Why your startup’s blog should be on Medium (and how to use it)

A content management system, an online magazine, a blogging platform, a content curator – many still don’t know what exactly Medium is. Founded by the team behind Blogger and Twitter, Medium calls itself a social publishing platform. And, what’s more, it is a hub for startups.

CEOs, founders, techies and developers write and read on Medium, which sees its popularity grow with every passing day. There are many instances of businesses, like Starbucks, Slack, Intel and BMW, blogging on Medium and successfully acing their content strategy. By now, we all know why startups should have a blog and be consistent and seriousabout it.

So, as a startup, should you blog on Medium? Here are the reasons why we think you should consider it:

It is free: If you are just starting out and still in the ‘testing the waters’ stage, Medium is the best choice for you. The most attractive feature of the platform is that it is free of cost. You can start up a ‘publication’ on Medium and even point it to your domain. You end up paying only for the domain name, and not for using Medium as a publishing platform, which is an advantage in comparison to content management platforms like WordPress.

It has a pre-set design: Again, Medium minimises the load on setting up a site. It has a stunning layout and a feature it calls WYSIWYG (or What You See Is What You Get). This means that when writing a blog post itself, your text looks like how it would look when published. Medium is uncluttered and has ample white space. You can also customise your text by adding pull quotes, embedded tweets and posts. In short, there are minimum distractions while writing and reading.

It gets your content seen: Another striking feature of Medium is that you can bring in your existing audience with you and also quickly create a new audience. When you sign up on Medium, you can sync your account to your Twitter and/or Facebook account and import all your contacts who use Medium, getting them to follow you automatically. So, you are not building an audience from scratch. Secondly, it sorts your content into themed collections and puts it out to those who are looking for it. Although data on the current number of Medium users is not available, all users by default follow the Editor’s Picks collection , which has about 625,000 followers and counting. Now, Medium also offers a paid distribution feature that can deliver your content right to your target audience.

It has a unique analytics feature: Although many bloggers were initially sceptical about Medium as it wasn’t synced to Google Analytics, its own analytics feature has stood the test of time. Medium shows you how many people have read your story, how far they have read it, how many have liked it and how many have referred or recommended it. If using Medium’s paid distribution function, you can also track how your individual campaigns are performing.

This, however, doesn’t go to show that Medium is flawless. The set design, which doesn’t grant much (or any) control to the admin of a publication, is definitely a turn off for many. There is no way you can add anything other than regular content on your publication. This means no widgets or added features. Many have raised SEO concerns as well, and suggest having a Medium publication as an add-on to an already existing blog. Whatever be the case, here’s a quick lowdown on how marketers can use Medium to their advantage:

  • You could repost your content on Medium and put it out for a different audience. Many businesses have tried this, seeing positive results.
  • Choose a theme related to your business and make a collection around it. This is a good way to be seen as a thought leader in your industry. You could also invite user-generated content in such a collection.
  • You can place links within the body text of Medium posts and link back traffic to your website.
  • Use visual content to keep audience engaged.
  • Although you cannot sync your Medium publication to Google Analytics, you can track UTM parameters with Google’s UTM tool. This can help in detailed analytics and tracking of your posts.
  • Try to not just tell your story; follow influencers and publications in the same industry or that talk about subjects related to your business and recommend good posts on Medium.

So, it might be fairly new in comparison with its competitors, but Medium sure is a promising platform that seems to bring together a creative and collaborative way of writing and reading. Although, it was created keeping writers in mind, the platform has now added on many features to attract brands and encourage them to use the platform.