Promotion of a startup abroad: how to reach hundreds of thousands of English-speaking readers with the help of Medium

    I am professionally engaged in the topic of promoting Russian startups abroad, and recently one of the main alternatives to using traditional media has been the blog platform Medium. Over the past one and a half, I have been able to cover more than 137,000 readers with my articles on this resource. M today I will talk about how to achieve maximum efficiency of content on Medium with minimal time and resources - in general, these tips are applicable in the creation of any English-language content (including Habré).

    Choose relevant, not unique topics.

    The English-speaking segment of the Internet as a whole is much more neutral and positive than the Runet. If we can run into negative things in the comments to any article on any site - and even more so under business-related material - then in the West it is easier with this.

    The public as a whole is less demanding and ready to positively perceive the content. If in RuNet the company publishes material on a topic that has already been disclosed earlier, then it is very likely to be reminded of this fact, and the article itself will be of little interest to anyone (this is the “button accordion”!). Our audience loves exclusive, often quite complex materials. And that is why companies approach content preparation very responsibly, sometimes working on a single article for weeks to make it worthy of publication.

    On the same Medium the situation is different. We were faced with the fact that articles on unique topics that are prepared for a long time and contain a large amount of data published for the first time are less likely to “enter” than the next post in the series “How to increase the efficiency of software development”.

    This fact is difficult to understand at first, but one cannot get away from it - and, in fact, for business it is even good. There is no need to grind out publications for weeks, people are quite ready to accept lighter content - the main thing is that it translates the right thoughts.

    Lists and guides work fine (and not only on Medium)

    As stated above, in RuNet, simple content is often disliked. But in the West, everything is not so, and this means that easy-working guides (how-to) and lists work well. Selection of the top 10 marketing tools, writing guidelines for potential investors and similar materials is the shortest way to reach the target audience.

    The advantage of this approach is that Medium is well indexed by Google, and if your material starts to gain popularity on the blogging platform, then its positions will be strong in search engines. Among other things, this means that the traffic to such content will be constant, and will not fall to zero in the first days after the publication of the article.

    For example, this is how the graph of the number of readers for one of the popular guides that I prepared for Medium looks like:

    The text was published in October 2017, and the traffic is still quite steady flow. And all because the article is on the 2-3rd place in Google on the target request. To this result should strive.

    For quick results, it is better to use external resources.

    Purely theoretically, any post posted even on a personal or corporate blog can be “picked up” by Medium algorithms, which will begin to recommend it to a relevant audience. In practice, this happens very rarely, and you should not expect such a development of events.

    Simple owning your own blog is a routine process that will not bring results right away. After all, at first you have no audience, so few people will read your materials. But there is a way to get increased coverage right away.

    This way is to use “publications” - this is the name of thematic blogs and even entire media that have grown on the Medium platform. Moreover, the audience of such publications may exceed the number of readers of traditional online media.

    For example, here is a comparison of the popular Medium-blog on technology Hackernoon and one of the largest media in the same field VentureBeat:


    As can be seen by Medium can reach a large audience and to make it much easier than in the case of PR in traditional online media. In such resources, the processes are strictly regulated, the editor can respond to you for weeks or months, ask to make changes to the text, and then refuse altogether. On the Medium, there are no such difficulties and everything is better automated.

    To search for popular publications, it is convenient to use the toppub site - and with it you can find blogs that are popular in the niche you need:

    Usually, the description of each publication lists ways to communicate with its editors, and they respond to messages where they are more operational than their colleagues from conventional online media. Attitude to the texts sent is also more loyal, so that content can be published much faster.

    In addition, using the Smedian resource, you can find publications that are looking for authors and submit a request. One click, the editor's approval - and you can send your articles for consideration in this publication directly from your profile to Medium. No need to even write to anyone. It is very convenient.

    Image: Smedian


    In conclusion, a few general tips that will allow you to get the most out of the project for the English-speaking audience through Medium:

    • Take it easy . Do not be afraid to experiment, publish content, for which Russian-speaking readers would definitely throw angry comments to you. The worst thing that can happen to you on Medium is that the article will simply be read by few people.
    • Use marketing best practices . On the English-speaking audience, “tips from the Internet” often work well. It is difficult to say what is the cause and what is the consequence. Maybe the guides and lists read because everyone knows that this is a popular type of content. But the fact remains: people will be grateful if you facilitate their perception of the text. Put the main thoughts in the headline, number, let's clear algorithms of actions that can be done after reading the article ..
    • Medium is a great alternative to traditional online media . Every startup person wants to get into TechCrunch or Forbes with his project, but the fact is that it is very difficult to do this. Read this article on the promotion of such media, it was published in 2013 - and since then it has become even more complicated. On Medium, content promotion in popular publications can be done in semi-automatic mode, which saves a lot of effort and resources with a comparable result.

    That's all for today, thank you for your attention! I will be glad to answer any questions in the comments.

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