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Chapter
1

The secret power of Medium

Welcome to this playbook! I’m excited to explain exactly how you can start getting freelance leads without sending a single pitch using the medium of, well, Medium.

I’ve used Medium to get all my freelance clients, either directly or through networking with people I’ve met on Medium. I’ve grown my email list to 6,500+ readers. I get between 80,000 to 120,000 views on my Medium blog per month. I usually earn around $2,000 by writing on Medium with Medium’s Partner Program.

I’m a six-figure freelancer, and I owe it all to Medium. 

In short, Medium is awesome if you know how to use it. The one-sentence summary of this entire playbook is that I'll teach you how to write articles on Medium that attract potential clients. 

Quick backstory: I hate pitching. I’m bad at it. Early on in my freelance career, I realized I’d never succeed as a freelancer if my income depended on me reaching out to potential clients. So I designed a system to get them to come to me instead. This playbook is that system. 

By the end of this playbook, you’ll be set up to receive a steady stream of ideal clients who contact you to do freelance work for them.

Sounds pretty good, right?

I'll walk you through the best way to get clients knocking on your virtual door ASAP with my 3-phase process.

  1. In Phase One, you’ll optimize your Medium profile. 

  2. Phase Two is all about developing a content strategy. You’ll learn exactly what content will have clients begging to work with you. 

  3. In Phase Three, we’ll walk through my process to publish and amplify your content. 

By the end, your clients will find your incredible article because you’ve published it and amplified it correctly. They’ll read it and love it because of your kickass content strategy. And as soon as they check out your optimized Medium profile to see what you’re all about, they’ll be drafting an email to hire you on the spot.

Ready? Let’s jump in.

What makes Medium so powerful?

Medium is an online blogging platform, like if WordPress and Twitter had a baby. I recommend Medium to freelancers for two important reasons.

First reason: Every time you publish an article, you get access to three audiences

Search

Normally, when you write a blog post, you get one main audience: people who find your work by Googling search terms. You get access to that audience on Medium, too. Medium has very high domain authority, so your articles will be more easily found on search engines like Google without you lifting a finger. 

This means that even if you published the same article on your own website, the article on Medium is more likely to rank on Google for search terms. So if you’re a beginner, or your current website has a low domain authority, you can rely on Medium to boost it to the Search audience. 

Definition: Domain authority means how much Google trusts that website. A reputable website like The New York Times, for example, has a domain authority (DA) of 94. Google determines this DA by looking at how many websites link to the NYT. More links = higher DA.

Social Media

Unlike Google, Medium is also a social media platform. That means that there are lots of readers already on Medium. This is the second audience you have access to. Plus, on Medium, you can also publish your work in what Medium calls “Publications,” which are themed collections of articles. 

Publications are amazing for beginners to publish in. This is because even if you have zero followers, you can publish in publications with hundreds or even thousands of followers and access those audiences from Day 0. 

Then, when you have followers of your own, publishing in publications means you get two audiences. The story will live on your profile and inside the publication. 

Example: If you’re a freelance writer specializing in travel, you can write articles for the Medium publication Globetrotters. That publication has 3.3k followers who love traveling. Some of those readers might own their travel websites and be interested in hiring you to write for them. 

Publications can be challenging to get into, especially if you don’t have a portfolio of content, but we’ll cover strategies for getting into publications — even as a beginner! — in Step 8.

I recommend you check out and follow three publications right now to get a sense of how they work. Here’s how you find publications:

1. Go to a Tag page. (We’ll cover more info on tags in Step 8.) You can find one by going to your Medium home page and clicking on the recommended topics Medium shows you on the right. For example, you can see the “Sleep” topic at https://medium.com/tag/sleep

2. Scroll down until you see a story you like the look of that is in a publication. Then click on that publication. For example, I like the look of Sam Holstein’s article in the publication Curious about how to create a good morning routine.

Some stories are self-published just on the author’s profile, not in publications, so you may have to scroll until you find an interesting publication.

3. Follow that publication. And repeat for two other tags. 

Your followers

Finally, you have access to your audience: your followers. While people can and do follow blogs they find on Google, it’s not as common as it used to be. I have 70k followers on Medium, which means that when I publish something there, Medium will show my work to a certain percentage of them, just like on Twitter or Instagram. 

Recall check: When I publish an article in a publication, does that mean my followers don’t see that story?

Those three audiences contain your ideal client. And Medium can help you find them, speak to them, and get them to pitch you

Second reason: No need to niche to build authority

The second reason I love Medium is that there’s no need to niche. 

If you want Google to prioritize your website’s content above others, you must build authority on a specific topic. Which often requires deciding early on a niche so it knows you’re an expert in that thing. If you write about something else, Google says, “Oh, she’s not an expert in photography; her blog is about food. We’ll down-rank her post on photography tips.”

On Medium, you can avoid niching down because Publications and Tags (we’ll cover those in Steps 8 and 9) act as niches instead.

Why is this a good thing? Because, in my experience, no freelancer is an expert in just one thing. We all like different topics, and we’re good at multiple skills. On Medium, you can write about travel in Globetrotters, data science in Better Programming, and design in UX Planet

Okay, enough explanations! Let’s get into the next step.

Recap

By now, you should be familiar with what Medium is, how it works, and why it’s the best place to land freelance clients. 

Recall check: in my analogy above, Medium is like the child of which two platforms? 

Now, let’s set up your profile so you can begin collecting those leads.

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