Why I Moved From Medium to Self-Hosted Ghost Blog
I've moved from medium to a standalone self-hosted blog, so welcome.
I love blogging. I’ve been writing for many years at LJ, then moved to WP, then I started writing in English and moved to medium.
Good Old LiveJournal
When I just started at LJ there was a very cozy community. Strangers came to your blog to write comments and to get acquainted with you. That’s something that I rarely see on the internet nowadays. People follow each other but they don’t get acquainted. Seems like “following” has gone down in value.
Furthermore, there were a lot of trolls, that sometimes came to your blog from nowhere to poop in your comments and that was really funny.
Years passed. LJ has stagnated both as a service and community. LJ is looking like the internet in 2000 (very ugly). After some time LJ as a platform started bringing almost zero value to its authors. Internal traffic has vanished.
Obviously, LJ is facing a very high churn rate, which has a strong effect on the whole service.
When I moved to WP I didn’t notice much difference in traffic compared to my old blog on LJ, but at least it looked better.
Yet Another Blogging Platform Is Not Feeling Well
When I first visited medium, I thought it would be a new LJ of the post-facebook age. It looked like an incredible place for writers. I could hardly find anything I didn't like in it.
If you asked me to recommend you a blogging platform a year ago, I would have definitely recommended medium.
Perks of Blogging Platforms
Community and traffic are the main two things blogging platforms can give the author. The community is close but isn't equal to traffic. Community is more about responsiveness and feedback of the auditory.
The last but not least point is pleasant UI/UX for your readers to have a good time reading.
Does Medium have it?
Sign-in pop-up screen at medium will be a barrier for the major number of your readers. They are likely to write you on Facebook when your repost your own publication and will hardly ever do it on medium.
Traffic is very important. According to medium stats, medium internal traffic is about 25% of the whole number of my visitors.
Once I accepted an invitation to be published in some medium-based-magazine and got the following stats:
25% of medium internal traffic and only 3-X of my average publication traffic with the help of their group at FB and other FB groups that reposted this story.
I've always adored the minimalistic look of Medium, but they've decided to flood it with internet marketing bullshit, forcing users to sign-up/download apps/buy subscription/whatever.
If you are a writer you may not even guess how much pain your every second reader feels before even starting to read you. The second portion of pain comes with the reading process itself.
A very detailed description of the issue can be found here.
Instead of turning into a cozy LJ of the new internet age, Medium has made a wrong turn somewhere.
Medium isn't forth being gifted your content to it.
Owners of blogging platforms get the most part of the benefit from your content. It may be worth it in some other cases, but Medium is probably not the case.
Setting up a standalone blog turned out to be fairly easy, fast, and cheap.
Domain (cheap as mud) + Digital Ocean basic pricing plan (5$ per month) + deployment of the free version of Ghost or WP and here we go.
The main benefit is that you are a 100% flexible owner of your content.
Move it anywhere, migrate to another blogging engine, and turn it into web service. WHATEVER.