When I first started writing on Medium several years ago, tags really confused me. I didn’t know what they were or how to use them on the platform.
Here are the 13 most important lessons I learned about using tags on Medium articles.
What Are Tags on Medium?
In short, tags are labels that indicate the subject matter of an article. Tags help categorize articles and make it easier for readers to find content that interests them. In addition, tags also help Medium’s algorithm surface the most relevant content to users.
You can think of Medium tags like hashtags on social media.
There are two types of tags on Medium: system-generated tags and author-generated tags.
System-generated tags are automatically added to articles based on their content. Author-generated tags, on the other hand, are chosen by the author when they publish their article.
While system-generated tags are determined by an algorithm, author-generated tags offer more flexibility and allow authors to specifically target their audience.
How To Add Tags to a Medium Article
You can add five tags to each Medium article.
Here is a step-by-step guide for adding tags to your posts:
- Go to your Medium account
- Go to your Stories
- Go to Drafts
- Open a draft Medium article
- Click on the three dots (…) in the top right corner of the draft article
- Click on Change Topics in the dropdown menu of options
- Type in tags (words and short phrases) related to your article
Here is a screenshot of where to find the tags section in your draft Medium article:
As you type, Medium will autosuggest tags and provide you with the popularity of the tags with a numerical count.
Some tags have been used 0 other times. Most have been used a few hundred times. The most popular tags on Medium will have numerical counts in the high hundreds (such as the Writing tag with 449K uses).
When you fill in all five tags, your tag section will look like this:
You can add tags to draft articles and you can change tags on already published articles.
What Tags Should I Use on Medium?
It’s important to use tags strategically on Medium in order to reach the most people and make the most money.
You should use tags that are:
Use Relevant Tags on Medium Articles
When tagging your article, it’s important to first consider what tags are relevant to your piece.
If your article is about writing, then some relevant tags could be Writing, Blogging, or Marketing. On the other hand, if your article is about a life lesson you learned from a personal experience, you might want to go with something different.
For example, you could use Life, LifeLesson, or ItHappendToMe.
Use Popular Tags on Medium
However, simply including relevant tags isn’t enough – you also need to make sure you’re using popular tags.
I’ve listed the most popular current tags in this article.
To see which tags are popular, you can also check out the “Most Popular” section on Medium.
You can find this section by going to your home screen and looking at the tags listed across the top of the page (listed next to your For You page).
Popular tags will give your article more visibility and help you reach a wider audience.
Use a Diversity of Tags
In addition to relevance and popularity, you should also diversify the types of tags you use.
That means including tags from several big categories instead of five tags in the same category. So, I usually wouldn’t go with Marketing, Marketing Tips, Marketing Lessons, E-mail Marketing, and Online Marketing.
Those tags might be relevant but they are too similar.
Instead, I would probably tag my article like this:
- E-mail Marketing
By diversifying your tags, you tap into several bigger audience pools.
Use Niche Tags
Along with using popular tags, I also use niche tags.
Niche tags are more specific and make sure the right audience finds your content. A broad tag is Writing while a niche tag might be essays or even writing introductions.
Go broad and niche to balance relevance and audience reach.
For the record, even my niche tags usually come with 30K+ other uses across the platform.
Use Field-Tested Tags
Finally, don’t forget to experiment with different tags to see what works well for you and your writing style.
Just because a tag is popular doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to work well for every article. The best way to find out which tags work best for you is simply by trial and error – so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Personally, I track my tags to see which ones earn me the most money.
Then I use those tags more often. You can easily track your tags with an Excel spreadsheet. Look for patterns in the tags you use and how they relate to your revenue.
Here is an excellent video about the best way to use tags on Medium articles:
Should I Make Up My Own Tags on Medium?
Some writers make the mistake of creating their own tags in an attempt to be unique or to draw attention to their work.
However, this is often not the most effective strategy.
It is generally more effective to use popular but relevant tags. This will help you reach the most people who are interested in your topic. If you are writing about a brand new topic, you may want to add it as a tag so that you can dominate that niche and develop topical authority.
However, in most cases, it is best to focus on the more popular tags.
In my experience, you will be more likely to reach a wide audience and have more success with your writing on Medium.
How To Find Medium Tags?
