Medium is a free blogging platform where people can write about anything that interests them, share their opinions or expertise, and connect with other writers. It’s one of the most popular blogging platforms for pro and amateur writers.
While Medium has several positives, like its ease of use and partner program that allows writers to earn from their stories, that doesn’t mean the platform is without its downsides. Here are a few reasons why you might reconsider using Medium.
1. It’s Hard to Get Noticed
You’ve joined Medium and are ready to make your mark on the platform and gain a following by publishing well-written, engaging posts. After all, how hard can it be? The truth is, it’s tough.
It’s not necessarily about you lacking talent as a writer. You can write good posts consistently and never become popular on Medium. That’s because, unlike with a personal blog, you’re just one of many writers on the platform.
You’re up against other writers who are just as good and, in many cases, more established. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t attain success. It just means you have to be hardworking, consistent, and patient over time to stand out on Medium.
2. Lots of Content Is Hidden Behind a Paywall
Medium has a membership feature where writers and readers can pay a monthly $5 subscription to enjoy privileges like unlimited access to stories, no ads, and offline reading.
This feature is great because it’s a way to support writers, but the downside is that in recent years, most of the stories on the platform have become member-only. So, if you aren’t a Medium member, you can view a minimum of three stories for free each month.
Since many of the best Medium stories are behind a paywall, you might not enjoy using the platform without a subscription. Some people can afford to pay, but those who can’t miss out on many great stories.
3. It’s Tough to Rank on Search Engines
Medium has a high domain authority, so there’s much potential for stories on the platform to rank high on search engines. The problem is that it’s not easy to rank high to begin with, especially if you’re a beginner writer.
Medium doesn’t support plugins, so you can’t use plugins to improve your site’s SEO. For this reason, blogging platforms that support plugins are much better if you’re trying to rank on search engines.
For example, WordPress has several effective SEO plugins, like Yoast SEO, making boosting your blog’s SEO rankings easier.
4. There’s Limited Customization
One of the least fun aspects of Medium is its limited customization options. On the one hand, this is good because it allows people to write without getting bogged down with things like picking a theme.
But what if you want to customize your Medium blog to reflect your brand? The answer is that you can’t. There are no themes or plugins, and you can’t use site editing to change parts of your blog. You can make basic changes to your Medium profile, like customizing the header, but that’s about it.
5. Medium Posts Can Only Have a Maximum of Five Topics
For some reason, Medium only allows you to add a maximum of five topics—its version of tags—per story. Topics tell readers what your story is about and make your content searchable.
If you use Gaming as one of the topics for a story about gaming, people can find that story by searching for the topic Gaming.
Medium’s five-topic limit is frustrating because it reduces the number of topics your stories fall under. It’s possible to write stories that fall under multiple categories, but the topic limit forces you to use only a few.
6. You Can’t Control Medium
At the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of Medium. Think of it like a marketplace where you sell your wares. You can set up a stall, but you don’t own the place.
You can’t control Medium like you can a personal blog. When Medium changes its policies, you can’t do anything about it. For instance, if you don’t like or can’t access Medium’s Membership or Partner program, there’s nothing you can do about it.
And if Medium were to shut down, you’d lose your audience, years’ worth of stories, and the communities you’re a member of. So, to avoid being at the whim of Medium and to have control over your content management system, opt for an alternative like WordPress or Blogger.
Consider an Alternative to Medium
Medium is a decent blogging platform that’s easy to use. However, considering the lack of customization and the fact that you don’t control the platform and are thus at its mercy, it makes more sense to opt for a platform without these issues, such as WordPress, Blogger, Wix, or Squarespace.