Medium vs. WordPress: Where to Start Your Blog

If you’re looking for a place to write online, you should compare Medium vs. WordPress. Both platforms are popular for blogging, but they’re quite different.

Medium vs. WordPress: Where to Start Your Blog | Hannah Haefele

I’ve used both and enjoy each one for different reasons. Read on to learn about the platforms to choose the better one for you.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

Why Blog on Medium

If you want to start a blog for free or a low cost, Medium is one of the best places to do it. I already had blogging experience when I started on Medium, but it’s also suitable for beginners.

Consider some of the advantages of using Medium as your blogging platform.

Easy to Use

When you sign up with Medium, you can start writing immediately. You don’t have to worry about choosing a theme or naming your blog or any of the other technical stuff like with WordPress.

That makes it an excellent choice for people just interested in writing. A lot more goes into running your own blog, and not everyone wants to deal with those tasks.

Medium’s interface is easy to navigate, so all you have to worry about is what to write. Then, you can write and format your article and publish it.

Provides an Audience

Another thing I like about blogging on Medium vs. WordPress is that Medium has an audience. As long as you publish good writing, the Medium algorithm will distribute it to readers.

You can also apply to write for publications that have large followings. Then, their followers will see your work if you get an article into the publication.

Both of those things are nice because you don’t have to do all of the promotion for your blog. You also don’t have to wait for SEO to kick in before you can get traffic to your articles.

Interact With Others

Medium is sort of a mix between a blogging platform and a social media network. Not only can you publish content there, but you can follow other writers and comment on their content.

This can be a great way to get to know others who use the platform, and it could help you get more followers. You can also respond to comments people leave on your stories.

Now, to read unlimited articles, you’ll need to be a paying Medium member. But that fee is pretty low, and it means you don’t have to deal with intrusive ads.

More Reach With Publications

As I briefly mentioned, you can write for publications on Medium. Some of them have thousands of followers, and Medium will show whatever stories go in the publication to its followers.

That means you could get thousands of views without having a lot of followers. People who don’t follow you could still see your stories, and they may choose to follow you for more content.

If you want to turn blogging into a business, getting more reach is crucial. While I wouldn’t only use Medium for a blogging business, it can be a great place to start.

High Domain Authority

Another nice difference between Medium vs. WordPress is that Medium has a high domain authority. That means Google trusts it, and content on Medium can rank very highly in search results.

If you publish content on Medium, you could enjoy those high ranks. You can use SEO on your Medium articles, and they may show up in relevant search results.

That can help you get even more views compared to the Medium algorithm alone. You may get a lot of views from outside of the platform, and you can use those views to make money.

Clean Interface

Medium has a clean user interface for both reading and writing. The writing page is minimal, and there are only a few formatting things you can do.

That makes it easy to just focus on writing what you want to write. You don’t have to worry about writing any code or adding weird elements to make your articles look good.

As you interact with other writers, the clean interface is also enjoyable to use. While WordPress isn’t bad, it can be more complicated and has a bigger learning curve.

Medium Partner Program

If you want to start a blog to make money, Medium is a suitable option. Once you reach 100 followers, you can apply to the Medium Partner Program (MPP) if you live in an eligible country.

The MPP lets you paywall your stories so that only paying members can access them. When a paying member reads your story, you’ll get a small portion of the monthly membership fee they pay.

You can also earn money by referring people to a paid membership. If that happens, you’ll get about 50% of their monthly payment for as long as they’re a member.

Why Blog on WordPress

As much as I like Medium, I have to say WordPress is a bit better when comparing Medium vs. WordPress. It may not be as easy for beginners, but it’s more flexible over the long term.

Here are some advantages of starting a WordPress blog, at least a blog.

More Control

While you do have to do more design work, that ultimately gives you more control over the look of your blog. All Medium profiles and blogs look very similar, so it can be hard to stand out.

When you have more control, it can be easier to make your blog look unique. Then, when you start to attract readers, your content will be more memorable.

You also don’t have to worry about others making sudden design updates that affect you. Any changes to the theme will come from you or someone you hire to make changes.

