Blogging beyond the company blog is a thing.
Earlier this week I was approached by a digital marketing agency looking for writers to craft content to bolster their presence in the marketing landscape. The blog posts would live on a branded Medium account — not the agency’s website.
If you’re not familiar with Medium, it’s a blog-style self-publishing platform that’s open to individuals or businesses who want to share content online. Many of the posts have a magazine-style or personal blog feel. Currently, there are no ads cluttering up the visual design of the sleek, clean presentation on the site.
Of course, reaching out into the community and guest posting on related websites or authoritative news outlets is nothing new for brands. But, building an audience from the ground up on a platform dedicated solely to promoting content for content’s sake is novel.
How Medium Works for Writers and Brands
For some businesses, these off-site content hubs are their primary — or only — marketing landing pages. For other brands, it’s a chance for the company to experiment with a new tone, audience or product reveal. Think of it like launching a niche site without all the back end work. Instead, you simply create an account, and start publishing.
The takeaway for writers here is simple: Have a presence on Medium. Agencies are looking for writers who are already familiar with the platform and comfortable interacting with both their personal byline and that of the brand they’re collaborating with. Here’s my page to get a feel for what it looks like for writers.
For agencies, Medium offers up a searchable roster of active writers (and their work) who’ve already adapted to the platform and may be looking for more work. Gold mine, right?
My Experience With Medium as a Writer
I started engaging and posting on Medium in March of 2016. I recently upgraded from the free membership to a paid one and decided to join the Medium Partner Program to earn a little extra cash on my posts via pageview revenue.
The paid membership also allows me to read as many posts as I want (for a fee of $50 per year). If you’re new to Medium, you can view up to 10 posts per month before you’re asked to sign up for a paid membership.
So, why did I sign up? I was approached by a business to blog for them via Medium and wanted to scope out their current content on the site. I was unable to read as much as I wanted, so I signed up for the membership in January 2019. Now I can engage with current (and potential) content marketing clients that are hosting their content on Medium without fear of reaching the reading limits.
Here’s What One Brand is Doing on Medium
Meghan Keaney Anderson, Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, penned an article titled What We Learned From Our First Year on Medium back in November 2016. She reflects on shifts in brand storytelling and content marketing, including taking a step away from your home planet (website) to create content elsewhere on the web.
HubSpot started ReadThink (now it’s ThinkGrowth), a publication exclusive to the Medium platform. Readers gravitate to the publication thanks to the stellar editorial curation and easy-to-navigate Medium mobile app. Our behavior as content consumers is easily nurtured when stories that feed our interests land in our email inbox and can be easily browsed on our phones and tablets.
I fall into this demographic. When I get an email of curated stories, I fall down the rabbit hole of reading and inspiration, often coming up with ideas for my own musings. Medium is my secret getaway when it comes to craving virtual water cooler moments, reading raw insights from others in similar situations and digging myself out of an inspiration rut. I find the platform refreshing and honest.
HubSpot discovered that content focused on opinions, personal accounts and reflections resonate strongly with Medium’s audience. They’re there to indulge in a great story, not necessarily tackle how-to steps or conduct research.
And you might wonder how a business gains the bandwidth to launch a new publication? They reach out to others, of course.
“We’ve seen our best success by finding writers on the rise on Medium and syndicating content they’ve created—exposing both them and ourselves to a new audience,” Keaney Anderson says in the article.
Read that quote again, writer friends.
These collaborations benefit both writers and brands. I love it.
Are you writing directly on Medium, or collaborating with a brand or agency there? I’m wondering how popular this trend is and if it’s yielding the results that brands anticipate? Share your insight and ideas in the comments below!
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