It feels like ages ago that I discovered Medium and thought to myself that this is different. I was not quite sure whether this platform would succeed but until then I would read the good stuff I could discover there. As I have just started blogging again, I am wondering whether I should rather publish on medium.com instead of here on janpersiel.com.
Let me get the steak question out of the way first: I actually do love my steak medium, actually a tad bit less done if possible. In case you came here for the meat I strongly advise you to visit my friend Dennis’ blog Vom Rost where he serves you all kinds of delicious things straight from the „barbie“.
Back to business: When looking at my Google Analytics reports I do see exactly when I promoted my blog posts on facebook and twitter. There is not much organic traffic on this blog as of now. What a surprise after a few weeks and a break due to too much workload ;) Certain things take their time, I did not work on any cross-promotion, did not write guest posts elsewhere, heck I did not even properly link to this site from my design studio’s website. For those reasons it is no big surprise to so the numbers of visits per day still south of 100. But there are at least 25% of returning visitors. Hey, and to my surprise I have a lot of Russian readers, or, well, at least visitors.
Growing the audience
So obviously I would love to grow the amount of people I do reach with this blog. And there seems to be a huge community of good writers and opinion leaders over on Medium. But do I actually have to be there as well? The questions to be asked are probably different ones:
- Why do I want my audience to grow?
- At which cost?
- And what do I want to invest?
- Are there any caveats when publishing here or over at medium or, as many people do it, on either site?
Growing as in excel
For the last years I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing people. People I deeply respect for the work they do and the way they do business. Where there is light there is shadow and I had those shady colleagues as well. But life is too short to blog about that. At least for now.
One thing I really love about the fine people mentioned above is the fact that they seldom keep things to themselves: They are being honest, open-minded, and care about sharing information and knowledge. Some of them teach despite the fact that they could earn a lot more money during this time, some help others to get their business off the ground for little or no money, but they all have in common that they all have an intrinsic drive to make each and every thing they do as good as possible. Oh boy do I love this attitude. It hits home with me and is exactly why I do the things I do.
Good-bye "Herr Lehrer" – for now
"Herr Lehrer" – german, translates "Mr. teacher"
In 2013 I stopped almost all my engagements with schools, universities, and training organisations. I have been training journalists and designers from all over the world in multimedia story-telling, web-design, digital strategies, digital business aspects, typography, you name it. But in 2012 this led to the fact that I spent almost more time away from home than being there. From 2010 on I spent one in five days in India. Do not get me wrong: I loved every second of it, but this does not improve your family life. Another thing suffering from the fact that I had long stretches of absence from home and/or my studio was the quality of jobs I could work on: When you cannot commit a decent amount of time you simply cannot seriously work on larger scale projects.
For that reason I decided that I should get my knowledge transferred to others in a different fashion. From 1996 until 2013 is a long haul of teaching and I will get back to it one day. For the time being I decided that I should use my energy and knowledge and opinion to write and give people a chance to follow along. Ideally this makes for some kind of replacement. That is why I write, and the more people read this the more I get the feeling it might actually matter to invest the time.
The fact that potential and current clients read this as well is a great side-effect obviously. You do like what I write, come up with etc.? Well, feel free to get in touch to discuss any potential project we might be able to tackle together.
Fruitful discussion and exchange are wonderful
But what this blog offers as well is to communicate my issues with software, hardware, ideas, trends, anything I feel entitled to be able to comment upon and offer suggestions for improvement. And even if these are totally wrong because I might be missing a point, or have to little knowledge about the thing I am writing, or about people, well maybe even you dear reader, fill me in, fill the blanks: I love to learn and love to improve my quality of work, my writing skills, my knowledge about things: I love to grow better and I strive to excel expectations. Even when it takes a second shot, or a third.
Which audience should I write for
It is probably not the worst idea to think about your so-called target group when you do something and you do not want to keep it to yourself. This blog is my personal blog, personal as in my personal point of view. It might be the nucleus for a potential discussion, nevertheless it deals with things which I regard as potentially interesting/annoying/empowering/… for every single one reading this or using/visiting a product/website/thing.
I have no proper tagline for the blog as of now but I might consider something like „If you would ask me how to improve this …“. Now who is that person to write for. Actually I have no clue, but I think there are many people out there interested in certain topics I do cover. Some have started to interact with me based upon the few post I have written so far. Great, exactly what I was hoping for. Now do I want to limit that feeling? Limit the people interacting with me? Probably not. Why limit myself to only my blog then? Posting on medium, or actually anywhere else in fact, would be a great idea.
Publishing authority or the home of the content
In many situations one has to discuss where to host your content. Be it your video or your info graphics, YouTube, Vimeo or your own server? Of course you do not want to rely on someone else who can go bankrupt or change the terms and conditions at any time, heck maybe even use your stuff to do advertising for themselves. Actually that is pretty much exactly what you allow every of those platforms to do with your content.
Well, surprise, you have to deal with exactly that decision on medium as well. Many authors are mentioning their original blog posts on medium: So they publish on their site first and re-use the articles to gain a larger audience later on. That as a matter of fact sounds like a good plan to me.
You still own the original content, but you offer it on another platform for a larger audience as well. And in case the readers on medium are interested beyond what is being published over there they are free to visit the original source and get to know more about the author and other stories as well. So, what is the catch?
For starters the above mentioned referral traffic from medium to your site is something working in theory but you have to make it crystal clear and convincing why people should come over and visit you. Otherwise they will not really bother to leave the comfort of browsing medium.
Search engines and duplicate content
Of all things I am not a SEO expert, but from what I have read and tried to find out so far there is a chance of getting into trouble when posting the same stuff on different sites. A longer read covering some of the aspects can be found on ryanbattles.com with links to other articles and examples which report things a bit differently. Feel free to dig deeper over there. Basically the positions are a) to use
<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://yoursitename.com” />
and tell the Google bot that medium gets the credit or ask medium to add your site name to their source code … good luck with that :) or b) trust Ryan that it won’t matter really.
One thing is probably smart, do not post directly to medium, but rather wait for a week or two. That way you earn the credit of being the original source for your post. Actually a good way to see whether you get traffic from medium or other platforms, since the first wave of visits to your site does not mix with the first wave of RSS-subscribers and social promotion visitors.
What is the conclusion from this? Actually I will try to go the dual publishing way. As mentioned above I primarily want to reach people to share my thoughts. My domain janpersiel.com is quite fresh when it comes to the blog. It has a page rank of 4/10 and there is probably not too much to loose right now. I will keep you posted if I see a decline in whatever, and if it pays off, well guess what, I will keep you in the loop as well. But I guess the main goal to reach as many people overrules the potential danger when it comes to my sites rank.
In case you read this on janpersiel.com feel free to come over to get connected at medium.com/@janpersiel and vice a versa. Whichever is the case: I am happy to have you here or there as a reader. And of course I am extremely interested in your thoughts and ideas when it comes to reposting. Let me know in the comments (below).