David Park, Product Manager at Facebook

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Quibb, Uber

Personally I think it's better to write on your own blog so that you can own your audience long term. Who knows where medium will be in 5 or 10 years, and over time I've come to think of writing and audience building as a lifetime endeavor. That said, it's a good way to get started. Quora too.

Coelevate, Reforge

I like the concept of writing and audience building as a lifetime endeavor. When you put that context on it, where you write becomes an obvious choice (your own site). The other obvious thing that falls out of that is emphasizing email capture and list building.

That being said I've seen decent traffic from some answers I wrote on Quora. I have some experiments in the pipe to post portions of previous blog posts on Quora, and also take answers I've written on Quora that have gotten traction and blow them out into full posts on my own blog.

For those getting started, I still say write on your own blog. It isn't that hard to get traction on a post (assuming it is good content). Build a list of 15 - 20 friends with decent twitter followings, and ask them to tweet out your first couple posts as a friendly favor. I've found it only takes about 10 - 12 tweets in a short time frame to grease the wheels.

Product Manager at Facebook

Thanks for the advice on how to use multiple channels to start building a following, Brian. If you don't mind, I might hit you up for some retweets after I've gained some traction on my own writing and have some real content. :)

Product Manager at Facebook

I really like the concept of writing and audience building as a lifetime endeavor too! Over the last couple months, I've been reading and reflecting on the value of having good habits and how to build them. James Clear wrote an inspirational article about the "Seinfeld Strategy" for achieving success - get good at writing jokes simply by writing a joke every single day. (http://jamesclear.com/stop-procrastinating-seinfeld-strategy) It doesn't matter if any specific joke is good or bad. Being consistent is the most important thing. I want to make writing and audience building a lifetime endeavor for me too. Thanks for the inspiration, Andrew!

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Startup Edition, Product Hunt

It's not an zero-sum choice. Write on both.

I highly recommend owning your own domain though.

Exactly, there is no reason that you can't write on both. Make sure to mention something like "Article originally posted here..." with an appropriate link.

I've used Medium, and it's neat - I really love the word processing UI they have going on. But my main issue is that Medium is the OVERsimplified archive system. The overall site UI is tough to use well, and it is difficult to dig around to find articles of interest on specific topics. There is a great smattering of articles, but it is tough to find the content you're after - and for readers to get to your content. I really like to have the control over my content by keeping it nicely wrapped up in my own blog interface.

But, again, why not both?

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Product Manager at Facebook

Jay, what's the value of re-posting content on Medium when you've already posted it on your own blog? Is the value that Medium helps promote your writing because they might feature your article on their home page?

Thanks also for the feedback re: the Medium UI. You raise a good point that they've oversimplified - I've also had similar difficulty in finding older content or even just related content on the site.

Co-Founder at edshelf

I agree that you should write on both. Publish your content first on your own site though. This way, you get the SEO benefits of being the original source (this is not always 100% reliable though). Then wait a day or so and repost the essay on Medium (or Quora, or Tumblr, or anywhere else you'd like) for the additional distribution benefits that each provides. They all offer discovery & distribution features that can help get your essays seen. Also, provide a link back to the original article on your own site.

And for extra points, install a plugin that sends a tweet whenever you publish new content. And perhaps share a link on Quibb too, unless Sandy & company find that too spammy :)

The downside is the extra work. Since Medium and Quora don't offer an API, you can't automate this process. This would all be manual work. Making revisions on old essays would be more work too. And it is always possible that these services may discourage reposts too. But that would be a small price to pay for the increased distribution, I would think :)

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Platform at N3TWORK

I agree that it'd be optimal to do both, but there's no way I could start writing another blog post each week -- I just don't have enough time. How does Medium take to re-posted content? Is there a policy about exclusive content?

I tried Quora blogging: my first post got <200 views in a week.

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Startup Edition, Product Hunt

There are no policies against re-posting and I haven't heard a good argument against cross-posting as a publisher (with exception to seo concerns but most of us don't write content suited for search).

