How to Start a Medium Company Blog (Complete Guide)

How to Start a Medium Company Blog
Table of Contents

Are you wondering how to start a Medium company blog?

There are definitely benefits to running a company blog on Medium, but you might find writing on Medium vs your blog is a difficult decision.

The good news is that you can easily do both. You can write Medium articles and bring them into WordPress, or you can write a company blog and republish that content on Medium.

You can even automatically republish WordPress blogs to Medium.

This article covers both methods and provides some tips on best practice when publishing to Medium.

Why Blog on Medium?

 

 

Medium is a blogging platform a little like Tumblr. But it’s distinct in three key ways:

  1. Medium has a social element to it, a little like Facebook
  2. It’s designed to give interesting content a better chance of being discovered compared to organic search
  3. Medium has a team of curators that will promote blogs that are worth reading.

Right away, there’s a clear focus on quality, and that should give you a clue about the rest of this post. If you’ve read our article on creating high-quality content, you’ll know that this is a topic we feel strongly about.

Medium gets about 190 million visitors per month. Many business owners use it to build an audience outside of their own company blog, or publish thought leadership pieces that are more suited to their own, separate publication.

Overall, Medium looks like a magazine with lots of contributors, or a library with lots of publications you can dip into.

How to Start a Medium Company Blog

There are a few other, more practical reasons to write on Medium. It strips away some of the hassle of running your own business blog, such as:

  • Setting up a website, and forking out for the cost of maintaining it
  • Auditing old content; your old posts don’t go ‘stale’ as quickly on Medium because there’s less of a focus on the publication date
  • The editor, and the layout of the finished blog, have few formatting options, making it easier to get something a piece of content online without distraction.

All of this makes Medium an interesting place to discover content that you may not stumble upon in search.

Remember the Cons as Well as the Pros

What are the downsides of writing company blogs on Medium?

The key one is probably the paywall. Medium used to be free, but has recently started to charge for access.

Access costs $5 a month if you’re inclined to sign up.

But in some cases, putting blogs on Medium means you’ll be putting them out of reach of your clients.

In my view, this makes Medium less appealing as a company blog platform unless you post the content on your own website too.

Medium: How it Works

Before you start using Medium, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with a couple of key principles. This will help you set things up the right way from the start:

  • A Medium article is called a Story. A story is essentially a blog post. People can comment on your Stories, or leave a ‘clap’, which is a bit like a ‘Like’ on social media. All of your articles are published under the name on your account.
  • A Medium Publication is a collection of blog posts. You can set up different Publications for different parts of your blog, or different websites that you write for. You can also give different authors permission to write for the same Publication. So for example, Paul and I both have our own account on Medium, but we can also post articles to the Red Robot Publication.

How to create a blog on Medium

You can add articles to publications that you don’t own. You may also be invited to add your article to a high-profile publication. This is a nice perk, and it could get a lot more eyeballs on your content if you get lucky.

You may also make money through the Partner program. I’m not going to dwell on this because it’s not the main focus of the post. But it is possible to earn a small commission for work that is picked up by Curators.

Hopefully, I’ve made the point that Medium is not a place for press releases, thin content, or a convenient spot to dump a nonsense article created by a spinning application. This is a place where good content is rewarded, which is why it has value for businesses, influencers, and entrepreneurs.

Writing on Medium vs Your Company Blog

You might wonder why you should bother having a ‘regular’ business blog when Medium is so much easier to use.

But don’t worry too much about writing on Medium vs your company blog. You may as well do both.

Having a blog on your business website is still the best option if you’re talking purely about brand awareness. For one thing, you really want to reinforce your company’s message and values with blogging, and the lack of customisation on Medium makes it tricky to really brand your content in that way.

Should you use Medium for business content? Well, you’re not fully in control of the blog, so if Medium decides to change something, you have to live with it. The paywall system it rolled out is a good example of this. On your own company website, you can set up your blog however you want.

But it’s not an either/ or question. If you’re thinking about writing on Medium vs your company blog, the simple solution is to do both.

Create a blog on your site, create a branded Publication on Medium, and then use the same content twice. You can use a service like Missinglettr to automatically share your content.

Will a Medium Company Blog be Considered Duplicate Content?

No. Medium is designed to ensure that you don’t ruin into any problems with duplicate content as long as you understand how it works.

