You don't need to be a great writer to flourish on Medium.
Medium is an open-source publishing platform that was founded in 2012 by Twitter and Blogspot co-founder Ev Williams. The platform has gone through many permutations in that time, and Williams recently passed the torch to a new CEO, Tony Stubblebine.
If you want to attract more followers online, and prefer to do so with article and/or blog writing, Medium remains one of the largest platforms on the internet to do so.
- If you're just getting started, focus first on reaching 100 followers.
- New writers should lean on user-operated publications to grow their followings more quickly.
- An eye-catching author bio might help you attract followers more quickly.
Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly on how most writers get more followers on Medium.
Why Care About Followers on Medium?
The unfortunate truth is that, these days, having a large number of followers has become synonymous with success.
“Oh, you have 50,000 followers? You must be amazing!” Just because a user follows your account doesn’t mean they’re your fan or your customer.
Additionally, some industries or subjects are more popular than others on Medium. Follower count is one of a number of metrics to pay attention to as you try to grow your online presence.
- You can publish your first Medium article with zero followers.
- You can get curated on Medium with zero followers.
- You can also submit to Medium in house publications from day one with zero followers.
Know that your follower growth will be slow at first, but that doesn’t mean your Medium stories aren’t reaching a big audience, and those who follow you early on are genuinely interested in your specific niche.
After publishing consistently on Medium in my first year, 2020, I had 2,571 followers, according to my stats dashboard.
My number of followers on Medium in my first twelve months. Black numbers are follower count at month's end; green numbers are month-over-month follower growth.
Doesn’t seem like much.
But because I had dialed in my workflow and knew where to post, what to post, and how to post, the next year brought me a huge boost. By the end of 2021, I had 19,466 followers.
I focused on what I could control, which was becoming a better writer, publishing an interesting story, and differentiating myself from other fellow writers.
Month-over-month follower growth on Medium in 2021.
All this being said… I don’t want you to focus on those big numbers yet.
If you are a new writer on Medium, your first and only order of business should be to get to 100 followers.
When you reach 100 followers, you become eligible to join the Medium Partner Program. The Medium Partner Program helps writers get paid.
You as a writer will get a cut of paying user revenues. The cut is small, and the payout amount varies, though we know read time on an article is a big factor.
The most I’ve made in one month on Medium is $7,513.57 — there’s definitely money to be made here if you publish quality content consistently.
Medium Partner Program earnings for March 2021.
Stories on self improvement, online business, or life lessons do particularly well on Medium, but I have seen stories covering many different topics go viral. To start on this journey, though, you need some followers! Your first order of business is to get 100 followers on Medium.
How to Get Your First 100 Followers on Medium
- Create your Medium profile.
- Invite your immediate connections.
- Invite acquaintances and peers from your social media platforms.
- Start publishing articles to reach new users.
Step 1: Create your Medium profile
For users to follow, Medium writers need to have a profile in place to begin with! Head on over to Medium.com to create a Medium account and set up your profile if you haven’t already done so.
Your profile doesn’t have to be built out, and you don’t need to have any articles published yet. Don’t worry about your first stories being “great stories”. We want to prioritize being prolific over being perfect; perfectionism is why many new Medium writers fail.
Medium's profile builder has design features, but I wouldn't worry about them too much. I've grown my following without ever messing with them.
My Medium profile page. Screenshot taken December 17th, 2022.
Step 2: Invite your immediate connections
Invite your friends and family to follow you on Medium. As users, they will need to create an account, but they don’t have to create a profile. Users only need to sign up with an email address to get started on Medium.
Depending on your network, this simple strategy alone might get you to 100 followers. It depends on who you talk to and how much you actively promote your efforts.
Step 3: Invite connections on your social media platforms
Next, let’s expand our requests to people we’re more loosely connected with. Think social media, past organizations, other writers, past coworkers or classmates, and other online communities.
Here’s a simple script you can use to make this request of your followers:
“I’m excited to start writing on Medium soon! And I need your help!
I have a goal to get to 100 followers so that I can unlock some additional publishing features for my account.
Would you be willing to give me a follow? Head on over to <YOUR PROFILE LINK>, it’ll take just a moment and be a huge help.
Thanks and looking forward to the future!”
Step 4: Start publishing articles
The first three steps might be enough to get you to 100 followers or more on Medium. If not, don’t fret. We’ll attract the rest of your new Medium followers with a strategy that you’ll be using for the rest of your time on the platform: publishing articles.
When you write with the goal of growing your audience, my two writing tips are to focus on curation and user-owned publications.
- Curation means that your article has been written in line with Medium’s distribution guidelines, and Medium has decided to distribute it.
- User-owned publications accept and publish articles that are still in a draft. When your article is in a publication, it gets visibility with that publication’s followers, which helps you get seen.
For nearly everyone trying to grow on Medium, I recommend using curation and user-owned publication strategies for every article to get a reader’s attention. You might need to self-publish a couple of articles first before a publication will accept you.
How to Grow to 1,000+ Followers on Medium
Once you’ve passed 100 followers, you've unlocked all the features you'll need to grow on Medium.
By using techniques like curation and submitting to user-owned publications, your big idea has a far greater chance of being seen, and users will begin to follow you over time.
As you build your audience, consider establishing an email list outside of Medium that users can sign up for. When you do this, you can send links to your articles directly to your subscribers, rather than hoping the Medium algorithm will show your article over some other author that the user follows.
You can also take this audience with you if you decide later to take your efforts elsewhere. I highly recommend setting up an email list, even if you’re just starting out and not sure what you’re doing yet. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Publish consistently. Algorithms like and prioritize active users.
- Set up an email list, then direct your article readers to it to grow your audience.
- Leverage "friend links" and share your articles on other platforms to create more visibility.
How to Get Noticed on Medium
Articles are how you get noticed on Medium.
Another less important detail to keep in mind is your author bio. When users arrive on Medium, they are shown a few recommended writers on the right-hand side of the page, along with a follow button.
If you have a nice-looking avatar and a short bio that has a hook or credibility marker, people will be more likely to follow you on Medium.
Medium's dashboard sometimes features authors' avatar, name, and first 50-ish characters of their byline, along with a follow button. Posting consistently on Medium increases your chances of being rotated into this placement.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is there a way to get free Medium followers?
If we’re talking free as in no money, then yes, there is. It’s to publish quality articles on the platform regularly. Gaining followers with no effort isn’t possible, unless you purchase them, which is not recommended.
Medium tracks spam accounts closely, and if these accounts aren’t real, they won’t read your articles, so you won’t actually be getting more traffic or earnings as a result.
You could explore doing a “follow for follow” quid pro quo with other writers, but this isn’t actually growing your influence or readership based on writing merit.
Can I buy Medium followers?
There are lots of online scams offering thousands of Medium followers for one low price. Don’t be tempted by these offers. Purchasing followers is obviously unethical.
Also consider that Medium’s algorithm wants to show articles that are actually being read. If you have thousands of fake followers who aren’t actual users of the platform, what do you think that will tell Medium about your articles and their lack of read time?
If you’re serious about the long game, avoid any and every urge to buy followers on Medium.
How do you get curated on Medium?
Read this article: How to Get Curated on Medium.
The TL;DR is that, to be curated on Medium, you must write an article that is in line with Medium’s distribution standards.
You’ll know your article has been curated in the stats page for that article if it says “chosen for further distribution”.
Attract More Followers on Medium Today
Followers aren’t everything. That being said, when we’re attracting new followers consistently, it tells us that we’re headed in the right direction with our online efforts.
Focus on writing quality articles and you’ll build a reputation as being a writer people love to follow.
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