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How Big Is Medium’s New Boost Really?

  • 7 min read

It’s worth getting Boosted or becoming a Nominator.

New writers, today, I bring you an exciting update from Medium.

You might have already heard that Medium has been working on a new project, aimed at empowering publication editors and writers, known as the Boost (Beta) Program.

Ariel, Medium’s new Director of Publisher Growth, has shared some insightful details about this new program in an interview with me which you can watch on YouTube as well as on the Medium blog.

No matter whether you’re an editor or a writer, the Boost Program supports writers and publication editors alike.

Here’s what you need to know.

Why Should I Care About The Boost Program?

Introduced in February, Boost is designed to increase the visibility of high-quality, yet under-the-radar, stories across Medium.

The aim is to highlight brilliant writing, irrespective of who wrote it, thus making it possible for a wider audience to discover these hidden gems.

Boost has two paths — community-nominated posts and stories elevated by Medium’s internal Curation Team.

Both routes serve the same goal: bringing great stories to a larger reader base.

How Big Is the Boost Really?

Often new writers wonder whether it’s worth it to get Boosted.

YES!

Boosting exposes stories to tens of thousands of Medium readers, resulting in at least several hundred additional views over a week.

Here’s an overview:

photo credit: Medium, data from March 2023
  • 95% of Boosted posts get 500 more views.
  • 73% of Boosted posts get 1K more views.
  • 20% of Boosted posts get 5K more views.
  • 8% of Boosted posts get 10K more views.
  • 1% of Boosted posts get 50K more views.

Depending on reader engagement, a Boosted story can reach thousands or even tens of thousands of reads.

How Does The Nomination Work?

A significant element of the Boost Program is the Boost Nomination Pilot.

This is a collaborative initiative where Medium publication editors nominate high-quality stories for Boost.

To date, there are 63 Nominators. Each of them can recommend up to 5 stories per week. 20 posts per month.

What’s In It For Nominators?

If a nominated story is approved for wider distribution, the Nominator can earn a financial compensation of up to $900 USD per month.

Medium’s community is rich in subject matter experts, many of whom are publication editors.

The Boost Nomination Pilot empowers these experts to contribute to the discovery of high-quality, yet hidden, Medium stories.

It’s essential to note that while the nomination comes from the community, Medium’s internal Curation Team still reviews and approves all nominations before Boosting.

So Medium makes the final decision.

Who Are Those Nominators?

Currently, the Program is small but growing.

You must be an active member of the Medium Partner Program to be eligible as a Nominator.

Why? Because Medium wants to pay you for your efforts.

Since Stripe is the only payment method on Medium, editors such as Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles can’t participate in the Program, because they come from non-Stripe countries and don’t have a bank account in another country.

So far, 63 people are in the Program.

It is not a secret society. There are several Nominators who have come out.

Here are 7 you should know. To learn more grab my free eBook on Gumroad.

1 — Fanfare — #Culture, #Movie, #TV, #Books, #Gaming Eric Pierce

2 — The Taoist Online — #Religion, #Philosophy, #Spirituality, #Nature Patrick Stewart

3 — The Generator — #Artificial Intelligence, #Technology, #Future Thomas Smith

4 — The Memoirist — #Life, #LifeLessons, #ThisHappenedToMe Christopher Robin KiKi Walter

5 — Ellemeno — #Travel, #Culture, #Life, #Politics, #Lifestyle David Todd McCarty

6 — Middle Pause — #Diversity, #Menopause, #Aging Debbie Walker

7 — The Narrative Arc — #This Happened to Me, #Life, #LifeLessons Debra Groves Harman

If you want to increase your chances to get Boosted, pick 1–2 publications, become a writer, and put yourself in a position of luck!

Do I Have To Submit My Story To A Publication To Get Boosted?

Fear not. I know a lot of new writers who are self-publishing their stories.

Medium’s internal Curation Team Boosts stories daily, most of which are not featured in publications.

Publication editors nominate great stories they come across on Medium, often from new, lesser-known writers with a smaller following.

How Can I Become a Nominator?

If you’re an editor or owner of a publication that’s open to new writers, you can apply to become a Nominator.

Selection is based on several factors including…

  • the quality of the publication’s stories
  • diversity in publication topics
  • diversity in participant identities.

Ariel’s goal is to reach 100 participants by September 2023. So she’s still looking for around 40 people to join the Program.

If you want to be part of the Boost Program, you can join the waitlist by filling out this form.

What Type Of Stories Get Boosted?

There is a lot of misinformation and rumors circulating about the Boost. So here’s what you need to know.

Medium is listing 5 criteria to get the Boost.

Ask yourself…

1 — Is my story constructive?

  • ✔️You helped your reader to level up in some way.
  • ✔️There’s a takeaway message.
  • ✔️Your story makes your reader’s life, job, and relationship better.
  • ✔️Your story “elicit(s) a real laugh or emotion.”

2 — Is it original?

  • ✔️Your story sheds light on something unknown.
  • ✔️Your story explores a topic that’s not frequently examined.
  • ✔️Your story “re-examines something we think we know a lot about to shed new light, voice, or perspective on the topic.”

3 — Is there relevant experience?

  • ✔️You’re a subject matter expert (e.g. financial advisor, sailor, artist) or have relevant and lived experience (e.g. are divorced, gave birth, are retired).
  • ✔️You have done “thorough research” and share links to your sources.
  • ✔️You have first-hand experience that is credible, for instance, you’re a photographer and you’re sharing tips to buy a new digital camera.
  • ✔️You have in-depth knowledge and (insider) insights about certain topics so that you can communicate them effectively.

4 — Is it well-crafted?

  • ✔️Your story is high quality, well-written, clear, and compelling.
  • ✔️Your story is formatted properly, “free of errors, appropriate sources, and narratively strong” (e.g. you use Grammarly (as a non-native) to check your grammar).
  • ✔️Your story has an image that provides value and your title and subtitle are interesting and properly formatted (e.g. Medium prefers title case for the headline and no clickbait).

5 — Is it memorable?

  • ✔️“Are you compelled to share this with your network?”
  • ✔️“Did this story get you thinking?”
  • ✔️“Did this story “move you”?”
  • ✔️“Did this story (m)ake you feel good about the value of your Medium subscription?”

But wait, there’s more…

During our interview, Ariel explained:

“(…) Boost Beta is to try and bring more of that human touch into the process of helping really remarkable stories get seen across the platform.

(…) Yes, there are algorithms and machine learning, and computers involved. But ultimately, writing, curating, and publishing are all very human art forms.”

This means Medium is looking for your messy stories.

Dare to make yourself vulnerable.

Leave your comfort zone and share something about your life.

Can Short Stories Get Boosted?

You might know that I’m a fan of short form stories (150 words or less).

I know that Medium also Boosted a lot of poems but in regard to very short nuggets of information, Medium isn’t pushing the BOOST button.

Why?

Medium is looking for high-quality, longer, in-depth content.

This means long form trumps short form.

To learn more I recommend watching my interview with Ariel from Medium where I also share some WOW-worthy examples of Boosted stories:

Do you have any questions about the Boost? Let me know in the comments and I’ll answer your questions.

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