Why I Won’t Publish Directly to Medium Anymore

Medium is cool but I’d rather cross post and own my own content.

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.