When you only start your writing career, there are numerous options to choose from. One can start a blog, set up a personal website, or choose to post on third-party platforms. Every option has its pros and cons. Medium is a website that tracks a lot of attention and is often recommended. But is Medium worth it? How to publish on Medium? Let’s discuss its pros and cons for beginner writers.
What is Medium and how writers can use it?
First of all, I want to give you a general idea of what is this platform like. It is an open website for all types of writers. One can voice out their opinions, publish fiction pieces, start a personal blog, etc. It is a website that started in 2012 and has gained quite a following by now. Nowadays it has about 170 million readers and more than 100,000 writers. The great advantage is that anyone can contribute to Medium – a newly starting blogger or Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
It is a user-friendly and easy to navigate website that offers stories (that’s how they call all texts) on any type of topic. So you do not really need to care about how to come up with content ideas. And another great plus, like with LinkedIn for freelance writers, is that it is a community. Readers can follow authors, leave comments, or clap (an equivalent of like) the content. Overall, it is a decent place for people to learn something exciting and for writers to get more exposure.
Pros of Medium for Writers
One might ask themselves “Should I write on Medium or is it better to start my own blog?” It is a valid question only you’ll answer. But to make your choice more educated, let’s start with the benefits of this platform:
- It is very easy to start with. You can focus on writing and not worry about any technical details or issues that hosting your website might bring. The website is extremely easy to use and there is no learning curve. All the technical details are taken care of by the platform.
- It might be more helpful to grow your blog. Medium for writers is a community. If you start your website, you are pretty much on your own when it comes to promotion and gaining an audience. But Medium has a curation option that can bring your text to the top and help to gain the audience.
- The website has a Partner Program that allows writers to earn some money. Publishing on Medium will probably not be your full-time writing job as payments are impossible to predict and can vary from almost zero to thousands per article. It all depends on the users’ claps and their behavior. It is a bit tricky. So a user pays $5 per month or $50 per year. So if a user claps your article it doesn’t mean that you get $1 for it. If this user clapped 5 articles, each of them will get $1, if he clapped 10 – each will get $0.50. You’ll get $5 only if the user clapped exclusively this text.
- You do not have to worry about SEO, as the platform even forms meta title and description for you. Although a writer can change them manually. But if you do not want to get into SEO details just now, you’ll still get exposure as there are millions of users.
- No extra expenses. You won’t need to spend dollars and dollars for things that you never even thought of before. Because the truth is it’s quite expensive to run a personal blog, especially the first stage.
These benefits might be the answer to the question of why publish on Medium, but let’s look at the downsides now.
Cons of Medium for Writers
Before you start worrying about how to get published on Medium, have a closer look at the cons of this platform for authors:
- You do now own your content. It is a third-party host that can just shut down one day and all your content will be lost. You are not in charge of it and although it hasn’t happened before, it doesn’t mean their policies won’t change it in the future. Look at how platforms like YouTube or Twitter suspend accounts or delete posts and you’ll get an idea of what might happen.
- The simplicity of the design means that there are much fewer options. If you start a WordPress blog, you’ll have more creative space and options to design your blog and add extra spice to it. But not with Medium. Its simplicity might be good for some, but it also means that it is quite plain.
- The tracking that your content gains go to the website but not you personally. And it is much harder to get a high ranking on Google with this domain. The ranking includes the average quality of papers for a website. And Medium hosts thousands of pages done by other people. It means that even if your content is SEO-friendly and quite helpful, the ranking will still be downsized by other people’s work.
- Curation is a good feature in theory. It means that Medium editors decide to promote your content. If they are positive, it can gain a lot of readers and even be included in the email newsletter. But it is not easy to get curated. And not all of your content will get this attention. And if it is not curated then the text can be seen only by people that are subscribed directly to you on the website. Or it can be seen in the search results for a specific topic. It means that beginner writers have less chance of gaining the following or exposure.
- Other downsides for more advanced writers include no A/B testing option, no opportunity for tracking pixels, or any custom code. There is also no control over recommendations that pop up around your content.
To Sum Up
I’d say that Medium can be a good plan B option for starting writers. It allows reposting content from your blog or website, which will give you all benefits but still attract customers to your personal brand.
You can also publish content on Medium that is not suitable for your main blog. It is not very sustainable money-wise to publish only on Medium, but it can be used for exposure and brand awareness. So it is a decent platform for authors, but do not make it your main one.
So it’s completely up to you to decide whether you want to use Medium.com as a writer or your personal blog to post your articles.
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