Search and republishing content on Medium

There are two features in Medium you need to be aware of:

  • If you import a blog, Medium places a rel=canonical link in the page source automatically.
  • If you manually copy and paste a blog to Medium, you must set the rel=canonical link yourself.

Rel=canonical tells Google the original source of a piece of content. It’s essentially a signpost to the original blog.

We’ve written about safely republishing content using rel=canonical before.

Rel=canonical doesn’t necessarily mean that your original blog will always be shown in search. But it’s an important signal to sent to search engines. You’ll want them to know for sure where the content originally came from.

Is Posting On Medium Bad for SEO?

Medium is not a magic bullet. It won’t generate tons of links for your content. Even if you link to your own site from Medium, your links will all be nofollowed by default. So there are no big advantages in that respect.

Building links on Medium

But if you’re posting really good content then there’s nothing to fear. Syndication happens all the time, and it’s helpful to readers in most cases.

And you still have to put the effort into creating that content, or paying a blogging service to create something amazing for you to post.

There’s also an argument that you shouldn’t post your content anywhere else because it detracts from your own site’s chance to rank. Which is true, in some ways, but there’s a counter-argument for smaller businesses that the content may never have found an audience without syndication anyway.

We have certainly found that syndication has helped us to reach new clients.

How to Republish Content on Medium

Before you go ahead and republish your business blog on Medium, you need to do a little prep work. Part of this will help you to avoid duplicate content problems, or at least benefit from the “best of both worlds” by using your valuable content more than once.

1. Put a Great Article Together

There’s no point in creating a Medium company blog if you’re just going to post thin content and sales pitches.

On Medium, it’s all about quality; the more you offer, the bigger your following will be, and having a following is the key to getting traffic.

Don’t waste time republishing 300-word filler content. As a basic strategy, we recommend this as a basic strategy:

  1. Put a ton of effort into producing a really amazing post – if your content is less than 1,000 words, think about how you can improve it
  2. Post it on your website and share it as you normally would
  3. Go back and double-check it with fresh eyes a few days later; run through your SEO checks and make sure all your links are working
  4. Republish your company blog on Medium as a new Story
  5. Double-check you have the rel=canonical link set up if you manually copied the content over.

You can then add it to a Publication or reach out to Publications that might be interested.

When you publish a company blog on Medium, you’re adding it to a showcase. It pays to only post the best of your content. If a piece of content doesn’t perform well on your own blog, have a rethink and work on it a bit more before you share it to Medium..

2. Give Search Engines Time to Index Your Company Blog First

Google says that it will only display one version of a syndicated article. Unfortunately, you can’t choose which version will show up. That’s the main risk with posting content in more than one place; your business search result might get pushed out.

Google icon

It’s best (although not vital) that you wait for Google to index the original version of the article on your business blog before you repost it on Medium. That way, Google recognises the original source, which may be important.

Some people recommend waiting two weeks for the company blog post to be indexed before placing it on Medium as a Story.

3. Make Sure You’ve Got Internal Links in Your Medium Blog

Internal linking is good practice for SEO, and when syndicating, it can drive a lot of traffic.

Remember: Every reader that finds your blog on Medium will see exactly the same links that are in the original article. So by including them, you’re potentially increasing clicks to your website.

Medium blog on company website

All of the normal linking rules apply here:

  • Add relevant links when it makes sense, not when you feel you can cram one in without anyone realising
  • Don’t overdo it – humans catch on to spammy linking just as quickly as search engines
  • Using linking to add value for the reader
  • Make your all of your links are complete URLs – if you don’t, the links won’t work when you republish your blog on Medium.

In summary, internal linking before you post on Medium is a really good way to promote blog posts on your business website when they are relevant to the reader. But remember: your links will all be nofollowed, so this isn’t an SEO technique.

4. Strip Inline Styles Before Republishing on Medium

Medium gives you the opportunity to edit your post before it goes live. But including inline styles in the original post increases the chances of your post looking weird on other websites.

Include the minimum style information in your code to reduce hassle.

Writing CSS in blog posts

And if you’re using a page builder like Elementor or Divi, try importing a test post before you spend tons of time on the layout, just in case something doesn’t quite work after you’ve imported your blog to Medium.

