Three Reasons to Take Medium Seriously

Medium Can Be the Pillar of Your Content Marketing Strategy

I expect two groups to read this post.

  1. People who are interested in Medium and the art of writing
  2. People who are interested in marketing

I’m writing this post for the people who are at the intersection of both groups.

Some people in the second group won’t be interested in creating content in written format. As I explained in a previous post, some people are better at creating content in audio and video, and others in written form.

There’s good news for both segments. Medium isn’t a text-only platform anymore. It also serves audio. More about that later.

Do You Hate Marketing?

I’m not afraid of the people in the second group. It’s the first group that I’m scared of. Some people associate marketing with evil and hate everything about it.

In the past, marketing has been abused to get the most out of people’s pockets without providing something significant in return. However, times are changing.

The New Wave of Marketing

There’s a new wave of marketing. The new wave of marketing is enabling great work to sustain itself and reach its target audience who are willing to consume it.

When I’m writing about marketing, I’m writing about the new wave of marketing, not about getting the most out of people’s pockets.

I’m interested in building a business that provides as much value as possible to its customers and receives a fraction of that value in return. Marketing is a part of this business model.

Keep Marketing out of Medium?

There’s a notion that all marketing is terrible and it must be kept out of everything that’s good, including Medium. I don’t agree with that notion.

Not all marketing is evil and decent marketing can enable great content on Medium. That’s the topic of another post that I’m going to publish tomorrow.

In this post, I want to focus on the value of Medium for content marketers. Among others, there are three reasons Medium is valuable for content marketers.

Medium Is a Content Platform

There are two types of social media platforms, content platforms and promotion platforms. Medium is a content platform.

A Medium post is 95% content and 5% promotion. Go over 5% promotion, and you have no chance on Medium.

That is good for consumers, and that’s good for content producers as well. People can immediately see whether a content producer is worth their time or not.

A content producer doesn’t need to bother with promotion, which is a secondary activity anyway. That’s why I focus on Medium as the single source of traffic for my blog.

Facebook Is a Promotion Platform

It’s almost impossible to get your content consumed on Facebook.

On Facebook, you have to create convincing promotional posts, pay Facebook to boost those posts, and hope that some people click through to your actual content. In contrast, your Medium post is your actual content.

The average Facebook user will ignore anything longer than a few sentences or a few seconds. In my experience, 6-7 minutes long Medium posts perform the best.

Audio

Medium is taking the content delivery to the next level with audio.

I consume content in two formats. When I have time, I read content in written form. Reading is an efficient way of consuming content. But I can’t read a post when I’m working out in the gym. Then, I listen to a podcast or an audiobook.

Medium combines both formats, and this is an opportunity for you. I don’t use this opportunity at the moment, but I don’t underestimate it.

If you can provide your content in two formats, in written and spoken, on the same platform, you’ll have a massive advantage over your competition.

Suppose that I follow you. I get stuck in a traffic jam. Instead of sitting there doing nothing, I can listen to your latest post, instead of waiting to arrive at home to read it.

Do you see how many other writers you’ll beat by providing the audio version of your posts?

If you record the audio versions of your posts, you can eventually broadcast them in a podcast or on YouTube as well.

Medium’s Algorithm Change

In his last post, Ev Williams, the CEO of Medium, explained the changes they made to Medium’s algorithm.

The new algorithm favors evergreen content over fresh content. This change seems to be disadvantageous in the short-term, but it’s great news in the long run.

There are enough news sites that report about the recent events. There are enough books that provide evergreen content on timeless topics such as personal development.

I also want to have something quick to read like a blog post on those timeless topics. Medium is meeting that need now. There aren’t many major platforms that do that. Medium is distinguishing itself this way.

What Are the Implications for Content Providers?

The new algorithm is good news and bad news for content providers.

It’s bad news, because your next post has to compete with the complete back catalog of Medium.

It’s good news, because if your next post succeeds at this competition, it’s going to pay dividends for the rest of your life.

I prefer long-term value over short-term benefits. Medium’s new algorithm favors this approach.

You better invest more time and effort in your next post so that you can reap its rewards for the rest of your life. If you don’t, it won’t produce any short-term benefits either.

80% of My Post Views Come from Older Posts

Last week, my Medium posts received 2701 views. 2134 of those views came from the posts that were older than a week.

You’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort in your posts upfront and won’t be able to see any rewards in the short-term. Your efforts will pay dividends in the long run.

Medium’s new algorithm will eliminate a lot of competition and make good work pay off. Our posts won’t be archived after a few weeks and then forgotten.

Conclusion

Medium is an excellent platform for content marketers who are willing to provide more value than they ask for.

If you post on Medium, you don’t have to promote your content. There is an audience willing to read excellent blog posts. If you’re good at blogging, your content finds its way to this audience.

You can include the audio versions of your posts on Medium and at least double your audience.

The new version of Medium’s algorithm will eliminate a lot of competition, but there’s a catch. You have to be willing to put in the time and effort, and be patient enough to wait for the long-term rewards.

Coming Soon…

Today’s post was about the positive sides of Medium. In tomorrow’s post, I’ll discuss the downside of Medium’s business model and Ev William’s vision.

Don’t forget to check my post tomorrow. Better yet, sign up to the email newsletter to receive a weekly roundup of my most recent posts.

Your Turn

  • Do you use Medium as a part of your content marketing strategy? If yes, how?
  • What’s your take on the audio feature and the new algorithm of Medium?
Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.

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