Goodbye Medium, Hello Ghost

Why Crypto Fireside is migrating from Medium to Ghost.

Goodbye Medium, Hello Ghost
Goodbye Medium, Hello Ghost (

Why Crypto Fireside is migrating from Medium to Ghost.

It's finally happening.

When I first started Crypto Fireside over a year ago the plan was to always navigate away onto my own hosted website and now that is about to happen.

How Crypto Fireside started: a bit of background.

I’ve been blogging and creating written content since about 2006. I have used various platforms and content management systems. From Google's Blogger platform to WordPress and everything in between. Drupal, Joomla, Wix, and Weebly.

The partnership if you can call it that between Crypto Fireside and Medium all started in 2017 when I began writing about a project I had fallen in love with called the SAFE Network.

This slowly morphed into different kinds of crypto-related content and eventually, I decided that interviewing people from the cryptosphere was kind of cool in that I didn’t have to come up with ideas on my own.

Part of this decision was based on Pat Walls StarterStory, whose stuff I had been regularly reading. The problem was that I had convinced myself that if I used Pat’s process, people would find out, they’d get really upset, call me a cheater and a thief and I’d be ruined because of it.

How ridiculous.

Lucky for me I ended up reading ‘The Steal Like an Artist Audio Trilogy’ by Austin Kleon and felt a whole lot better about myself for stealing Pat’s idea and so I finally pulled the trigger.

That’s the backstory to how Crypto Fireside ended up on Medium.

What is good about Medium: It's a great newbie blogging platform.

Medium is clean, it's simple, and honestly, it’s just easy to use.

I would recommend it to anyone thinking about blogging. Especially newbies.

I’ve always been a fan of minimalism, not because it’s trendy, but because I don’t like clutter, and Medium scratches that itch. It's designed to be simple and clean. They call it beautiful. Ooh, la la.

One of the worst experiences is when you find something you want to read and you are blasted with ads and annoying popups. Recently I tried following a ‘Perfect T-Bone Steak’ recipe but instead, all I got was Nespresso ads and toenail fungus cures.

Medium doesn’t do this. It does the opposite. The focus is on the content. It was the perfect thing for me to use because it fit right into my strategy.

That strategy? Write stuff and see if people like it.

It was all about testing the idea.

You can do that with Medium. Test for free.

My plan went like this: test the content, see if people like it, see if I like it, see if I could do it long-term, and if all was a success after one year, I’d look to evolve it into something a little more serious. I wrote a little bit about all that here in this 1st Birthday post.

Medium is free and allows you to build a following.

Before you spend any money, before you sign up to stuff, use Medium.

It's free and they let you grow followers as well as email subscribers. You really can’t ask for more from a free blogging platform. If you can get people to read, follow, subscribe and react with the clap button, you're good in my book.

There is no paid hosting, no paid extras unless you want to be a paid member, nothing. Free.

Medium also offers discoverability and if you plan on blogging about stuff that people on Medium are interested in there is a chance your content will get discovered.

Medium is perfect for this and I encourage anyone that is thinking about blogging or starting a blog to do this.

Here is what sucks about Medium: it restricts a blogger's growth.

I'm not going to shit on Medium too much. Its been a great tool for me to use while building Crypto Fireside. Also, there are plenty of other whiney posts that do that.

But what I will do is explain (briefly I promise), why I am moving the Crypto Fireside blog away from Medium to Ghost.

Mediums algorithm favors a certain kind of content creator.

Almost none of the writers on Medium make any money. And normally that wouldn’t be a problem. But when you are trying to be the YouTube of the blogging world and are offering a revenue share program, that’s a problem.

I’ve read different stats, different facts, and figures on this topic but without getting bogged down, it's pretty clear that a tiny handful of writers on Medium make all the money.

The issue is not that Medium pays this tiny handful of people, the issue is that Medium is a User-Generated-Content site and so it monetizes 100% of everything but pays out for a lot less.

Medium offers its writers the Medium Partner Program (MPP), their revenue share program. But because Medium does not have the kind of depth something like YouTube does, the same writers, with the same kinds of stories, keep getting the clicks through the discovery process.

