How to Create a Medium Publication
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When I first started writing on Medium, there were no affordable resources available for writers. Growing my monthly Medium earnings to over $1,000 per month was hard and took me over a year! That's why I created my own Medium Course.
Founder, Blogging Guide
In 2023, Medium is still a great choice for any creator looking to establish or expand their writing career. With an estimate of over 150 monthly visitors, according to SimilarWeb, the platform ranks among the top 370 websites in the world. That is an impressive audience size, and starting a Medium publication is a great way to get your brand in the mix. Before explaining how to create a Medium publication, let’s go over the basics.
Medium Publications Explained
Unlike an individual blog, a Medium publication is more like a digital magazine hosted on Medium, where stories are published around a central topic or theme. One of the defining features of these publications is that much of the published content often comes from multiple contributing writers. But there are also Medium publications that are run by a single author. In addition, there are publications that are owned by Medium and run by in-house writers and other employees of the company. According to Smedian.com, a third-party Medium tool, there are more than 13,500 Medium publications currently.
What Can You Do with Medium Publications?
Looking at some of the ways to use Medium publications can help you better understand how it might fit into your content strategy.
- Contribute to existing Medium publications: Whether you are new to Medium or already have some articles up, you can contribute to Medium publications. This can happen in one of two ways:
- You can apply to become a featured writer for a publication
- Someone who runs a publication may reach out and ask you to contribute
Whatever the case, you have a better chance of being accepted as a contributor when there is evidence that you are a capable writer, whether through articles that are already performing well on Medium or work that you have posted elsewhere.
- Create your own publication: Medium allows you to create your own publication. In fact, you can create as many as seven different publications. However, building a publication requires a different work ethic and dedication than simply blogging on Medium, if you are to reap the expected results. We will talk more about how to create your own Medium publication later on.
- Send newsletters: While you can gain followers as an individual blogger, Medium publications allow you to grow your audience in a more hands-on manner. This is possible with the “Letters” feature that can be used to send out newsletter emails to your subscribers. This is really cool because everything is handled within the Medium ecosystem. You don’t have to go looking for a newsletter platform such as Substack or Ghost, you simply create your email and send it to subscribers. You can send subscribers all kinds of content, including your stories. In addition, these newsletters can act like individual posts that can be read by anyone who visits your publication.
- Post content from other creators: Having a publication doesn’t limit you to posting your articles only. If you come across a blog post created by another Medium writer and it relates to the main topic of your publication, you can repost it. This is a great way to give exposure to other writers who likely need it, as well as add some diversity to your publication. Sharing content published by other writers on your publication can also help to fill gaps in your content schedule, as well as lead to collaborations.
Benefits of Medium Creating Your Own Medium Publication
Creating a Medium publication comes with several benefits that may make it worth your while.
- Greater access to analytics: When you publish content under the banner of a Medium publication, you get access to detailed analytics about how your articles are performing. Specifically, you get to more closely inspect your views count on all posts over a period of time, as well as the amount of unique daily visitors your publication is receiving. This is in addition to the very basic analytics (views, claps, reads, fans, and traffic sources) that are shown for non-publication content on Medium.
- Encourages higher quality content: The Medium algorithm is geared at pushing content of the highest quality to the top. At the same time, most publications try to hire or post content from the best writers on the platform. As a result, the content from publications are usually of premium quality. This is one reason why articles from publications tend to get more visibility on Medium than those from individual bloggers. Additionally, having a publication means you can be pickier about the type of content that is published under your brand name, ensuring that only stories of a high standard are shared to your readers.
- Wider audience reach: Speaking of visibility, having a publication will likely lead to your content reaching a wider audience. This is partially due to the perceived content quality being given higher priority by the Medium algorithm. However, it could also be down to articles in Medium publications being more SEO-friendly. While there is no real evidence to support this claim, it would appear that articles published in Medium publications tend to rank higher than other posts on the platform.
- Promotional features: Another reason why Medium publication content tends to get more reach is the promotional features that users have access to. One of the main features in this regard is the availability of custom homepage promotions. These are customizable content blocks that you can place strategically in your publication layout. They can contain a heading, title, image, CTA button, and even a unique background color. These homepage promos often contain links to feature articles and specific posts, or even external content that you want to put in front of your readers.
