinda does highlight some of these points. Use, I will use this for every single article I do, and I try to aim for between five to eight in my readability. Next we have Grammarly. Every should be using Grammarly on Medium. You can add as a plugin to your browser. I will tell you where your typos are or if anything doesn't quite make sense. So it's free. There's no reason not to use it. And it can just save time, make things easier for the readers. Next we have the text analyzer. And when he put a piece of text in here, it will show you if you're using the same words, over and over again. And it can sometimes be a problem for people who have English as their second or third language. So it just gives you some awareness of that so you can change that to help you. Now of course, other places you can go to our Quora, Twitter, facebook, Instagram, wherever you want to promote your site but I'm not going to cover that here. Another great place to check out is Zulie Rane's YouTube channel, this is all free. And she's been running this for every year with 10 thousand subscribers. And she gives great advice about what you can do and on various topics as well. And you got interviews with plenty of the other top writers. So if you're looking for somewhere to get regular advice, this could be a good place to go as well. 16. Final Thoughts: First of all, thank you for getting this far. I hope you've enjoyed it so far and I'm happy they've been up to help you release a little bit. Here, I'm going to round things off and let you know a bit more about my personal experience, which will hopefully be able to help you as you plan your journey. I actually started on medium as a new year's resolution. I didn't think I'd go anywhere and it's truly changed my life. I have of quit my corporate job after seven years and I'm now going full-time in a creative industry, which I thought I'd be crazy for even thinking that two years ago, my journey was faster than most, but it's been a bumpy ride. I'm not naive enough to think that people continue to love my work forever. And I know that I need to constantly adapt and learn new things in order to stay ahead of the curve. What makes it exciting is also kind of what makes it so scary as well. I'd advise anybody starting out to make sure that they're enjoying the process because you have less control over the results. then we'd like. The people who work in medium are constantly experimenting and trying out different things. So before I even started writing, the monetization was completely different. And before that, people were just writing for free and for fun. So who knows what's coming around the corner. There are people like Obama writing on the platform now, people like Biden, There are all these celebrities coming on board as well. So hopefully that means that the entire pie increases and there is more space for writers like you and I to add some income as well. Personally, I'm now diversifying because as I mentioned before, anybody can copy my writing, but it's harder to copy my personality, my general vibe. By appearing on video and doing podcasts and these other areas, I hope that people be able to relate to me a bit better. And this will encourage them to read my articles and check on my work. Being part of The community is a great way to keep motivation high when you're struggling or if you don't know where you're going and I recommended or some places to do that. So hopefully I'll see you pop in there. And if not, I hope you find a tribe wherever you can. And finally, I just want to remind you to always think about the reader and what value you can offer them. But at the same time, make sure you're looking after yourself and make sure you are enjoying it as you go along. Happy writing and thank you again.