There are a few ways to find Medium tags:
- Read my list of the most popular tags on Medium (see the next section)
- Look at the tags listed across the top of your home page
- Scope out the “Recommended Topics” section on your home page
- Type a letter into the Medium search bar to see what Medium auto-suggests
- Run a search for a topic on Medium and then look in the Topics section
Here is a screenshot of where to find tags on your homepage:
The Most Popular Tags on Medium 2022
Here is a list of the most popular tags on Medium this year:
- Life (681K)
- Blockchain (630K)
- Poetry (584K)
- Life Lessons (569K)
- Startup (540K)
- Cryptocurrency (533K)
- Technology (467K)
- Health (467K)
- Politics (453K)
- Writing (449K)
- Love (446K)
- Self-Improvement (441K)
- Business (421K)
- Education (388K)
- Travel (380K)
- Entrepreneurship (379K)
- Marketing (349K)
- SEO (340K)
- Relationships (300K)
- Design (299K)
- Mental Health (292K)
- Social Media (285K)
- Music (268K)
- Programming (256K)
- COVID-19 (248K)
- Sports (239K)
- Productivity (228K)
- Tech (226K)
- Crypto (224K)
- News (217K)
- Leadership (203K)
- Machine Learning (202K)
- Food (196K)
- Art (194K)
- Finance (191K)
- Web Development (190K)
- Fiction (187K)
- Humor (184K)
- Movies (183K)
- Artificial Intelligence (182K)
- Data Science (181K)
- Short Story (179K)
- Inspiration (178K)
- Culture (177K)
- Psychology (177K)
- Personal Development (175K)
- Books (172K)
- Digital Marketing (170K)
- Software Development (169K)
- Creativity (165K)
- UX (162K)
- NFT (161K)
- Money (154K)
- Poem (153K)
- Self (151K)
- Photography (149K)
- Investing (143K)
- Healthcare (138K)
- Spirituality (135K)
- History (134K)
- Family (132K)
- Motivation (131K)
- Science (128K)
- Gaming (128K)
- Real Estate (122K)
- Parenting (121K)
- Coronavirus (119K)
- Mindfulness (116K)
- Fitness (114K)
- Fashion (112K)
- Lifestyle (106K)
- Work (104K)
- Climate Change (100K)
- Storytelling (90K)
- Careers (89K)
- Advice (87K)
- Instagram (82K)
- Facebook (81K)
- Review (79K)
- Cars (76K)
- Depression (75K)
- Google (74K)
- Growth (73K)
- Writing Tips (69K)
- Advertising (69K)
- Blogging (68K)
- Religion (66K)
- Meditation (66K)
- Content Marketing (65K)
- Management (65K)
- Twitter (58K)
- Death (56K)
- Friendship (55K)
- Book Review (54K)
- YouTube (53K)
- Children (52K)
- Freelancing (49K)
- TV (48K)
- WordPress (43K)
How Do You Search By Tags on Medium?
Searching by tags is easy on Medium.
You simply type in a tag in the Medium search bar and hit enter (on a desktop or tablet). Then Medium will show you articles, publications, and people that use that tag.
Medium also gives you a list of related tags if you want to run a deeper search of the topic.
For example, here is a screenshot of related tags Medium gave me for the Writing tag:
Does the Order of Tags on Medium Articles Matter?
Based on my experience earning $2,000 to $3,000 per month on Medium for the last year, I don’t think the order of your tags matters.
However, I do tend to place my most relevant and best-earning tags first.
While I’ve never noticed a difference in revenue based on tag order, I still think it’s good practice to get your best tags in early. Remember, you only have five tag slots.
Using your analytics, drop in your best-performing tags first.
That usually takes up 2-3 of my tag slots (at the very least). I use any remaining slots to add hyper-relevant tags and/or popular tags in several different categories (for diversification).
Can I Change the Tags on My Medium Article?
Yes, you can change the tags on your Medium articles.
For drafts, simply:
- Open the draft article
- Click on the three dots (…) in the top right corner
- Click on Change Topics in the dropdown menu
- Delete existing tags
- Add new tags
- Save your changes
For published articles, the steps are slightly different:
- Open the published article
- Click on the three dots (…)
- Click on Edit Story
- Click on the three dots (…) again
- Find and click on Change Topics
- Make the changes you want
- Save the changes
Don’t worry: editing published Medium articles won’t affect your earnings.
Why Do Some Publications Require Tags?
Certain Medium publications require that you include specific tags on articles you submit to them.
These publications want to be known in specific categories, such as Marketing, Writing, or Relationships. By requiring related tags, the publications ensure that the articles they publish reach their intended audience on Medium.
Adding tags is also a good SEO practice that helps publications rank higher in Medium and Google searches.
How To Get a Top Writer Tag on Medium
Medium’s Top Writer program is a great way to get your name out there as a well-respected writer on the Medium platform.
But how do you become a Top Writer?
The main thing you need to do is use the same tag in many of your articles. The more articles you have with the tag, the higher your chances are of becoming a Top Writer.
But it’s not just about the number of articles – your articles also need to be popular in order for you to have a chance of becoming a top writer.
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll become a Top Writer just by using the same tag in all your articles, it definitely increases your chances.
If you want even better changes, you can also write about topics with less competition.
Do Tags Really Matter on Medium?
In my experience, I believe tags do really matter on Medium.
They are not more important than good titles and quality content, but tags do seem to play a role in reaching more people and making more money.
I add five tags to every single one of my articles.
And the most successful writers on Medium seem to do the same thing. Since adding tags is a fast and easy process, I see no reason to not leverage this feature.
Tagging Tips on Medium
Before you go, here is a list of my best tagging tips for Medium articles:
- My best tags on Medium articles: Relationships, Love, Writing, and Marketing (Your’s may be different).
- Use three popular tags and two niche tags.
- If you want to be known for a topic, write for a publication that also focuses on that tag.
- Track everything and study your data to make better tag choices.
- Go back and change the tags of underperforming articles.
- Change the tags of old articles (to new, updated tags).
- Add tags to your bio and author information areas on Medium.
- Don’t spend too much time on tags. Choose the best tags you know and get back to writing quality, entertaining content.
Final Thoughts: Tags on Medium Articles
Once you’ve nailed down your best tags, you’ll still need to know how to blog on Medium successfully.
Check out this curated list of articles I’ve written about Medium:
- How To Mark Medium Articles As Read (With Pictures)
- Does Medium Own My Content? (Read This Before You Publish)
- What Is Medium Used For? (13 Best Uses Explained)
- Can You Make Money On Medium? (Ultimate Guide + Case Study)
Personal experience with Medium