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Here Are 3 Steps to Quickly Become a Top Writer In 2022

And also why it doesn’t really matter


In this post, I’ll be sharing two contradicting insights with you. I’ll show you the quickest and most efficient to become a Medium top writer. I’ll also explain why the top writer badge doesn’t really matter.

Hear me out.


How to become a top writer

Earning a top writer badge on Medium is a straightforward thing. You write, you tag, you get the badge.

The devil lies in the details.

It matters how you tag, how often you tag, what tags you use, and how frequently you publish.

Let’s break this down.


1. How to tag

To get a top writer badge, you need to tag your stories with an eligible tag. Medium offers over 70 of those top writer tags.

I have a practical top writer tag list that you can download for free on Gumroad.

It’s a Notion template. You can either just view it or use it in your Notion setup.

Notion is a great tool to manage your Medium content and more, by the way. I highly recommend checking it out to manage and organize all your writing. I also offer a free Medium Content Planner for Notion if you’re interested.

Key takeaway: Know your tags. Keep a cheat sheet like my top writer tag list.

Free Notion Top Writer Tag List Template by author

2. What tags to use

Once you have a list of eligible top writer tags, you need to figure out which of these tags to use. I bet you know you can use up to 5 tags on Medium. And you should always add 5.

Finding the best tags for your stories is a two-step process:

  1. Pick the ones that fit your topic, obviously.
  2. Pick tags with an actionable competition rating.

Let me explain this second point a little further.

Competition is key

Here’s where my Notion Top Writer Tag List comes in really handy as it doesn’t only give you a full list of all top writer tags, but also categorizes those tags based on competition into very lowlowmediumhigh, and very high competition ratings.

If you’re a Medium newbie, it’s a good idea to use low competition tags to gain top writer status. It will come easier and faster.

If you’re an advanced user with a high amount of monthly views, all tags are fair game. You will get to even the highest competition tags with consistent publishing.

Let’s get practical

Here’s an example.

Say, you wrote a post about social media, for example about Meta Quest, Facebook’s virtual reality headset.

You could use social media as your top writer tag. And actually you should!

But social media is a high competition tag. This means you won’t get top writer status for this tag easily.

In contrast, you could also use the tag virtual reality. This one is a very low competition tag. Chances of getting the badge here are much better.

Remember, though, you can and should fill all 5 available tag slots on Medium.

So, tag this story with both, social media and virtual reality, as well as three other tags, for example technology (very high competition), internet of things (very low competition), and future (low competition).

This way, you theoretically have the chance to get 5 top writer tags with one story, in case this one goes viral.

Key takeaway: Pick appropriate tags with an obtainable competition rating to become a top writer quickly.


3. Frequency

Now that you know how to tag and what tags to use, the most important factor in getting top writer status is the frequency you publish stories with the same tags. Usually, it’s not enough to have just one story with the top writer tag. If it goes viral like crazy, you have the chance to become a top writer with that one story alone, but otherwise, it will take more posts.

So, publish! The more stories per month, the better.

Top writer tags are handed out on a monthly basis, as far as I’m aware. That means, you can get them one month and lose them the next.

Important detail!

Say, you publish 20 posts per month, all tagged with virtual reality, chances are incredibly good that you will get that virtual reality top writer badge.

Of course, views and reads do matter here. If you publish 20 stories and all gain zero views, you won’t get the top writer badge.

On the other hand, don’t think you’d need 1000 views on every story to become a top writer. For low competition tags, 100 views per story is a good start, even less in some cases.

Key takeaway: Publish more of the same tag to become a top writer faster.


Why top writer status doesn’t matter

Now, before you go ballistic.

I value top writer badges. I was happy to receive each and every one I got over the past year.

Getting a top writer badge is a huge confidence boost.

Who doesn’t love that?

That being said, here’s the deal with top writer tags.

The top writer status won’t increase your views or reads, your reach or your earnings. Necessarily.

Yes, a top writer tag means that your stories have done well in certain tags, but “well” might “only” mean you’ve gotten 500 views over the past two weeks in a low competition tag. 500 views is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a lot of money or reach when you look at the bigger picture.

Think this way: Top writer tags won’t lead to more views. It’s the other way around. More views will lead to top writer tags.

The more you grow your audience, the more you write, the higher your reads, and therefore the likelihood of acquiring top writer badges.

Ultimately, this means, top writer status is not the way to become more successful. Once you become more successful, you will be a top writer.


The bottom line

I hope you understand what I mean when I say top writer status doesn’t really matter.

The confidence boost is fantastic, and you should be proud of yourself! Just don’t expect your entire Medium life to change when you get a top writer badge.

Let’s still recap the tips to become a top writer on Medium.

  1. Have a top writer tag list with you. Again, here’s my tag list.
  2. Use fitting tags and keep competition ratings in mind.
  3. Fill all 5 available tag slots on Medium, with top writer or other tags.
  4. Publish frequently and use the same tags over and over again.
  5. Do your happy dance when you get the top writer badge.

And keep writing!

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