The blogging world has changed immensely in the last 10 years. People are increasingly finding ways to make blog content interesting and reader-friendly… Just ask the people who spend hours reading blogs on Medium.
I must admit, as I decided to start devoting more time to blogging, I came across scores of website who would teach me how to blog or how to gain traffic for a fee. I’m sure they have something amazing to teach me but, I’m not in a position to be spending money on courses not knowing what the ultimate result will be.
I think my best blogging education in the last few months have come from Medium and not just from articles about blogging or writing.
I spend a considerable amount of time reading posts on Medium and believe me, I learned some great tips from the good people writing on Medium.
1) You can write about anything
Most expert bloggers say that you should choose a niche. It’s probably good advice to stick to something you know. But, I often have ideas that I want to write about that have nothing to do with my niche. Well, the writers on Medium taught me I could do that.
There are plenty of writers who write for the various publications about various topics. One day, they’ll be writing about say, writing, another day about marketing, and sometimes, you’ll even get a super personal heartfelt post.
So I’ve learned, that there’s nothing wrong with digressing from your niche as long as the post is worth reading…which brings me to my next point.
2) Write for an audience not, just for yourself
The reason you’re writing on a public forum is for other people. It’s okay to share your story as long as it makes a point or people can learn something from it.
Writing about your experiences can be powerful and the writers at Medium do well by turning them into insightful stories.
Most blogs out there warn against making your blog a personal journal unless you don’t care about your readership. There are some good posts on Medium that show you how writers can turn their personal experiences in stories that are worth reading.
3) Posting Consistently and Often is Important
Most of the popular writers post a lot… and I mean a lot. Some of them post up to 2 or 3 times a day.
I’m amazed at the hard word and dedication that they put into their writing because none of the posts are crappy. They are genuinely well-written posts.
Posting consistently and often means you have more chances to be seen. Most people use readers or platform which means your post doesn’t stay on the main page for very long.
So, the only way to succeed is to make sure you’re there almost everyday. But, this takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
4) Formatting Posts to make them Reader-friendly
This is by far the most important lesson that I’ve learned. With the amount of content online these days, we need to make it convenient for people to read our posts.
Large blocks of texts are daunting and blog posts that have shorter sentences and paragraphs are definitely easier to consume.
White space is very important and breaking down your paragraphs make them immensely reader-friendly. Shorter sentences and white space give the effect of pulling the reader down the page while reading.
I know my English teacher wouldn’t be too happy with the way I write today but, convenience takes precedence in this day and age.
5) The Importance of Good Titles and Subtitles
I have to admit that when I first started blogging, I didn’t bother much about subtitles or even titles. I would use a title that I thought was “cool” or intriguing and never even bother with subtitles. But, titles are not really meant to be mysterious.
Unless a reader can get a concrete idea about what you’re about to say in your post, it’s likely they won’t even bother opening it.
Using subtitles are good way to give your reader a summary of your post without giving too much away.
Most experienced bloggers warn against using titles or subtitles that are click-bait because they can be huge let down to readers once they actually read your article.
Most experienced Medium writers use titles that have a fine balance between being interesting and being simply click-bait. This is still work in progress for me.
So there you have it… these are my top lessons from months of reading posts on Medium. I feel like I’ve learned more about blogging and posting from Medium than I’ve learned in the last few years from around the Internet.