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Blogging For Business Gains

Blogs lend a business credibility, build a following, and boost that oh-so-important SEO. A blog is essential in this world of online purchases and reviews. The challenge with a blog is not in deciding to maintain one, it’s understanding where you should maintain it.

Most web hosts provide the option to include a blog on a business’ website, but the temptation to move blog content to an exterior site like Medium is understandable: Medium has more readers right off the bat. But keeping a blog exclusively on Medium is a bad idea, despite the readership, because when it comes to publishing content the number of readers is just one of many factors leading to success.

Beyond the numbers, businesses should consider what their rights to the blog content are, how the content’s location improves organic SEO, how the blog coordinates with social media, and how helpful it is in building credibility and brand image. Here we break down these factors and examine where Medium has an advantage and where it does not.

Number of Blog Readers

Advantage: Medium.

In 2017, the average monthly number of visitors to Medium’s site was 60 million. Especially for new businesses or those looking to put their brand out there more, having a few high-performing articles on Medium is awesome. But keep in mind that in 2016 alone, 7.5 million posts were published on Medium. Is your content good enough to compete?

Some of the readers on Medium are major publishers like Forbes, Business Insider, and the Huffington Post. Many guest writers for these publications were discovered on Medium who might not have been had they only had a website blog.  

Medium is also a place to network with readers working in the same industry (but it isn’t the only place).

For possible eyes available overall, Medium beats out most business websites.

Ownership of Blog Material

Advantage: Neutral.

Medium doesn’t require exclusive publication rights to content, so businesses maintain ownership. Medium takes no issue with the republishing of any content on a business’ website or whether the business has blogged it before, so you can take advantage of the multiple channel strategy for your content.

Of course, business websites own their own material as well, so when it comes to ownership rights it’s a draw.  

Search Engine Optimization of a Business Blog

Advantage: Website Blog.

Medium doesn’t outright steal SEO; if you follow the correct procedure of publishing a blog to your website and then importing it on Medium, technically your website will be the “canonical URL” and get the SEO credit. This does not apply if the content is published directly to Medium. For example, we can write articles like this one on Quickbooks 2019 — a competitor — and get the value not just of readership, but of search engine optimization for searchers that are looking for products like ours.

However, URL credit doesn’t make or break SEO. A key part of successful SEO is having a website that publishes frequently. If you publish on Medium frequently but only post an occasional article to your business website, your website appears static and your ranking drops.

Another factor in SEO is the amount of pages on your website. Every blog post increases your ranking. Don’t give those blog pages to Medium when it could boost your business’ site.

Linking Blog with Social Networking Sites

Advantage: Website Blog.

Business websites have a greater variety of social media connection options than Medium via the use of plug-ins. If you want to publish to LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and others you can through most web hosts whereas Medium is only equipped for Twitter and Facebook. A website blog provides more customizable options to better target customers.

The ultimate advantage for social media linking via a business website is where the click goes. When readers click on the Tweet, do you want them directed to your website or to Medium’s?

Increasing Business Credibility

Advantage: Website Blog.

Nearly every business website has a blog. Studies show that companies with blogs on their websites receive 55% more visitors than those without a blog. It’s a place to showcase knowledge, case studies, and post positive news. All of these things give a business credibility.

When a visitor sees that there is no blog on a business’ website, or that all of the “articles” on the blog are just links to Medium, the business loses credibility. They appear unable to maintain a blog themselves (poor marketers) and more like amateur Medium visitors than leaders in their field.

Keep a blog on your website and export to Medium if you wish, but don’t neglect your website entirely.

Building a Business’ Brand

Advantage: Website Blog.

Interesting content motivates viewers to explore a website. Do you want viewers exploring more of your website or more of Medium?

Josh Pigford, Founder of Baremetrics, explained why he moved his blog off of Medium and back onto the Baremetrics website: “I realized Medium is really great about surfacing content, but it removes the face of it. It neutralizes all content to basically be author-agnostic. It’s like Walmart or Amazon in that you can buy from thousands of different brands, but you rarely actually know what brand you’re buying…you just know ‘I got it from Amazon.’”

Some users may pursue more of your content on your business’ website, but what’s more likely: that they hunt your site down, or that they click on Medium’s next recommended article? If you attract a viewer to your site, the next recommended article will be by you on your site. The viewer is more likely to remember where they learned that great tip or read that relevant case study when they see it under your masthead, not Medium’s.

The Best of Both Worlds: Medium and a Business Website Blog

The wisest choice when deciding where to blog is to do a little of both. Post articles on your website’s blog, then import them to Medium.

The downside to maintaining the blog in both places is time. If time constraint is a factor, only pursue a website blog or only publish your top performing articles on Medium. This way your website gets the SEO and you attract readers on Medium by publishing your best to the widest audience.

The Business Blogger’s Secret

There is no secret.

The only way to achieve success is to try. An article posted on your website or on Medium’s, even if it garners only five readers, is still one article closer to success.


Author Profile

Jaren Nichols is Chief Operating Officer at ZipBooks, Online Accounting Software for small businesses. Jaren was previously a Product Manager at Google and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.


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