Writing about my interests is useful and rewarding. It’s been validating publishing to Medium and getting nice comments from students who found my explanations helpful.
I certainly owe Medium’s social-media gratification mechanics for getting me to start writing. I also like that they’ll market and distribute my content.
So why am I going through the trouble of making a blog?
Mainly, it’s that I have enough momentum now that I’m nervous having all my writing on a platform I don’t own. A blog can add some overhead for some but since I already pay for the hosting and have enough admin experience to make it a relaxing weekend project, it isn’t a big deal for me.
Many people dislike Medium’s monetization strategy. At first I disagreed with them, thinking that if the paywall is so easy to circumvent then it doesn’t matter, since my readers are tech-savvy. I may as well take advantage of content distribution (you can only get curated if you paywall). However, I do get messages asking me for the friend link so I can imagine plenty of folks just click and go back, not knowing they could simply open in an incognito window.
This brings me to my final point which is that I still want to monetize my content, but I’m planning to post more about security with non-technical people in mind. Specifically, I’m going to start writing guides for activists and I just don’t feel good about making anyone pay for that.
By putting this content on my blog first, then cross posting to other platforms for the paying users there, I can reach a wider audience. Medium has a handy yet well hidden feature that allows me to set a canonical link back to my original post.
I’d never put ads on my site, but thankfully there are better methods to monetize a blog now than there were even 2 years ago with the Web Monetization standard. It’s a new technology I’m excited to use and maybe even do a bit to drive adoption. I’m using the Coil Web Monetization plugin for WordPress which lets me easily give paying visitors a bit of extra content without making everyone pay for the important stuff or introducing friction.
When a Coil subscriber (or anyone with web monetization enabled) visits my site they actually pay me in gold via Interledger > Uphold, so that’s cool.