3 min read

How to Win at Medium

Cool stuff you can do to make your stories shine

Writing and reading on Medium is simple.

With all that simplicity, you might not realize there are ways to make your experience here even more betterer…

Enter this handy guide to help get your stories discovered, start more conversations, and look even more awesomer than they did before.

Hook them with a clever title

Reel them in with an even cleverer subtitle

Titles (and images) on Medium stories are your first and best chance to entice readers to click through and read your whole piece — so choose wisely.

Via The Billfold

Create a striking header image

We eat first with our eyes… so too do we read first with our header images?

If you want a header or cover image above or below your title, hit the + icon to the left of your cursor before you start typing.

Photo by Pierre Rougier
  • Out-set images (bigger than full-column): 2040px
  • Screen-width images: 2500px

Make your preview image look perfect

You have more power than you know

Medium will include the first image in your piece in feeds, previews and embeds (and if you don’t include an image in your story, it will use your profile picture).

Red border means your image is now featured

Image grids are your friend

Image grids are a particularly powerful way to use photos and illustrations to tell your story. On your desktop, select the images in the order you want them to appear, then drag and drop them into your story. Medium will do the heavy lifting of making sure they all line up properly in a grid.

Image Links

Want your image to be a clickable link? This is your lucky day! Click on the image (the border will turn green) and then press Cmd / Ctrl + K on your keyboard.

Bearly there!

Write eloquent credits and captions

A picture is worth a thousand words (but you can fit a couple more words beneath the picture, too)

While editing, click on your image. You’ll see a green border around the image and a place to add your caption beneath the image.

Optimize your stories for how people read

Let’s face it: We don’t always read an entire story in one go, and the ability to scan easily understandable sections helps grab and keep people’s attention.

Which I find to be very impactful

…are an amazing way to highlight or reiterate a particularly stunning sentence or phrase. Because impact.

Drop caps also help guide the reader’s eye

They also look super-pro

Ever seen someone’s article start with a giant letter and thought, “that looks really amazing?” I know, me too, and it’s a great way to make your writing look really awesome, guide the reader’s eye, and add personality to your story.

TK reminders are awesome

Never forget that you wanted to add something to your story ever again!

NNeed to remind yourself to add a picture, change a quote, image drop cap, or go back and edit something later? TK is an editorial notation (it stands for “to come”) and writing it anywhere in your post will pop up a yellow notation to the left of your draft text, helping you remember to change/add/tweak something before your publish.

Tags are your friend

Find the right people with the right keywords

If you’ve hung out on Medium for any amount of time, chances are you are following a couple tags already. (They live on the right side of your home page feed.)

Write something worth reading

The sky is the limit on Medium. During the year-plus I spent reading and writing on the platform and the month I have now spent working at the company, I can confidently tell you that if you have a topic you want to write about, there’s a group on Medium that wants to read what you have to say. Using the above tips can help make your stories more beautiful as well as help more people find them, but they are mere tools to the backbone of what makes any post great: the words on the page that you and your expertise provide.

East coaster with a secret SF love affair. I enjoy juxtaposing things. Also: Cheese and tiny dachshunds.