So today, I just want to drop off some tips on how you can create viral blog posts on Medium. This is a question I often get asked by friends, who are into writing but not sure how to get their word out there to get good traffic on their articles.
I have been a freelance copywriter for quite some time now, without quitting my full time job. To me, the reason why I have been able to sustain is that I started writing for publications as a hobby, without expecting it to grow or make money out of it. I was just writing as a means to vent out emotions.
When I get asked if I use any tips to make sure that my article ends up with a lot of views, I’m really not sure what to say because there’s no specific process that I’ve been using. But lately I have started observing my behavior back in time, and realized that there are a couple of things that I have done over the course of my blogging that make my posts go viral easily. These tips would actually help anybody who’s into writing and blogging, but more specifically designed for Medium writers as they take into account the perspective of Medium curators.
So let’s get down to it without further ado.
Tip #1: Write about something that’s pissing you off
I remember I wrote a blog post on the signs and symptoms of a toxic workplace.
I wrote this right after a really crappy experience of joining a company with a toxic culture. I resigned from there within a month, slept like a baby for a whole day and night, then woke up and started writing this piece over the weekend. I finished it in like 45 minutes, posted it on Medium and went into a nap again. When I woke up couple of hours later, I saw it had gone viral. It was featured on Medium’s Work section and a lot of my friends had shared it on social media. A simple piece written out of my frustration had just snowballed into something ridiculous!
The point to note here is that I wrote this article from a place of anger. I was really put off by the incidents that had happened in that company, which had shaken up my belief system of how corporate firms work. The toxicity in that place was actually worse than how I mentioned it in the post. Imagine having to rush out of office into a washroom in the building to literally vomit out your disgust four times a day! Yes, that’s how it was on my second last day at that place.
Now, I’m not saying you should write blog posts in a state of vomiting. But writing about something that has really poked your soul makes people want to read it and share. Most people would only dream of getting 10,000+ views on a Medium post, but seeing a piece hit 30k in a month is pretty awesome.
Hence, the notion is true. When you’re writing an article in a state of anger, there’s a high chance for it to come out viral.
Now, I want to mention that I’m aware most people are scared to reveal their frustration out in the public. What if people start getting back at you in the comments? What if people are not happy with you when they read your post? Stick around with me for a while because I’ll get back with an advice on how to deal with that.
Tip #2: Do make some posts about writing or freelancing
The reason why I say this is that on Medium, there are about 50,000 authors publishing stories every single week. So the vast majority of people that use to write on Medium are professional writers, probably freelancers, and they probably have a site or blog of their own as well. Thus in order to make them read your posts, you need to create content that’s relevant to them.
I expect this article that I’m writing now to take off for the same reason. There are a lot of people using Medium everyday who have definitely freelanced before. It’s like second nature for writers and bloggers to try to get freelance work every now and then. They have probably even moonlighted couple of times. That’s why I think this subject matter is super important.
Tip #3: Leverage publications
Try to get into and write for publications that have 50,000+ followers. That is going to allow your write-ups to get in front of more and more people. When they publish your story, it has the opportunity to get on the homepage or newsfeed of 50,000 people (or at least on the homepage of a good portion of them).
My Medium publication is called Opinined. Since it’s quite new, I have kept it open to include a vast range of topics to see which ones interest my readers the most. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking to enhance your readership by simply writing about anything. I encourage new comers, welcome copywriters, and simply love broadening up my network in this field.
Tip #4: Make your posts easily highlight-able
The reason I think most of my articles do so well is that I usually put in a lot of quotes in them. If I read a sentence in somebody else’s article that I feel can pull hard, I include it as a quote in mine, referencing it back to the author. If you put a lot of quotes into your pieces, it would really help you get a lot of highlights and tweets.
Tip #5: Just come out and say it
Don’t be afraid to speak out your mind. Good writing is all about making a statement. Don’t water down your comments. If you’re on the fence whether to say something or not, just come out and say it. People are going to read it, put in a comment and move on with their day. It doesn’t really matter if they are critical of you. At the end of the day, they will just move on and forget that they read your piece.
Tip #6: Represent the other side
It’s good to spend the last section or paragraph in your article talking about the other side’s perspective. For instance, when I wrote about toxic workplaces, it might have triggered a lot of people to relate to those experiences. Many of them would have started thinking about quitting their jobs, but then that’s not always a good thing. So at the end, I mentioned that it’s not an encouraged act to change jobs too frequently.
I think it’s always important to show both sides. Whenever you’re writing a piece, make sure you at least tip your cap to the other side for a while. That shows your overall understanding on the subject and ability to see things from another person’s view. This also helps to keep the haters at bay.
This is pretty much how to write viral Medium posts. You could try to generate the greatest headline, pull in a lot of stories or go by a formula, but the one thing that always works is if you write out of your heart.