5. Don’t Go Overboard With Affiliate Links

Medium’s official rules don’t forbid affiliate links. But they do forbid spam.

And this comes back to the point we made about quality. You can use affiliate links in moderation, and in context. And there are success stories around that tell of people making good money from high-quality blogs that have been promoted to top Publications.

But if you wouldn’t stuff your business website full of affiliate links, there’s no reason to do it on Medium either.

6. Don’t Repost Other People’s Blogs

Hopefully, the reasons for this are obvious.

7. To Brand Your Content, Create a Medium Publication

Before you start, create a Publication for every business that you want to mirror on Medium.

Having a publication tied to your brand helps you to build a readership, because other Medium users can follow your Publication to get updates on your future posts. (It also means that you can post to separate branded Publications from one Medium login, which is handy.)

Head to the Medium website and sign up or log in. From the user menu, click Publications.

Click the New Publication button, and set up your Publication. You’ll need a logo, so make sure you have one ready. Just fill in the form, add your social media accounts, and choose the basic layout for your Publication’s home page.

Red Robot Media Company publication on Medium

You can add additional writers or editors to your Publications, which makes it easy to set up a group blog, or a business Medium Publication with different writers from your team.

8. Import Your Company Blog to Medium

There are 2 ways to get your content on Medium from your company blog:

  1. Manual import
  2. Automatic import

How to Manually Import Content to Medium

You can copy and post your content into Medium, but it’s better to use the Import function.

The Import pulls in and formats your content. It also automatically records the canonical link for the posg. That’s the main reason to use it. It’s one less thing to worry about.

To start, click your user icon, and click Stories. Then, click the Import a Story button.

Paste in the URL of the blog post on your business website, like this:

When you click the green Import button, Medium will fetch the contents and format them in its editor. You should read through the post, edit the images and re-align them, and ensure that the links all work as expected.

There’s just one more step before you publish.

Go back up to the header, and click the three dots. From the menu that appears, click Add to Publication.

Select the Publication from the list. You can now go ahead and publish your post, adding the tags that you think are most relevant.

How to Automatically Post WordPress Blogs to Medium

You can save yourself a lot of time by using Missinglettr to automatically post content to Medium when you post it to WordPress.

You’ll need the Pro Missinglettr plan to do this.

Missinglettr also has some awesome drip feed content tools, and a very promising new social sharing platform called Postbox (check out this Missinglettr Postbox review if you want to know more about that).

Is it too expensive? That depends. If you’re reposting from WordPress to Medium a lot, and it saves you a few hours a month, I’d say it’s probably worth paying for.

9. About Tagging Company Blogs on Medium

When you tag a post, you’ll see suggestions pop up. Some have very high competition (indicated by the number after the tag). Some have practically no competition at all.

Use the same principles for Medium tags that you would use for keywords. In other words:

  • Choose tags that are relevant
  • If more than one tag is relevant, go for low competition tags
  • Try to find a balance between competition and zero similar posts.

Give yourself a good chance of being found, but without being the only post on any given topic.

How to Use a WordPress Medium Integration

We already looked at Missinglettr for automatically reposting blogs to Medium.

Before we finish up, I’ll quickly run through the opposite approach – importing your Stories from Medium back to your company blog.

There are two approaches, depending on your long-term strategy:

  1. Export all of your content from Medium, and import it into WordPress
  2. Automatically show Medium posts on your WordPress site.

The first method is easier than you think. Just export your content from Medium and import it to WordPress using the built-in WordPress importer for this. The WordPress importer accepts Medium exports; you’ll just have to tidy up your content and (probably) replace the images.

Don’t forget to redirect the old Medium posts to the new location.

If you want to show your Medium posts on your WordPress site, you can use the Display Medium Posts plugin. This lets you embed your three most recent Medium posts in a page using a shortcode.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/display-medium-posts

The end result looks like the native Archive pages on a WordPress blog.

Next Up: Promote Your Content on Social Media

Despite the paywall, it’s still worth republishing business blogs on Medium and becoming an active member of the community. Ultimately, quality content will get your brand noticed, and Medium gives you a good chance of getting traction if your company blogs need a bit of a boost.

Now you’ve put the effort into republishing your content on Medium, it’s time to promote it on Facebook. We’ve recently updated our tips on how to improve your business Facebook page.

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