This post is about why I don't use Medium as my blogging platform. In fact, you can even say it's also an explantion towards why I don't use any other blogging platform besides the one I have hosted on my website's server.
I do understand the pros and cons that these 3rd party hosted site blogging platforms have, but I plan to reap the long term benefits, which I will explain later in this article.
Here are my reasons why I don't use Medium as my blogging platform in mostly prioritized order. I will also discuss the cons of going self-hosted blogging platform too.
Disclaimer - I'm not hating on Medium. Medium is a great clean blogging platform. I've tried it before, and I think you should give it a shot. It's just for my own reasons and goals that I don't use Medium.
Building SEO Traffic To My Website
The top reason why I don't use Medium as my blogging platform is because I want to build my website's SEO ranking and drive traffic directly to my website. Yes, it will be a long journey, and it will probably take a while before I get an active engaging audience going, but long term, it will become a valuable asset.
One can argue that you can do the same thing on Medium. All you have to do is to redirect that traffic to your main website.
True, you can; however, there's a slight problem that comes with that method. It's hard to get people to read your article, but it's even harder to convince them to do something (which in this case is clicking a link that will lead them to your website).
Another argument you can bring up is that by blogging on platforms like Medium, you can build SEO through backlinks. Yes, that is also true, but backlinks from these types of sites are usually tagged with what is known as a "nofollow" attribute link. What this means is the link that you've created on their site to drive traffic to your site has very little to no significance in terms of SEO ranking benefits in the eyes of search engines like Google. Yes, people who do convert on Medium might click on your link, thereby driving traffic to your website, but it won't help the SEO side of things much long term.
By having my own blogging platform hosted on my website, I have full freedom and control over what gets to be posted on my blog.
Not only that, I get to alter the design of the blog however I want if I wish to do so. Also, I get to easily backup all my content, and add or remove features if I wish to do so.
Related - Why I Chose GhostJS Over Wordpress As My Blogging Platform
Some of the Cons of Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms
I like to be as unbiased as possible, or at least give a fair argument for both sides and be someone who is considerate. So, I must talk about some of the cons of my decision by going with a self-hosted blogging solution.
NOTE - These cons are not prioritized in any order.
Updates, bugs, errors, etc. Nothing is perfect, and the same goes for techology. Somewhere down the line, technical maintenance is unavoidable. For someone who doesn't know what they're doing, technical maintenance can be a literal living nightmare. Fortunately for me, I know what I'm doing most of the time.
If one were to go with a 3rd party hosted blogging platform like Medium, Blogger, etc., the only thing that users have to worry about is posting good quality content consistently and making sure they don't get hacked! The reason for this is because all of the technical maintenance is managed by the 3rd party company's employees! Time saved.
You Have To Build Up Your Traffic From The Ground Up
We all start from somewhere, and that somewhere is 0 visitors to our website.
By going the self-hosted route, it will take more time to build traffic to our website (unless you are a huge company with lots of visitors already, then it'll be easier for you, but that's not the case for the majority).
By blogging on a site like Medium or Tumblr, their sites already have millions of visitors daily, so getting your first 10 views or so will be easy. It's just a matter of them finding your post.
So suddenly, what you had to do originally was to compete against the entire world for someone's attention, now you just have to compete against all other users on Medium. This increases the chances of being spotted a whole lot easier.
You Will Most Likely Have To Pay For Hosting
Unlike 3rd party blogging solutions like Medium, going with the self-hosted route means that you will have to provide a place to host your blogging website. This means, if you don't have your own server set up, you'll have to pay for web hosting.
The Best of Both Worlds!
Well, most articles out there always ends up supporting either one or the other, but you can always take advantage of BOTH! You can blog more on one platform, and blog sometimes on another. Just make sure you come up with a strategy to drive traffic back to the other site. That way, you reap the benefits of both worlds without having to give up on either of them.
In the end, it all depends on what your end goal is. If you plan to build a brand or digital asset for the long term, you're probably better off going with a self-hosted solution. That way, you know for sure that you own the content and the digital assets (aka your website). Plus, if you want to sell your blog someday or your website in general, you can do so! However, if you plan to just blog for fun without any business intentions, then save yourself the trouble and go with a 3rd party hosted solution.
Now, you don't have to choose one or the other. In fact, marketers utilize both! If you have a blog, let me know in the comments which option you went with and why. I would love to hear your thoughts!