How to Create a Medium Publication
1. Pick a Suitable Topic
What is it that you enjoy writing about? If you have deep knowledge or passion about a particular subject area, it might be a good topic to base your Medium publication on. Since a publication allows you to have contributing writers, you can still pick a topic that you are not necessarily an expert on and then have other creators produce the content. Also, if your topic is very broad, you may want to narrow it down to a more specific niche.
2. Decide on Your Target Audience
Having picked a suitable niche for your Medium publication, your target audience will likely be clear to you. However, if you are entirely new to writing on Medium (or writing anywhere for that matter), you should spend some time figuring out who are the people you want to reach with your content.
3. Start a New Medium Publication
Once you are done with the basics of choosing a topic and identifying your target readers, it is time to put things in motion. You don’t have to look too far when you are ready to start creating your publication. It is a simple matter of clicking on your Medium profile image and scrolling down to “Publications” when the menu pops up. Click on “Publications” and then “New Publication.”
Note: Medium publications cannot be created using the mobile app, this can only be done in desktop mode.
4. Add Publication Details
The next step is to add the details people will see when they encounter your publication on Medium or in search. These details include:
- A publication name. This is a name that captures what your publication is about and makes up the URL. Be certain that the publication name you choose is the one you want because you will not be able to change the URL once you have saved the publication (at least, not without contacting Medium support). A publication name is between 8 and 140 characters and cannot contain the word “Medium” (which is reserved for Medium-owned publications).
- A short description. This is a summary explaining the purpose of the publication. The description should be short and catchy, as it shows up in search results. It is also displayed in the publication footer and other places online.
- An avatar. This is an icon that you upload which represents your publication on Medium and will show up in previews of your publication content. Avatars for this purpose are square and it is recommended that the graphic be at least 60px wide x 60px high.
- A logo. Unlike the other three details, a logo is entirely optional. If you do upload a logo, it will be displayed at the top of all your publication stories. The recommended size is a max width of 600px by 72px height.
- Tags and contact info. You will be prompted to add up to three tags for your Medium publication. These are like keywords that aid in describing what your publication is about. They also help people to find your content when they use these terms in search engines. Adding contact info includes your email address and social media handles, which will make it easy for readers to get in touch with you.
5. Add Your Content Team
You will get the opportunity to add the names of anyone involved with writing and editing content for your publication. If you wear all these hats, you would simply put your name. The role of an editor here is pretty much the same as with a traditional media company. They have full control over what gets published and what gets rejected. Editors can also add writers, alter the publication layout, and have full admin access. Writers, as the title suggests, are the creators who will create and submit the stories for your publication.
6. Customize Your Publication Homepage
Your next step is to organize the layout of your publication to suit the way you want it to look for your readers. There are several areas that you are able to modify, including the header text size (small, medium, or large) and the header alignment (centered or left). You can also adjust your header layout by choosing to use a logo, title, or both. If you do not select the logo option, it is possible to add a slogan to the header layout. You are also able to customize the color of your header, as well as add a background image.
7. Organize Publication Sections
Your publication layout is arranged into sections that will determine how your stories look on-screen. You can set the display mode to list, stream, or grid. You can set story categories to be displayed as latest, trending, featured or tagged, and you can also set the number of stories you want displayed in each section. Finally, you can add or delete any section from the layout.
8. Formally Launch Your Publication
When you are satisfied with the look and feel of your layout, hit the “Create” button to make your publication live. You can start writing and publishing stories right away. Keep in mind that you can go back and change many aspects of your publication, including the section layouts, editors, and writers, so don’t get obsessed with creating a perfect looking publication right away. The important thing is to start having content published as soon as possible so you can have readers spending time on your Medium publication.
Creating a Medium publication can help you get more out of the platform in terms of reaching your target readers. Follow the steps above to build a publication that will have a greater chance of fulfilling your content goals.
If you are interested in becoming a successful Medium blogger, consider taking our Medium Writing Course. You can also sign up for our newsletter, Blogging Guide, which contains digital publishing insights on all the platforms mentioned above, and more!