Written by Ian Austin, CEO at Ascend.
For as long as I’ve been running businesses, blogging on our corporate website has been painful. The business is all over it when a website is redesigned but then interest quickly dies off as client project work takes over.
Blogging though is one of the most powerful tools for us to clearly articulate our industry knowledge, demonstrate ourselves as thought leaders or to share some of our broader thoughts, ideas and stories.
Our corporate brochure site is built on WordPress — a blogging website framework, fundamentally. So why would we not just use that for publishing our literary works?
Well, here’s why:
One of the most compelling reasons we chose Medium is its built-in audience. With millions of active readers, Medium’s algorithms may expose our content to a wide array of people without us having to spend extra effort on marketing. Conversely, if we post on our WordPress website, the entire responsibility of building, nurturing and marketing to an audience becomes our own.
Medium offers a very minimalist, distraction-free writing environment. It takes away the stresses that can come with writing to “over-create” a written piece into a creative monster. The platform is designed for writers who just want to write and that works fine for us and what we need.
The same minimalist design is also extended to readers too and this ensures that the focus for them remains entirely on the content rather than flashy website elements, animated call to actions or other distracting tools we have on our corporate website. For us, with WordPress articles, this can lead to a cluttered appearance that Medium removes entirely.
With the volume of content published daily, Medium’s audience have come to expect high-quality and thought-provoking content. Even if an audience doesn’t always agree with the opinion of the writer. Publishing on Medium associates our brand with this level of quality, which at least to start with, lends more credibility to our work that it being on “Just Another WordPress Site”
Medium’s emphasis is on engagement. The community of readers are provided with ample opportunity to interact with content via comments, responses and the ability to share easily as part of lists they’re building. This is all work we’d have to otherwise develop ourselves in WordPress that Medium simply takes care of for us.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
medium.com has strong domain authority. Far stronger than our domain, which as of today has only existed for a little over three years servicing minimal traffic by comparison. Leveraging Medium’s domain authority means that articles we publish on it might rank higher in search engine results compared those hosted on our WordPress site.
Medium integrates seamlessly with social media, we’re prompted to share after publishing any and every story. This too for readers makes it easier them to share content they’ve enjoyed and for us too as we want to build our online presence and following. Every article we post has the potential to gain us a new follower on Medium who may potentially become a new social media follower too.
Medium’s straightforward insights — that show how many people saw our articles, read it and engaged with it — help us to build a funnel of interest and determine what’s resonating.
Whilst WordPress, through Google, can offer analytics; Medium’s simplicity and immediacy with data at our fingertips has been refreshing for us when we have simply wanted a quick glance at performance.
Reduced technical maintenance
This one really’s a big one. We’re simply too busy as a business. There’s so much paid-work on, the idea of having to continually tweak WordPress articles to look their best and help them shine online is burdensome and to my very first point in this article, leads to the blog becoming a graveyard.
Not hosting hundreds of blog articles and associated media also reduces the resource footprint of our own website too and minimises hosting cost and traffic requirements of the server.
Medium takes care of all the technical aspects for us.
Medium has numerous advantages. WordPress is also a perfectly legitimate blogging tool and would be from inside of the corporate website’s ecosystem. We’d (even despite this article) recommend using it for some of our customers. It’s all about circumstance and suitability.
The choice for you between Medium or WordPress would depend on your goals. If you’re looking for more immediate reach — choosing a platform with a built-in audience, streamlined design and less technical overhead would make infinitely more sense. Medium ticks those boxes and is a compelling option in an otherwise crowded marketplace.
On the other hand, if you feel you want to exercise more control, have the opportunity to delve into extensive customisation and own your articles look and feel, your corporate WordPress site would be the way to go.
We’ve found real peace and sense though with this hybrid approach — using both platforms — which has been a very effective way of giving us the best of both worlds.