Medium has 725k paid subscribers, and that is small in terms of the company's own goals.

They said they wanted to reach a million paid subscribers by 2020 and when that didn’t happen they admitted ‘the publication does not produce enough blogbuster stories’ and so they started to do weird stuff like buy apps and audio-based learning programs instead of buying publications or helping to build bloggers up.

Medium is a rev-share echo chamber.

Medium pays bloggers for the already paid-up members of Medium to read their stories. Those writers didn’t have to find those paying members but get paid when they read their stories anyway and so it is a massive disconnect that creates a perpetual loop of the same kinds of writers continuing to put out the same kind of content.

Sure, I am making some assumptions here, but it’s hard not to.

My content is viewed and read mostly by people not from Medium. I have the stats to prove it. Medium has those stats too. But they cannot reward me based on this system even though I bring in good quality consistent traffic. That is a big flaw in my opinion because it rewards the echo chamber and not the hard workers hustling to distribute their own content.

Medium kills writers and publications earning potential.

The bloggers on Medium that are not part of the elite highly rewarded group, AKA almost all of them, could technically monetize via ads and sponsored posts but Medium won’t allow that. I know I said earlier that sites riddled with ads can get annoying, but there is a difference. Hear me out.

I have been approached numerous times by sponsors and advertisers asking me to write about their Crypto-whatever product or service in exchange for payment, only to have to tell them that they will have to wait until I migrate away from Medium before I can do a deal with them because Medium has a supposed ad-free policy.

This got so bad my very good friends from Hacker Noon had to leave Medium and start their own platform because of it. You can read that story here.

And here is the really f*cked up thing.

Medium voids its own advertising rules!

Medium advertises Knowable, an audio-education app, which is an external paid service. But they tell us we can’t advertise and monetize. The literal definition of hypocrisy.

If you are on mobile right now, scroll down and you’ll see the ad for Knowable, it's also in the right hand column for desktop users.

Medium advertises Knowable on millions upon millions of pages with a button-style banner and a text link. So how is that fair? The answer is that it’s not. Medium just does it because it can, but you can’t. See how that works.

This right here shows Medium either doesn’t care or doesn’t understand its content creators. Just like Medium needs to monetize, so do its creators.

Maybe Medium would get more Blogbuster stories if the content producers were earning a full-time income from their craft and had the time and energy to focus on it?

Medium doesn’t fairly pay for member signups.

In Medium's own words there are two ways to earn via the program:

Two ways to earn.
Member reading time.
reading time
Referred memberships.
Referred Memberships

I’ve written about Medium’s skewed algo and how I think it favors the few writers it knows paid readers will spend their reading time on above.

On referred memberships:

Unlike YouTube memberships, OnlyFans, etc, Mediums net is cast too wide and in my opinion, little thought has gone into it.

When I join a YouTubers channel I am joining their channel, I’m not joining YouTube. There is a whole different product for that which YouTube offers.

With Medium the messaging is unclear, am I promoting Medium or myself? Is the member signing up to get my content or are they signing up to Medium?

Turns out it's a little from column A and a little from column B. And that is part of the problem. The message is unclear. It’s muddy.

The other part is that I can bring people into Medium via my own traffic, but when they sign up to become a member, if they don’t click through my sign-up link it's all a waste of time because Medium does not track a new paid members history to see if that paid member was brought into Medium through the efforts of the blogger.

Medium is confused.

Medium calls itself a publication. But it’s not. Publications have teams like editors and proofreaders. Publications produce content.

Medium is not a publication. Medium is a platform that hosts publications.

Medium also calls itself a digital publishing platform. This is more accurate IMO. So then which is it? Publication or digital publishing platform?

Medium offers users a content management system (CMS) but it isn’t a real CMS because it lacks most of the features and options a CMS has.

Medium is a blog host for its own users, but it's not a host.

Medium says if you become a paid member you help keep Medium ad-free, but Medium is ad-free anyway (except for its sneaky Knowable ads).

Medium says it pays writers for quality content but actually it only pays writers for content that paid members read, which is likely the content Medium continues to promote but I can’t prove that.

