Real quick: Medium is a side-project by Twitter CEO that’s mostly unmonetized but gets a crazy amount of traffic; making it one of the biggest content sites on the internet. You *can* get paid by views under certain conditions and *some* writers are making real money ($1000~$10,000 a month) but it’s not easy to do so.
However, it can be worth it to explore Medium as a way to reach a broader audience or for the SEO boost increasing visibility to your own website. It’s easy to submit new posts; or add them to curated publications. You can also republish articles from your own blog or website onto Medium’s platform.
Generally, posts that do well are insightful, positive and have a unique or fresh voice. But simple listicles can do well also. Like other platforms, it rewards engagement, in the form of comments or likes. I’ve heard of *some* people for example, use a list like “top 10 empowering quotes from Buddha” where they have one false quote that Buddha never said: sparking a torrent of comments that boost visibility (whether on purpose or not, making mistakes can drive engagement).
Nonfiction writers on Medium
Medium is mostly a place for nonfiction (how-to) or narrative nonfiction (story-telling). If you write nonfiction, pulling some powerful or useful excerpts from your book, or even the introduction or full first chapter, could be an easy move. You can also use it to post follow-up or extra material that didn’t make it in your final manuscript.
Ideally, your brand would concern similar themes or topics from what your nonfiction books focus on, to attract the right audience. Two of my books, for example, aren’t in KU – because I also give them away for free from my websites – which means I can repurpose the content. That’s roughly 50 high quality articles that are already done, I’m just sharing the individual topics so they’ll rank better and be found easier.
Each article would end with something like “this is an excerpt from my book, which you can download for free here…” with a strong call to action. Like anything, it takes time and content to build up a following and a platform. I’m cheating a little, by using my main site (this one) which already has a pretty great domain authority, to link to my Medium posts and see if I can boost them into Google search results faster. But I’ll also republish some of my best articles from this site to Medium, in the hopes of getting juicy backlinks that helps the articles on this site rank higher in search results.
Sidenote: the best marketing, is advertising, as long as your book converts. After that, it’s content marketing: turning your book into a plethora of unique and nice looking content, including listicles, infographics, image quotes or even a nice powerpoint summary for SlideShare – which you can then narrate over for a YouTube video (or better yet, pay some guy on Fiverr to distribute that video content to 50 major video hosting sites.)
The idea is to broadcast lots of bits of content everywhere, and get a lot of links pointing back to your site, your book or your main content. Links are important for visibility: but the quality of the actual writing is necessary to get clicks, views and followers. Focus especially on pithy titles, that hook attention or are startling or surprising or funny.
Fiction writers on Medium
Yes, they exist – though Medium isn’t really meant for fiction, there is some, and there are even some publications you can submit your fiction writing to, in order to get more views.
Here’s a list of 14 active fiction writing publications on Medium.
While Medium isn’t the only, or even the best, way to market or sell your books, it’s a big platform that’s user-friendly and easy to get started with, so it probably is a good idea to be aware of it and start thinking about how you can use it to your advantage.
Medium allows all kinds of content, so one easy thing would be to submit a “book review” or your own book, like a book summary, with links to your Amazon page. There’s even at least one publication (Feedium) that allows authors to share and post their own book reviews. It would be a good idea to review books in your genre; or create a listicle of “top 10 books about xxx” featuring your own book in the list.
Takeaway: I tried posting some of my content to Medium, but never got the views or traffic, so I’m not sure this is worth it; and even those few very successful writers on Medium recently (2021) have had to move on because earnings and payouts dropped considerably. It’s not at all easy to make money writing on Medium, but it *can* be a good place to grow your audience if you have a targeted genre or field.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.