Host your B2B blog on Medium? No, but read on

September 6, 2020

A lot of companies – especially those starting out with content marketing – look to Medium to host their blogs. There are a couple of reasons this is appealing:

  • Medium might give you access to a broader audience than you can otherwise reach
  • Medium (sort of) replaces a CMS – making it really easy to post new content in a way that’s quick, well-understood and attractive to your audience.

In general, we don’t recommend that you host your blog on Medium. (At least not exclusively.)

But there are ways to integrate Medium with your content strategy in a way that benefits your overall search presence. The same is true of Google – but with both sites you want to leverage their reach in a strategic way so you can realize some benefit.

When you post on Medium, you’re giving up some control of your content

Posting on Medium provides a lot of advantages – a built-in audience, attractive layout, easy posting, and some useful widgets, including social sharing, highlighting, and embedding of approved widgets.

But submitting your content to Medium means giving up some control of how it’s presented. Medium:

  • Controls the presentation of your content, including fonts, colors, design, and layout
  • Limits how and where you can add calls to action
  • Is the target of any backlinks content receives
  • Limits your ability to export posts in a way that’s easy to migrate somewhere else
  • Lets you see only specific analytics related to your content
  • Prevents you from retargeting visitors to your Medium posts

Yes, but don’t you get broader reach on Medium?

Potentially, if you get really good at writing content that Medium’s audience wants to see. But in that case, why not get good at writing content that your audience wants to see?

The balance is especially weighted away from Medium for highly technical or expertise-based content, where the likelihood of getting broad exposure (“going viral”) is small. Articles that get broad reach on Medium tend to have broad popular interest or relate to newsworthy events.

All of this is to say: In a technical, but important sense, when you’re posting to Medium, you’re reaching – and building – their audience instead of your own.

Testing Medium as a distribution channel for your blog content

That’s the case against posting to Medium. But there might be some instances in which it’s totally worthwhile. If:

  • Your articles have broad popular appeal
  • You’re starting a publication, involving other writers (companies with offerings complementary to yours, maybe?) and have the time and energy to devote to that publication, or
  • You’ve talked to customers and you’ve heard that they read Medium

Those might all be cases where it’s worth hosting your blog there.

And so far, we’ve really talked about the idea of hosting your blog exclusively on Medium. But there are some other alternatives to try:

  • Find a publication that caters to your audience, and place your content there to test how (and whether) it’s received. This can be a part of a broader strategy of being a guest on any number of sites that are relevant to your target audience – online discussion communities, trade publications, social networking groups, and so on.
  • You can also re-post your existing content to Medium. If you do this, be sure to set the canonical link appropriately to avoid penalties.

Both of these can give you a “feel” for how much effort it is to post on Medium, and what kind of results you might expect.

Conclusion

Medium is an awesome site for voracious readers. The net awesomeness for business and technical content is less clear.

While there are cases where it may make sense to invest there, ensure that your customers and prospects are reading it to begin with – it’s worth asking them directly about it before you spend a ton of energy eking out space on the platform. And these discussions might turn you on to platforms and communities that are more primed for your community.