Can Medium Replace My Blog?

September 27, 2015
Medium is not the best blogging platform

You have to put the work into building your own blog if you want to build a successful content marketing effort.


Why Shouldn’t I Use Medium?

I’ve seen this question a bunch on the forums. Small companies running lean teams are wondering if they can use Medium.com in place of hosting their own blog.


The short answer is, no. The full answer is that while Medium is a bad option as your only content platform it can be used as an additional content distribution platform once you have your main blog up and running.


Medium.com is an appealing alternative to setting up and maintaining your own blog for a few reasons:



  • It’s free
  • It’s easy to figure out
  • It’s well designed and looks hip
  • It’s got an established readership
  • It’s got commenting and sharing features which can help with amplification

For a small team which is maxing out it’s resources running your own blog can be a pain. You have to set up software (most likely WordPress), you have to design it, and if you are also running an app you have to match your theme to the look and feel of your application which can not only be expensive but also time consuming. However, unless you are just running your business for fun you need to be posting content on your own domain.


The Most Important Reason

Blogging exclusively on Medium might mean less up front effort but here is the most important reason to host your own blog:


If you host your content on your domain you can get the most value from your work by maximizing it’s potential to send you customers via organic search traffic. If you replace your blog with Medium (or any third party blogging platform) for your content you will not get that extra value.


And if you are running a lean team you can’t afford not to get that extra marketing value.


When Should I Use Medium?

OK, I’ve convinced you not to use Medium as your main blog but you have decided to re-post some of your content to Medium. Good. Here are the best tips and advice for success.


Are there any additional SEO benefits?


Not really. Medium links are “nofollow” so they don’t act as an indicator to Google that your site is important. Google will index your Medium articles and that might help you with name recognition but those results will not help your rankings for specific keywords.


Does Medium support rel=”canonical”?


No. Because you can’t set this tag on Medium you will need to post to your blog first using the element in the of your html, then post to Medium. That way Google will be able to tell that your hosted page is the original, definitive content.


How long should I wait to repost?


Generally marketers wait 3-5 days to repost content to Medium.com. Publish your post to your blog first and then repost to Medium.


Will I get a duplicate content penalty?


Not likely. To be sure though you should use the rel=”canonical” tag mentioned above and wait 3-5 days after you post on your domain to repost to Medium. Last, be sure to include a link back to the original post at the top or bottom of your Medium post.


Should I post just a portion or the whole post?


Neil Patel points out that posting more than just the first paragraph of a piece might get you a Google penalty. If you are going to repost you should just use the first paragraph of your post and then provide a link back to your original post.


Should I repost everything to Medium?


The most effective use of Medium is to have a defined voice on the platform. A voice which can speak well for your company. Because of that it’s best to find a specific area that your blog content focuses on and make Medium your platform for that topic. Make sure that people know where you are coming from. Reposting all of your content will have less effect than having a focused, recognizable voice.


Will Medium posts rank above my own on Google?


Probably not. If your own domain is new or if it does not yet have much authority a Medium post may rank above your post. This seems to be fairly rare however and even then only temporarily.


Can I use Medium links for promotion?


Yes. In fact, as Ryan Battle points out, using Medium links on forums can be an effective way to leave links to your content without seeming spammy .


Conclusion

If you are running a scrappy marketing team it is tempting to use Medium as your only blog but if you are serious about your business that is not a good strategy. The platform does make a good additional distribution option for your content if you follow the tips above.

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