COVID-19 Long form writing on Medium

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant disruption in all areas of business and life. To help you to find some order in the chaos and adjust to new ways of doing and being, Doctor Digital has put together a series of COVID-19 blogs with tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for how digital and e-commerce tools can support you and your business.

Doctor Digital Says

Medium is a long form blogging platform which has carved out a space to connect people who want to write longer form pieces, and an audience of readers who are tired of soundbites and clickbait and want to read and think more deeply. If you like to write, it is a perfect channel during COVID19 when people are at home and looking for entertainment at their fingertips.

One of the biggest benefits of blogging on Medium versus other blog platforms is that Medium has a built-in distribution channel reaching 86 million active monthly users. (I’m not saying your website doesn’t, but ...) Medium’s active daily audience is a sizable additional channel that you can use to easily distribute content. But who is reading on Medium? Medium’s business readership skews towards certain categories: Technology, Design, Marketing, Life Learning/Wellness, Business, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Culture, Politics. This is a pretty broad spread and leans towards a more educated, affluent, curious demographic set.

What Medium also has that your blog may not is what is known as a high ‘Domain Authority’ (DA). DA is a 0–100 statistical measure of a website’s reputation. Domain Authority is a significant factor in how a website will rank in search engines and Medium has a 93 Domain Authority (DA) according to internet search results authority Moz.

Because of Medium’s high DA, you have an increased likelihood of getting traffic to your content. All things being equal, the same content has a higher likelihood of ranking on Medium than on your own domain which is likely to have a substantially lower DA — especially when you’re just getting started. When you backlink from Medium to your primary domain, these high-DA links also add SEO value to your primary domain. To break that down, you write a blog, post it on Medium, and then link it from Medium to your website and ideally to LinkedIn – hey presto, you are reaping the backlinks and also pushing up your own DA with a halo effect. Everyone is winning right now. Just to be clear, you aren’t posting the same content twice, you are making a link directly to the Medium post, as double posting will bring down your website ranking for duplicate content.

Publishing on Medium maximizes your chances of virality because, as a publication, Medium is incentivised to highlight the best performing content to readers again and again. Being a top-performing post on Medium is like being a category bestseller for Amazon. Where a search engine like Google optimises for keyword relevancy, publishers (and eCommerce) optimise for top performing articles. The more your content is consumed on Medium, the more you will be rewarded with being featured by the platform.

Medium has other benefits for a business blogger: if you host and maintain your own business blog, you have the responsibility for optimizing for search from a technical perspective. For a regular blog, this can be an arduous job. When you publish on Medium, you don’t have to fuss with technical SEO considerations such as sitemaps, load time, CSS issues, browser and screen compatibility, broken links and images. Medium will enable you to you scale your business blog indefinitely without getting too technical.

Medium has also looked after the UX (user experience) and UI (user interface), load speeds, and mobile optimisation on all devices, which means when folks land on your blog, they are not going to be turned off by poor interface. Your job is simply to make sure you have brilliant and compelling content.

Medium as a platform allows a community to develop in a quasi-social media way, as a reader can follow writers and their businesses, and make comments and notes for the author, highlight passages and celebrate with ‘claps’. Claps are Medium’s reward system and show that a reader has enjoyed the article enough to give the writer some applause - which also earns actual money for the author. This level of connectivity feels expansive and your brand is part of that network effect.

The downsides to Medium are that your blog content is not on your website, and the comments and community interactions aren't either. However, this circles back to the early days of the internet and blogging where the rule of thumb was to have your blog separated out from your website. There were lots of reasons for that at the time, and as the internet evolved many made the switch to bring their blog in close to where the transactions happened. But for businesses that have a strong attachment to writing and communicating, Medium is a useful and agile tool. This is especially true if you are a freelance writer or blogger or you are looking to pivot into new audiences while COVID19 is wreaking havoc on the economy, Medium is a swift way to jump back into business.

Of course, you want to make sure you have clear links to your brand and business, and the pages they link back to are optimised for the arrival of all your new customers. It wouldn’t be a Doctor Digital blog post if I didn’t remind you that any consideration of whether Medium is the right medium for you needs to be directly linked to your marketing and digital strategy, who you are selling to, how and why. If blogging features in your strategy, Medium is definitely worth a look.

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