Should you consider blogging on other platforms?
A friend asked me about Medium (cool blogging/publishing platform) and whether I would ever write on it. I’ve been on their site before and found lots of great content published there.
I like the clean minimalistic look. They do have ads but your impression of it is that it doesn’t…which is fantastic! You can also make money writing for them—HOW COOL!
But this is why I don’t recommend it…
Call me old-fashion or jaded but that’s how I feel after having run a few successful blogs in the past decade. I’ve been there and done that. Let’s get to the reasons why you shouldn’t publish content on 3rd party platforms:
REASON #1 – you can only grow your voice, not your brand
The most alluring thing about these platforms is that they’re full of people on there already. With starting a new site, you never get any traffic until you somehow go viral or boost your SEO rankings. But with these sites, you could be a nobody with no tech skills, open an account and immediately have people reading your posts. Sure, it might only be a few people but that’s addictive and fun to have an audience to engage with.
The biggest problem for me is that with these sites you can only grow your voice. Say something and somebody will listen. But that’s the limit. You can’t really grow your brand or grow your engagement. Try to beg them to visit your site or buy something and it starts to feel like an advertisement. If your end goal is to monetize, you’ll have a much easier time by having all your engagement on your website where you can control the environment.
REASON #2 – the pay always drops
You can trust me on this. It’s like that with any platform. Adsense, Youtube, everywhere. The pay rates ALWAYS drop. They bring on some new investors or they sell their company and the pay always always ALWAYS drops. 6 years ago, I made $600/month on Youtube with only 2k subscribers. Now I have over 100 times that but I make even less!
That’s just the nature of the beast. They offer high pay to grow their platform and attract new writers. But once everyone jumps on the bandwagon and the platform becomes saturated, the pay drops to almost nothing. The top dogs earn the same despite having millions more readers/viewers and the bottom lose their pay overnight. Of course, they’re smart enough to make sure you make just enough to not completely give up…but many do anyway.
REASON #3 – the platform never lasts
If you’re dead serious about your brand, you want a platform that lasts forever. Tumbler went in and out of fashion. So too will Instagram and all the others. Facebook and Youtube are an anomaly. As cool as Medium is, I think it too will go out of fashion in a couple years.
3rd-party platforms only for the short run
One thing I notice about these 3rd-party platforms, they are only for 2 types of people:
- Serious writers who eventually make it big and leave the platform (trying their best to take their entire fanbase with them).
- Non-serious writers who write a little bit and eventually give up.
If you’re looking to be serious, try to keep everything on your website and then use other platforms only for engagement.