First diaries — although back then the word journal was more popular — appeared back in the XVII century. Nowadays, blogs are taking their place. And not a lot of people want to make a separate website for their blog.
For example, a lot of my friends have blogs on Tumblr, others — on Medium. Some made their personal pages in Facebook their miniblogs. One dinosaur keeps writing in his LiveJournal. But only two have actual, proper blogs.
So I decided to research whether or not there’s even a point to make a dedicated website for a blog, in the age of Medium and Tumbler.
To begin with, let’s compare these two blogospheres and see why are they popular at all.
Tumblr is a platform for blogging, where users post text, pictures, videos, quotes and their creations. The main advantage of Tumblr is the community. Despite rather unlogical comment system, non-standard formatting and inconvenient interface and a lot of other issues, the number of users that keep using Tumblr are in millions.
From other blogospheres, Tumblr is distinguished by:
- The ease-of-use. It’s so easy to create a blog, and start writing, meeting new readers, read other people blogs and develop your own personal page.
- The community. It’s very easy to keep an eye on other users’ posts on Tumblr. All posts are combined in a ribbon, based on subscriptions and interests of each user. You can respond to people directly from the ribbon or repost their content.
- Anonymity on the platform. Personal info on the blog owner is not available to other users, and the blog’s URL can be changed in a couple clicks. That’s why for a lot of people, Tumblr is a place where you can share their opinion, creativity or simply information that will be badly taken on another resource.
- Customization. Despite Tumblr having an interface editor, it doesn’t explore its full customization capabilities. Those who are really dedicated, write their own design with HTML/CSS.
But there are disadvantages:
- Reputation. It’s easy to make a blog on Tumblr, which is why it is so full of fake news and information. Not that long ago, Rose Christo — a popular blogger — lost her authobiography deal. Mainly due to the fact that she was not a Native American writer with abusive parents, but a Greek blogger that published no books and lives with her grandma.
- Toxicity. Anonymity makes Tumblr extremely toxic. For example, user Zammi070 was driven to a suicide attempt because she dared to creat a fan-art on Steven Universe cartoon and drew fat characters thin.
Overall, Tumblr is a place where everyone can be themselves. Just be ready that others won’t hold back either. Tumblr itself has a large list of guidelines that limit the content allowed on the platform, but realistically it’s not enforced that much.
IMPORTANT! Take care to mark all content that is not suitable to readers under 18 years old. Unlike other guidelines, this one is directly relevant to Tumblr’s ad revenue and administration does care about it.
How to transfer a blog to Tumblr
You can’t. There’s no easy way, mostly because Tumblr comes with a lot of structural limitations. There is a paid option, but it will cost you $12-$50.
Medium is a platform for a social journalism. And if Tumblr is a home of creative personalities, which leads to total anarchy, Medium is much more formal. A lot of users are using their real names and most posts are useful and written with an actual point in mind.
From other blogospheres, Medium differs:
- Formal relationships. Real names, no gimmicks, useful posts, careful formatting and many other details that create a more trustworthy and respectable atmosphere.
- Reputation. When posts are signed with real names and have an author’s photo attached, more readers believe them. Also, writers actually feel responsible and think twice before spreading fake information.
- Content rating system. Medium’s writers and readers can clap on a post if they like it, which increases its rating. Because likes are too mainstream, you know. Posts with the biggest amount of claps get to the front page, which means users always have something to read.
But despite it all, there is no formalism — as in, talking only on serious and distinguished subjects. Both the review and prognosis of the last trends at the stock market and an article «How to behave on your first date» can get to the front page.
But there are downsides to it all:
- Monetization system. The best Medium articles are available only to users that are willing to pay $5 a month. And even though a part of those earnings goes to the writers’ pockets, this seriously hurts the amount of readers and therefore exposure.
- Lack of customization. Medium knows how a successful blog should look like. And if you don’t like the result, you can go look for another platform. But I have to admit, their interface is really good.
- Can’t add custom domains. In November 2017, Medium paused their custom domain integration. You no longer can attach custom domains to your blogs, like i.e. BetterHumans does it. Existing blogs with custom domains will keep on going, but all new authors will have to create posts with URLs like http://medium.com/*.
Summarizing, Medium is a great platform for more or less serious bloggers that are willing to accept the monetization system and lack of custom domains.
IMPORTANT! Medium’s guidelines are more strict than Tumblr’s. For example, any materials that are not suitable for the users under 18 are completely banned.
How to transfer a blog to Medium
You can easily move to Medium from WordPress — all you have to do is download WordPress’ XML-archive and upload it on this page. Keep in mind that comments won’t be transfered.
Unlike blogospheres, WordPress is not a platform, it’s a software foundation for your website. This means, that you are going to need a domain and a hosting to launch your website. And while WordPress itself is free, the rest will run you around $20/year.
But this investment is worth it:
- No limits. You can even post FullHD animation 20 minutes long. Of course, as long as you have available storage and traffic on your hosting.
- Thousands of plugins. Pretty graphics, Disqus instead of usual comments, subscription forms, galleries — WordPress has a lot of useful addons. Just pick the one you need, install it in a couple of clicks and you are done!
- Full customization. There are dozens of thousands WordPress themes — both free and paid. Even developing your own theme is not that hard. WordPress is the best solution for those who wants a unique, distinguished website.
- Full SEO Control. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. People who know SEO can use it to make their content more popular with Google, Bing and other search engines.
- Monetization. You do want to make money on your blog, right? And not those pennies that Medium offers. But in order to monetize a blog, you need to have it on your own platform — just because no one will allow to put your own ads to theirs.
But there’s a downside too — you don’t have a community with WordPress. Which means that you will have to look for your readers in a traditional way, with SEO and links from other resources. And considering how many blogs are created every day, it’s rather hard to get ahead of the competition.
How to transfer a blog to WordPress
You can easily a blog from Tumblr to WordPress using the Tumblr Importer plugin.
Transferring a blog from Medium to WordPress is trickier. Here’s a pretty detailed manual.
So which one is better?
There’s no winner — each platform is suitable for its own needs. But no one stops you from using WordPress, Tumblr and Medium together. For example:
- Write a great article on «How to properly shoe a unicorn» and post it to your WordPress.
- Now log in to Medium and post… not an article, but an interesting snippet from it. And leave a link to the full article.
- Repeat it with Tumblr, just post a different snippet. Or the same one, but worded differently.
- Continue participation on all three platforms, respond to comments and continue the dialogue.
This way you get both Tumblr and Medium community, as well the complete control and monetization of WordPress. But there’s much more work too.
- If just want a place to put your thoughts, ideas and everything going on around you, Tumblr will gladly accept you.
- If you are writing about something interesting or useful — use Medium and you will find your readers.
- If you want to make money blogging, you will have to use WordPress.
Still want to make your own blog? Here you can find out how to make it fast and fluid!
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