Medium Vs Personal Blog Website - Which is best for blogging?
It's great to see most businesses & individuals warming up to the idea of content marketing. Finally. However, where to publish the blog has become a difficult decision for all. There's all kinds of data about distribution channels, growth hacking & traction that it is difficult to filter accurate information on what works.
Medium rose to become one of the major platforms for publishing content by promising terrific reach, surge in traffic and an array of likes. But is it really as great as it sounds?
There's no one thing that fits all & there's no one right platform. Medium & Own Blogging Website like Wordpress and Wix have their own pros and cons. Simply put, neither of them is perfect but that doesn't mean none of them will be perfect for you. Each of these platforms have a definitive purpose and are inherently different from each other you can pick the one that's ideal for you.
My purpose with this blog is to help you choose the one that might work best for you. If you are someone who's unfamiliar with these platforms & how to start blogging with them, you should check out this post.
Introduction to Medium
Medium is a social publishing platform that carries a diverse range of stories and perspectives. It is free for publishers & anyone can sign up to share their story. Medium follows a minimalistic design with limited formatting options. This has been done intentionally to partly help a publisher, publish faster & not have choice fatigue. You can sign up for Medium Partner Program to make money on your blogs.
Note: Medium Partner Program only supports one payment partner i.e. Stripe. So, you need singup on Stripe to be able to accept payments.
Here are some of the pros of choosing Medium:
Easy Signup & Free Publishing: It takes lesser than 2 minutes to sign up on Medium.com. It also allows you to publish content for free & it doesn't have any selection criteria. So, anybody who wishes to write can sign up & get started.
Focus Where It Matters: One doesn't need to be technically sound to write on Medium. There's no investment that needs to be put in website design, mobile friendliness, fixing broken links, page load time and everything else. It requires almost no installation & maintenance. It helps you to provide superior reading experience to your reader without any hassle.
Superior Domain Authority: Medium has high domain authority i.e. Medium stories rank higher in the search engine while the same stories written on your blog might not rank if you don't invest in SEO.
Built-In Distribution Channel: With Medium you don't have to worry about the channels wherein you need to distribute your blog for someone to read it. It's algorithm pushes great content to the relevant audience.
Moonshot Virality Opportunities: It is difficult to make your content viral especially when you have just started out. Medium comes in handy there. With their great reach, sturdy SEO & SERP, your content can easily reach out to thousands of people with almost zero hassle.
The Community Advantage: There are thousands of writers on Medium & so you instantly feel a sense of community. There are writers & readers that support you by cheering (or in this case clapping) for you & giving you right feedback. You can easily get responses or following too, which is pretty encouraging for an upcoming writer.
Opportunity To Make Moolah: If you are someone who is writing to make some money, Medium can be an exciting place to see real earnings from your article. The platform rewards good writers.
Here are some of the Cons:
Limited Features: Medium has been intentionally designed as a fuss-free platform so that it is simple to use for everyone. So, if you are someone who likes to have a lot of options, Medium might not be the best option.
Limited Analytics & No Integrations: Medium doesn't offer integrations with any third party softwares & has limited analytics. This makes it a little challenging if you are looking to understand your customer deeply.
No Email Collection: You can't collect an email id of the person who subscribed to your blog in Medium which makes it difficult to directly communicate with the followers.
Limited Ownership: Medium isn't owned by any of the writers which means you have little say on the overall design, layout or functionality. The other issue being the algorithm which too is regulated by Medium & can be updated by them any day.
Introduction to Wordpress/ Wix (Platforms to make your own website)
There are several platforms that you can use to build your own website. Wordpress & Wix remain the most popular content management and website/blog building platforms. They are known for their simplicity and ease of use. Both these platforms are have free versions with basic features but if you fancy a custom domain, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. <Digression> You can get 90% discount on Wix Premium package by clicking here. <Digression Ends>
Here are some of the pros of building your own blog:
You Are The Complete Owner: A blog website allows you to control the content & overall design. It offers you a lot more flexibility in terms of layout, post designs etc. Also, you don't have to worry about your data getting lost or them changing the algorithm etc. When you own the website you are blogging on, you completely own & create a unique brand experience that would help you differentiate & stand out.
