Step by step guide to your first Medium publication.
Publications are spoken about, by Medium writers, as much as curation. This week I have also seen more than one writer asking how to set up a publication.
So here is a basic guide to starting your publication. As with everything I am sure I will forget to cover everything, so if you have any questions feel free to add them to the comments below.
First click on your profile picture, in the top right corner and select publications.
You will now see all the publications you are a writer for.
Click on new publication.
This is the first page you will see. At the top, it asks for the name of your publication. Think clearly about this as although you will be able to change the name of your publication after. You will not be able to change the URL (site page address) without help from Medium.
Chose a good name now extend that to fill in the description. Make it clear to readers what sort of stories you will include. Think of only the reader when you fill this in.
The last step add an image for your publication. This is similar to a user icon so needs to also show what your publication is about. Don’t have a publication dedicated to cats and then have an icon of a cake.
Pro Tip — Use Canva and make a logo that includes the publication name, it will look more professional.
Customising Your Publication
The bottom half of this first page is optional. It isn’t, you must fill it in to have a pprofessional-lookingpublication.
Publication logo, is the logo that sits at the top of your posts. Again I would use Canva for this. This is not a sponsored post, I recommend them because I love using them.
Add your contact info next. An email address where prospective writers can reach you.
Then add either your personal twitter and facebook, or one you set up for your publication.
I am on the fence about this. I use my personal accounts as it is too much work to monitor two different accounts. I also have a large following, that would be hard to grow on another account.
Finally, add the tags that are relevant to your publication, in a similar way as you do for your posts.
Here is where you can customise the first page of your publication. You can play with this and change it as many times as you want. I will show you how to do that later. It is pretty self-explanatory, but working from left to right.
Set the size of your layout. I have all mine set to large.
At the top of your publication, do you want the title, logo or both and how you want the text aligned.
Colour you can change as you want, but you need to know the hex number for what colour. Again this is easy. Find a colour you like, e.g vivid pink. Type into google, hex number for vivid pink and then you can copy and paste it into this section.
Finally, whether you want to use a background image or not. I choose to, again it is up to personal choice. Check out the homepage for this publication to see what I mean.
There are five ways that you can set each section. See the + sign at the top of the picture, that means you can add as many sections as you want. You might want a featured post at the top and then the latest posts. Your five options are these:
- Latest stories — posts published in date order.
- Trending Stories — posts that are performing the best in your publication.
- Featured Stories — you pick the post to put here. It might be your submission guidelines or a competition winner. Completely up to you.
- Stories in a tag — all stories from a specific tag, it could be fiction or writing tips.
- Promo — this is a relatively new feature. You can add a promotional section; this could be to a book you have written; your Patreon page or website. I would suggest having these either at the top or bottom of the page.
You then set how many posts you want to display at any one time. The others feature in the archive, so don’t disappear completely.
Whether you want the posts as a grid, stream, list or mixed. Again play with these and see which you prefer. You can always change these later.
The next two square icons are whether you want the picture with the title below your posts or whether you want the title in the picture.
Title on or off, you say whether you want section titles on, for example, a title of latest stories or featured stories.
The last dustbin icon is simply to delete the section completely.
Finally, fill in the information, on the about section.
Then press create and you have a shiny new publication.
Altering Your Publication
I kept mentioning throughout that you can change all these options.
To find your publication again click on your profile picture and then on publication. Your publication should now be at the top, click on it.
Beside your profile picture, you will see your publication logo click on this.
- New Story — is the same as when you write a post, except it will automatically be added to your publication.
- Stories — are all the stories published in your publication.
- Stats — is an individual stats breakdown for all the posts on your publication, whether you have written them or not.
- Letters — is the feature you use to send newsletters to all the followers of your publication. I have spoken about this in past posts.
- Followers — is a list of all your followers.
- Navigation — I will deal with below
- Feature Pages — allows you to have other pages on your publication with a different URL. I don’t use this feature, so am not an expert by any means.
- Homepage and Settings — is where you alter everything I have spoken about above. When you click it there are two tags along the top info and homepage, flick between these.
If you click on the navigation, you will see this
Along the top of publication, you can see different tabs. I have several across Bookworm Stories.
Click on the plus, give your tab a name and select the type and contents.
- You can add a tab with many stories, in contents you can select which stories.
- Add a tab with stories that all include one tag on posts. For example, ensure all the posts have a fiction tag and then all the fiction will sit under that tab.
- Add a tab with one story, for example, your submission guidelines. Again you can choose this post under contents.
- A tab for all archived posts
- A tab about the publication which pulls your information from your about page.
Finally, at the bottom, you notice a tab for your website. Place a tick in the box and then fill your website information in. This will appear as the last tab on your homepage.
Congratulations, you now have a lovely shiny publication.