Should I use Medium (exclusively) for my blog?

We get asked this question fairly often:  Should you use Medium.com to host and publish your blog, instead of a self-hosted blog using something like WordPress?

Our recommendation, short:   No

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use Medium.com as one channel to promote your content.  You certainly can, and we’ve seen this work well in some cases.

First, here are some practical reasons why we recommend hosting your own blog content on your site:

  • You own it. 3rd party social platforms like Medium.com can change their terms of service and how/where they use your content at any time. It’s best that your content assets which you own, live on your own site.
  • From an SEO standpoint, it’s better if your own site and domain is the one that ranks highly in Google, not a 3rd party site like Medium.  Content posted to Medium should link to your own site, in order to help your own site rank highly in search engines.
  • You can’t embed email opt-in forms if your content lives solely on Medium.
  • As part of our service, we create unique “Content Upgrade” bonus content, with email opt-ins where readers can join your email list.  We do this for every single blog post.  However, these email optins can’t be setup on Medium blogs.
  • The same goes for your global lead magnets / popups / slide-ups / landing pages, which may promote things like your email course, ebook, etc.  These can all be implemented on your own site and blog, but not on Medium.com.
  • There are a variety of WordPress plugins that we use and recommend, which, obviously, require WordPress in order to use.  Content Upgrades is one.  Yoast SEO plugin is another.

How we recommend using Medium

While we don’t recommend using Medium as the sole place to host and publish your blog content, it can be used as a place to syndicate (re-publish) your content after it has already published on your own site.  This gives it the potential to reach a wider audience through the Medium network, while still retaining the benefits of that content living on your own site (SEO benefits, email list-building benefits).

In order to avoid the “duplicate content” penalty (which can happen when the exact same content is published at 2+ different URLs), here are some best practices:

  • Re-publish your article to Medium at least 3 weeks after the original has published on your blog.  Google should have indexed the original by this point, and should pick up on the fact that your own site’s version came first.
  • At the very top and bottom of the article on Medium, write a sentence with a link that says “The original version of the article was published on the ___COMPANY___ company here” (link).  This link also gives Google, as well as readers, an easy signal of which version should be indexed as the original.
  • Wherever you had email opt-ins in the article, for example, embedded Content Upgrades, since these can’t be implemented on Medium, replace them with sentences that call attention to the email opt-in, but link the reader to the same article over on your own site, where they can opt-in for the bonus content.

Does Audience Ops work with Medium?

If you still choose to use Medium for your blog, instead of hosting it on your own site, then we can set up and publish your articles to your Medium account for you.  However, again, we wouldn’t be able to create and embed the Content Upgrade bonus content, since these can’t be implemented on the Medium platform.

We don’t manage republishing your blog articles from your main site to Medium, but you’re certainly welcome to do that using the best practices outlined above.