How writing with authenticity got me over 1.2k claps on Medium
I started out on Medium a little over a year ago with zero followers and two blogs. My stats were not impressive at all, and I failed to get more than 130 fans at most for a few blogs as I continued Writing during the months that followed.
I had multiple intents for writing on Medium:
The first one was to inspire others and heal by sharing my own challenges and achievements. My second intent was free therapy without having to talk about it with others.
And my third intent was to grow my audience and get a lot of claps on Medium as I wanted to become more visible, and who knows even be discovered! (By who? No clue !)
The problem with the latter is that I misplaced my energy and focused on the wrong outcomes. My main outcomes with every article should have been the first and second intent, which is why I really Write without worrying about social media algorithms.
The moment I did write from the heart and wrote with pure authenticity and vulnerability without thinking of how many likes I would get, and only focused on helping other women with changing their body image …my third desired outcome manifested without the third intent. Within hours of the story being published by P.S. I Love you, it got curated by Medium editors under “Self.” Within two weeks, the story has over 1.2K claps and over a thousand views, which is still surreal.
So what did I learn on my journey from no fans to over a thousand ones in one year? Buckle up, here are my top five tips!
Write what you are passionate about first and foremost
I believe every individual has the ability to write something authentic and unique, some are more gifted than others, but it is a skill that takes practice and perseverance.
In the digital age where attention spans are short and where instant gratification feels more rewarding than patience, it is hard to produce valuable pieces in which you capture an audience. Unless you write like Shakespeare adapted to the digital era that is!
When you are passionate about what you write, when your intent is purely to make a difference and you genuinely want to help your target audience, your message becomes authentic. It touches people’s heart. Before you write anything, think long and hard why you are writing:
Is it because you want to get famous and earn big bucks while you are at it? Or because you have found your passion which you want to share with the world through your unique creative expression of words?
Add value by knowing your audience
Laziness in this age where everything needs to happen fast and immediately has become an epidemy. Inertia keeps us from doing our research and understanding our target audience. Sure, it is very healing to share your journal with the world. You may feel better instantly getting your thoughts out of your head and on people’s screens.
Unless you ask yourself the question, why should anyone care? No one will actually care! Except for your friends and family, whom you bribed to like and share your post.
People are selfish human beings, and they want to be successful in life. They want to live their potential, and they are fed up reading stories about how important it is to write every day or every week, how important it is to love your self, how important it is to work very hard in life and how important it is to suck it up and stop complaining.
Do you research and find out what people are really interested in your area of passion. And then tell them a story about how and what you specifically have done to overcome these issues. Share your Wisdom, Experience and Emotions in the Digital Age!
Know how to use SEO to build your exposure
There is nothing wrong with wanting to share your passion with the world, and SEO can take you a long way!
The first time I started reading about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as part of my Digital Marketing Diploma, I was overwhelmed by the information and all the things I was not doing correctly myself when it came to SEO. Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I am just starting out and I do not need to be an SEO expert. Instead, I focused on those things that are easy to implement and which will help me expose my work to a broader audience.
If you are a frequent blogger using word press, it is worthwhile looking at their different plans which come with SEO support. Automated technical SEO to ensure your pages and blogs are SEO friendly will help get you exposure and increase your traffic. If you can’t afford these plans, then spend some time on YouTube or reading SEO articles on how to make your blog SEO friendly!
Trust me, it is worthwhile your time as if you don’t invest in exposing your work, don’t expect others to invest their time to read your stories if they can’t even find you!
The other important and perhaps the secret sauce is to know which keywords are most searched for on Google, the world largest search engine. The internet and YouTube are full of free advice on “how to use Google keyword planner”. Trust me, knowing your audience and what keywords they are looking for will help you craft your message more powerfully. Just make sure you don’t lose your personal touch when you write as people will see through it.
Learn the art of incorporating keywords without compromising on your Shakespeare ability of storytelling!
Do what works for you, not for others
I mentioned earlier that when I started writing, I had little to no traction. Sometimes I felt bothered about it, other times less so, because I was still writing as a hobby instead of building my personal brand.
The days I felt good, when I was in superwoman mode, I did not care so much about when I would get traction or how. The days I felt like I was hit by a bus, I automatically started the self-pity narrative in my mind and I longed for instant gratification. I spend hours reading “How to write epic blogs” or “How to become a viral blogger” and “Why you should write every single day to be noticed”.
Everyone is unique and has different strengths and skill sets. Find out what works for you and be ok with taking time to grow.
Being self-aware and using your unique strenghts and talents will unlock your productivity hacks like never before! I am someone who needs to procrastinate so I can write epic blogs in less than an hour. Instead of writing every day, I focus on quality and using organic digital marketing strategies to expose my blog, so that I can inspire as many people as possible. If I spent writing a blog every day, people might never read it if I don’t get it out there!
Feedback is a gift, seek it out whenever you can
I used to be someone who cringed on feedback. My immediate reaction was: “Who the hell do they think they are?” or “That’s what you get when people are intimidated by greatness! Then when self-awareness kicked in and I put my ego in check, I realized that they may have a point (even if not all of the feedback is given with your best interest at heart)!
For my story about body image, P.S. I Love You editors told me it was not the right fit for them. I learned to ask feedback with grace, so I did. Their editors are awesome, and Kay Bolden went out of her way to send me an email with her feedback. Everything I wrote in paragraph two is based on her advice. She told me people want to know how I changed my body image.
We all know we should love ourselves, tell us how!
I was inspired to re-write my story, even if being so vulnerable was difficult. Nonetheless, I wanted to encourage many women and men to help them transform their body image from the mind instead of the body. And so I did!
I hope my advice was useful and you feel inspired to write form the heart so that you can connect with others beyond the superficial. People in the digital age are desperate for authentic connections as they hide behind screens. Let’s at least try and make these screen as authentic as possible!
Wisdom, Experience and Emotions in the Digital Age
Thank you for reading my stories! My passion and purpose is storytelling through the heart and inspire you to embrace your human experience in the digital age.
How writing with authenticity got me over 1.1k fans on Medium was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.