Should we move our business blog over to Medium?

When Medium debuted, some businesses made a big deal of moving their blogs over to Medium and posting content there exclusively. They did this mainly because Medium gets so much more traffic, and therefore your blog posts get a lot more exposure there.

So you might be wondering: should I move my blog over to Medium?

First, some background.

Medium is a shared blogging platform, created by the founders of Twitter, with over 72 million visitors per month and a mission to surface "content that matters to you." To that end it is a highly social platform, designed for sharing and engaging with content, engagement (how long someone spends reading your post) being the chief metric.

For business owners on Medium, however, the most important metric isn't engagement but exposure. Medium is a destination site on the internet. Much like Twitter and LinkedIn, people go there to discover and share content. Unless you have an extremely popular blog, a huge social following or big email list, your posts on Medium are far more likely to get found, read and shared on Medium than posts on your own blog.

Unlike Linkedin and Twitter, however, Medium is not a place you go to simply share links that lead back to the original post you host on your own blog. To post to Medium you have to create your content on Medium. That's right: Medium wants ALL of you.

This conundrum over whether to "double post" (post on both your blog and on Medium) is what prompted a lot of companies to abandon their blogs and publish exclusively on Medium. 

I don't think this is a good strategy.

Medium is a great way to offer thought pieces ("why we decided to do this with our company") to get exposure for your products and ideas. You should absolutely use it to create content that positions you as thought leader in your industry. But blogging exclusively on Medium only makes sense if your target audience, or some portion of it, is on Medium. 

Who is on Medium? As Henry Wismayer pointed out in his post about what he deems the "Medium Triumverate," it's people who are interested in:

  • Tech
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Life hacking

Of course that's not a scientific poll, but it's pretty accurate in my experience. The content that does well on Medium is content created for people interested in design, tech, and lifestyle pieces. If that's not your audience, you should probably continue to post content on your own blog.

And there are some other major reasons you want to continue to create content on your own blog.

Blogging on your own website, when done strategically, increases traffic to your website.

Adding new content to your website frequently helps boost your site's overall search rankings. Blogging in an attempt to rank for certain keywords, in particular "long tail" keywords, helps you rank for those particular search terms in order to increase search traffic to your website.

Blogging on your own website establishes credibility with the folks who found your website through other means.

When someone finds your website from a recommendation or social link and may be considering hiring you, they're looking for validation that you, for example, update your product frequently, can answer customer questions, or have expertise on the products and services you're selling. A blog helps establish this credibility. And while that can happen on Medium, once you send your potential customer to Medium to read your blog, you've lost control over the user experience. In general, you don't want to send a potential customer away from your site if you have yet to close the deal.

Remember MySpace blogs? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Imagine if you had decided to blog exclusively on MySpace when MySpace blogs were a thing. Nothing lasts forever on the web, but the decision to archive or delete your content should be yours, not the company whose platform you're using. By keeping your blog on your own website you own the content and its destiny forever.

How I use both Medium and my business blog together

I'm going to use myself as an example. When I post to Medium, I post pieces that are not written or hosted anywhere else and that talk about my process building a business. I do this because I like to write about this stuff, and also to gain exposure for what I do. I don't assume this will lead to direct sales of my services.

I post content to the Small Craft Advisory blog that validates my expertise on topics my target audience, small business owners, have questions about. This helps people in the process of making a decision to hire me. As an added bonus, posting content to my website affects my Google rankings and can help me rank for certain search terms, which are the topics of my blog posts. This boosts overall traffic to my website from people searching for the answers to questions I'm an expert on, like whether to post on your business blog or Medium.

See what I did there?