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Nityesh Agarwal
Nityesh Agarwal

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Is Medium still a good platform for new writers in 2021? Discussing the pros and cons

In the past 4 years, I have published 13 articles on Medium and have got to 3k+ followers.

Here are the key lessons and tips I've learnt:

1. Medium is great place for early writers to reach more people.

I was a nobody on the Internet. And Medium still boosted my articles, allowing me to reach hundreds of thousands of readers.

2. This is especially true if you publish with a popular Medium publication.

A lot of pubs accept articles from new writers and share it with their followers.

I started by publishing with 3 large programming-focused publications and they were a large part of my early success.

3. But it has a big con - you don't own your audience. You are at the whims of the Medium platform.

In the past 2 yrs, they've decided to clamp down the distribution of non-paywalled articles.

This has made my 3k followers worth ~nothing for me. I have no way to reach them.

This is also the reason why some of Medium's biggest publications have exited the platform in the past couple of yrs:

• Signal v. Noise
• FreeCodeCamp
• HackerNoon

(Read: Signal v. Noise exits Medium)

4. You should also beware of publishing for a publication.

When one of the publications that I had published with, decided to leave the Medium platform, they took my most popular articles (and all their SEO value) to their new website - leaving me high and dry.

5. But there is a way to capture the upside (Medium's distribution) while securing yourself from the downside (Medium's whims):

  1. Publish articles on your domain on your own website
  2. Republish them on Medium by setting a canonical URL to your version

Search engines use canonical links to determine and prioritize the ultimate source of content, removing confusion when there are multiple copies of the same document in different locations. Sites that publish an overabundance of duplicate content without indicating a canonical link may be penalized in search engine rankings.

I now publish articles on my own website under my domain -

But then, I also also republish them on Medium by adding a canonical URL pointing to my website's version of the article.

Top comments (4)

mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

I like blogs where you Don't have to pay.

naomistn profile image
naomistn • Edited

Very cool post, cool to see it!
When I started writing I used Medium too, great platform for beginners. You can easily gain an audience there, if you try hard of course.I was lucky enough to start working as a writer at where I also gained a lot of experience and knowledge.
You always have to go to your goal and everything will work out, the main thing is not to give up.

harikayedidi profile image
Harika Yedidi

Thanks Nityesh, this is very helpful!