Showcase The Real You: This is more valid for individuals who are looking to create their personal blog website. Your personal website is your reflection so you can design it the way you like. I have created my personal website using Wix & this gives me a lot of freedom to write about what I am passionate about. You could read more about it here. For businesses, you can choose to put various formats of content & have a dedicated section where you can talk about your brand, press coverages, social media snippets etc.
Customize Reader's Experience: There are thousands of themes & templates that you can implement. There are also additional plugins that you can insert to customize reader's experience. Both wordpress & wix have a huge variety of themes and plugins to choose from. For example, Wix allows me to track subscribers, notify them through emails, interact with them on chat, offer the reader different privileges etc.
Deeply Engage With The Reader: Using your own website allows you to improve the conversion rate or in simpler terms, hold the reader for long. It also gives you an opportunity to move a reader further in the conversion funnel or make them engage with your multiple posts. You can also interact further with them using other links, pop-up forms, exit forms, sidebar links etc, something you just can't replicate in Medium.
Unleash The Power Of Remarketing: One of the main differentiator for a business is the ability to retarget the audience that has already engaged with them. It is impossible for you to do so on any platform that is not owned by you. Medium does not support retargeting pixels and that's a major issue as you can't follow your traffic on the web.
Multiple Monetisation Sources: There are an array of monetization modes that you can explore. For businesses, you can host your products & services upfront and can promote them instead of just inserting a link on Medium. There's affiliate marketing where you could promote a brand, run ads on your webpage using Google Adsense or native advertisements, do branded content or sponsored posts. For people building personal blogs, another monetization could be selling your blog website. This usually only happens when your blog receives a lot of traffic.
Building Your Brand & SEO Authority: Brand searches & direct traffic are important parameters for Google Ranking Algorithm. Your own website allows you generate backlinks that would increase organic traffic thereby increasing your domain authority. You can also easily collect email id of your subscribers which isn't possible with Medium.
Some Of The Cons:
Need Basic Web Design Or Coding Skills: While both Wordpress and Wix are pretty simple to set up, it requires a bit of experimentation & a learning curve to launch stunning websites. I have faced some technical glitches with Wordpress & had to rely either on customer support, community forums or google search.
There's More To Be Done Than Just Writing: The task doesn't end at just writing the article as the writer needs to work on SEO optimization like title tag, image description, keywords etc (would eventually help you rank better on Google & other search engines).
Brace Yourself To Promote Your Blog: Just inserting the right keywords won't help you climb up the ranking, you need to constantly spend time in promoting your blog. Especially when your blog is new, it takes a lot of effort to make it visible to a larger crowd. You need to constantly promote it on different social media channels & groups amongst other places. It is pure hard work & can be time consuming.
So who's the final winner here: Medium or Wordpress/ Wix?
Well, the answer isn't that straight forward. It is really up to you to decide. The platform that caters to all your needs and interests is the best platform for you.
For me personally, Wix has worked out great as a personal website as it allows me to replicate my beliefs & life. Also, the kind of stuff I write about makes more sense as a personal blog. Professionally, I maintain 6 blog websites & 4 medium accounts. Medium is a great place to publish all the literary work.
If you want to just publish posts with minimal extra work (SEO, formatting etc) then Medium is a great pick for you. It is straight out of box solution that requires no configuration and lets you focus on what you know best, writing. Medium is also a great place to explore other content, get feedback & be a part of a community. It's a saviour for those who don't want to make any monetary investment and yet cater to a large audience.
A personal blog website works best for people who are looking for full ownership and would like to control their experience. Building our own website on Wordpress or Wix requires a little more patience & effort initially. Commit to it if you have the tenacity or if you would like to build a brand and add non-blog like stuff like a shop, forum, ads etc to it. If you want to extend it to something beyond just writing a post, then building your own website is your only choice. The basic version is free for both Wordpress & Wix however, you can upgrade to a premium version of Wix for as low as $6 per year.
Which tool are you most likely to use? Do comment below. Do not forget to share it with everyone you think can benefit from this.