A More Efficient Way To Create Custom ‘Related Posts’ Sections on Medium
To keep Medium readers engaging with your writing, suggest some of your own posts to them.
Since creating this blog on Medium, I’ve found myself gradually moving away from my traditional tech ground-rule that I must digitally “own” all my own tech (translation: open source and self-hosted; no exceptions).
Unlike my web hosting (which although good, still has its moments) Medium isn’t prone to random downtime.
And if I’m sending somebody a piece I’ve written, whether for personal or business reasons, I want it — above all else — to be accessible on the internet.
Nicely formatted and typo-free are big pluses. But if nothing else, if I have something to share I’d like to be able to communicate it with another human. Hence why I’ve eased up a bit on that front and become oddly content with the mixture of posting to Medium while also taking a manual backup of all my writing here.
(My other reasons: I love the editor; it’s got a built in CDN; and it’s way faster than working on my own bloated Wordpress installation).
How to backup your articles from Medium — and one thing you should know!
I’ve been using Medium as a hosted blogging platform for the best part of 2 years now.
Because I’ve put out quite an array of thinking here over the months and years, I also commonly think about a post I wrote recently while in the process of drafting one. Take a look above — it just happened.
An Easier Way To Find Your Own Posts On Medium
Since Medium introduced custom subdomains, making the magic happen is as easy as typing a simple query into Google.
Because I’ve activated my custom subdomain, I can just poll Google like this in order to retrieve my recent posts:
Of course, I can also scroll through the Medium UI and just find them that way.
But once you’ve passed the several hundred story mark, that searching process gets very tedious. Plus, you can’t filter by keywords. So oddly enough — like in many cases — the Google search ends up being more powerful than the native functionality.
The easy solution: build a Google custom search engine (CSE).
Full disclaimer: I’m trying actively to mitigate against an over-reliance upon Google. But right now, when I have a tech problem that needs sorting, I need solutions. Whoever gets me there quicker wins the race. So yes, I’m a hypocrite of sorts.
Anyway here’s the process.
Plus ‘create custom search engine’ into Google and in short order you’ll find up on a page like this:
In ‘sites to search’ you’ll want to add your personal Medium.com subdomain:
If you have a few CSEs associated with your Google account, then you’ll probably want to give it a name and description so that you can remember why you built it and what it does:
If you also happen to have a personal blog(s) on your own URLs, then you can add these into the list of sites to be polled through also.
There’s also a tool for adding URLs in bulk.
You’ll be presented with a public URL for your custom search engine.
I’d recommend bookmarking it in your browser with a title that you’ll remember:
Find Your Own Posts
If you want to track down a few of your own Medium posts (and/or those on your blog) in order to add them into something else you’re drafting as a related links section, then you can just use your own CSE.
This is a “how to” of sorts. So I wonder have I written other how-tos that might also be of interest to you. Let me run that through search:
Some of my results:
I can then build my own related posts section that references these.
Note: you also get embeddable HTML code. So if you want to add one (or more) of these into your own intranets / non-public-facing websites, then this is really easy to achieve:
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