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How To Get Published In Medium’s Biggest Publications (with Examples, Interviews, and Checklists)

  • 11 min read

Proven learnings from a Medium Top Writer. Plus, tips from her students and the new Submission Manager at Mind Cafe.

Publications on Medium can be the key to success on the platform.

For many writers, it’s their ultimate goal to have articles published by Medium’s giants like Start it up, Better Marketing, or Mind Cafe just to name a few.

If you feel like an outcast, an imposter, or like someone who just doesn’t belong when it comes to getting published in bigger publications…

…you’re not alone.

I can feel you and I was where you are now 20 months ago.

I had no clue how to get inside bigger publications or Top Publications on Medium.

Fast forward to today, I’m deeply committed to supporting new writers who want to transform their life.

With this story, I want to share my insights.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • I will share some of my students' tips on how to get published.
  • and an exclusive interview with the new Submission Manager of the Top publication Mind Cafe.

But before I’ll begin, let me share with you WHY I wrote this story:

  • I want you to understand that you belong.
  • It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or just starting out.
  • You CAN get published in a Top publication.

Start it up — The leading pub with 760K followers

I love to share this anecdote with you, which will teach you the biggest lesson you need to know:

As a part-time online entrepreneur myself, I love to read insightful quality stories on Start it up (better known as The Startup) with over 10 million monthly views.

Even before I started to create my own content on Medium, I read them already.

So, in December 2021, for the very first time, I saw my face on “the cover” of Start it up.

And I tell ya…

OMG, when I saw my face and my story featured in Start it up this was a game-changing moment for me.

It was a dream come true and I realized:

There’s a good chance, I’m not more creative or smarter than other people writing on Medium.

I just have that one thing that keeps me moving forward:

I’m willing to get a little bit uncomfortable in the process and I am brave enough to fail over and over again.

Here’s the story:


✅Start it up Checklist✅

For almost every publication on Medium, there are so-called Submission Guidelines. These are guides (some call them a Bible) which tell you HOW and WHAT to submit.

If you want to get featured in The Startup, you have to say YES to these questions:

  1. Is your article about self-help for creators and entrepreneurs and an informative essay or first-hand lesson?
  2. Does your story help individual entrepreneurs/creators get smarter at building their thing, following their online pursuits and digital content and products?
  3. Do you know WHY the reader should read your article?
  4. Does your story have an eye-opening insight from first-hand experience?
  5. Does your story provide evergreen content?
  6. Is your article between 5–7 minutes long?
  7. Does your story have a high-quality featured image from stock photography sites like Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay, and Dreamstime?

Submission Guidelines: Click here to read the Submission Guidelines in full-lenght.

Application: Once you have a draft ready to be published, fill out the form:

Start it up submission
screenshot of Start it up form

Submission Manager: Alessandro Butler

Side note: If you don’t hear back from the editorial team within 48 hours then please consider your story as not accepted.


Mind Cafe — 136K followers

Cover/front page of Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe is one of Medium’s largest personal development publications.

Several of my students and new writers have been featured in Mind Cafe so far.

Here is an exceptional example from one WOW-worthy testimonial June Kirri.

In an exclusive interview, June shares her tips on how to get featured in Mind Cafe:

Application:

  • For new writers, first you send your application and draft article through their submission form.
  • The submissions editor responded back saying I can now submit my article to them.
  • Then I added my article to their publication. My article was accepted in less than 15 minutes. For this article, they didn’t edit anything.

Writing process:

  • I already read a lot of their articles so I know what style of writing they prefer.
  • Important to follow their Submission Guidelines — it’s pretty detailed and well articulated.
  • My writing process is I first write a first draft without worrying about the sentence structure, vocabulary, etc. Like free flow writing.
  • Then, I edit, edit, and then edit some more. I sit on it for a day then read it again. I have another person look at my last draft (in my case, it’s usually my hubby) to make sure what I’m trying to say is coming across.
  • For me, it’s important to have a day or so where I don’t look at my last draft so I have some distance. That way, my head is clearer when I look at my draft.

Editing process:

  • Then, I tweak it some more. When I say edit, I’m editing any unnecessary words.
  • I look at each sentence to see if it’s really needed to convey the story. I find that sometimes I repeat an idea. Sometimes, I delete a whole paragraph because it slows down the flow.

Extra special formatting tip:

It’s important that there’s white space. Also, make some sentences long, and others short. Don’t bunch so many long sentences together. Most readers use their phones so it shouldn’t be text-heavy.

Bonus tip

June shares:

I think the best thing any writer can do is read a ton of stuff, especially the stuff that’s written by their favorite writer on Medium or outside of Medium. That’s what I do. I dissect what made that article accepted into Mind Cafe.

