To Publication or Not to Publication?

I get questions from new Medium users regularly and also see this question often on other platforms like Quora, Reddit, etc.

“Should I make my own publication, post in publications, or just post on my own blog? What’s the best thing to do?”

The answer is likely a combination of things.

Creating a Publication.

Personally, I have no desire to start my own publication and then try to promote it, find an audience, grow it, and then potentially manage other writers on it.

Since I don’t plan on having other writers on my Medium blog, I don’t really see the difference between using it as the blog itself or creating a publication to host my blog posts, outside of the fact that Medium notifies publication followers of new posts and does not notify individual people-followers of new posts.

So, for me personally, making my own publication was not a priority, but you may want to.

I’ve seen others who create their own publications and are happy and successful with them, and here are the general reasons I’ve seen as to why they went that route (Shaunta Grimes wrote a great post about this):

  • It creates a landing page for your posts
  • It helps you organize and feature specific work
  • Medium notifies publication followers when you post a new blog
  • Medium Letters lets you connect with your pub followers

I have done it both ways, where I’ll post an article in a publication right away or I’ll just post it on its own and a publication will leave a note saying I should add it.

In the beginning, being in bigger publications seemed to be a great way to get more exposure and readers, but in the more recent past, my follower count has grown high enough that I no longer actively seek out publications, as I find that the REALLY big ones take a long time to decide and also have a higher volume, which impacts how many people see the article.

I think it’s mostly trial and error, honestly.

Posting in Existing Publications

You don’t have to put every post you write in a publication. However, when you are starting out and building an audience, publications with a larger audience is a great way to get some traffic and new followers.

The downside is that some publications take a lot of stories and yours can fall through the cracks, the publication does not have to promote it, and any new publication followers are theirs — not yours.

Most of the time these days, I do not do too many publication posts, though I have in the past, especially when I was working on building my audience toward the beginning. I think it’s a useful thing to do and can get your words in front of a new audience.

I do have a couple of publications which come to me after I’ve posted something and let me know they’d be happy to have it. They leave a private note on the post and then I can decide if I want to add it to their publication later.

Note left on a recent post of mine.

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It depends on whether I think that post would be a good fit, whether it has gotten any attention, and other reasons.

Posting on Your Own Blog

This is the easiest thing to do and what I do most often. I post things under my own name and tag 5 topics and move on.

Honestly, it’s preferable to me because it is straightforward, fast, and easy. I love my blog, I love blogging and writing and interacting with readers and gaining new followers.

Could I get more exposure and followers by having my own publication? Maybe! Probably. I am not sure how it would impact me and so have not moved forward doing so.

You Do You

There is no right or wrong way to blog — here on Medium or elsewhere. I mean, there’s a wrong way if it’s just poorly edited and has a lot of errors, but you know what I mean!

Look at the pros and cons but also realize you can switch up what you’re doing at any time and test new ways of doing things! Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Check out my brand new book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!

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Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.”

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