When it comes to blogging, Medium has a lot going for it. 60 million people flock to the site every month to read ideas from some of the world’s most influential characters – and their favourite businesses, sharing their journey on success, marketing and growth.
In fact, some of our favourite bloggers post their content on Medium. From Crowdfire to Startup Grind, you can find seriously great content on the platform, and its simple UI makes content the focus of the page, rather than endless calls to action and pop-ups.
But for business owners, Medium doesn’t make sense. There’s a whole host of reasons why you should avoid hosting your blog on the platform, and we’ve rounded up just a few.
You can’t track your sales funnel
Content probably makes up a major part of your marketing strategy and sales funnel. You write, SEO your work, share it on social media and visitors start flooding in.
With an email sign-up form or a free trial offer at the bottom of every blog post, some of your readers will become paying customers, and you’ll keep them engaged and loyal by continuing to write content that provides value. That’s the basics of content marketing, and it works.
Introduce a third-party to the mix (like Medium), and your sales funnel becomes a little more difficult to tweak and perfect. Medium doesn’t allow you to track users who visit your blog for the first time, and you can’t get to grips with the return on investment of your content.
While Medium does offer some audience insights, they’re nowhere near as comprehensive as the data you can get from a tool like Google Analytics.
When you publish content on Medium, you’re essentially pushing out content onto the net and hoping that it sticks. If your content is high-quality and consistent, you’ll be able to push people through your sales funnel by adding a call to action at the bottom of your posts, but it’s not as easy – and you won’t be able to store data on your users or remarket to them.
Your content formats are limited
Content marketing has come a long way in recent years, and the days of writing a 500-word article that scratches the surface of a topic are over.
Your content needs to communicate a message to your readers – and you can do that through video, infographics, multimedia and interactive content like polls, quizzes and forms. Medium isn’t that flexible.
The Guardian, for example, couldn’t push their interactive guide to the First World War on Medium. If you wanted to create a similar piece of interactive content on your blog, you’d have to take users away from your blog and back on to your website.
That kind of hopping from one website to another helps nobody, and will only encourage users into clicking ‘X’.
Of course, you can work around some of Medium’s flaws. You can create custom headers or banners to sit in between written material, and you can embed videos, infographics, GIFs, emoji and more, but there’s still a limit to what you can do. Hosting your company blog on your own website takes away those constraints and gives you complete creative freedom.
Your call to action won’t stand out
The whole premise of Medium is consuming content. And that’s great – you want potential customers to read lots of your content and interact with your brand. But there comes a time when you want visitors actually do something – usually something involving a call to action.
But Medium has its own call to action: it wants users to read content. Medium promotes content through its “Read more” banner, which will often take you to another company or individual’s blog posts – not good news if you want users to remain loyal to your brand.
Some bloggers include images, banners or forms at the bottom of their content to act as a CTA, but their calls to action are in competition with Medium’s. When you’ve got the option of signing up to a mailing list or clicking on another article, which would you prefer?
Users leave your website
If your company blog is hosted on Medium, you’ll be sending traffic away from your website and on to Medium’s. Your bounce rates and time on page could suffer, and it’ll be harder to track your user’s actions and intents. You can link your Google Analytics to a Medium blog, but you’ll essentially be tracking two separate websites. Who needs the extra work!?
That’s not all. Your Medium blog, even when customised, will be noticeably different to the rest of your website. It’s a contrast that can cause some to click away immediately, while for others, heading to a separate website can lead to confusion and damage brand recognition.
The biggest bummer is that you can’t customise Medium’s default theme and appearance. You can add a header image and change your colour scheme, but that’s as far as it goes.
You sacrifice links and domain authority
Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate backlinks and build your domain and brand authority. Blogging on Medium takes away some of the SEO benefits of blogging, as your content will no longer be hosted on the same root domain as your company website.
Medium allows you to use a domain name or subdomain as a Medium URL, but that’s still a whole different domain and website that will rank on Google. And even if you build up a strong domain authority on your Medium domain name, the platform’s nofollow policy means you won’t be able to transfer any of that link juice back to your company website.
There’s no doubting that Medium is a powerful content platform – it’s used by millions of people around the world and entrepreneurs and businesses flock to the platform to share their ideas.
But from a business perspective, a self-hosted blog still trumps Medium. We recommend using your Medium blog as an extension of your content marketing efforts – produce original content for your Medium blog, brand it as an extension of your business or use canonical tags and let Medium serve as a content syndication platform for your blog.