Over on The Writing Cooperative, a blog hosted on Medium, Anna Sabino writes about 7 Benefits of Writing on Medium over Having Your Own Blog.
In this post, Ms Sabino articulates 7 reasons why posting to Medium have worked for her. I suggest that she is missing an important opportunity—to write first on her own blog, with the post syndicated to Medium, and then on to the group blogs such as The Writing Cooperative.
I’d like to take a look at Ms Sabino’s seven points, and add some thoughts to back up my perspective. My thoughts in italics follow Ms Sabino’s comments in bold.
- It’s faster to build a sticky traffic on Medium. The sticky traffic likely comes through the journals (group blogs) on which the original post is being shared, and would be the same with content created on a self-hosted site and syndicated to Medium.
- It’s motivating when you see your posts are being read. Undoubtedly true. But having your posts syndicated from your own site out to Medium and potential other places is going to multiply that same effect by taking your content to more audiences, not just the audience that reads Medium.
- All the blogs are in one place. I don’t know the stats on how many blogs Medium hosts, and what percentage of the overall number of blogs that comprises. I’d hazzard a guess that it is much less than ‘all’ the blogs, and likely in the single digits.
- Medium interface is very clean and pleasing to the eye. And pretty much identical to every other blog on Medium, and you are subject to the possibly changing tides of Medium’s design aesthetic. As John Gruber notes “every Medium site displays an on-screen ‘sharing’ bar that covers the actual content”..
- The exposure on Medium, which gets over 30 million visitors a month is huge. Basically the same as point 2.
- Medium shows up high in google searches. Yes, and if the syndicated post on Medium links back to your original post, the search engines will find the originalbl post even more quickly. Both copies of the post will be discoverable by readers, not just those that read Medium.
- You can start a blog on Medium instantaneously. As can be done with a Wordpress blog and in the near future a Micro.blog. Self-hosted Wordpress blogs can easily be setup on a range of hosts.
I quite like Medium, and regularly read posts on it. It is in fact how I came to find Ms Sabino’s post. I syndicate many of my posts there. It is a decent source of readership, and to be honest I should submit more articles to journals.
Medium, however, has the inherent problem of being someone else’s playground. They might pack up their toys and go away, taking our content with them. Or they might start putting our content behind a firewall, reducing potential readership. They may even monetise our content without sharing that with us.
Because it is, ulitimately, their platform.
The problem is the same with any other environment that you don’t own (yes, that would include Wordpress.com and others).
I personally prefer to maintain my own blog, which is a Wordpress blog hosted on independent servers. This blog then syndicates to a couple of places. This is the spirit of POSSE – Post to Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.
Most long-form posts are syndicated in full to Medium and Tumblr, with the titles of these long-form posts sydicated to Micro.blog and Twitter. Micro-posts just go to Micro.blog and Twitter.
I might (re) add Facebook and/or LinkedIn syndication at some point. These would actually be the biggest multiplier of readership. But I prefer quality over quantity, and the quality of commentary from Micro.blog readers, in particular, is outstanding, while there is a lot of noise from Facebook and LinkedIn (in my experience).
I don’t discount the effectiveness and importance of Medium. I would just advocate owning your content and syndicating to various platforms as being a far more resilient approach.
- Ms Sabino herself acknowledges that contributing to The Mission and The Writing Collective are the source of the immediate exposure. ↩
- I treat all my (original) Tweets (i.e. not replies to other Tweets) as micro.posts, which start in Micro.blog and are syndicated to Twitter. If Twitter goes away I still have my original content. At least from when I started doing this. I wish I had downloaded a copy of all my app.net posts… ↩