Why You Should Back Up Your Medium Content

You should ALWAYS have a backup. And I mean always!

Why You Should Back Up Your Medium Content

I just read a post from Joe Guay - Dispatches From the Guay Life! asking where bloggers should keep digital copies of their work in case Medium goes away. And honesty it’s a great question.

Over the last several weeks I’ve shared some very unpopular opinions about Medium, the Friend of Medium program, and other problems I’ve been experiencing with the platform.

My Love and Hate Relationship with Medium
There are things to love and hate about writing on this platform. Here’s how I feel about it today.
Is Writing on Medium Worth It? REDUX.
Given the current discussions and controversies about writing on Medium, I revisit the question of whether it’s worth it all.
The Gods of Medium. How Do We Appease Them?
As a writer on Medium, I put my hope and faith in the people and platform. Is it enough?

Now before some of you come with torches and pitchforks, you need to know I am NOT against writing on Medium. If that were the case I’d take all my content and move it away right now.

But I will say if you believe any platform has your best interest at heart and will love you forever, you’re an idiot. Sorry! 🤷‍♂️

Just like the United States government and politicians don’t give a shit about your life, your finances, or your health, content platforms are about making money for their share holders and investors. Period.

Yes they need you, the writers and content creators to grow it for financial purposes, but make no mistake — unless you’re like the mighty Joe Rogan bringing millions of eyeballs, you and your content are expendable.

I can make such a bold statement like this because I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

So is it possible you could put weeks or years into writing your best content on Medium and it disappear overnight? Absolutely.

Whether you spout off something that goes against community policies or the platform encounters technological issues, your time here is never guaranteed. It can be gone like that.

Photo by Intricate Explorer on Unsplash

What should you do to protect yourself and your assets?

There are a LOT of things I could suggest outside of an emergency backup plan like building your brand on multiple channels, diversifying your revenue streams, reading and understanding all the Terms of Service, and being aware that what you write could come back to haunt you.

I don’t want to focus on that at the moment. This is a 9–1–1 plan you should be thinking about right now.

  1. Write your articles in Pages, Word, or Google Docs.

Yes it’s a pain in the ass to have to copy, paste, and deal with formatting issues, but then you will always have your work.

Personally I hate Google because of their inability to create most of their products for the every day, common user. But I use Google Docs because it’s simple and you can back them up in the cloud and on your hard drive. IT IS CRITICAL TO DO BOTH! Plus it’s easy to search your content quickly.

I don’t place photos in my document because that brings a set of issues along with it. So I download my favorite pics into a folder on my laptop and also my backup drive.

2. Make a back up of your work on a drive and in the cloud.

Remember what I said about the inevitable problems and failures above? While I’m pretty confident in online backup services, I don’t trust them completely.

I upload almost all of my work to Dropbox, iCloud, and a removable hard drive for my MacBook Pro. It depends on how “valuable” the work or files are to me as to how many failsafes I put in place.

Yes it will cost money for these services, but how much money would you lose if it were all gone tomorrow?

3. Put your content on another website.

I have some of my personal content on SubStack because it’s free while my professional content is on my Ghost website.

In fact, I highly recommend you start building your own brand on your own hosted platform whether it’s Ghost or WordPress. With a self-hosted website, you can put other backup systems in place.

Please note: Don’t use the free version of WordPress.com either because it has the same potential problems Medium does, as well as limitations.

Medium vs. Ghost
Which is better for publishing your content online? Here’s my review.

4. Don’t trust the easy export options.

For the love of God, nothing sucks more than having to copy and paste hundreds of posts including content, SEO, photos, and other meta data. But if you trust in the export features for Medium and their .ZIP file, you will likely be infuriated.

I have moved content from Medium to Substack, Substack to Medium, Medium to Ghost, Ghost to Medium. And from WordPress to all of them. Rarely does it work without any problems or missing content.

When I used my Medium export to move content to Substack, it made posts for every comment and reaction I had made. 😡 Maybe others had way better success at this but it has never worked flawlessly for me.

This is my system and suggestion for protecting your content, but you can use almost any app and backup service to ensure you’re good to go in case of a catastrophic failure or you happen to piss off the CEO of one of those platforms. Just ensure you have multiple backups for your content including your SEO and meta data.

Finally while I’m on the topic of backups, I would also recommend you do this for all of your personal stuff at home.

Birth certificates, passports, photos, insurance papers, marriage certificates, and any document you will need in case of a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or zombie apocalypse should ALL be scanned and backed up on a hard drive AND a cloud drive.

As someone who has worked in search and rescue through several Oklahoma tornadoes, it is always better to be prepared.