Lately, it seems to me that Medium’s (a.k.a. medium.com) popularity has been exploding, that is in terms of popularity with the writers and viewers. Which leads to the question, as a writer, should you blog on Medium or not?
What is Medium?
For those of you who don’t know, or haven’t made any searches about anything on the Internet in the past year or two, you probably haven’t heard of Medium?
So… You’re probably wondering what is this Medium platform you keep hearing about? And if you should be writing for it, as opposed to your personal blog?
Well, for a more formal description of Medium by WikiPedia, they depict the platform as an “online publishing platform”. Which I guess only partially describes the full-extent of what Medium has to offer.
If I were to explain Medium in my own terms, informally I mean, Medium is just another content site that anyone, professional or amateur, can contribute to.
Should you Blog on Medium?
Before I even begin talking about whether or not you should be using your own blog or Medium, I recommend that you should first seriously re-consider what your goals of writing are. This will seriously help you apply the following information to your current circumstances.
Anyways, let’s go ahead and start discussing if Medium is the right platform for you or not.
The most influential factor when choosing between using Medium or your own blogging platform, is the time your willing to commit to the process of writing and maintaining the platform! After all, time is our the only truly unrenewable resource.
Luckily, Medium is a fully mature-platform for writing, which means that you will have to do literally next-to-nothing to make sure the platform is operating at its maximum efficiency, it’s fully-functional, with the fastest load times.
Furthermore, this means that you will not have to worry about the maintenance required to keep the platform up, as Medium has dozens of employees that are constantly monitoring it. With this in mind, if you were running your own blogging platform you would be responsible for making sure that the site is running smoothly, correctly, etc…
Medium vs. Personal Blog in Time
The clear winner to this category (time) is Medium, because it will require tens-to-hundreds of less hours of work.
Note: Depending on the hosting you use for your blog, you will experience different amounts of work required to maintain the platform.
Next up, we have the money required for blogging on each platform! While money-required to blog should not be viewed as a turn-off factor for not blogging, it should still be considered before you commit.
Medium makes this nice and simple for it’s users, as posting to the platform is completely free for everyone. Something even better though, is that Medium will even allow you to earn money off of their platform, without you having to pay a dime to do so.
It’s slightly more complicated when it comes to the money necessary to operate your own platform — as there are many different solutions to running your blog. So, in order to keep this simple, running your own blog is going to cost some money, but not that much.
Personally, I pay around $15 per year to run my blog, which isn’t too shabby if you ask me, but, your mileage will vary.
Another factor to take into account, is the potential revenues you can earn from each, and the ways of earning it.
As of September 2019, Medium has only one method for it’s writers to earn money, and that is from the “applause” button. What they or I mean by mentioning “applauses” or “claps”, is that paid-members (people who pay the $5/month fee) who click the said button, will contribute a portion of that $5 to that particular writer they “applauded” for.
Furthermore, the variation of earning money off of the Medium platform is definitely a little more restricted, as opposed to running your own gig.
Setting this aside, writers can still earn some serious money off of the platform, with some of the best writers earning upwards of $5000 on a single post.
While the Medium platform is a bit restricted in terms of variation in revenue earnings, a personal blog is completely un-locked and is up to you to decide where your income flows from.
Moreover, on your personal blog you can unrestrictedly earn money off of using any of the following: advertisements, pay-walls, affiliate marketing, and more… Without anyone telling what you can and cannot due.
This allows writers to cater more towards what their unique user-base wants, in contrast to just generalizing one source of income for everybody, and hoping that everybody is happy with it.
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Marketing is a key factor when it comes to your writing ✍️ . How can you get your content out to the most people, with the minimum amount of work.
Using Medium as your platform of choice would allow you to worry less about marketing, and more about your writing. This is because Medium will automatically dispense your content to readers they think will be interested in your content, which is a huge help!
Marketing your own posts on your own blog will probably be one of the most difficult things you have to do for your platform. This is because your site will start off with a low domain authority, which means that your posts will often not show up in search engines, because your domain doesn’t have a very strong online presence.
After some time of consistent, high quality-writing, your blog will soon gain more authority, and you will begin showing up in search engines. But first, you will need to make sure your blog is correctly optimized for competiting.
If you’re interested in learning how to do so, I recommend opening Google and just searching something about: “How to do SEO”
I’m not sure if “Writer’s Security” is a real term or not, but what I mean by this, is basically the job security of your writing.
Since writers don’t own the Medium platform, this means that your account can be legally suspended or deleted by Medium admins if they feel like doing-so.
Now, of course they probably wouldn’t delete your account without good reason, you’re still leaving it up to their digression.
If you’re using your own platform, the job security of your writing will be a whole lot more secure, because nobody can just decide that your account is in violation, and needs to be deleted.
Furthermore, this means that you’re your own boss, employee, and admin.
Building a brand
Lastly, building a brand is one of the most-motivating factors when it comes to blogging.
What I mean by building a brand is that, you’re building a community where your readers can depend on your posts, and look-forward to reading them.
If you’re trying to build a brand on Medium, then you’re going to have to realize that you will be competition with potentially tens-of-thousands of other writers who are also trying to build a brand on the platform. Moreover, you will have to write consistent high-quality content, in order for people to even consider following you on the platform.
And even once you do build a following on Medium, you still won’t own that following — Medium will.
Personal Platform Blog*
While building a brand on your own platform will be equally as hard, if not harder than on Medium… But, at least you will own that following you built, not some middleman, as you’re in charge of the platform.
Using multiple platforms?
While the purpose of this post was to provide useful information for helping writers to decide between which platform to use, there is another alternative solution if you’re still stuck deciding like I was when I first discovered Medium.
The alternative solution, is that Medium will actually allow you to cross-post your content… Which means that you can post to both your blog and to Medium concurrently. This seems ideal to most writers, because you’ll be getting the both of best worlds. Which is technically right, but just keep in mind that your blog and Medium are both competitors to each other, meaning that will be competing in search engines for better positions in rankings.