This is the final post in the three part series on blogging on Medium. We've looked at why you should care about the platform as well as the types of content that work really well on Medium so it's only right to round it up by considering the pros & cons of Medium to really figure out if this is the right platform for you.
First of all let me put it out there, not every platform is for everyone. I am especially drawn to it as its a writers' platform but even if you are a writer perhaps the engagement you seek isn't ideal for your niche. So I urge you to genuinely reflect upon what you hope to get out of each of the platforms you're participated in and eliminate the ones that don't complement your objectives and hone down on the ones that have the potential to make a real difference to your career.
Keeping that in mind, always evaluate the pros and cons before venturing into any platform. Time is the most precious commodity for anyone right now therefore you need to be strategic about how and what you spend your time on. However, I am going to push you over the edge by considering the pros and cons of the same points, we often live in an illusion that there are positives and negatives for anything but seldom consider how both of them lie within a single point. Here are a 3 big pros and cons of Medium that I have encountered, if you have any of your own certainly add them in the comments below!
Cons: You can have your own address, your account and build your own following but Medium will remain a third party platform. You can build your audiences, your followers and do everything right but unless you have a strategy to get them off Medium and capture their attention somewhere more stable like an email list, your audiences can disappear even at the slightest technical glitch. Of course, we're no longer in the 90s and there are no such technical errors nonetheless you can only interact with the people who have voluntarily opted to hear from you in restricted terms within the platform which isn't the same as securing a long-term professional relationship with your audience.
Pros: Surprisingly, the positive is also that it is a third-party platform meaning you immediately get access to a whole range of audiences that you would have to graft for years, if not at least a decade to niche down upon your own platform, not to mention the wonderful engagement that comes along with it - the kind even the most apt Google Adwords can't get you; word-of-mouth aka recommendations as they're known within the Medium lingo.
Pros: Honestly, I have met a lot of amazingly creative people such as artists, writers and researchers who have SO much to give but are often put-off by the overwhelm that is the Internet. Maintaining a blog, let alone a website appears much hassle than it's worth for some people. Medium eliminates all barriers by enabling access via your social media or email accounts - all you have to do is focus on the key element; creating content. What's even better? You don't have to fight hard to win over the SEO game as Medium offers easy-to-understand options to tag your posts and publish accordingly.
Cons: For a die-hard coder or tech junkie, as pleasing and aesthetic Medium's layout is there'll be something else we can think of to add to it. If your main audience are native platform users (meaning, the ones who don't want to get out of Medium) it's going to be a real ask to redirect them elsewhere be it your website or newsletter sign ups.
Lifetime of a Post
Cons: Medium to me, is long-form Twitter. And this is no accident as Medium is founded by Twitter's co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Which means, the article you spent probably days or weeks could disappear within a few seconds. You have a small window of opportunity to leverage the platform especially while you're starting out and don't have many followers. You cannot really even predict the best times to post (even though there are a number of social media strategists who claim they have figured it out) like you can in your everyday social platforms.
Pros: Because the lifetime of a post is relatively short, you can leverage it in terms of how you position your content. I wrote an entire post on the types of content that work on Medium that you're welcome to read but in brief, Medium measures articles in the amount of time it's going to take for a reader to get through it, couple that with short lifespans of posts and you are probably better off writing snippets, thought experiments, provocations and summaries to other articles you have written to sincerely capture the attention of the reader. This also means you are spending less time executing an idea whilst increasing your chances of success because you can put out more content quickly.
There you go, those are hopefully some food for thought that you can carry over within your own work. Are you on Medium? What are some of the problems you have encountered? Let me know in the comments so that I can answer them for you. You can also check out the other articles in this three part series on Medium by clicking here.