My secret recipe for Medium.
rather a template to write on Medium.
Are you starting on Medium and don’t know how to get started, let me share you my secret, well not a secret actually, rather a template. Why follow a template? The answer is simple A template gives you a framework to start with which will help you focus while writing.
Before you think anything, let me tell you that this template is not a restriction given by medium or anyone. This is my personal framework and it’s perfectly fine if you want to change it or do not want to follow it at all. In fact, all my articles do not follow this template but most of them do.
So the template goes like this:
- Subtitle [Optional]
- A Cover picture preferably from a source free of copyright like Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay. (with a caption containing source and creator)
- The First 2–3 paragraphs are about my personal experience.
- Bullet Pointers on the topics preferably a list with descriptions for each point.
- A conclusion.
The long version:
The title is the most important to drive the audience to read the article (duh). I keep titles simple and short. I try to avoid click-baits and rather prefer the title to be a one-line summary of the article or a question which the article tries to answer.
If the title gets too long then I split it between title and subtitle.
Optional but recommended. Most of the writers on Mediums try to create a subtitle which is a continuation of the title, a catchy title to get your attention and then subtitle to explain the topic, or a subtitle which contradicts with the title but a rule to follow is keep it short.
Long titles split between title and Subtitle:
Title: Your Employees are Not Your Friends
Subtitle: And trying to be friends with your employees will ruin your culture faster than just about anything else.
Catchy title but Subtitle giving clarity:
Title: Stop Using If-Else Statements
Subtitle: Write clean, maintainable code without if-else.
Again optional but without a cover picture, the article is just a set of boring paragraphs. I mostly have one cover picture and additional pictures if required but don’t create articles filled with pictures with no less text except you are sharing a set of comic strips or you are sharing a coding article that has screenshots.
- Instead of coding screenshots, you can consider creating gists and embed those in your article. Medium handles gists very well.
- Or you can use tools like Carbon or some editor plugins to take screenshots plugins like CodeSnap or Polacode for Visual Studio Code.
But most importantly, go easy on using pictures in your article.
First 2–3 Paragraphs personal experience
Every comedian has an opening act an opening comic, every talk has a backstory.
Storytellers rule the world.
In the first couple of paragraphs, the reader decides whether he wants to read the entire article or not and that’s your chance to connect with your reader, mentally and emotionally. The reader must desire to read further hence in most of my articles, the first couple of paragraphs are about personal experiences sharing real-life situations of how I started to think about the topic or why did I feel the need to write the article.
Start with why. — Simon Sinek
Bullet Points on Topic
We all are busy, most of us access medium on phone hence everyone wants everything quick. No one has time to read long paragraphs hence I prefer to break the topics in small bullet points which then I elaborate and if the article is like a simple guide (just like this one), I try to provide a TL;DR section where then the reader has the choice whether they should continue reading or they have found their answer. And when I say bullet points, it does not mean that they have to follow some order. So, the list can be with or without numbers.
Last but not the least, a conclusion just like a summary of the article in a couple of paragraphs. It’s like the closing act of a magician where the audience decides whether the magician deserves a standing ovation or not.
The conclusions can be:
- It could be like the moral of the story.
- It could be something that opens new possibilities for the readers.
- It could be like some additional things that you avoided to keep the article short something like honorable mentions or additional tips.
- You must make use of Medium formatting tools to focus on a particular text or some important point or anything that you would want to highlight.
- Use extensions like Grammarly or any other tool to make sure there are no grammatical errors.
- You can consider adding a reference to your previous articles or any other articles wherever necessary.
- Before publishing on Medium, run it through a friend by sharing a draft link.
- Use the right keywords while publishing and share the article on your social media profile to drive more traffic.