Over the past few months, I have been writing articles on Medium with some degree of regularity. The simplicity is appealing. Writers earn money through its Partner Program, and the platform offers exposure to a wide array of topics and publications (shoutouts to The Startup, OneZero, and Elemental). In addition, maintaining a blog can be a chore for writers whose only interest is creating content — the layout and promotion require frequent attention. In contrast, Medium handles the distribution by curating stories or granting authorship permissions to various publications.
There are caveats to this. Medium isn’t a repository for building a brand, nor does it offer certain features like co-authoring articles. Hunter Walk, a partner at Homebrew, referred to Medium as a new type of content farm, rather than one which “churned out low-quality prose in SEO-friendly formats to try and garner traffic from Google and other search engines.” Features of these high-quality content farms include article-based construction, some level of cross-promotion, and easy-to-use tools that remove obstacles to creating content.
Yet, it’s still unclear whether this leads to a higher level of engagement with readers. Having a blog is equivalent to owning a dry piece of land, and makes sense for writers with a consistent style or thematic throughline. Vox is one example, having been founded with the aim of ‘explaining the news’ (read: analysis). But its desire for reach and continued growth of the platform was uncompromising, creating a trade-off with Klein’s initial objective of writing with a singular voice and building loyalty from a particular type of reader.
Introducing a new medium
In this context, I am creating a blog, Besteps, which aims to provide analysis of business practices and evaluate their impact on society. The reason for the name is twofold. First, it is an amalgamation of best steps, since many articles will make proactive and constructive recommendations for the ideal business practices. It also happens to be an acronym for each field of study that will be covered in the articles: Business, Ethics, Strategy, Technology, Economics, Policy, and Society. It’s been done before.
Moving forward, articles like those I have previously shared will be posted exclusively on Besteps. The duplication of Medium content isn’t conducive to building a brand and could lead to a lower-trafficked site. I do still intend on sharing thoughts occasionally on Medium on topics like writing or culture.