How to Get Your Writing Read, Shared and Appreciated
By Bianca BassJan 13th 2016
Picture the scene. It’s 11pm on an idle Tuesday and I decide to post a spontaneous piece on Medium. “I’ll probably delete it in the morning,” I say to myself. Just 24 hours later and my first ever post is trending in Medium’s global top five. I had no followers on the platform and virtually no promotion. So, how did I do it? Let’s rewind. For months, I’d been browsing Medium, picking up a plethora of life hacks I now use everyday. But I’d never contributed. I mean, I wanted to, but in such a crowded space it felt a little pointless. These days, everyone’s a part-time content-creator-slash-something, right? Besides, after a failed fashion blog or two, I hadn’t posted on the internet in what felt like a lifetime. I’d resigned myself to a life of lurking. My mistake. The truth is, when it comes to writing there doesn't have to be much planning involved. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get your work read, shared and even sparking a debate. It's time to go large on Medium...
A great piece of writing needs a clear ‘why’
If you put in the time developing a piece with purpose, there’s a better chance of it bringing in the right people. Take my post as an example. I identified that Medium has an ever-expanding community of writing. Heck, the whole platform is about writing. Pair that with its strong grounding within the tech community, and writing + apps = a winning formula. There couldn’t have been a better place to publish it.
Ask yourself the tough questions
Before you even write, ask yourself: Who am I writing for? What will they get out of my post? What’s the main point of my story? Is there more than one? Sure, content strategists argue that consistency is key. But I'm speaking on behalf of the individual writer with a billion commitments. The person penning a quick post from their living room (or bed, let's be real).
Don’t wait for people to find you, find the right publications.
Admittedly, I got approached to publish my piece in Medium’s largest publication. But the moral of the story is, don’t wait for people to find your story. Get submitting instead. You’ve put time and effort into writing your post. It deserves to get read! So, use the relevant tools to your advantage. If it’s useful and well-written, it will get exposure faster than you think.
Research, be smart and create something worth reading
There is so much competition online. If you don’t create something with insights that people can actually use, you'll get lost in the mix. Ask yourself: What makes my points or voice valid? What reaction would a leader in your field have while reading my post? Guess what? In answering those questions, you’re 80% of the way there. Ultimately, a combination of strategy, planning and writing will bring you the best return. It may feel formulaic, but the key is all in how you apply it. If you want to get read, the high-level stuff is slightly strategic, but that's okay. It’s what you do, what data that makes it interesting and what makes it you.