I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have very little time to create content or promote besides my main job of writing. It’s hard to think of little else but crafting, revising, proofreading, and formatting. But if we want to stand out in a crowded marketplace, we have to be doing so much more.
I’m not trying to be a jerk, but now is not the time to be resting on our laurels.
Twenty-five years ago, you didn’t have to worry about things like video, audio, and social media. Maybe they were trying to build a mailing list, but nobody was writing blog posts.
The landscape is different now.
If you want to play the writing game in 2020, you have to be everywhere. Unless you can hire a team to do your marketing and promotion — then your team has to be everywhere.
By everywhere, I mean putting out different kinds of content on different social platforms.
Can’t I just write?
While I admit that burying your head in the sand may work for some — most of us have to build a brand, market ourselves, and promote with content.
Nothing is ever easy.
Words have power
As writers on Medium, words are going to come at the top of the list.
Medium allows us to write about what we want, and test topics to see how well they perform. We can also use Medium as a source of income if we join the Medium Partner Program. That is most likely the reason many of us joined in the first place.
But what else?
You’ll be dealing with many different platforms. You need a focal point for all your links and traffic to point. A blog would have been the best place if this weren’t almost 2020.
I say a blog would have been because it allows you to interact with the audience of every platform where your brand lives. You have control of a blog, where platforms change every day. I would suggest a self-hosted blog like WordPress. Or, you can choose an all-in-one solution like Wix or Squarespace.
But, if you write on Medium, you may be able to dispense with the need for a blog. I have one, but I never use it. I can point people to my profile page or one of my publications. By all means, if you want a blog, get one, but if you don’t want the hassle, make Medium your homepage.
Facebook also has a blogging feature called Notes. If you have a big audience on a Facebook page, you may want to publish there a few times a week. It is a lot like blogging on Medium. The difference is you are tapping into the huge Facebook tribe and can boost a post to reach more people.
A lot of writers have a presence on Quora. Quora is a place you can ask and answer questions. It does allow you to link out, so it may be a good place to post. I know many writers who swear by it. Quora does have a partner program, as well.
Don’t forget about social media
Social media is here to stay, and if you want to get your name to readers, it is one of the best places to start. The platforms may change, but social will always be a factor in one form or another.
Everybody loves to hate Facebook, but there are still plenty of people who use it all the time. I’ve recently rediscovered what FB has to offer a writer after I closed my account for a few months. FB still manages to be one of the best drivers of traffic there is. With groups and pages, you can get eyeballs on your work, whether you want to pay to boost a post or not.
There are still quite a few who dislike Twitter and don’t know what it has to offer. You can build an audience without much effort. And it has a thriving writing community, so it wouldn’t be smart to forget about the power of a tweet.
The Pinterest platform is still one of the best places to drive organic traffic to posts. It’s as easy as creating a special image and pinning on a board you own. I know people who swear by Pinterest. I just started, and I already see traffic to my blog.
Most people know LinkedIn as a place to look for jobs, but one of the best things it does is connect people. People are talking about many different subjects on the platform. I became convinced of LinkedIn when I started posting about mental health. I now have over 700 connections and its growing every day.
It’s becoming clear that being an Instapoet can be very helpful for the struggling Medium poet. Creating beautiful graphics with the text of the poem in a readable font in a program like Canva can help your poetry get seen and read. It’s also good for essayists. Use Linktree in your profile to link to your latest poem.
If you are an author and have a book, Goodreads may be the place for you. With over 80 million members, you can find out what people are reading and promote your book to others.
Video is taking over
If you spend any amount of time on the web, you know how important video content is. You might think when it comes to video — YouTube is the only game in town. But, Facebook and LinkedIn both rely on video features as well.
Vlogging is a big deal, even as much as blogging. Can you post once a week? Getting your face out there is one of the best investments of time and money you can make.
Trust me on this one!
You wouldn’t think that audio has a place in your marketing, but it does. If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you know the power of the spoken word. Our Medium friend Jim Woods has a podcast for authors if you want to give a listen.
You can market your podcast on places like iTunes, SoundCloud, Podbean, and Spotify. The market for audio content is getting bigger every day.
Where do I start?
The best place to start is to find out what other types of content you can create. I’ve only touched the surface in this article, and these are just the types of content and platforms that I’ll be using.
After that, pick one content type and one platform and find out everything you can about it. If you try to learn everything at once, you are more likely to burn out and fail. No one is saying you have to be everywhere immediately.
That would be impossible.
Pick one and make the biggest splash you can. When you hit your goals on one type of content and platform, maintain it, and choose another.
The urgency to get moving is strong, but I know I can’t rush it. I am working on one at a time, just like you are.
I’ll see you out there as we create the best content we can. If you need any help, let me know.
Otherwise, good luck with your Medium journey!
This story was not curated. If you write and publish on Medium, you know what that means — a quick death. If not, it just means that it won’t be promoted to other readers on Medium.
But it doesn’t always have to be like this, and this is where I add value to your life. It works like this:
We all write free content for Medium. They don’t pay for it. The money we pay to be members is more than enough to pay the writers who are making money. In return for us writing millions of words of free content and paying the writers who engage with the readers (us again), Medium forbids us from adding any more than a simple text link to the bottom of posts to promote ourselves.
If you do everything right, you get curated.
I have no problem with that. I’ve been with Medium for over a year-and-a-half, and I absolutely fricking love that they gave me a platform to earn and share my writing. I tell everyone I know to join Medium and start writing.
But, if I don’t get curated, my stories die. I don’t earn. The only traffic I get comes in is from Google, and if the people they are sending are not Medium subscribers, I don’t get paid.
But Medium benefits greatly. Every time we bring eyeballs onto the platform, Medium gains authority and in turn, members. They also get income from writers paying them for exposure by featuring them in publications and other places on Medium, even if they aren’t members. It’s a great business model.
I thank Medium for giving me the platform, and I respect them, especially when they curate me and my stories live on.
So Medium, I love you, and if you curate me, I will follow the rules and only put a small text link to my newsletter at the bottom.
But, if I am not curated, I am going to use my work to promote myself and my brand.
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