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Medium has a community with some baked it recommendations. It lets an audience subscribe. Links can be measured on any platform, whether to subscribe to a mailing list or to your main site. You'll spend no time managing your blog besides the content. But you lose control. Lots of tools for wordpress won't work. You don't control the brand or domain. Has anyone done any work here to study this? Anyone with experience on making the move? For context, I have a few sites now, in decreasing order of activity: http://blog.yesgraph.com/ (WPEngine) http://blog.kirigin.com/ (Svbtle) https://medium.com/@ikirigin (Medium)

  • PM

    Phill Moorman

    over 2 years ago #

    Hey Ivan,

    I haven't worked directly with a Medium blog before, but I have had many clients (startups to large corporations) that moved their blogs to third party platforms - they almost always regretted the move.

    Here's why:

    1) They lost all of their SEO value, more specifically, they lost their keyword rankings and the value from the links they built. Overall it led to reduced organic visibility.

    2) Traffic and conversions coming from the blog dropped. It's hard enough to grow conversions, why make your users jump through an additional hoop?

    3) It became more of a hassle than they expected, especially when trying to analyze user data to determine what content was working and what wasn't to drive customers through their site or when making design/layout updates.

    I know SEO isn't the only thing to think about when moving a blog, but it can be a pretty big factor especially when your competitors are doing it right.

    I think the positives of keeping a blog on your main domain far outweigh the benefits / ease of use of using a third party platform. Additionally a blog should be more than just a place to post content, it should be used as a tool to build up your community and if you're driving your followers to a third party's site you're creating a barrier between your brand and your audience (even if you can customize Medium).

    With that said Medium can be a great way to promote and distribute your content due to its already established community and sharing features, but your original content should be featured on your main domain if you want to reap the full benefits.

    I hope this helps!

    • PA

      Pulkit Agrawal

      over 1 year ago #

      May not need to be an either or question: maintain your own blog to keep the benefits of SEO and control (e.g. email capture) but also syndicate / repost to Medium to take advantage of the inbuilt distribution.

      • DH

        Derrick Hicks

        7 months ago #

        Totally agree, Pulkit. I have been uploading my blog posts to Medium as another form of amplification. When you "upload" on Medium, they even use a cross-domain canonical URL and basically tell search engines where the "original" content can be found.

        The right answer here, in my opinion, is to do both. Keep building your company blog and leverage Medium as another social amplification platform. :-)

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    about 2 years ago #

    Hey @ivankirigin

    I'm going to run counter to all of this advice and say, you should strongly consider it.

    Here's why: built in distribution, right audience for YesGraph.

    1) The recommendation system, when triggered, kicks off a litany of emails and in-app notifications that can drive a ton of traffic. Getting your article more distribution than just posting it on your company site. Plus, if it gets added to collections, well, then you get even more notifications triggered.

    With the right post, you can create a waterfall of reach, awareness and readership across a highly relevant audience type for your business, specifically.

    2) The audience - tech forward, startup types, marketing types, thought leader types, VCs, entrepreneurs, etc. These are the right readers for your content.

    A few other random thoughts:

    Based on what I know, what you're building probably has a low active search audience. How many monthly searches are there for what YesGraph does? So to me, SEO is going to be of limited value. It's not going to be the thing that is your growth channel. Also, if you're going to do SEO, it's not going to be through blog posts. It's going to be something better and more successful.

    You are a thought leader. Your experience makes you a thought leader and a true expert in what you do. Medium will simply amplify your expertise, because with a built in audience to distribute your content right away you can easily trigger the recommendation thresholds, etc. to drive the notifications that generate readership.

    The lack of functionality in Medium can be overcome by driving people to landing pages, offering off-Medium additional content and more to capture contact information, etc.

    Hope this helps.

    • IK

      Ivan Kirigin

      about 2 years ago #

      This is an awesome contrarian perspective! We have some things in the works for content in January and I'll run an experiment or two there.

  • MF

    Michael Frank

    over 2 years ago #

    In most situations, NO - maintain a blog on your own domain, not medium.

    You already understand the main cons.

