I created the Medium publication Startups & Venture Capital currently with over 5,300 subscribers and growing at 10% week-over-week growth. Over 50 Founders and venture capitalists are from all over the world are writing for Startups & Venture Capital. These writers include Steve Blank (author of, “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “The Startup Owner’s Manuel”), Dave Pell (investor in Hotels Tonight, GrubHub, and OpenTable), and Mahesh Vellanki (venture capitalist at Redpoint Ventures).
In the first six weeks, I was able to grow the Medium publication to 3,500 by using growth hacking tactics. Here’s how I did it:
I studied the most successful publications on Medium and then gathered data on the posts including, the number of social shares using BuzzSumo, headline length, and post length. My findings showed that longer posts of 1,500 words performed best for social shares. Also, I found that successful publications had at least one extremely well-respected influencer as a contributor.
After finding out what metrics are most important and what particular actions tended to drive traffic them I then started growth hacking.
The definition of growth hacks that I tend to use:
“A collection of tactics scalable and unscaleable (exploits or new channels) that results in growth.”
The biggest growth tactic I used is the “Request Story” feature in Medium. This feature was released on July 19th which was a Sunday. The release hardly got any media coverage because a different tech press cycle took most of the coverage that week.
This was a perfect growth hack as it was a feature few people knew about, and it gave me direct access to the inbox of the best writers on Medium. I began spotting stories that were getting a great deal of traction in a short period and requesting them into my publication. Often writers would reply back to the medium email set that comes directly back to my email where I could start building personal connections with them.