My Biggest Success on Medium Wasn’t a Curated Post

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I used to run a Medium group with over 2 thousand followers. One of the prerequisites for getting posted was that your article had been curated. I saw being curated as something worth bragging about. After all, that meant someone actually wanted to read what you wrote. By giving it that Medium stamp of approval, your article was now viable.

It took me a while to realize, however, that whether or not your article is posted on a leading publication or curated by Medium matters very little. By far my most successful post ever on Medium was one that was never curated, and never added to a publication.

Back in December of 2018, I wrote an article about why you should consider being a content creator in 2019. It wasn’t my best written work ever. It wasn’t curated. It wasn’t selected by a publication, unlike a lot of my other posts. I almost considered deleting it, or even un-listing it.

Today, however, that article has been read by thousands of people around the world. People reach out to me now all the time telling me how my work on Medium, and that post in particular, has helped inspire them to continue writing and pursue their creative endeavors.

The answer in three words: search engine optimization. Only, I didn’t try to write a particularly optimized post. I just wrote a post about a topic that was interesting to me and linked to articles that had inspired me. The result was a definitive post that shows through statistics that being a content creator is a viable and actually highly promising career option.

I did include headers. I did write conversationally. I did include links. Yes. But I really just wrote in an SEO friendly way, and Google did the rest.

Google is a more powerful friend than Medium editors will ever be. I’m sorry, Medium editors, but it’s true. If you have to choose between getting a high SEO ranking and getting curated, I know which one I would choose.

There’s nothing wrong with getting published on big publications. There’s nothing wrong with getting curated. But there is something wrong with worrying about getting curated and claps and added to publications to the extent that it harms your writing. The idea is what matters most, and how well you write about that idea, research that idea, and convey its importance is what will enable you to stand out in a hyperactive digital world.

Stop worrying. Start writing.

Content Guru in Chief of

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