Dornubari Vizor April 26, 2023
Substack vs Medium – Which One is Better for Blogging in 2023?
Blogging is dead. Wrong!
Blogging is still a popular activity thanks to platforms like Medium and Substack. If you’re thinking of starting a blog in 2023, you’re in luck. But which platform is the best for blogging in 2023: Substack or Medium? Let’s compare the two in a Substack vs Medium showdown.
In this comparison, we’ll examine the features, business models, pros, and cons of each platform to help you make an informed decision.
Medium is an online publishing platform. It’s been in the game since 2012.
Over time, Medium has become a hub for ideators, independent writers, thought leaders, experts, and journalists to share their ideas, content, and unique perspectives. Readers can read, subscribe to, and listen to your content on Medium.
As its tagline says, “Every idea needs a medium,” the platform helps to shape ideas and start conversations. Today, it’s used by over 100 million people for reading and writing.
Medium has also become a platform for building social communities. It can also be referred to as a “social media platform.”
You can create a network of like-minded followers within Medium and interact with them. Your followers can subscribe to your Medium account, allowing you to send them emails notifying them about your newly published content.
Substack is a blogging and online posting platform primarily focused on email newsletters. It launched in 2017 and has since evolved into a multi-faceted platform for subscribers, blog writers, and creators.
Readers can subscribe to creators and gain access to content such as podcasts, blog posts, newsletters, communities, and videos.
Creators and writers can produce and publish various types of content, including community threads for interacting with their subscribers.
Substack and Medium are online writing platforms primarily used for publishing articles and other types of content. However, there is a key difference between these two platforms.
At Medium, blogging is the primary focus, with newsletters and subscriptions taking a secondary role.
At Substack, email newsletters are the primary focus, while blogging and other forms of content take a secondary role.
Both Medium and Substack primarily operate on a freemium business model.
The freemium business model offers limited or basic digital products for free while providing upgraded or advanced digital products at a premium cost.
If we dig deeper, we find that both Substack and Medium operate on a subscription-based business model.
This model requires customers or members to pay a certain amount at regular intervals in exchange for products or services. It is also referred to as a “recurring revenue model.”
Let’s briefly discuss how these writing platforms approach the subscription-based model differently.
This platform is primarily based on setting up a subscription-based newsletter. One can host a free blog on Substack and own all the content. Substack won’t charge you a penny.
Creators and writers can earn money through paid subscriptions. However, it is up to the writer to decide whether to offer content for free or for a fee.
If you decide to offer premium membership to your audience, Substack will take a small percentage.
Paying subscribers gain exclusive access to blogs, newsletters, podcasts, communities, and videos. This allows the writer to create a recurring monthly income stream by keeping 90% of the revenue minus the Stripe payment processing fee.
Substack will take a 10% commission on your premium memberships. This commission is used to cover Substack’s operational costs and customer support.
Apart from these fees, there are no hidden costs. You can also find a revenue calculator on the Substack website.
Substack gives you the freedom to set your own prices based on what you believe your content is worth. Ultimately, it’s up to the audience to decide whether or not to pay for it.
Medium follows a subscription model. Writers and creators can offer content for free, but all free Medium members can only read three free posts per month.
To access unlimited content, become a paying Medium member for around $5 per month.
Writers and creators can also participate in the Medium Partner Program, which is the main channel for making money on Medium.
Not all writers are eligible to apply for the Medium Partner Program. To qualify, you must have at least 100 followers, and your content must meet certain standards.
If you are approved for the Medium Partner Program, your content will carry a Premium badge, and you will be able to earn money when users read your content.
SEO is vital for writers who publish content online. Therefore, it is important to consider how platforms like Medium and Substack can assist writers and creators with their SEO.
Medium is one of the most established and well-reputed domains in the realm of search engine optimization. According to Moz SEO Domain Analysis of Medium.com, it has a domain authority of 95 and has around 4 million keywords. That ultimately gives Medium writers and creators an edge in terms of SEO.
Posting on Medium directly increases the rankability of your content. This is good news for beginners who post on the main Medium domain, but it might take some time for their content to rank.
You can also post on a Medium subdomain or a Medium custom domain. However, the SEO potential won’t be the same as the main Medium domain.
Medium’s massive built-in audience gives you an edge in terms of SEO. You can post on several publications, and Medium also recommends your posts through labels and tags.
Moreover, you can get a distribution boost from the Curation Team at Medium. The team reviews many posts daily to find high-quality ideas that fit the criteria. If your post stands out, Medium shares it on the homepage, app, email, and other channels.
Substack lags behind Medium in terms of SEO. According to Moz Domain Analysis of Substack.com, its domain authority stands at 86, which is not bad. However, only 278.9K of its keywords rank.
If you have a sub-domain, it will require time and effort for your content to rank.
Additionally, Substack does not provide specialized tools or features to improve reach and SEO.
Let’s round off the pros and cons of both platforms to get a sound idea.
Here are the pros and cons of Medium.
Time to check out the pros and cons of Substack.
Here comes the big question. Which publishing and writing platform is better?
It depends on what your goals are and where you stand as a writer or creator.
Both Medium and Substack are phenomenal platforms for creators and writers. There’s a reason they are going strong and are considered industry leaders.
As a beginner starting from scratch, Medium is a great option. You can easily set up your blog and start writing, and its built-in audience can help you reach more readers.
It will also help you build your portfolio and get global exposure. Plus, Medium has a higher domain authority.
However, joining the Medium Partner Program requires hard work. Additionally, please note that the program is not available in all countries. Furthermore, you will not have ownership of your content.
Substack is an excellent option for established writers or creators looking to enhance their email lists and monetize through email newsletters. Additionally, it’s helpful if you want to experiment with or monetize other forms of content, such as podcasts and videos.
The best thing about Substack is that you have complete ownership over your content.
However, Substack may not be the best platform for beginners, as it requires building an audience from scratch.
Additionally, Substack has a lower domain authority, meaning that you will have to take care of SEO yourself.
Here’s a bonus tip for you to take your monetization to the next level.
Today, creators, experts, and writers are actively harnessing the power of communities. Their goal is to boost reach and enhance the impact of their content. Most importantly, it’s all about making your paying members feel at home and giving them a sense of belonging.
This is where both Medium and Substack lag and lack prominently. Medium and Substack have no specific community building and management features. The only sign of a community exists only rarely in the form of threaded comments.
That’s why one needs special platforms that enable you to complement your content with a community.
Enhancing the way you present your content matters a lot. You can turn your content and expertise into online courses. You can add certifications, webinars, live events, group discussions, and drip content to your community members. This will help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
You need to provide your paying members with the best value and create ease for them.
Now, for all of this to happen, you need special platforms to allow you to host your content and community in the same place. That will make things easier easy for you and your paid members.
Let me give you an example.
GroupApp allows you to host your content – including articles, video content, online courses, and resources – alongside a community, all in one place.
Plus, you can:
In addition, GroupApp provides a user-friendly iOS app that allows you to manage your content and community at any time, from anywhere.
Furthermore, it offers pricing plans to fit every budget.
Experience the ultimate ease of GroupApp with a free account today!