Let me just say something, for every article that I have ever published on Medium, I have written on my personal blog first. In fact, for most of my writting on Medium, I have included a canonical link from the post in Medium to my personal blog, citing that this article was first published on another source, and the source and origins of it being from my blog before it was published on Medium.
Why do I do that?
Why not just directly write into Medium, and save the effort of reposting the article from my blog to Medium, making a carbon copy of both on two different platforms.
I explain my reasons why below in detail.
1. Rights To Your Content and Medium’s Changing Guidelines
Have you ever asked yourself, do the stories you published on Medium, belong to you or do they belong to Medium? Do you own the rights to your content published on Medium, or does Medium own it? I gave thought to this question, and at the moment, as far as I know, your content does still belong to you in the sense that the content on Medium will be credited to your own profile on Medium.
However, what poses a higher risk to us writers is that we are not in control of the ever-changing guidelines on Medium, and what’s more concerning is what if Medium chooses to end its services and shuts down one day, will your content on it be lost forever? Or what if Medium chooses to change the monetization method, increase its membership fees or, revamp the algorithm and then your stories get only half of the views it used to get, or much lower views from its readers? These are some of the potential risk and situations that we are not able to control on Medium, at least for the foreseeable future.
2. Just Another Platform
Do you have plans of writing outside of Medium, in the foreseeable future? Maybe, some of you already are writing on other platforms and some may have made a business out of writing for online magazines and clients, outside from Medium.
As much as we think we need Medium, Medium equally needs us, a community of writers who write engaging and good content on this platform to fuel its memberships.
Medium should not be the only place you put your content on. If you want your writing to be found and discovered by others outside of Medium, you should still create a personal blog space for your content portfolio. Medium is a platform to extend your writing to, because it gets good traffic, and others are more likely to be able to find your writing there, other than if you only wrote on a personal blog space. Unless, of course, you are really good at marketing your blog and you are already a well known and established writer out there.
3. Limiting Your Writing Creativity Due to Meet Medium Content Type Popularity
Articles and content that do not fit the current ‘trend’ on Medium may not do well on this platform, but they may do well in other platforms or audiences outside from Medium. In that sense, I do not want to write content that is specific only to what will be popular on Medium and the content type that feeds its population of reader alone.
I want to be free to write on other topics, any topics, trendy or not as it may be to others in a specific demographic.
What other topics? Many, other topics.
Mental health, materialism, breastfeeding, recycling and environmental sustainability, personal finance, parenting methods are some topics that I tend to write about, but these are not generally the top topics that get many views on Medium. However on other platforms such as Facebook groups or in my community of friends and social circles, it is relevant and welcomed. Sometimes, these type of content tend to get more views and engagement when I post on my Facebook page or in Facebook groups , where its reach are those who are in my social circle, maybe due to common interest from Gen-Y readers, or to targetted crowd of common linked minded individuals in Facebook groups, as compared to when I post the exact same content on Medium.
Basically, other than to earn an income, and an audience and reputation that can again, help earn you a larger income, writing for me is to have an influence on others, to send out and display your personal message to far reaching audiences, that in your honest opinion is important for society, that may somehow impact others around you for good. Shouldnt it?
So, which would you ‘serve’?
Your interest, passion and influence that you want to present across to others, or for views from Medium readers and money?
Who do you cater your content to, and to an extent who do you ‘sell’ yourself to, to get viewers and followers?
When Medium success or money becomes your main and only motivation, it will limit you.
All these being said, I would want to say kudos to Medium for creating this wonderful platform, where good writers get a share of profit by writing here and get traffic for views for their writing. It can be akin to an active online magazine of a newsgroup, where we get to read good content, and also contribute our own writing there, and earn some income as well.
So, what is my advise?
Write on both.
Write on your personal blog first, claim first rights to the content, and keep it as a personal portfolio. Than write the same content on to Medium, for the good traffic and reach that this platform can offer you.
But, keep your writing genuine, and write for both your interest, influence, personal growth, and for an income. These do not need to be mutually exclusive, and in best case, your writing that is based on your personal interest also coincides with the interest of the main demographic of readers in Medium.
Then, its a win-win situation, isn’t it.