There is a scientific term for this form of self-promotion.

  • People who write personal essays with the slimmest connection to hot button issues get curated regularly, regardless of the writing quality.
  • People who write sex “confessionals” (more likely fiction rejects from the Penthouse Forum) get huge exposure and regular curation.
  • Paid writers worker for Medium whose work dominates the work presented by Medium-owned publications (also occupying 9 of the 12 links at the top of the Medium home page).
  • Clogging up your daily feed with stories that have nothing to do with the topics you chose when you “customized” your reading preferences (e.g.: today, 20 out of 30 articles in my feed were not the topics I chose).
  • Reducing the visibility of the writers I follow to a tiny 4-article box. Yes, I can click on the box and see a page of writers I follow. But in the old days, the feed was partly composed of writers I followed, and partly composed of articles recommended by writers I followed. Since the last change to the site in October, I can go days without seeing my favorite writers . The only way to find them is to go directly to their profile.
  • Requests to join writers’ newsletters. This may be a violation of Medium’s rules, but it is ignored even though it is the most blatant form of self-promotion.
  • Comment an article and add a link to their own related article, which is usually relevant to the original article. This is far simpler than copying and pasting a long passage.
  • Respond to an article by writing an article and tagging the writer of the original article. (Any comment that is long enough and detailed enough probably should be turned into a separate article.)
  • Promote the work of other writers in a Medium-style review and tag them so they know about it. Meanwhile, they will read the article and possibly read your work as a thank you. This is a technique for which I coined the phrase “Coat Tale Star Gazer” (CTSG).
  • Tag a long list of people, hoping they will come to find where they are mentioned and then read the article. (If they are your friends, it’s not a big deal. If you tag a thousand strangers, it’s spam, and I’ve only seen that happen once.

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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