How to move off Medium and port your content to another platform using Markdown

Colin Wren
11 min readSep 22, 2022
Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

I’ve been on Medium for four years now, I’ve published close to 200 posts and I’m part of the partner program which gets me enough a month to keep me in coffee.

I enjoy writing on Medium, it allows me to quicky write and get my posts out there and then find related content, but I’m aware I’m putting all my eggs in one basket and opening myself up to the risk that Medium change something and I no longer have a means to freely write.

Having my posts on a platform I can control allows me to better structure my writing to use more than three typographical hierarchy and display images, text and interactive elements in order to better engage with my audience.

The question would then be how to get the content I’d built up over the last four years out of Medium and easily build a blog from them as well as make it easy enough to continue adding content to that blog.

Thanks to the EU and the GDPR’s requirement for data portability it’s easy to export data from Medium, you just request a .zip file of your data from the Settings screen (it’s under the Account section).

In order to keep writing content as enjoyable as Medium makes it while also giving me that flexibility, I decided to use the Markdown format for which there are many editors that provide a Medium like UI but save as .md files.

Gatbsy, a framework I’ve used before for my personal website as well as for a few of my start-up ideas supports Markdown and MDX (which extends Markdown to allow web components) so it made sense to continue using that.

Looking through the Gatsby ‘starters’ (a term for a scaffold project you can use to get you started) I found a nice blog template by Lekoarts which would pull in posts from a specific directory and used some metadata (called frontmatter in Gatsby) to provide functionality like date ordering and tagging.

This meant I had to clean up the Medium export and add this frontmatter data, which is no easy task when you have to do this almost 200 times!

Filtering out unwanted posts

The Medium export contains a lot of information related to your account but the main…

Colin Wren

Currently building Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.