How to Get Published in Publications: The Beginner’s Guide to Medium #1

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
5 min readJan 26, 2017

Finding your way around Medium publications can be a bit daunting, so read this if you could use some help and advice on how to navigate it.

It’s a good idea to get published in one or more of the big publications on Medium since that can give you a lot of exposure. There are, however, tons of publications and they range from having only a few to tens of thousands of followers. To make matters harder for you, Medium does not rank them, and there is no official list where you could easily find the most popular ones.

Here is the list I used at the beginning of my Medium journey (thanks, Tiffany Sun):

There are also several other lists out there (Google and ye shall find), but keep in mind that things change rapidly in the online world and that goes for Medium publications as well. There could be name changes, the followers fluctuations, concept adjustments …, and what was true yesterday might not be true today. So check the date of the list you are looking at.

Update: our awesome member of the community, Tiffany Sun, just send me the link to the page that tracks Medium publications, so you can check how they stand here:

Also, read my post The Truth About Publishing on Medium and understand that the number of followers is by no means a reliable indication of how many views will your post get when and if published in a publication. What I found, may come as a surprise:

Keeping everything said in mind, you have a really good post and would like to get it into one of the top 10 publications. Well, good luck with that. A rule of thumb is, the larger the publication, the harder it will be to break into it.

The first indicator of how hard it will be to get published there is the lack of submission guidelines. Let’s say that you are highly ambitious and want to get into Matter, the most popular publication on Medium with 1M followers. Now go to their homepage and try to find a submission form, guidelines, or anything else on how to submit.

No, don’t waste your time, there is nothing to be found there. You can, however, find their email. Can you? You have to be a bit of a detective, but that’s how things work here on Medium.

I’ll help you out. On their homepage, scroll down until you see this:

There’s the email!

Chances are, you will be able to find emails of many (but not all) publications. They are usually published in the ‘About’ section, which is not always located in the same place, since publications are all different and can have customized layouts. You might have to dig a bit to find it.

Sending emails and cold pitches, however, should be your last resort. Always check for the submission guidelines first, since many publications have strict rules and will ignore your posts if you do not adhere to them.

There is an easy and fast way to do this. Go to the publication you are interested in and click the search icon next to your profile pic. Type in ‘submit’ and hit enter. Here is what happens when you do this on the Writing Cooperative homepage:

Before you start submitting and get all excited, check the publication and the types of posts that get published there. So let’s do this for Matter, assuming that you are consumed by a burning desire to break into it.

Here comes ooops. Scroll all the way down until you see ‘All stories’ at the bottom of the Matter homepage. Click that and see if you notice anything interesting on the page that opens next. That is, anything that might be a cause for concern.

So you clicked and looked. Have you noticed anything that made you go hmmm?

OK, I’ll help you out with some questions that will open your eyes to what might be the matter with Matter:

  1. When did they publish their last post?
  2. How many posts have they published in December, November, October?
  3. How many this month?
  4. Do you see a problem now?

It looks like this publication (the biggest publication on Medium, mind you) died in December 2016. This is what I meant when I warned you about how things change in the online world. Yes, it is sad, yes, it is a dreadful loss, but that’s how things are in this new era where you can rely on but a precious few things (namely, death and taxes).

(If you are in awe as how is this is even possible with a publication that big, the post Meet Matter Studios might shed some light on it.)

  1. Make a selection of the publications you are interested in
  2. Evaluate them and the chances to get published there (is it a good fit for your work, are your posts of comparable quality…)
  3. Look for the submission guidelines and adhere to them
  4. If and ONLY if you cannot find the submission guidelines, look for an email and then submit the link to your post (no attachments) through email
  5. Good luck!

Have you found this useful? You can buy me a coffee.

Mateja started to write short stories at the age of ten and later became a freelance writer, radio personality, and counselor. Her life resembles a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs and some pretty wild turns. Among other things, her car was destroyed by tanks and she survived several brushes with death. She graduated in psychology from Arizona State University and is now a founder and editor at Transform the Pain and Personal Brain Whisperer, but her secret love is writing weird stories for The Rabbit Is In. Connect with Mateja on LinkedIn and Patreon.

Originally published at on January 26, 2017.



A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer