Medium vs Substack: Which Platform to Write On

Medium vs Substack: Which Platform to Write On

When I was restarting out on my writing journey in mid 2020, I had a few things that need to be met. The choice became simple.

Consistency is key

I was looking to write more consistently. I wanted to put in the reps and publish my writing more frequently.
Before I restarted my journey of writing in mid 2020, I wrote frequently in 2013-14. After which I stopped writing completely, until sometime in 2019. Even then, I wasn’t able to establish a publishing cadence, always second guessing myself and my writing.
Substack's newsletter concept makes consistency really important. If you're constantly putting out high value content on a regular basis, people will read and subscribe. This cadence can be daily, weekly, every 2 weeks, or monthly.
Substack allows for writing to evolve over time and doesn’t require perfection. When you're an amateur, you should focus on putting in the reps, ship your writing to the world, get feedback, and improve.
This consistency of publishing is why I chose Substack or Medium. I've published on Medium before but it always felt that it had to be perfect before publishing. Whereas Substack allowed some rawness.

Perception value

Another reason that came to play when making this decision was that Substack was in the ascendance and Medium was going down. High value content was moving away from Medium to Substack. So by association with the platform, it was a good thing.
Substack was also different from Medium in the way that if a reader was on your newsletter, they would not get links to other publications. Whereas Medium was like that at the time. They've since reversed course and tried to become more creator friendly. There was a strong call to action to subscribe to the emails on Substack. Medium was against this earlier, but once again corrected course.
Besides, it wasn’t that Medium was driving a lot of traffic to my blog. One of Medium's biggest pro is their discovery push. Medium was only providing me 11% of my views by way of discovery. I was drawing the rest of the audience myself.
However there is one benefit to Medium. Their SEO is still really good and there are high chances that your Medium article might be on the first page of a Google search for relevant keywords.
That's how I made the decision. So far it has paid off with me accumulating 800+ subscribers so far. It's only the beginning of the journey.