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Completely agree. To add to Ryan's point: About SEO, I think writing for SEO actually comes in the way of the creative process. I would rather write to a person than write for a crawler. Writing to a person is about getting the right headlines in place, drawing them in with the first paragraph and signing off with punchy takeaways. Writing for a crawler is about thinking about some weird keyword all the way through that prevents you from thinking freely.

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Architect at Betfred

If you believe that the medium theme is more important than the content, then go for it..

Personally I value the control over my content to handing it over to another company to monetise as they want.

It takes less than 30 minutes and $5 a month to get up and running on a WordPress blog with someone like digital ocean, there's really no excuse not to.

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Product Manager at Facebook

Thanks for the feedback Ewan. I definitely value content over form. And the feedback about the value of having your own domain here has been very helpful. Will setup a Wordpress blog and publish my first post shortly.

Architect at Betfred

Enjoy it :-)

There's lots of versions of instructions on how to install WordPress, my version is here:


Product Manager at Facebook

Love the 10M pageviews configuration. I've setup similar configurations (AWS EC2, Ubuntu, MySQL, nginx or Apache) but haven't used Varnish before. Also, I'm glad that you're recommending Super Cache over Total Cache. I had tried both before and found that Super Cache worked a lot better. The only issue was that Super Cache didn't have support for CDN whereas Total Cache did and so we had to install a separate plugin that integrated with AWS CloudFront. But the latest version of Super Cache appears to support basic CDN capabilities.

CEO and Co-Founder at Objectiveli

I think there is a different audience for your own blog and what you write on Medium. If it is build your own identity its best to have your own blog, but if you want to tell a story about something interesting in your life, work, community, environment Medium is a great "medium", I know more than a few people who have their own blog, and then come and write a few pieces for the audience on Medium.

Medium is not a replacement for a personal blog, in any sense.

CMO-for-Hire at Suzan Bond & Co.

Writing on my own site builds my personal brand most often for people who are already aware of me. I look at Medium as sort of similar to guest blogging where I'm exposed to people who may not have found me otherwise. So I say write on both. You can always decide which pieces you want to put on which platform--no need to select one or the other.

I have a Destination vs. Distribution strategy on this one. I write on my personal blog and, to Andrew's point, I use that as a brand building and audience creation destination. This is all the more important because all my posts are closely linked to each other and are around a central theme. They are not random ramblings. If you have a distinct voice that gets reinforced through multiple posts, having your own destination is incredibly important.

But Medium is an integral part of my distribution strategy. The problem with Medium is that you cannot build a brand or an audience because the focus is on each atomic post, not on the author as an aggregation point of multiple posts. BUT, Medium has been incredibly useful for distribution. Many of my articles have been featured on Editor's Picks there and one, in particular, hit 100,000+ views in 8 days because of a set of reinforcing feedback loops that wouldn't have been possible on my blog. The post first hit #1 on HN, then went viral on Twitter, then thanks to all the publicity, got featured on Medium's weekly news letter, and on day 7, was ranked #11 post for the month. On all 4 occassions, the post got a fresh bump (best steroids on HN though).

So Medium has been fantastic for repurposing content. I also blog on Quora, again repurposing content. Again. the reason I like Quora for distribution is that there is a potential for stuff to get viral adoption, not just on Twitter, but most specifically within the closed Quora community.

And yes, on both Quora and Medium, I point readers back to my own blog (destination) through organic links on related concepts, within the post. I've personally seen merits in both having a destination and a distribution strategy.

Senior Product Marketing Manager at Optimizely

Agree! As someone who's still very early in building his blog audience, I've found Medium to be a great way to get new eyes reading and sharing my content.

product at slack

Medium is developing a certain reputation and perception – it won't necessarily ever be consistent with your own personal brand, and may cause you to lose some audience. If you want to really own your brand, you have to self-publish.