Full Website

On Medium, you can write stories or articles, and you can develop a blog. However, you can’t create pages to list your services or sell products directly on the site.

I’ve seen many Medium writers link to third-party sites that host their products, and that can work. But it means you have more logins to remember to manage your online busness.

With WordPress, you can create a blog and add service and product pages all in one place. Then, you can access sales data and links to your offers from the same dashboard as where you start a blog post.

More Ways to Monetize

Because WordPress gives you a full website, it’s easier to set up more monetization methods. As I mentioned, you can link to third-party sites from Medium.

But on WordPress, you also have access to ads, which you can’t set up on Medium. Ads aren’t the best when it comes to the pay rate, but it’s nice to have options.

You also have more native ways to monetize your blog since you can use plugins. On one of my blogs, I use Easy Digital Downloads to host and sell digital products.

Higher Earning Potential

I’ve earned more from my own blogs than I have through the Medium Partner Program. Sure, the MPP may pay you more early on, but it’s not the best long-term strategy.

Even some relatively high earning writers on Medium have seen a decrease in their income from the platform. Between all of the income streams you can set up using WordPress, you have a chance at making more money.

It will probably take longer for your blogs to start making you money. However, it can be well worth it to earn an income from a WordPress blog.

No Competition

Whether you blog using Medium or WordPress, you’ll face competition. But for this point, I’m talking about competition right on the website or platform.

On Medium, your articles have to compete with the other ones that Medium shows to readers. If someone clicks on your WordPress blog, you’re the only writer.

So no matter what a reader clicks on, they’ll view your content. And if they click on any ads or affiliate links, you’ll get credit for that and can earn more money.

You Own It

Another thing I like about blogging on WordPress is that I own my website and content. Medium could shut down tomorrow, and I’d lose everything I posted there.

Sure, my WordPress host, SiteGround, could also shut down tomorrow. However, I have backups of all of my blogs, and I could use those to set up my websites with a new host.

It’s nice to have full ownership, even if you have to pay for it. This is particularly true if you want to turn your blog into a business at some point.

No Paywall

Of course, you can add a paywall to your site if you choose to. But by default, WordPress blogs are free for all internet users to view if they can find the blog, anyway.

That means you don’t have to worry about turning readers away after a few articles. Non-members can only read a few paywalled articles on Medium per month.

The system could cost you views if your readers don’t want to pay $5 per month. And fewer views means you could lose out on affiliate income, service clients, and more.

Blog on Medium and WordPress

If you can’t choose between Medium vs. WordPress, that’s okay. You can use both to run a more comprehensive online blogging business.

Consider the following reasons to use both platforms.

Enjoy All of the Benefits

For one, you can enjoy the benefits of writing on Medium and writing on WordPress. You can get some people to read your articles now by sharing them on Medium.

But if you want a more sustainable business, you can also post content on your own blog. After some time, it will start to get traffic, and your hard work will pay off there as well.

Diversify Your Platforms

You can also diversify the platforms you use to publish content. This is nice if your Medium stats decline one month or if your WordPress site takes longer to get traffic than you expect.

Writing on multiple platforms can keep you from putting all of your eggs in one basket. And if Medium goes under, for example, you’ll still have something to fall back on.

Distribute Your Content

Another great reason to write on both Medium and WordPress is to make distributing your content easy. I’ve written some blog posts using WordPress and imported them to Medium.

The Medium post automatically credits my own WordPress blog and links back to it. That way, I don’t have to worry about duplicate content, but I also don’t have to write twice as many blog posts for the two platforms.

Explore Multiple Niches

Lately, it’s become much harder to grow a general WordPress blog. A lot of bloggers (including myself) have set up niche blogs where they write about a single topic.

But on Medium, you can write about multiple niches without much of a problem. If you want to explore various topics, Medium is great, or you can write about one subject on Medium and another on WordPress.

Final Thoughts

Before you decide between Medium vs. WordPress for your next blog, consider how they compare. Medium can help you get some early success, but it’s not the best long-term platform.

WordPress is better if you want to grow a more sustainable blog that you have full control of. If you want to learn more and get started with blogging, check out my favorite resources.

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