You need traffic to generate revenue. I think that’s a pretty obvious statement. If nobody is visiting your website or blog, how do you expect them to buy anything from you? You can’t. So then the question becomes, how do you generate traffic?
This question requires a pretty comprehensive answer and I could talk to you on this topic all day. But, one of the most well-known and effective methods is content marketing. Which means writing content (articles, case studies, opinion pieces, etc) which your target audience will search for and read. The higher quantity & better quality content you have the better chances of generating traffic to your site or blog.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
A recent survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) shows the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.
But, you need a platform where you will publish your content. It could be a self-hosted WordPress website or you can use publishing platforms like Medium, Quora, Linkedin, Tumblr, etc. There are many of them. Two of the most well-known and popular publishing platforms are WordPress and Medium.
In a recent study, WordPress now powers 30% of all websites in the world. That’s a staggering number. As of February 2019, Medium is in the top 200 most visited websites in the world according to Alexa.
When I set out to write this article, I wanted to compare WordPress & Medium and find out which one will help you generate the most traffic, and as a consequence, revenue. But, as it turned out, using both together is a much better strategy.
I also discovered Linkedin can be a powerful platform to publish your content and generate traffic, especially if trying to reach professionals and businesses owners. This is not at all what I expected find.
So, I decided to follow the research, dig a little deeper and reach out to bloggers and digital marketers who’ve used all 3 platforms to get their opinions.
I contacted David Alexander of Mazepress to get his 2 cents. Here’s what he had to say…
“Over the years I have found the best results come from using more than one platform. That said, there are many differences between WordPress and Medium worth being aware of.
Medium is a great platform and very easy to use, so it’s an ideal choice for those starting out who have no audience and need to build a following.
Medium has its own partner program where you can make money as a result of the number of people who read your articles but it does involve paying to sign up.
While there are many authors making a good amount of additional income from their Medium blogs, it’s rare to see a large number of people making a full income from this platform on its own.
WordPress, on the other hand, is something you can own completely and have full control over. While you have no inherent audience if you are willing to put in the work and open up different traffic sources like Medium, social media and using SEO strategies the ceiling is a lot higher and you can monetize in lots of different ways that are either difficult or impossible with Medium.
I have found the best results come from having a WordPress website or blog at the top of your pyramid and then using platforms like Medium to republish content several months after it has been published to expose your content to a wider audience with the hope that traffic will trickle through to your owned media (your own website on WordPress).
With your own WordPress site you can drive people to your email list, include sponsored ads, affiliate offers and build your own eCommerce store on the back, all of these things aren’t so easy if all you have is a Medium blog.
Medium is a platform like any other social media site and being overly reliant on one source of traffic and revenue leaves you in a difficult position if they decide to change their business model or even shut down.”
David is a digital marketer and ‘web guy’ with over a decade under his belt helping SME’s & individuals to use technology not only to survive but to thrive in the new digital ecosystem. He also documents his experiments, failures and interesting tools at Mazepress. You can find David on Twitter @mazepresscom.
I also reached out to Brandon Ballweg of ComposeClick who also uses Medium to syndicate his content for additional exposure. Here’s what he had to say..
“In my opinion, hands down the best option between these two is WordPress, and by that, I mean the self-hosted WordPress.org version. This means that you own your own domain and you install WordPress to it through your hosting provider.
Given that you own everything on your site if you set it up with WordPress, you get to do whatever you want with it and monetize it in ways that aren’t available on Medium. Some examples include display ads, affiliate marketing where you review and recommend products, sell your own products/course, and many more.
The only way I use Medium is by syndicating content, meaning cross-publishing on your own site’s blog and on Medium for additional exposure – which can bring more people to your site and build your brand.”
Brandon is the founder & editor of photography education website ComposeClick.
Case Study: Which platform generates the most traffic
An interesting case study conducted by Rich Tucker demonstrates how combing your own blog (using WordPress) along with Medium and Linkedin will generate more views of your content. Here’s what he concluded from his study…
When starting out with a new blog, the extended reach from Medium and Linkedin makes the time spent writing more valuable. It is easy to re-publish content on Medium and Linkedin.
In his study, Rich wanted to test publishing the same article on Linkedin vs Medium vs his own WordPress blog RichTucker.co to see if there are more benefits to republishing content on either Linkedin or Medium.
He published it on his blog first, then on Linkedin and a week later on Medium. The only change he made on the 3 posts, were slight modification in titles to help them all potentially rank for different long tail Google Searches.
4 weeks after the original post, here were the stats:
RichTucker.io WordPress Blog:
Linkedin and Medium both gave the article extended reach based on the engagement.
Linkedin got off to a stronger start than Medium, but Medium’s daily views didn’t slow down right away. Rich predicts Medium will surpass Linkedin in a couple of months.
You can read Rich’s full case study on Medium – Test Results: Publishing on Medium vs Linkedin vs Personal Blog
Rich Tucker is director of Enventys Partners, an integrated product development, crowdfunding and marketing agency in Charlotte, NC. You can find him on Twitter @RichTucker.
Advantage of Medium & Linkedin Over WordPress
Both Medium and Linkedin provide valuable data to writers that you do not get from a personal WordPress blog.
Medium shows the number people who viewed the post as well as how many of those people actually read it.
Linkedin shows the employers and job titles of the readers. This is pretty cool data that you can only get from posting articles on Linkedin.
I think it’s quite clear from my research you shouldn’t limit yourself to only one platform to publish your content. The consensus seems to be that WordPress offers the most flexibility & freedom in how you to generate revenue, but, it needs to be combined with other well-known platforms like Medium & Linkedin to help drive traffic (not to exclude other platforms like Quora or Tumblr).
If you’ve had success with either of these platforms and are willing to share your experiences, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.