Co-Founder & CMO at Maptia

I agree with @rrhoover that writing on your personal blog and using Medium (and others) for distribution makes the most sense. It's surprisingly quick to appear on Medium's front page (usually 4-5 'recommends' in a short space of time) and once you're there content can really take off if it resonates with their community. To give an example, I initially posted a piece called '11 untranslatable words' on our startup's blog and as we're still starting out it only picked up a few hundred views - then reposting to Medium the following day, it hit their front page and in the past 2 weeks (thanks to the various reinforcing feedback loops which @Sanguit mentioned) has picked up over 125 thousand pageviews. Considering that it only took 5 minutes to copy and paste the post into the Medium editor I'd say it was definitely worth the extra effort!

Evangelist at ClearSlide

David Park Great thread! If you publish a post to Medium and to your own blog, will SEO penalize your blog for duplicate content? Similarly, if you do a guest post and want to also post to your own blog to keep all of your content on your blog, do you face similar SEO challenges? Google Panda has me more confused than ever about duplicate content. (Scrolled to see if someone has already asked/answered this, but don't see it in the thread.)

Consultant at Symyco, Inc.

Why are they mutually exclusive? What I typically do (for better or worse) regarding personal blog/Medium - I publish my longer, thoughtful, and more thematic stuff on both Medium and my blog. The shorter (but still "post-worthy") stuff I publish only on my blog only.

Again, I think it's kind of a false dichotomy to posit that your writings ought to be published on either Medium OR your blog.

If someone asks you should they write on their own blog your quick response would be to say 'yes!' If someone asks you if they should write on Medium your quick response is to ask 'why would they?' I could write a book on this type of stuff, but Medium kind of lost the plot of trying to remain high-quality. You just can't do that when almost everyone under the sun can write on the site. While Ev has done great in building platforms for communication (Blogger, Twitter), you can't reach mass with quality. Medium will end up being a prettier Blogger.

I now see it as the YouTube of the written word. There are some gems, but most of it isn't worth my time to read. Should you post your video on YouTube? Most people will say yes because they have the largest audience, but how often do videos become a sensation? Over time you have the same odds with Medium with even less reward. When you write on Medium how does it benefit you besides an ego stroke when you look at the stats? You can't build relationships. You can't make money. You can't even really build a brand because the Medium look and feel is the only brand that is memorable. I've read some high-quality stuff on Medium and for the life of me I can't remember who wrote them. I just know the brand behind them was Medium. That doesn't benefit the author in any single way.

This isn't to say you can't get some value out of it, but in all honesty they've setup a relationship that is pretty one-sided. You help them out way more than they will ever help you. At least on Youtube they handle the costs of serving up videos. The costs of running a blog is pennies. I don't agree with posting it on your site and then posting it on Medium either. Again, that just benefits Medium with very little benefit to you.

The only times I could see myself posting to Medium would be the very rare occasions when I feel like writing something that is so off-topic from any of the sites I run and it doesn't make sense to start up a new site just to host it.


Now just so I don't remain negative on things I have to ask myself what would make me consider writing on Medium on a consistent bases:

* They need a way to allow authors to differentiate themselves from one another. Having a circular avatar in the side doesn't help much. Every Medium article looks the same. I need my brand to stand out just as much as Medium's.
* Make it easier to discover my content. Let's pretend Medium is an online magazine, how can people stay up to date on my sub-magazine without making sure they keep up with my Twitter feed for updates?
* Let people subscribe to my sub-mag. Medium gets a cut, I get a great editor and audience.

These things would make me consider it, but I probably still wouldn't because the Medium brand won't stay high quality for long until they fix the problem of people posting short snippets and list posts. I'm skilled enough in screwing up my own personal brand, I don't need to attach it to another brand that could make it worse.

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Digital Marketing Executive at Foradian Technologies

Lovely article opened up a conversation about a self-owned domain as compared to posting on medium. Personally, I feel a good mix of both platforms is the best way to move forward. Medium is really great to reach out to an audience whom you might not reach with your various social channels, while linking back to your domain should help you get traction on your domain as well.

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