Medium is a blogging platform like Tumblr and WordPress.com, but with the added advantage of a built-in social network. It has a pared down look, and a simple interface. Medium is a great place to start a personal blog, but it also has a killer republishing feature that businesses love. This post explains how to use it.
Republishing content sometimes has businesses spooked. After all, duplicate content will result in a penalty in many cases. Posting the same article on multiple websites is usually a bad idea.
But providing you’re careful, and you do everything in good faith, you can recycle your business blog on Medium safely to extend your reach and build valuable connections.
Republishing Content Has Risks
If you republish content, it could be a sign that you’re being spammy. And it may well result in your original business blog posts being excluded from search results — not because you have a penalty, but because Google will only show one copy if it can help it.
So you need to approach this with your eyes open.
In general, the golden rule of republishing blogs is to use canonical links. Canonical links are placed in the header of the web page to point to the original source. Here’s an example of how it looks:
So Medium does add a rel=canonical. But you have to make sure you use its Import feature, rather than copying and pasting your content over.
Preparing the Content for 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.
Put a Great Article Together
There’s no point in republishing business blogs that offer no value to the reader. 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. Write something really good. We always recommend that businesses create the longest and most detailed articles that they can.
Once you have great content, you can go ahead and publish it on your own website as you normally would, and then look at how it performs before you decide to syndicate it.
Let Search Engines Index the Original 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.
It’s best to wait for Google to index the original version of the article on your business blog before you repost it on Medium. That way, Google recognizes the original source, which may be sensible.
Some people recommend waiting two weeks for this. In my experience, you can get away with reposting after a few days. Just wait until your article appears in search before you go ahead and hit Publish on Medium.
And remember: your original may get knocked out of search, which is why the next section matters.
Make Sure You’ve Got Internal Links
It’s good practice to put internal links in every blog post you write. When you republish a business blog on Medium, it makes even more sense to get a couple of links in the copy.
Why? 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.
This is a really good way to promote other blog posts on your business website. Don’t rely on it for SEO, but think of it as a promotional tool for the rest of your blog.
Attribute All Your Images
Businesses are getting much better at using legal images and attributing the creators correctly.
It’s really important to include this information in your blog post so that it carries over when the images are republished on Medium. Don’t hide it away in alt text or captions that people tend to ignore.
Use Creative Commons’ guidelines for this. It sounds like hard work, but once you get into the habit, it’s really easy.
Strip Inline Styles
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 post’s HTML code for speed of republishing.
Include the minimum style information in your post’s HTML code for speed of republishing; you can always tweak the layout on Medium when you import.
Don’t Go Overboard With Monetization
Medium’s official rules don’t forbid affiliate links. But they do forbid spam. One or two links may slip through, providing you put the effort into your content, but obvious and intensive monetization will almost certainly be spotted.
This comes back to posting high-quality blog posts that offer the Medium network genuine value. If your main aim is to market a particular product, your Publication may not last very long.
Think Beyond SEO
Link building is an essential part of SEO, but Medium is not going to solve your SEO problems. You should republish business blogs to start discussions and get your name out there as a writer. It isn’t an SEO tool.
Overall, it would be foolish to use Medium business blogging as a link generating tactic; outreach is a much better option, and will take less time.
Don’t Repost Other People’s Blogs
Hopefully, the reasons for this are obvious.
Creating a Publication for Medium Business Blogging
Medium is designed to be fast and simple. You don’t need to spend time installing plugins or choosing themes. Instead, it’s built around high-quality content and a social networking component that helps you to build an audience quickly.
That’s why it’s a good idea to create a Publication for every business blog 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.)
Setting It All Up
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.
Repeat this process for every business blog or personal website that you want to syndicate. That’s it. This is a one-time process, so you won’t need to do it again.
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.
Importing Business Blogs to Medium
The reason I chose Medium for this how-to post is that it has a really simple import feature that makes syndication foolproof. You don’t need to copy and paste anything, and it automatically links back to the original content. (Still, it makes sense to allow time for the original to be indexed, which I’ve already covered.)
Now that you have a Publication, you can import your first post.
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.
At the bottom, under the image credits, you can see a link back to my original post on this website. Medium inserted that automatically, which is why I love the Import feature so much:
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.
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.
Initially, choose tags that are relevant but have a relatively low amount of competition. Don’t go for something with only a handful of related posts. You want to give yourself a good chance of being found, but you don’t want to be the only post on any given topic; nobody will ever find you.
Medium is Not a Magic Traffic Machine
Remember what I said earlier. Medium is a dual-purpose platform. It’s a blogging tool, but it’s also a social network.
Medium could offer you a much greater reach for your business blog. But authenticity is particularly important here.
Firing tweets out on Twitter is useless if you don’t have followers. The same applies to Medium. To make the most of it as a syndication platform, you must be an active participant. Read, share, and comment on other posts to increase the chances of gaining traction. Authenticity goes a long way.
And yes, Medium business blogging requires a degree of persistence. So be careful. Follow the rules. Focus on reposting high-quality content that genuinely adds value. And use it for the purpose it’s intended.
There are many ways to put your content to work, but we think Medium is a great place to get started. And if you more help with your business blog, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
Creative Commons – cc stickers by Kristina Alexanderson under a CC BY 2.0 licence. Medium screenshots licensed under Fair Use.
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