Ghost vs Medium for Blogging: Seven Reasons to Choose Ghost
I've written on many popular blogging platforms, and I love Medium's beautiful, clean editor nearly most of all. Nearly, because it's not quite as good as the one I have with Ghost.
And luckily, there's more reasons to switch from Medium to Ghost than the editor interface. And this is all about Ghost 2.0+, with the Koenig visual editor interface.
Note: some of the links in this blog earn me a commission for referring Ghost. But I've been recommending Ghost (and using it) way before that was the case!
Updated: September 2019
1. Ghost is a company with values.
Ghost is transparent, honest, and has high integrity. It all comes down from the personality of the founder, John Nolan.
Ghost builds tools for writers. Their mission is exactly that. It says it all in their initial mission statement in detail.
We started working on Ghost because we wanted to build a great open source publishing platform which would empower independent creators, but we also started this company as a social experiment. We wanted to know: What would it look like if you built a technology startup which could not make anyone rich. If you eliminated all the promises of wealth from the roadmap up front, and tried to build a good company, how would that affect the product, business, customers, and every little decision in between?
They're so transparent, in fact, they even publish their revenue — verified by Stripe.
2. Ghost lets you keep your own content and allows you to do what you like with it.
On Medium, you give your content to them. They make money on it however they want, either through charging members or advertising money. They share that with you, but it's not predictable how much you'll get.
Further, they can change their pricing structure or payment structure whenever they want. Sometimes it's to your advantage, but not necessarily.
With Ghost, you own all your own data. You can even download it at a moment's notice. You upload pictures and it gets stored on a server that you own (or are renting). You can keep it free, and you can make money however you want (with affiliate links or whatever).
3. Ghost lets you profit from your blog content however you want.
Say you hit 100,000 page-views a month and think "Dang! I should put some ads on here." Well, you can, using whatever partner you want. You can use Google Adsense, MediaVine, you name it.
And if you want to add affiliate links with Ghost — well, you can. Many affiliate programs require you to only host links on your own website. Well, with Ghost, you have your own website.
4. You get to brand your own blog with Ghost.
With Ghost, you can use your own logos, colour scheme, domain, fonts, or the entire template.
Of course, straight out of the box Ghost looks amazing (with the default Casper theme). Medium also looks amazing, and is the inspiration for many blogs. But the point is, with Ghost, you can do anything.
Medium does some incredible things with your content. It automatically optimises all the images, and displays all your content in away that's beautiful. But it's still all just the one format — with Ghost, you can choose your own.
5. You get to put more media in with Ghost.
In Medium, you do get to add a few types of media — videos, photos, and code blocks.
In Ghost you can do anything. You can easily add embedded Instagram posts, Spotify songs, and many more.
And it's easy to do things like embed videos from any source because you can directly edit the HTML.
For example, to embed a video at the bottom of this post, I put in HTML code:
<figure class="kg-image-card"><img src="https://casper.ghost.org/v2.0.0/images/formatting-editor-demo.gif" class="kg-image"></figure>
6. Ghost gives you more control over things like SEO discoverability, and the ability to link to other websites & content.
In the Ghost interface, you can do a whole bunch of things to fully target your website to the right audiences. This includes
- Using Google Analytics and tracking (still the best — I prefer it over attempts to build Ghost-style analytics)
- Editing meta content and image names so that you have a higher chance of being discovered for certain keywords
7. Ghost's Koenig editor is simply amazing.
Ghost's editor is a full what-you-see-is-what-you-get visual editor that lets you create a document. Whatever you write is produced in the blog post. The editor is as beautiful as the one in Medium.
Look at the video above. What more could you need?
Medium has the same kind of editor of course. But Medium and Ghost are the only two platforms with truly beautiful editor platforms.
Convinced yet? Try Ghost, and get a 14 day free trial. After that, you can export your data easily.
Counterpoints: What does Medium do better?
To be fair, there are a few reasons to choose Medium:
- You want Medium's content distribution. When you publish on Medium, especially if you publish behind their paywall, they're incentivised to send it to people, put it on their front page, and all kinds of things. People may discover your content on Medium that they might never have found on your own website. But that said, some of my articles have been viewed 2000 times on Medium... whereas I've had articles viewed 10s of thousands of times on my own website, in less time.
- Medium is great at processing images. To optimise images for search engines, you need to make them small, high quality, and tagged with the right names and content. Medium does it so automatically it's amazing. No other platform does.
- You're not even sure you're that into blogging. I think it's fine to publish your first 10 posts somewhere else, like on LinkedIn or on Medium. If you write ten and feel like you've got 50 more – now's your time to open your Ghost account!
Epilogue: Just seven reasons?
There's actually more than just seven reasons, but these are the simple ones. I also like customising Ghost's theme or using it as a headless CMS to publish content to other ghost systems like Gatsby. But those all come later!