    1) You want the SEO benefit of having the original content on your own domain
    2) You can instrument your own blog so you can grab links or funnel traffic in a certain direction in a way you can't do on medium

    Having said that, if you think you're going to be creating lots of content that is relevant in the moment but not evergreen, using medium or linkedin or huffington post or forbes or wherever you can get the most distribution to your target audience makes sense as initial distribution may be more important than seo value / lead conversion.

    [I've worked with a few clients to study the risk / reward of content strategies that focus on publishing content on other platforms vs. your own blog and again, it really depends on the content and goals]

    In general though, maintain your main blog on your own domain. SEO and domain rank matters a lot to many businesses and you are taking on a lot of new platform risk by tying yourself to medium.

    [Imagine for example that you decided a few years ago that you were going to post most of your content primarily on your facebook page because you were seeing good engagement only to see the reach of your page cut dramatically a year later as the newsfeed algorithm changed]

  • DC

    Derek Cheng

    about 2 years ago #

    It really depends on your goals.

    If you're a corporation, it seems like you really need to maintain your own blog for the very reasons everyone has stated (SEO, control, legacy, etc.). I would also add that you can load your remarketing/retargeting ad tags on your blog as well.

    However, if you're an individual (consultant, etc.), and you're looking to build up a reputation, it's harder for people to find your site and Medium as well as LinkedIn Pulse become part of that. I would also add that if you're looking to really get interaction with your content, these networks are better for that. Both also provide the ability to embed links (back to your blog perhaps) within the content.

    A blog is a destination. Medium and Pulse are conversations.

  • MM

    Michael Malo

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Ivan,

    I'm by no means an expert on this topic but I've been wrestling with the same question for a little while and this is what's come out of my pondering/searching. Quincy makes some good points here: "We just abandoned our blog for Medium. You probably should, too" https://medium.freecodecamp.com/we-just-abandoned-our-blog-for-medium-you-probably-should-too-33e742a1d49#.58outy55t. He says he gets way more traffic to his articles there than on his own blog. Which is the goal right. But the interesting thing here is I think that approach is good for his and similar situations but not all. By finding his posts (as I did on medium, and which are very good) I inevitably found out about his product Free Code Camp. Which was his goal. I think the same might work for Yesgraph. Something you might find interesting is that medium does allow custom domain names now.

    The other side of this is that I don't think it would work for a blog-as-a-business to be completely and only on medium. For the exact reasons of not owning your audience. Granted Medium has introduced things like Letters. But its just not the same, and in terms of longevity I feel like it's best to be in control of things as you never know what might happen with a platform in the future. But Quincy makes another great point that it takes a lot of caring for people to go to your blog and then share something from it. Whereas on Medium you might be easier to find and easier to share, by simply clicking the heart.

    Again, I'm no expert here or done any serious quantitative research. But as a reader, I don't think I'd like the blogs I follow to be *only* on medium. I think it would become too "cluttered". On a blog that you control you can break things down by category, or however else you want. you have that control. Like how Groove and Buffer have different blogs for different topics. On Medium if I'm not mistaken it's just one stream. So if I'm following your medium profile, I'll see everything and maybe I'm only interested in some of it and that lowers your value in my eyes. But if you were to do both, like some have mentioned here, I personally think that's the best approach. subjectively of course.

    Your goal as SAAS is, of course, to get discovered. A reader only needs to see a single article fo yours to essentially find out you exist, then maybe check our your product and decide if they need it or not. Medium rewards quality over quantity, so I would just post to medium some of your best writings and not your entire blog. Once people discover you, if they really want to read everything they can go to your blog. I dont really see the benefits of going for quantity on medium. I see it as an amazing tool for businesses to get content out, and an amazing tool to find great content. But I still see a place for dedicated self hosted blogs.

    I think a great comparison for Medium is Instagram. Very similar if you think about it. Built for sharing, following, recommending/liking. Built for real conversations on each piece (unlike twitter I find). So I start thinking how people have used instagram and then imagine what that would look like on Medium. Its great because Instagram has been around longer so we can sort of port the lessons over. One thing that has certainly been learned is that instagram is a great place to build an audience as many people have and then they found ways to monetize that audience by sending them elsewhere like a blog with their cookbook. Similar strategies I think would work for Medium.

  • DP

    Deepak Pradeep

    over 1 year ago #

    I think most of the concerns on this post have been answered by Medium in the following link:

    https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/217991468

    In summary, if you use Medium in conjunction with an existing blog, Medium helps boost SEO using cross-domain canonical links. Web-masters and content authors need to apparently use the official plugins provided by Medium to make sure this works though.

