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Next Gen Presents: Harnessing the Power of Medium with Dave Schools

How Best to Use Medium for Your Career and Writing Goals... and how Dave Schools has done so

I sat down with Dave Schools, the founder of Medium publication ‘The Entrepreneur’s Handbook’ to talk about the power of Medium for a Next Gen LIVE! webinar.

Medium is widely-loved, but many (myself included) have not known about the benefits of writing for it. Dave is a testament to what Medium can do for a career, most considerably with his gain of 72,000 followers on the Entrepreneur’s Handbook. You may have even read one of his most popular pieces - “I sat down with a millionaire who operates 10 businesses while sailing around the world with his family” -  yielding over 21,000 ‘claps’ since its publication. “I had an interview with the guy, then forgot about it for a year,” Dave shared. “I whipped it together from my iPhone notes when I was sitting across from my friend in a coffee shop. I even asked my friend if the title was too long.”

Inc. found him as a result of this article, and it was re-published in other major publications too. This story may seem serendipitous, a stroke of luck that happened for Dave and only Dave. But actually, Medium is the place to be right now for any writer hoping to build an audience. Dave shared the reasons publishing on Medium is a must:

1.It’s a great feedback mechanism tool. You may write for another publication in which your piece is published for you, and you aren’t able to see the analytics of how well the post performs. These analytics are key indicators of resonance with your audience, and many writers tailor future pieces to more of what their audience likes. However, Medium, shows you all of it - views and claps. You don’t have to choose between writing for Medium or another publication, either - thanks to Medium’s import tool, you can easily syndicate your article from another platform to your Medium publication, then monitor analytics that way.

2.The Forbes of the world can pick you up. As I mentioned above, Dave’s famous article landed him a column on Inc. and was re-published on other major platforms. This is a common occurrence. Editors keep an eye on Medium to see which pieces do well, and then recruit those writers. It’s amazing for that type of visibility. Dave will be on Forbes soon, too

3.You can make money. Thanks to the launch of Medium’s Partner Program, writers can benefit financially from popular posts. Medium members pay $5 a month, and a fraction of that monthly fee is distributed to the writers they clap for. Last month, 9% of Medium writers made $100. But some writers really top the charts - one has even made over $11,000. You can read more about how to make money from the partner program at this article: ‘How I Made $327.69 with One Article on the Medium Page.’

4.You have unprecedented freedom with your content. Perhaps most importantly, Medium writers aren’t siloed into a specific, niche topic. They can write about anything, and everyone has a fair and equal chance to gain a following. Speaking of freedom, one of Dave’s most popular articles was titled, “The Most Ingenious (and enjoyable) Ways to Kill A Housefly”, and the contents are exactly what you’d imagine them to be. He still gets emails asking if vinegar will work.

Dave’s best advice for taking full advantage of this freedom is to “be viscerally open with your life.” He shared the quote “bleed on the page,” and urged writers to “let people see you struggle with weakness then overcome it. You’re an expert on your experience.

Medium writers also have a choice between starting their own publication or writing for other publications on Medium. There are benefits to both. Beginning as a writer means you can apply to write for publications like the Entrepreneur’s Handbook and gain a following quickly. With starting your own publication, you start from scratch, but have the  ability to recruit writers and build a following based on your specialty expertise.

As for ways to grow your following and get the best of Medium, Dave recommends being unabashedly confident in asking for claps and shares with your article. He often embeds the CTA, “If you enjoyed this post, please give me a clap.” He also takes to Twitter to share his articles - which he deems as the social platform to be on as a journalist. In fact, tweeting his articles and engaging on Twitter is how he landed Forbes contributorship.

I learned so much from Dave about Medium and can’t wait to apply his tools to harness the power on my own! To catch the full LIVE!, watch here, and be sure to check out Next Gen’s Medium channel - The Next Gen Pulse!

The Next Gen Community LIVE! Series brings tactical advice and inspiring stories to the community in a conversation-like fashion, encouraging questions and engagement from the audience. LIVE’s! feature bestselling authors, renowned speakers, and well-seasoned industry experts every week on the Next Gen Summit Facebook page.

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