The Medium vs. Ello Experiment

Disillusioned with Medium due to abysmal views of my latest stories in addition to what seemed like clap ‘cooking,’ I decided to broaden my blogging horizons and try a couple of other platforms as well.

The way Medium dealt with the clap issue only confirmed that this was the right decision. Namely, Medium never really fixed it or dealt with it in a transparent manner, they rather fixed the way stats is now presented — basically hiding and removing the insights into the in-depth stats for individual stories we had before.

Way to not go, Medium. But, who cares, really, when there are so many other places, so many other things to enjoy and do :).


Enters Ello! I was drawn to Ello due to the nice and simple interface, clean look, and the fact that it was, quote, ‘built for artists by artists’ and not for ‘content generators’ by IT guys. As a writer, one is aware of the fact that words matter and that the right choice of words matter even more.

In this case, Ello chose exactly the right words and Medium’s VP editor who called us ‘content generators’ chose exactly the wrong ones.

I certainly do not feel nor wish to be seen as ‘content generator.’ To me, that sounds a lot like calling a woman ‘a breading machine.’ Even though this may be true in a certain way, it’s is definitely not who we are or what our main life purpose is. Writing is a creative endeavour and I love that Ello is seeing and presenting it as such. So far so good, and an important point for Ello.

What I was really interested in, though, was the response I could get on Ello Vs. Medium measured in views. I have a new book coming out in a matter of weeks and it’s imperative for me to be able to share my posts with as many readers as possible so that I can spread the news about the new book too.

This worked well for my previous book. I kept posting free tips and advice related to the book’s content while the book was available for preorder. This brought me a decent number of views on Medium, and was good for everyone — other writers got free advice and I was able to promote the book.

Things have radically changed this year, though, and even though I’m still getting over 16,000 views per month, most of my latest posts don’t even get close to 100! This is depressing, highly demotivating, and of no good use!

Hence, I decided to run an experiment!

The experiment

The way out, as I could see it, would be to either try and build the following of the blog on my website, or find another platform, something like Ello. Or maybe both, why not. I decided to test this by posting a few of my latest posts on my website blog, on Ello, and on Medium to see where I’d get the best results and most views.

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of Ello. It was astounding, really. While I had only 5 followers on Ello comparing to 5,000 on Medium, my posts got so many more views on Ello that it left me speechless.

These posts barely climbed to over 50 views per post on Medium, but they lead to hundreds of views on Ello where I’m just starting out — to be more precise, they got over 2,000 views in a week! During the same period, the same posts received only about 200 views on Medium where I’ve been a well-established writer for over two years!

That is ten times more views on Ello!

The only post that didn’t do so well on Ello is Phoenix (update, this one too has now surpassed the views on Medium). Still, it could be that certain types of posts do better on Medium. Could… or could be not.

Even more bonus points for Ello

So far, Ello is a clear winner, but that’s not all! To make it even sweeter, Ello lets you sell products. Its interface is designed to encourage selling books and art, which makes it even more attractive for creators (creators, mind you, not content generators).

What’s more, you can find work there, for Ello connects creators with agencies and others who might be seeking our services. They run competitions and are all about new and exciting prospects for their users.

They do not pay for the posts, though, like Medium pays for member-only content, but given how meager the pay on Medium is and how few of the ‘content generators’ here actually make anything worth mentioning, that’s really not a big deal.

The final verdict

I will definitely stay on Ello and adjust my publishing strategy accordingly. This means more posts on Ello and probably a lot less on Medium. I might still experiment with paid posts on Medium or just stick to publishing certain type of a hobby content here. Might… or might not.

I’m not sure about the details yet, but the lesson is that one has to diversify and be on a lookout for new opportunities. Also, I see a lot of potential in growing the blog on my website too, so that’s what I’ll be more focused a lot more on in the future as well.

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