    • JL

      Jon Leland

      8 months ago #

      I agree with this. Why not post in both places? On Medium AND on your blog by using the technique detailed in the link above. Best of both worlds!

  • YK

    yael kochman

    about 1 year ago #

    Medium now let's you connect your own domain to the blog. Does that solve the SEO issue?

  • EM

    Elle Morgan

    7 months ago #

    I'd also be curious to learn how you manage the inability to leverage comprehensive blog post tracking through the rest of your marketing analysis. For example, on Medium I'm unable to see which blog posts were read by which user/customer and their subsequent actions.

  • DG

    Douglas Goddard

    over 2 years ago #

    I'm getting close to setting up a blog right now and I'm considering testing out Medium first. Its potential in reach is what is interesting to me. If I start a company blog I will be starting from zero followers, the chance of getting featured on Medium is really enticing.

    Both is probably the right answer though. Know what content succeeds on Medium, know what content is fit for a company blog.

  • SR

    Susan Rawlings

    over 2 years ago #

    Not yet. It's got potential, but for now, sticking with Wordpress.

  • DD

    Deandre Durr

    over 2 years ago #

    You don't have to move your blog to medium.

    Medium is a social network of blogs. It helps spread your message.

    Just like when you take pictures with your phone. You don't upload them to Instagram, then delete them.

    You can repurpose your posts from your blog to Medium. While still maintaining your own brand equity:-)

  • RG

    Rachel Go

    about 2 years ago #

    Hi Ivan,

    Personally I wouldn't just because there's limited functionality. For example, we have an email newsletter signup form right at the bottom of many of our blog posts, whereas in Medium I believe the best you can do is link to the form. Little things like that, which add an extra step for viewers to take the action item you want them to, make a lot of difference.

    Getting traffic to your website via your blog is also valuable for SEO. It keeps your viewers, especially the people who purposefully visit your blog, in your domain.

    There is also a danger in interacting with your viewer's on someone else's platform. What if Medium suddenly changes their rules, or inexplicably shuts down? You're working hard to build relationships and add value with your customers, and that effort could all disappear at Medium's whim (not that I think they would ever do this).

    However, that being said, Medium is an excellent way to share stories and their platform is amazing. It's easy to post, edit and format, it's easy to share, and their digests are always interesting. I wouldn't move my entire blog over there, but I've posted a few things exclusively to Medium because I thought the content would do better there.

  • AM

    Ana Maria Dârstaru

    about 2 years ago #

    The short answer to this question would be "No".

    I personally can't think of a reason why anyone would want to do that. A company blog and Medium are two entirely different things, and they both serve different purposes.

    Having an active blog, publishing regular quality content is going to help you with SEO, and it will also attract more visitors, which you can then turn into prospects, leads, and ultimately customers.

    In my opinion, I think it would be a good idea to use Medium as a complementary tool that is going to help you reach your goals.

    For example, Medium is really great is you want to share a personal story, or if you want to talk about a particular experience.

    It has become extremely popular for entrepreneurs, but not solely to share their thoughts on this platform. While it's good for exposure, and raising awareness, it definitely cannot replace having a blog on your company's blog.

  • IC

    Ian Chandler

    over 1 year ago #

    I agree with most of the other commenters––I wouldn't move my blog to Medium. Medium and similar platforms are great, and they do provide good value for sharing. I'm fond of LinkedIn Pulse. I'll share older posts on there and get traffic almost immediately.

    It think that blogging platforms should be used by employees, but they're not a good place for a company blog.

  • EG

    Eleanor Goold

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Ivan,

    I would not move my blog to Medium for all the reasons already mentioned above, but I would (and do) post on Medium. In fact there is a Wordpress plugin for Medium that duplicates your blog post onto Medium (and without a Google penalty for duplicate content...or so I am lead to believe).

    Don't pitch your tent on somebody else's land, unless you are camping short term :-)

  • KE

    Kevin Espiritu

    7 months ago #

    Flat-out bad idea in almost all cases. You are trading somewhat increased reach at the start of your blog's life for drastically reduced control. In the long term, that trade-off only gets more lopsided.

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