Doctor D, I blog a bit for my business, should I keep in on my website, what about this Medium platform, is it any good?
Doctor Digital Says
Back in 2016, I wrote about a new blogging platform called Medium that was beginning to get some traction by bringing back longform writing. In a world of soundbites and short character limits, it had been widely thought that the longform was a dinosaur, and there was an element of surprise that anyone would dedicate a channel to it. Fast forward to today, and Medium is a mature and stable platform that has well and truly found its niche audience. In 2020, it has some unexpectedly strong elements for business users, and if you have a love of writing in more than 280 characters, then this may well be the blogging platform for your business.
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…) 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 search authority Moz.
Because of Medium’s high DA, you have a higher 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 incentivized to highlight the best performing content to readers again and again. Being a top performing post for a keyword on Medium is like being a category bestseller for Amazon. It is advantageous for a publication to have exposure for top performing content in a way that is different than search engines. Search engines optimize for relevancy. Publishers (and eCommerce) optimize for top performers. 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, you can scale your business blog indefinitely without getting too technical. Medium has also looked after the UX and UI, 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 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 you can comment, make notes for the author, highlight passages and celebrate with ‘claps’ which also earn actual money for the author. This level of connectivity feels expansive and your brand is part of that network effect.
The downsides to Medium is that your blog content is not on your website, and the comments and community interaction isn’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 for the switch for many to bringing their blog in close where the transactions happen, but for businesses that have a strong attachment to writing and communicating, Medium is a useful and agile tool.
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, but if blogging features in your strategy, Medium is definitely worth a look.