I am convinced if Satoshi Nakamoto wrote and published his Bitcoin whitepaper on Medium, there is a very good chance no one would have ever read it because they would not have seen it.

Why I am moving to Ghost.

Ghost is a platform that is not confused. It is newsletter and blog software.

Ghost, like Medium, is clean, it is minimal, but that is about where the similarities end.

Ghost offers a vast array of app integrations that Medium does not. For a start, it offers the most simple of all website and weblog integrations, Google Analytics!

Ghost offers superior newsletter and membership technology and it allows you to monetize these options. Unlike Medium's confusing all-or-nothing membership option, the message is crystal clear with Ghost, the content creator gets the membership revenue.

On Medium, it’s their publication and you’re just writing on it along with everyone else. Using Medium, you don’t own any of the experience and your content will ultimately be promoting Medium itself — not just your own work. It’s much like any other social network.

Ghost offers hosting.

If you have used WordPress you’ll know that if you want to be serious, you need a hosting solution but WordPress doesn’t offer one! And so there you are just wanting to write stuff that people want to read but now you gotta figure hosting out.

Ghost removes all that and says here is a great blog and newsletter software, here is a great content management system with all these awesome modern integrations but also, don’t worry about the nerdy hosting stuff we’ll take care of that.

That’s what I’m talking about!

Those are all great reasons to switch. Integrations, hosting, simple, minimal design etc. But that is not all. Here is the other important reason I am switching.

Ghost has monetization options.

I need to grow Crypto Fireside. Ghost lets me do that.

Unless I monetize and put money back into Crypto Fireside, it’ll just burn itself out. Medium, let's be realistic, has no real monetization capability unless I want to churn out content that I don't want to produce e.g. US Politics.

With Ghost, I get all monetization options. I can integrate Adsense or work with an ad management company, I can add native payments if I ever want to sell anything, I can offer sponsored posts, I can promote affiliate products and I can charge for memberships and newsletters.

Ghost offers professional designs.

All Ghosts base designs are clean and professional looking. I'm a stickler for this kind of thing. With Ghost, you can just set it up and go with no design tweaks. If you want to switch to a custom design theme or a more professional one you can always do that later on because they have a marketplace for that.

Ghost provides a Medium migration service for free!

When I began trying to calculate the amount of time it was going to take me to manually copy everything over from Medium to Ghost, I began doubting the whole thing. I honestly contemplated not doing it just because of this. I had a million questions and even thought about hiring someone to help me.

That is when I found out that Ghost offered a free migration service to anyone who signs up for their pro plan, and so what that means is that a team of Ghost professionals schedule you in and then help you copy all of your content over and they make sure everything works as it should.

Medium to Ghost summary.

Medium is good for the newbies. It is not for the professional paid blogger and content creator or publisher. If you want to turn your blogging and writing into an income or business Medium is not for you. The numbers don’t lie.

Ghost is designed for people who want to build or grow a following and monetization is part of this process. Monetization is there from the very beginning with Ghost.

“Turn your audience into a business”

That's the first thing you see when you go to Ghosts' website. They understand that content creators, bloggers, and publishers, all need to monetize. It’s our lifeblood.

Because Ghost is for professionals or people wanting to grow into something more professional it must offer professional solutions to its users. Medium is free and so Medium does what it wants to do which is usually what helps Medium only.

What to expect from Crypto Fireside’s migration to Ghost?

The migration is scheduled to start 14–15 July 2022.

The process will take a little while as we bring over all the content, move the domain name and get the basics right. I expect the process to take anywhere from a couple of days to a week.

Will Crypto Fireside continue to post on Medium?

For the moment, yes.

After the switch happens, it’s hard to say, but I will likely still post some kind of content on Medium. How that looks, I don’t know. Maybe I do some complimentary content, or short TLDR versions of interviews, I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you need to do?

Subscribe by email.

By subscribing, you’ll be added to my email list. I will export that list over to Ghost which means that as soon as I start posting Crypto Fireside content and interviews via Ghost you’ll know about it.

Subscribe now, it's free!

Smell ya later Medium.

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