Here’s June’s story in Mind Cafe:


✅Mind Cafe Checklist✅

  • Is your story written in a simple, conversational style packed with research that supports your story?
  • Does your story have a unique angle that hasn’t been published on their site yet?
  • Did you take the time to write down several headlines and first sentences to pick the best?
  • Does your first sentence catch the reader (the hook) and does the last paragraph summarize your point, like a Takeaway?

Submission Guidelines: Click here to read the Submission Guidelines in full-lenght.

Application: Once you have a draft ready to be published, fill out the form:

screenshot of application form

Submission Manager: Bryan Dijkhuizen

Exclusive Interview with Mind Cafe’s new Submission Manager Bryan Dijkhuizen

Mind Cafe Submission Manager
Image by Author: Bryan Dijkhuizen | Zürich 2022

At the moment, I see Bryan Dijkhuizen (21 years old) everywhere on Medium.

So, you might have already been in touch with him.

He’s the new Submission Manager for Mind Cafe by Adrian Drew.

In an exclusive interview, he shared with me some advice on how to get featured in Mind Cafe.

Interview with new Submission Manager Bryan Dijkhuizen

Kristina: Hi Bryan, Congrats on your new position! I heard from June that it took a while to get feedback. I guess that’s because of the transition process.

Bryan: I became an editor a couple of weeks ago and since last week I’m the submissions manager.

Kristina: What types of stories are you looking for?

Bryan: What I’d love to see is at least 4-minute stories with something to chew on, life lessons from personal experiences and it has to be something I haven’t seen 1000 times. Mostly lessons from own experiences are great.

Kristina: What’s your vision for Mind Cafe?

Bryan: I really want readers to benefit from articles. A lot of people suffer from mental illness lately. (Covid lockdowns didn’t help). But it doesn’t need to become too generic.

Kristina: It’s great that you’re offering new writers the opportunity to apply. Who else is publishing with you?

Bryan: I’ve got (Top Writers such as) Tim Denning, Sean Kernan, Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi, and Ayodeji Awosika to submit (…) as well.

Extra tip: For more insight, here’s a video interview with a former Mind Cafe editor by Zulie Rane.


Better Humans — 389K followers

screenshot of Better Humans front page/cover

Did you know that Medium’s new CEO Tony Stubblebine also owns three Medium giants: Better Programming, Better Humans, and Better Marketing?

Coach Tony calls them “The Betters”.

Recently my student Trisha Dunbar (She/Her) got featured in one of The Betters — Better Humans.

It’s one of the Top publications on Medium and its goal is to make people smarter and to better human beings.

If you want to get featured in this publication, Trisha shares two valuable recommendations:

#1 Open up

Trisha shares:

  • I think the biggest thing is that many dyslexics try to ‘hide’ and I used to be one of them.
  • We get good at masking or ‘thinking outside of the box’ to hide our weaknesses…
  • But the first step is opening up. when you open up and honest you build trust and people start to accept the ‘quirks’

#2 Educate

The second tip is to educate — a lot of people get wrapped up in myths, such as we can’t read or write.

Dyslexia like many differences or conditions is on a spectrum.

Education leads to greater understanding and acceptance.

#3 Inspire

Finally sharing inspiring (hopefully) stories — they don’t always have to be success stories.

Overcoming hurdles work too.

People can see the extra work that goes into ‘life in general’.

Here’s Trisha’s story in Better Humans:

✅Better Humans Checklist✅

  • Does your article have smart self-improvement advice?
  • Can you answer this question: What, specifically, will the reader accomplish by following this advice”?
  • Do you make a case in the introduction for why the reader should trust your advice?
  • Is there evidence that the advice work and/or does your story include actual results?
  • Does your story provide insider tips (only you can know because it’s your experience)?

Extra tip from Coach Tony (and Medium’s CEO Tony Stubblebine):

We want writing that changes our readers’ lives for the better. Inspire with clear, direct instructions that anyone can follow in order to improve their life.

Guide the reader through pitfalls they may encounter and demonstrate the results that can be achieved through your own lived experience.

Submission Guidelines: Click here to read the Submission Guidelines in full-length.

Application: Once you have a draft ready to be published, fill out this form:

application form Better Humans

Submission Manager: Terrie Schweitzer


I could go on for hours with publications such as Writing Cooperative or Entrepreneur’s Handbook or Invisible Illness, but I’ll stop here for now.

I’ll soon share further details on how to get your foot in the door of these Top publications.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because new writers often tell me they admire me and what I have built…

but they have no idea how close they truly are to having and achieving and building what they want for themselves on Medium.

Final Takeaways

How would it feel to be featured in one of Medium’s biggest pubs?

Imagine in the near future, seeing your face on the cover of one of Medium’s biggest publications.

The only thing you have to do now is to apply to become a writer and share your draft to FINALLY get published in the publication of your dreams.

I really don’t want you to miss out on this awesome opportunity.

I’m personally here and waiting to support you…

and I know our whole community and the Submission Managers of the Top publications will as well.

I’m curious. Share your thoughts and questions in the comments.

© Kristina God

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