blog management

Should I Put My Blog Posts on Medium?

should i put my post son Medium?Medium, if you don't know, is an open, easy-to-use platform where anyone can create an account to start writing and to share that writing with the world. Awesome, well known people like Barack Obama and Gary Vaynerchuk have used the platform to publish content, as well as plenty of not-so-awesome, not-so-well known folks. One strategy that many writers and marketers employ is publishing content first on their blog or website and then publishing it again on Medium a bit later with a link back to the original piece (or no link sometimes). Medium has incredible reach, and allows bloggers and writers to upload their own, previous published content with no consequences. So, I wonder, should I put my blog posts on Medium?

I Have More Than 500 Published Posts On This Blog

With more than 500 posts over the course of four or five years, it would seem like I shouldn't need the reach or any additional help. Anyone who has been writing that much for that long ought to have plenty of followers and ought to have quite a niche built out for them.

Unfortunately, that's not the case.

All the blogging was in a whole lot of fits and starts, and is also an archive of several different blogs, since many of the posts were from my freelancing blog and my two business blogs as well as anything that I decided to write for personal purposes. There's not a whole lot of cohesion to the content or to the process of writing all of the 500 posts. I somehow just happened to write all of it over the span of a few years.

However, many of these posts are just getting dusty. They were great, on point blog posts when I wrote them and they got a lot of traffic when they were originally on the business blog. But, the posts aren't doing much for me now. Yes, I do need to go back and update the information, make sure the links still work, pick a new photo and clean up the SEO portion of it. It's very possible the fact that I haven't done all that yet is hurting. With all this in mind, post my content on Medium may be a good thing to do with old content.

I'm Hesitant Because of the Decentralization

I'm concerned about doing this because I don't own Medium, and therefore I give up control of my content when I put in on Medium. If Medium shuts down, then all that content is gone. If Medium decides it's great, then they'll feature the post and promote it. If not, then they aren't going to do anything to help my content reach the people I want it to reach. If a post does really well on Medium, then I can't guarantee that those people will associate the work with me and the brand that I'm trying to build. It may increase my audience for a day, but I won't know for sure how many of those people will stick around and will read my next post or be interested in anything else that I might have to offer. At least when you promote and share your content on social media, you have a little bit more control then on platforms like Medium and LinkedIn.

Overall, it might be worth trying Medium with a couple of posts, just to see how it works and to see if I like it. Everyone talks about how great the platform is and the potential and exposure it gives people. As I said in a previous blog post, I just need to start talking and stop worrying about all sorts of little things that don't matter in the long run.

A Business Blogging Service is Not a Silver Bullet

business blogging serviceA very bold statement coming from a business blogging company, but one that we have to make. We came across a blog post that compared a business blogging service with a professional blogger, ultimately concluding that a business blogging service is a much better solution. Although we agree that a business blogging service can be a great asset for any company, we disagree with the presentation of this concept. The way the concept was presented seems to absolve the company that needs services from any problems that might arise when working with a professional blogger. That any problems that happen when working with a professional blogger is the blogger's fault and never the company's. Here's what we mean.

Does the Blogger Understand What Needs to Be Done?

"They tried a few different avenues to get the posts, including hiring a blogger who did an OK job, but wasn’t always focused on the right subjects."

If the professional blogger isn't focused on the right subjects, then the company who hired that blogger should take the time to guide him/her. Of course, if the blogger doesn't follow the suggestions or improve, then the blogger needs to go. However, this presentation makes it seem that if the blogger isn't doing a good job, there isn't anything the company to do to fix this, which isn't true.

A company can resolve this problem in a couple of ways:

  • Providing the professional blogger with the right subjects to write about, at least in the beginning. If a specific angle can be advised, then do that as well (i.e. instead of just saying write about business blogging services, say that s/he ought to write about how they are cost effective, or how they can save a company time, or why they are needed).
  • Explain to the professional blogger what you hope to achieve with these blog posts. This will give the blogger a better idea of what would be the right subjects. The right subjects would differ if your goal is to educate the customer base, versus the goal of creating quality content to boost search engine rankings.
  • Tell the professional blogger that those were the wrong subjects and why they were wrong. This is crucial because if the company can't do this with one professional blogger, then any problems that happen with future bloggers or with a business blogging service will be as hard to resolve. If they don't know it's wrong, then they are going to presume that it's right.

If the blogger isn't writing about the right subjects, then make sure that you have made it absolutely clear to the blogger what are the right subjects. Expecting them to read your mind or to get it right without any guidance or consultation is asking for too much.

Are You Holding Your Blogger Accountable?

Bloggers are human beings, who have lives that can get in the way to writing your blog posts. They could easily have other clients who may demand something at the last minute, or yes, they may not be the most professional of bloggers. However, because they are human beings, this doesn't mean you can leave the blogger alone and forget about the entire business blogging effort.

"At first, this blogger lived up to the hype.  They received timely blog posts with great material that made their company look great.  However, like what often happens when hiring a blogger, inconsistency reared its ugly head.  It wasn’t long before that blogger started not posting on time.  With a little reminder, of course, the blogging would start up again…only to stop once more."

This issue makes us wonder if the company is doing enough to hold the blogger accountable and to keep consistent contact with him or her. Did the company ever ask why the blogger was being inconsistent? Did the company fall behind in getting the posts published, or in responding as to whether or not the post was good, leaving the blogger a little hesistant to continue work? Did the company let it happen a few times, allowing the blogger to think that it was okay, only for a cursory reminder to take place? Before blaming the blogger for being unprofessional, or getting bored with the topic, the company does need to double check operations.

We once had a client who wanted blog posts twice a week, but each blog post first needed an outline that had to be approved by the client, and then a final version that also needed approval. We had no trouble keeping up with such a schedule, but our client wasn't at all responsive when we sent our outlines and final versions. We didn't know if the client was satisfied with our work, or even if the posts were getting published on the twice-a-week schedule this client wanted. However, the client still wanted us to keep up with this schedule, even though the work was piling up and we didn't want the client to come back and tell us that the previous 12 blog posts were not what they wanted. This doesn't necessarily make us a bad business blogging service, even though we could have vetted the client better before taking them on, and perhaps could have created a standardized process for delivering posts. It does illustrate how it's not always the blogger's fault if things start falling behind.

Business Blogging Services are Great

They really are, but our point is that if a company/client isn't doing everything right on their end, that only makes the job harder for the business blogging service or the professional blogger. A business blogging service isn't going to solve anything that's going on behind-the-scenes with the client. Great work can't be delivered if we don't know how our client defines "great work" if we don't know exactly what they want and what they don't want (which we can't know unless we are told). If a company is having problems with their professional blogger, then a business blogging service might not necessarily be the answer.

Related Links:

6 Keys to Successful Business Blogging

3 Hours on a Blog Post? You Need a Blog Writing Service!

5 Business Blogging Best Practices