In the digital age we live in, bloggers have more options than they’ve ever had before on where to publish and share their content.
This week, a very good friend of mine asked me a question that inspired this blog.
“I’m considering ditching my blog on my website and publishing on Medium instead. What do you think?”
Well this is a loaded question. I know what I think but I don’t want to hugely influence someone’s decision when it comes to a big thing like this. That’s why I decided to list some pros and cons for her to make the best decision to suit her business and I thought I’d share this with you.
Let’s begin …
So what actually is Medium?
Medium is an online publishing platform that allows bloggers and writers to share their thoughts on everything from business and culture to philosophy, fashion, beauty and politics.
Basically – if you think it, you can write it and share it on Medium (with reason of course – they’ll delete to ban offensive content).
The thing with Medium is it’s like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. As with any platform there are pros and cons to using it. If you’re considering ditching your blog and publishing your content directly to Medium then you should read this first.
- Its Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) friendly: Yep, Medium has a good reach with over 60 million visitors heading to the site every month. Unless you’re a blogger with an established audience you can’t beat that straight away with your own site. Medium generates backlinks which will help your content get found easily and because of this, it now has a good reputation for helping content to rank highly in search engines subject to an issue I address in the cons section below). You just need to make sure your content is SEO friendly i.e. contains the right keywords and phrases.
- You don’t have to deal with tech issues like you do with your own site: It’s completely managed for you because you don’t own it (I’ll talk about ownership in more detail later in the blog). That means you don’t have to deal with any tech headaches, issues or maintenance on the site yourself. You simply need to create and upload your content. It’s as easy as that.
- You can earn money from publishing on Medium: Did you know this? I’m pretty sure that Medium is one of the only platforms where you can post content and immediately start earning. Find out more about how to do this by checking out Medium’s Partner Program.
- Its social media savvy: Medium was created by a Co-Founder of Twitter and as a result it is very social friendly. This is a real positive in terms of generating organic traffic for your blog, social profiles and your website.
- Medium is community driven: Essentially it has an audience of bloggers and readers to leverage, whereas on your website you have to build your audience from scratch on your own. The question has to be asked though – is the community made up of the right audience to help your blog and business grow? Only you can answer that.
- You don’t own the content, they do: This is a HUGE drawback for me (actually it’s bit if a deal breaker). You don’t own the content you’ve created and have no control over it. If Medium decide one day to shut down the entire site, then your content is gone. Just like that. If they decide to ban some of your blogs or delete all of them then there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. They can literally delete everything you’ve posted if they want to and if they do that how will you communicate with the audience you’ve built?
- Every post ends in medium.com: Google penalise websites that have too many dead pages ending in the same domain. That’s why they always encourage website owners delete old pages or update unused pages on their site – it helps the website rank higher. When you think about it Medium probably has thousands (if not millions) of pages all with the same domain and lots of them are out of date, stale and in need of a refresh. This will bring down the overall ranking of the domain which will potentially reduce the traffic to your blog. A slight contradiction to being SEO friendly as I’ve pointed out in the Pros section but definitely something you need to know.
- Lack of control of your call to action: The whole point of having a blog is to create content that will build an audience who will eventually buy from you. Medium may allow you to include a button that links to your website, but why should people click that button? It’s an extra step to take and one that will reduce your conversion because a lot of readers just won’t click through. There’s no incentive for them to take that extra step and there’s no option for you to include actions that will build your mailing list or promote your products or services.
- Medium is not effective for promoting your brand: This is another major drawback for me. When you have your own website, you can design and name it in a way that reflects you through and through – your logo, your colour schemes, a navigation that suits you and your audiences etc – but with Medium being owned by someone else you can’t do the same there. How will you and your brand standout on Medium? You can create the best content ever and still not have the impact on your readers on Medium the same way you can on your own website. This is something that will be a deciding factor on whether they’ll visit time and time again or not. How will they even remember you when your blog ends in medium.com and looks the same as every other blogger on the site?
- It has limited features: Your website has endless capabilities, especially if it’s on a platform like WordPress where there are millions of plugins to help you do basically anything you want. On Medium, however, you’re limited on what you can do in terms of functionality. When you set up a blog you need to think long-term for growth, so consider what features you’ll need when you’re making your decision.
So should you ditch your blog and publish to Medium?
Personally, I’d say no, for a few different reasons – the biggest being the lack of ownership and control over content. That’s something that’s a very big deal for me, but you might see this differently and that’s ok.
I can’t make the decision for you, but if you’re conflicted then why don’t you publish on both your website and Medium to experiment? You can either republish some content from your site or create content specifically for Medium.
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